Noise, experimental sound, free music is a huge refreshing change, more than a reaction against bland, manufactured non-music, tv, the web, city noise and the inner monologue; exploring and experimenting with sound and noise with whatever’s at hand is not stuck at art or music either. Good, soulfelt noise reveals the excitement and immediacy of this being human, beyond culture and taste; we aim to engage with more immediate, urgent and freer sounds, this what we love round here.
MATILDA was about the importance of having an autonomous not for profit space where independent counter culture, under the ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos, would flourish, The MATILDA gig space collective was a group of people involved in radical/underground music scenes who wanted to create an autonomous space for music in Sheffield, which was self organised and run to meet our needs as lovers and makers of music rather than the needs of commercial venues.
It was a free or guerrilla space (or even rebel enclave!) where we did set our own agenda outside the usual limitations and controls placed on us. As more and more public space in our urban environments is handed over to businesses for money making activities, the space for ordinary people to get creative and make something fantastic happen is getting less and less.
Starting Matilda and its gig space is was us taking action to fight back and reclaim some of this space in Sheffield, claw it back from shopping, business parks, luxury flats and swanky pubs and clubs and hopefully enable new and exciting things to happen! Grassroots independent music, untainted by the profit making motives of the big corporations, has always had the best ideas, pushed our boundaries and had the most genuine and challenging things to say – we wanted a space in Sheffield where this could continue to flourish.
What was MATILDA?
Matilda was a place in the heart of the city where art, music and activism collide. It was a base where grassroots projects and campaigns can flourish. It was us taking action to our reclaim space in the city where people can come together and make stuff happen out of a desire for alternatives and change, rather than profit.
The space was run on the [anarchist derived] principles of self-organisation, mutual aid and co-operation. There is no hierarchy, no management committee, it was run by the people who use and contribute to the space – for us, by us!……
Goodbye Matilda 2006-06-29
The Matilda moles had risen from their shadows and though we shall go back into the darkness for a while we will no doubt meet again soon as our next venue is owned by Yorkshire Forward too! Allright it never come to being The Dis-topia Dream That fucked itself due to the Middle Class this was MATILDA, from there we grew into who we are now underclassrising.net
Over the last few years, we’ve seen public spaces in Sheffield grow more and more closed off and regulated. As the old city centre is torn down to make way for new glossy corporate investments, any hint of individuality has to be driven out. The eviction of the Matilda Social Centre, and other, more short-lived attempts to set up social centres, are just one example of this.
We’ve also seen an increase in CCTV, in “community support officers” who harass bored teenagers in an attempt to distract attention from the fact that they don’t actually have any real powers to fight crime, and other similar forms of control. And this isn’t just a local issue: the government’s plans for ID cards and national databases show the kind of total power over our lives they hope to get – if we’ll let them.
Regards TRAMLINES We have been told the following: (by e mail)
i think the severity with which you have attacked the event has actually made it more difficult for you to get your point across, what this has also done is made people, person a and myself included, see you as a lone trouble-maker rather than a representative of the residents of the city centre, you’re obviously a passionate people and i admire that but i think the language and aggressive nature you use to make your points will alienate you from the people you are trying to converse with. for example, i was personally attacked in your first article whereby you asked the question “who the fuck is person b”.
What i am is a Sheffield born and bred young man, son of a steelworker, who has lived in this town all his life, owns a small business, promotes music and generally endeavors to have a positive impact on the city that i love. i don’t think i deserve to be personally attacked for trying to put on a music festival. also, my girlfriend added a comment on your piece and you proceeded to find her on facebook and send her the article to her personal mail box, this for me is sailing dangerously close to harassment.
i am more than willing to listen and digest any constructive comments you may have in regards to the Tramlines element of the festival but i have to say that the militant way you choose to do that often serves to take the attention away from the actual content of your grievance.
i think we can all learn something from this, we need constructive criticism in order to make events of this nature work and i welcome this, however there is a polite but no less assertive way of doing this. concentrate your complaints on the elements of the festival that you see as problematic, don’t attack people personally, it renders anything valid you do say useless as it is swamped in a diatribe of misplaced aggression.
FUCK DID WE UPSET SOMEONE? (So it seems, well we would say never mind, but we do:)
The Militant nature is an ends to a means, who the fuck is person b was not a direct attack, a bit more northern than that, Sheffield speak aint it this is not going to come across the wire we use, it will seem rude offensive but we are not going to stop being northern, so what people tell us off for using love there tough shit not ours.
The comment on facebook did not disagree with the context but how it was writen, we now know you are not the people who have imposed and blighted the community with this agreed, but you run a venue that pretends to be down with the diy culture while milking it for your own gain?.
So we have spent a morning, not going to bed till past 3am, in the Town Hall now some base in da phones one is doing what we can to make those accountable do as they say they are.
We do not disagree with what you have said,(allright we do) in fact you are about right, but do stand out on a Friday Saturday, look at what we see, then one is sure you will get where one is coming from:
We will stand be counted, and if any path we have crossed then please forgive us for this, but to be frank person a comes across as nothing but contemptious wanker, person b you have engaged with a nutter as you put it, and we know the servility we have attacked the event will be disconcerting for people like yourself who are into what you do, I do see this, but what you are doing is just as obtuse in our book at least.
You said we think we can all learn something from this, we need constructive criticism in order to make events of this nature work and we welcome this, however there is a polite but no less assertive way of doing this:
We would like to agree, but dealing with whome we deal with everyday, as said it is a means to an end this way you work who is for you who is against you,(meny are) this is how we suss people out.
You said concentrate your complaints on the elements of the festival that you see as problematic, don’t attack people personally, it renders anything valid you do say useless as it is swamped in a diatribe of misplaced aggression.
All in context is it not, we see the whole of the Tramlines festival as problematic, as said, we are some of the person who was involved with MATILDA we did 190 gigs, not one of them had anything happen, no need for police, it was the fact we was not commercial that become our downfall, it is always this fact, we have been involved and organised countless free party’s, over time,been involved in Sheffield music, but we aint about to change the way we work, as it works, we have no need to ask our masters for there fucking consent, but we would never do what we do in a local community, we make shure and endver to involve all people, fuck when we sqauted the former Crooksmoor School Oxford Street we had open meetings for people to come along to and it worked, now it stands as community space, where it was facing demolition.
This is how we work, how http://underclassrising.net works, you soon know who is against you and is with you, thank you for your feed back.
We very much aim to fuck it over, if we could indeed stop TRAMLINES we would, but as it stands all we can do is play the game, and we know this is what we are doing, but we hope you understand what you stand for and represent is not welcome: