Touring – Two Views

One of the main reasons that Pierless Music exists is to try and help local acts get out of the Hastings area and into the wider musical world.

There are, of course, several different ways in which this could happen. It might be via a video posted on YouTube, hence why we’re happy to showcase those videos when we can.

Then there’s the chance of an act’s music being played on a radio station, either local, national or international.

But, another main way by which a band starts to attract new fans is by touring. Many local bands play one off gigs in places such as Brighton, or London. But not that many venture further afield, playing several gigs in a row – a tour. Once again, there are a number of reasons for this.

Some bands are happy to stay local, but others are more ambitious and want to expose their music to a wider audience, hopefully kickstarting a musical career as they go.

Even if you are ambitious, there are still obstacles to overcome, before you can get out ‘on the road’.

We have come across two blog posts that highlight some of those obstacles, both for a band starting out and also one a bit higher up the pecking order, but still taking the DIY approach, which is what you’re likely to be doing.

The first is from a very good UK based website called Sentric Music. They often have very relevant, useful information and blog posts, including this one. It is a part of their ‘Fund Your Future’ series of posts and is called ‘Ask the Tour Manager’.

In it an experienced tour manager answers seven questions about touring, which are especially relevant to a band starting out, taking that DIY approach. It’s well worth a read if your band is thinking of gigging further afield:

The second post is by the American band Pomplamoose. In it they explain how they went about booking and playing a recent 28 day tour of the USA.

As mentioned earlier, they are a more established band, playing to 1,100 fans at the Fillmore in San Francisco for example. This is obviously a USA centric post, but we feel it is still very relevant and an interesting, eye-opening read as well.

The post is written by one of the band. See what you think:

If this has whetted your appetite for playing gigs outsdie of Hastings, then we may be able to help you. The Stinger magazine will shortly be announcing some exciting news for both new and more established acts in the Hastings and St Leonards area.

Part of this will involve helping one act to get out ‘on the road’. More details will be revealed shortly, so keep your eyes peeled.

A Social Media Policy – Update

Some months ago I wrote a blog post for this Pierless Music site called ‘A Social Media Policy’. The idea was to give bands and musicians some guidance on the potentials pitfalls of their own use of social media, based on my own experiences.

That post was well received and I was recently asked to update the post for use on the Epik Music Videos website.

They have changed the title to ‘The 10 Commandments of Social Media’, even though there are actually 16 “Commandments”. But the title does have a nice ring to it doesn’t it? You can find the post here:

Even if you did read that original Pierless Music post, it would be worth reading this new version as it has been updated and added to.

Let me know what you think and if you have any personal pointers that could be added to any future update.

Guest Post: A Music Video In 4 Basic Steps

One of the main ways of getting attention for your band, or act, is to produce a music video to help showcase your music. But, how do you go about it? Especially if you have only a limited budget and who doesn’t these days eh?

Well, our friends at Epik Music Videos have written us another guest post to help you. You can find it here:

It makes for good reading and having been in discussions myself recently about helping to produce a local music video, I can tell you that there are some good pointers in the article.

Some of them may well seem obvious, but it’s often very easy to forget the basics. So, have a read before making your own video, it might just make all the difference to the finished product.

Find out more about Epik Music Videos here: http://www.epikmusicvideos

Blog Post – Ragged Trousered Folk

Tony Streeter has written a new blog post for Pierless Music all about his ‘raggedtrouseredfolk’ gigs that take place at the Jenny Lind pub in the old town, Hastings.

These gigs feature artists from across the world, as well as the best local folk talent.

Read more here:

Well done to Tony for putting on these gigs and for persuading international artists to come to Hastings. Tony is also one of the people behind the annual RNLI Hastings Beach Concerts, which will place just over a week’s time, so he’s a busy man. Well done.

Sorry about the colour of the writing in Tony’s post, but WordPress didn’t seem to like using black this time around.

Make Your Band A Brand!

A while ago I wrote a blog post for this Pierless Music site called ‘B(r)and’, in which I talked about the need for a band to start to think of themselves as a brand, or a business.

It’s one of those topics that musicians probably don’t even think about or realise might apply to them, especially when they are first starting out. But it does and reading the post will hopefully make you realise why.

Well, I have recently been asked to update that post for use on another music related website. Something I was happy to do.

Here’s the result:

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

A Word In Your Ear

I was going to write a blog post about the potential dangers to your hearing of loud music, especially at gigs. And then a post appeared about that very topic on one of the many music related websites that I follow.

