BRIDGEND’S TOURING potential might not be immediately apparent to emerging acts, but Dean Whittaker, in-house booker for Hobos (cap. 220) and owner of promotions company Imperial Music, is always on the lookout for new acts.
Whittaker, who began promoting in 2008, says that the overall experience for acts visiting Bridgend to perform has led to serious names filling the intimate space.
“You look at acts like DragonForce or Cancer Bats, and we had people heading to the venue from all over the country, and over from Ireland too,” he says.
“It’s slightly surreal from an outside perspective that names like that are coming to Bridgend but actually it’s a great venue that has a good reputation, and of course particularly accessible to people coming across from Cardiff and Swansea.”
Whittaker promotes in both of those cities too, which has allowed him to strengthen his promotional network and match tours of different sizes with appropriate venues.
“I’m loyal to Bridgend, ultimately, but it’s not just about getting the big act here,” he adds.
“I make sure that whenever I can I’m getting good emerging acts in from The Valleys, if not a headline slot then a support for the bigger bands. There’s a strong scene here and so even outside of the Cardiff and Swansea shows I’m doing at least a couple of nights a week here.”
Imperial Music shows include Holding Absence at Sin City (750), Swansea, Dagger Mouth at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach (460) and Doyle of Misfits at Hobos.