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(any opinions expressed by an independent contributor cannot be attributed to Radio Lutterworth or any of its members or taken as any endorsement of any views that may have been aired here. All topics will be accredited to writer of any piece published)

Musician Unzipped 2011 Calendar

Date: Oct 16th, 2010 4:03:03 am - Subscribe
Mood: shocked

By J Appleby

PhotobucketNow this is what I call rock-n-roll.

The Musician, a popular live music venue in Leicester, has released a 2011 naked (but tasteful!) charity calendar that will be available from November. You can preorder the calendar now by visiting

The calendar features a host of local musicians, Musician Venue staff and burlesque girls in a state of undress but with all modesties intact and our aim is to raise money for Rainbows Children's Hospice, a great local cause.

I've been informed that this special calendar is available on a limited basis so get in quick!

Full line-up includes Amy Wyke, Paula Driver, The Stiggz, Aaron & Adam from Ictus, the Talulah Blue Burlesque girls, AJ & Dave from New Generation Superstars, Jasper Jacks, SKAM#, Dean Sharman, Stevie Jones, Hewick, Haynes & James, Chloe Vaughan, Becca O'Hara, Joe Morrell & Mark Elliott, Siobhan Mazzei, Paul Needham and the Musician staff (sound engineers, bar staff, promoters and a certain doorman...)
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Interview with Leicester's Great Imitation

Date: Oct 12th, 2010 2:50:33 pm - Subscribe
Mood: stunned

By J Appleby
They hail from Leicester and last month, they won the coveted Surface Unsigned Festival by representing the Midlands with a mashup of rap and indie sprinkled with OTT posing and a lot of tongue in cheek. But in between a busy schedule of radio appearances and a new rousing gig schedule. Lead singer and middle-class rap boy, James Scott-Howes, answers a few questions J Appleby was dying to ask including the origins of their incredible genre, his thoughts on the competition and ultimately why he acts the way he does on stage.

JA: How long you guys been together?
JSH: Ryan Albutt (guitarist and co-singer) and I formed the band as a dastardly two piece about 18 months ago. The rhythm section; Mark Conrad and Joe 'the bollocks' Lambden, or as they're affectionately known within the band as 'the least important members', were both fans who joined us last year at various times of despair.

JA: Why choose this combo of indie rock and raunchy rap? And how did you learn to rap like Dizzie?
JSH: We didn't really choose the style, it just sort of, um, happened. Neither Ryan nor I listen to Hip-Hop exclusively so what you hear in Great Imitation is influenced by everything from Norah Jones to Godspeed You! With a bit of Black Emperor visiting Slick Rick, Beyonce and The Harmonicas along the way. Rapping is something that I had to learn. Ever since I first got into Michael Jackson when I were 6, I've always wanted to be in a band yet I am utterly tone-deaf. When I sing it sounds like an old woman being minced by a threshing machine and I am far too lazy to learn how to play an instrument. So rapping was the only option open to me.

JA: So I got it wrong in the original review, your songs aren't mashups of existing tracks. So what kind of stuff are you rapping about?
JSH: When I first learnt to rap, I were listening to a lot of Old Skool stuff like NWA and Ice Cube. So my first attempts at writing where these skin crawlingly awful, faux ghetto, abominations - complete with fake Californian accent. Thankfully no evidence of them, other than my sense of shame, still exists. Over the last 15 years of writing lyrics, I've developed a style which is influenced more by Morrissey than anyone else. The songs tend to be either quite personal, where the emphasis is on times that I've made myself look like a contemptible moron or they're observational, 'Far From the Madding Crowd' for example is about Melton Mowbray where I grew up and 'Poisoned Kisses at the Village Fete' is about going out to a terrible club, failing to pull and gibbering away to defenceless, uninterested women.

JA: Why did you choose to enter Surface Unsigned? And did you honestly think you had a chance of winning?
JSH: The other three chose it. I didn't want to enter it in the first place, but they were really taken with the idea so I went along with it. The idea was to play in front of some people who usually wouldn't have heard us and hopefully make a few contacts for further shows. I honestly didn't think we'd get through the first round. Great Imitation's live show is a real love it or hate it experience, so we were incredibly lucky that the judges we played in front of were open minded and saw the humour in what we do.

