Here is your answer sheet if you want to take part in this years music quiz.
Friday, 19 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Just finished Podcast number four.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
I have 6 tracks that I recorded at an acoustic gig I played last week. I used my lovely Rhode NT1 plugged into my portable minidisc and the quality is stunning. Therefore after a little tweaking I will release them for digital download by Xmas on good old iTunes as I did with "Life is a River"
Friday, 28 November 2008
Listening back to the first 2 podcasts I did that cringe thing that one does when one hears ones voice recorded. I'm used to hearing my singing voice. After spending hours, no really hours, listening back to it adjusting the reverb or bits of eq I 've got used to it. My spoken voice is another matter add to that the idea that I am spouting the most boring monotonous garbage we have a nice little jumble of fresh neurosis.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
But, fortunately it didn't.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
As a result of not being able to locate my remote and my extreme sloth, I caught an episode of Strictly Come Dancing last Sunday. I had never seen it before but I was aware of its existence.
It's a known format of contestants, judges and humiliation but I find the content very curious.
"Celebrities" pair up with professional ballroom dancers, compete against other couples every week and erm... well that's it really. It's a knock out competition with lesser couples being booted off weekly. I must admit I don't know how as this was the Sunday night "results show" and I wasn't paying that much attention.
What puzzles me is that folk can still make a profession out of dancing the Fox trot etc.
The judges are a rag tag mixture of has-beens and wannabes.
First is Len Goodman who sums up the phrase "Old School" beautifully. A teacher of ballroom for years and Stanley Holloway lookalike.
Arlene Philips who used to tell Hot Gossip what to do and now seems to be an aficionado on the Cha Cha Cha
Bruno Tolioni who, supposedly has been on TV a lot and is totally unintelligible
and Craig Revel Horwood a sour bitter Australian.
The bemused and confused Sir Bruce Forsyth and blond eye candy Tess Daly remind me of clowns at a rodeo, protecting the fragile celebs from the humiliation the judges relish in dishing out.
This show reminds me of a "Come Dancing" which ran in the sixties and seventies and died due to lack of interest. It has been reborn thanks to the addition of the magic ingredient "Celebrities"
Which begs the question, which dead tv prog could be reanimated by adding the life giving celebrity.
The Black and White Minstrel show?
One man and his dog?
Please note that video has nothing to do with this post but they are my friends and genius's
and can be found HERE
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Saturday, 11 October 2008
The Edge of the Wedge Southsea.....is a nice little bar. I played there before earlier this year and loved the place. It's situated on the main drag in the seaside bit of Portsmouth next to The Wedgewood Rooms. It had changed a bit since I had last played there. It had more sofas and it was dark outside. Not the bars fault obviously just the time of year. I was given the choice of when to go one and decided on the second slot. There were 3 acts on (supposedly, I'll get to that) so the second slot was the obvious choice. The first guy could soften them up (the audience), I come on and blow their minds and then the poor sap coming last has to "follow that!". Yes, cold and calculating, that's me.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
I have been a little slack and have not yet told you of my gig at The Edge of the Wedge and my triumphant (not) return to Chaplins in Boscombe as well as the demise of The Dolphin and Original106. I will put this to rights very soon so don't lose heart.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
So last Friday I thought I'd try something new. I really enjoyed the whole Froggies bar experience from the week before. I did email the Frog about playing there again but methinks I may have been a bit too pricey for him. He's probably found a cheap covers merchant by now but I'm not bitter.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Thanks to all the people who turned up for the open auditions onSaturday – over a thousand of you attended and we're glad wemanaged to see everybody who came.
The quality on the day was very high and you made it tough for usto decide who to put through. Unfortunately, if you haven't heard from us yet then you didn't get through to the next stage, but wereally appreciate all the effort you made to come along.
We've plenty more things to entertain you coming up on the site –so make sure you stick with us. There'll be a gig zone to promoteyour music and increase your exposure, competitions to win mobilephones and other prizes, exclusive previews of the show and behindthe scenes content, Alex Zane's blog and Alex James' photo diary.
Check out the website later today for photos and a full report ofthe day.
I think I'll leave it now eh?
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Yes, Lighting up Winchester. That's what I have been doing this week and it's been quite jolly!
Monday, 15 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
At last I can say that I have played The Candle Club !
