Ever thought the live music scene in Exeter is a little boring? Well, you’d be wrong to think so. The main issue is in fact that music here is often not so successfully advertised. Yes, we all often know (somewhat ashamedly) that Jamie Laing is going to be making an appearance in Arena AGAIN some point in the not too distant future through what seems like a constant stream of Facebook event invitations and group notifications; (if you don’t know who Jamie Lang is, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!) but how many of you realise that the fantastically original indie rock band, Bombay Bicycle Club are due to play in Exeter’s very own Great Hall next March? Or that the award-winning hip-hop artist and all round incredibly poetic performer Akala is live in The Cavern next month? Probably not half as many of you.
Well this truth is one universally acknowledged by the student body of Exeter (excuse the Austen reference…I’m an English student!). I spoke to Jack Reid, who, alongside four friends and fellow music enthusiasts, created an online music collective: Pearshaped Exeter. You may have heard of them already, and if not, I have a funny feeling very soon, you will!
Hi Jack, can you tell us a little bit more about the concept of Pearshaped Exeter?
PearShaped Exeter is an online, student-run music magazine with a mission. We want to produce music journalism of the best quality by using the resources of all of the incredibly creative and passionate people knocking around campus, and the city. We also want to make sure that every upcoming musician gets heard by as many people as possible; we want people to know about what’s happening in their city.
Great! And where did the idea come from?
The idea was born in two conversations over drinks. The first conversation was about us wanting to do something meaningfully helpful for Exeter’s music scene. The next conversation was at the Rusty Bike where we decided that we would launch the website, which would provide comprehensive listings and previews so that nobody ever missed a gig that they would have loved.
What are you most looking forward to in the PearShaped calendar?
This year, we’re hoping to become a Guild-affiliated society, which is very exciting for us. There shouldn’t be any problems and we expect to be all set by mid-January. We’re all looking forward to it so much because it means that we can use some of the University’s resources to provide a service to all it’s students. Anything that helps us do a better job of informing people about live music is good news, right?
What do you think about the live music scene in Exeter as it stands?
I think that Exeter’s live music scene is burgeoning, in a word. It has incredible talent but it lacks a centre, and that’s why you end up missing so many amazing performances. That’s what PearShaped is here to address. We want to link together all of these artists with a passionate music-loving audience, who are there but just haven’t connected yet.
Thanks Jack! I’m sure Pearshaped have a very exciting future.
So next time you’re stuck for a good night out in Exeter, and feel you’ve exhausted Cheesey Tuesday’s capacity for fun halfway into term, why not check out Pearshaped upcoming listings? What’s more, while you’re there, take a glance at the album reviews and articles about Exeter’s goings-on: always brilliantly humours and intelligently written.
With only three years in Exeter (for most!) it seems silly not to make the most of all the great venues and gigs around us. Exeter has a lot going for it and now, thanks to Pearshaped, you have no excuse not to celebrate that!
To find out more about Exeter’s music scene, check out Joe Stewart’s recent Razz interview with Exeter record label Art Is Hard here.
by Sinead Buckingham, Razz Exeter Correspondent