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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by basstotheface, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. whats it like there? music wise and others.
    such as cost of living, whats the "NYC of england, LA of england" and so on. hows the music scene? any information really from our brothers from across the pond.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Music wise - plenty of opportunities to play, but the well paid ones are scarce. No way I'm giving up my day job any time soon.

    Cost of living - higher than the US, I'd say, based on my own experience and some recent data I saw. But perhaps not hugely so. And it varies a lot from location to location, especially property prices, just as you'd expect.

    NYC of England = London (even though NYC isn't your capital).

    LA - we don't have one. I think Brits travelling to LA often feel quite weirded out by the experience as there's nowhere really like it over here. Over In England we have quite a few places that are known as "new towns" - Milton Keynes, Telford, Washington (yes, that's right). Los Angeles always seems to me like about 30 of our new towns scattered around in one of our more mountainous regions, joined up with freeways and then baked in scorching sun for fifty years or so, only with a few skyscapers, some nice coastline and Hollywood and all that it comes along with. I'm quite fond of LA in some ways myself, but I know of quite a few Brits who've visited your West Coast and really taken a dislike to the place. And Vegas, too (although, again, I quite like the place). We all seem to love San Francisco, though!

    Anyway, over here - Birmingham is our second city (I'm about 15 miles from there and we're pretty much bang in the centre of England). Population about 2m, compared to London area at 7m. Birmingham was a bit of grim place in some ways during the 70s and 80s but still had a thriving music scene. The birthplace of metal! Economically, the place picked up a lot in the 90s due to some massive investment in key areas. It's still a pretty cool place these days to hang out, but I'm sad to report a few of our better music venues have gone in the last few years and that has had an obviously bad effect on the local scene from that point of view.

    I'm sure other people will come along and add their bit about their own cities, the major ones being Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle... These are all smaller than the first two and vary quite a bit in population size, but are often regarded as being the main cities in their respective areas. For example, Bradford has a lot more people than Newcastle, but is near to Leeds and so doesn't get to be the major city around there. But further North East, Newcastle (with its surrounding area - apologies to Gateshead and Sunderland folks) is the main metropolis. I should also mention Glasgow and Edinburgh up in Scotland (LOTS of English people have never visited Scotland and are really missing out, imo) and Cardiff in Wales.
  3. well ive found living in scotland theres nearly no music scene that isnt a cover band or a so-so metal band

    theres a bigger scene in edinburgh (i call it edsbra) but its really expencive there compered to glasgow and you dont really get paid for meny gigs here
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Yeah, sounds about what I'd expect. I really like visiting Scotland for all sorts of reasons, but I can't say I've noticed much of a music scene up there. Then again, that could be said for a lot of places.
  5. as i said i find its mostly covers and so-so metal

    and genarally no really new or diffrent sounds
  6. Im finding the music here in the North East of England to be waking up recently. Just get out there to the pubs and small venues, there are some really good sounds developing. Note to Bassybill, Washington isnt a "new town" Its the "Original" Washington with a history to a certain President! Clinton even visited when he was in office because of the Washington family connections.
  7. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Yeah, I know Washington's old in that respect - but it was officially designated a "new town" back in the 60s, and as such had different arrangements for local government.


    I really like the NE, by the way, always enjoyed visiting up there. Are you in Durham itself? It's a lovely old city.
  8. Hi Bassybill. Im not in Durham City itself, Im about 8 miles east. Its an old pit town. Not much music in the town, just a few tired old covers bands. Durham city get some really good student based bands tho.
  9. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    That would put you somewhere near the A19, right? I used to travel quite a bit up there on business - to Nissan, unsurprisingly, and Komatsu at Birtley.

    I agree that the "new town" name can be a bit confusing, by the way. Some of those places have been around hundreds of years! But it was a scheme back then to increase the availability of housing, shift some "overspill" from major cities to the surrounding towns and put some life back into some very run down places. I suppose they should have called them "born again towns".
  10. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    I might not be popular for saying this, but as far as England is concerned, you basically have 2 options.
    London, which is exciting and fun, amazing variety of people and music, but it's overcrowded, far too expensive and generally a pain in the @ss. It's where I live, and I love it, but it's not an easy place to live.
    Then there's Brighton, which is on the south coast - full of young people, lots of partying and a great music scene, but it tends to get a bit bleak during the winters there.
    The rest of England, as far as music and culture goes, is bleak and depressing IMO.
  11. Thats correct. 1 mile from A19. My house is on the cliff overlooking the harbour. You?
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    There is London...and then there is England.:)
  13. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Sounds very cool! Me...

