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New concert series aims to give local bands leg up

Monthly event an opportunity to debut new songs

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/9/2015 (1638 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba Music and the Good Will Social Club are teaming up to give local acts a chance to hone their performance skills and debut new material.

New Music Night, which kicks off Wednesday at the Good Will Social Club, is a monthly concert series aimed at giving artists an opportunity to test out new tunes in a judgment-free atmosphere.

"The whole concept is to debut new music and to be very up-front about presenting that for music fans, other artists and people on the scene who are really interested in discovering new stuff," says Sean McManus, executive director of Manitoba Music, a community-based non-profit industry association. "It can be new bands that are just getting up and running but it can also be seasoned musicians that are working on a new project."

The series features three local acts each night and will take place the first Wednesday of every month. The first lineup includes garage rockers the Fantastic, funk and soul group Jérémie & the Delicious Hounds and pop-rock act Champagne Years.

Champagne Years

Champagne Years

"We try to balance the night so that it makes sense. Sometimes it works out that we have a genre night, like three hip-hop acts, for example, but we're really quite fond of eclecticism," says McManus.

This new iteration builds on similar past events hosted by Manitoba Music, including the long-running New Music Wednesdays at Ozzy's. It became a platform for some of the biggest artists to come out of Winnipeg in recent years, including the Bros. Landreth and Mise en Scene.

This time around, Manitoba Music is partnering with the Good Will Social Club, a venue McManus says is a "great fit" for the event.

"We sort of have a similar mandate in terms of original music, local music and music discovery," he says. "We consider ourselves sort of a hub of the music-industry community and they're a great hub for music fans, so I think there's a lot of crossover there. We're really excited to be working with them on this."

Artists looking to get in on the action can submit their application directly to Manitoba Music via email, and a list of guidelines is available on www.manitobamusic.com/newmusicnight. McManus says there has been a lot of interest so far.

"It's not like an artist can submit an application a week ahead of time," he said. "It could be that an artist submits and then it's a few months down the road, in terms of how the space works out," he says.

The title New Music Night can be a bit misleading, McManus adds. He stresses that they are looking for bands who have put in the time and have a show put together, not necessarily someone who has just picked up a guitar for the first time. The series is meant to be used as a promotional tool for artists to get their foot in the door.

"It can be tricky for new bands to get out there and promote themselves," says McManus. "This way, the bands don't have to go to a club and try to convince them to book a brand-new band. So that's exactly why this exists... to help give the artists a great platform in the early stages of a project to play on a great stage with a great audience."

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

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