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Interview by Matt Pawsey. First published December 2010 at Panic Magazine Online

If you go to gigs in Chelmsford, it is highly unlikely that you won’t be familiar with Shakey.  It is even less likely that you won’t have been to one of his gigs.

Shakey has promoted in, amongst others, Seabrights, The Two Brewers, The Golden Fleece and Barhouse (now Hooga), and this month sees him putting on his 200th gig. It seemed appropriate at this milestone to have a chat with Shakey, and see how he sees the past, and his future, in the music industry.

When you started out at Seabrights and The Two Brewers did you imagine you would be where you are, 200 gigs later?

Seabrights Festival was originally done as a one-off and it was five months before my second hosted gig at the Fleece in January 2008. After having so much fun with the festival and Fleece nights I jumped at the chance to put on nights at the Two Brewers, starting with Panic in the Streets on 23rd May. Even then I never thought I’d make 50 gigs, so reaching 200 is amazing.

Has much changed in the way you put on your gigs since you started?

I think loads has changed since Seabrights. When I started I still had a full time job, most bands I was booking were my mates, and now I have bands from all over the world contact me and play my nights - also Facebook is around these days.

Why have you chosen the bands that you have for the 200th gig?

shakster records 200th gig poster

200th show poster

It was not to hard to choose the bands I did, Redtrack played my very first gig and have played every venue I’ve hosted gigs at. Most of Tha Fu played my first gig in their old band King Khamun. Also Dan played a huge part in sound engineering for my gigs until I went to Barhouse. The Brights have been good friends since before I started and been very supportive from day one. Lastly From the Bassment first contacted me just after Seabrights with a CD in the post when they were Closure. As Closure they played those early gigs at the Fleece and every venue since, then played their first gig as From The Bassment for me, as well as plenty more.

What are the most memorable nights you have had over the last 200?

The Seabrights gigs were just amazing. All nights at Shakey’s and The Two Brewers, Dan Reed at the Cramphorn. Bands like King of Conspiracy and Gringo Star plus amazing bands from the States and all over the world. Blaze Bayley, The Crookes, Honly Finger - I also enjoyed doing the all-dayer for Oxjam. I get all my flyers signed and record the bands so have loads of DVDs of the nights - even if it does all end I’ll always have something to look at with great fondness.

Where do you see yourself going now, are looking forward to another 200?

I’m just completing a sound engineering diploma at The Dublin Castle, Camden, which I’m loving. This includes work experience in the Dublin Castle and other Camden venues. The dream is to reopen a Shakey’s Bar, not sure where or when. I’m also having a lot of fun doing the radio show on Saint FM.

Although I love hosting nights and working with great bands and making friends all over the world, it’s getting so hard to get people to come out and support live music in the present climate. I’m just thankful for the support I’ve had from the people of Chelmsford since my first gig - huge thanks to all great friends and bands who have helped me reach 200 gigs.


A real dude with a passion for what he does, has furthered many a band's audience and has even promoted the Essex scene across the pond at SXSW. Possibly a bit too much love for Guns and Roses, and the dude probably has a few too many facebook profiles... but rumour has it they are actually all different people who just so happen to look alike. how else would he put on so many shows!? Needless to say, without him the local scene could well be on 'shakey' ground.
Dan Moss - Bearfist, Machine Gun Men