Regular visitors will know that this year has been one of stop / start for LOUD HORIZON as I experimented with different things in an attempt to get the blog to where I wanted it.
But in truth, after seven years of writing, I am no longer sure of where that is / was! I really think that considering it’s a one-man-show, LOUD HORIZON has achieved all it’s ever going to. Its peaked! (Over the piece, there have been a few writers helping out, some more dependable than others …. my thanks to Kenneth John Porteous and Gary Moyes especially, but circumstances change and they moved on, as I must now do myself.)
So, in many ways reluctantly, I have decided that the blog is going on a very lo-o-o-ong hiatus. (When I win the lottery or retire – I know what will come first – I’ll definitely come back to it as I’ve loved every minute of writing about new / obscure music / bands.)
The blog itself has proved reasonably popular, rising to a ranking high of 63 in the Technorati Directory of over 13,000 music-related bogs worldwide. Generally-speaking it sat around the 200 (and better) mark, which was pretty respectable.
Quotes from the blog have been spotted in magazines; on press-releases; on album sleeves and even on a promotional video from the U.S. punk label, Epitaph!
It’s given me the opportunity to meet so many lovely people from the bands that I’ve featured both on LOUD HORIZON and ARTROCKER MAGAZINE. In fact, I can honestly say that I’ve not chatted with / interviewed any awkward types / prima-donnas at all. And when I think back to the early days and some of the cringeworthy things I asked of them, then the bands were obviously so patient with me!
It’s perhaps a little unfair to single a few bands out, but in particular the lads from BAD FOR LAZARUS were so easy to talk to; despite their on-stage antics and personas, the mighty BO NINGEN were true gentlemen; the effervescent COLLEEN CAFFEINE from Detroit punks CHOKING SUSAN was an absolute delight and ANDREA ZOLLO from the long-departed PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES was just so easy to chew the fat with. Even ERIC NALLY (Foxy Shazam) who has written songs for Meatloaf and had a bit of a ‘reputation’ was an absolute to gem and really interesting to speak with.
And of course, I really must mention the courageous POLY STYRENE (a punk idol of mine) who in spite of her ailing health and obvious discomfort, was happy to talk with me for best part of forty-five minutes.
I’m really proud to say that LOUD HORIZON was one of the first blogs / magazines to highlight the talents of several bands. Current ARTROCKER favourites THE SAVAGE NOMADS and THEATRE ROYAL were featured in the blog very early into their careers. Likewise, Irish mentalists FIGHT LIKE APES and Boston experimentalist / downbeat psych exponent, THE OCULAR AUDIO EXPERIMENT. I was then able to get all four their first exposure in ARTROCKER. There were others, but I really need to retain a certain modicum of modesty!
All in all, contrary to some sanctimonious remarks on the blog’s Facebook page and one (unpublished!) comment on the blog itself, I feel I can take my leave safe in the knowledge that I’ve ‘done my bit,’ for ‘music,’ and the cause of ‘undiscovered’ bands and artists. Over the piece LOUD HORIZON has:
. opened its doors to numerous touring bands, providing alcohol; beds; showers; bacon butties & pizzas. Several became firm friends and returned on several occasions. (YOU SAY PARTY! And THE HOT PUPPIES in particular);
. contributed countless articles over a six year plus period to ARTROCKER MAGAZINE, affording many bands their first ‘mainstream’ coverage;
. written several thousand ‘reviews’ of new releases, helping raise (in the majority of cases!) the profile of the bands involved;
. introduced several bands to national radio stations that then played their recording(s);
. highlighted and become friends with bands from all over the world – especially Chile, Japan, Belgium, and of course USA and Canada.
Before I sign off though, I must give BIG thanks to all those who have supported LOUD HORIZON throughout the seven years or so. Obviously the bands and artists who have provided their music, much of which I still play to this day, but also to the numerous PR Companies who introduced me to much of their music in the first place. Cheers guys ‘n’ gals! It would have been a struggle without you.
But most of all, a big THANK YOU is due to all the blog visitors, many of whom I know were regulars / subscribers.
So that’s it …. for the foreseeable future at least.
It’s been a blast.
THANK YOU & GOODNIGHT!
(There follows a small selection of some of my favourite sounds / bands that have featured on LOUD HORIZON. The second video features – @ 1:25 -well ….. let’s say no more!!)