GIG ETIQUETTE FOR UNSIGNED MUSICIANS

1. Don’t use a gig as a rehearsal

In fact do the opposite; always treat your rehearsals as if you are playing an important gig. Playing gigs is a way to impress and attract new fans so always put in maximum effort, you never know who could be watching.

2. Always be on time

Nothing makes a worse impression than arriving late, especially if it means missing your sound check. Not only is this annoying for the venue and event organisers but it means you won’t be prepared for your show and therefore won’t play at your best.

3. Don’t be a prima donna

If you annoy venue staff by being demanding and acting like you own the place you are very unlikely to be asked back. Also, it’s probable that one venue or promoter will have ties with others and pass on the message of your diva ways giving you a bad reputation.

4. If you make a mistake, don’t react

If you realise you’ve done something wrong on stage, be professional and don’t react. Keep going and pretend it never happened rather than highlight your mistake. Fans will forget about it a lot sooner, if they even noticed it in the first place.

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Southsea Fest 2012 @ Albert Road, Portsmouth - September 15th

For one day only Portsmouth’s Albert Road is bustling with over 100 bands and thousands of music fans to celebrate the acclaimed Southsea Fest. Southsea Fest is an independent music festival and today it celebrates its 6th anniversary.

Southsea Fest is the best place to find unsigned and upcoming acts from around Britain. Kicking off at midday, and taking place in a range of venues and pubs throughout Albert Road, everywhere you look there’s a band or artist playing.

It’s around 2pm at Southsea Fest and at the One Eyed Dog pub on Elm Grove artist El Morgan performs her county folk, with only an acoustic guitar and her vocals she proves this is all she needs. She has an emotional, raw sound which is spine-tingling. Accompanied by a friend on one of her songs for backup vocals she sings a heartfelt song about her dad and ‘4am’ as a supporting Southsea Fest crowd watch.

Hangmen follow with their amazing rock ‘n’ roll surf sound, with fast guitars and infectious rhythms. Their instrumental set stands out from the other bands playing Southsea Fest today, they’re energetic and fun.

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Q&A: MOTION GRAPHICS ARTIST GAVDUDE

Whether you’re a rap artist, in a band or even a poet motion graphics artist Gavdude can bring your lyrics to life with his videos. Following a personal project where he animated the lyrics from an Eminem freestyle motion graphics artist Gavdude was commissioned by Interscope Records to produce a video for the track Let’s Go by Blink 182’s Travis Barker. Now he’s working on a video for this year’s Live and Unsigned Grand Final winners, Coco and the Butterfields.

Unsigned Muso were lucky enough to interview the motion graphics artist Gavdude to drag out all his top industry tips so we can pass the secrets on to you guys to get the job you really want. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Can you explain what motion graphics is to our readers?

A: Motion graphics is the use of video footage and/or animation to create the illusion of movement. Simply put it is video editing using a computer to create special effects which can range from simple title credits seen in TV or films, to the special effects we see in the Hollywood blockbusters.

Q: What is your background and were there other areas of design you worked in before settling on motion graphics for the music industry?

A: I am an Art Director and Graphic Designer by trade and have worked in various disciplines including Editoria, from the The Official Man United mag to luxury titles such as Orient Express. I did advertising for companies like HSBC, Shell, Vodaphone and Nokia and I also worked in the digital industry doing things like creating websites and apps.

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SELLING MUSIC ONLINE FOR UNSIGNED ACTS

Selling music online for unsigned acts: Welcome to another instalment of UM’s Unsigned Tips, giving advice on how to promote songs to fans and make money by selling music online for unsigned acts.

Now, more than ever it’s important for unsigned acts to take the do-it-yourself approach when it comes to promoting and selling music online. With less record labels signing artists it’s crucial for musicians to adopt that hands-on attitude.

As an unsigned act the first obvious way of making money from your music would be to gig, but it’s unlikely every gig will involve receiving large sums of money, if at all. However, by selling music online you could, over time, start to earn some money that could be reinvested into your act on things like merchandise, your website and studio time. We’ve got a few tips for unsigned acts to help you on your way to start selling music online.  

