The Forum Nights
Every Thursday join our much loved team from The Forum here at the Assembly Hall Theatre as we present a residency of The Forum Nights.
22 OCT 20 | SUNCHARMER & MIKE WILTON BAND
plus special guest James Wood (formerly of The Gallerys)
Opening our Forum nights AHT Residencies will be a celebration of veterans of the local Tunbridge Wells music scene. A night of indie / blues / rock to wake up from the misery of 2020. These bands have filled The Forum and headlined local Festivals for years. What better way to have a party, even it it is social distanced.
29 OCT 20 | SCOWL
Plus special guests Blue Stragglers & Smile
Scowl are probably the newest band from the area headlining Forum Nights. They have become popular very quickly. With their own viscous live show and Indie-Punk singalongs, this trio have been playing some memorable shows at The Forum and we thought that they deserved to be one of the first bands we asked to be involved in our AHT Residencies. We decided to make the night a full lineup of new young bands from the Tunbridge Wells area that are causing a bit of a local buzz.
05 NOV 20 | WILL JOSEPH COOK
Plus special guests Lily Denning & Thoma
Will Joseph Cook is one of the UK’s brightest young talents. Now 22 years old, Cook has been developing his multi-dimensional approach to crafting infectious songs since he was just14.Finding inspiration in everything from the youthful indie charms ofMGMT, VampireWeekend and Darwin Deez to the post punk art pop of Talking Heads, Orange Juice and Gang of Four.In 2017, Will released his debut LP ‘Sweet Dreamer’ to critical acclaim and featured in TheGuardian’s data-driven poll as the 3rd most tipped artist across all tip lists. ‘Bursting with energy & charm’ and ‘infectious melodies’, its success has been attributed to his unwavering honesty of portraying systemic problems through song writing, gaining well deserved attention from NME, DIY, DORK, Clash, The Fader and Wonderland with playlist support fromBBC R1, 6-Music & Radio X. To date, he has amassed over 50 million streams worldwide across all platforms.Will has taken his high-energy live show worldwide, culminating in sold out shows at London’s Omeara, Heaven, and the Electric Ballroom. He has also performed at high profile international festivals including Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, The Great Escape, Boardmasters, Victorious, Secret Garden Party, SXSW, Reeperbahn and has toured with alt-J,Everything Everything and Sundara Karma.Will’s second album Something to Feel Good About’ will be released on 27th November.
12 NOV 20 | AN EVENING WITH LOCAL & LIVE
Featuring The Paul Dunton Orchestra, Charlie Rivers Band and Sorrel Nation
Every summer, the Tunbridge Wells calendar looks fairly empty without the annual Local & Live festival. The team did still put together an incredible weekend of streamed events for people to watch but we couldn’t put together something like this without including these guys. The Paul Dunton Orchestra, Charlie Rivers Band & Sorrel Nation will all be performing at the show. Order of the lineup to be decided on the night so get down early and support.
19 NOV 20 | INDOOR PETS
Plus special guests The Polygons & The Rambling Club
Formed in Sittingbourne, Kent, it wasn’t long before Indoor Pets’ effortless songs were attracting attention, with one of them making Record Of The Week on BBC Introducing and within two weeks Huw Stephens had picked up on the track. For the next few years Indoor Pets wrote and gigged incessantly, building up a batch of killer tunes and a devoted fanbase across the country. They did, and still do, everything themselves. From making the artwork to organising their own tours on the road, producing music, building their own stage monitoring system and even running their own finances (Simpson: “if anyone wants to spend any money they have to ask me,”). It’s a fiercely DIY ethic born less from punk principle as it was from necessity. “It was either do it yourself or don’t have it done,” notes Glass, “and we decided to do it ourselves.” Signing to Wichita Recordings, the band set about recording their debut album due for release in March 2019, a record seemingly full of a bottomless pool of great tunes. Familiar feelings of not fitting in or wanting to play the hand life’s dealt you are delivered with self-deprecating wit and Glass’ trademark use of double-bluffing word play. Think Rivers Cuomo and a pre-sandpit Brian Wilson bunking off school to play records and snigger at the cool kids. They’re smart, life-affirming and all contained within a thumping primary-coloured pop wallop.
