‘How To Get Ahead As A Musician’

As a part of the recent Battle Festival, there was a music based expert panel discussion, followed by a question and answer session. The theme being ‘How To Get Ahead As A Musician’.

We managed to get a recording of the event and have uploaded it to Pierless Music’s Soundcloud page. You can listen to that recording here:

The panel on the night were: Tim Rice-Oxley, songwriter and keyboard player with Keane – Tom Williams, songwriter and main man behind Tom Williams and The Boat – Anna Moulsen from Melting Vinyl promotions in Brighton and Melita Dennet, DJ on BBC Introducing The South. The panel was chaired by Andy Fyfe, a music journalist.

Many topics were covered during the discussion, including: how to get your music played on BBC radio, gigs, your fanbase, mailing lists, social media and how to use it effectively, your band as a small business and much more.

If you are in a band, or act and are trying to move ahead in the music business, this is well worth a listen as these people have been there and done what you’re now trying to do.

Hopefully it will give you some tips and ideas for the next stage of your musical career.

The Keane Trail

Whilst i know that many people who read this may not be fans of the band Keane, even if they do come from within the Pierless Music catchment area. It can’t be denied that they do appear to have a genuine love of the area and have even mentioned several local places in their songs.

I suppose the most famous example would be the track ‘Sovereign Light Cafe’ from their recent No.1 album ‘Strangeland’. If you’ve not seen the video, it’s well worth watching, as it was actually filmed in Bexhill: (Pre video advert warning!)

Well, to celebrate the local Keane connection, 1066 Country Marketing and the Battle Marketing Group have created the ‘Keane Trail’. It’s a website, built with the help of the band, that explains how local places have both influenced and been referenced in Keane’s songs: http://www.keanetrail.org.uk/

I’m guessing that the aim of the website is as a kind of online tourist brochure for the Hastings, Battle and Bexhill area.

Many bands are very quick to get out of their local town as fast as possible and even to knock it in interviews etc. That is especially true of bands from a small town. So, it’s good to see a successful band speak up for their local area and to celebrate some of the good things about it.

Who knows, it might even bring some musical tourists to the area who may then see and hear for themselves the many musical riches that we have here.

And maybe it might even encourage some of you to explore and celebrate your local area just a little bit more as well?


Mrs Yarringtons Music Club

I recently asked Mick Hoad of Mrs Yarringtons Music Club if he’d like to write a post for Pierless Music all about what they are doing and how they got to where they are now.

Some of you may not be aware of Mrs Yarringtons, so this is a great place to let you know.

Some may view Mick’s post as a bit of an advert and in some ways it is. But, i just wanted to tell local people about the good work that they are doing and have done in the past.

I’ve edited the post a little, with Mick’s full permission.

“The roots of Mrs Yarringtons Music Club can be traced back to our short lived CD shop ‘Mrs Yarringtons Music Emporium’ which opened in Battle in 2002.
Alongside the CD’s we also had a few acts play live in the shop. And with Richard Hughes, of future chart toppers Keane, a regular visitor to the shop, we also held Keane’s first ever CD signing session there, for the release of the original single version  of ‘This is the Last Time’.

At the time, we had promoted a few gigs at the Memorial Hall in Battle, which featured artist as diverse as Buick 6, a Gospel Choir and rockers Budgie. But it all ended in tears, with the addition of a Noise Limiter.

We had now got the gig bug and after much chat and a few beers, we decided to go another route and find an intimate setting where like-minded souls could come and just sit, listen to the music, with no talking, no mobile phones and a good sound system, but not within a bar environment.

Move on a few years, we finally found a suitable venue at Crowhurst Park, so Mrs Yarringtons Music Club was born. the opening night was in January 2009 and the first artist to perform was Claudia Coleman a local singer/songwriter who was 14 at the time. The headliner was the legendary Martin Carthy

The Club met once a month, always opening with a local act given the opportunity to perform their own work to an attentive audience.
The headliners were always an eclectic selection, such as acoustic artists Hatful of Rain, Aynsley Lister & Zen Bicycle Band. We also had various touring Americans, such as Brooks Williams, Drew Nelson, Lisa Mills and Australians, Hat Fitz & Cara and Jeff Lang. We even had a real Bay City Roller in Eric Faulkner.
There was no distinctive style. It could be Blues, Jazz, or Americana just as long as it is basically acoustic based. We are not a Folk club.

We have come close to finishing on more than one occasion. But over the last 12-18 months we have found our audience, or should I say they have found us. We now have a nice number of people turning up to each gig which has become a bit of a social event.
2012 bought two major decisions, one was going to a more regular fortnightly format. The other bigger decision was changing our venue, to The Senlac Inn in Battle, where we are now well supported by Steve the Landlord. Another great supporter of local music

We have had a great selection of local acts who have performed & are encouraged to play their own material. These have included Zoe Konez, Logan Wilson, Tim Hoyte, Otti Albietz and Anita Jardine, to name a few. Last year we introduced a few longer showcase sets for local acts, which have included Mick Bolton, Stone Junction and Roger Hubbard.

Mrs Yarringtons Music club is now firmly established on the ‘acoustic circuit’, with applications to play arriving every day from all over the UK and from agents representing overseas artists.

Already lined up for 2013 is the usual mix of quality blues, folk & touring colonials, with the likes of U.S duo McGraw and Fer and Blues legend Dave Kelly included.

So, where did the name ‘Mrs Yarringtons’ come from? Well, that’s another story.

And talking of another story (See what we did there?)

Planning is now underway for the 3rd ‘Big Green Cardigan’ event, which will be held over the weekend of 6th-8th September 2013.

Although conceived out of the ashes of the old ‘Black Horse Music Festival’ and you will see a lot of faces from that much loved event there, it is not Black Horse 2. The Big Green Cardigan event has its own identity which is intimate, chilled, relaxed and not big and brash.
Held just outside Cripps Corner, opposite Sedlescombe Vineyard, who provide a lovely wine bar, we have created a festival we would like to go to ourselves. It’s all about enjoyment of the event and the music. Respect for the musicians, your fellow guests and the environment.
It can offer things The Black Horse Festival couldn’t, including late night music and camping.
We took the decision not to gear The Big Green Cardigan towards families. If that’s what you are looking for, there are already plenty of alternatives out there. And with that in mind, there is no admittance for folks under 14.

The Big Green Cardigan is really an old school festival with no gimmicks. It is not sponsored, it is not commercialised and if it doesn’t work, it is down to us.

We have a mixture of headliners and interesting acts from around the country. Artists that have appeared so far include, Roachford, Aynsley Lister, Achanak, Baka Beyond and they are all supported by a roll call of local artists, once again performing their own material, including Expandis, Stone Junction, Titus and Anita Jardine.

With local real ales, last year provided by ‘Old Dairy Brewery’ and enough clean toilets to go round, we can offer the full festival experience just down the road.

When we say intimate we mean it. Therefore, hundreds and not thousands of tickets, go very fast.

Mrs Yarringtons Music Club is run by Mick & Dave Hoad and is held at The Senlac Inn, Battle

For upcoming gigs and info check out mrsyarringtons.webplus.net, or  call: 07794821454. Gigs are also listed in the Pierless Music Gig Guide.

Info for The Big Green Cardigan can be found at:  www.biggreencardigan.co.uk

Thanks to Mick Hoad for writing this piece for us.