JA: During the Surface Midlands final, you divided the crowd and got a lot of heckling. How does that compare to normal gigs?
JSH: I was in the mood to wind people up. The Birmingham O2 has way too many places for people to hide. People were looking bored and lazy so I thought that they needed waking up. I were quite aggressive with them from pretty much the moment we walked on. I believe that I called the entire crowd c**** within the first minute or so. Because I didn't think we had a chance of getting any further, I just functioned on pure animal instinct and did whatever I felt like - which I think ultimately worked in our favour. Live music should never be asinine or safe. Without a sense of danger and unpredictability, it all becomes one protracted Snow Patrol concert where everyone simply shrugs politely at the end. I'd rather be hated than ignored and I'm assuming that this attitude translated through to the judges, either that or they were proving that Surface is an equal opportunities unsigned festival by putting us through.

JA: What was the reaction to you guys like in London?
JSH: London was an entirely different thing. There was an awesome sense of camaraderie between all 16 bands. Everyone was nervous and unable to believe that they were actually playing the IndigO2 in the first place, so the competitiveness and slight animosity that there was in other rounds had completely disappeared by then. We had an amazingly supportive room to play to and lots of members of other bands - who we'd become friends with either on the day or during the festival - danced and moshed while we played. It were quite touching really that people were more interested in enjoying themselves than their own egos. It were a truly awesome day.

JA: So you're getting all these cool prizes, help with PR, etc...where do you honestly see Great Imitation in a couple of years? You want to make it big?
JSH: Without any sense of irony, I genuinely expect Great Imitation to be f*****g huge! We might not have the dedication, talent, musical ability, songwriting ability, looks, intellect, basic grasp of arithmetic or vigour of other bands but we're quite good at attention seeking and have no sense of shame whatsoever. I want to be thought of as the rap Nelson Mandella and every time I approach the stage it's considered to be a short walk of freedom.

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Leicestershire's Country Music Festival

Date: Jun 26th, 2010 4:21:15 am - Subscribe
Mood: natural

By J Appleby

What started out as a one man’s goal to help a man dying of cancer has turned into a local festival that brings in people from all over the globe. From Australia to America, people will descend on Hinckley Rugby Football Club for four days in August to celebrate what many might think is a novelty genre for the music.

From August 5th-8th, Leicestershire’s Country Music Festival will feature over 23 traditional and modern country music artists from the length and breadth of the British Isles as well as a small showcase of young, local talent.

Roy Ellis, the organiser of the event, started the festival in 1989 to aid a local family’s fight against cancer.

“I started it many years ago. There was a family in the village that had four very young children. I knew them very well and the gentleman was dying of cancer. He only had weeks to live and they wanted to go on a holiday in Wales. I thought I’d just put something on for him to raise a bit of money.”

Leicestershire’s Country Music Festival has stayed true to its charitable focus with over £100,000 raised for charity over the years. This year the festival is raising money for L.O.R.O.S, Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice.

The event has grown from just a handful of caravans to over 4500 attendees. Roy Ellis seems to have hit a nerve with people’s love for country music and insists there is a big following for the genre locally.

Some of the highlights of this year’s line up will include Henry Smith’s Country Dreams who is a Berkshire singer with a good fan base and inspirations ranging from Alan Jackson to Merle Haggard.

From the North of England, Little Rock will be present and has been hailed as one of the hottest, most sought after bands in the UK country music scene.

Also, a local act that goes by the name of L.A.J Duo will perform on the Saturday.

Roy Ellis says the festival is a good family outing and a gathering of friendly people to enjoy good music.

For more information on Leicestershire’s Country Music Festival visit

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Rugby's Beth Tysall releases new album

Date: May 24th, 2010 10:28:37 am - Subscribe
Mood: ready

By J Appleby

Twenty-two year old Beth Tysall is a bright new singer/songwriter from Rugby. With over three octaves in her vocal range, Beth can belt out high and low notes with intricate acrobatics which have stunned and amazed her audiences.

Some of Beth’s crowning achievements include performing at the Royal Albert Hall and more recently releasing her second album, Ten Faced which was launched locally in Rugby.

When asked if most of her fan-base is still close to home, she replied, “I have found over the years that it is actually people who have seen me perform out of Rugby who are more excited about what I’m doing. The album launch show at the beginning of May showed this as I had people come from Yorkshire, Loughborough and the Wirrell, just to see the show.”

