What could 2024 sound like?
A preview of what Medway's music artists have planned for the year ahead
Once upon a time your musically obsessed correspondent was sitting in The Who’d A Thought It in Rochester with local musician Glenn Prangnell. During our chat over a couple of pints and some particularly flavoursome pickled onion flavoured crisps, this particular groovy uncle marvelled at the way in which songs from the Strood, Rochester, Chatham and Rainham area form a musical category of their very own.
‘We know what garage is,’ he said. ‘We know what mod is. They’re genres. But Medway is a place. But it’s also a genre of music. Like Merseybeat. There’s nowhere else. [You don’t get record shops with] a section called ‘Cardiff’ or a section called ‘Berwick-on-Tweed’. Or ‘Chalford St Giles.’ Whatever it is… [But] you go on tour and you see a ‘Medway Section’.’
You could be forgiven for thinking that Medway music could be just a passing phase – in the same way that Bristol’s trip-hop movement had its rather wonderful days in the sun, Coventry became the centre of the 2-Tone universe and Manchester went mad for it between the rise of The Stone Roses and the fall of Oasis.
But, while – rather tragically - never attaining such a profile as those cities, the Medway Towns has been consistent in turning out excellent bands and artists for years now. And it shows absolutely no sign of stopping during 2024. To prove it, let’s take a look at some of the key musical moments that are on the horizon.