Local Reading, UK Music Scene
Reading is most known around the world for its annual Reading Festival, which is one of the most celebrated and anticipated concerts, attracting tourists from around the world. The festival began in 1961 as the National Jazz Festival and since 1971 has been a high profile event that helps boost artist careers, another much of the booking is big names from other regions. Many times the headliner is a heritage act, such as The Cure in 2012, that benefits from the massive attention, helping generate a career comeback. The event consists of seven stages and sideshows. Reading is a one hour drive west of London, which has a huge impact on the region.
Acoustic music is an excellent way for local musicians to express themselves. It's low budget and just as expressive as electric music, plus you can hear the lyrics and melody a lot better. Many times electric guitars inspire the drums to play louder and for the engineer to boost levels as high as possible without distorting. In the process, the lead singer gets buried in the mix or is forced to scream above the drums or electronics. It makes more sense for small scale shows to feature acoustic performers to create a more intimate environment. It also allows for different acts to change over much faster with less complexities.
Artists from Reading draw influences from bands all over the world, partly due to the annual Reading Festival in August. The most successful artists in history from the region have included Chapterhouse, Mike Oldfield, Slowdive and Morning Runner. Some of the emerging artists of the region include alternative rockers Bennet, soul singer Louise Setara, Kieran Mahon and Tripwires.
The Live Music Act has loosened up some restrictions that caused many local clubs to go out of business. One of the new rules allows non-amplified music to be performed at any venue in the city with up to 200 people, as long as the music is played between 8am and 11pm. Unfortunately, this news was not initially well publicized in 2012 when the new law went into effect, so it may take time for the acoustic music scene to spread throughout Reading.
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