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Merry Hill HMV to host RawSound.tv showcase promoting local music scene

By Leigh Sanders | Dudley | Entertainment | Published:

A new partnership will be launched between a local online music show and a retail giant this weekend to promote the best acts the local scene has to offer.

RawSound.tv co-founder Mark Piddington, left, with show presenter Danielle Clarke

RawSound.TV, based in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, are joining forces with the HMV outlet at Brierley Hill's intu Merry Hill shopping centre which will see local acts playing in-store and able to sell their merchandise to customers.

The online video magazine RawSound.TV featured in the Star's Unsigned column recently, and since June 2017 have been giving local musicians a chance to be interviewed and perform live for the world to see through their fortnightly shows released via their website.

Based in co-founder Mark Piddington's own Glass Onion Recording Studio, they have been looking to make more of a footprint in the Black Country. This partnership with HMV's Merry Hill store should do just that.

READ MORE: Birmingham's RawSound.tv filming our stars of the future

Mark said: "We're really excited about it. I contacted HMV about something else and we got talking.

"HMV is a very different animal these days post-administration and they are almost stand-alone outlets working under an umbrella, in simple terms.

"We suggested this idea, a little like they used to back in the day, and they loved it. They said 'yeah, go for it' - so we are! We'll also film it for ourselves to put out.

"If it works, we hope to roll it out further afield with them."

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As well as playing live in-store, bands will be able to play their material over the PA system as well as selling their merchandise on the shelves. The guys at RawSound.tv have put together a seven-and-a-half hour playlist of material from local bands to play on the day.

Staff celebrate the reopening of HMV Merry Hill in February

If successful, they hope to make this a fortnightly event.

Andrea Pritchard, assistant manager at HMV Merry Hill, said it was a project they were keen to get on board with.

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"HMV's new owners are very keen to get back in touch with the local music scenes and want all their stores to show individuality," she added. "We want to get local bands and artitsts in-store to sell their music.

"The advantage Merry Hill has is it's a large store so we can host PAs. This came at the right time, it's good for RawSound.tv, good for the bands, and helps us celebrate the local music scene.

"They've been really enthusiastic, as have we. We're hoping for a big turnout and then we will be able to host it on a more regular basis, even if it's just one band playing and selling their own stuff."

READ MORE: Delight as HMV reopens at Merry Hill shopping centre

For Saturday's opening event, Wolverhampton's The Jack Fletcher Band and Alex Ohm, from Gornal, will be on the bill. They will undoubtedly be seeing this as an opportunity to grow their own brands in a more mainstream setting.

Alex has worked with the online music show before, and it is a partnership he is looking forward to continuing.

"I’ve worked with RawSound.tv before so when they got in touch about the event at HMV the only answer would be 'yes'.

"RawSound.tv are a great group of people doing their best to promote music from around the Midlands, they work so hard. So it’s a real privilege to be asked to do their first HMV session.

RawSound.tv are based in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter

"HMV is a huge name in music and it’s great to see that they are putting these events on in-store; especially during their Vinyl Week where we can grab some exclusives."

And Lee adds: "We have an absolute ton of Black Country bands that we've had on and that are on the waiting list, so we'll have them all on over time hopefully and, when they've got products, arrange to sell in-store too."

The event kicks off at noon on Saturday, With Alex Ohm playing two sets at 12.30pm and 2.30pm, and The Jack Fletcher Band on at 1.30pm. The event will wind down around 4pm.

Fore more on Saturday's launch, follow RawSound.tv on Twitter @RawSoundTV, and HMV's Merry Hill store @hmvMerryHill to keep up to date. The HMV show will be made available via http://rawsoundtv.com/ when it has been edited. Bands can also get in touch with them via any of the above to discuss taking part.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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