‘Jake Bugg lied to me about his age’: The promoter who gave him his first ever gig

Video: Acoustickle founder Parisa Eliyon speaks to Notts TV’s Anna Butler

Having given Jake Bugg and Saint Raymond among others their first ever gigs, a Nottingham-based promoter continues to bring local artists together to collaborate, perform and be heard.

Parisa Eliyon, 29, from Radcliffe-on-Trent, started Acoustickle eight years ago – a live music event that promotes local artists.

Event organisers also book renowned names from the genres of hip-hop, jazz, soul, neo-soul and spoken word.

Parisa herself also performs as Parisa East.

Hoping to inspire audiences through music and artists through meeting other artists, she works hard to craft a specific flow and feeling throughout the events put on.

Speaking to Anna Butler, Parisa explains how Acoustickle started, who it has helped and what’s next on the agenda.


“I started working at The Maze and I asked if I could run a little night on a Monday and they supported me.

I’d call up my mates and be like ‘do you wanna play this?’ and The Maze had loads of contacts and loads of artists they couldn’t fit in.

maze,mansfield,road
The Maze on Mansfield Road

Jake Bugg played possibly the second or third ever Acoustickle and said it was his first gig; he actually lied to me and told me he was older than he was!

Acoustickle started in Notts in 2009 and it’s all about promoting local artists, people from the East Midlands but more specifically people from the centre of the city.

Whereas it started out quite small and humble, it has just grown and grown over the last eight years.

jake,bugg
Clifton’s Jake Bugg

One thing Acoustikle ended up being quite niche for is putting artists together for the nights.

Funnily enough, many artists come to me and say they didn’t actually know about each other before they came to Acoustickle and then they met and started working together!

I just think that’s amazing because, how am I meeting all of them and they’re not meeting each other?

At the point of when Acoustickle started, there weren’t that many live events that would let local artists make up the whole line-up.

It became a good thing for Nottingham artists; a regular night once a month, then the Alley Cafe asked me to put on Acoustickle at their event so it started to run twice a month.

Saint Raymond Photo
Saint Raymond played his first ever gig at an Acoustickle (Picture: DHP Family)

I must have put on close to 1,000 artists or the same people playing a few times so way over 500 gigs – about 5 artists each time.

The focus of Acoustickle is now much more about hip-hop, jazz, soul, neo-soul because those are the genres that I love; music of black origin, Jamaican music.

The artists inspire the audience and the audience inspire the artists because the audience that turns out love music and they’re sitting paying attention, more often than not silent, listening and absorbing the music.

Coming up we’ve got a really wonderful artist called Akua Naru from Connecticut, New Haven in America – a spoken word artist who is similar to Gill Scott Heron and we’re also releasing some music for the first time as a label.

Video: Akua Naru returns to Nottingham this month

I also started a night called Vocab last November and with Vocab the concept is that I have a house band and then invite different vocalists to come up and work with the house band.

The album we’re putting out we’re calling Vocab, one band working with about 8 vocalists.”

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