Monday, 16 September 2013

Codfest 4

Codfest kind of deserves a blog post all to itself, so here goes...

For the uninitiated, Codfest is the yearly festival that I help to organise along with a small group of my family and friends. Naturally, the musical side of things falls to me, which includes booking the line up for two stages and running those stages both technically and organizationally as well as performing myself and doing other bits and bobs as and when I'm needed. I think its fair to say it's the longest working day of my year, but also one of the most enjoyable.

This year's Codfest was no exception. With over 600 people in attendance, the crowd was great the whole day, and the talent on show was superb. Its great to be able to showcase the talents of my friends (and also nice to sneak myself and my band onto a bill with such great musicians!) and just generally great to be involved in such a friendly and fun event. It really is life affirming!

I must say a HUGE thank you to my good friend Tim Douglas, who came down to run sound for us, and even bought a stupendously nice mixing desk for the main stage (I'll only drop the name of it if Behringer agree to give me a free one for the advertising, ha!). If you ever need a freelance sound engineer, I can't recommend him highly enough :)

The festival was superb, and it also kicked off a run of a Replicas gig every Saturday night throughout September, which I just know is going to be fun. I know I say it a lot, but I really do love my job!

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.