Welcome to The Bunker Blog, a weekly look into the inner workings of Sunderland's top music development organisation.
This week the Bunker Live team been beavering away on the new gig format at The Ivy House. Stripped Back 2012 will be a great opportunity for bands to emerge from the shadows and give themselves a platform to showcase their talent. Three local acts will play an acoustic set each week to entertain and impress the crowd enough to get their vote, and try to get on the weekly leader-board. The competition is sure to become one of the highest profile events of the year, with the prizes up for grabs including a single release package, spots at Split Festival and Evolution, and £1000 cold hard cash. A big thanks to our partners at Generator, Split and Spark FM for their support and involvement in the event. ELI, Ani Sandwith and Jamie Devine will be playing the first leg this Thursday at 8pm.
Our Media Executive Emma Howe has also been busy with rising local star Natasha Haws' release campaign. It's a great time to be involved in local music, and Natasha will hopefully be part of a crop of emerging artists that will make their mark this year, along with the likes of The Lake Poets, Union Choir, Lilliput and The Railway Club.
Natasha is currently collaborating with producer David Burn to put together her EP. The release is due at the beginning of May, and we can't wait for everyone to get their first taste of Dave’s twist on her sound. Emma and Natasha will be releasing a teaser with 'Stepping Stone' at the beginning of February. We are also in the process of scheduling a video shoot as well as planning a bit of a mini tour. Keep you eyes peeled.
As well as working with Natasha as a manager Emma is currently working alongside her Bunker colleagues to provide a similar service for local bands and artists, with the launch of Kittle PR. More to come on that one!
Also this week, our Managing Director Kenny Sanger has been doing staff appraisals; a chance for those involved to have "time out" for a one-on-one discussion of important work issues that might not otherwise be addressed. They've gone very well and they offer a valuable opportunity to focus on work activities and goals, to identify and correct any problems, and to encourage better future performance.
We've had some maintenance and insulation work done in the office to try and keep us warm through the rest of the winter. Our maintenance man Ronny's had his work cut out but with some help from new volunteer John, he's all done. Seems to be working so far, although it might be too soon to pack away the portable heaters. Bring on the Summer!