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:

http://www.sentricmusic.com/blog/2014/november/26/ask-the-tour-manager/

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:

https://medium.com/@jackconte/pomplamoose-2014-tour-profits-67435851ba37

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.

Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou

There have been many instances of musicians moving to the Hastings area in recent years. In fact I heard of another well known name, who’s just moved here, only the other day. I’ll leave you in suspense as to who it is….

One act who do now call St Leonards On Sea their home are husband and wife duo Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou. Having said that, they don’t seem to spend a lot of time in their new hometown, as they’ve been touring almost non-stop, with more dates to come in the near future.
In fact they have, literally, just returned from a tour of the USA and Europe with Tori Amos.

In October they go out on tour again, this time in the UK, supporting Danny and The Champions of the World.

If you want to see and hear why they are in such demand as a support act, they have a hometown gig this Sunday, 31st August at the Masonic Hall in St Leonards On Sea. On this occasion they will be the main act, supported by Dan Whitehouse.
I’ve not see Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou live myself, so will certainly be there for this gig. I did however play tracks from their 2012 album ‘La Ferme De Fontenaille’ on both Hastings Rock and Carnival FM recently and can heartily recommend that.

If all the musicians who decide to move to our area are in same class as Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, I say keep ‘em coming.

Andy Gunton.

Maid of Ace – Tour Movie

It’s good to see any of our local bands playing gigs outside of the Hastings area, especially if those gigs happen to be in mainland Europe.

So, we thought we’d share this 12 minute home movie of the recent tour of Germany and Belgium by Maid of Ace.

It was filmed by the band themselves, with a little help from Mike, and was edited by Mark Richards.

It looks like they had a lot of fun too, despite a broken down car.

Rumour has it that Maid of Ace may be off to the USA for a tour in the not too distant future.

Let’s hope they blaze a trail for other local bands to follow in their footsteps.

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.

 

SXSE Sunday

As part of this year’s Fat Tuesday festivities, SXSE will be making a comeback.

Some of you may remember SXSE (South by South East) taking place at The Carlisle a couple of years ago, I know I do. Well, the organisers have decided to revive the event for 2014, but with a few changes.

SXSE Sunday will take place at The Union Bar (Formerly The Tubman) on Sunday 2nd March between approx 1 and 7pm. As with the previous event, bands/acts will be showcasing their talents in front of a panel of respected judges. But this time around the ‘prize’ is a coveted slot on the official Fat Tuesday tour on the evening of Tuesday 4th March.

More details about SXSE Sunday itself and how your act can apply to play can be found here. There is an application form to be filled in online:

http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/sxse/

Bands applying will be asked to perform a 20 minute set of original material on the day. They must also be available to play three 20 minute sets, at three different venues, on Fat Tuesday itself.

Applying to play may not guarantee a place on SXSE Sunday, as acts will be pre-judged to ensure that only the best, or most suitable, get to play. Bands/acts will be informed on Friday 14th February as to whether they’ve been invited to play. So, get those entries in today. Don’t miss out.

As mentioned on the Fat Tuesday/SXSE website, this event is all tied up with the new Hastings Fat Tuesday charity, which I am a part of. The charity has been set up to help support, encourage, promote and nurture original local musical talent.

To quote the website “The Fat Tuesday team are developing mentor opportunities, which will be offered to local bands/performers that demonstrate potential and whose members are driven towards careers in the music industry. These offers, grants and opportunities will be discussed on an individual bespoke basis, depending on the specific requirements of the band/performer in question. But in principle they might include: recording and mastering of demo tracks with introductions to a choice of producers and engineers; promotional video production; song writing workshops; business advice; brand development; assistance with equipment; touring and regular performance opportunities both locally and further afield.”

Acts playing at SXSE Sunday are under no obligation to get involved with the Hastings Fat Tuesday charity, but it would be a great opportunity for you to showcase your talent and potential.

It would be good to see you there on the day, whether as a performer or as a spectator. So put that date in your diary, Sunday 2nd March, 1 to 7pm at The Union Bar, Hastings.