UPROCK is a free monthly alternative music night currently stationed at The Swan. Ben Scarlett got together with Andy from the group for a chat about UPROCK’s history, Ipswich’s music scene and what the future holds (for them, not in general – we’re not soothsayers…)
For readers who might not be familiar with UPROCK can you describe the basic idea?
On the first Saturday of each month at The Swan we play our favourite new music from various genres as well as some classics. We do live nights and have previously featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons and DELS. This is our eighth year so we’ve been doing this for a while.
Big names. What kind of reception has the night received so far?
We’ve had a good reception wherever we’ve played. We started at the Hogs Head then moved to the Cock & Pye, before settling at The Swan. To begin with I think people found it a bit jarring switching between genres and going from indie to dance to hip hop in as many songs. Crowds are used to it now and it seems to go down well.
How did you guys get started?
We all moved back to Suffolk after living in London and Leeds. We had DJ’d at various points, and wanted to continue, feeling there was a gap in the market for this kind of night in Ipswich. About 30 people turned up to the first one, but the landlord was happy to give us another slot and we went from there.
What are your thoughts on Ipswich’s alternative music scene currently?
People often get quite down about it. The fact that there is no traditional venue regularly attracting bigger acts will always be a sticking point, but we do have a tight-knit group of promoters putting on some great stuff and helping one another. Scott from Rapsploitation puts on some brilliant nights and brings in hip-hop acts that you would never expect. Plus, having a venue like The Swan that allows for experimentation is great.
Do you prefer the atmosphere and almost chaotic nature of the live show or is the DJing more enjoyable for you?
Both have plus sides. But even when we put on live gigs we DJ in between the acts so you kind of get the best of both.
Cool, so what’s next on the agenda for UPROCK?
Our next live night is on the 7th April, and we have These Are End Times and These Ghosts live at the Swan. Entry is always free and we’re aiming to have live acts most months from now on so people should come down.