The album is a shining example of the versatility of this up and coming artist. Unlike other mainstream artists, Beth brings an element of beautifully executed variety and class, drawing a broad spectrum of admirers. A combination of pop, rock and ballads, Beth Tysall is truly the new, advanced full package.

“I have found that when you try to offer anything to the world of pop, music becomes clichéd and uninspiring just to make money. For me, it is about offering music lovers something more enriching and genuinely lovingly crafted by its creator.”, said Beth.

Beth’s career has been noted for having a foundation in her faith in God and the single from the new album, I’m Still Here, certainly has an uplifting and inspirational message.

“My music is written from whatever is going on in my life at the time. I think it helps if the music can be understood or related to by mainstream listeners because it makes them feel part of what you are doing.”

Talking about what the future holds for her, she said, “The future holds a wide variety of creative projects. I am writing and recording more music, performing at festivals, working with local bands and singers, and on top of this my debut novel will also be coming out later in the year!”

The future is bright so it seems. I’m Still Here is available digitally through itunes, Spotify, Amazon and Napster.

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Spring 2010

Date: Apr 30th, 2010 9:37:03 am - Subscribe
Mood: controlled

Similar to many other voluntary organisations, there is a lot of work that goes unseen and unsung - to those of you who continue to support Radio Lutterworth, WE SALUTE YOU!!

Progress IS being made, and there ARE planned developments which may shortly come to fruition.
The current view is that sustainability comes from making sure that any promises made can be met.

So what does that mean?
There is a plan that stretches from 2010 to 2015.
Depending on the level of success/support achieved in 2010 much of the content/target delivery could be foreshortened (circa 2012).

A promise that CAN be made is this - if the Lutterworth and Broughton Astley communities (together with a further estimated 25 to 30 rural villages in catchment) WANT to have a Community Radio resource, it WILL happen!

It needs more than just enthusiastic radio presenter "hobbyists" however.

Without proper administration and funding (and the people who understand what this means) further development and growth will be stunted.

Currently, too much falls upon too few - it is hoped that this will be changing in the next few months.

A number of meetings/negotiations have been/will be taking place to see what support may be available from Community and Lottery Funding.

Further discussions have been ongoing regarding how a new permanent "base" can be secured (maybe in more that one centre across our proposed coverage area).
This continues to be a challenge which is fundamental to being able to move forward with stability - many other Community Radio stations will have experienced similar dilemmas to ours in this regard.

Other News
If we are very lucky, the next "Blog" update will come from a new recruit who is a regular writer and music reviewer around our area.
If this all comes off as planned, this should be helpful to both music fans and aspiring musicians.

In addition to the writing is a background of many years radio experiance in the U.S. which could prove invaluable to Radio Lutterworth longer term too.

Another case of "Watch this Space" but there is a quiet confidence that an official announcement can be made soon.

Programming for the Online Radio Service
There is the chance for locally produced programmes to be incorporated into the schedule.
Nothing has been ruled out at this stage, especially as local quirkiness is seen as advantage in bringing through fresh ideas.
All we ask is that it can be pre-recorded on a regular and reliable basis.
Whether it is 15 minutes or 4 hours you wanted to produce, if you live or work within our catchment area your contribution would be valued.

Please get in touch if there is something you wish to share (if you need assistance with recordeing we would be happy to help).

So far some ideas that have been "brainstormed" include - spiritual thoughts, country music, comedy shows, bird watching tips, sports reports,
village news, a what's on guide, gaming reviews, racing tips.

This is not an exclusive list, so if you have a hobby or interest worth sharing with others, please get in contact by 1st September 2010 with some brief details.

The Radio Lutterworth Foundation (Charitable Trust)
In 2011, Radio Lutterworth will be seeking trustees to administer the distribution of funds held within the Foundation.

The Foundation will look to support local groups based in and possibly around our catchment area.
(We can already carry free event notification and advertising on the website for local groups and charities - please just get in touch for more information on how this works).

Don't forget to look out for Radio Lutterworth vacancies that will be placed on the Radio Lutterworth website prior to any other outlet.
Although not yet advertised, we are particularly keen to see local reporters from the villages who can keep us updated with the "goings on" in rural parts.

Thank you for your support

Radio Lutterworth - by the Community, for the Community

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