Since relocating to Kent, we here at the Black Flag have been meeting lots and lots of really cool new bands and people involved in the local music scene, such as Andrew Kesby, one half of Below The Radar Promotions. Andrew and his partner in crime Steve Saunders have been putting on some spectacular gigs in Canterbury and Folkestone and have gained a great reputation in the local music scene. Andrew took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about Promotion, great local bands and the future of Below The Radar…..
The Black Flag: Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always had a love of music and what led to you becoming a promoter?
Andrew Kesby: Yes loved music as long as I can remember. I helped out on some outside events about 5 years ago and there was a lack of shows going on in the Folkestone area. My 1st event was an all-day music festival featuring 12 acts called live and loud at the Beercart Arms in 2011.
TBF: Your promotions company is called Below the Radar. Who’s involved and how long has it been running?
Andrew: Below The Radar is myself (solo) at one of the venues we promote at the Lady Luck and myself and Steve Saunders (Self-titled / Alt fest) at the Penny Theatre. Below The Radar started later 2011 running events in Folkestone.
TBF: You recently promoted an Electric River gig, a band that has been featured on the Black Flag a few times, and charged just £1 to get in, which is an absolute bargain. How did the night turn out?
Andrew: The night was amazing we had over 170 people in the gig and the pit area was packed. A fabulous night from start to finish, with 2 top support acts.
TBF: You’re based in Kent. What do you think the Kent music scene has to offer?
Andrew: We have some cracking bands in Kent and I think after a year of downs the scene is on the up.
TBF: What Venues do you promote gigs at and what’s coming up?
Andrew: I promote shows at 2 Canterbury venues, the Lady Luck and Penny Theatre
TBF: Is promoting a full time job or is it a side-line. If so what else do you do?
Andrew: Promoting is a hobby/passion that takes up a lot of time. I am self-employed I own my own sales agency and have an eBay shop.
TBF: Any plans for Below the Radar to expand and maybe go the festival route?
Andrew: We have chatted about this as both I and Steve are very busy with other projects so it could mean less shows and putting a bigger event in the summer of 2015.
TBF: What’s coming up the rest of the year?
Andrew: We have some cool shows at both venues planned with great up and coming bands doing well across the country.
TBF: Any bands you think TBF readers should check out?
Andrew: So many bands, where to start, All The Above/ Stone Kings/ Collisions / Maven /Land of Giants / Riskee and the Ridicule to name just a handful.
I manage a solo indie/acoustic act called Thomas Ashby who is doing very well in south east Kent, confirmed on lots of festivals and high profile shows.
TBF: Any other projects on the horizon?
Andrew: Steve is in charge of the Sophie stage at Alt Fest and also working on Rock Circus and just taken on managing a very exciting band The Black Waterside.
TBF: Our famous last question. Where do you see yourself and Below the Radar in the next five year?
Andrew: Hope that BTR will be seen as one of the best promoters of music in the south east of England, bringing bigger bands down and supporting local music scene.
You can catch Below The Radars next event at the Penny Theatre in Canterbury tomorrow (June 27th) which is an Alt-Fest warm up show https://www.facebook.com/events/784565964887664/ . Get yer asses down there as there will be 2 tickets to Alt-Fest getting raffled, with all proceeds going to the NSPCC