Last week, I caught up with two relatively unknown characters from the Aberdeen music scene (only kidding), Tom Simmonds and Gav Bassett. Tom runs the popular band practice space and recording studio Captain Tom’s, located on Anne Street in Aberdeen. He is also at the helm of one of Aberdeen’s finest record labels - Fat Hippy Records, which turns 12 later this year. Gav Bassett, one of the owners of the fairly new music venue Downstairs that is relevantly stationed downstairs from the Malt Mill on Holburn Street, is passionate about music and bands. Since taking over the space, Gav has been starting to hold gig nights to give bands a stage to play on and to pull in punters to get them interested in the bands.
It was around mid-December when Tom and Gav decided to team up to create a showcase for bands. Tom really wanted to help Downstairs and work with them to increase the impact they’ve had on the music scene, especially in January which can be a tricky time for pubs. They both wanted to create opportunities for bands and find those that may want to be involved with Fat Hippy Records and thus, the Fat Hippy Battle of the Bands was born!
Over 100 bands applied to be part of the showcase, which greatly humbled Tom and Gav. The first heats have been taking place on Thursdays and Fridays at Downstairs each week since mid-January with the first of the quarter finals starting this week. Over 30 bands have participated in the opening heats battling it out for a place in the final, which will see one triumphant band walk away with a record deal with Fat Hippy Records, including a tour, merchandise and the opportunity to play with some major artists on top of recording. Sponsors of the Fat Hippy Battle of the Bands, iiMusic and Masterwork, have also generously donated some prizes for the runner-up artist.
This showcase is proving to be a winner for Aberdeen’s music scene, pulling many genres of bands and artists together and allowing them to gain new followers through each other. A great way to move the music scene forward.
To see the full lineup of participating bands, dates and times of heats and more about the Fat Hippy Battle of the Bands, please click here. To find out more about Fat Hippy Records, please click here and to find out more about Downstairs, please click here.