Tag Archives: rochester

ME5 Launch Line Up Confirmed for 29th/30th November

ME5 collage

The weekend of the 29th and 30th November promises to be a good one. The ME5 album (our fifth annual download compilation of Medway music) is in the can and ready for digital release at midnight on Friday 29th November, all 58 tracks of it, and the Just Giving page for donations to Young Minds is under construction. For reasons we’ll come to in a minute, we thought a five year run was worth celebrating with a more than one event, so think of the weekend as a mini-festival.

On Friday 29th November you will have two choices: You can come to the Nag’s Head in Rochester to see Broken Banjo, The Flying Isaacs and The Flowing, or you can go to St Mary’s Social Club in Gillingham to hear acoustic sets by Theatre Royal and Wildfowl plus some open mic performances.

On Saturday 30th we’ll be at the Barge in Gillingham for performances by Balance Lost, Natalie Evans and Chris ‘Arfur’ Allen for a gig that will serve not only as an after launch party for the ME5 album, but also as a ‘goodnight and thank you’ from Medway Eyes. Not only will ME5 be the last album we put out, this will also be the last ever Medway Eyes event. We’ve achieved a lot along the way, but five years is a long enough run for a good idea and it’s time to pursue other things.

So come along. It’ll be fun :0)

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Eyes All Around: Opening Night

We’re delighted to announce a cracking line up for the opening gig for the Eyes All Around opening on Friday 6th May. We are proud to present the legendary Bob Collins with his band The Full Nelson, ably supported by punk poet and gentleman raconteur Unlucky Fried Kitten and the hypnotic Joe Cottiss.

All are welcome to the opening of the Eyes All Around exhibition, which takes place between 6:30 and 8:00 pm at the Brook Theatre Gallery, and we’d be delighted if you would join us for this gig just down the road afterwards, from around 8:30.

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Two Sides of the Same Coin: An Update

We’ve had a few questions about this coming Friday, so it seems like a  good idea to post a potted itinerary. Plus, we’ve got some news. Our regular readers will all by now be aware of the exhibition Two Sides of the Same Coin (see Eyes passim) that opens between 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Friday 4th February at the Brook Theatre in Chatham. This preview, to which you are all invited, is just the first half of what promises to be a belter of an evening. From 8:30 pm we have a stunning line up of live music at the Nag’s Head in Rochester. Wheels and Lupen Crook will be sharing the bill, and we’re delighted to announce that they are being  joined by very special guest Dave Read, formerly the front man with local legends The Claim, and one of the finest songwriters we can think  of. So there.

The exhibition itself showcases the stunning work of artist  Daisy Parris, supported by photographer Phil Dillon. It’s about local influences and talent and is as much about the fellow creatives the work points up as it is the artists themselves. Ultimately though, it’s about Medway, its culture and its catalysts.

Daisy and Phil will be on Fizzer’s radio show on Radio Sunlight tomorrow night from 8pm, as indeed will Wheels. There’s also an exclusive and refreshing interview with Daisy at the Medway Broadside.

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ME2: A birthday gig and the download of the year

With another year of community art events and a final salute to the summer behind us, Medway Eyes is crawling back into its autumnal grassroots for a 2nd birthday shindig at the Nag’s Head in Rochester.

ME2 begins at 8pm on Friday 15th October, and features live music from Stuart Turner & the Flat Earth Society, The Flowing and Fires Took Over.

Last year we celebrated our first birthday with a free (but donate if you will) download album of excellent Medway music. This year we’re doing it again, and we have thirty-one tracks of Medway music to blow your head clean off.

The ME2 compilation features hot-off-the-press demos, exclusive tracks and a live desk recording from a much anticipated reunion gig from earlier this year. The ME2 album will be available to download for free from midnight on the 15th October. A button will be installed for voluntary contributions, every penny of which will be donated to Oxjam.

Download the full press release HERE.

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Retro Post #9: October 2009 – ME1: Our First Birthday

For our first birthday we asked our musical chums if they would like to contribute a track to a compilation album, our photography chums if they would like to contribute to an eZine and the rest of you if you wanted to come along to our birthday gig. After a big fat YES from lots and lots of people we ended up with a bumper 21 track album, a packed eZine and a happily crowded Nag’s Head on the 2nd October.

Thanks to The Lovedays, The Bresslaws and Didi Bergman for a great birthday gig.

The ME1 album is still available to download for free HERE, and don’t forget you can donate to Oxjam if you want to.

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Retro Post #3: March 2009 – Desolation Row

Desolation Row is an ongoing collaborative multimedia project that is Medway Eyes’ response to the regeneration that is taking place in Medway despite a lack of sufficient public consultation.

We believe that respectful management and preservation of a place’s heritage is the key to a successful regeneration, yet we have seen the Theatre Royal demolished, Aveling and Porter groundlessly condemned, and Sun Pier left to ruin. The council can see Sun Pier from their plush new offices. We’ve asked them when it is going to be fixed. We have not received a reply.

We also observe that regeneration in other areas has opened up waterfronts. Not here though. The waterfront will be covered in flats and closed off from the town by a bus station in the wrong place.

Sunday 15th March saw an assortment of creative locals – musicians, photographers, film makers, writers, artists and designers traipsing around the forgotten stretch of the Chatham/Rochester Hight Street. The plan for the shoot was to make it up as we went along and then go to the pub.

Our only disappointment was that the Bob Dylan which had been stencilled onto the side of the Jade Garden (by Redlock, we subsequently discovered) had been painted over. A real shame as it was the only thing breaking up the ghastly shade of Dull that the rest of the building was painted in. Anyway, thanks to our vigilant photographers, we’d heard of a second Bob Dylan painted on Bath Hard Lane. We found Bob to be wonderfully photogenic and a
real hit with the ladies. We did the second Desolation Row shoot two weeks later. We filmed some interviews and singing by the river and drank more beer.

Unfortunately, there was one thing missing; Bob Dylan. The second Bob had been painted over too. He’d been stencilled onto a filled-in railway arch on a scrubby bit of wasteland, so who would paint over it and why? Given that other graffiti had been left behind, including an indecipherable, artistically devoid tag about six feet high, we could come to only one conclusion; the council had been out with the whitewash again. It seems we were right, too. Medway Eyes photographer, Garry Jenkins was in the papes again for the second time in a week. The caption beneath his photo read “This Dylan image has since been painted over by council workers”. While they were at it, the council painted over another historic piece of graffiti; a tribute to Thee Milkshakes which had adorned the wall by the railway bridge for more than twenty-five years. You see, the council can’t have the general public seeing validity in vandalism. How will it manipulate us into believing that Medway needs regeneration if the crappy tags have to compete with artistic graffiti? So they painted over Bob and the Milkshakes leaving the rubbish behind in the name of making Medway a “cleaner and safer place”. The council whitewash is not for our safety, it is a tool of censorship, used to blunt our senses to its persistent cultural vandalism.

We’re letting this project find its own path and allowing it to take as long as it needs to to record change. There will be video, music and maybe a book. It is possible, but unlikely, that a physical gallery exhibition will accompany this project, so don’t be upset if there are no postcards of the hanging. The chances are we’ll manage another gig.

See the Desolation Row page on our website for more information.

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