Big news for live music streaming fans. We are pleased to announce the return of Live in Session, but this time with a new home with us at dBs Music. We caught up with Technical Director & course leader Stu Welsh to find out more...
Stu Welsh is a familiar face in the South West music scene. Having built his first commercial studio in 1998, there are not many people in the live circuit that Stu hasn't worked with. Following his first commercial venture, Stu went on to set up another studio in 2011 called Beliefspace which was the original home of Live in Session.
Live in Session initially ran for 9 'seasons' and was well received, attracting large audiences for each episode until the show eventually disbanded due to the crew members having other commitments. Fast forward to 2020 and Live in Session is set to make a return with members of the original team working alongside Stu's Music Production & Sound Engineering students at dBs Music. Between his busy teaching schedule and preparing for the opening season we caught up with Stu to learn more about the project.
For those who didn't catch it the first time round, what is Live in Session?
It's a show streamed live on social media that features the best musicians currently active on the circuit playing original music. Each episode will be aired from dBs Music's Neve studio, initially in Plymouth.
Every show hosts a new act that is also interviewed by a presenter, so the show is very interactive and the format is very accessible for people who may not be able to usually attend live music performances for various reasons.
That sounds great for music fans, especially with it enhancing accessibility to live and original music.
Yes we think so and we are pleased to be able to use current forms of technology and communication to reach more people and give very talented musicians another platform to perform on. One of the reasons we started Live in Session was that it's becoming harder for bands to get gigs playing their own stuff. A lot of pubs and venues want bands to play covers because they tend to pull in more casual listeners. We wanted to give bands the space to perform their own music while reaching different people who couldn't usually come to the gigs.
There is a lot of competition in the streaming space at the moment, what makes Live in Session stand out from similar projects?
There are a few things that make Live in Session unique. We bring the online audience into the show by letting them interact with the artists in real time via social media messages and comments. The presenter interviews the band during and chats with them between songs. The best questions from the online audience are put to the musicians as they are asked. In a way it's more personal than actually being at a concert because you can speak to the artist and ask them questions that you wouldn't get the chance to during a regular gig.
One of the things that's also great about Live in Session is the student experience. So the whole project is now being run by a team of students, staff and multi-media professionals. This provides a great opportunity for our students to put into practice what they have been learning on their course during a high pressure, real world environment.
It sounds like a fantastic opportunity, what type of roles will the students get to take on?
During the initial season students from my course will be filling the following positions:
- Mix Engineer
- Pro Tools Operator
- Sound Assistant
- Camera Assistant
- Artist Liaison
- General Health & Safety Operative
- Runner (supporting all roles on the show)
- Camera Operators (students shadow this role)
- Show Director Visuals (students shadow this role)
- Technical Director (students shadow this role)
After the first season we will offer opportunities to dBs Music students on our other courses like the FdA Music & Audio Technology for example. The jobs will be available on our internal work experience and job board for everyone to apply for. We also aim to launch Live in Session at our Bristol campus as well.
What type of music can people expect to see when they watch the show?
You'll get a range of different styles. The type of acts you can expect to see are regulars on the live music circuit, so the likes of Haunt The Woods, who are our first guest, could be classed as rock, other artists coming on have more of a blues sound then we also have singer songwriters and people with a more folky vibe. There will be a wide range of genres covered and in the future we are also looking at giving electronic artists a chance to appear on the show as well. Lots of good music to come.
When does the show start and where can we watch it?
Due to the Covid 19 outbreak we postponed the launch of the project. Our dBs Music centres are currently closed and our students are learning remotely. We aim to launch shortly after things return to normal and we can't wait for you to see the show, which will be streamed from dBs Music's Facebook page.
Here's the lineup for season 1: