Alive And Amplified, Carrie Mac, The Winter Tradition

Hello again from all at Alive & Amplified. It has been a busy few weeks with Born To Be Wide and the latest Alive & Amplified live night at Sneaky Petes.

The night itself went very well. First on was The Foundling Wheel. Ted delivered a cracking set and it was fantastic to watch him live. Some of the live loops and sounds this guy makes sound amazing. If you couldn’t see him you wouldn’t believe it was just one guy on the stage. Next up were the always amazing Any Color Black. The band came to this gig armed with a strobe light, laser and smoke machine. Now I know it’s all about the music, however having the lights really took the ACB set to another level. Headlining on the night were Capstin Pole. Despite a couple of technical difficulties (2 laptops breaking down) they delivered a blistering 45 minute set loaded with some of the best guitar based dance/pop Scotland has to offer. You can see why Capstin Pole have been through to numerous Battle of the bands final and recently featured on Sky 1’s “Must Be The Music” Thanks to Ian Schofield for doing the photography again. The photos can be viewed on the Alive & Amplified facebook page (!/album.php?aid=26358&id=110388078986930) While you are on the page give that little like button a click for up to date Alive & Amplified news.

The 29th of August is going to be an exciting day. It is the new release date of the debut single “Hello” from Carrie Mac. Carrie has had some stunning publicity over the last few months and had just played her first headlining show, at Electric Circus as part of the Edge Festival. She also played In Demand in Glasgow along side pop heavyweights such as; JLS, The Saturdays and Alexandra Burke. Carrie was recently on the radio with me to lug her show at Born To Be Wide where she aid she is very excited about the up and coming months. Get the single on iTunes on sunday and checkout her facebook page and for details of her Beanscene Tour which starts Thursday 26th August.

A band who Ian and I have had on the radio a good number of times in the last 3 years were The Void. The lads have just changed the name of the band to The Winter Tradition. I caught up with them to ask a few questions about the name change…

Alive & Amplified – Why did you decide on the name change?

The Winter Tradition – We all felt it was right to change the name. We’ve been under the old name since we were very young. So far the change has had very positive feedback and has pushed us in more and more places. Within a matter of days our single was played on Radio One! We’re really happy with the feedback we’re receiving

A&A – What can Void fans expect from the new band… will live sets feature old songs?

TWT – Of course, we are exactly the same band playing the same songs.. Just with a new name! We wanted to make it very clear to everyone that nothing has changed apart from our name
A&A – Are you excited about the up and coming tour?

TWT – We are very excited. It will be our first string of dates with the new name. We are also touring our new single ‘firelight’ which is exciting for us. Our friends LightGuides will also be joining us which will be tremendous fun.
A&A – Where would you like The Winter Tradition to be in 2011?

TWT – Well at the moment, we are working toward putting together our first album. So that will be out sometime in 2011! Plus much more touring to far away magical places!

Check out The Winter Tradition the Edinburgh Big Beach Busk at Portobello beach on saturday and at Sneaky Petes on 4th September. Get the new single “Fireflies” on Monday.

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The Return Of The Blog!!

Welcome back to the Alive & Amplified blog. Apologies for the lack of updates in the last few weeks. I won’t bore you with the details all that matters is that I now plan on doing this on a weekly basis. The blog will feature music news from around Edinburgh and a new section that will have my recommended gigs of the week. Please subscribe and feel free to add comments at the bottom of the page. All feedback is very welcome.

Firstly this week I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came down to Alive & Amplified Presents “Jayne Gulland Is Climbing Kilimanjaro” This was a charity night to raise money for Childreach International and to support Jayne’s climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. I would like to thank Rolled Up 20’s for providing the live music completely free of charge. These guys has a great sound on stage and this gig was one of the first with the new drummer. Speaking to the lads after the show they told me that they expect to be announcing more live dates very soon so I would highly recommend getting along to see them somewhere near you. Keep an eye on this blog for more info as soon as I get it. Also thanks to Marty McGuigan for doing a warm up acoustic set. I would also like to thank Giulianos, Pop Party @ Gold Star Studios, Groove Tunnel Studios, Carrie Mac and New Found Sound for very generously donating various raffle prizes and congratulations to the winners. I would also like to thank Warren and all the staff from City Cafe. This venue is going through some changes at the minute and promises to be a fantastic venue in Edinburgh in the coming months. Finally the biggest thanks has to go to the people who came along on the night, paid their admission fee and bought raffle tickets. I would personally like to thank everyone who danced along to my debut DJ set. I really enjoyed it although I had to play slightly more poppy dance music that I would have like, however I did manage to sneak in Babyshambles “Killimangiro”. Well it is very similar to the mountain Jayne will be climbing.

