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Wolverhampton joins Brierley Hill HMV store in hosting live local bands

By Leigh Sanders | Wolverhampton | Entertainment | Published:

Last weekend saw the latest round of HMV live music showcases take place - with the Wolverhampton store joining Merry Hill in providing a platform for local musicians to be heard.

Birmingham's The Clause perform at HMV Merry Hill Photo: Danielle Clarke Photography

At Wolverhampton's Mander Centre, the HMV outlet on the top floor hosted Black Country Music Award winner Ryan Evans. The musician, frontman of local band The Clocktower and who picked up the BCMA for Best Singer-Songwriter at last month's BCMAs for his solo work, was the first to take part.

He performed a set for customers on Saturday, while shelf space was also provided for him to sell his merchandise. It proved a hugely successful day for the Wulfrunian.

Ryan Evans performs at Wolverhampton HMV

“My in-store gig was unreal – people queueing up for selfies and wanting the EP signed was another level," he said. "It was an absolute pleasure to be the first artist to kick off the live music showcases in my local HMV branch and I’ll be looking forward to future events.

“I was the fastest selling artist of the day for the store, out-selling Ed Sheeran.”

The store were impressed with the event too, tweeting after Evans had finished playing: "What a fantastic set!"

Wolverhampton's Ryan Evans signs a CD for a young fan

It was a similar story at the intu Merry Hill branch of HMV, in Brierley Hill.

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Last month was their first showcase, and on that occasion Gornal singer-songwriter Alex Ohm had been their top selling artist of the day ahead of Bruce Springsteen and Elton John.

This month, they welcomed rising Birmingham band The Clause and Stourbridge and Brierley Hill's recent Unsigned column stars Giant And The Georges (GATG) into the store, once again in collaboration with Birmingham-based online music show RawSound.tv.

The Clause signing merch Photo: Danielle Clarke Photography

GATG again impressed store management with their set, and it was an event they enjoyed as they played a slightly different type of gig than they were used to.

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"Yeah we had a great time," they said afterwards. "It was kind of a dream come true for us, having our CDs in HMV. Having people we didn't even know wanting us to sign copies of Blind Love was so surreal."

And Mark Piddington, founder and co-host of RawSound.tv, was also chuffed with how the day went.

Giant And The Georges ready to sign CDs for fans Photo: Danielle Clarke Photography

"This was another massively successful event," he said. "It's already becoming quite a thing. Everyone loves what we are doing. For us to be able to provide an opportunity like this for unsigned bands is incredible."

"Not only do the bands get the chance to perform and sell their music in HMV but we also professionally multi-track record and film their set, which is broadcast on our YouTube channel.

"A lot of effort goes into arranging and filming these sessions, which is all down to the hard work and dedication of the RawSound.tv crew, with massive help from Andrea Pritchard and all the staff at HMV Merry Hill."

Stourbridge and Brierley Hill's Giant And The Georges perform Photo: Danielle Clarke Photography

They have already announced their next event for August 10 from the usual noon start time. This time, Coventry band Candid will be on the bill as well as another former Unsigned column star – Penkridge rockers The Verse.

HMV in Merry Hill have also started stocking the Black Country Music Award-winning latest album from another former Unsigned column band, WOUNDEDSPiRiT from West Bromwich.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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