BurySOUND: Legacy of The Clash!

On 14th July 1978 The Clash played a gig at The Corn Exchange in Bury St Edmunds.  The event was opposed from the outset by the local authority and the subsequent controversy over alleged damage to property, drunkenness and public urination by punks resulted in St Edmundsbury Borough Council banning the performances of contemporary live music in public buildings.  Incredibly that ban lasted almost twenty years!

In 1997 things changed when Jackie Smith, then the council’s Youth & Community Development Officer, decided to develop something for the young people of Bury – the result was a skate park and BurySOUND.

Fast forward to Friday night and the final of BurySOUND 2016.  It was my first time to cover this event and I was impressed – this was a well organised event in a top class venue, providing young people the chance to perform on a professional stage with sound & light engineers and a paying audience.

Yes there was an element of competition to win the main prize but do not be mistaken – this is not some sort of regional X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, this is raw, vibrant and fun.

With four bands competing for the main prize and two additional featured acts there was a lot to squeeze in.  And the organisers, Washing Machine, did so to perfection – shoehorning almost six hours of pulsating rock without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

Suburban Minds were declared the winners by the panel of judges winning:

  • A day’s recording at The Shrubbery Recording Studios, funded by Noise Solution
  • Main Stage slots at this year’s Homegrown Music Festival and Stradisphere Music Festival
  • Tour van hire to the value of £300 (3 days) from Neon Street Touring, plus 1 extra day’s hire funded by Homegrown Music Festival
  • Access to YourMusicBusiness.co.uk funded by Neon Street Touring
  • Music industry advice from Toonteen Industries

The other bands did not go away empty handed:

Deep City go away with a day’s recording at Conservatoire EAST, and music industry advice from Off The Chart Promotions.

Matty and The Bullsharks have a day’s recording at Crooks Hall Studio


Milque receive a day’s recording at The Shrubbery Recording Studios, funded by St Edmundsbury Borough Council

And if that was not enough there was a raffle – a rock gig with a raffle, what is the world coming to?

£50 voucher from Vinyl Hunter
£30 voucher from Hardcore Hobbies
Free entry to all Washing Machine events at The Hunter Club for a year
The Bin Bag Of Destiny, featuring t-shirts, CDs, badges, stickers and vinyl donated by Toonteen Industries, R*E*P*E*A*T Records and Dingus Khan

Bring on BurySOUND 2017!


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