Analyse This

Some of you may well have seen the story doing the rounds on the Internet recently concerning the rock band Iron Maiden and how they supposedly used data to help plan their world tours. While the story wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, it does show how bands can now use all that data flying around in cyberspace to their own advantage.

The company mentioned in the original article is called Music Metric (http://musicmetric.com/). What they do, for a fee, is collect the many billions of musical interactions across the Internet. The sources of that information include social media, illegal file sharing sites, music streaming services, etc.

Music Metric then analyse all of that data providing a band, record company, or even a fan of a particular artist with a snapshot of how an act is performing online, right across the world.

You can then delve deeper into that collected data to see where your music is being streamed the most, where your music is being illegally downloaded the most, and also where you’re being talked about the most, even down to the age, gender and location of your fans.

The original article suggested that Iron Maiden had used this information to select countries where it might be best for them to tour next time around, especially those countries where their music maybe wasn’t being bought, but illegally downloaded.

The thought being that maybe they could then get those people to a gig and sell them merchandise, etc. That way the band would be making money from gig tickets and merchandise, even if they couldn’t persuade the fans to buy their music. And who knows, they might even convert them to doing that, as well?

Iron Maiden have never admitted to doing this, and why let the possible truth get in the way of a good story eh? However, as mentioned before, it does help to highlight how any band can now utilise all of that online data for their own purposes and maybe ultimately profit from it too.

We all know that sales of CD’s and music generally isn’t what it was. Most bands nowadays struggle to earn a decent living from making music in this digital age. You’ve no doubt read about how bands only make real money these days from playing live and selling t-shirts. So at least there is now a way that artists can be that little bit smarter when it comes to targeting fans in the future.

Even if you don’t, or can’t afford to use a service like Music Metric, any artist can use the data from their fans social media activities, digital and CD sales, and streaming services for their own ends.

Most social media sites, YouTube and dedicated band sites, etc have some form of analytics service built into their pages, especially if you run those pages yourself.
Yes, it takes a bit of time, which is after all why a service such as Music Metric exists in the first place. But, maybe now is the time to dig a little deeper yourself and use that, often, free info for your own benefit?

If it’s good enough for Iron Maiden (allegedly), surely it’s got to be good enough for you too? Regardless of the popularity of your band.

Ultimately, can you afford not to give it a try? It might just be the thing that gives your band the edge over all the others out there.

 

Stallion Ride Again

Sometimes band reunions happen at just the right time and the re-emergence of Hastings band Stallion may well be a case in point.

For the uninitiated, Stallion were a prog rock band from Hastings who plied their trade during those heady days of the 1970′s. The many members of the band reads like a who’s who of well respected Hastings based musicians. Including the likes of the late Steve Demetri, Phil Gill, Phil Thornton, Roger Carey and Tich Turner, to name but a few.

Stallion’s career spanned nearly the whole of that musically rich decade and they have only now got around to finally releasing their great ‘lost’ album, ‘The Hard Life’.

‘The Hard Life’ is released on Prog-o-Tone Records and contains 11 of the bands tracks, which were recorded between 1974 and 1979.

Back in the 1970′s Stallion played alongside such great bands as Traffic, Curved Air and T-Rex, amongst others. Stallion also played at the Reading Festival and did headline gigs at the Marquee club, as well as being regular performers on Hastings Pier. They also won, outright, the 1976 Melody Maker Rock Contest. No mean achievement.

Stallion have been described by some as one of the great lost bands of that 1970′s Rock music era and you can understand why when you listen to the album. Unfortunately for them, their musical career happened to coincide with the emergence of Punk Rock and we all know how that affected many bands from that era don’t we?

Given a bit more luck who knows where they may have ended up? But, at least we now have the chance to relive those far off days via their music.

I suspect though that they may look a little different to when this photo was taken of one of those sold out gigs at the Marquee club in London:

So why could this be the right time for Stallion to make a comeback?

Well, prog rock is once again in the ascendency and Hastings Pier, a very familiar old stomping ground for the band, is also making a well received comeback.

And now to drive that point home, Stallion are playing their first gig for over 30 years at The Big Green Cardigan Festival, in nearby Cripps Corner, on Friday 6th September.

We’ll be talking more about the festival in a future post, but in the meantime more details can be found here: http://www.biggreencardigan.co.uk/

To get yourself in the mood for this long overdue comeback gig, you can listen to and buy Stallion’s ‘The Hard Life’ by going here:

http://philthornton.bandcamp.com/album/the-hard-life-stallion

You can also find out more about Stallion by visiting their Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/stallionprogressiverock

Rumour has it that this might not be the last we hear from Stallion as a live band. Wouldn’t it be great if one of their future gigs was back on the refurbished Hastings Pier in 2015?