The next Alive & Amplified night takes place on the 7th August at Sneaky Pete’s and promises to be a stunning night. On headlining duties we have Capstin Pole ( Capstin Pole have just recently return from their biggest show to date at The O2 Arena in London no less. They were there as finalist to the Live & Unsigned competition. They also made it to the final of The Forth One 1 To Watch Award in 2008. Supporting Capstin Pole on this night will be Any Color Black. ACB have also had a very hectic last few months. They have played the Strongbow Tent at Rockness, headlined the Leith Festival, released and launched their second EP “The Answer” and have played various gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I am delighted to have the guys in Edinburgh for Alive & Amplified as their live show always impresses and is full of energy and cracking tunes. The final support for the night will be The Foundling Wheel. This is a solo project of Ted Koterwas which I discovered while trawling through Last FM. His music has been described as “Like a cracked toy from the 80’s being played to death with a hybrid of Ian Curtis & Mark E Smith fronting, TFW are as exciting as they are innovative!” -Subba-Cultcha and “It’s beepy, it’s insane, it’s shouty. It’s angry but clever. It makes me want to drive a motorcycle the wrong way down the motorway. Naked.”- Milo McLaughlin, I Hear A New World, The Skinny. This will be a fantastic night. Tickets are £5 and should be available on pre sale at very soon, however tickets will be available on the door which opens at 7pm.

This months Born To Be Wide is not to be missed. This month, instead of having a seminar Born To Be Wide will be having an Edinburgh Festival Music preview. Some of the best local acts that will be playing as part of the music at this years festival will be performing a few tracks each in order to promote their shows. There will also be a fantastic range of DJ’s playing on the night. “Edinburgh’s music scene is more vibrant than it has been for a generation, and in August musicians will be challenging the dominance of theatre, comedy and mingers squeezing into corsets in the name of burlesque,” says BTBW co-organiser Olaf Furniss. “This is an excellent opportunity for both visitors and locals to catch some of the great acts who make things happen throughout the year and get a taste of the music events being hosted during the Fringe.” In addition to the live previews by artists including Meursault, Stanley Odd, Carrie Mac and Emily Scott – which will take place on the hour and half hour – key figures from the city’s scene will play their favourite records by Edinburgh bands. DJs include the owners of venues Cabaret Voltaire, Sneaky Pete’s and Electric Circus, the BBC’s Vic Galloway, Avalanche Record shop owner Kevin Buckle and the promoters of many of the month’s big music events. This will all take place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 5th August. For more info and ticket details check out

This Friday (30th) sees the final of New Found Sounds Friday Night Live At Frankensteins. 6 Bands (Your First Mistake, Sebastian Dangerfield, Six Stories High, Steve Heron, Scrap Brain & The Marvels) will be competing for the prize which is an amazing development deal from the Friday Night @ Frankensteins partners. This will include; recordings, radio sessions and promotion. For more info and ticket details head to now.

I am delighted that on the 31st of July, Carrie Mac will release her first official single “Hello” I have known Carrie for about 3 years now, from when she was first interviewed on my radio show and I have watched her develop into one of the best up and coming singer/songwriters Scotland has to offer. The single will be available from all good digital download stores. To listen to the track get along to where you can listen to it in full and also check out a few remixes. I spoke to Carrie and asked how she felt about releasing her debut single, she replied “I am so excited I have a single coming out and I’m looking forward to things ahead.” Everyone should get online and get the single on Saturday. Carrie will be performing at Born To Be Wide (see above) and she has her own headlining show as part of the Edge Festival at Electric Circus on 12th August. Congratulations to Carrie and good luck for the future.

