When looking for gigs for Moksha Medicine I came across the Hanwell Hootie, a free mini festival taking place in Hanwell in west London. The event was held to honour Jim Marshall, the creator of the Marshall amp. I have to admit, it’s not an area of London I’ve ever been to. But even though I caught Moksha earlier in the week, I thought I might as well give the festival a try.
I had low expectations as I headed over. The problem with some of these small events is that they’re not intended to be a music festival for music lovers, but a music festival for locals. This was definitely the case here.
Although there were a few up and coming bands such as Moksha. There were also ‘local bands’. You know the type, the cover / wedding band. Great to watch in your local pub, especially if your friends are playing in them, but add nothing to the musical lexicon.
Then there’s usually some ‘speech’ about how great the event is going to be for the area. Often with some local politician sticking their oar in to make sure they are attached and so they appear to be doing things for the locals. But forgetting that the event might have actually done what it was meant to do and attract none locals who listen to the speech and just see a politician doing some local schmoozing.
Then there’s the venues. The local pubs, clubs and cafes, that for the rest of the year don’t have any form of live music on and so have completely inappropriate spaces when things get busy.
Sadly all of this was true and as a music festival for the general music concert goer there was slim pickings. But taking us outsiders out of the picture and what you’re left with was a fantastic example of the local community getting together to do something really positive.
The enthusiasm of everyone involved was fantastic. The event was brilliantly organised and local businesses seemed to be on board. Everyone involved in running the event seemed to be enjoying the whole experience. The local bands seemed to be enjoying the day and the locals were enjoying themselves so I guess it was a really successful event.
So good luck Hanwell with future Hooties. Sadly there’s just not enough in it for me.