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I have a confession to make. In a moment of weakness, I have entered a competition.... To make it worse it has “Unsigned” in the title. Yes, yes I know but it looked so pretty and Jo Whiley is involved!! It’s the “Orange Unsigned Act” competition, Mrs Nick and I sat and watched it last year, it was part of our Sunday mornings dammit! This year they are opening it up to singer/songwriters. I may rant later about That tag! The prize being, I feel as ashamed as Fern Britain munching a hob nob, a record contract a fucking record contract!! I don’t even want a fucking record contract, honest I don’t. Ok, cards on the table. I am a middle aged white male. I write songs, good songs. I play guitar, pretty well ok pretty fucking well. I sing, I have been told I have a great voice, I KNOW I have a great voice, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to stand up in front of a room full of strangers and perform. The only way I will ever bother the charts is if someone else sings one of my songs. I’m very ok with that as the idea of fame and celebrity appals me. I DO want to make a living out of music don’t get me wrong, but on my terms. I want to write for other people, play on people’s songs, and produce other people. I do not want a record contract so it is pure folly to enter the competition. However However, what I did think was that it wouldn’t do me any harm to get a little publicity. If I made it through to the TV stage I may sell a few cds, perhaps get asked to do a session or two, get some nice paid gigs, so don’t judge me as harshly as I do. It all seamed so simple, create a little profile, load up some songs, get through the voting stage, audition and then THEN appear on television TELEVISION I TELLS YA!!! Here, my dears, is the rub. Here is where everything is stacked in the teen bands favour although the website, nay Jo Whiley herself, is very keen to include singer songwriters. This is how it SHOULD work. Punters, that is you dear dear people, go on to my page on the Orange Unsigned webpage and vote for me, in an easy and stress free way. Click on a little box or sum such. Then, all the votes are counted up and the ones that have the most go through to the next round. Yeah? No. Before Peter Punter can do anything he has to create a profile of his own. To expedite this he has to supply his email address to where a confirmation email is sent. He then has to activate his profile by clicking on the link in the email. With me so far? Next, he browses some of the 600 or so acts on the website. He can go straight to mine but no body is going to do that unless they know me. Once he finds an artist that he likes he then selects of their tunes and clicks on a button that adds that track to his “mixtape”. Yes “mixtape” Punters as well as acts build up a mixtape of different artists and the artists that appear in the majority of mixtapes would seam to make it through to the next round. Innovative? Clever? Well What I have found is that there are many punters types with their mixtapes but they all tend to feature one artist i.e. the band that they are in. Acts like me, there are many, don’t generally have hoards of fans/friends that are web savvy enough to jump through the hoops one has to jump through to be able to vote on this shit heap of a site. Most of my friends don’t have myspace, read blogs (bastards!), and subscribe to anything other than the local newspaper every week. They don’t like giving their email addresses (if they even have one and even if they do never check them, bastards!) for fear of some anonymous hacker stealing their soul. So the chances of me registering more than one vote (thanks Mrs Nick) are pretty slim to nothing. I will post a linky badge thing so you can go and have a look but I won’t blame you if you don’t bother, honest I won’t And I promise I won’t do anything so foolish again…..honest…
I have a confession to make.
In a moment of weakness, I have entered a competition....
To make it worse it has “Unsigned” in the title.
Yes, yes I know but it looked so pretty and Jo Whiley is involved!!
It’s the “Orange Unsigned Act” competition, Mrs Nick and I sat and watched it last year, it was part of our Sunday mornings dammit! This year they are opening it up to singer/songwriters. I may rant later about That tag!
The prize being, I feel as ashamed as Fern Britain munching a hob nob, a record contract a fucking record contract!!
I don’t even want a fucking record contract, honest I don’t.
Ok, cards on the table. I am a middle aged white male. I write songs, good songs. I play guitar, pretty well ok pretty fucking well. I sing, I have been told I have a great voice, I KNOW I have a great voice, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to stand up in front of a room full of strangers and perform. The only way I will ever bother the charts is if someone else sings one of my songs. I’m very ok with that as the idea of fame and celebrity appals me. I DO want to make a living out of music don’t get me wrong, but on my terms. I want to write for other people, play on people’s songs, and produce other people. I do not want a record contract so it is pure folly to enter the competition.
However, what I did think was that it wouldn’t do me any harm to get a little publicity. If I made it through to the TV stage I may sell a few cds, perhaps get asked to do a session or two, get some nice paid gigs, so don’t judge me as harshly as I do.