If you fancy heading out to a gig in the next few days I would recommend

  • Light Guides + Make Sparks – Sneaky Petes – Thursday
  • Rossco Galloway – The Jazz Bar – Friday
  • Imperial Racing Club + The Asps + Keava – Cab Vol – Friday
  • We Sink Ships + eagleowl – Wee Red Bar – Saturday
  • Deserters Deservedeath + Blue Sky Archives + X-Lion Tamer – Sneaky Petes – Saturday
  • 10:04’s + Underclass + Hagana – Liquid Room – Sunday
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Born To Be Wide, Friday Nights at Frankensteins, Alive and Amplified Presents.

Hello folks, this might be a short blog this week as there hasn’t been a great deal happening however once I start I may ramble on.

Firstly if you are reading this and you are in a band, manage a band, put on gig or if you want to do any of this or work in the music industry then getting yourself down to Born To Be Wide on Thursday night is essential. This months seminars will be on Booking Agents. Born To Be Wide are delighted to welcome Jason Edwards from Glasgow based The Art Of… he is shortly moving to 13 Artists in Brighton who represent Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and many more. Jason will be joined by Lisa Whytock from Scotland’s biggest agency Unique Events, Alex Lloyd from Mainstage Artists and Joanna Ashmore from London-based ITB who represent Guns ‘n’ Roses, Aerosmith and Biffy Clyro and also work with locally based Aaron Wright and Mitchell Museum.

“A good booking agent can help boost an artist’s profile on the live circuit and help secure festival slots,” says Born To Be Wide co-organiser, Derick Mackinnon. “This is the first time in many years that such a seminar has been hosted in Scotland and it will provide an invaluable opportunity to find out about how this crucial part of the business works.”

The agents will describe what the job involves, what musicians should look for in an agent and what they need to be aware of if they decide to book their own gigs. It will also aim to provide an insight into what is involved in getting festival slots and tour dates. For people travelling from further afield, it’s worth noting that Edinburgh has a number of reasonably priced hostels, directly opposite Electric Circus rooms start from just £6.90 for a mixed dorm.

As I say this is a must for anyone who wants to be involved in the music industry not only will you get the seminar but the guests will be DJing afterwards and everyone will be sticking around creating a networking opportunity that cannot be missed.

Tickets can be bought from Avalanche Records or from they are £4.50 or £3 for Musicians Union members.

If you fancy heading out for some live music this weekend I would highly recommend the relatively new Friday Night At Frankensteins. This weeks bands are The Marvels, Scrap Brain, Inspired and The Forth Wall. In recent weeks these nights have hosted bands such as The Laymanites, Who’s Edna, Jakil and The Sundancer. For more information check out

I am delighted to announce that Alive & Amplified have booked Capstin Pole, Any Color Black and The Foundling Wheel to play at Sneaky Petes on 7th August at 7pm. Capstin Pole ( have went from strength to strength since being nominated for the Forth One, One To Watch award in 2008. This is no more evident than with the gig the lads are playing next weekend when they will play at London’s O2 Arena. Any Color Black ( are hot on the heels of one of their busiest times as a band. In the last couple of weeks they have played Rockness, headlined at The Leith Festival, had 2 radio sessions on Leith FM and have released their much-anticipated second EP “The Answer” You can get this from iTunes and all other good download stores. The Foundling Wheel ( is a solo project I discovered while doing some browsing on Last FM and myspace. “It’s beepy, it’s insane, it’s shouty. It’s angry but clever. It makes me want to drive a motorcycle the wrong way down the motorway. Naked.”- Milo McLaughlin, I Hear A New World, The Skinny.

Tickets will be available from very soon. Check the facebook page ( for updates

Please feel free to add any comments!! and check back next week for news of a good deed from Alive & Amplified.

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GoNorth, Rockness and Alive and Amplified Presents At The Leith Festival

I have finally recovered from a fantastic weekend up in Inverness at GoNorth and Rockness so I have decided to write a little round-up of the weekend.

I arrived in Inverness on Thursday morning and headed straight for the Ramada Jarvis Hotel where the GoNorth seminars were taking place. The first one I managed to catch was the DIY seminar which had Carrie Mac, Michael Lambert (The Debuts), John Robb (Goldblade) Neil Pennycook (Mearsault) and Steven Milne (The Little Kicks) speaking. This panel was aimed at informing bands how they can make their band work themselves, by releasing their own records booking their tours and basically running the band from inside the band.