  14. Cant agree project. Apart from the charvers, NE england has a great music scene. We have 3 major centres for student populations within 20 miles radius. Lots of young intelligent people experimenting with music that dont let the weather effect them. I suggest you get yourself north of the m25 and experience the rest of Britian yourself.
  15. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    You certainly wouldn't be popular saying that in a lot of towns! I think you perhaps need to explore more a bit further afield than Brighton? Although I know a lot of people like the place, for a variety of reasons.

    But I do think each little bit of England has it's own treasures, albeit sometimes hidden away. There's a lot of really scenic places and obviously tons of history. Culturally, the big cities all have something to offer if you look for it. Check out Symphony Hall in Birmingham, for example, or our annual International Jazz Festival, or the CBSO, or the Birmingham Royal Ballet (formed when the Sadlers Wells left London to come up here), or the bands and other events on at the NEC. And don't forget some of the great bands that have originated in the area over the years - Led Zep, Sabbath, Duran Duran, Slade, The Move/ELO/Wizzard, Judas Priest, The Moody Blues, The Charlatans, Traffic... just to name a few of my own favourites.

    I'm sure other folks could speak up for their own cities with other arts and cultural stuff - not to mention some great footballing sides!
  16. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I would say that the cost of living, in terms of day to day costs, is a little higher over here. However, it feels much more expensive because the cost of housing is much steeper. We've obviously got nowhere near the same amount of land so land prices are much higher and hence housing costs. For example, I have a colleague who lives near Atlanta and his house is 4 times the size of mine, and yet it cost a quarter of what mine did - guess which one of us has more disposable income?

    I work for a major computer company and had a global role at one point, which meant travelling to the States a lot. Sometimes to Florida, other times to Chicago, but mostly to the West Coast. I used to spend around 1 week in 6 in the Cupertino/Mountain View/Palo Alto area, so I got to know that area and San Francisco quite well. My boss was also based in LA so I used to go there a lot. My feelings about different cities in the US chime in with what Bill said. I love Chicago, love San Francisco (probably on of my favourite world cities along with Rome) but can't take to LA at all.

    It's supposed to be about England, not my view about US cities, so I only mention this because the US cities I've visited are quite different. They've all got their distinct vibe about them and almost a culture of their own. I used to wonder about the phrases you hear in movies describing people as being 'from outta town' meaning that they're not familiar with local culture or norms, but I started to understand when taking night flights across the US. You look down and you only see small islands of light from towns and cities in vast seas of darkness, then you realise that each of these cities must take hours to drive between and then realise why each of them is more culturally isolated and self-contained. If you take a night flight over here, you realise that all the towns and cities are virtually joined up. All of this means we tend to have national media and national trends that take precedence over local ones and culturally don't have quite the same cultural separation between cities. Conversely, we do tend to retain our local accents and idiosyncracies to a huge degree, it's no exageration to say that I can drive 20-30 miles here and find people speak with a markedly different accent. I just don't think this difference prints through to musical differences
  17. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    I'm from Leeds right here. Big music scene. Not much to my liking. The main popular music seems to be Screamo/Deathcore sorta stuff. Lots of great little Metal bands here and there. thousands of pubs that'll let you do a night. Probably get something liek free beer at least. The big money won't really come in because there's just so many bands willing to do it for less. Seems the best way to get paid is to get big. Touring the whole country or something.

    To an earlier comment - regarding Birmingham's 2 mil population to London's 7 mil?... The City of London is actually the smallest city in the whole of the UK, what is known as London to most people is actually a county, and in that respect, Yorkshire is the biggest county. Though London as a whole is generally a good place for big time music. All the big names are there just because it's London.
  18. Pretty busy scene in Inverness - lots of cover bands but plenty of original material too and good choice of venues all paying well (250 - 350 per night)
    The beer is better than in the states! I spent some time in Denver and loved it - my brother lives in Boulder.
  19. :rollno:
  20. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    That sounds fun. Another town I really liked when I got up there! Long jaunt for me though - eight or nine hour drive. But I do love the Highlands.

    As far as the money goes, that isn't bad. But when you think that if you could go out as bass player and get £80 a night, five nights a week, 50 weeks a year, you'd still be only on £20k pa, it reinforces what I said - it's unrealistic to earn a living as a gigging musican for most folks these days (the only reason I mention this is that back in my Dad's day, it was relatively easy to earn a good living as a musician).

    There's some very good American beers over there these days, by the way!

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