Introducing: NOIZ Promotions
“If you’re gonna do it, do it live on stage, or don’t do it at all.” – Neil Fallon
The groan of thunder, the tip tapping of rain on the tall glass windows. The bubbling of test tubes, the lighting of a spliff. The appreciation of the riff, the birth of a beast. The birth of a scene.
In the words of Eytan, the Dr Frankenstien to this beastly, but ultimately loving creation, NOIZ Promotions is “a one-man operation based in Manchester that's geared at hosting the kind of events I'd like to be at, but that don't exist locally.” These are the darker, more evil sound kind of shows that, honestly, Manchester has the capacity to host weekly with the quantity and quality of bands who are tailored made for the job – the most important being the latter of course –but has arguably been underutilised. As such, these are shows “specifically for fans of doom, stoner, sludge, heavy psych, etc. which are the styles of music I've followed the most since around 2002. I do all the admin, bookings, promotion and art design but will use some help from friends and associates on show days.”
See, NOIZ Promotions have been on my periphery for a while now, the busyness and pace of life turning me down other paths and so I’ve not been truly able to check them out and give them my time to suss out what the hell it is all about. But at those odd glances I could always see that this was an idea spawned form the pools of passion and genuinely loving care from the murkier swamp of green-eyed money grabbing. I could tell that NOIZ was all about bigging up the local scene’s filthier artists than it was making a pretty penny out of a decidedly gaping hole in the market of heavy music. His own sentiments echo what I saw during those glances:
“For almost a year I'd been living in The Riff-Filled Land (Jerusalem) and returned earlier than expected due to an injury out there, so I just started organising some shows,” he explains. “ I wanted to do something that was like the MMC events I did a few years ago, all-day shows with art and other attractions and oddities, but with line-ups consisting solely of bands that I actually like and want to see perform. With MMC I had to book bands I didn't really like as the line-up had to represent all kinds of metal. The criteria was pretty much: "can they actually play? Do they have any following? Are they in good standing with other promoters?" and stuff like that. With NOIZ it's a lot harder to get a gig, I have to actually like your band! With I can book whoever I want without having to make sure I have all the metal bases covered.”
Indeed, NOIZ Promotions caters for a specific and targeted audience yes, but I don’t see any other of metal’s now splintered sub-categories flourishing in this city from a creative and listening standpoint like the sludge, stoner scene. Once you get ‘round these parts, the lines of categorisation blur. There is a real brotherhood mentality amongst them all, as cliché as it sounds, the people stand together: And it’s that mentality and friendliness that belies NOIZ Promotions.
“I've found that my enthusiasm for the shows is increased greatly when I'm only dealing with bands I actually want to book,” he adds, openly.
"The local scene is producing bands that are not only making waves nationally, but internationally. I've read in several places online that Manchester is regarded as some sort of riff hub in the North.”
If that hasn’t convinced you, then just look at Eytan’s CV. He knows his shit.
“My first job was actually flipping burgers at Reading Festival in 2000 at age 14. I just went from there. Now I've put on loads of different events over the years, ranging from small gigs in abandoned buildings to a four stage, eighty band MMC Weekender. I've also done several art exhibitions around the UK (TAA), free parties, open-air gigs, club nights and so on. I usually work festivals in summer (averaging about eight or so a year) and in the indoor venues working the stages in winter.
“All of it has given me invaluable insight into the making of a great event for the artists, crew and those in attendance. It actually allows me to work on a gig in a club with the attitude that I'm working on a fest, art exhibition or whatever, and bring things to the table that few or none already are in that area.”
Gene Simmons said a while back that “rock is dead” and it's something that Till Lindemann has recently echoed with his comments that he would not form a band today with the state of the industry in the state it currently is. But Eytan’s response to their arguably purposefully headline grabbing remarks is taut: “Wealthy rock stars aren't the people I'd go to for an opinion on the state of music today, to be honest.
“The scene is doing fine, and as long as humans have ears and souls, it will be fine. Rock music's alive/dead status is not determined by the slumping record sales of Download Festival headliners whose heydays have come and gone.” The smell of burning can be wonderful at times.