After this i caught the management seminar featuring Keith Harris  (Stevie Wonder), Rab Andrew (Texas/Primal Scream), Dougie Souness (No Half Measures Management) and Grant Dickson (The View/Broken Records).

In the evening GoNorth took over the music venues of Inverness with a host of showcases from some of the best up and coming bands and artists from Scotland and around the world. My first port of call was Hootananny’s where Stanley Odd ( played a cracking 25 minute set from their debut album “Oddio” I was telling people all day to get along with this one and all of them told me they had a fantastic time. Next was upstairs to Mad Hatters where I saw Metaltech (, who put on a cracking show featuring glowsticks, dancing Vikings, a blow up doll and mainly a pounding set from these guys who look like a mash-up between Slipknot and Kiss but sound like a hybrid between Nine Inch Nails and something you have never heard before.

As I was at the bar the next band came on stage and instantly made me change my plan of heading of to another showcase. This band were Mothercoat from Japan (www.myspace.commothercoat). Never before have I been at a showcase gig where everyone in the crowd was instantly impressed by a performance and over the course of the weekend I would hear “Mothercoat” being used over and over again by people saying they were the highlight of the weekend. I was lucky enough to see them 3 times over the weekend and I would highly recommend going to see them if they are over in this neck of the woods again.

After some more GoNorth seminars and a boat trip on Friday it was time to head to the Rockness Festival. I had a fast hill climb to get to the Strongbow tent in time to see Any Color Black (  making their major festival debut. When I arrived the tent was already bouncing to the electro beats and infectious guitar riffs. This Glasgow duo always deliver a cracking set and this was no different even if they had some pre match nerves. Check out a video of the gig here

 I was also delighted to have Any Color Black on the radio with Ian and myself last week, where they were scheduled in for a half hour chat an a couple of acoustic tracks however we all ended up having so much fun the interview went on for 50 minutes and featured 3 acoustic tracks and 3 tracks from “The Answer EP” (Available on iTunes…and all that Shhhhhhnanagins from 28th June) and a track from the “Touch Me EP” (available from iTunes now). Check out a live video of “Sex and Love” from the radio session here

The band were in to promote the new EP and also their Alive & Amplified gig at the Leith Festival last Saturday night.  The night began with a few hiccups due to Caezium pulling out at the very last minute and I would like to personally thank Martin McGuigan for stepping in at the 11th hour and delivering a fantastically up beat and enjoyable set. He his definitely one you will be hearing about more on future Alive & Amplified events. After Martin, The Rigbys were on stage and really got the crowd going with their indie style songs and a cracking banter between band and crowd in between songs and guitar re-tunings. During one said re-tuning the guys burst into a impromptu version of the Ting Tings “That’s Not My Name” which really captured the fun and games of this Leith based band.  They will be on Leith FM (98.8fm and with Ian this friday from 2pm – 4:30pm. Any Color Black then came on around 10:30pm, to a crowd who felt as if they were in an oven as The Granary overheated, and once again played an absolutely blinding set to which everyone, I spoke to, really enjoyed. If you fancy heading through to Glasgow this friday check out their EP launch at The Garage.

A big congratulations to everyone involved with the Leith Festival which continues to go from strength to strength year after year. The week consisted of a Gala days, a red Leith day, art, fashion, comedy and a huge amount of music. I am very much looking forward to next years festival already. although could they please not make the Gala day the same weekend as Rockness. This isn’t too much to ask surely.

