Fitz Promotion is a local music management business promoting bands and artists in the Portsmouth area. The business began six months ago after music fan Billy Fitzjohn decided he wanted to turn his passion for alternative music into something he could create a career out of. The majority of the bands he manages were already friends of his so the arrangement worked out perfectly.
Billy has successfully booked his artists to perform at local venues, with three successful events at the Wedgewood Rooms, as well as performances at Edge of the Wedge and Guildhall Studio.
I decided to explore the next event and witness first-hand the platform local music is being provided with – as well as seeing if the alternative music scene in Portsmouth is still as popular as it once was.
The event began at 7pm on November 15th at Edge of the Wedge. When I arrived it was
obvious this event was going to be popular. A queue had already formed, with people waiting to get
in just as the doors was opening. I was pleased with this. Local bands needs this type of support in an increasingly cutthroat music industry.
The headline artist was Blithe with special guests Glass Peaks, Scarletts and Brother Deep.
The first band on stage was Brother Deep. As the first performers, this four piece really did
put on a great show. They set a tone for the standard of music that was going to be heard that
evening. There sound was distinctive and refreshing and they offered something different that didn’t
sound like a generic copy of famous alternative artists already in the industry.
To follow Brother Deep was Scarletts. I was apprehensive as to how well they would
perform after such a successful opening. However, the Portsmouth based band did not disappoint and added to an intense atmosphere which captured the audience. Their sound was moodier and darker than the previous band but provided a contrasting ambiance which worked well within the venue. Personally I found the stand out moment of the evening was when Glass Peaks performed their final song. It was their 2017 single ‘I’m Okay’, which landed them on Spotify’s Indie List. The vocals were phenomenal and with the backing of incredible instruments shaped a powerful and unforgettable performance. This indie rock band was the last to perform before the headliners and made a brilliant path for the arrival of Blithe.
Indie-punk band, Blithe were the headliners of the evening, which evidently added the pressure to perform. Nonetheless they made their mark with a range of high energy performances and an excellent rendition of their debut single, ‘Did You Get the Message?’ This song is already available to listen and download on Apple Music. The song itself was very catchy, with an instant singalong chorus. It engaged the audience greatly and was probably the best song in terms of engagement of the evening. It definitely ended the gig on high and left you wanting to hear more.
Before the gig began I was lucky enough to get the chance to chat to the headline band Blithe. The
five boys were lovely to speak too and clearly very passionate about their music. “We are really
excited about tonight’s performance as a good crowd has been drawn in,” Blithe said. “We’ve been played on the radio a few times, which for us we are really pleased about considering
we are slowly making our way into the music industry. Having a debut single on Apple Music is really exciting, we hope this leads us getting more recognition.”
“We’d absolutely love to perform at Glastonbury that would be a dream for us,” Blithe added.
After the success Billy has had in the past 6 months in the Portsmouth area he has decided to
expand his music management to areas across England. “We are moving into the Southampton
music scene and have an upcoming show at Joiner,” Billy said. “A band I manage called Crystal Tides have a headline show at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar in Brighton in December.”
All the bands mentioned in this article have social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and
Twitter where they post about upcoming events and news regarding their music.