Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Since my last blog post I have played a number of decent gigs, with the most noticeable thing being that my CDs have continued to sell well. I played at The Old Stags Head in Penn a few weeks back to an audience of friends and family. It was really nice to see so many people I knew come out for one of my gigs. I know I play a lot so it's a big ask to get people to come out to multiple shows (this is one of the main reasons I don't play ticketed gigs at the moment), but it was really great to see everyone. From there I had a 'best of both worlds' gig the following day at a wedding in Ludlow, where I played solo during the wedding breakfast, then later on with The Replicas.

Last weekend I was back at Worcester Music Festival, once again playing for Lisa Nash of Sun & Stars Management at The Horn & Trumpet. The gig, and indeed the whole day/evening went really well. Considering there are 30 venues around the city all playing live music the venue was pretty full, and the crowd were really appreciative. I sold a good few CDs and make some more friends. I also met up with my good friend Andy 'Brains For Breakfast' Webster, and stayed for his set later that evening. Check him out, he is ace!

I had the quarterly magazine from the Musician's Union come through last week and the main article was on the pros on crowd-funding services like Pledge music and Kickstarter. After reading the article I posted on Facebook about it and got some interesting responses. It seems that the vast majority of success stories are artists who have been signed to a major label or subsidiary label in the past and either left or been dropped, and have subsequently started up profitable crowd-funding campaigns for new albums or tours. That's great for them, but it doesn't really help me and artists like me and doesn't really fit the bill that crowd-funding is being pushed as; funding for independent and start-up musicians. Because these guys have already had major label backing in the past, they have already had a large media machine tell everyone who they are and what they do and most importantly, they already have a relatively large and solid fanbase.

I'm not moaning, far from it. I'm glad that this idea can be used as a safety net to catch great acts who can't stay on a label contract for financial or creative reasons. But for an independent musician who has a modest fanbase, is it all just a little bit cheeky?

Another interesting point is that, with someone pledging a sizeable amount of money to your next album project, at what point are they not a creative investor? It could be argued that someone who invests their money in your recording process, rather than just buying your finished album because they like it deserves a say in how that album ends up looking and sounding. You could technically end up with thousands of producers, and you can't possibly please them all!
What do you think of crowd-funding? Drop me a comment or message on this post, or anywhere else you know how to get in touch, and let's have a chat about it.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post Sam, I had the same article and I really must get round to reading it at some point.

    I've heard about crowd-funding as a way to fund musicians, and also in the context of video games and hobby games. They each come with its pros and cons, but here's an issue that you might run in to:

    If you get enough people signing up to fund a new album, and it all goes to plan, you get your album recorded and produced and then you have a product to sell. Except that, because so many people have 'kickstarted' it, that anybody who was going to be interested in it will already have pledged to it and will therefore get a copy of the album as part of that pledge. Put simply, by the time you've got a finished product, there's no one left to sell it to.

    Is that sustainable? Well, we work hard to promote our songs around the gaff, and you've said on the blog that you've managed to sell your CD to new people, so I guess it is as long as you're not expecting a miracle. I expect we've got to recognise that, however comfortable we may be playing in our usual haunts, we've continuously got to work to engage a new audience. Otherwise, all your kickstarter will be is a glorified pre-order system.

    Of course, this is coming from me, and I couldn't sell a gig ticket to my own mother, and I'm also very lazy with regard to the production value of my own material (That demo we recorded 2 years ago has never had a more elaborate cover than the track list written on the front of the CD) so that's just me being cynical for all the wrong reasons. But I'd be interested to hear if it all works out if it's a route you choose to go down.