If you are out and about this weekend in Edinburgh and fancy some live music for absolutely nowt get yourself down to Whistle Binkies on Sunday where a whole host of bands, including The Stagger Rats, Pose Victorious and The Laymanites, will be playing. Have a look at the line – up and stage times here

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Emelle, Rolled Up 20’s, Stewart Cormack Gig + Stanley Odd Album Launch and Radio Session, GoNORTH and Rockness

Its been a busy couple of weeks for Alive & Amplified mainly due to the first ever gig on Thursday. Sneaky Petes was filled to capacity to see Emelle with support from Rolled Up 20’s and Stewart Cormack. This was Stewart’s first ever gig, and despite some pre match nerves he went on and delivered a cracking 25 minute set of , mostly his own track but also a nice cover of the Fratellis “Got Ma Nuts From A Hippy”

After Stewart came the Rolled Up 20’s who were playing their last gig with their current drummer. So this was a farewell party for him and the crowd turned up in droves to say their farewells. The lads rocked for around 45 mins and left the crowd almost defend with the volume of set, which included “Get It On”, “Song For Sixpence” and a load of new tracks. Check the guys out and see where they are playing next at

Next up was headlining act Emelle, and despite the heat on stage the delivered a scorching 50 minute set playing track such as “Greaseball”, “Hometown Blues” and “Baby” from their new EP “What Would My Mother Say”.  With A cracking stage presence and great banter between band and crowd this band are sure to become one of Edinburgh’s best in the up and coming months. Check out their myspace page at for more info on getting the EP and catch them at Sneaky Pete’s again on the 17th July where they will be playing with equally as fantastic Bwani Junction.

Last Monday saw the release of Stanley Odd’s debut album “Oddio”( for more deets) and I was delighted to be invited to the launch at the Voodoo Rooms on the Sunday. They are without doubt once of the tightest bands going around at the minute and their Scottish Hip Hop always has the crowd hooked whether it is the first time you have seen them or the 17th. Ian and I were pleased to have them in the studio with us on Friday where they performed “Think Of A Number” and “Sundance” on acoustics and, in the absence of Veronica Electonika, Solaraye took over all vocals. The combination of this and being acoustic really gave the songs a new sound. I will have the session available online soon.

This week see’s the return of GoNorth in Inverness. GoNorth is a massive music conference which takes place on the week before Rockess. Born To Be Wide ( are delighted to be heavily involved again with the seminars. On Thursday there is a Do It Yourself and a Music Management panel and on Friday there is a Music Making Money and a Sync panel. All details on these can be found at 

There are some fantastic bands playing the showcases in various venues in Inverness at night, including Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd, Metal Tech, Mearsault and Black International. Check out for a full line and more info on the conference in general.

One last thing to anyone who is travelling up to Rockness, please please please check out Any Color Black in The Strongbow Tent at 7:30pm on Friday. This band are fantastic live and will be well worth checking out this weekend. If you aren’t going to Rockness worry not you can see them in the Granary in Leith as part of Alive & Amplified at The Leith Festival on Sat 19th June. Tickets are available at

One final word on this blog. I would like to thank Emelle, Rolled Up 20’s and Stewart Cormack for playing the first ever Alive & Amplified night last Thursday. I would also like to thank Nick and Kieran at Sneaky Petes for all their help with the venue and sound. Also a very very big thank you to Ian Schofield and Gary Tait and most of all thanks to everyone who came down to show their support for the bands. News on the next official night will be posted very soon. Until then keep adding yourselves to the facebook group here

Please leave any comments below….

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Chapel Club Review, Any Color Black & Amy Duncan + Stanley Odd Stagger Rats Releases

On last weeks radio show Ian and I were delighted to welcome London 5 piece Chapel Club into the studio. The guys were up here promoting the release of new single “Five Trees” (Out on 31st May) and after performing “Eastern Girls” and “Paper Thin” acoustically on the show they headed of to Cabaret Voltaire for their gig. The busy crowd were treated to a fantastic warm up slot by Dundee rockers The Mirror Trap ( Chapel Club fired through their catalogue of tracks, including last single “Oh Maybe I” barely breaking for breath and finished with the two tracks they had performed very differently earlier in the day for Ian and myself. All in all a great gig from a very friendly bunch of guys. They will be back up this neck of the woods on the 9th July when they play T In The Park.

On the show this friday Ian and I will have a phone interview with Gavin Bain, author of “California Schemin'” and front man of rap/punk band Hopeless Heroic ( Gavin will be on to plug the release of “Brasco” (out 31st May). A whole host of Hopeless Heroic tracks are available now at  We will also get an update from Gavin about his book which tells his story of how 2 Dundee rappers went to London and conned the music industry.

