Tuesday, 21 May 2013

By By, Farewell

Last week I heard the very sad news that Wakefield musician Liam Pease-Smith had died. And I was surprised how much it upset me, really, as I can’t say we were especially close and our paths only ever crossed in conjunction with our roles in the Wakefield music scene. We were, at best, somewhere between minor characters and cameos in each others lives, yet the fact he is no longer around has affected me profoundly. Cameo seems an apt word - even if was only for a few seconds, you'd certainly remember a meeting with Liam.

In fact, I clearly remember the first time I met him. My band had just played a set at Inns Of Court (and due to my detailed record keeping I could probably figure out the exact date, if i so wished). At that time I was 'running' a very small record label called Geek Pie Records, and putting on a few gigs. It was mine and my friends first bash at DIY and was all handmade sleeves and poorly recorded songs in bedrooms that were barely mixed, let alone mastered.

This wild-eyed character approached me as I packed up my gear. He was mad with enthusiasm and excitement and handed me a series of crumpled pieces of A4 stapled together. He was insistent that Geek Pie Records release the upcoming EP / Album by his band, called By By, and as if to prove how serious he was had produced a petition - the stapled papers - signed by as many people as he could find. Astoundingly, it included the signature of comedian Richard Herring, who in the ‘why should Geek Pie sign By By box’ had written something along the lines of “To keep him off the streets and out of my way!”

If By By had 'made it' and / or Geek Pie had been a real label, that's the kind of story that creates a legend. Instead, I had just been introduced to one of the most eccentric people I've ever come across. Geek Pie never released the record (Martin Watches The Skies)  though it wasn't for want of trying; pre my tenure at Rhubarb Bomb, we advertised it's upcoming release in issue 11.

By the time Liam's track Dirty Day Sludge was released on the Geek Pie Compilation Future Relics, many in Wakefield had become accustomed to the By By live show. Well, accustomed suggests some kind of acceptance and understanding of what was going on. You endured a By By live show, but I don't especially mean that in a negative way. It was his style of performance

Largely they featured Liam, alone, sat cross legged in the floor with his keyboard across his lap, or sometimes an oddly tuned guitar. Liam wailed more than sung. The keyboard was cheap. The playing was inconsistent. The music was simplistic.

But it had something. It had an honesty, without a doubt. Each song was a journey through some part of Liam's psyche, and they gave the impression that his mind was a confusing, troubled, but playful place. I once commented that one of his songs sounded like a rather disturbing acid trip and he was instantly thrilled I'd picked up on that, then just as quickly despondent that his music sounded that way. I think he just wanted to make pop music.

But the great thing about By By was the mischievous side to the performances. Liam revelled in being the noisy, discordant 'talentless' guy on the bill, and at open mic nights. He was the antithesis to dullness, in every way.

Oddly, in the 24 or so hours between his death and me hearing about it, I saw a band that perfectly illustrated what he stood against. They were called Pugwash. Middle aged old hacks, they must've been going 20 odd years. They sounded exactly like the covers bands at The Hop, except they were playing their own songs. Old men, going through the motions, to the point where event the banter is planned out. Safe, clean, toe-tapping nothings. They are everything I dislike about music.

The idea of By By being inflicted upon fans of bands like that was very exciting to me, and I think Liam revelled in that idea too. Which isn't to say what he did was a joke. But he walked the line smartly between the two. Many a time, Rob Dee and I would watch him and we would try and pin down what it was that he had. As a zine writer or a record label - or indeed as a music fan - we love nothing more than someone who is willing to get in people's faces, and challenge their ideas and perceptions. It doesn't matter how good or bad the playing is - anyone can practice and be 'proficient' - we are looking for something harder to define. We saw it in him and hoped he would make something of it.

