Bandwagon Blog

BandWagon Partners with Focus Wales

 

We are delighted to announces our partnership with Focus Wales for all UK artist submissions.

FOCUS Wales is a 4 day annual festival taking place in Wrexham each April, which places the music industry spotlight firmly on the emerging talent that Wales has to offer the world. FOCUS Wales 2015 will mark the festival’s 5th birthday!

BandWagon is the UK’s leading live gig booking platform, supporting the very best emerging music in the UK. The platform is free for Artists and Promoters. With 11,000+ Artists and 700 Promoters, BandWagon is committed to providing the very best opportunities in a simple, transparent and inclusive way.

Apply to play Focus Wales here: http://www.bandwagongigs.com/events/view/3647

The closing date for submissions is: 12th December 2014

6 Tips to Help Your Music Video Fly Online

One of our Bandwagon bloggers is a Online Music PR and Digital Marketing, and shares with you some tips to help set your music pr campaign on fire.  Today, she talks about your music videos.

Music videos are great for introducing a band to a journalist and new fans. They can give you an additional wave of coverage online, open you up for premieres on sites and allow you to control how you come across to the audience.  So here are some of my tips to ensuring your video works it’s magic in the online world.

1)    Be true to the band, and your visual identity.  If you’re investing in high end artwork, follow through on the video. It might seem painful to invest in it, but you’ll get more out of it. It needs to be communicating the same as the rest of your artwork.

2)    Ask yourself what you need to achieve with this video. Are you new or established?  Is this video helping to position you as an artist? Do you want the members of the band to become more known at this point and therefore appear in the video?  Or are you established and going in a new direction?  All manner of things should inform your video choices. Your PR will always be thinking about the end goal so it helps if you do as well when planning your video.  Think about where you want the video to be shared online, and work this into your strategy where possible.  Your video is a key online tool that can make all the difference for a PR to help build your presence.

This example from Kyla La Grange is a good example of points 1 & 2.  It sets the tone of her music and her image, but also shows enough of her to establish viewers know who she is too.

3)    Include a narrative, however simple.  Sometimes we get videos that don’t go anywhere, there’s no story or artist and in the end, they look like adverts.  Even a video in a grimy basement of a band playing is still saying something about the group and their music and, when done right, can be really entertaining.

Example – the latest Kaiser Chiefs video is simple but has a narrative you follow. You’re waiting to see what happens.


4)    Don’t forget the impact of social networks and the shareability factor.  We all know people like to share online on social networks, and that means you reach more people, and therefore more new fans… it’s simple but key.  A good video will be shareable, and 1 shareable video can help launch your campaign (although having more is obviously better).  A poorly made video makes this unlikely.  There’s no formula to this, but at the very least, be ready on all networks when your video is launched into the world to encourage fans to share (by being nice to them and saying thank you).

Example – this Kodaline video for ‘All I Want’ helped launch their career because so many people shared it.

and who can forget this?

5)    Deliver your video on time.  You need your video whilst the track is relevant, because that is your window of opportunity to smash it and get your music out even further. Often, videos aren’t ready in time – with re edits, and video directors notoriously over running (especially when it’s your very talented mate).  My advice is to start your video as early as possible. You practically can’t be too early but you can very quickly be too late.

6)    Pay your video maker – even if it’s mates rates, after all they are artists too. Also, it makes it clear who owns the video.  If you have a fantastic video, the filmmakers are going to be very proud of it and want to share it around asap. However, this can cannibalise the impact it has for your campaign and any premieres you might get. So make sure they know who is in charge, and paying for the service is a strong start.

If you have any campaign questions or need advice on how to make the most of your PR campaign and online presence, get in touch with the BW team at info@bandwagongigs.com !

 

PledgeMusic CEO Explains How They Can Help Musicians

PledgeMusicLast week we announced our partnership with PledgeMusic.  Many of you have signed up, but others wanted to hear more about the service.  So, we cornered Dave Hackett the CEO of PledgeMusic to answer some questions about how it’s going to improve your music career.
1. What is PledgeMusic and why is it useful for emerging artists?
PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan music platform, which enables artists to sell their recordings and experiences directly to the fan, while retaining all their publishing rights.
PledgeMusic brings artists and fans together to share in the experience of music as it happens. Our approach incorporates the best elements of crowdfunding and pre-sales and is held together by the PledgeMusic community of music lovers.
Fans share in the creative music making experience and gain access to exclusive content, engagement and interaction with their favourite artists in return for their pledges. PledgeMusic is more than downloading a track, more than a transaction. We bring artists and fans together like never before.
2. Before embarking on a PledgeMusic Campaign, what should artists be considering to ensure it is a success?
Artists should consider their engagement with their fans. The PledgeMusic team will advise the artist on how best to use social media and the PledgeMusic platform to create a great and successful campaign.
3. How is Pledge different to other crowd-funding platforms, for example, Kickstarter?
We are hands-on and always provide a personal service. We work tirelessly to make sure an artist is fully prepared, organised and ready to create the best campaign, product and experience for the artist and their fans.
All PledgeMusic sales are now recognized by official chart companies around the world including the OCC and SoundScan and can account for a significant share of first week and overall chart sales.
PledgeMusic fans are some of the highest spending music fans in the world. The average pledge is now $60. A significant percentage of fans spend in excess of £500/$800 per transaction. The highest individual transaction to date was £25,000. 90% of Front Line campaigns succeed.
4. How can artists leverage their live fan base to increase the success of their campaigns?
An artist should provide behind the scenes access to their fans through the PledgeMusic updates feature, so the fan can experience how the music is being made.Asking fans for their opinion on song choices or album art is very engaging. Artists should always create experiences and products that their fans would love to purchase.