Also on the show on friday is The Stagger Rats fresh on the heels of their tracks being used in PIMP the new movie by Robert Cavanagh starring Danny Dyer and Billy Boyd. The lads will be bringing in their instruments and treating us to a couple of acoustic tracks to promote the release of “See Through Spiders” (Out 31st May). The lads have a busy summer coming up playing festivals in a number of different towns and cities, including Leith Festival and The Linkylea Festival.

If you are looking to catch some live music this week I cannot recommend highly enough Any Color Black (  who will be playing an instore gig in Princes Streets Urban Outfitters on Friday afternoon before heading off to Maggie’s Chamber in the evening where they will support Suspire ( in what is a Rockness warm up gig for both these bands. There will be an oppertunity to win tickets to the Festival on the night too. Get yourself along to Urban Outfitters about 2pm and along to Maggie’s Chamber at night to check both these bands out. Any Color Black also play as part of Alive & Amplified @ The Leith Festival in the Granary on Sat 19th June for ticket to this check out

It is also the launch of Stanley Odds ( debut album “Oddio” this weekend. This event takes place on Sunday at The Voodoo Rooms. The band will be playing an explosive live set and will be followed by DJ sets from Texture and Asthmatic Astronaut. Tickets are £5 from and the album will be available half price on the night. The Stanley Odd guys will still be on a high after learning last week that they beat off competition from thousands of other bands to win a place in the T-Break Tent at this years T In The Park.

Also playing live this sunday night is Amy Duncan ( She will be supporting Go Away Birds at The Roxy Art House. Amy is currently gearing up to release her new album which she expects to be out in August.

Also released this week is the new EP from Glasgow’s Psycho Pop Punk Art band Ming Ming & The Ching Chings (www.myspace.commingmingthechingchings). Their new EP “Not In Anyone’s Gang” is available in limited numbers through their independent label Badly Built Records and though all good download sites.

Next Thursday night sees the first of many Alive & Amplified nights. Alive & Amplified presents Emelle ( + Rolled Up 20’s ( + Stewart Cormack at Sneaky Petes. Tickets are selling fast so grab yours now at


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Debuts EP Launch, Pimp Premiere + Chapel Club

The Debuts EP Launch went down a storm at Electric Circus on Saturday night. The very impressive crowd were warmed up by local singer/songwriter Kerrie Lynch, who played a set of her original tracks all with a cracking cover of 4 Non Blondes “Whats Up” Her banter with the crowd in between tracks really got the room in the mood for The Debuts.

The Debuts came on stage around 9:15pm and played tracks from new EP “Can’s, Van’s and Best Laid Plans” (Available now on iTunes). A fantastic set was wound up with “Talk Tonight”. Everyone in the crowd had a great night and continued to party into the night. Check out or for more info on the band.

Monday night saw the British Premiere of Robert Kavanagh’s new movie PIMP! Starring Robert himself, Danny Dyer and Billy Boyd, PIMP follows Woody, A Soho pimp, for a week as we see the ups and mainly downs of the London underground sex scene. The premiere took place at Ghillie Dhu, an absolutely stunning venue in Edinburgh’s west end. performing after the film were The Stagger Rats who have 3 tracks in the PIMP movie. The guys performed a blistering set to a very dapper looking crowd (it must have been the first time the Rats have performed to a crowd with every guy suited and booted and all the ladies looking like they had come to Elton Johns post Oscar Party).

On my radio show on Leith FM this Friday I am very excited to welcome London rock band Chapel Club. They will be on air at 2pm where they will be performing a couple of acoustic tracks live in the studio and will be interviewed by Ian and myself before heading off to get ready for their gig at Cabaret Voltaire. Tickets are at . The guy are up promoting their new single “Five Trees” which has recently been remixed by Mercury nominated band The Horrors. You can download this and another remix by Memory Tapes at . They will also be at Stag & Dagger in Glasgow on Saturday. Tune into 98.8 in the edinburgh area or at 2pm – 4:30pm

Alive & Amplified Presents Emelle ( + Rolled Up 20’s ( + Stewart Cormack is rapidly approaching us. It’s on at Sneaky Pete on the 3rd June at 7pm. Tickets are £5 from

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