History Of the Sauce
I have been asked on a few occasions how NJS started so I thought I would give you a bit of history and background to NJS. You probably don’t care but its here if you want to pass a few minutes while the kettle boils.
Local Vocals & Verse
I (Chris Bennion) have been involved with the Worcester music scene in one way or another for approximately 10 years. It all started with the publication of a wonderful (Hmmm!!) fanzine called Local Vocals & Verse. This was, to be honest, a rubbish attempt to blag my way into gigs free of charge with the excuse that I was a music journalist. It never worked.
It was about this time that I met up with Will Munn, who has the biggest and most eclectic record collection of anyone I know, and what he doesn’t know about music is probably not even worth writing on the back of a stamp. We decided to start putting on some live gigs, so we persuaded The Kings Head in Sidbury to let us put on a three month run of gigs. We called it a Battle of the Bands, but was actually more like an underage drinkers mosh pit. Very successful and very much fun.
Rhythm and Booze
Local Vocals and Verse lasted for 4 issues. With the addition of Mr Will Munn, we started working on a bigger and better (and more informative) fanzine which went by the name of Rhythm and Booze. This zine was chock full of music reviews, interviews, CD reviews, and one of the finest and most inaccurately descriptive gig guide in the midlands.
We started putting on more live gigs, including the now almost infamous ‘Boozestock’ at the Marrs Bar, and various pub gigs in and around Worcester.
Peaking at approx 5000 copies per month, we soon became tired of traipsing round the midlands delivering Rhythm and Booze to music shops and venues (and actually getting into some gigs free of charge … Result!) and we decided to call it a day. Will Munn decided to carry on with the Zine which is still going online (www.rhythm-and-booze.co.uk). So check it out and discover some new music that you have to know about.
Not Just Sauce
It wasn’t long before I got bored of just working a 9-5 job, and decided to start a local what’s on guide for Worcester. It was never a fantastic site, and I was never (and never will be) the best web designer. But I carried on for a few years, publishing a gig guide, writing the odd review, organising the odd gig including Live On Marrs, The Acoustic Lunch and various pub gigs.
Worcester Music Festival
About four years ago I had the crazy idea of encouraging every venue, every pub, every coffee shop in Worcester to host some live music on a specific weekend in August and call it The Worcester Music Festival. I was laughed at, politely told that I was mad, but a few people got behind the idea (including Tony Gibbon, Brian Marr, Andrew Marston, Chris Jaegar, Lisa Ventura) and we did it … sort of. We persuaded quite a few local promoters to put on shows, a load of local bands to play for free and managed to get 24 venues and 120 acts playing on Bank Holiday weekend. It was bloody hard work and we managed to raise a whopping some money for charity.
The next year was better, and this year (2010) was a huge success (30 venues, 230 live acts, 15 free workshops and £5k for charity). We now have a great team of approximately 15 people dedicated (committed?) music enthusiasts, bands members and promoters, and it is going from strength to strength. 2011 is going to absolutely fantastic. A HUGE THANKYOU has to go out to everyone who has helped, volunteered and supported the WMF in the past 3 years. I love you all.
Not Just Sauce goes dotcom
Inbetween the 2nd and 3rd year of WMF I was introduced to Mr Ant Robbins, who said that he liked Not Just Sauce but wanted to make it better. That wouldn’t be difficult, so I said yes, and he got to work on it. It turns out he is a very good web designer. He is still working on it now as there is A LOT more to do on the site and new ideas being thought of all the time. We want to make it the best and most user friendly and informative guide in the area, and we are getting there.
I also persuaded him to take on the task of redesigning the WMF website. He agreed… and he is still talking to me, amazing.
Not Just Sauce – The Future
Now that WMF2010 is out the way, I am getting Not Just Sauce up and running properly. With the help of Ant and new arrival Jody James Bates, we are looking to break new ground, promote more live music nights and aim to take the Worcester scene to the next level. We are looking at working with more venues and looking for more promoters and bands to help us , not just in Worcester but all over the country, to give local acts a chance to get out and play to different audiences and bring new and exciting acts into the city. The future is looking great and we hope you will join us on the journey.
So, that’s it for now. I thought you might like to know who and what NJS is. I might be wrong, but you have read this far, so you must have been slightly interested. … or just incredibly bored.
See you soon, and thanks for your support.
07979 59 8576