It all seamed so simple, create a little profile, load up some songs, get through the voting stage, audition and then THEN appear on television TELEVISION I TELLS YA!!!
Here, my dears, is the rub.
Here is where everything is stacked in the teen bands favour although the website, nay Jo Whiley herself, is very keen to include singer songwriters.
This is how it SHOULD work. Punters, that is you dear dear people, go on to my page on the Orange Unsigned webpage and vote for me, in an easy and stress free way. Click on a little box or sum such. Then, all the votes are counted up and the ones that have the most go through to the next round. Yeah?
Before Peter Punter can do anything he has to create a profile of his own.
To expedite this he has to supply his email address to where a confirmation email is sent. He then has to activate his profile by clicking on the link in the email.
With me so far?
Next, he browses some of the 600 or so acts on the website. He can go straight to mine but no body is going to do that unless they know me.
Once he finds an artist that he likes he then selects of their tunes and clicks on a button that adds that track to his “mixtape”.
Punters as well as acts build up a mixtape of different artists and the artists that appear in the majority of mixtapes would seam to make it through to the next round.
What I have found is that there are many punters types with their mixtapes but they all tend to feature one artist i.e. the band that they are in.
Acts like me, there are many, don’t generally have hoards of fans/friends that are web savvy enough to jump through the hoops one has to jump through to be able to vote on this shit heap of a site. Most of my friends don’t have myspace, read blogs (bastards!), and subscribe to anything other than the local newspaper every week. They don’t like giving their email addresses (if they even have one and even if they do never check them, bastards!) for fear of some anonymous hacker stealing their soul. So the chances of me registering more than one vote (thanks Mrs Nick) are pretty slim to nothing.
I will post a linky badge thing so you can go and have a look but I won’t blame you if you don’t bother, honest I won’t
And I promise I won’t do anything so foolish again…..honest…
Monday, 11 August 2008
Seriously, if you’re an artist trying to garner any kind of success then get out GET OUT!!.
Let me start at the beginning. Assume that you are a singer/songwriter type. You want to play in a nice place, sell cds to strangers, get people you don’t know to come to your other gigs and possibly have sex with beautiful women.
My experience is that unless you have connections you will play empty dives in the middle of housing estates, obscure expensive bars no one goes to, acoustic nights in noisy bars that empty as the previous acts and their many friends depart after their “stint”.
For this London rock en Roll experience you will be paid fuck all.
“Promoters” of such events will not publicise you nor will anyone ANYONE wander in hungry for live original music except drunks and junkies who wouldn’t get served anywhere else.
You will not sell any cds and beautiful women will definitely not lay you.
So my advice would be get out of London.
Come and play out here in the country.
Come and play at great places like Chaplins in Boscombe.
Lovely, enthusiastic women like Fiona will great you, shake you by the hand and be pleased to see you.
James the pianist and sometime sound guy will make a point of coming over and asking what you need and offer you a free drink.
Other performers will be talented and passionate and friendly, swapping places to play and being generally “chummy”
Ok, you won’t get paid as it is a free venue but you will play to a respectful, appreciative and enthusiastic audience that you didn’t have to bring yourself.
You will get your photograph taken and even a video of your songs to be put on the venue website.
Hopefully they will ask you back to play a longer set eh Fi?
You may take a beautiful woman home.
You may even be already married to them!
By the way, if you continue to thrash that dead horse that is ‘The Londin”you may as well busk, you’d play to more people possibly sell a few cds. You might even get laid!
Sunday, 27 July 2008
I wasn’t filled with optimism when I first entered The William IV.
There was a 5-piece covers band in full swing, well a kind of swing, playing in a neutral oblong room with an audience of about 15.
Do I have anything against cover bands, I do as it goes.
Not cover bands per say. Some would argue that the London Philharmonic play covers. It’s the “pop” or what was once pop/rock/country/fridaynightdownthepubhighhosilverlining type cover bands.
I’ve played in them. It’s a soulless occupation and you go home with your £50 hating yourself. Well ….. I did.
It wasn’t my past shaming me, well perhaps a bit, but the fact that I was on straight after.
If one has been enjoying the regurgitation of old Cliff tunes or tapping ones foot to singsong Beatles classics, then this git with the guitar with too many strings, singing you his stories of old loves lost, sexually predators ect is just going to irritate you.
But, I could not have been more wrong!
