Hope and Social back in Lancaster

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This month, internationally acclaimed, enterprising band Hope and Social return to Lancaster to play the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009 at The Storey Creative Industries Centre.

A few years ago, four Lancaster University graduates took the mainstream music industry by storm by launching the first independent record label entirely funded by members of their fan-base…to the tune of £100,000! So impressive was this demonstration of the power of the relationship between artists and fans that the story made international news and added further fuel to concerns over the future of the recording industry.

But it’s the band’s commitment to making great music that keeps their 8000 strong fan-base coming back for more. Guitarist Rich Huxley explains, “We’d always had a strong relationship with our fans but were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm with which they responded to the notion of becoming investors, for no other reason than the fact they loved the music. Their support has enabled us to retain complete independence and creative control over everything we produce. As a result, everything we create is instilled with so much passion and integrity that it moves people and makes them want to be a part of it. I’m not sure what the opposite of a vicious circle is, but this is it!”

Now the band is back in Lancaster where it all started with their new album and a one-night-only gig in The Storey Auditorium. The ‘show’ – which is the only real way to describe their highly engaging theatrical performance – will take place on Tuesday November 17th, following a music industry Q&A session entitled ‘Have you got what it takes to succeed in the music business?’ This event will feature members of the band and other music industry entrepreneurs from across the North West, including Nian Brindle, manager of hotly-tipped Morecambe band, The Heartbreaks.

Event facilitator Simon Harrison, from Mushroom Concepts, is very excited about the whole thing: “The Q&A session booked up immediately; there’s simply not enough space in the room for all the people who want to come along so I’m now looking into the possibility of streaming the event online. Fortunately, the band and other panel members are going to be around all evening so there will be plenty of opportunities to pick their brains in the bar before and after the gig.”

In keeping with their innovative approach, the band’s latest fan-funded album, ‘Architect of this Church’ is now available as a ‘Pay What You Like’ download via their website (www.hopeandsocial.com).

Support will be provided by local favourites, Uncle Jeff, who have recently launched their own debut album through Lancaster’s own Barnbox label. Doors will open at 7.30pm, and once the bands have finished there will be a DJ set till late.

Advance tickets are priced £7.50 / £5.50 concessions and are available online via http://www.hopeandsocialgig.eventbrite.com or via The Storey box office on 01524 582 394 (10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday).

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