Hot Music Live chats to Ian Bourne


Hot Music Live chats to Ian Bourne

So I’m settled into a corner of the Town House with Ian Bourne who hosts not only the excellent Acoustic Tuesday at the Roadhouse but also a bunch of other popular sessions in the Coventry area. We’re checking out the draught cider and talking showcases. Ian’s making it really clear that a showcase is a very different beast from an open mic. You get a named feature slot with enough time to stretch out and enjoy strutting your stuff under stage conditions. It’s brilliant too for networking with other acoustic acts, many of them successful performers on the pub circuit. What makes Ian’s showcase nights rather special is that he also provides a high quality audio recording and a battery of classy digital photographs - not to mention biscuits! While a session is a great place to build on open mic experience, it’s also ideal for experienced acts who want to try out new material in a supportive environment. I asked Ian what he thought about some musicians' concerns that having people play for free might devalue live music in the eyes of venues. He’s not having this at all; he's confident that sessions and open mics are essential to develop the new talent that keeps the scene vibrant and exciting.

And, of course, he’s a man who follows his own advice, regularly playing sessions around the country to share his quirky and heartfelt acoustic compositions. (We say go and see the guy sometime, he’s a dynamo on stage, smart and funny with that special deadpan humour the only a Brummie can pull off.) We investigated his approach to songwriting. He keeps a notebook, OK it’s a computer file - this is the century of the fruit bat after all-, noting down fragments for lyrics and tunes and letting them mulch down until a song emerges - sometimes quickly, sometimes after a drawn out period of incubation. Sometimes, he says, depression can wear down his creativity but making music can really help in getting through the harder days.

We chatted too about the complex relationship between musicians and photographers and the challenges of capturing fast moving performers under the dim lights typical of most pubs. Here’s his advice to photographers, based on tons of practical experience.Firstly, take lots of pictures and narrow them down to the best when you get home. Secondly, build a rapport with the act but be careful not to get in their face on stage.

To check out the sessions Ian runs, click ‘Sessions’ on the menu. New acoustic acts are always welcome. Just get in touch and book your slot! If you're looking for a photographer, you can find him in the listings under the “Services” menu.

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