The scary guy who owned the PA (think the replacement drummer in The Commitments) was very helpful. He sorted me out sound wise, well I plugged everything in and twiddled a few knobs optimistically until Debs gave me an “OK” nod , but he was friendly non the less.
Now for this gig I had moved away from the usual set list idea. I had listed all the songs I was happy playing live, but I had used illustrator to cunningly put them haphazardly on the page. This way I could just chose whatever song I felt at the time would work. It was a great idea and one that I’m going to continue using.
I stayed away from some of the slower songs and kept it bluesesqe.
I went down pretty well with a few folk poking their heads round the door from the garden/smoking area from time to time. I even played my new cover “little sister” which went down a treat.
On to The British Legion, yes I shit you not! As already mentioned, in my tawdry past I have played the odd ‘Legion/Conservative club (ha!) etc so even with the memories gently emerging, I kept optimistic and decided I was going to , as our ‘Merican friends call it “Kick Ass”.
The British legion in Romsey is a little like what I imaging a cruise liner to be, big bar, plush carpets, nice toilets and full of old people.
A lot of old people, wall to wall. Suits and ties and flowery dresses.
There were a few younger types but they stayed mostly in the patio/garden area.
And then THEN there was my audience. Loverly they were. Sitting close and tapping tables and clapping at the right places. I had only just played the ‘William” so I was good to go. I had considered dropping a few of the more risqué songs: One Night Stand, Pale Moonlight (“turn me over ‘cos I like it like that!) but then as most of the oldies couldn’t hear anyway, I played them.
I could see a couple sitting straight in front of me where very into me. they looked oddly familiar but I let that pass. After my set, (I must say I was pretty good) the lady, well I would say girl as she looked about 19 but the guy she was with looked about 30 but who am I etc…..WELL she came up and asked if I had a cd for sale?
“Me? A cd? Of course I have a cd, I have one just here along with about 10 others that I’ve never sold ever before at a gig, yes NEVER SOLD A CD AT A GIG BEFORE!
I did feel a little pang as I handed over one of the cds that had, over the last few months, has become a friend and a comfort to me in times of stress.
“ A special festival price of £5” I spluttered.
So, my chest bursting with pride and a spring in my step, we ventured forth to see the wonderful Louche Manouche down at The Melting pot stage.
Some of you more eagle eyed readers may have read my Beggars Fair blog from last year ( I think it's further down the page). This year daughter was left at home with the internet baby sitting her and mrs Nick was asked to ignore me, let me get to the gigs in my own time and my own way and not to "whoop" whilst I, the great maestro, is performing. This she did admirably and looked damn sexy all day!
All in all a good day.
I don't mind this gigging lark, I'm going to do a few more.
Apropos nothing, the phrase
“God made Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve” appears to indicate that if you can make a bullshit rhyme, then that gives it some kind of truth.
“God made Adam and Eve not Julian and Sandy”
Saturday, 21 June 2008
So there I was driving along the M27 navigating my way to The Edge Acoustic Club in Portsmouth and i was thinking "Why am I doing this?" "I could be sitting at home relaxing" I think that I am basically lazy, those who know me a chuckling I am sure as this is no news to them.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
So I go to play at my nieces naming ceremony, they asked me to play the piece I wrote and played at their wedding, this is my sisters and brother in laws.
I'm more than happy, there's a break in the ceremony "and now Nick will play...yada yada yada..... Sister in law cries, she always does when I play that piece, all is great.
The ceremony finished we all enjoy the food, drink and company for the next few hours.
We decide it's time to go and I get my guitar ready to pt back in it's case and go home.
"Oh no, please play us a tune before you go Nick" I refuse politely and continue to get my guitar ready to go. It may sound a little rude on my part but I've been here before. I'm not that kind of player. I've been playing for over 30 years, I am pretty good but I don't know a lot of cover songs and the one I do know, no one has heard of them. Jeff Buckley's "So Real" goes down great in a small music bar but at a party with wine filled guests it just annoys people. What they want is Beatles, Oasis songs they know.
However I make the decision to try and change this around. I get out my guitar, retune it and Play "That Woman". It's nice and loud and should be enough to please and get me the hell out.
I should have known, I'm 4 seconds in and already people are talking over it. Ok, you say, it's a party you say, people talk at parties. BUT YOU ASKED ME TO PLAY!
I carry on after around a minute of intro and manage to get through the song.
"Play that one I like" " You know the one" Oh fuck, here we go.....
