On 18 November 2013, I registered the domain name York Calling with the intention of creating a vibrant blog covering the York music and arts scene. Admittedly, the first iteration of York Calling wasn’t much to look at and it wasn’t until late 2014 that my project really came to life.
By Graeme Smith
Cover montage features (left to right) Lion Papers, Kymberley Kennedy and Fiona Lee. Photos by Graeme Smith
It all started with a few interviews with prominent members of the York music scene who kindly spared some time to talk to me. One of those early interviews was with rising star Kymberley Kennedy. It was the start of a beautiful relationship. Through her videos, tracks and live performances, Kymberley has become one of our most featured artists over the years. I’ve included her track Don’t Pacify Me to commemorate it.
In 2015, we branched out from just covering live performance in York to organising our own. Our first ever gig was at the now closed Fleeting Arms, featuring The Suitcase Dwellers, Rrose Selavy and Lion Papers. It was a bit of a baptism of fire for me as a promoter but the music on the night was top notch. I’ve chosen Lion Papers’ Seas of Green to remember it.
In 2016, (now retired) Deputy Editor Ruth and I got married. Both being big fans of local acoustic artist Zak Ford, we asked him if he would play at our wedding. He kindly accepted and our first dance was to his track Young, Eager and Starry-Eyed. It was great to have the track as part of big day and as part of this commemorative playlist.
Last year, we were back at the gig organising, putting on a show to introduce some young musical talent to the York music scene. In Clements Hall we put on a chilled, intimate gig featuring sets from Amber Warren, Will Ellis and Fiona Lee. Fiona’s career has been going from strength to strength since we were introduced to her. I’ve included her track Dangerous here.
What a five years it’s been! Feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of all we’ve done in that time. But, rather than dwell on the past, I’m looking forward to the next five years which will be even bigger and better!