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10 minutes with… Vis the Spoon, In-House Events Manager at The Beehive

We get the lowdown from Vis about his guilty pleasure tracks and starting to establish The Beehive as a live music venue.

Tell us a bit about you
I’m Vis the Spoon – I’ve been active as a performer and promoter on the London circuit for years – perhaps best known as a ranting comedy poet at other people’s gigs and a ranting off-kilter compere at hundreds of gigs that I’ve put on myself. I’ve played a lot of gigs in noisy, punky bands ever since I was a nipper.

These days I run DIY Gigs London (aka Sound Event Solutions) – an events company that works with small London venues to make gigs cheap and straight-forward to put on for small and first-time promoters – and for bands sick of playing on irrelevant bills who want to put on their own gigs instead, where they can choose the bands they pay with!

Name 3 tracks that are guilty pleasures?

Black Hole by Lindsay Lohan (in fact pretty much the whole of her ‘A Little More Personal’ album which I discovered last November and can’t get enough of!)

American Generation by The Ritchie Family

Kisses of Fire by Abba.

What’s bought you to Bow and The Beehive? What plans have you got there?
I’ve been working with the Stag’s Head in Hoxton for years – the boss of the Stag’s is mates with the boss of the Beehive, who wanted to branch out and starting putting on live music, so I was drafted in to advise on the conversion of the back-room.  I’m now the in-house events manager – so far we’re doing pretty well, going from no gigs ever to shows pretty much every Friday and Saturday in 3 months! I just plan to keep going with the current rate of success and having more shows mid-week too – hopefully we’ll get the place on the map as a cool and respected intimate venue for live music!  

What gigs are you looking forward to over the next few months?
There are so many great looking shows coming up ! The ever excellent whiskey-punk-blues anti-folk quartet ALBINO start their new regular night on March 17, which should be a lot of fun; the awesome SEXY KID (their frontman is the absolute king of entertaining inter-song banter) are putting on a night of rock’n’roll gospel grunge on March 11. Ministry of Fire and Miracles are running a monthly residency, with different support acts each month, which promises to be consistently eclectic and boundary-pushing – and Until It Bleeps on Fri 24th March features 8 different acts all making music with vintage computer game consoles! It looks proper bonkers and I’d like to think The Beehive could become the East London home of the Chip Tune scene! Then there’s our Bun Fun Basement, our new monthly avant-garde / improv cosmic jazz-noise “Interdisciplinary Music Jam”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to work in the music industry?
Yeah, go to college and learn how to do it properly – I’ve learned on the job and pretty much taught myself and I’m skint! I’m sure if I had a business education and/or proper education in sound/venue management/advertising/promotion etc I could make a decent living out of what I do! In the meantime it’s just nice to have the satisfaction of helping make lots of awesome gigs happen!

What do you love about Poplar and Bow?
I’ll be honest. I went to Poplar once in 1985 to see Flesh For Lulu play a tiny community centre and to my knowledge have never been back, and despite years working at the Rhythm Factory in nearby Whitechapel, I don’t think I set foot in Bow until I first visited The Beehive. I’d have to say what I love about the area is The Beehive – the greatest little live alternative rock’n’roll venue in East London!