I do my best honest, I play some of my tunes. They're not as loud as That Woman and I'm losing the crowd as they return to their chatting. I stopped when a woman walking past me thought it would be fun to strum her log nails across the strings as I was playing.
Fuck it, I thought and that was it. I stopped.
Moans and groans and me explaining that I don't know the songs they want to here. I was being as upbeat and polite as I could but for fucks sake!
Drunk strummy guitar woman had the fucking nerve to come up to me, telling me that she loved my voice and guitar playing and would I play "Love me do" by Elvis as her dad was dying and it was his favourite song. I did try to explain that it was The Beatles but the bitch wouldn't have it.
I've learned my lesson now, I just play at gigs.
I think she meant "Love me tender" but I can't play that either.....
I did though. It was the Portsmouth Multi Cultural Festival.
I played it today at around 1pm.
I guessed it was a council run thing, it had that feel even before I got there.
It had no website, that was my first clue.
I was billed as "Nick Tam Spanish Guitarist" Not the best of starts. "It says that on your website" said Junior in his high visability vest. "I sent you a cd" said I "There wasn't any Spanish guitar on that". He obviously hadn't heard the cd or checked out my website that well. I do play Spanish guitar, it's a guitar made in Spain and I do strum some Flamencoesque type doodles but I'm no Paco Penia.
Anyhoo, I was told I would be on around 1.40 but in the end I went on at 1.00 and played for around 30 minutes. As per the sound on stage was great but out front I was told the guitar was to quiet. That's the thing with these non muso type events. I mean how hard is it? One vocal mic and a guitar with a pick up. Two faders, work it out.
I was quite popular with a small group of young mums, one of them kissed my hand later congratulating me on my wonderful voice, bless. Actually I did go down quite well despite my quiet guitar.
As soon as I came off I was wisked away by the media, eXpress FM, Portsmouth's local radio station to be interviewed by the Country Music presenter. " I also run this website" he said as he thrust some bumf into my hand, something to do with relatives on-line? " I also run a English School in South America!" he enthused. Ok, I get it, this isn't all you do.
After a couple of obvious "What kind of music do you play?" type questions I was brushed away in favour of a lady dog trainer with her alsation to talk about training for your pouch. I left them a few cd's, although I should have kept one for the hand kisser.
The Beggars Fair 2007
I have a work persona, it's got aspects of me but it's mostly a developed "work" version of me.
When I get up in front of large groups of strangers and play songs that I've written, I have a "stage" persona. It's nothing special, it just helps me get through the gig without turning into a gibbering wreck and running of in floods of tears if people don't applaud until their hands bleed.
I have a husband person and a Dad persona (stay with me, there is a point to this).
So Dad Nick, husband Nick and singer - rock god Nick have to prepare themselves to play.
"Are you hungry?" "What time are we eating? " Can I have an Ice-cream?"
I bet Jeff Buckley never had this before he went on stage.
I know, I'm not Jeff Buckley
To get into the Nick Tann singer-rock god persona (remember him?) I have to believe in some small way I am him.
It's different when you are a performer.
Wifie wants to see other bands and network and do all the great stuff that she does.
I couldn't care less who is playing, it's all about me ME YOU HEAR!
I want to get there, get on stage, play, and go home.
In the past I would descend into a Sex drugs and Rock and Roll pit.
Ok I might smoke a little pot……
I was great though, I know when I'm not. I'm getting to the point where I'm able to sing as well as I do when I'm on my own.
The songs are flowing well, I'm relaxed, my voice is amazing even me and people are starting to get it.
About bloody time!!
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
This week I have 2 gigs.
I haven’t gigged since sometime last summer.
Last week, about Thursday I realised I was scared.
I ran through a few tunes and came to the terrible realisation that I couldn’t sing, my guitar playing was shit and all my songs were dull and derivative.
This is a bit of a drawback for someone who is aiming to make music their profession.
I wandered around the house wondering how I was going to break this to my lovely wife, the wife that has supported me, built me a website, created the artwork for my last album and believe in me.
I decided I’d leave it for a while and join her on the sofa and watch TV for a bit, Jonathan Ross was on.
I quite like Mr Ross, I also like his taste in music, normally.
This week he had a band called Vampire Weekend to finish of the show.
I sat watching, listening. They were dreadful. Now I’m not one of these middle age men that moan on about “music today blah blah blah” (or maybe I am!). But they were dreadful.
