Now in its fifth year the Annual St Valentines Day Massage gig is coming up this weekend. A staple of Southsea gig-goers calendars along with the Christmas covers show, this is one not to be missed and all in the name of charity. Like the Christmas Covers Party that inspired it, the bands cover three songs each - WHATEVER they want (so long as the songs deal in love, lust or heartbreak) making for an amusing night out.
We had a chat to organiser Matthew Tiller ahead of the event: "I’ve been a part of the ‘scene’ for the last six or seven years now and I think its great. It definitely goes through periods of being really vibrant and really dead but there are a lot of good bands doing very different things. Gigs like Christmas Covers and the Massacre really rely on there being a community which thankfully there is even if its not easily put into one box."
"The cover parties are a great way of bringing some bands together who might not usually play the same sort of shows. They are a great way of introducing people to new bands and challenging any assumptions. Just because a band plays metal doesn’t mean they don’t love some Timberlake. Some of these songs really demonstrate the bands versatility whether its through showing a more light-hearted side or some serious chops you never know existed."
As with the previous four years all proceeds go to the National Foundation of Youth Music giving musical education and equipment to children who wouldn't receive it otherwise. "The idea of music being life-changing might seem like an overstatement but it’s genuinely the truth. Youth Music is about realizing the transformative effect of music and making sure its available to everyone regardless of their living situation. It doesn’t have to be a career to have significant worth to the person playing. With the way things are going I think its fair to assume the arts will suffer so Youth Music and places like MusicFusion are essential to making sure young people have access to musical equipment and education."
"We’ve tried to reflect some of that inclusivity in our lineups over the years. You don’t have to be in a band to play, you can put one together for the event. The Pussycats (staff of the music room) and the Pie and Vinyl Funktion Band are two great examples of this. Some of them have been playing on and off for years while others have very little experience outside of their bedrooms. Our friend Rad played with the Pie & Vinyl band for us a few years back and I believe that was his first time on stage. Since then he has gone on to form The Cosmic Forces who played quite a bit locally last year including Southsea Fest. I remember seeing them at a gig where he ended the set by telling the audience to make a band with their mates, which is a great sentiment. I fully encourage anyone to play in a band even if it’s just for one night singing Celine Dion covers (badly)"
Past years have seen power ballads, slow jams, hip hop and punk classics - love transcends all genres apparently. The window to impress is small so the bands have to make every guitar solo, falsetto and key change count in the hope of taking your breath away. This years culprits are: Horseflies, The Stayawakes, Hooch, Fainites, Plainfield & Battery Hens as well as one off collaborations by The Pussycats (The Music Room staff), Two Cool Lads (Aaron Udy vs Steve Hanby), Damp (Featuring members of Aeroplane Attack, Watashi Calcutecs and more) and Southsea's Pie and Vinyl's Funktion Band.
Raffle prizes this year are from Victorious Festival, Southsea Coffee,Greens Café, Southsea Gallery, Wild Thyme Wholefoods Portsmouth, Southsea's Pie and Vinyl, The Wedgewood Rooms, The Music Room, No.6 Cinema and more. Entry is £5 AND doors are EARLY AT 6:00pm with Hitfaced Djs taking over The Wedge for the afterparty.
Tickets are available at www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk and at the Wedge box office - it sold out last year so buying in advance is advised!