5. Is the Pledge platform an alternative to the traditional label funded model?
An artist can now create their own album and be financially independent before being approached by a label or before the artist approaches the label. Some Labels are now offering ‘Label Services’ deals to artists who have achieved this, in order to help promote and market the album after the release date.
6. Do the Pledge team provide support before, during and after the campaign?
The best thing about the PledgeMusic team is that they will work with the artist from the creation of the campaign until the campaign is completed to ensure both the artist and fans are happy.
PledgeMusic provides manufacturing, fulfilment and merchandise advise services to ensure the artist can create a successful campaign.

6. What has been your favourite campaign to date and why?
PledgeMusic launches hundreds of great campaigns every month so it is hard to choose. I thought that the Reverend and the Makers campaign was great. They played free gigs in the homes of their fans. The SevenDust campaign video is very good. Slash asked his fans for their opinion on the album artwork and this created a huge response.
7. How do BandWagon artists get started with Pledge Music?
BandWagon artists can sign up online here https://www.pledgemusic.com/sign_up/artist  or call PledgeMusic at 0207 781 2310.
Convinced?  LEARN MORE here.

Samsung Project Promises to Launch Your Career

Paloma Faith Samsung Launching People

Alert! – Great mentorship opportunities for Bandwagon-ers has appeared courtesy of Samsung. They’ve partnered up with some of the most successful UK artists across music, film, cooking and photography to help launch the career of emerging British Talent.  They’ve aptly called it ‘Launching People.

 

 

If you’re looking for the next step and a new creative experience, then this opportunity should not be missed.  As a musician you will be mentored by the phenomenally successful artist Paloma Faith.  Paloma’s worked tirelessly to build her music career and is now considered a priority artist at Sony on both sides of the Atlantic.  She’ll be able to challenge you creatively, but also show the strength of character needed to succeed in music – invaluable mentoring for any musician.  They’re looking for artists just like you, so it’s worth a punt, yeah?

Paloma Faith: “I’m really looking for something that we’ve not seen in a British artist before.  I’m looking for outsiders. I love and relate to outsiders. The thought of finding someone like that excites me.”

What else? There’s also some cash prizes and Samsung gear up for grabs; and a ‘Peoples Choice’ category, voted by the fans on Facebook.

The deadline for entries is fast approaching, so find out about how to enter your music below.

LEARN MORE


 www.launchingpeople.co.uk 

Samsung seeks new music talent with Launching People

Samsung has revealed details of its new Launching People scheme, which will offer young, undiscovered talent the opportunity to work one-on-one with a celebrity mentor to make the most of their potential.

Musicians from the UK and Ireland are being offered the great chance to be mentored by Paloma Faith, who will work with the candidate develop their ideas and put together a unique, collaborative project.

The process of meeting and working with Faith will be documented in a television series arriving later this year.

“I’m really looking for something that we’ve not seen in a British artist before,” said Paloma Faith. “What’s important to me is that the person has something innovative to offer, something that defies genre. I’m looking for outsiders. I love and relate to outsiders. The thought of finding someone like that excites me.”

If you are interested in Launching People and think your musical prowess is what Samsung and Faith are looking for, upload a two minute pitch video on www.launchingpeople.co.uk between now and Thursday 6 March 2014.

The project is also targeting people who are passionate about food, film and photography with its other three mentors: Gizzi Erskine, Idris Elba and Rankin.

Nailed your live show? Next up, how to fund your album…

 


 

Partner Up with Pledge Music

At BandWagon we’re passionate about independent music and have partnered up with Pledge Music to help artists and fans connect.  In our experience, fans want to support their favourite musicians.

What Is Pledge Music?

Pledge is a full-service music company that gives you the tools to creatively build and connect with your fan base while getting your music to the masses. You can customise your campaign and offer fans exclusive merch, music and even a home cooked dinner in return for their support. By pledging fans can support you and follow your progress through the campaign. And the best part? You retain 100 percent of your rights.

Why Should I Use It?

These days artists need to be more creative in how the fund and sustain their career.Pledge Music have an impressive track record in helping bands not only keep in touch with fans and build audiences, but also generate that sorely needed revenue in an authentic and creative way.  It also offers ways to capture data about your most active fans, allowing you to continue the relationship beyond the campaign. In short: Pledge gives your fans an opportunity to support you, helps you build a relationship with real fans and gives you a way to raise funds for your music career – what have you got to lose?

