Gay Portsmouth councillor champions city's LGBT+ music scene but says 'safe spaces' are need for live shows

AN OPENLY gay Portsmouth councillor has celebrated the city’s LGBT+ music scene but says more can be done to create ‘safe spaces’ for artists to perform.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 7:00 am
Councillor Rob New, left, is part of a local LGBT band called White Noise Fanatics with his friend and roommate Aled Price, right. The duo are pictured in front of the Spinnaker Tower.

Councillor Rob New is part of the White Noise Fanatics, and LGBT band with his friend and roommate, Aled Price.

The group blends 80s synth with upbeat pop sounds to create positive and catchy music, something they said people need ‘more than ever’.

The city councillor’s comments came as the band’s latest single ‘You and I’ and music video were both released.

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Councillor Rob New is part of a local LGBT band called White Noise Fanatics with his friend and roommate Aled Price. Pictured is Aled singing in Old Portsmouth

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Speaking of his musical journey, Rob said: ‘We started making music in 2018 because we were friends, and as two openly gay men we felt there wasn’t much of a music scene for LGBT+ people.

‘The music industry itself is definitely in a better place now, but I still think the live music scene isn’t there yet.’

Rob added he would like to see more events for LGBT+ artists in a more relaxed and comfortable environment.

Aled Price, pictured in the music video for "You and I" walking along the Hot Walls with the Spinnaker Tower in the background.

‘It would be amazing if there was a monthly night to be able to showcase artists in a safe space,’ he added. ‘There’s a huge amount of talent in this city.’

The single was recorded, filmed and produced during lockdown by the band, with a music video that showcases impressive visuals of Spinnaker Tower and Old Portsmouth, mixed with footage of New York’s skyline.

Rob added producing the video during the middle of a global pandemic had been a learning experience for the group.

‘One of the great things about lockdown is not only has it taught us new skills music production wise, but also video,’ he said.

Aled Price, pictured in the music video for "You and I" with the Spinnaker Tower in the background.

‘Up until [the start of the pandemic] it would have been left to a producer to do it all for us. This time, we’ve been doing online courses to improve our video production skills and worked with other filmmaker.’

The music video is available to watch for free on YouTube by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM8ZNmYgGow

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