Liam was also a Bambino, writing lyrics for the band, including their Philophobia release InBed With The Bambinos, and the split single with The Ran Tan Waltz (I always loved that Bambinos group shot). He would talk in length about constructing these lyrics and despite not being on stage for the gigs, was a dedicated member. Sadly, despite a lot of love in Wakefield, the band never got much momentum and disbanded in 2011.

It was around 2010/11 when I saw Liam most. Now much busier myself with Rhubarb Bomb, our paths crossed alot more often. He seemed to have ten new ideas every week; concepts for By By records, ideas for touring, or lyrics, or just people he would like to piss off. I took much of what he said with a pinch of salt. At that time, I had changed my own outlook on 'getting things done'. I heard alot of people talking about what they were going to do; writing a screenplay, forming a band, releasing a record, starting a fanzine etc etc etc but never getting round to it (alot of them are still saying these things now). I decided I didn't want to be like that and would never even talk about my ideas unless they were definitely going to happen.

Liam was like those other people in some respects, but the difference was that he didn't follow through on his ideas because he simply had so many of them - and many of them were wildly ambitious. Looking back now, it seems he needed other people to help him realise his ideas, because when he did make it to the finish line, they were great. The Bambinos was a good example of this, and when he saught help with By By, the results were also impressive. His track on the PhilophobiaMusic compilation was like nothing else on there and his self titled EP (first track below, my original review here) was impressive, building on the eccentric solo live shows. I wonder now if I could have
helped him more.

There was clearly a darkness to Liam too, which became more explicit in later years, but when amongst the right people in the right place, he thrived. And never more so that the Rhubarb Bomb coach trip to London in 2010.

Although he never shouted about it, he essentially bank-rolled that trip. I can't remember how, but he had come into a bit of money and had some vague idea about getting some Wakefield bands on a coach. We worked on it together and eventually 50 Wakefieldians coached it down to The Windmill in Brixton and Chat Noir, Piskie Sits and Runaround Kids played with Elks. I think everyone had a great time - it was a very memorable day out and jolly and communal in a way that only coach trips can be. Without Liam throwing £500 into the pot, most of us probably couldn't have afforded it. It's funny watching back now, we are all so young!

I think this was Liam at his best, showing his generosity and his love of his friends. He had a busy mind and was a thinker; his thoughts seemed to escape his mind almost uncontrollably, which could be a blessing and a curse. He seemed to flit from extroversion to introversion on the spin of a coin. Sometimes he would revel in his free-wheeling 'madness' yet was self aware enough to see how daft that was. Like all of us, he was just trying to find his place in the world.

I didn't see him very often over the last couple of years. Largely this was him frequenting gigs and the like less often. But a peace seemed to have entered his life too, that encroaching sense of domesticity that can arrive out of nowhere in your mid twenties. I felt happy for him. The eccentricities that veered towards disturbing and upsetting now seemed like the indiscretions of youth and I really hoped he had found his place. 

The last time I saw him was briefly at Long Division 2012. After that, my understandings of where his life went were restricted purely to Facebook updates from him and others. The story sadly turned very dark, details of which are not worth mentioning here. But whatever those demons that troubled him in his youth were, they were still very much present and these, combined with circumstance led everything else to unravel.

Liam's battle was always with himself. I am sure his close friends feel the same when I say that I wish he could have seen himself as others saw him; a good natured, considerate and thoughtful man. I can't pretend to know him well at all, but it was clear to all there was some internal struggle underway. He spent time in Fieldhead and I now feel naive to have thought he was 'better' when some of the troubles he had were probably just a part of his character, part of the person we knew. In mental health, there is no right and wrong. We can only measure it by how capable that person is at existing within society. Some people aren't built for that.

The saddest thing for me is that Liam was built for that, or damn near close. He was that great type of person that as an artist walked the line between madness and genius. He could be inspiring, shocking, thoughtful and evil. It would have taken just a couple of random acts of the universe to have gone the other way for him to have been a happy and successful man, and there was still time to engineer those changes. I wish I could have told him that, and I wish I could have helped him get there.

