A local group of ‘old punks’ are helping create a thriving original music scene across Peterborough and Stamford, proving that while Punk isn’t dead, it’s probably aging un-gracefully!
The three friends, Matty, Jonny, and Krispy, have been bringing bands to the city for several years now, and their The Scary Clown Presents shows are gaining a growing reputation across not only the UK, but also internationally.
“We are now getting enquiries from record labels and bands from the USA, New Zealand, France, and Sweden. It’s crazy really, we’re just three mates who love music who decided that rather than spend our money travelling across the UK to see live music, we’d spend it bringing the bands here,” explained their webmaster Kristian ‘Krispy’ Brown, who spends his days working for a local magazine distribution company, but his spare time organising monthly shows in Peterborough and Stamford.
“We found it hard to find a venue within Peterborough which is the right size and would appreciate loud music, especially with so many of the old traditional pub venues closing down. When we found Mama Liz’s in Stamford, we realised it was perfect for us, and we’ve had a great relationship with them ever since.
“We weren’t totally happy that most of our regulars – and ourselves - had to travel out of Peterborough though, so once we saw what Simon Benton at the Ostrich Inn in North Street was trying to do for the local music and art scene, it made total sense to join forces to put on (free) shows at his popular town centre pub.
“That has allowed us to expand from six or so gigs a year to more like a dozen, bringing smaller, mostly acoustic shows for free, saving the larger noisier gigs for Mama Liz’s.”
The collective are firmly under the banner of ‘DIY Punk’, which is all about putting on shows with mostly unsigned bands, who play for the love of music and putting on a show rather than making money, often while raising money for different worthwhile causes. Their Christmas party show collects chocolate bars for the Peterborough Soup Kitchen, and a big show in April will help raise money for the Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James.
Don’t let the ‘Punk’ tag put you off though, as the music of the shows can be pretty diverse, from the urban soul sultry tones of Lilith Ai, through the gravelly voiced delta blues sound of Tim Holehouse, to the pop-punk of the USA’s Airstream Futures.
Their huge 15 band all-dayer in June will even include Peterborough poet and battle rapper Mark Gist.
“After hearing one of Mark’s amazing political poems at an event at the Stoneworks bar last year, we realised he would fit right in at one of our events,” Kristian explained. “We feel that ‘sleepy’ Peterborough needs to wake up again. It used to be a thriving place full of music venues putting on original music, but as pubs have struggled, so has the music scene. While we respect the local covers bands, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing a new energetic band playing their own heartfelt material, and who knows, you may be able to tell workmates and family that you saw the next big thing down the local pub, when it was free to get well before they ‘made it big’. At our gig nights you can come and chat with the bands before and after their show, and buy merchandise at almost cost prices. Who knows you may just find your new favourite band of all time at the next SCP show?”.
The collective is not taking it easy, as they recognize that Peterborough is changing, with more culture and arts events starting to gain a foothold in the pubs and venues of the city, a time to try and bring new people to their gigs, to discover new music.
“The more people we can get out enjoying original live music, the better for everyone – us, the bands, and the venues.”
March 29: Greg Rekus (Canadian acoustic punk) and Tim Holehouse (UK delta blues) at the Ostrich Inn. Free gig, from 8pm.
April 28 : The Scary Clown Presents… all-dayer and vegan BBQ @ Mama Liz’s Voodoo Lounge. 2pm – midnight. Featuring Wonk Unit (London) and Raging Nathans (USA) plus five more bands. Music from 5.30pm.
May 11 th : Nosebleed album release tour, with A Great Notion and Le Jarv. @ Ostrich Inn. Free gig. From 8pm.
June 30 th : Skate-aid 5 all dayer. 15 acts and vegan BBQ by Resist! Vegan Kitchen. @ Mama Lizs Voodoo Lounge, Stamford. Early bird tickets £13.50. Triple headliners: Roughneck Riot (Folk punk), Remnants
(New York pop punk), Grand Collapse (Welsh hardcore). 12 noon till midnight, includes acoustic session in the afternoon during the BBQ.