Stanley Blacks back Woking live music campaignBy Joe Finnerty
December 11, 2012
THE lead singer of the band that headlined this year’s inaugural Party in the Park wants a new "cool" venue to create a fresh music scene in Woking.
Ashley Reed, vocalist and guitarist in The Stanley Blacks, is fully behind the Surrey Advertiser's 'Let's make Woking Jam' campaign in the town.
The Phoenix Cultural Centre is on the verge of moving into a location where it can start to build interest and secure funding for a larger venue in 2013.
The idea for the centre is to have live gigs in the evening, with community groups using the space during the day for projects such as writing groups, art clubs and dance projects.
The Stanley Blacks, a four-piece band made up of Reed, guitarist Jon Marshall, bassist James Turnbull and drummer Matt Emberson, have praised the idea too.
They started gigging full time around three years ago and have gone from strength to strength and headlined the first ever Party in the Park in Woking Park this summer.
They have performed regularly at the Boileroom in Guildford and at GuilFest, as well as in London clubs, but have never had a place in Woking to call home.
Reed said: “We started playing in colleges and building a fanbase that way and doing it online because there was not any venue. We had to go into London to play and get better.
“The Boileroom has been really good to us, so if it [a new Woking venue] is anything like that it will be great.
“We have talked about it for a while that Woking hasn’t got a live venue. Woking bands don’t have a place where they can play.
“I think it’s a great idea, so we’re completely behind it. I support it 100%.
“There would be more of a reason for people to start bands if there is a cool venue in town, it could create a whole new scene in Woking which would be good.”
And Reed is hopeful The Stanley Blacks can make a triumphant return to live action next year with some new material.
The band are currently taking a break from the stage and heading into the studio to write and record a new album.
“I would love to do some shows [in Woking] and get other bands to support us,” Reed said.
“Woking pubs are more for bands doing covers but for original bands it’s a bit more difficult to put your own shows on.
"I enjoy the creating of the music but being in a packed out room with people singing your lyrics, there is nothing better than that, that’s why people do it.
“If the venue could attract touring bands that would be great as well, there is no better way for young people to join bands than to see a great band in their local town.
“If there’s a venue next year maybe we can come back and do our new stuff. We try and help out new bands so we’d love to come back.”