I’m Not Very Good With Technology!

No one expects you to be a technical whizz kid and the Pledge Music site is designed for artists just like you.  If you’re worried, there’s a dedicated team at Pledge to answer any questions and guide you through the process of setting up your campaign.

Who Else Has Used It?

Some of our favourite artists have used Pledge Music to support an upcoming tour, the recording of an album or a special project they’ve devised. Son Of Dave, sold albums and specially embroider handkerchiefs to support the recording of the record; Amanda Palmer offers her fans signed posters and a place at her ‘salon’ webcast; ABBA are offering an official photo book, postcards and limited edition music; Buzzcocks are recording a new record and giving fans to a chance to pledge for the album and meet and greets whilst giving part of the proceeds to charity – even Slash and Ben Folds Five have run campaigns on Pledge Music all sending out the message to fans – I’m working on a new project, and I want you to be part of it!
BandWagon Artist, DeLooze Successfully Kicks of Pledge Campaign.But Pledge isn’t just for the big guns – check out the profile of one of our favourite new artists DeLooze  for ideas on how to set up your campaign.

Question?

If you would like more information on how to get started or if you have any questions about the partnership, don’t hesitate to contact team BandWagon: info@bandwagongigs.com.Over and Out from BW HQ
Get Started With Pledge!

 

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A Beginner’s Guide To Artist Liaising

By Emma Griffiths (@emmagriffiths86)

Last Wednesday I gave up my BandWagon duties for a day in the life of an ‘Artist Liaison’. Don’t be deceived by the glamorous sounding title, the role entails anything from delivering pizza to babysitting.

The event was DeLooze’s ‘Lost Army’ Single Launch. The venue was the Islington Assembly Hall, a space full of character and fantastically big speakers. My boss for the day was Mark, the charming yet (understandably) stressed looking manager of the band in question.

He introduced me to Sasha, (my fellow liaison) a singer-songwriter from London. We then met DeLooze, who promptly introduced us to our first challenge: a one-year old baby.  As the band sound-checked we gave the poor baby a rendition of all the nursery rhymes we could remember. Thankfully she was soon reunited with her musician mum and we moved onto band-sitting. All of the artists playing that night (Death Rattle, Heart-Ships, and DeLooze) were charming and professional, making our task an easy one.

Anticipation grew as the venue, complete with bespoke DeLooze photo booth, a magician and geisha-like dancers, was finally guest-ready. Timing had been our main priority of the day, and getting everyone on-stage at the right time was of highest importance.  At 9.30pm DeLooze took to the stage in front of a buzzing crowd, playing a theatrical set climaxing with the brilliant ‘Lost Army’.

At the end of the night support band Heart-Ships told us how happy they were with the show and how well they’d been treated. Definitely a satisfying experience that I’d recommend as a stepping stone for anyone interested in a music career.

Photographs (except for photobooth) by Joe Seller (@josephseller)

 

Q&A with Mark Stein – DeLooze’s manager

1) How much time went into the planning of the event?

We hired the venue in May after the original venue fell through. We decided to promote the event ourselves to retain maximum artistic and financial control. Over two months we picked everything including the venue, support acts, production team, and schedule of how the night would run, and what other entertainment we could bring along to make the night a real show rather than just your normal stagnant, run of the mill London ‘gig’.

2) What were your biggest stresses?

All in all I think we were extremely well prepared for the night and therefore had very few stresses. One of the biggest was fitting three bands onto the bill and getting everyone a fair sound-check, and on stage at the correct time. The night went well and we had a great team, both from our side and at Islington Assembly Hall. In hindsight everything seemed to run very smoothly indeed.

3) How did you think the night went? Was it all worth it in the end?

All the production team, and team DeLooze plus the other support bands Death Rattle & Heart-Ships had a great night, and we had lots of positive feedback from the crowd and industry. Yes there were a few things that possibly could have changed, but this is always the case, and we will keep striving for perfection. It’s always worth it.

Check out DeLooze - www.deloozeofficial.com

Want to share this article? Use this link - http://blog.bandwagongigs.com/?p=221

The GigSlut Chronicles Vol. 3 – A Crazy July

It’s been a wild few months on the BandWagon, with all sorts of exciting stuff that we  can’t wait to share with you. Whilst all of that gets finalised, let us fill your excfitemnt gap with a couple of things. First off, BandWagon is hosting StageTime in Edinburgh this year. Stagetime is a one day convention exploring the art of live music performance, bringing together bands and artists, managers, label people, A&R and other experts from across the music industry

An because we love you so much, have a free bumper edition from your favourite Freegan Gig Monster the inimitable Roger Mairlot, otherwise known as… The GigSlut!

 

1st July

Yesterday I managed to get to Hampton Court for the earlier train at 17.35 and decided there was time to shop. So went and found 3 iced buns, 2 mini Bakewells, 3 veggie packs and 6 rolls. Moved on then to the Macbeth for Bec Sandridge at 7, but with the doors locked I chatted to Homeless Henry who seems to be doing better in the world.

When I got in: no Bec, no Russell.