I can't imagine how bad things had got for him. We have to respect Liam enough to accept he made a decision based on things only he could truly understand and explain. But I wish I could have spoken to him and even though I barely knew him compared to so many, I feel like I have failed him in some way.

The tributes I have seen on Facebook show how important he was to the people who knew him best. I decided to write this as a way to try and remember him, and maybe to find a lesson in it all.

The latter is the hard part, and the part we are left to mull over for the rest of our own lives, but at least remembering him wont be so difficult; that boy was a complete one-off and I am glad I knew him.

Dean Freeman

The Wave Pictures Interview

The wonderful Wave Pictures are back in town for their second Long Division Festival appearance. Liam Tyrell spoke to frontman David Tattersall recently. The ingenious, witty lyricist and virtuoso guitarist talks releases, rhubarb & Wakefield.
The Wave Pictures were many people’s highlight of the first ever Long Division Festival. You performed at Henry Boons, where you also did a set with Stanley Brinks & Freschard. Any memories of that day three years back and how does it compare with other festivals?

I remember that day very well. I had a great time! It's always a lot of fun for us to play in Wakefield.   

You’ve been back to Wakefield and played a couple of shows at The Hop. This time around we’re really excited about witnessing The Wave Pictures in the regal surroundings of The Theatre Royal.  Does playing a new venue like this give you an extra buzz?

Yeah, I like to play theatres.

Do you prefer playing big stages or do you feel more at home in the more intimate venues like the tiny place Wakefield promoter Gary Cotton and I saw you at in Hamburg?

All different kinds of shows present different opportunities to you. I like the small, bar shows as these tend to be exciting. But I also really like to play seated theatre type shows, where you can go really quiet and play some ballads. I enjoy that. Anything that keeps you thinking on your feet is good.

The band has been busy as usual with some side projects.  You’re working again with Darren Hayman I gather and also have a charity release out in aid of the family of Jason Molina (which features Jeffrey Lewis whom we are also blessed to have here for The Festival weekend). Can you tell us a bit about these records?

We've just finished recording two albums. One as the backing band for Stanley Brinks, and one as the backing band for Hugh Noble and Adam Lipman. We recorded the Stanley Brinks one at Soup Studio in Limehouse, and the Noble/Lipman one with Darren Hayman, at his house. We're just the band on these albums. Hired guns! 

I wrote an article about the Jason Molina album. Anyone who is curious should visit ''The Wave Pictures - Songs Of Jason Molina'' bandcamp page.

They can read what I had to say, if they feel like it, or just listen to the songs we recorded. We didn't know Jason personally - met him a couple of times in total. We were fans of his music first and foremost. I would recommend ''The Lioness'' by Songs Ohia, if anyone wants to listen to some of Jason's music. That's a great record.

You’ve also got a double album in the pipeline. Sounds ambitious but from the strength of the new tracks you aired last time out here it promises much. What made you decide to make it a double and when is that due out?

I never had a burst of productivity quite like this one. About forty songs came out of me in two weeks. We clearly had a double album on our hands. I don't know why this happened. But I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. It wasn't a conceptual decision, this was just the album that we had on our hands to make. Things have never been better in the band - we're enjoying ourselves tremendously at the moment. Maybe that's why it came about. 

The three of you are now London based. You and Franic, the bass player, are originally from rural Leicestershire.  Quite appropriately drummer Johhny ‘Huddersfield ‘ Helm, happens to be from Huddersfield.  As well as that fifteen miles down the road local link I gather you yourself have a Wakefield connection?

I have family in Wakefield. I used to visit every now and again when I was younger.

Any plans to move to Manchester?  Only I hear one time member of our headliners The Fall , Marc Riley,  would like to have you as his resident 6 Music studio session band over in Salford.

Marc Riley has been so good to us. He's such a nice bloke. We'd do a session for him anytime we could. No plans to move to Manchester, nice as it is. I always enjoy a day trip there but I'm very happy living in London at the moment.

