The Paramount Lounge is hoping to kickstart region’s local music scene

Moncton music venue The Paramount Lounge is hopeful that a couple of new ideas centered around live shows will attract those who might be staying away from supporting live bands for reason of cost or the selection of genres and bands.

Paramount Lounge booking agent Dana Robertson has two different endeavors at work for the venue.

The first of these new promotions is $5 Fridays, a night of live music from local and regional bands at the very economical admission price of an obvious five dollars.

Robertson says the logic behind introducing it is aimed squarely at getting people back out to their club for live shows.

“Over the past couple of years, the admission price to shows has been boosted to somewhere in the $6 to $8 range and we have seen a decline in the attendance at local shows,” he says. “So I figured that we would try a different approach to see if it was the price that was deterring people from coming out.”

While Robertson says that not every Friday night at the Paramount will feature a $5 cover charge, they are currently going to implement this idea for approximately two shows per month for the foreseeable future.

The first $5 Friday for 2010 is slated for Jan. 8 and will feature Moncton punk band Hope, relative newcomers Rabid Reaction and Halifax’s Flagship Sinker performing together. The next installment will go down on Jan. 22 when PEI’s Death Valley Driver take the stage alongside Seventh Circle and Uncooperative Death.

The other initiative being undertaken by the Paramount is the introduction of New Band Night, a bi-monthly event that will see some of the region’s newest acts team up for a night of music at the bargain-basement price of a $3 cover charge.

The first such event held at The Paramount in early December featured relative newbie acts Speakerscam, The Woods, The Hub City Stranglers, Rabid Reaction and Lucifix. According to Robertson, the evening was a great success and largely the impetus to look at continuing this specific idea in 2010.

As any band could probably tell you, the first couple of years that a group spends trying to build a fanbase can be difficult ones. And although the odd “established” band might show up at the club’s New Band Night, the evening is meant to pair younger groups up with other bands at a similar stage of their career and take part in a night of live music that has no specific headliner and no egos.

The order of the bands performing on New Band Night is determined the night of the event itself by the groups involved pulling straws. Robertson plans to mash up as many genres as possible into these nights as well, rather than focusing solely on one particular style as is often the case with local independent shows.

Friday, Jan. 15 is the date for the next New Band Night and will feature Cop Shades, The Swift Kicks, Sigil of Aeons, FiveStoreyFire and The Caludron Project on stage together.

Robertson is ultimately hopeful that these two new ventures will attract people back to Moncton’s music scene to support local talent.

“That is my goal, to get shows back to what they were as recently as two to three years ago. It seems as though people might have gotten bored with the scene and started staying away from shows,” he says. “Hopefully we can get some of those people back out to the club every now and then while also attracting some newcomers to the scene.”

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