Move on ! Bussed to Isl.Academy to check times for Lydia Lunch, then to Old Queens Head for 1 minute of Maud in Cahoots. Anyway ,had to go back ,and no re-entry to Academy this week. Stashed the food and then a girl asked where the Academy was, so I took her along.
She got straight in. I took longer-don’t ask!
Listening to Das Fluff, a tap on my arm. Sarah has found me, and her friend has not turned up. She has a drink, tops it up from a hip flask and is blotto pretty quickly. She’s quite heavy,too, as I ended up with her hanging round my neck and holding her up. She was almost gone by Lydia Lunch, and was removed by security. I went with her to try to explain I hadn’t actually taken her or got her drunk. I was nearly removed myself! The violinist from Cesarians said she could see what happened and told me Sarah had been cabbed home in a passed out state.
I left about 23.10 and took a 205 to Euston, 10 to H’smith, 00.20 33 to Richmond, and got R68 Angie, who enjoyed my story too!
She liked the witches hat I’d found. Home 01.15.
Bored, never!

 

3rd july

I believe I have some more Sluttettes on board, my chums!
I slutted out last night to Supajam’s Gibson night at Bloomsbury Bowling lanes to see lots of fiends, including Clockwork Era’s Catherine Gray x, Jason Lipscombe, Drop out Venus,featuring the lovely Iva Moskovich x and Zaek Nakrivo, then Novella, betterer every time I see them. I saved my eardrums from Old Forest and moved on to The Windmill, Brixton. Took over 40 mins but it was worth it, if just to hear Simon of Oh! Gunquit shout out “Roger’s here!”

 

4th july

Ok my fans.
Last night I went to Royal George on the wrong night Zoe Konez! and can’t do tonight!! Oh, wot a fool.
Found about 30 ukelele players doing “I’m a believer!” not good.
Retreated to deliver blackcurrants, NOT raspberries, to Russell John Swallow in Angel.
Heard as much as poss.before moving on to hear a new band to me at The Goeorge Tavern -September Girls.
En route to which, I found two waifs heading inthe wrong direction, Slutfans Karen and Thomas. We got there at 21.20 for a reunion with Tender Trap, who also were playing, to my joy.
All courtesy of Beautiful Strange’s Leigh Ecclestone,Ta.
Left with Slut Francisco Gomez and walked to East grinstead or rather,Aldgate East,grabbed a H’Smith and City line to H’Smith,entertained a music fan on board,and then decided to go for 33 bus and met bus buddy Laureen de Baer and her friend Elena,a very nice italian.
We all had a nice chat and I left them at Twickers and stayed on for Teddington and R68 Roman who told me it’s 37 degrees in Poland.Home 01.15
A quiet night in tonight ?

 

5 July
Sluttettes ahoy ! that’s you,now,Suey Sue,get in line !
Last night I could only manage 3 and a half gigs.
At 19.15, I saw Bec Sandridge play a very nice set At Leon’s .Spitalfields.
Then I slutted along for a 15 minute fix of ARP Attack in the Hoxton Bar.
Then to Der Kirche I settled down for a 35 minute set by MADAM,a beautiful set in a beautiful setting.
Almost certainly going to be gig of the month, give or take another 27 bands or so!

 

Sat 7th July
Right you herberts.Last night I went out to Power’s Bar,Kilburn.
At 21.00 I was still early,of course.
The only ray of brightness was that I could chat to and hear Jess Mason-Wilkes of Martha Makes Mistakes.xx
Very nice .I also heard 2 sets by Kill Me.
Ok ,but I really was waiting then to see,Rachel Emma D’Arcy,who was coming ,so someone told me.Then when I asked later ,not coming!
A guy called Alex said she was always late ? !
Ha. So I left at 23.25 in the rain.If I’d left 10 mins earlier ,I’d have got the last overground to Richmond and got an extra hour’s sleep.
The travails of being The Gig Slut !!!!
I try but do you ?
I grabbed any 2 buses and arrived at Paddington,having opted for trains for speed.Well,I was in Paddington,I think the bus dropped me about 15 miles away ! I assiduously followed the signs but could not find the b.station.Too wet and dark to look at my bus map.
Very wet ,I found Lancaster Gate,and got to Shepherd’s Bush,grabbed a 72 bus to Barnes and picked up a 33 to Teddington,where I got the last R68 to be home by 01.35.
The only good thing was that I wore a jacket which could cope with being wet.If it had been a wool one, I’d've been weighed down and smelling of wet wool.

 

Monday 9th July
Last night,dear Slutfans I went to See Lianne La Havas.I got VIP treatment at Rough Trade-no queuing or wristband needed !
Said hello to Lianne who was glad I went.I’d met her earlier this year at The Social ,and she said she’d taken my previous comments on board and thought about them-Oh,dear !!
I felt duty bound to go check her out again and she played a lovely set,so there you go !
Moved on after that back to Waterloo to Woodburner,a shambolically run Big Top sort of thing.I got in after some trouble.( I dug a tunnel ). I wanted to catch up with The lovely Lucy Rose.
She played a wonderful set, Lucy Parton.So nice to hear those familiar songs again and some new ones.
Chatted to Steven Sutherland.His first time to hear her.My 19th ?
I then saw Lucy’s Sluttette sister,the equally lovely Kate Parton,along with Stella.Kate says I’m back in the fold ,but who left the gate open ? ! I think Kate makes a lovely sheep dog xxx
After that at 22.45,I went forth and Shopped !!
No 4 bus,bread and ciabatta from M+S.
Many bananas,more bread,Pittas,choccy pastry and 2 packs sarnies form Tesco’s.
Grabbed a 243 back to Waerloo.Down and out turned sarnies down,but not Francis Booth,who found The Freegan Crusader on the 23.58,but he would only take 1 Banana and pitta breads !
Enjoyed the chat,thanks.
Got R68 Bob who took 2 loaves,and a sarnie.Home 00.55

 

12th July
Dear Prunesquallor and Slutfans.
A 3 and a half gigger last night.It unfolded thus:
I went first to Rough Trade to see Polica.Good to see 2 drummers,always.I didn’t think the songs were that strong,but still.
Then I went on to Folies a Deux ,put on by my dear friend Clara Daisy Cowan,who was very kind to me as always and let me live !x
Saw Sarah Johns.Met sister Lauren,and Louisa,too.Chatted to Douglas Dare.
Moved on about 20.55 to Maxima, way out at Bow Road .
A very nice bus Garage there,too.
Saw half a set by another dear friend Jade Indiana Hopcroft.,with Victoria Ferguson,singing too.Such nice voices.xx
Chatted to that nice Amy Morrice,surely a Sluttette ? xx
Moved on ,in the rain ,for a change,in 40 minutes,to The Wheelbarrow.I was in time to see Frankie Teardrop,with my previously unmet friend Carling Holly Vail x I wanna hear more singing by Carling !!!
Met Mila,and also was spotted by another Sluttette,to my joy,the lovely Kitty Til,looking splendid,Congrats on results xx
Talked for far too long and retreated at 23.55 to not be able to make Waterloo in time and went via a disgustingly retarded service to H’Smith,and just made a late running 33 bus to Teddington,from which,I was picked up,as is my wont,by Monica,to be home by 01.15.
I had asked for info on the platform at Leicester Square,and had such a cheeky person ,who suggested I take a bus.If I ever caught him I, would defenestrate him !

 

14th July
Saturday dear Slutfans : I went out at 16.00 and went to The Shacklewell Arms and saw Playlounge,Orca Team,Joanna Gruesome,and SHRAG ! featuring Helen King who bathes her feet in beer ! All really good.I did enjoy chatting to Helen and also Jessica from Orca Team.They had a good ,different sound ,and Jessica had a nice little dance,which I liked !
It finished early,about 22.20. So my cunning plan was to pop round the corner to the Nest to see Severin.This was running late,but I managed to chat to Beth and Danny Sanchez,before hearing them play.
I had been pleasantly accosted by 2 drunk girls at Canada Water,who didn’t quite know where they were going.They did seem to want to imbibe even more drink and invited me along .I said I was going home for tea,thank you,and I did!

 

15th July
Yesterday, My Sluttettes, I made it to the Shacklwell Arms for 13.45 to hear most of Dead Rabbits. This was an all dayer by Keith Milla, thanks.
My favourite bands were here: Bonfire nights featuring Nicole Hoaran,Dark Bells,Lola Colt and Dark Moon, featuring Lola Maybellene, with gong ! xx
I also liked Underground Youth.
At 22.10 in a vain attempt to get to Finsbury park to see 2 of my other friends play: Lucy Kitt and Sophie Jamieson.Both Dalston Stations were shut and by then it was 22.30 and I would only have got there to miss them play.
Reluctantly I became sensible and gave up.
I grabbed a passing 243 and went forth to shop,being low on provisions for the coming week.I found 7 pints of milk,4 veggie salad things,some rolls,pork pies for mummy,and about 6 packs of chicken sandwiches,and 3 packs of rocket lettuce !!!
This is what powers the vegetarian Slut-the secret is out.Rocket lettuce !!!!
19th July
Well,my dear Slutfriends,last night I endured a set by Charlotte Gainsbourg.It was b.hard work,I thought. After 15 mins I wanted out but it was a little late to try for Gem and the Deadheads,Tristan Ivemy,Maria Hayden and Minxy McNaughty ! They would have been much better for me,but I have to take chances.You can’t win ‘em all. Thank goodness there was a curfew. You must all have had the experience at some point of just longing for a gig to finish,and getting a long set instead.
I decided to hang on in the hope things might improve, and they did ,minimally,she did 2 good songs,one of which was a cover! “Ashes to Ashes”.There were 3 other half decent songs,but that’s it.
Luckily I had previously enjoyed immensely,Iva Moskovich and Zaek Nakrivo as Drop Out Venus,a band I know well.
They did not disappoint in any way.There was some silly shouting from the crowd,but I’m sure they gained new fans.
I could have taken a long set from them.They should have been top act,defo.
Now to organise my 7 gigs for tomorrow night…#
24 July