Thanks for your time David. Now, you are renowned for your  frequent foodie lyrics.  Any chance you could work on a future rhubarb reference in honour of Wakefield, the capital of the Rhubarb Triangle?

There's always a chance! I like to eat rhubarb crumble and custard every once in a while.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Boxing Klub Review

Boxing Klub
Boxing Klub EP

This week I’ve had a listen to Boxing Klub’s self-titled 3 track EP. The first track, Culture Vulture, pretty much tells you the whole story; it opens with an abrasive, dirty wall of noise and as it settles into its blues tinged riff the track flexes some muscle as it drives through gear after gear. There are obvious directions to point in terms of influences, let’s just say ginger hair, desert, friend of Arctic Monkeys and leave that there, because in its own right this EP is quite stylish and determined.

Time Machine plays with a more ‘British’ sound for the guitars and the vocals explore a slightly different path. These songs are sufficiently hook-laden to snag the cardigan sleeve of your interest as you brush past; not that I’m saying you wear cardigans, but I bet you do!

Right On Trend completes the trio of tracks and lends more weight to the argument that your Long Division 2013 itinerary should include them. Stylish, confident and just gritty enough to grab your attention is my conclusion. Now just pray that the weather arrives in time…

Matt Rhodie

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Live At Leeds 2013 Review

Live At Leeds
May 4th

I missed Live At Leeds last year, and though it was for very good reason, I was excited to be back. The traipsing, the queuing; all the realities of a busy festival in a bustling city centre were far from my mind, until around 12:01, when they became hardened facts that persisted for the next twelve hours. But more on that later.

The thing I personally like about Live At Leeds is catching new bands, or bands that are just names I've heard in passing. That is partly by my own zine remit, and partly a recurring inability to actually see the larger bands without having to queue on a one-in-one-out basis. I just take it as read that I won't be able to see the Darwin Deez and Everything Everything's of a Live At Leeds line-up.

Perhaps it was this idea that brought home to role of the Press in this kind of endeavour. I'm so naive. I think I only just realised that all the silver wristed devils skipping the lines are not there in order to review bands and then give an accurate account of whether the festival is worth joe public spending their hard earned cash on it.

No, it's in order to write about, or shoot, the kinds of bands that attract visits to website, or whose name sell magazines; or attracts advertisers to the free ones. I thought writers were there to perform a public service! What a fool.

So my virtuous quest began in a safe and comfortable place; watching Mi Mye at Milo's. I've seen them maybe fifty times, but I felt I should support one of only three Wakefield bands on the 120+ band bill. What's with that? Flicking through the Live At Leeds programme it did cross my mind that perhaps bands in Wakefield simply don't use moody enough lighting in their press shots. How dowdy us Wakefieldians must look in our 90s attire, in fields of Rhubarb or outside pubs.

Mi Mye represent us well (despite being absent from said programme) although they are over critical of a snare-skinning mishap that left them with a drum that went 'Tong!' where it should have gone 'Boom!' But never mind. The three piece version of the band is now well worn in, but is able to slip from mournful and minimal to buoyant and beaming in a matter of seconds. I preferred it when the bassist had curly hair, but apart from that, it's a happy start to the day.

I briefly caught some of Charlie Straw at The Cockpit. Although far too country-fried for my cynical taste-buds, a great show was in motion, certainly so judging by the foot stomping that threatened to knock the floor / ceiling through.

A journey up past the wristband exchange revealed the extent of the queuing problems. Although the switch of venue seemed to make sense, something went terribly wrong. Up beyond that was the queue for the O2 Academy, which was equally dire. Queuing for venues at these types of festivals will always happen. But this year it seemed to happen at all of them, not just those holding the headliners. Was the whole thing oversold? It's a difficult thing to balance, creating a bill that has 100 capacity venues and 2000 capacity. If I had been a paying customer this year, it would have given me serious pause for thought. The hassle is close to overtaking the worth in waiting.

