As Seven Dials residents, some of you will have noticed that, every now and then, live gigs happen at the West Hill Hall. Over the years, they have fluctuated in regularity, often with large barren spells. Recently though, a small group of promoters have dedicated themselves to using the Hall frequently and considerately. I am one of these promoters and have been using the Hall on a regular basis for the last 3 years. The night I usually promote there is called Riots Not Diets, created to provide a non-commercial, affordable space for various fragments of the queer and punk community to meet and watch bands. The bands we book for this night are advocates of feminist politics and identify as queer (in its loosest definition, critical of heterosexual supremacy and the power relations enforced therein). Our nights are fully accessible, all are welcome regardless of size/age/gender/orientation. The bands we put on are mostly all Do-it-Yourself bands, with an emphasis placed on a traditional ‘anyone can do this’ punk ethos. We promote community and non-competition ahead of the more traditionally expedient, corporate environments in which people can experience live music.
We are aware that our criteria are not always fully met for shows, that there are groups still excluded from our events, but we try and work constructively around these negatives. Also, for reasons of venue availability, our nights often have to be exported to the very venues of which we are critical. However, we are proud of what we have achieved and hope that we make a valuable contribution to the Seven Dials community.
We also have an exciting new project lined up with our fellow Brighton promoters, ‘If You’ve Got Ears, You’ve Got to Listen’. They have recently started up and have been showing documentary films about musical sub-cultures to great acclaim at Brighton’s Picturehouses.
In collaboration with them, we are doing various crossover events at the West Hill Hall on Tuesday nights – 15 July, 19 August, 23 September and 21 October. Hope to see you there!