Last night, I only missed 2 songs by Honeyblood, who were very good
Stayed on to hear most of Novella’s set,bar the last song,and went back to the Lamb for the lovely Roxanne de Bastion !
She played on her own and then with a fledgling band.
All very nice.I hadn’t found any freegan flowers but ,instead gave her some of my plums which I’d taken along,organic ,too !
I keep finding I’m wearing a hat indoors.I’m protecting my head and forget I have it on ,but I hate hats.I like to feel the wind through my scalp.
28 July

Again in a sweat to Rough Trade for 19.15 to luckily only miss 2 songs in a lovely set by Peggy Sue. Rough Trade are good to me.
Moved on to The Gallery Cafe where we just caught 2 songs by Anna Lena and Douglas Dare. Sounded good to me, guys, sorry for being late !
Also saw and enjoyed Isobel Anderson and Ruby Colley,then Bec Sandridge,then Young Romance,I last saw them at a bus stop in Twickers about 2 or so years ago.They haven’t aged a bit !
I’m gonna tag Rose Keeler-Schäffeler,so her old fart friend can wonder again why I write all this ! She can block me if she wishes.
A lot of people srangely like all this,that’s why i do it.
If you don’t understand/like it ,don’t read it !!!
Simple…..

 

30 July

Last night went via R68 Bob to Hampton Court,gave him plums.On to Rough Trade.Doorman Feri thought I was pulling a knife on him,but it was more plums that I used to attack him ! Saw a good set from Kyla La Grange.I think she’s good.
Popped next door to 93 Feet East,on Fran’s suggestion and saw Tara Minton ,a harpist,sounded good.
I don’t know how Fran’s gonna be.I gave him a punnet of plums,but he ate most of it,and I ate some too,so none left for him to take home.
Too many may have a certain effect !
Tmorrow night The Slut tour goes to Oxford.
Savages watch out ….>
31 July

Out early yesterday for the Sluts Tour going to Oxford !
In a very smart new motor we partook of tea and arrived around 20.20 at The Jericho Tavern. I was grateful for the chance of a recce,as I plan to go there Friday for the great Anais Mitchell. We saw Palma Violets, quite good but not “the greatest band I’ve ever seen” as some drunk girl thought and shouted.
Out of the 400 or so bands seen this year? (wild guess, that) – no.
Anyway then we saw the ever excellent Savages, featuring Jehnny Beth, Gemma Thompson, Ayşe Hassan and that drumming phenomenon Fay Milton, who is just sooo good.
Top performance by you all, girls, most def.
Decided to maybe extend our Slut Tour to Brighton 7th Aug!
Oooh, I’m getting so sycophantic, even wore The T-shirt!
I met there a Slut Follower who may be Sophie Marfell ?
Become a Sluttette, Sophie!!! Oh,Do,please.,.>? ;[
We left around 23.20 and Neil kindly drove us back to Shepherd’s Bush.
I got a 72 and then the 33 to get a 285 and walk home by 02.10.
You see the time we idiots invest in music.
Out 10 hours, for approx 1 hr 30 of music, but no regrets.
That’s what The Gig Slut does – it’s a job – the best.
Top 35 bands at the moment
Her Majesty
Blindness,Coldin Berlin
Dignan Porch
Bleech
Two Wings
Hella Better Dancer
Jharda Walker,Anais Mitchell Anaïs Hahn,Olivia Chaney
Golden Fable,Blue on Blue
Catherinene AD
Jamie Doe,Foe
Modeste
Martha Makes Mistakes
Roxanne De Bastion,Firefly
Something beginning with L
Dark Bells,Choo Choo Trains,Happy Club
Theoretical Girl,Kirstenana,Jess Jess Bryant
Trixie Whitley,Lucy Lucy Kitt,Zambri,Emily Barker,
Jessie Moncrieff,St.Saviour,Sissi,Camille Camille Delean,and
Josienne Clarke

 

by Roger Mairlot

edited by Robert Neumark-Jones

Hop Farm Festival 2012 Review

If focusing on the small is no bad thing (and we here at BandWagon certainly don’t think it is), then Hop Farm festival in Kent would appear to be the mini-festival fans dream. There’s just enough stuff to be going on for it to not feel like a travelling fair, and yet not so much that you get lost amidst swathes of dreadlocked mud-men who parade at the larger festivals. That said, after a rousing headline set it would’ve been nice for there to be something on offer something for those looking to dance a while longer. Without that option, there was either the sleepy acoustic camp or the at times bizarre, at times brilliant bloodbath of the comedy tent.

Sandwiched in between all of that though, was some excellent music. George Clinton perhaps suffered from being on early at a festival in the ‘just filling up’ phase. A few hours or so later, and he would of have had a much larger crowd that his infectious P-funk deserved. So it was then that I Am Kloot stole the plaudits for the first day’s proceedings. Shuffling out with no straps on their guitars, they wove together serenades with aplomb, showing talent and a love and dedication to their sound which was a pleasure to watch. They enjoyed it, and so we enjoyed it, and could all get on with the business of not watching Ray Davies. Which we had just escaped from doing. And alright, so Ray went for it. Alright, so he played all the hits (of The Kinks, that is). And, yes, alright, he was having a whale of a time. But Ray’s voice just isn’t up to it, and to close your eyes during his set was a disappointing experience.

