January 31, 2008

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Metal on the move
Bands seek new venues after Uptown’s closing
By Alec O’Meara aomeara@hippopress.com

Amy Hall of Sillygirl Promotions understands that times change, but she is hoping that her Feb. 16 show at Milly’s Tavern is a throwback to the days of the Uptown Tavern.

Prior to its closing last fall, Hall booked Manchester shows primarily at the Uptown, a venue she always enjoyed for an unfiltered dose of edgy live music.

“It has left such a void locally,” said Hall, who was booking a couple shows a month at the Uptown on top of other in-state locations. “I still can’t drive that way, because it just makes me sad.”

The Feb. 16 show is the first for Sillygirl Promotions at Milly’s, and the new venue has required a change in the way the promoter is doing business. With five bands on the bill, including Written in Remains, Bloodshed Unreal, Wreckoning, Dead by Wednesday and Manchester’s own Broken Hell, the show is the largest Hall has ever put together. Another key change is cost. At the Uptown, shows were free, but at Milly’s there is a $5 cover charge for the show.

“I’m glad this is the only show I have going on right now, so I can put my full effort into it,” Hall said. “There’s something to be said for having a place where bands can play for free, but Milly’s is a really great venue and I’m excited that Peter [Telge, Milly’s owner] is giving us the chance to put a show together.”

Hall sees Milly’s as one of the few local venues able to help fill the hole left by the Uptown.

Hall says the show is her own way of “testing the waters” on metal shows at Milly’s Aside from the obvious space advantages, Hall likes the venue’s commitment to local music and the brew-pub atmosphere.

“Beer and metal have always sort of complemented one another, you know?” said Hall.

Of the bands on the list, Broken Hell is the one most likely to jog memories. The band played regularly at the Uptown prior to its closing.

Formed in early 2007, Broken Hell comprised members of Hostile Witness, THYK, and First Shove. Last summer the band released its first album, King of the World, which has been featured on Ragerockradio.com.


@ Milly’s
When: Saturday, Feb. 16, at 9 p.m.
Where: Milly’s Tavern, 500 Commercial St., Manchester
Tickets: $5
More info: www.millystavern.com.