Whether the Walthamstow Sound is as distinctive and influential as, say, the Liverpool Sound, we leave it to you to judge, but going by the lively pub and club scene in the Village – with its fizzing fusion of rock, jazz, folk, soul and disco – there’s obviously no shortage of entertainment and inspiration for gig-goers and aspiring performers.
As we noted in our previous Walthamstow Rocks blog, the town has its quota of celebrity bands and performers, and there are opportunities aplenty for those looking to be ‘discovered’ or build their own local fan base.
Mind you, the days when you did a demo tape in your bathroom with a cassette player and a prayer are long gone. To compete by today’s exacting standards you need a properly sound proofed space and some professional recording equipment.
At Herts & Essex Lofts we’ve made a speciality of helping local musicians turn their loft space into a professional recording studio, and we’d be pleased to help you do the same. Equipment wise, we also have had some very useful input from Jeremy Luscombe, who following our last blog sent us a link to the Resonic Guide to Improving Studio Acoustics, plus some tips on how to save on costs without compromising on sound quality.
Plus, if you want to sharpen up your skills as a singer or instrumentalist – or make your debut as a live performer – the following links might prove useful:
Axe or sax? Bass or drums? Vocals or violin? Whatever you aspire to musically, there are classes to cater for you at the Umbrella Music Academy, Walthamstow, whose tutors are all professional musicians and train to the highest standards. Prices range from £8.95 an hour for group sessions to £28.00 an hour for intense one-on-one training.
A little more informally there’s the E17 Guitar Club, held at The Deli, Orford Road on Thursday evenings (contact Chris on 07958 471 083); Five String Banjo Classes at the Quaker Meeting House, Jewel Road on Monday evenings (contact Dick Smith on 07903 419 691) and Ukulele Wednesdays, held at The Castle pub, Grosvenor Rise East from 7.30pm onwards.
Open Mic Nights & Guest Spots
If you want to try your hand at the fame game, there are local venues where you can make your debut, all of which are friendly to first time performers
There are open mic nights at The Hornbeam Café, Hoe Street (07940 260 558) which holds an Open Mic Night ever second Friday of the month; and Ye Old Rose & Crown pub, Hoe Street (020 0309 3880) which holds one every first Wednesday of the month. Singers, musicians, poets and comedians are all welcome.
The Village Pub, Orford Road, has an Acoustic Showcase Night every Thursday night. You can perform here by invitation only, but if you think you can cut the mustard, email
Gabriel4music@gmail.com with a link to music you’ve posted on line, or with a sample audio file. Visit their website to listen to previous performances recorded there.
The Flowerpot Pub, Wood Street has a live music night every Friday featuring local bands. Again, if you think you’re up to snuff, call in and chat to the manager Anne Avery or drop in a demo disc, and if they like you, they’ll feature you.
If you’re really desperate they also do a karaoke night once a month on a Saturday!
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