There is much more to life at Bacup Borough than football. As a genuine community football club Bacup Borough has been at the heart of many charity fundraising events; has lent its support to community campaigns and been the home of some brilliant music events.
Among the local and national charities that Bacup Borough has supported are Rossendale Hospice, BBC Children in Need, Christie Hospital and recently the S.O.P.H.I.E. (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere) Campaign.
This, readers may recall, is the charity set up by Sylvia Lancaster whose daughter Sophie was brutally murdered in a Bacup park simply because of the way she dressed. A number of musical and fun events were held and supported by manager Brent Peters and the club to support this charity, which aims to try and eliminate this type of hate crime through education and awareness raising.
The Bacup area is blessed with an array of musical talent and for a long time Bacup Borough, known to the musical community simply as “the footy club”, has for a long time been the hub of original live music in the area.
Hairy Dog Promotions, which just happens to be co-run by myself and my musical partner Simon “Sam” Harrison and our long suffering wives, organises many of the events. It is not only local bands who play at the footy club - such is the reputation of the open minded audiences and hospitality of the club that bands from as far away as the United States contact me when they are visiting the UK to play in front of a genuinely enthusiastic audience.
The calibre of these overseas acts is fantastic. Our favourite American visitors are Gringo Star from Atlanta, Georgia who first came here in September 2007 as the opening act in a very hastily arranged three band show. We were bowled over and they came back again on the busiest day at Bacup Borough for years – February 4th 2008 when we entertained FC United in the afternoon.
What a day that was; a packed ground in the afternoon and a heaving clubhouse at night. The band have now grown massively in reputation, and have signed to one of the largest agencies in the world, sold out shows in New York and are touring Europe. We saw them first, and they still come to Bacup, but now to a much larger venue.
Another regular American visitor to Bacup Borough is fretless guitar wizard, Ned Evett from Idaho. Ned has played with artists like Joe Satriani and Curtis Stigers, but still finds time to come to Bacup. Another American act to play here are friends of REM, Modern Skirts from Athens, Georgia.
I’m really pleased that we are so often approached by overseas acts. When Modern Skirts played here on a cold October Tuesday night Brent took them down to the only place open for food (the local garage!) when the show had finished, after they had regaled us with horror stories about inhospitable promoters in Manchester.
We make a real effort to treat bands properly and I’m sure that is one of the reasons we get so many offers to play. Eight months after playing at Bacup Borough, Modern Skirts played at the Glastonbury Festival, a major London festival and supported REM at two huge gigs in Amsterdam. How’s that! Little old Bacup, then Glastonbury and Amsterdam!
My only criteria for booking bands or soloists is that they must write and perform their own material. We want to encourage original talent. We’re not bothered what style of music people play, just as long as it is chiefly their own.
Many of our excellent local bands played their first gig at “the footy club”. One locally based band who played at Bacup Borough twice last year, Dear Superstar, are doing extremely well. Having played sell out shows in Finland last year they have recently supported U.S. big boys Papa Roach in front of sell out crowds and have secured an appearance at this year’s Download Festival, perhaps the biggest rock and metal festival in England.
Bands currently making waves are The Dawsons and The Gastric Band, both of whom first played at Bacup Borough. We’ve also had very successful, established artists here including Tony Wright whose rock band Terrorvision, from Bradford, were massive in the 1990s, and recently legendary blues artist Victor Brox, who played with many of the sixties legends like Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Long John Baldry appeared at Bacup Folk Club, which also meets every Monday night at Bacup Borough.
So, as you can see, life at Bacup Borough is very varied. The Club is rightly proud of the reputation it has as the host venue for some of the best original live music around and the musicians who play here inevitably want to come back and play again. What’s more, they tell their friends and they want to play too!
To check out what is coming up, go to the Hairy Dog Promotions website at www.hairydog.biz or www.myspace.com/hairydogpromotions . You can also listen to some of the acts who have played there via the Hairy Dog myspace page. If there are any musicians or bands who play their own material and would like contact us, they can do that via the myspace page or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org