I saw James from Post War Glamour Girls hanging round Stylus. He was in good spirits before their show. Sadly I had to make a tough call and miss them in place of Middleman, but I heard a whole load of great things about their set, and I'm glad things are still on the ascendency for them.

Middleman are a difficult thing to warrant missing. But despite them being one of the busiest and most prolific live bands around, it’s a good while since I’ve caught a full set. The sound for the first couple of songs wasn't quite there, but whether it was them or the soundman settling in, over the course of their all too short thirty minutes, it all came together in spectacular style. And that made it special; it was like falling in love all over again. The Prodigy was the name that came to mind for me more than it has in the past; specifically the way the synth sounds on Liam Howlett’s last effort called back to their earlier days in the early ‘90s without sounding reductive or nostalgic. The same energy was there throughout, in the company of a smiling, celebratory warmth that radiates from band to audience, and back again. Every night is Wembley for Middleman. I hope Zane Lowe who had popped up North just to see them was as impressed as I was.

A twenty minute walk to The Wardrobe came next. To my shame, I often forget the place exists, the downstairs at least. Which is terribly because I reckon it is one of the best venues in the city. It's the perfect place for Sweet Baboo to tootle through their set of deceptively simple compositions of fey, winking songs about love and dancing, mainly. It's a polite sound, clean-guitar led that focuses on feeling and a persistent groove over volume or showmanship. Not a million miles from The Wave Pictures and the like; thirty minutes was just right.

Walking out of The Wardrobe to be faced with Aagrar's at teatime was too much temptation to resist. The following journey back up to Leeds University seemed less harsh when used to walk off a curry. Dutch Uncles waited for us in Stylus - a venue that is thankfully without queues, largely due to its architecture that welcomes large audiences.

Up on the many balconies, the sound was once again left wanting. Their energy didn't quite transfer to the back of the room but hey, I could have squashed my way to the front if I was that bothered. The aching stomach still dealing with the assault of Saag Gosht probably persuaded me otherwise but pleasingly many others had chosen to partake. It was a quality set, including an impressive 'duelling xylophone' section. The frontman worked the audience with his elastic hips, the band with style to spare. A good show.

Although I would have liked to have seen Darwin Deez, especially after missing an apparently awesome show at Long Division two years ago, I suspected only queues would await. As is often the case - and I suspect most people are forced to do this once the evening comes - the decision was made to stay exactly where we were, which did at least mean one of the headliners; The Walkmen.

Given the remit I laid out at the start of this review, they were perfect. A name I have heard a thousand times, often in gushing reviews, I've never actually bought a record, and could only name The Rat as a song of theirs. Given that reference point, they were quieter than I expected, generally, and not as directly exciting and powerful. The singer seemed in good spirits, having been 'playing darts in The Fenton all afternoon.’ A couple of songs encouraged a semi-pit of exuberance and I did enjoy the show, but I wasn't totally won over in the way I expected. I thought I'd be ordering a back catalogue the following day, but I'm still not sure. But it was a good performance from what was a shrewd booking from Live At Leeds.

The end to the day instead came from Sky Larkin. I've probably not seen them since a previous Live At Leeds, maybe four years ago and typically for a man rapidly leaving his twenties, I found comfort in this fleeting familiarity. The twelfth hour of drinking probably did it too mind, and though I remember little of the songs, I know it felt good to have them back.

Live At Leeds is unquestionably a good thing. The queues were a problem this year. And not just for the venues. The bar in most places too. And the toilets. Alongside the walking between venues it made it feel like hard work at times, and this is me happily seeing whoever I want, without feeling the need to get my money's worth, or please some editor or other.