And with regards to the local scene? “It's in great health, and has been for a good few years. When I first started going to underground gigs, quite a few of us in Manchester used to go to Leeds often to see bands. That seems to have reversed at some point in the last five (at least) years and we're seeing more and more people from Yorkshire become regular faces on the Manchester live scene. Increasingly, our previously (and unfairly) ignored local scene is producing bands that are not only making waves nationally, but internationally. I've read in several places online that Manchester is regarded as some sort of riff hub in the North, and it's always nice when I read things like what I've done with MMC has brought us here, etc... I'll be coming back with more MMC shows soon also, look out!”
Now, it seems to me - and forgive me if I sound ignorant here as I am new to all the NOIZ stuff - that NOIZ is growing all the time. They've just announced the Unhappy Campers show and there’s talk about running an art exhibition which says to me that this is a company never short of ideas. A company which is looking to expand into as many areas close to the heart of the scene as possible.
“It is definitely growing, but then again, it's only existed for about three months, the first gig hasn't even happened yet, but that hasn't stopped me from booking a solid line-up of bands and artists for the first one. In turn, the scene has noticed and there is a definite, genuine anticipation for NOIZ events. I can see it clearly from the numbers on facebook, as well as the comments and messages. The NOIZ page has passed 600 'likes' and the event pages are also busy. The NOIZ All-Dayer event page had over 250 people 'going' with 120 days to go until show time the other day... I know that these numbers are not an accurate guide as to how many people will actually attend an event, but the fact that so many people had engaged with the page with so long left to go certainly says something about the anticipation for this show.”
More so, there’s a twist: “In fact, the art aspect has been more popular online than I expected,” Dorran reveals. “Art-related posts actually seem to get more likes and shares than band-related ones, for some reason. So, yeah, that's why I want to do an exhibition again, but this time solely focus on art that is of interest to metalheads, and created by metalheads. I'll basically do any kind of event that I can throw myself at that interests me, and I want to blur the lines between them all and create 'mutant' events. I actually see them, be they gigs, exhibitions, club nights, whatever, as artworks in their own right. There is a definite art to mixing these disciplines, and it's all a learning curve, too.”
Bounds aren’t really a thing on the mind set of NOIZ Promotions. People’s warm reactions to his innovative ideas then – such as the art exhibition – is incredibly pleasing too, paying testament to our mutual belief in the scene.
“The short-term plans for the future are all pretty much detailed above. Apart from that NOIZ will be hosting a bunch of after show events when touring bands come through on weekends (the next one is EyeHateGod) and co-hosting Manchester's new riffgasmic stoner and sludge night, The Mud Pit along with new Manchester promo outfit Stonebaked Promotions.
“Mid-term plans are to book more of the same kind of events and come up with more ideas for the 'mutant' events, and also bring some bands from overseas.
“Finally, the long-term plan is to run an open-air, weekend camping style heavy music fest in the summers. Possibly in a collaboration with others, or maybe even a stage at an existing fest. In winter I'd like to see more diverse indoor shows. At other times I will be doing a lot of the organising from Jerusalem.
“I just want to give a shout out to the following bands, all of which I have either booked (some not yet announced) or are bands that I really want to book and suggest people check out:
Alunah, Barbarian Hermit, Bastard of the Skies, Berserkowitz, Boss Keloid, Chains (Slovenia), Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Conjurer, Dukatalon (Israel), Garganjua, Gévaudan, Grey Widow, Groan, Hobo Magic (Australia), Hogslayer, Ki, Lester Verde, Monolith Cult, Nomad, OHHMS, PIST, Purple Hill Witch (Norway), Purson, Slab, Space Witch, Ten Foot Wizard, The Bendal Interlude, Under, Undersmile, Witchsorrow, Wort... (Apologies to anyone left off!)
“There are also some highly-classified confirmations that you'll just have to wait for! Thanks for asking me to do this and helping to spread the word!”
It is genuinely brilliant to see NOIZ Promotions doing what they do. Keep supporting the scene.
Words: Phil Weller
NOIZ Promotions Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noizpromo?fref=ts