‘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.

Keane at The Forum

Regular contributor to the Pierless Music site, Stuart Huggett, recently had the chance to see Keane in the intimate surroundings of The Forum in Tunbridge Wells. Lucky man.

This is his review of that up close and personal gig.

Keane – Tunbridge Wells Forum, October 25th 2013:

Keane are helping celebrate several anniversaries at tonight’s back-to-basics gig, an intimate affair in Tunbridge Wells’ famed Forum. The Battle band mark 10 years of huge international success with a ‘Best Of’ album next month, and this show is an early present for their original home Fierce Panda Records, soon to reach 20 years of talent spotting. The Forum also turned 20 this year, one of the country’s great toilet circuit survivors.

For me, it’s also an anniversary show. It’s been 13 years to the month since I first saw Keane live, supporting Northern Soul-loving indiepop group Spearmint at the Crypt. This was the early years of Keane, then a struggling four-piece band (guitarist Dominic Scott would quit a year later) yet to settle on the piano-led sound that would make their name.

Aside from Tom Chaplin’s patient frustration with their billing – the Crypt was publicising them variously as both ‘Kean’ and ‘Keen’ – all I really remember of their set that evening was the would-be epic edge that differentiated them from the usual post-grunge supports we were used to seeing. Credit to the anonymous writer for The Fly magazine, though, who reviewed the show and noted that, “Once again the Crypt has delivered a band that could make it in the current market.” Despite many opportunities, I’ve not caught Keane live since, until tonight.

There were reports in the press earlier this week that the band were ready to announce their split, a story already rubbished by Chaplin. Certainly Keane are in extremely high spirits tonight, enjoying the chance to tease each other on the smaller stage, joking with the crowd and reminiscing about the time they got bumped off the bill at the Forum by the almost-forgotten Stellastarr. If they’re ready to take a break, they’re leaving in a fine mood.

Photo taken of the crowd at the Forum by Keane’s drummer Richard Hughes

Pleasingly for this nostalgia trip, the set leans heavily on Keane’s mega-selling debut ‘Hopes And Fears’. The addition of bassist Jesse Quin means you’d have to squint pretty hard to pretend this was a three-piece Keane gig from back in the day, and Chaplin himself is a much more lean and confident figure than he once was, but by restricting Tim Rice-Oxley to just the one keyboard the sound is as clean and clear as during their breakthrough era. Even the treated synth squall of ‘Is It Any Wonder?’ is stripped down to its piano essentials.

Old songs are resurrected, unplayed b-sides are unearthed and even the two new songs from the ‘Best Of’ (‘Watch How You Go’ and ‘Higher Than The Sun’) are met with singalongs. Some of the most devoted fans apparently started queueing at 2am this morning so they keep Keane onstage as long as the venue’s able.

10 million sales and counting, this is a jubilant celebration of local boys done good. From the Weald to the world. See you in another 13 years for the comeback.

Stuart Huggett

Setlist: Bend And Break / Black Burning Heart / Everybody’s Changing / Myth / Silenced By The Night / Watch How You Go / This Is The Last Time / Is It Any Wonder? / Sea Fog / Won’t Be Broken / Somewhere Only We Know / Sovereign Light Café / Bedshaped.
Encore: Snowed Under / Higher Than The Sun / Crystal Ball.

Keane website: http://www.keanemusic.com/

Stuart Huggett: http://dizzytigerstu.wordpress.com/

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?