We’ve invited Stewart Ramsay from Leeds promoters Bad Owl presents to join us on the next live stream event on 10th December with a.P.A.t.T. and New Ghost. Bad Owl Presents are the promoters behind the annual two day Strangeforms Festival held at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (think a mini-ArcTanGent for the north!). I had a chat with Stewart to find out more.
First of all, how would you describe Bad Owl Presents to someone who has not come across you before?
Bad Owl Presents is a small and friendly, DIY music promotions company based in Leeds. We predominantly put on shows featuring math-rock, post-rock and post-metal acts. Each year we hold a two day, indoor festival entitled StrangeForms which features 18 acts over the course of the event and is basically just an extension of what we do on our normal gig nights.
What was the first band you ever put on? How did it go?!
The first show we ever put on was on Saturday 7th July 2012 featuring Scottish post-metal act What The Blood Revealed plus Himself and Tree Of Sores from Leeds. We hired out The Fox & Newt (which we’ve continued to use for lots of shows since) and we had a great time. I think we had around 25 people show up and managed not to lose too much money!
Are there any other promoters that you look up to, or think ‘I wish I could do it like that’? Who and why?
We’re very lucky in that, as the scene we’re involved in is very small, we’ve become friends with promoters around the country doing very similar things to us. The likes of Buttonpusher in Nottingham, Portals & Chaos Theory in London and (once upon a time) MADE in Sheffield are all doing great things and I like to think we’re all contemporaries of each other. Obviously the guys at ArcTanGent are big heroes of ours and, whilst we’re in awe of what they do, I don’t think we’d ever want to be producing anything of that size. They do it so well and I don’t think we could cope with the stress!
How is the next few months looking for Bad Owl, have you got anything on the horizon to get people excited?
Like everyone it’s been a very barren time for us and our last show seems like forever ago. It’s still very hard to know when things will start getting a little bit back to normal with live music but StrangeForms Festival is planned for the weekend of 10th / 11th April at Brudenell Social Club, and we’ve just announced our line up including Alpha Male Tea Party, St Pierre Snake Invasion, CLT DRP, Poly-Math and headliners Press to Meco.
We obviously had to cancel the 2020 so we’re really hoping 2021 can go ahead. Ticket link is here and you can buy in confidence as tickets can either be rolled over or refunded if we have to postpone: https://brudenellsocialclub.seetickets.com/event/strangeforms-2020-weekend-ticket/brudenell-social-club/1466594
Any lockdown performances that you’ve seen that you’ve really enjoyed?
I’ve not watched that many lockdown performances as it just makes me sad that I’m not seeing the performance in real life but I did enjoy the Mountain Caller set that they did for ArcTanGent TV back in August.
If you were going to try and convert someone to your most recent musical discovery, what track would you play them and who is the artist?
It’s not exactly new and she definitely doesn’t need my promotion but I did just recently pick up Lana Del Rey’s last LP “Norman F**king Rockwell” on a bit of a whim. I thought it was fairly average on the first couple of listens and then I suddenly just ‘got it’. The track ‘F**k It I Love You’ absolutely kills me.
Bad Owl presents wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for…
What The Blood Revealed asking us if we knew any Leeds-based promoters that could put on a show for them and us subsequently not being able to find any Leeds-based promoters and deciding to arrange the show ourselves.
If you had to pick an album that should have become a classic but has never got the acclaim it deserves, what would you go for?
Going back a few years I reckon that ‘My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go’ by Aereogramme is one of the most beautiful albums ever. Whilst it makes me sad, I completely understand why the band would call it a day when it failed to be a commercial success.
Which live band would you cross hell or high water to see?
I’ve booked Euro tours for my friends in Irk for the last four years and have been lucky enough to travel with them in my capacity as Tour Manager. It does feel like I have literally travelled across hell and over high water for those so I guess it would have to be them. 🙂
Stewart Ramsey from Bad Owl Presents joins us on our live stream show on Thursday 10th December along with a.P.A.t.T. and New Ghost. We’ll be chatting about their plans for Strangeforms 2021 and sharing one of their recommendations.
Tickets range from FREE (for low / no waged) to £10 (50% of these Scene Champion tickets to be donated to Theatre Deli Sheffield, as they would have been hosting the original gig) but you will need to register for a ticket at budsspawn.nutickets.com in order to receive the live stream URL.