Following on from my piece about #Virtualpubcrawl I wanted to follow this up highlighting another lockdown favourite of mine, that has introduced me to more good music then most other areas of social media.
Thursday nights always used to be one of the best nights to go out – straight after work, have a few bevvies, bit of a laugh and struggle through Friday work and do it all again.
When I picked up on something trending regarding a Happy Hour I was all over it – the fact that it was a way of connecting with bands, artists and new music was just what I needed. So I cracked open a beer, linked to the Spotify playlist and joined in. I was hooked immediately.
Its now turned into something of an event – involving more bands who choose own playlists and tweet about influences with a varied play list it has something for everyone – its a fun hour. So I grabbed the chance of finding out some more from the creators.
So who are you and where are you?
Hiya, thanks for having us!! So the #DPHappyHour is hosted by Dan & Amy we are originally from the North East (DP is Dan’s initials, not anything else contrary to popular belief!!)
When did you first have the idea to do the Happy Hour?
When lockdown started we started listening to some of the Tim Burgess listening parties to give us something to do one night a week. Dan then decided to give doing one a try, that first one was Oasis songs written by Liam Gallagher. A few mates listened along with us that night. We will never agree on who’s idea it was to involve unsigned artists as we have 2 different versions of how that happened. We both really enjoy going to see new bands in small venues and we felt like this was going to be something we would both miss doing and it just kind of came up that we should do a listening party for new music to help them out in a small way of getting their music out to more people and then see if could go further and get those we feature to tweet along, we found that people really enjoyed having the bands chatting along and actually responding to them, it felt quite unique!!
Have you had any previous experience in the music industry or was this just something you wanted to do ?
No official industry experience, Dan used to be in a band many moons ago, where he played guitar. He’s also taught himself to play piano during lockdown!
When was the first one?
The first one we did for new music was 21st May!!
How many have you done thus far?
We have done around 20.
Were you surprised with the response you have had and the bands that have engaged in it?
We were really surprised with the response to the first New Music listening party we did. We were so grateful to the bands and singers for agreeing to take part and then on the night having them tweeting along telling us all about their tracks and answering questions was great, it went so well and we have a steady following now, so we are really proud of it.
How did you go about involving the bands?
We contacted them on Twitter, saying we had listened to one of their tracks and loved it and would be putting in on a playlist for a listening party and it would be really great if they could tweet along telling us about their song. That first one, we got 14 of the 17 bands to tweet which was amazing! Luckily it was a success and we now have people message us to ask to take part as they have seen the tweets!!
How do you decide what artists to put on the playlist?
Initially this was done by trawling through spotify and twitter to find new and unsigned bands and listening to literally hundreds of songs, we put songs on there that we liked. Now it’s much more of a collaborative effort, as we get messages from new artists and listeners after the listening parties with links to music, so this does help us find new stuff. Social Media has been incredible during this time, we follow all artists and usually peak at who they follow and we find people that way too. We genuinely listen to the songs that we play.
Do you spend all your time now just listening to music?
Since we have been working from home a lot recently so its easier to blast out music all day compared to when we were office based all of the time. So ALOT of our time is spent listening to music. We have done a lot of it while driving back and forwards to the NE too, it makes the drive go way quicker.
Who have been your favourite bands/singers that you have come across that you didn’t know about?
We REALLY tried to answer this but couldn’t!
Favourite song? Or if too difficult – top 5 songs.
There’s too many to list for us!!!
You both obviously love indie music, but what are your favourite bands, artists, albums, gigs etc?
We actually have a very eclectic taste in music and between us listen to a lot of different things. Some of our favourite gigs have been; Coldplay at Wembley, we’ve seen Stereophonics a fair few times between us, but the best was at Leeds Arena and also Kelly Jones solo tour at The Sage in Gateshead. Noel Gallagher who we have travelled extensively to see, Paris, Cologne and Boston to name a few, but probably the favourite time has got to be at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester, Liam Gallagher at Manchester Arena, Paul Heaton & Jaqui Abbott…. We could go on
What are your plans for DP Happy Hour? Do you want to expand it further?
At the moment, it’s a hobby that we do together that we actually both like doing, which never happens so we will keep on doing it as long as people keep enjoying it. We’ve expanded a fair bit since we started and some weeks we have have done 3 listening parties, which takes a lot of time to organise. We think we will keep doing it as we are for the time being, we never know how things will evolve though. It’s been great to get involved with the #VirtualPubCrawl too and also we have had a couple of the new bands do a takeover, which has been really well received so we will carry on doing these as long as we have interest in it.
What’s been your proudest moment so far regarding the DP HH? The first time we did the new music party, we trended!! that was pretty incredible!! We love seeing the people we feature do well and get a few more followers and fans after our listening parties!!
Are you desperate to start going to gigs again? Have you got any planned?
YES!!! We were supposed to be at Kendal Calling this weekend so gutted about missing that. Between us we have so many things cancelled this year, so we are dying to see live music as soon as we are able to. Planned for 2020 so far is the Virtual Pub Crawl event in October and then The Royston Club in November, so fingers and toes crossed these still go ahead!
Is there anyone else you want to mention/shout-out to that has helped you along the way?
We would like to thank all of the bands and singers that have been part of the #DPHappyHour up to now for all of your messages, tweets, shares and engagement. Special thanks to those that took a chance and came on the very first one. Also thank you to those people that have listened with us since the very start, and new listeners that join in all of the time, even the silent listeners who listen and don’t tweet!! 🙂
So there you have it – what a great couple doing a great thing for our benefit. Thanks to Amy & Dan for their time and I hope this happy hour continues for a good while yet.
If you want to get on involved in it – please contact Dan @Danpotter31 or follow the #DPhappyhour every other Thursday at 8.30pm – you can find the playlists on Spotify and all links are below.
Thursday nights will never be the same again.