I then turned over to watch Jools on BBC2. Yes, I know you can guess so I won’t go into detail but …. Fratellis = Stereophonics with a great drummer despite the grey tee-shirt, Alison Kraus and Robert Plant – Plant is a god therefore nothing can taint him, Spiritualized-out of tune, Chris Gifford-just embarrassing, Emmylou Harris-ZZzzzz.
I then started to feel better.
There is a mindset (yes I hate that phrase too) amongst us creative types, that we are shit and should go and work down a mine and stop thinking that we can do anything that people will find entertaining.
I get it, I think the simple term for it is self doubt, but I think I’m a creative person so fuck off!
On Sunday we finally got round to watching “Tony & Joan”, the drama doc about Tony Hancock.
There are scenes with him (Tony) having great bouts of self doubt “You’re shit, shit, shit” he says to himself in the mirror.
The penny dropped, rolled around then flew up and smacked me in the face.
Later on Sunday I burned some tunes (from iTunes) on to a cd so that I could do the thing that I love best, sing in the car. I chose all the tunes that I love and know well. So this week I have been singing at the top of my voice on my way home and now feel that I am ready both mentally AND physically for this week.
I just hope that next time, next time…….
See? Look a happy ending!
Thursday, 1 May 2008
A few weeks ago I was listening to a radio interview with Eric Clapton.
I must admit I have never been a fan although I am quiet impressed with some of the stuff he has done with Cream. However, in the course of this interview (drugs, drink, women etc, you know the score) he stated that throughout his career he had never sold out or compromised. He had stayed true to his “I’ll do what I want/Stick it to the man” approach.
As the interview came to a close, he explained that his new album was just as exciting and vibrant as all his other work and then a track from it was then played.
I was expecting some cutting edge kick ass blues but no, it was a lazy, Travelling Wilburys/Dire Straits piece of pappy lift music.
What happens to these people? He’s not the only one. There are plenty of once great writers and performers that, in later life, just gave in.
Off the top of my head Elton John, The Stranglers, Genesis, Black Eye Peas, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder. Yes Stevie fucking Wonder! Possibly one of the funkiest, coolest singers of all time. Superstition, Living for The City, Sir Duke, Ribbon in the Sky I could go on.
In fact I will! I wish, Master Blaster, Happy Birthday, Love’s in need of Love Today possible some of the best tunes of all time. What happened? Ebony and ivory and I just called to say I love you. It breaks your heart. Well it breaks mine.
He did redeem himself a while back and did some great shows of all the old stuff. I have the Abbey Road stuff, it’s great. No Ebony and Ivory.
Have you heard the new Oasis single? Again I’ve never been a big fan but it has that air of a comfy armchair and a pair of slippers, then sit down and watch Top Gear.
In short it’s shit.
It doesn’t happen to them all thank Christ.
Prince, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright and the glorious Radiohead to name but some. They keep the faith.
But I wonder for how long. How long will they keep the pap at bay?
The others couldn’t manage it, surrounded by “yes men” and “unit shifters” they gave in to the fate of the others.
That brings me to the latest casualty. Away for a couple of years and exposed to the full glare of the media they trumpet their return by releasing one of the most dire, uninspired pieces of dross. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Coldplay. Shame, shame on you…
I am just about post this when I think that you, dear reader, may want to ask "Nick, why are you so pissed off at this?" "Why should it bother you?"
Well, the reason that it sticks in my claw is that whilst these so - called "greats" are pumping out some sad old pap, there are thousand of independent artists that are coming out with stuff that is far superior. If you read my other yap you will see that I don't mean me, well maybe me a bit but that's not the point.
But perhaps it is........
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
The number of free websites open to the independent artist are many and manifold.
They generally promise the same things.
You get to design your own profile.
Whoopee! You cut and paste the usual yap that you’ve put on all the other websites that promised so much but gave so little. The usual collection of badly lit jpegs showing the variety of haircuts and dodgy fashion choices you’ve made over the years.
Get your music heard!
I think I’ve covered that haven’t I?
Tell us about all your live shows.
To be honest this CAN be quite useful as one can see where one might go to get gigs for oneself, can’t one?
I am a member of so many of these sites, the only way I know is that I receive emails from them daily. None of them, except one that I’ll get to in a minute, actually DO anything. I joined one recently after being encouraged to by a friend that works for the site. I had a heady 2 weeks of “so and so wants to be your friend” “So and so made a comment about your song” comments from other hapless fools like myself congratulating me on a “great sound” or a “kicking track” as I believe our American cousins put it. Then nothing…….honestly nothing! I had taken my own advice and had gone and listened to around 20 of the 300 or so people. To be frank, tragic. Not all in their defence but pretty much.
