Born and raised in South Yorkshire, Singer-songwriter Lauren Housley makes soulful Americana tinged Country music with a Northern English flair. She has released two records so far, and received support from the likes of Q, The Telegraph and BBC Radio 2. Now based in Manchester, she’s currently gearing up for the release of her next EP this autumn, featuring the excellent single “My Sleeping Heart.” Watch the video for the track below.
As if this didn’t keep her busy enough, Lauren also puts on her own shows in her adopted hometown. So we asked her to write about what it’s like balancing promoting shows with playing them, and what live music means to her. Enjoy!
Words by Lauren Housley
I’ve spent a lot of time in different cities over the last decade and it’s always great to see how important live music is to each area. Putting on live music events has been a great way to make connections with other local artists and touring acts looking to do a show. It’s particularly inspiring to meet people in a similar situation to myself, with a mutual love and enthusiasm for writing and playing music. It means you can share your fanbase and introduce your fans to other artists who they may like. I know how hard musicians work to hone their craft and I’ve found it a rewarding experience to provide a live platform for artists to share their music with a listening audience.
I moved to Manchester a few years ago, after hearing stories of the vibrant and eclectic music scene in the city. I got myself fully involved immediately, spotting a gap in the scene for a ‘Soul Music’ showcase night. I co-hosted a night at Matt and Phreds Jazz Club in the Northern Quarter called Soul Sessions. This not only brought my music to the attention of other local musicians and music lovers but also provided a welcome platform for other local and international artists to showcase their music.
Since then, I’ve moved on to hosting a regular event with a country band I play in called Chorlton Country Club on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Carlton Club. I started the night to offer a platform for Country, Roots, Blues and Americana bands, local and international in Manchester.
You can definitely see the live music scene changing with current music trends. Since Country and Americana music have been gaining momentum in the UK, there’s been an increase in live-music opportunities for the genre, which is great. It’s also a reminder that growing and establishing a music scene is a collaborative and communal effort by many people.
It’s been interesting to meet promoters who are successfully putting on sell-out shows in generally quiet areas and even small villages! It takes a lot of passion from the promoter but I’ve found these can be some of the most special, intimate and desirable shows around.
A lot has been said about the decline in live music venues recently. It’s a worrying trend, but I’m personally optimistic. The live music experience can’t be replaced by anything and I think people’s connection to music is very deeply rooted. It’s in our bones. That’s not going away any time soon.
I am confident that people will happily buy a ticket and come out to a show if they know it will be a special one-off experience.
Live music is about the whole experience. The ambience, the venue, the interaction between the audience and musicians and this will always hold a place in society.
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