Furthermore, this year left me with the feeling that the festival is becoming more like a showcase than an event. I saw good bands in good venues but none were especially memorable. The line-up, though expansive, felt like a collection of achingly cool 'potential next big things' thrown together, rather than a personally curated day and hence lacks personality as a whole. It's a great festival to see a massive chunk of music, and is also great at giving bands a chance to shine. But the feeling of quantity over quality raised its head, despite me not actually seeing a bad performance. I don't know what Live At Leeds is, I can't see a personality coming through, or an ethos. So it inevitably feels like a cattle market when you are being literally herded through queues most of the day, when it should feel like a sweet shop full of new and tasty delights.

Of course, Live At Leeds is more than a day of gigs, and I have to say that The Unconference was excellent. There's a big gig on the Sunday and the football tournament on the Monday, so my criticisms are directly challenged there. The community aspect is strong with all those elements; I would like to see this made more explicit on the Saturday.

Dean Freeman

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Random Facts On The Future Of Music (Unconference)

I went to The Unconference for the first time this year. It is part of Live At Leeds and brings industry type people from all levels together to tell yocals like you and I what is really going on. It was a very well organised day, with some genuinely interesting insights across the board.

There were parts on the state of the music industry as one gigantic monolith, looking at sales and trends. Some were very direct suggestions to bands starting out and how to attract the attention of labels, radio and fans.

I came out of it feeling naïve, if anything. I guess, because I’ve been so immersed in DIY, I had almost forgotten what a huge business music still is. The absolute bottom line for bands out there is that you have to work incredibly hard, more so than ever. And you need to be smart – the future isn’t just playing chords on a guitar, not if you want to make this your living. I highly recommend going next year.

Anyway, I didn’t take a notepad and there was free beer too, so my memory isn’t excellent. But here are a random selection of points that stuck in my head for you to digest as you see fit.

- In the last ten years, globally, physical sales have halved. The rise of digital sales has gone someway to covering that shortfall, but not completely. In real terms, that means that in the last ten years five million people have effectively stopped buying music.

- CD sales still account for 57% of all music sales in the UK.

- Although it may seem like a complete nonsense, Facebook likes and Twitter followers are important to record labels and radio pluggers. Although people like Alan Raw at BBC Introducing plays what he likes, when those he champions are passed onto the likes of Radio 1 & 6, they use social networks to make a snap judgement on your popularity. Is it worth them playing you if you have 69 followers and no Twitter account? Although you may see it as a necessary evil, the industry sees it as a legitimate measurement of your popularity.

- However, do not for a second consider buying friends or followers. The worth of having them is that they are true fans - that is the whole point, if you are then to exploit / use those likes to develop your career further.

- The physical package is no longer the product. It is the experience of being a fan, and this is why social media is seen as so important.

- Couple of social media tips. 1) It is the best way to interact with and grow your fan base. Give it as much time as you can. Consider it part of your ‘job’ 2) Interact, don't just preach. If all you say is "Buy my record" it won't work. 3) Reward loyalty 4) Don't talk about music all the time. As in, the technical aspects. Most people don't care about the make of guitar, or the EQ on a recording, or some fancy chord. Talk about things people can relate to; influences, the meaning behind songs etc. 5) the official stat is that any post you do on Facebook, 10-15% of your followers will see it. At the most. So if you want 50 people at your gig, a guide would be to have 500 fans.

- If you dream of being a completely self sufficient band that can tour the UK in a van, the suggested guideline would be 50,000 Facebook likes, according to the label experts. So clearly just getting your friends to like your page is not going to work. How do you get more followers? At the most basic level, you have to be interesting - in what you post and what you do as a band. If you are always gigging, it will come naturally. If you play gigs in new places, if you get press off the back of it, they will grow. You need to be creative in your content creation.

- Do not pay radio pluggers to promote a release, unless part of a larger plan. Radio comes towards the end of a promotional campaign. It won’t work as a short cut.

