Thursday, 8 April 2021

A Life in Music: Tom Hyland, currently band- and festival-free, is keeping busy

Tom just doesn't stop. Ever.

Some years ago – the thick end of a decade - I first came across Tom Hyland, who was then strutting his guitar stuff with an early version of a now long gone but much-loved band, the Alternative Dubstep Orchestra.

This podcast was recorded as Tom was setting up not one but several projects, from collaborations to solo work, with the help of a very well-subscribed Kickstarter appeal. With the help of tech, people have been working with Tom both in person - socially distanced, or course - and remotely. There are links to some of Tom's co-conspirators a little further down. 

I've followed Tom since, first talking with him on the Radio To Go blog about the risky steps of going fully pro with Electric Swing Circus, as he dove head-first into ElectroSwing. From the band came his Birmingham-based festival, Swingamajig, and a host of collaborations. 

And then lockdown hit us, There's a twist to this series of Lives in Music. We're all stuck in lockdown, and so I am asking each guest about how it affects them. Tom has been hugely pro-active and has taken steps forward, from setting up that  Crowdfunder to cover costs, to collaborations recorded in a fabled Moseley Birmingham venue which currently can't host music events. Some very interesting approaches seem to be emerging, as you'll hear.

A chat with Tom always throws up lots of references. To follow these. best to double-check the companion Radio To go blogpost, which you can find here


What's Electro Swing when it's at home? Exhaustive answers here
Punch The Sky website
Electric Swing Circus website with the latest plans
Swingamajig website (to be updated for when the festival can resume, but worth a look to get the flavour)
Tom's successful and now finished Kickstarter page

The Podcast


 A footnote: the intro and outro flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcast come from Vo Fletcher who is featured in this series, along with Loz Kingsley, here. I asked him for a bit of live impro, and this was the result.  

The Lives in Music Podcast series has been running for about two years now. These are interviews with local musicians, looking at how music has shaped them throughout their lives. Series 3 also looks hard at how lockdown has had an impact. There are some lovely stories. To see all the artists, here's a link to every episode.

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. I then expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts since then, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.

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