On Friday 26th February Bridge The Dark took to the stage at the first SoSlam Festival in Southend-on-Sea.
This was the first night of the first festival held at The Alex, a venue all three of us had been drinking in for over a decade, so we were all very excited to be part of the experience. As we arrived we were told that all but seven tickets remained for the evening and full weekend tickets were also shifting at a good rate. Good news for everyone.
Watching some of the bands before us, and talking with some fellow performers it was good to see so much positivity in the air and the feeling of something special was starting to happen in Southend.
The Alex has always been known for being a slightly "alternative" pub, away from the chains and run of the mill drinking holes in the area, and after a short closure for refurbishment earlier this year I think Southend was glad to have it back and that it was putting live music back on the map. Two floors of pretty much non-stop music for three days is quite a nice way to re-open your doors.
SoSlam are a small promotion company and are proud to say that all the money made at each gig goes straight back into promoting the bands or helping acts with recording fees. They have been running a song writing competition where contestants are given a lyric to work in to a new song and then perform it to a panel and an audience to progress to the next stage. This was their first stab at a festival, working with some of the talent they have seen at the competition as well as other local acts. Again, seeing the team approaching this project with such a positive attitude added to the whole atmosphere of the event.
We played our set sandwiched between fuzz punk rock & rollers, Indigo and the edgy folk group, The Kingdom, both of whom played storming sets.
Long may these events last and long may promoters, venues and live music lovers have somewhere to find some great and varied bands and artists.