- Some suggested that releasing records was a bad idea. It is akin to putting all your eggs in one basket. If you self release, or use a small label to, then that is a definitive statement. In May 2013 you released an EP. That sounds good now, but that has a finite lifetime. If you are releasing an EP the following year in the exact same way, does that suggest the first was a failure? If you are a band that is five years old and has released three albums and is still playing the local toilet venue circuit, does that tell the industry something it could otherwise waste thousands of pounds finding out - that you haven't got what it takes?

- There are loads of rubbish bands. There are loads of good bands. There are plenty of very good bands. The industry doesn't care about them. They only want great bands. Are you great?

- There was a listening panel that rated bands demos (bands that were in the audience). The majority of the advice seemed to be; you sound like so and so band. Get in touch with their manager, press agency etc Be like them as much as you can.

- More than ever, an audience can see through bullshit. You should bare this in mind when conducting your publicity. Of course, don't be boring, but do not have your photo taken in a moodily lit warehouse, or industrial landscape. Unless you happen to live there. If you think how much of an obvious cliché that is to you and I, imagine how many of those photos label bosses see. But above all, be honest and 'real'. Then your audience will connect with you (see social networking again).

- Spotify may seem huge now but it's not. Streaming is the future though. In ten years, downloads will seem pointless - they are a middle ground between physical and digital that will disappear. Quality physical products will survive though.

- World wide, of the top 10% of music buyers, the average spend is just £10 (or it might have been dollars). So if you spend more than £10 a month you are a big time music fan. The reason streaming subscriptions have not gone through the roof is clear from this stat. If you don’t spend more than £10 anyway, why would you sign up for free music for that fee? (the cost of Spotify)

- Spotify has a large turnover of users. A surprisingly large amount of people given free music, walk away. 22 million songs for free and they still go elsewhere... A good analogy for Spotify was that they are like a Trawler with their nets out, trying to grab every piece of music they can. They throw back anything that isn’t big enough. They aren’t bothered about over-fishing either, and the long term damage. Remember, the goal of Spotify is to get as big as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to sell their business to a major player (iTunes / Amazon) for a vast fee. That is their only endgame.

- Despite this, artists and record labels need to accept the streaming future and their main consideration should be how to be better than free.

- There is a large hole in the middle of the record industry. Due to accessibility improvements, small record labels are able to survive and adapt well. Large scale players still make money from physical sales and unlike most, are able to make money from streaming. The hole is the mid-level sized labels. Those that previously existed have either been swallowed up by the majors, or failed to adapt to the new industry. New ones don't emerge because small labels no longer make enough money to grow, and it is so apparent there is no money in the industry that very few are willing to fork out 100k as a start up. The net result is a greater gulf between small and large, one that is becoming harder and harder to jump - and often only possible with the helping hand of a major. So they still have the control, despite the digital revolution.

- Creating / selling an experience should also figure in your live shows. Hope & Social talked about creating a mythology. Part of this is making every gig an event. It can be highly detrimental to your career prospects to play the same venues, or type of venues, over and over again. The likelihood of getting new fans is low and the chances are you will lose fans through tedium. There has never been a better time to put on DIY gigs and experiment. As they said, if you do an exciting gig in an unusual place, you won't need to promote yourself endlessly on social media. People will talk about you without you trying. That is the ultimate goal.

- Record labels of the future will be more like production houses. The future of albums as one-off statements is supposedly in the past. In the digital age, an album will be a living thing, probably closest to what we now see as an app. It will still have a release date, but things will be added to it later on. Press cuttings, extra tracks, demos, session, photos, live videos. The technology exists to do that now, but the slow take up is down to the structure of larger labels. They likely don’t own the lyrics - the publishers have that. And the photos are copyright to someone else. It's all separate. A smart label starting up now will sign an artist not just to release their music, but to do everything; tours, merch, promotional photos and videos, side projects, lyrics etc. This likely happens with smaller labels already, albeit in an unofficial capacity. This is a way that smaller setups can get the jump on the majors, but you really want to get good mates with someone hot with coding and web design.