Elsewhere the Future Heads gave a tight and polished performance with an excellent live sound, which was especially effective during a bold but unsophisticated bout of audience sing-a-long on ‘Hounds of Love’. However, they did lack bite, somehow missing that killer something and thus preventing them from being a take-home band of a festival. Ligers were the only band I saw of Friday’s contribution from the pleasingly makeshift Powers Bar, a stage which gave the feeling of a pub room gig at a festival. Add to this a jaunty blend of surf rock with a hillbilly skiffle, and all driven along by a funky Fender-designed bass line, and it all made for a perfect set, save perhaps their one glaring mistake. They played a slow one. Don’t bother. The set was flying along nicely, and everyone there was enjoying a very accomplished set. People were here to have fun, and even Liger’s die hard group of dancing admirers were forced to sway awkwardly, willing to cheer and move on to the next track.

Peter Gabriel’s Friday night headline show couldn’t have been more different. It was totally stellar, and the sight of the New Blood Orchestra was magnificent, and given extra gravitas when drenched in the immersive visuals on the big screens. The sun disappeared, the grandiosity grew, and the audience were right with him too, but as it all drew to a close the show veered off somehow into pomp. And so despite a great performance, just when you sensed the audience wanted a big close to the Friday night, we were instead served up something akin to a Disney-esque schmaltz fest.

 

Saturday started much more promisingly with Jean Genie’s MaSsIvE Hugs, and Chris’ pick of the festival, Race Horses. You think you know what you’re going to get, with Race Horses: Synths and a front guy who seems a bit like Morrissey.  But alongside plenty of 80’s electro, they also navigate through dance, rock ‘n’ roll and some damned excellent indie pop music.  What is most exciting about them is their mastery of these variations, granting each song its own personal sound and all the while performing with flair. We also caught Brucie (yes, that’s right as in Forsyth) on the way to Race Horses, and were temporarily mesmerised by the antiqued charm of seeing a triple threat entertainer (he can dance! He can sing! He can…do another thing!) performing in the old vein. Only temporarily though.

Elsewhere Slow Club played an extremely competent set, and their haunting yet uplifting sounds filled the Big Tent to the enjoyment of the gathered audience. But it felt like this audience was looking for something to grab onto and really get into, leaving you feeling that they’d have fared main stage. And that was where I found Joan Armatrading, her new work shining alongside re-workings of some old numbers, and giving a near faultless performance in the afternoon sun to a carefree crowd. On the Power’s Bar The Midnight Barbers were playing Lo-Fi to its most broken, sporadic and discordant best. Basically, imagine if Two Gallants met Captain Beefheart and decided to form a Death From Above 1979 tribute band. They’ve got great songs, endless enrapturing energy, and the personality that every two-piece needs if they’re going to fill a stage. The Joker & the Thief (Dylan excitement levels building) then gave us a sound that was full, unique, and disarming. You cannot help but watch. There are bold, defiant drums and a brass element that seems to tell a story all to itself, and shows how far off the mark bands like The Mars Volta have become.

After that Maximo Park were exactly what the Saturday night needed, a proper jump-around to a brilliant set. Thankfully, their new stuff is not all slow, and the title track of the album ‘National Health’ showed that Maximo can still play a blinder of a multi-parted track. They suffered from terrible sound problems so it wasn’t until about 15 minutes in that we heard the full set-up, and were a couple of ballad-y verses in there, but crowd and singer loved every second.

Patti Smith had everyone jumping as the sun went down before Dylan, in that inscrutable way, both defined and redefined the festival. Enough has been written about the man, about this performance. Suffice to say that the crowd, like Dylan himself, were constantly grinning – sometimes in bemusement, mostly in joy- and it was a euphoric sing-a-long ending to Saturday’s proceedings.

 

Sunday started early with the very talented and earnest Maia. My first instinct is to say that Maia were a playful band, but on reflection that would ignore the obvious fact that it was all so deliberately precise. There were many disparate styles, all thrown into a set that included breakout rock’n’roll and succinct three-part vocal harmonies. The perfect light soothing of heavy creativity. The Tallest Man on Earth gave perhaps the most breathtaking performance of the festival, and with a new album out which for the first time includes other musicians, it might be wise to catch him now before the kind of raw, spellbinding sets that I saw yesterday become a thing of the past. He sings every song like he’s just thought of it there and then. Incredible.

Plastiq give a very engaging performance through some very impressive gear changes and a set that really showed off their versatility. Even their slowest moments built into something impressive, although at times it felt like they could be making more of their own mark on the styles they were tackling (one track was too Muse-like not to mention). Nevertheless, when I heard one person say they were ‘awesomely fun’ I had to concede they were. Really fun, shot through with a great rolling rhythm.