Maybe I’ll see you there?

Local Music News – July 2013

Here’s my latest local music column for the Hastings Observer. It was originally published in the edition which came out on Friday 5th July.

“Another month and another quality local music CD arrives.

This time it’s the turn of Hastings’ favourite one man band, Toby Barelli aka King Size Slim, to unleash his latest offering. ‘Milk Drunk’ is the title of this collection of 11 self penned songs. Although the album only weighs in at just over 30 minutes long, no track outstays its welcome, which is not something that can be said for all local CD’s.

If you’ve ever seen King Size Slim live & if you haven’t you really should, you’ll know exactly what to expect here & you’ll not be disappointed either.

Nicely packaged, well recorded & with a nice live feel to it, this CD has rarely left my CD player since I got it. Favourite songs include the title track, ‘Wake Up The Town’ and ‘Rising Spring’ with its topical political overtones. But, all 11 tracks are worth exploring & for a one man band there is plenty of variety within the songs to keep your attention.

There are guest appearances from, amongst others, Roger Hubbard with some wonderful mandolin playing on the aforementioned ‘Rising Spring’ & world renowned session drummer Andy Newmark stamps his personality onto ‘Monkey, Where Are You?’.

Obvious comparisons could be made with Seasick Steve, but Toby’s heartfelt, exuberant style & delivery mean that he is definitely his own man and fully deserves to be considered if you enjoy the bluesy, folky & rootsy side of music.

If this sounds like your kind of album & I can heartily recommend it, you can find out more, listen to some of the tracks & also buy the CD on the King Size Slim website at: http://www.kingsizeslim.com/ ‘Milk Drunk’ is also available via iTunes.

Next months see’s the promise of receiving the second album from Sand Rabbit & the debut EP from One Thousand Tons. That’s something I’m looking forward to.

Stay tuned.

Andy Gunton,

Pierless Music, Hastings Rock & Carnival FM”

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: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/phil-little/selling-your-music-online/

Blog Post – HMV and all that.

I decided to record an audio blog post about the potential demise of HMV.

I also talk about how lessons can be learned by this by other shops, businesses and even musicians.

Let us know what you think.

This post can also be found under ‘Blog Posts – Andy Gunton’, for future reference.

Music Maestros Please

As we mentioned in a previous post, Pierless Music are planning to host a weekly show on BURST radio in the near future. In fact, we are hoping to record a two hour special next week.

http://www.burstradio.co.uk/

These shows, which are expected to be an hour long each week, will feature purely original music from the Hastings area. See the ‘About Us’ section for our defintion of the Hastings area.

But, any good radio show needs music and this is where you come in.

If you are in the Hastings area and would like your music to be considered for airplay during the Pierless Music shows, please get in touch.

Contact us via email at: andy@pierlessmusic.co.uk

Please be aware that all music must be original material, be of broadcastable quality and contain no swearing. Music can be on CD, or an mp3.

We don’t really mind which musical genre your music falls into, or the age of the people playing it, just so long as it is good enough for airplay.

Remember, if we don’t have your music, we can’t play it.

Any music submitted may well also be reviewed for this Pierless Music website.

We look forward to hearing from you and we’ll keep you informed of future developments.

‘Gin & Chronic’ by The Kid Kapichi – Album Review

Just added to the Pierless Music ‘Reviews’ section is a review of the album ‘Gin & Chronic’ by The Kid Kapichi.

Find it here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/reviews/albums/the-kid-kapichi-gin-chronic/

The review was supplied to us by Indieed Kids: http://indieedreviews.blogspot.co.uk/ Thanks to them for that.

We were going to write our own review of ‘Gin & Chronic’. But, our own feelings about the album are so close to what Indieed Kids have written, that we thought we’d use theirs instead. Go have a read and find out what your ears are missing out on.

In their review, Indieed Kids mention how well the album is produced, something we at Pierless Music totally agree with. As they don’t mention the album production credits in the review, we thought we’d share them here.

‘Gin & Chronic’ was recorded by Rufus Jonathon Paul Evans and James Gulliver. Produced and mixed by James Gulliver. Mastered by Dick Beetham and the album artwork is by William Suckling.

For a little taster of the album, here’s a tour video of The Kid Kapichi which includes the opening track from ‘Gin & Chronic’, ‘Alley Sally’. Enjoy.