Tom Bellis is studying songwriting at BIMM and records and produces under the moniker of Scoop Monty. He collaborates on multiple projects with bands and artists around Brighton and London, as well as running his own sell-out night of live music the first Tuesday of every month at The Verdict. The unstoppable music machine that is 19 year old Tom told us about his vision for the night and what to expect from the Christmas Special on Tuesday 4th December.
How did Scoop Sessions come about?
I noticed a gap in the market at The Verdict. The venue could bring a wider and bigger variety of audience if there was more than jazz being played there. As a musician myself, I knew I would be able to frequently get bands and artists of all kinds of genres down to the venue to play. And, because I'm still a student, most of the musicians I know are also students. So I saw this as an opportunity to bring a new audience to the venue. Music students who attend gigs in Brighton often pay a couple quid entry to see 3 or more bands play, with chilled vibes and cheap drinks. I pitched the idea to Roxanne of having a 'student' based night where a couple bands came and played a 30 minute set each once a month, with a different genre each month. With of course cheap entry, student drink deals and a chilled intimate vibe. We'd trialled the night and its grown every month since.
Tell us more about what your nights entail.
Scoop Sessions is a monthly night that showcases Brighton and London's most up-and-coming artists and bands. The line up will usually consist of 3 or 4 bands, each with a 30 minute set separated by short intervals. The genre of music will vary each month, whether it be singer/songwriters, funk, folk, neo soul and even rock. This determines the lay out of the downstairs performance area. Sometimes bands and artists will come and play a 'stripped back' set in an intimate setting with a very attentive, seated audience. Then there are also nights (like our christmas special which is funk/neo soul based) where the audience will be standing and the bands will play their full live set to a room filled with people having a laugh and dancing.
What's been your highlight so far?
The best highlights are from the scoop sessions we had in October. The event was sold out and the room had such a great vibe! There were moments of complete silence as Jarki Monno expressed his life stories through rap, bringing a tear to the eye for some people. Then there were moments of amazing crowd participation when Jack Howard was on stage playing his funky original songs. It was an awesome night because everyone had such a fun time.
What have you gained through putting on this night and what's to come?
Having gained the skills of music promotion and hosting an event, I can move forward with a wider knowledge on how things work with live music. In terms of future Scoop Sessions, we are going to bring back “folk night” and have another seated, stripped back Sessions from some amazing songwriters, this will hopefully take place at the start of the new year. I’d like to do another indie night where indie rock bands come and do a stripped back versions of their set. And we will of course bring back funk night, probably around springtime.
What's in store for us on Tuesday - the Christmas Special?
We're decorating the stage with all things Christmassy, we've got pilsner for £2.50 for the first 30 people in, a raffle and, of course, the amazing music. Kicking off the night with his powerful voice and well crafted songs is Brighton-based songwriter Jack Cooper. Followed by the very talented neo soul inspired artist Sergio Selva , expect tasty drum grooves and catchy riffs. Headlining the night is Samuel J. Lawrence who will be topping the evening off with an energetic funk inspired set, be ready for great musicianship and a cracking vocal!
For tickets (£4) for Tuesday 4th December Scoop Sessions: Christmas Special head here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/456240