BMA LOGO.fwYou rarely hear about Barnsley in the mainstream music press. Maybe the odd tongue-in-cheek mention in regards Grimethorpe Colliery Band, or a nod in the direction of NWOBHM Godfathers Saxon. For your reference, Alex Turner and Matt Helders learned their trade at Barnsley College with a famous gig at our Birdwell Working Men’s Club in their pre-fame days and the early line-up of Rolo Tomassi were all Barnsley based, later recording both their debut and third albums here in the town centre too.
Our latest, but still rare mention, was of the secret gig played by Frank Turner last month in The Old No.7. The Barnsley born Kerrang! journo that put on the gig claimed that over 300 people attended, when in fact it was less than half that (you’d never fit 300 in the entire building, let along on the one floor that was used). For those that attended, it was a moment that would be remembered for years to come. For those from out of town that didn’t manage to make it, it was a ‘what the fuck is Frank Turner playing in bloody Barnsley for?’ We aren’t all the hard done by, culturally desolate whippet lovers some would have you believe (though I do have four flat caps and I say ‘ah much?’ at least twice a day).

Barnsley has a bloody fantastic live music scene. We might not have many famous names, but whether it be rock, metal, punk, folk or indie you’re into, we have quite a lot go on. Not so much Electronica mind (Sheffield managed that perfectly well without us interfering). In fact, I reckon we are riding a crest at the moment and somebody else must think so too because the inaugural Barnsley Music Awards has just been lunched to celebrate it.
The organisers of the urban music festival Live in Barnsley will hold the first awards ceremony on Dec 5th and it will give much deserved recognition to bands, solo artists, albums, ep’s and videos recorded and released locally, stand-out events and also a person or group that contributed outstandingly to the local music scene. There is an initial list of nominees (that can be added to by voters) and they are listed here. However, I wanted to take a bit of time out to give a nod to my personal favourites, including a couple of extra catagories.
Each week in the run-up to the awards, I’m going to look at one of the listed categories, showing my own personal short-list and my overall favourite.

There are some awesome film-makers in Barnsley right now, and there have been some real gems made this year. My favourite music video of the year though isn’t even shortlisted. Tis a crime! The Hurriers are quite possibly Barnsley’s most important band right now. Not only are they a first rate punk band squeezing in elements of folk and soul that spans two generations, but one that spreads the message of causes still worth fighting for at gigs and benefits all over the UK, including at a debut set at Glastonbury festival’s Left Field this year! This video is not only a perfect showcase of the Barnsley live music scene, but of our social history and how integral they are to each other. It’s a relatively simple video and in it we see The Hurriers playing in the beautiful great all at the old NUM headquarters on Victoria Road, he see the Barnsley Main colliery site at Hoyle Mill and a fantastic live gig at The Polish Club.

A new young psychedelic indie band who aren’t afraid to show their roots in this great debut video set in Barnsley centre. It also shows off what a formidable voice frontman Tom Hale has. Barnsley has a great growing scene of psychedelic rock bands right now, and ” target=”_blank”>Clay Garden are one of the best.

A second showing for Arcadia Film in the video for Pusher‘s vinyl single. Along with Servers and Cavorts, Pusher is one of three bands that could truly make it in the wider music industry. It was this single and video that really cemented strong audio/visual style. With a sound and visual style this strong, Pusher could easily become one of the biggest bands in the UK.

Barnsley’s most successful photographer takes time out from snapping the likes of Rob Zombie and Skindred to film a darkly atmospheric video for one of the town’s hottest British rock bands right now. Inspired by the recurring lyrical themes on Servers‘ debut album of cults, stalking and horror, it fits the tones perfectly for a song which sounds like The Doors, Sabbath and H.I.M.
Must note that Mark Latham recently filmed the next video for Cavorts, which should be released very soon. If I had seen that, I would have probably had an even harder time picking my shortlist of five videos.

This video follows the release of Lauren Tate‘s self-penned debut EP of the same name, which confirmed her as one of our finest vocal talents and song writers. While she is still honing her sound as she plays with various line-ups live, here she has decided to produce a video, not for the obvious ‘single’ tracks but instead for the closing track which is a Pandora’s box of vaudevillian piano, white noise and ghostly layers of vocals – think Dresden Dolls, Tom Waits and Maple Bee. A first rate songwriter, who has carefully crafted a video and style that totally suits both her music and lyrics.

The official shortlist is as follows:

  • Claustrophobia – Servers
  • Disguise Me – Clay Garden
  • Don’t Say a Word – Jake Sharpe
  • Let It Break – Pusher
  • Live in Barnsley Documentary
  • Me and the Moon – Lauren Tate
  • My Reflection – Lauren Tate
  • Universes and Supernovas – Servers
  • Violence – New Party Army

Next week I’ll be looking at The Best Venue nominations.
The Barnsley Music Awards takes place Friday 5th December at the Walkabout in Barnsley. Follow the Live in Barnsley facebook page for updates about the event.

Vote online via Survey Monkey now. Limited to one vote per unique IP address. Click this image to vote.

Vote online via Survey Monkey now. Limited to one vote per unique IP address. Click this image to vote.


  1. Pingback: AH MUCH? WEIGHING UP TARN TALENT (BEST LIVE ACT 2014) | Alternative Barnsley

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