Since its transition from The Sam King Band, Heads and Tales has performed 10 shows at different venues, many of which have been bars in Portsmouth, like The Thirsty Moose. While the members of the group have been extremely satisfied with their success and the progress they have been making, there is one thing that still bothers them: they rarely ever get a chance to play on the UNH campus.
Aside from big UNH events like the May Day and Hi-Fi festivals, and smaller events like The Grind, UNH doesn’t offer many opportunities for local bands to play on campus.
Neighboring cities and towns like Portsmouth and Newmarket offer multiple opportunities for local bands to perform. In Portsmouth alone, there are nearly 20 different open mic nights in the entire month of December being held at a variety of venues. Places like the Gas Light Pizza Club, The Press Room, and The Rusty Hammer are just a few of the places in Portsmouth that are offering open mic nights.
While these venues give local bands chances to showcase their music, it doesn’t give them a chance to play to their target audience: college students.
“We’ve tried all the bars in downtown, and they all said no,” Sam Johnson, Heads and Tale’s lead singer, said. “As far as downtown Durham and this campus, the music scene is limited to none.”
Ian Sleeper, one the bands guitarists, blames Durham’s lack of venues on its low musical awareness. Tom Sattler, the band’s bassist, agrees.
“I think people have different priorities,” Sattler said. “People want to go to a frat or an apartment instead of listening to music.”
In order to gain more awareness, the group plans on making a student organization sometime during the spring semester. The members hope that by brining in other local bands, like Pants are a Myth and Gretchen and the Pickpockets, music awareness will increase in the Durham area.
“We are fairly disappointed with the music scene at UNH,” Johnson said. “We would like to see it change during our tenure here.”