Welcome to Article 68 - the April edition of SLAP Magazine. We look back on a Ďmessyí March and look forward to a slightly calmer spring, before summer erupts in a frenzy of sunshine and festivals.

Our roving reporters have been out and about catching a few of the many gigs around the Shires and we look forward to a few of the events coming up. Yet again we had a record number of gigs to list this month, which tends to keep us on our toes during our extremely hectic deadline. It just shows what is on offer locally.

At the end of January we had Independent Venue Week which, of course, celebrates and supports the survival of small venues all over the UK.

These venues are the backbone of the live music scene and itís a nod to the people that own, run and work in them - week in, week out. This month on the 22nd we have Record Store Day, where many of our local independent record shops open up their floor to live music, with this year promising to be as exciting as ever. You donít need us to tell you how important these initiatives are in raising awareness and celebrating independence and variety in an industry immersed in a state of flux.

One of the upcoming local venues doing their best to bring such diversity is Malvern Cube, who last month brought us the mighty Dreadzone (amongst other notable acts). They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is why we celebrated with Aprilís front cover of MC Spee from the band, taken by Dazz Green.

So please (we at SLAP urge you to!) look beyond the corporate mainstream music industry and support independence because once all this wonderful variety is taken away from us, all we will be left with is abject blandness.

Right, Iíve said enough for now, so itís back to the day job for a couple of weeks, Iíll maybe see you at a gig somewhere soon...


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