So, here it is:

The writer has said many of the things that I would have included myself, including mention of the varying cost of ear protection. Yes, you can pay for personal moulded ear plugs, which obviously come in at the higher end of the price scale. Or, you can do what I did and find some reasonably priced, but still very good alternative options online.

Of course, as with just about anything, you do tend to get what you pay for. For example, the first pair I bought were very cheap and are nowhere near as good as the ones I upgraded to recently.

Whatever option you choose and you really should choose one, it will certainly pay dividends in the end.

Like most people who have attended many years of loud gigs, I have Tinnitus (a ringing, hissing or similar senasation in one, or both ears). I am one of the lucky ones though, in that mine isn’t too bad. I know of musicians and gig goers for whom Tinnitus can be quite debilitating and once you have it, the chances are it’s then there for life.

And don’t go thinking that Tinnitus is something that affects only older gig goers like myself. I was recently talking to an 18 year old musician who is already suffering from a permanent ringing in the ears, due to playing and attending loud gigs.

Another misconception and something that was touched upon on in the blog post above, is that ear plugs ruin the whole gig going experience. I’m sure that might be true if you buy the wrong ones, but the better quality options will only reduce the volume, not the quality of the sound.

I’m not suggesting that we should all go acoustic and unplugged. Rock music needs to be played loud, if only to piss off the people who don’t like it. You can’t expect it to be played quietly, but that doesn’t mean that you should permanently damage your hearing through your enjoyment of that music.

Some forward thinking venues even provide ear plugs for their staff and customers, which can only be a good thing. I was at Rock City in Nottingham recently and there were boxes of free ear plugs next to the stage door. It would be good to see more venues doing the same kind of thing.

It’s never too early, or too late to start wearing ear protection and it’s certainly not un-cool to do so. I’ve no doubt there are many people out there who now wish they’d worn them in the past.

As Joni Mitchell sang “You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone”.

Blog Post – Gig Etiquette

One of the main aspects of being a musician is playing gigs, whether they be small local shows, or hopefully something a lot bigger. But, all those gigs have one thing in common and that is the people who work behind the scenes to help put that gig on and make it all run smoothly.

Often those people are either overlooked, or are not respected by some of the very musicians who benefit from all their hard work. All gigs depend on those people.

Aimee, of ‘The Mix Tape Sessions’, has kindly allowed us to use a recent blog post of hers entitled ‘Gig Etiquette’. You can read it here:

I would advice any musician to read this post, as it covers some very important points. Most of them may seem to be common sense to many of us, but the post is written from experience. So, that common sense is not always used by certain musicians. I’ve seen it myself.

If you read and then follow Aimee’s guidelines you might just have a bigger and better musical career than you might otherwise have done.

Thanks to Aimee for allowing us to use her post and we may well be bringing you some more of her work in the future.

You can find Aimee’s page ‘The Mix Tape Sessions’ here:

Blog Post – Selling Your Music Online.

Phil Little has written another very informative and interesting blog post for Pierless Music, this time all about selling your music online.

It’s one of those topics that has raised its head for most original bands and musicians over the past few years. But, as with anything like this, it can be a bit of a minefield out there with many different companies offering you their services. So, which is the best one to go with?

Hopefully, Phil will give you at least some of the answers in his post.

Find it here:

Blog Post – Where Are We Now?

After recently posting a blog that was in video form, i thought i’d now do one in audio form instead. Variety is supposed to be the spice of life after all.

This post is all about the new David Bowie single, amongst other things, which has caused such a media storm over the past few days. Here it is:

In case you haven’t heard the song, or seen the video, here’s a link to that:

Please et us know your own opinion on either the song itself, or any issues raised by it.

I’ve also posted this under ‘Blog Posts – Andy Gunton’ for future reference:

PS: Incidentally, there is a great alternative version of this video doing the rounds at the moment, with the comedian Harry Hill as one of the faces. It’s well worth seeking out.

Blog Post – Cruel To Be Kind?

I’ve just added a new post to my Blog Posts section of the Pierless Music website. But, this one is a little different to my previous posts, as it’s in video form this time around.

You can find it here:

In the video i talk about some people’s expectations of success and how, sometimes, it might be worth trying to rein in that expectation to help protect the person involved.

Have a watch and let us know what you think about what you’ve seen.