Born from a desire to inspire, The Honest Youth (THY) have been making their way around the country in a restored Bailey caravan – providing an innovative way of enjoying and creating music.
Founder, George Carson, launched THY back in 2015 after having to rethink his dreams of owning his own bar. Following a long, hard graft saving enough money to buy a venue, he realised he didn’t quite fancy being tied down.
So, in 2017 he used the savings to buy an old caravan instead – transforming it into a little pop-up festival stage, offering the ideal music venue for any occasion complete with sound-system, lighting and (perhaps most importantly) a fully-stocked bar with beer pumps.
Soon enough, THY were getting hired to do small local festivals and events. They even got to host Blossoms’ ‘Cool Like You’ album signing which George says was a pinnacle moment.
Then came lockdown.
But not all was lost. Over the past year, George has been able to put the caravan to good use to keep spirits up at home.
“In the caravan we would have people round on a winter night, wrap them in fairy lights and have mini gigs on my drive,” George told us.
“I have such good memories of this time. Everything was so new and exciting the talent was unreal and I wouldn’t have to pack up and drive home so I could have a drink with everyone and relax.”
As so many of us found ourselves with a little extra time throughout the pandemic, George used it to develop and future-proof his THY concept.
He admits the journey hasn’t been easy. George had to hone and grow his skills from starting as a bartender to becoming a jack of all trades.
Now, THY is on a new venture to offer a mobile recording studio. With the hire comes delivery, set-up, PA, equipment and live sound engineering. It’s the full package – and for a very reasonable price, too – starting from just £70.
“I took to the opportunity this year to adapt my skills and equipment and start doing mobile recordings,” George said.
“Really, my goal has always been to surround myself with creative people learn from some maybe teach some others.
“I have learned so much – I thought this would be easy. ‘Build it and they will come’. I started almost 10 years ago as an experienced barman looking to open a bar and since I have had to become a sound engineer, a joiner, an advertiser, a roadie, a cameraman, an accountant, a cleaner, the list goes on – I just need to learn how to be a businessman now.”
Not only does THY allow George to fulfil his own career ambitions, but it provides musicians all over the city with the opportunity to create music wherever they are. Be that in their living room, a field or by the beach.
George says the studio aimed at people like him – people who are bored of stuffy and windowless studios and rehearsal rooms and for people who get to the studio and their mind goes blank with a lack of creativity.
By taking the studio to wherever people want, he wants musicians to feel comfortable and inspired by their surroundings. So, he’s created a space that adapts and works for everyone.
“There is a big thing in recording where people are judged by the size of their desk and equipment and it’s easy to think that the million-pound studio will get the best from your song because they have it all.
“But studios are like hairdressers sometimes. You can go in, tell them everything you want and get the same short back and sides as the five people before you. You want to find the one that will listen to you create something with you and share the passion you have for your own music.”
George wants anyone who is considering hiring THY studio to just get in touch for a chat. Over the years, he’s spent too much of his own time deliberating over lyrics he’s written, too scared to perform them for fear of someone telling him he’s got it all wrong.
“If you have a passion for something that’s sick, even if you just have a few lyrics written down and no idea how you want it to sound, or if you don’t play any instruments or are just sick of the same four chords on every song, just ping us on Facebook or Instagram.
“I love what I do – and the advice is always free. A lot of music is deeply personal to people and sharing can be difficult. I have written some dreadful songs, but there is no right and wrong in music.
“So, don’t be shy!”
Find more information about hiring The Honest Youth studio or pop-up venue via their website.
A Manchester gaming bar is throwing a 2000s-themed Myspace party this week, taking it back to a time when studded belts were all the rage and angsty bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, and Taking Back Sunday ruled the airwaves.
Staff at Pixel Bar are getting ready to relive their Myspace Scene kid days with a free-to-enter ‘Myspace social’, which will take place on Tuesday 4 October at the Northern Quarter gaming bar.
Promising a night full of emo, pop punk and scene classics, if you regularly find yourself listening back to old Brand New songs and fingering packets of blue-black hair dye in Boots, this is probably a party for you.
Throughout the night Pixel Bar will be running a 40% industry discount on food and drink for partygoers, as well as hosting games of beer pong and giant Jenga.
Dressing up is not mandatory but it is encouraged, and its bar staff will be going all out in their best emo and Scene kid get-ups – so expect to see a lot of kohl eyeliner, sweeping fringes, and maybe even a few pairs of fingerless gloves.
Sharing the news of the upcoming party on social media, Pixel Bar wrote: “We’re officially bringing Myspace back!
“Head down next Tuesday for our Myspace special. Mega industry discount with 40% off food and drink!
“@camthedj is spinning all the Scene/Emo tracks bringing back the emo fringe.”
Originally hailing from Leeds, Pixel Bar opened its second site in Manchester at the end of 2021 and became an instant hit with the city’s gaming community.
Selling 18 different gaming-themed cocktails, with choices like ‘Jigglypuff’, ‘Princess Perch’ and the ‘Yoshi’s Island Iced Tea’, plus a selection of ‘magic potion’ shots promising do deliver ‘full health’ and ‘stamina’, it has quickly become a haven for gamers.
The bar also has a signature cocktail called ‘Who’s that Pokemon?’ – a combination of vodka, lemon juice, soda and your choice of flavoured syrup.
Elsewhere, you’ll find the newest PlayStation 5, Xbox X Series, and Nintendo platforms, arcade games, high-spec PCs and a downstairs club room playing early 00s pop punk until the early hours.
One person joked: “Just seen the Ian Brown footage gig in Leeds. Anyone want to buy 2 tickets for the Liverpool gig this Saturday night haha.”
Another said: “Just the 132 email alerts from @Twickets today for #IanBrown tickets.”
Someone wrote: “Absoloutely brutal reaction to Ian Brown and his karaoke tour. Over 80 tickets up for his London gig already at under face value. It gets to a fiver and I’ll go, failing that, I’ll spend a tenner at the chinese karaoke in town.”
Someone has even compared the resale value of tickets for his shows to the plummeting pound.
One person said: “Absolute sh*t show from Ian Brown, the videos doing the rounds from his karaoke concert are cringe as f*ck, i couldn’t even give away two tickets for tonight’s gig in Glasgow.”
The viral video of Ian singing in Leeds – which has now been viewed more than one million times – was posted by one ‘gutted’ fan who said they had to leave early.
They wrote: “Gutted to see @ianbrown turn up to his £40 a ticket, sold out gig at leeds tonight WITH NO BAND. I’m a life long fan but it was bad. #ianbrown does karaoke and butchers his own tunes. Most were too pissed to care but I had to get out after this one. Longsight M13 was a highlight.”
Another fan wrote: “Ian Brown charging £50 a ticket to only sing his solo tunes, over a backing track, with no band is quite something.”
A third simply called it “the funniest gig I’ve ever been to”.
One fan and his partner said they had seen enough around half an hour in to the gig, before they headed to the door to make their exit.