So is there a site that DOES do me some good? Well, yes there is and thanks for asking. It’s called Reverbnation.com and it is the dog’s balls. There are a few good artists there as well as some tragic covers duos that are worth a listen for the comedy value alone. They also have widgets, fantastic little devices that you can paste into other website and/or emails that will play your efforts in a nice little player. Widgets that folk can submit their email addresses to become part of ones fanbase. The best thing of all is that you can keep tabs on these tecky little bastards and see how many people have played them.
The sharp eyed amongst you will have spotted that there are a couple on this very page.
If you haven't already, give em a click.
I’d be interested if any of you (please let there be more than one of you dear god) have had any joy and by joy I mean this “Someone who you don’t know has listen to one of the tunes you have on your profile (and this is important) more than once?”
I have experienced this joy and it is a joy unconfined!
So, what have we learned?
Oh just click on a widget………….
Friday, 4 April 2008
So how many independent artists do YOU listen to?
So you’ve got your myspace page, Facebook profile, Ilike perhaps even your own website. You have pictures of your beautiful self, mp3s of your songs, news of where and when you are playing.
Then what do you do?
You email all your friends, then you email people that aren’t your friends, then you email everyone that’s left telling them how wonderful your music is and how great you are and how much you’re looking forward to seeing them at your gigs.
After the initial traffic has dies down, you make a few changes. Some new pictures, MP3s and a few new gigs. Email the world once again. Then wait…….wait …..
Then you learn about Meta tags. These are those little keywords you can attach so that when people do searches, your site will appear.
Now you want to choose something that applies to you yes?
“Original” yes original’s good, what else?
“Funky” “Eclectic” “Indy” I could go on, there are thousands.
You apply all these to your site and then wait.
Nothing happens, honest. You may get a few stray “robots” (whatever they are!) but other than that it’s pretty much Heartbreak Hotel.
So the big question is (here comes the point!) what do YOU use when you search for independent artists? What key words do YOU use when you search for other artists in the same boat as you?
You don’t do you? You don’t look for other artists just like you. So if YOU don’t then you can’t realistically expect anyone else to either can you?
It was only when I started to think about this whole “tag” thing I realised that I didn’t search out any independent talent either.
Do it, I did. There are some gems out there, all fresh and shiny and they haven’t had the corners knocked off yet. They’re still willing to experiment, yes sometimes it doesn’t work but then that’s all part of it. There are a plethora of websites that they (and me) are on and you can search for whatever genre (don’t get me started!) you fancy. There are some horrors but even they can be entertaining in a “car crash” kind of way. I have found some great artists this way and it has made me more optimistic about the music scene as whole.
There are a few nighmares, but that goes with the territory and can even be entertaining in a car crash sort of way.
If you are one of this band of “Indies” you must must must go and search for other artists.
If you are a regular punter then go get out there and discover your own pet band, you can adopt them, buy their music, go and see them and if you do, tell them that you found them on the internet because you did a search and they came up. You listened; you liked and then either went to see them or bought/downloaded their music. I guarantee you will make their day!
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
I am often referred to as an “unsigned artist”.
I blame no one, I do it myself. Nick Tann, unsigned artist. I have always hated the tag, it sounds as though I am lacking in a way.
“Are you signed Nick?”
“No” I say, blushing at my shame “I am unsigned”
When putting any of my yap on the web, tags have to be applied to documents to help all those poor folk out there find what they want. “Original” “12 String guitar” “songwriter” etc are all positive then “unsigned”. It should have one of those glum emoticons after it and a big apology “Sorry I’m not signed”
BUT, now I am making a change. I am now going to call myself an “independent artist” This is a better reflection of what I am and a damn sight less glum and apologetic. It’s something to be proud of. I may make myself a badge proclaiming myself an INDEPENDENT ARTIST. You wouldn’t want to walk around wearing an “Unsigned” badge now would you?
This is, however, not without risks when it comes to the getting found by people who are looking for unsigned people. If you Google “unsigned artists” you will get 867,000 pages whereas if you Google “independent artists” 157,000 hits you will find. Nevertheless, it may be better to be part of a smaller, prouder group.
Lets hope it catches on…..