Initially conceived in Nottingham as a way to put on friend’s bands, Default This has since put on shows with a host of up and coming acts in Leeds, London and Kingston Upon Thames.
Their main goal is to promote innovative and exciting music and they have been lucky enough to put on great UK bands such as Pulled Apart By Horses, Dinosaur Pile Up and Tubelord. They’ve also put on a number of US artists and highlights over the 5 years include a sell out show for Joan of Arc at London’s seminal venue, the 100 Club, as well as booking bands and running The Bodega Social Club for Nottingham’s own Hockley Hustle Festival.
Ahead of their 5th Birthday Party at Spanky Van Dykes, Paul Klotschkow spoke to Kelly from Default This about the last five years of putting on gigs in the city...
How did you first start promoting gigs?
I did my first show when I was 17. I messaged a band called Detwiije asking them to play in Nottingham and they said they would if I sorted them out a show. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I was desperate to see them live so I just gave it a go - a couple of guys that came to that show asked me to book a gig for their band and it went from there really.
What was it like putting on your first ever gig?
Nerve wrecking, but exciting. I had no idea what went in to putting on a gig and I wasn’t even old enough to be in the venue I was doing it at. But I saw some great bands and met some great people, and that’s what it’s all about really.
How may gigs do you think you have put on in total?
Hmm, it must be nearing the 100 mark. I need to sit down and work it all out actually but I never seem to have the time.
Which shows in Nottingham have been your personal favourite?
The first Hockley Hustle we ever took part in was amazing. We had Pulled Apart By Horses, Tubelord, This Town Needs Guns and Dinosaur Pile-Up on our bill - as well as lots of other awesome bands - and they’ve all now gone on to do some really exciting things. The Bodega was packed and everyone seemed to be having an awesome time and obviously it was great to be doing something for charity. Other than that it’s got to be Tubelord again at The Bodega as that’s where I met my boyfriend, who was playing bass for them at the time, and now the other half of Default This - Rupe.
Do you do anything outside of Nottingham?
I went to uni in Leeds so I did quite a lot of shows there and it’s a great city for music. Rupe used to live in Kingston Upon Thames so we put a couple of shows on there too and now we split our gigs between Nottingham and London. Nottingham is still my favourite place to do gigs though.
|Ocean Bottom Nightmare - just one of the bands playing at the Default This 5th Birthday bash|
What is the most important lesson you have learnt as a promoter?
That’s a difficult one. I think it would just be that there’s no point in being a promoter unless you’re working with bands that you genuinely love. Even if a gig isn’t as busy as you’d like it to be, if you’re putting on bands you care about then you still get to see great music.
Do you have any advice for any budding promoters?
Be organised, choose line ups carefully and treat all bands well. Oh, and spreadsheets are your friends.
Which other Nottingham promoters do you admire?
Damn You! really inspired me when I was starting out, I loved the bands they were putting on and their whole ethos. I have a lot of love for Carrie who runs One Beat, she’s so enthusiastic and passionate about music and really goes out of her way to help bands. I’m Not From London, Now You Form A Band, Buttonpusher, Audacious Face, Saurus, Coffee Beat - all great promoters working hard for music they care about.
What are the most difficult things that you come across as a promoter?
Putting all of your effort into promoting a gig for an amazing band and hardly anyone turning up.
How can you encourage more people to go to gigs?
I think people just need to be open to going to gigs for bands they haven’t heard of before. There’s a whole load of innovative and inspiring music that falls under the radar because it isn’t written about in NME or on Drowned in Sound. It’d be great for Nottingham to have a music zine that recommends gigs to people- get on it LeftLion.
|The Default This 5 Birthday Party is on 27 March at Spanky Van Dyjes|
How supportive is the local music scene?
I think it’s very supportive. I always see Nottingham bands championing each other and promoters such as One Beat and I’m Not From London are always inviting people to Default This events. It’s great to see bands like Swimming and Fists doing so well and I’m always routing for Nottingham bands and promoters to be successful.
Who are your favourite local bands at the moment?
Crushing Blows! I’m absolutely blown away by them at the minute - if you like Battles and Les Savy Fav you should love them. I also can’t stop listening to Shakey Hands aka Callum Proctor, he makes really beautiful and interesting music with just a guitar and a kick drum. Definitely check him out. Other than that, Soft Pyramids, Kids, Alright The Captain, 8mm Orchestra, Crash of Rhinos, Kogumaza, Ocean Bottom Nightmare and Fresh Eyes For The Dead Guy - all great bands. Nottingham and Derby are both great cities for music.
What was the first ever gig you went to?
The first proper gig was probably Distortion Festival at Wollaton Park when I was 13. Iggy Pop, Rival Schools, Greenday, Raging Speedhorn and Hundred Reasons played - and A - Remember them?
What do you like to do on a night out in Nottingham?
Nights out for me are usually gigs. If I’m not at The Chameleon or The Bodega then I’ll probably be watching a film and drinking Belgian beer at Broadway.
What does the future hold for Default This?
Lots more shows. We’ve got some exciting shows coming up in London, Nottingham and Kingston. We’re also booking tours, doing online PR for bands and looking in to releasing a few records. Watch this space.
Any final words for the LeftLion readers?
Support your local scene!
The Default This 5th Birthday Party with live music from Adam S Kirkup, Crushing Blows, Shakey Hands, Soft Pyramids, Solomon Grundy, Ocean Bottom Nightmare, Shapes, Tangled Hair, Shoes and Socks Off and &U&I takes place at Spanky Van Dykes on Sunday 27 March 2011.