Is everywhere like this? Surely not. I can not believe that other towns provide such an encouraging and welcoming home to budding musicians as Aber does. From our lovely and lowly buskers to the great heights of the MidMad main stage, Aber is constantly abuzz with music.
It was while looking through this month’s Aberystwyth EGO’s “what’s on” section that I realised how diverse and how busy the music scene is in Aber. Orchestras, Tenors, Rappers, DJ’s, singers of all sorts have a home here. The streets provide a great starting place for our young talents and it is wonderful to see how welcoming the town is of buskers. Rarely do I see a street performer being given a hard time and often do I see them with a smile on their face and plenty of money in their guitar case.
However, it is our pubs that deserve most of the credit. Scholars often hosts Open Mic nights as does Harleys. Varsity certainly did as well though I’m not sure if The White Horse will continue this tradition. The Coops and Yr Hen Llew Du are wonderful for their showcasing of incredible Welsh language music and are so often packed with students and locals for their gigs. Overall though I feel the kudos must go to Rummers.
Rummers does not only host fantastic live bands on weekends, it also plays host to a fantastic Open Mic competition where countless young talents come to show off their abilities. Bands such as “Free Beer” and “The Hornettes” are always enough to liven up a weekend and so you really can’t beat Rummers for music.
Moving on from pubs, Aber surely does more than anywhere else to celebrate its talent through its many festivals. Each year we have the fantastic MidMad. Every other year we have Castell Roc and recently we’ve seen the overwhelmingly successful revival of the Aberystwyth Town Carnival. As well as that we’ve had Pride on the Prom and this year we’ll be having the celebrations of Aber being awarded the Best Town award! In all of these events we’re able to see our fantastic young artists showing off their fantastic talents.
I suppose these days the absolute pinnacle of Aber’s musical success would be the Big Tribute Festival. I’ve personally never been but have promised myself that I will be there this year. As strange a concept as it may seem the “Big Trib” seems to be a roaring success.
But with all this talent and the fantastic environment for growing it, why isn’t Aber recognised as the musical hub that it is?
Local broadcaster Mike Parker said recently in a video about Aber that it reminded him of Galway in the West of Ireland. The thing is that Galway does an incredible job of advertising itself as Ireland’s city of music. It gains so much in tourism due to this reputation and I really believe that Aber could step up to another level on a national and British level if we were able to properly exploit our musical prowess.
But what do you think? Is Aber really as musical as I’ve made out or am I being a bit over the top? Can we use it properly to advertise ourselves to the world? Should we, even if we could? What’s your view? Let me know on facebook!
Just as a subnote here, I wasn’t able to attend Aber Jazz’s final gig but I hear it was fantastic! If any of the former members are reading this then I just want to give a massive thank you to all the fantastic nights of music you’ve given the town!