One last swoop by the Power’s Bar, where according to their singer, Washington Irving had just been some 9 hours in a van having come not only from a festival in Scotland but from a drunken night before. There were no signs of lagging in this performance, and they held their normally-sitting-now-standing Power’s Bar audience in bobbing enrapture. Especially impressive was the raw-edge beauty to the vocals. There was plenty going on in all of the numbers in this set, both musically and lyrically, and so even when they were at their most still you could not help but watch them. It struck me that they’d cracked the key to keeping the most poetic and poignant verses as part of the rousing refrains, namely by running a galloping drum pulse right through the centre of them. It worked, and while I found myself wanting them to start to be a bit more startling and off-footing it was nonetheless a headbanging-ly, cheering-ly good gig.

Kool and the Gang is where the festival finished for us (we had to rush home to make sure the BandWagon’s wheels were still being oiled in our absence), and what a way to go. An uplifting a finish to a triumphant festival that is sure to go from strength to strength. Because small festivals, like small bands are great. And although we sometimes jealously guard them and don’t want them to get bigger because they’re ours all ours, we know that in the long run it’s usually better for them, and better for us too. And if Hop Farm does grow (which it should), perhaps with another area or two and a few more late night options, there should be no stopping it.

 

Robert Neumark-Jones, Christopher Birks, Maria Hayden

BandWagon Bands – On the Road… with Maia

Maia Weekender : 4th-6th May

Beak saturation can hit at any time – the cusp is always in sight!

We started this weekend’s adventure at 9:30 am; the van’s battery is flat as a pancake! After rushing some clothes on, we get round to Will’s house to try to jump/bump/hump start the van, but to no avail. So we call out the specialists who get us started in 20 mins, and we’re on our way to the University of Huddersfield to pick up all our gear. We check there’s nothing left behind (a Ukulele is too easily forgotten!) and hit the M1 like a sack of beans.

We’re always worried when we head down to London that Will, our drummer, will have ‘laid on something special’ on the motorway, such as a 15 hour traffic jam, or Rare Mongolian Fruit Lizards Nesting in the middle lane! Fortunately, this time there is nothing hindering our progress toward the big smoke, and we make it to The Troubadour in good time (for once!).

Having sound checked flawlessly, we head off out to grab something to eat before the show and get back in time to watch some acts. We then played our set (marvellously, it must be said) and chatted to all the interesting London folk, who would never usually say anything if met on the street! I think we sold a few albums, maybe and E.P. or two, and then it’s time to P.U.F.O. (Pack Up, F*** Off!).

This time, however, we have an extra addition to our van – one of our fans has travelled down to see us from the Bedford area, and by the time we are leaving (c. 1am) she is also; on her own! So, of course, we give her a lift back to Bedford, as we’re staying in Milton Keynes that night!! It’s a fun, but fairly long way back, arriving at the great Haig residence at roughly 3am.

Waking up in Milton Keynes, feeling refreshed, it’s back down to the big smoke again. Morale is fairly low, but we soldier on, looking forward to playing together more than anything, but also we’re playing for Sam Lee of the Nest Collective, this miserable Saturday, at the renowned Camden Crawl. These guys know how to treat a band! First we blag the van into the car park (you wouldn’t believe how difficult this can be, sometimes – usually we just go for it and find out consequences later!) and then we can unload onto the big outside stage, when *cue rain sound effects* it chucks it down!

We’ve been shafted again, are thoughts all round, but NAY! Sam Lee gets us inside the Roundhouse, and we quickly realise that there is no shafting occurring, save for us shafting the car parking warden!! The place is PACKED OUT, and the audience are so ready and willing to listen to our music that we play an absolute blinder, even though the PA/stage inside was a 20 minute makeshift! This just goes to show how variable life on stage can be!

After this excellent show, we are treated to burgers at the artist cafe and pack our van to head off, back up to Huddersfield. We stick around though, to watch a couple more bands – the Magic Lanterns, This is the Kit, and Sam Lee are always a delight to watch – and then we end up making friends with them, doing and album swap and exchanging contacts to sort out shows later in the year… They definitely didn’t teach us this at Uni!

So, we mooch on back up our favourite super-motorway in better spirits than the day previous. We get to uni, drop the gear back off in the store, and head to our various homes for a good night’s sleep.

When doing a radio session/show, one never quite knows what is going to be the drill! We turned up in (it has to be said) one of the more dilapidated areas of Leeds, for our ELFM radio sessions, but was greeted by Zoë, one of the nicest people we’ve ever met (it has to be said!) She got us watered, and we rehearsed a couple of songs, as Will had had some dodgy chicken the night before, so couldn’t bear to sit on the wooden box of the Cajon! But this worked a charm, and without all the percussion, we had played and packed down quicker than we could learn the names of all the busy worker bees there!

We packed the car, and got on the M62 back to Huddersfield, safe in the knowledge that we’d be back down to London quicker than we could write this blog!!

Joe, Tom, Simon & Will (MAIA)

xx

Maia the band