Here at Circuit Sweet we just love to promote local services, charities, artists, venues… if it’s local and worth shouting about we promote it. Half of Circuit Sweet has been involved with a local music charity The Music Pool which we regularly mention. That and the great work they do for local young musicians. The other half of Circuit Sweet depended on the fantastic ‘Herefordshire Young Carers‘- a friendly reliable and supportive charity with only your best interests at heart. So we are pleased to now introduce you to another Hereford based hardworking charity – Close House.
Close House is a Youth Center based in Hereford. The group’s aim is to assist young people aged 13-24 to become mature, helping young adults gain a full appetite for life. They provide Safe, Supportive and Inspiring Spaces, both at their center and at other clubs and projects across the city.
The charity youth organization have recently been involved in putting on live events in Hereford’s finest music venue The Jailhouse. We have the pleasure in speaking with Chris Butts who works for the organization to find out more about the local charity and their new venture into live nights and under 18s gigs.
Thank you so much for spending time with Circuit Sweet. Firstly please introduce yourself and your involvement with close house.
Hi, I’m Chris and I am youth worker at Close House. I run music workshops two evenings a week as part of Close House’ EPIC workshops program. I also work in partnership with the music pool on a weekly evening band development/songwriting/rehearsal sessions based at the Friends of the Castle Green Building.
Explain what close house means to you
I’ve been involved with Close House for many years. Before working here I always came and supported the concerts the young people performed at by being in the house band and helping direct the music.
Now being a youth worker for over two years I have seen young people’s journeys, seen them with their lows and highs, seen them grow and mature, watched them blossom into more confident people and being apart of that is something special.
How can others get involved with close house?
For young people they can turn up to any of our sessions running throughout Hereford and straight away get involved.
People can use the Contact Form on closehouse.org form to apply to volunteer with us.
Now as mentioned you’ve already put on a successful live night under the moniker ‘Feedback Promotions’ which is supported by Close House. The night was based at the jailhouse Hereford last year- how did the live night come about and how has it since evolved?
We were very aware that young people felt like they had nothing to do in the evenings in Hereford so we applied for funding from Children in Need to help support us in creating things to do. Fortunately we were successful and are so very grateful. We then spoke to young people asking them what they would like to do in the evenings – it was decided that their was a distinct lack of young music venues in Hereford and with projects like ‘Livewire’ and brilliant music courses from the art college we felt the young people should have an outlet.
The night was such a success, it was all about the music and was great to see the bands all supporting each other.
In terms of development, the February gig coming up will feature new bands: Ways Away & Static Tides, it will also see us venture into Acoustic act Whispers in the lounge area and we will be trying out fun things for young people to do in between sets, this month’s is facepainting
As you’ve mentioned tomorrow (18th Feb) you are hosting another live show with local talent Ways Away, Another Band, Static Tides, fault line and acoustic duo Whispers. You are one of the very few music promotions company putting on an under 18 event again at the jailhouse which is fantastic- but we really want to know how did this line up come about?
After the success of the first night, we received a lot of emails from bands asking for slots to the next one. I think the night had a buzz about it and word travels fast. Both Ways Away & Static Tides contacted me and after hearing their music they were added to the line up.
Who organizes the events and can you describe the process of the the live nights
We have an events team lead by four young people for Feedback. They promote, design posters, contact bands, help with tech spec with the aid of my colleague Charlotte and myself.
The live nights are brilliant – All the bands help with load in, they chat to each other during and before sound check and support each other when they are on stage.
How can a local band get involved with performing at a feedback promotions show?
Any young local band can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sell your shows to us- what do your live shows posses and what can you say to get people to support your evening!
Our shows are ALL about the young people. The night is heavily crafted by young people for young people. We ask the adults supporting the bands to go upstairs to watch from the balcony which gives young people ownership of the performance area and the downstairs of the jailhouse.
As mentioned before there isn’t a great deal for young people to do in Hereford – Feedback gigs are safe, fun and entertaining – it keeps kids off the street and gives them something to do. Hereford has a great array of young musicians and we should do all we can to support and develop them.
Do you have any other live nights scheduled/ or any other music based ventures?
Our plan is to host a Feedback event every half term. So we should be looking at the Easter Holidays for our next event. Further on from that our goal is to do a music night once a week.
What can we look forward to from Close House in it’s entirety this year?
This year, Close House is all about getting more young volunteers involved in our projects, and giving the next generation a good name in our county. If we can find a way to open an exclusive youth-music venue, we will, but our first priority is always giving young people great opportunities to be EPIC.
And finally any last words from you?
I’d like to thank Children In Need for the support they give to Feedback Promotions and Close House, I’d also like to mention the brilliant work the LiveWire project and Hereford Art College do to support young musicians.
We cannot thank Chris enough for his time with Circuit Sweet, we urge you all to support such a meaningful charity that’s based right on our doorstep. Every single person involved with this organization are working incredibly hard and their efforts are notable. We wish tomorrow’s gig at The Jailhouse all the success and we look forward to hear more from these events and the charity itself.
Remember Hereford- The Jailhouse tomorrow 7-10.30 £3 entry and a great line-up. Support live local talent.