So, some people may know, some people may not, that I run a monthly music night in Edinburgh called Trampoline.  I started this night with my friend Graeme because we believed, and I still believe, that Edinburgh was brimming with musical excellence spanning a number of genres.  We wanted to provide a regular monthly night for artists to play, mingle, network and just enjoy the excellent music on show.  Since our first show in March 2007 – we’ve had bands such as Attic Lights, Broken Records, Meursault, eagleowl, Small Town Boredom, FOUND, The Phantom Band, Wooden Box with a Fistful of Fivers, Zoey Van Goey, Glissando, Shady Bard, The Kays Lavelle, The French Quarter, Debutant, Y’all Is Fantasy Island and gasgiant, to name a few.  In terms of the bands that have played my nights I can certainly say that Trampoline has been a success.  In terms of getting and maintaining an audience though, well to be frank, I think I’ve failed in a pretty major way.   At a regular Trampoline show I would expect to see betwen 30 to 50 people at the gigs.  At a good show we may get more but in general the attendances have always been average at best.  Which is a shame.  It’s why I got kicked out of Glasgow actually.   I was told that the lineups were better than any at the venue but because the audiences were average they couldn’t keep me on at the venue.  Fortunately, Colvin and the Wee Red Bar have been amazing with me.  I’ve had free reign to put on whatever shows I want and when things haven’t gone so well I’ve heard nothing but praise for the music.  Still, I aimed to turn Trampoline into a top monthly night where a regular base crowd would come along and we could build on that attracting more and more people along to the nights.  I mean, it’s only one night a month and the prices are really pretty good compared to other nights in the city.  But I guess it’s not meant to be.  Last night was particuarly disappointing for me as well because the line up was great.  Debutant was an excellent opener and The French Quarter also played a great set.  But Glissando were stunning.  Maybe my favourite performance by any band at a Trampoline show.  It just took my breath away.  So for me, though a lovely night, the disappointing thing was that this band deserve to be heard by more folk and I was able to count on 1 hand the people there that I knew personally.  Don’t get me wrong, there are so many great people in this city who have supported my nights from the beginning and couldn’t make it last night.  But in general – these nights don’t work without the support of friends, of friends of the bands and with a lot of good promotion.  I have worked hard over the past 2 years to promote shows the best I can, at a great deal of expense and time and effort.  And the sad thing for me is that I may only be doing this til December – (at which time the shows will be cut from monthly to either quarterly or just on an ad hoc basis) – because I’m losing the drive and determination and belief I had in this city and the potential for a thriving music scene.  I still believe in the bands here.  The music coming out of Edinburgh is phenomenal.  But nights like Trampoline, low budget, diy, cannot survive without support and to be frank, the lack of support has left me feeling a bit empty today.


8 thoughts on “Trampoline.

  1. Trampoline HAS to be every month, there are too few good music nights in Edinburgh. Limbo is now weekly, and they also do more 3 band bills rather than 2 bands, which means the quality of music just isn’t as high anymore- they actually had Cancel the Astronauts headlining last night!. The quality at Trampoline has always been consistently high, and it would be a great shame if it was on less regularly. I still don’t love Glissando as much as you though…

  2. Very kind of you sir. Give me a call over the weekend and we can sort out how we’re going to take the nights forward. Your blindness to the brilliance of Glissando is only marginally more frustrating than the end of the CTA live set…..;o)

  3. I can really relate with you on this as i used to run a night called rubix and although we probably didnt have the consistancy you have acheived with trampoline, we did have some great line-ups and what gets really disheartening is when you put so much time and effort into something and end up with the feeling that no one appreciates it. What kept me going as long as i did was the thrill of hosting bands i felt had something truly special to offer and who i felt were maybe about to explode. However i think the problem is that although people like you and i are passionate about this you cant always expect everyone else to feel the same way and it is sad when you realise that despite all the amazing bands coming out of edinburgh these days, there will always be a lack in numbers of really passionate gig goers in Edinburgh. What you are doing is super though and i for one hope you stick it out through the hard times because then you come along to a night where your putting on woodenbox, sparrow and the workshop and little pebble in one night – truly immense.

  4. Michael. Thank you so much for the kind words. I came to a few of the Rubix nights you ran. I’m pretty sure I saw Frightened Rabbit, Found, Woodenbox, eagleowl, De Rosa…..I thought your nights were truly great. Disappointed the Kays never got a chance to play one of them actually as I respected what you did so much. It is hard, I guess not knowing month to month how things will go is always a concern. 2009 has started pretty sweetly though with both shows being well attended. You are right though, the number of brilliant bands and passionate promoters deserves a more appreciative audience. I see improvements though. And I promise to keep plugging away. Hope you make it along to the March birthday show. And do say hello. It’s always nice to meet people that care as much as you do about the Edinburgh music scene.

  5. really want to come to the march gig but its my grans 94th birthday on the same day so im afraid ill have to miss it. i will be at the next one to make up for it though. cheers.

  6. Of course, if it wasn’t for the amazing Matt Riley of Edinburgh’s finest indie-pop starlets Cancel the Astronauts Trampoline would be a quarterly event. Let us all praise Matt, and possibly give him money. Euan, I’m a bit drunk at the moment…

  7. Matthew. That is fine. I give you praise from on high. You deserve it. Everybody, please send your financial contributions to Matt. Matt please provide details of your bank account so people can just pay money in direct. thanks

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