Thursday, 28 August 2008

I did a bad bad thing.....

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”.

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.




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

Get Out Of London!!

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!