26 NOV 20 | An Evening With Unfest
With Infrared and special guests Pett Level & Naipia
The annual free multi-venue was cancelled this year due to the current situation - so this is our way of having a night that celebrates one of the most fun weekends of the Tunbridge Wells calendar. One of our intentions with this event is to always showcase the young new acts in the town. Well this event is no different. This is going to be a great!
INFRARED are a 4 piece band from East Sussex, formed in 2017. They write their own music which is very diverse and is influenced by artists such as David Bowie, Queen, Muse, Aerosmith and more. Infrared have played at a number of venues around Kent and Sussex, including the Forum and Grey Lady in Tunbridge Wells. They have also headlined at the Trinity Arts Theatre, and the Wadhurst Country Fair. You may have also heard them on BBC Radio Kent.
03 DEC 20 | LADY BIRD & FRIENDS
Plus special guests Harvey Marwood & JC Palmer
This will be a special one off show -Lady Bird will be playing a set of their songs as well as doing special one off performances with some close friends.
Formed in the archetypal English town of Tunbridge Wells, Lady Bird’s shared desire to spread lofty ideas has led to them creating some of the most exciting music to come out of anywhere in the country. While Punk can sometimes be seen as a reductive term, Lady Bird hark back to its deeper meaning, exemplifying an attitude of rebellion, freedom and bold ideas. Lady Bird’s sound manages to be both literary and ultra-aggressive. Joe and Alex lay down a frame work of stripped back rock, heavy and pulverising, but never losing its sense of melody. Over this Don plays the role of narrator, spinning suburban yarns as metaphors for the trials of 21st century life and the desire for personal and spiritual growth. His distinctively English tones are reminiscent of Mike Skinner - telling tales of a Kentish Wetherspoons rather than London clubs - all the while a stripped down Black Flag thrashing away behind. The boys’ shared musical influences range from The Blockheads to Thelonius Monk. Their sound is also buoyed by a deeper philosophical bent, something Joe puts down to their closeness as a unit. “Since playing together we’ve become central pillars in each other’s lives and because of that there’s all sorts of deeper discussions and musings that take place which influence what the creative output is.”
The band’s debut EP, ‘Social Potions’, demonstrated their desire to make raw music with high ideals, its 4 tracks detailing a sordid journey which ends in enlightenment.
“It’s about vicious cycles and about realising things in yourself that you want to change.” Alex says of the EP. “And it’s about taking control of your life and making decisions because you want to make them. These boys have empowered me to do what I want to do with my life. We’re not necessarily telling people to do something, it’s about saying if you want to do something, you want to change something, just go and do it. Because you can.”
The EP was released via Slaves’, Girl Fight Records which was a perfect match, with both Lady Bird and Slaves determined to champion the music and the scene of their hometown.
This was followed by ‘Boot Fillers’ in August 2018. During that time they recorded a session for BBC Radio 1 for the Huw Stephens and built up a reputation for incendiary live shows.
This desire to reach people is also deeply embedded in the bands live shows which are, in Don’s words, “really loud with lots of information, portrayed in a passionate way with some light hearted bants. These two (Joe and Alex) are both so angry and they fucking have it. Interestingly I don’t so much. My job in the band is to portray the story with sincerity and animation, so I don’t really go nuts.”
2018 was wrapped up with the release of ‘Reprisal’ which again consolidated online and radio support at BBC Radio 1 and DiY and underground news outlets such as Dork.
2019 saw the band build their own studio, complete a sold out UK tour and play their first wave of European shows and festivals. The band continued to self release the critically acclaimed singles ‘Love’ and ‘Shag Tally Tastic’. The band also recorded their 2nd session for BBC Radio 1 for Jack Saunders Late 2019 has seen the band hold up in their DIY built studio, housed above the Tunbridge Wells Forum venue. The band are crafting their debut album which they cannot wait to unleash on the world. 2020 saw the band release their next EP ‘BRAINWASH MACHINE SETTING’ via their own label ‘Purple Stains’ in association with JägerMusik. So there you have it. Lady Bird are a band from a small town with big ideas, determined to change the world and also make some fucking noise in the process.