Interview with Splash Alley

Interview date: 2/18/2019

Can you give us a brief history of the project?

Splash Alley started in the 1971 and played all across the Yorkshire and surrounding areas primarily in the thriving club scene quite often playing more than one show a day. We played support to many well known artists during the 70s and 80s such as Whitesnake (during David Coverdale’s sabbatical), The Mersey Beats, The Tremeloes along with a host of other bands from this era. During the 90s and 2000s we played over 100 shows a year often I’m pubs and clubs across the region. The music scene was still really thriving during this time. In latter years we have been really fortunate to play at Bingley Music Live, The famous Frontier Club, high profile biker rallies such as the Harley Davidson Yorkshire Rally, Original Cruisers Rally in Southport are to name but a few. We were also really fortunate to play at the 10th anniversary festival in Guiseley of which was a festival we helped start. Nowadays as venues are closing at a frightening rate and the number of bands looking for shows is going up we are now in a position where we can be more selective over the venues we play. This means our fans are more likely to fill the venues we play which helps those venues stay open.

What are the plans for the future for your project?

We are currently working on a special one off theatre show which will really blow the socks off the audience (nothing to do with the pyrotechnics - honest!). After that it’s back to doing what we do best and that’s bringing the big rock show to your venue.

How does the band handle mistakes during a live performance?

We are all pretty lucky that mistakes don’t often happen barring the odd lyric or stool collapsing (ask our singer Barry hahaha) but mistakes are inevitable. We are all seasoned professionals with thousands of shows under our collective (and expanding) waistbands so its the experience and trust in one another that helps. The majority of the time it’s a case of really listening to each other and knowing we can manage the mistake without the audience really noticing.

What do you think is the bands favourite moment/time?

To be honest there are too many to mention and in fact our manager has often threatened to write a book which we are convinced we will have to take out a collective injunction against him!!! No seriously, we have been blessed with some amazing memories that those who have never been in a band would appreciate. The sense of family between us is unbreakable. We have seen members come and go but even these guys are still part of the Splash Alley family.

What has this projects biggest challenge been? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

The biggest challenge is probably happening right now and that’s around venues closing. All we can do is be the best we can be and know that it is best to work with venues and not against them. Without bands venues have no live entertainment but without venues, bands have nowhere to play - simple. Use it or lose folks!!!

What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

Be nice!!! Take advice from those who have been doing it for a while. Volunteer to get involved with the bands to understand about the technical side of too - the vocals have to come out of somewhere. Don’t neglect lighting and remember the first rule is to light the band. You can have all of the fancy effects but if the audience can’t see you then it might as well be a DJ. If you happen to work a show where there is an in house or provided PA and soundman remember that if you are not nice them they have direct control over how you sound - they can make or break your show. Keep your equipment working. Maintain it. Change strings. Buy new drum skins. Don’t skimp on cheap leads as they will make an instrument sound cheap. Lastly remember the audience are paying your wages so put on a show. Don’t stare endlessly at your feet. If you look like you’re enjoying it then the audience will feed off that and enjoy it too.

Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional (or any other type of) support?

Well the band’s manager Brian Glover has been a great support over the years especially when helping the band with the purchase of our 1st class PA & lighting. Obviously family for putting up with the countless birthdays and anniversaries that we’ve missed. Friends such as Mike Smith for his fantastic technical help and advice. Past members of the band and the crew. We would also like to thank the local physiotherapists, chiropractors and local GPs for helping the band and it’s crew deal with the lugging of the band’s gear especially Barry’s Mesa Boogie guitar amp. The amazing people who come to support the band and the venues for having the faith in us to deliver our big rock show. Apologies go to... We apologise to the Landlords and owners at some of the venues for giving them a fright when we arrive with a lorry load of gear! We also apologise for giving them a fright or a heart attack when we turn the amps and the light show on and they think that their electricity meter will go into warp drive and jump off of the wall! We had better also apologise if we upset anyone with the pictures of our ugly mugs on our web site and Facebook page... Sorry we were born with em and we can't afford cosmetic surgery!!!

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with songs or a demo CD etc?

You can find the band via our website but also on YouTube and Facebook.

Do you have any upcoming shows?

All our upcoming show are on our Facebook page and our website where you can find details of times and locations.

Any last words?

Warning!!! During the Splash Alley Big Rock Show there maybe use of: 1. Pyrotechnics 2. Haze 3. Flashing lights 4. Loud music You may also witness insane guitar solos, mad drummer antics, a posing bass guitarist, occasional Les Dawson style keyboard lines and squeaky vocals. Please also remember to wear an extra pair of socks are you can be sure that Splash Alley will rock your socks off!!!

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