 

SELLING MUSIC ONLINE FOR UNSIGNED ACTS: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING AND SELLING MUSIC ONLINE

It’s not exactly a secret that CD sales are becoming a thing of the past but, with this decline, comes a rapid increase of digital music sales. Now is the perfect opportunity to utilise the incredible invention that is the internet and start promoting your act and selling music online instead of heading the traditional route of selling CD’s.

There’s no better way to get your name out there and make a bit of money whilst doing so than selling music online. Plus, it costs an awful lot more time and money to create a small batch of CD’s than it does selling music online.

What comes next is to make sure you put your digital tracks on as many major platforms as you can in order to reach as many music fans as possible. This is where we can help.

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REVIEW: Battle of the unsigned bands @ Newcastle’s Head of Steam - 7th September 2012

Moody Gowns, The Wind-up Birds and So What Robot

It was Leeds vs. Newcastle at the latest ‘The Outsider’ night at The Head of Steam. Representing the NE were 80’s inspired, whimsical progsters ‘So What Robot’ who were joined by two travelling bands from North Yorkshire – ‘The Wind-up Birds’ and ‘Moody Gowns’. It was a close call as to who won. ‘So What Robot’ are a thrill to watch; in particular for the astonishing bass skills of their front man Paul Bentley who flawlessly riffs his way through their prog-pop repertoire while never missing a note or a line. ‘The Wind-up Birds’ were less impressive, but hugely enthusiastic. The most ‘Leeds’ out of the two, front man “Kroyd” is like Johnny Vegas (in sound NOT looks!) giving a sermon; it’s passionate, northern poetry delivered in a frantic style. The endearing “taa very much” at the end of each song was a particular highlight for the Geordie crowd. ‘Moody Gowns' offer Punk, post-punk, ska, electronica, you name it - there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Fronted by Nathan Woolsey who has a sort of Johnny Rotten type appeal/look, moves around the stage like a space invader, while whacking his effects pad like an excitable child. Excellent stuff. The winners though were the locals – seriously, go and check 'So What Robot' out this year.

Words by Andrew Openshaw

REVIEW: Unsigned live music event in Derby @ The Vic - 27th August 2012 

Our loyal UM Derby rep, Adam Humphreys, has been to a unsigned live music event in Derby at The Vic to check out both the acoustic talent and live bands that are up and coming in and around Derby. Check out how the unsigned live music event in Derby went.

Arriving at the unsigned live music event in Derby there were two stages; one for acoustic artists, at the front of the house by the bar and the other for bands, further down the back. The unsigned live music event in Derby progressed back and forth between the bands and the artists giving the audience a double helping of great music, all in just one evening. Here’s the line-up from the unsigned live music event in Derby:

She Will Be Hollywood

A four piece band that got the unsigned live music event in Derby started. Armed with a grunge like sound with a punk rock edge and fully energised vocals, courtesy of the lead singer, got the night off to a good start.Great live and worth listening to again. 

James Thomas

Next, over at the front of The Vic was James Thomas. This solo artist entertained the audience with his acoustic melodies along with his superb vocals giving a good intimate performance. He even treated everyone to a Mumford and Sons cover. James Thomas is an extremely good artist with a strong acoustic performance.

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ONES TO WATCH: 7 unsigned bands to watch out for in Derby!

UM Rep for Derby, Adam Humphreys, gives us the lowdown on seven unsigned bands to watch out for in Derby…

The Struts

A four piece rock band whose style mixes eighties with indie-rock sounds. Their influences range from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen to modern day acts such as Kaiser Chiefs and Oasis. Lead singer, Luke Spiller, has a panache similar to Mick Jagger and Steve Taylor. The Struts are definitely a band worth seeing, the charisma from the lead man is guaranteed to get the crowd moving in no time!

The Struts

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Music Venues in Derby!

Welcome to Derby

Our UM Rep for Derby, Adam Humphreys, shares the best muso hot spots in Derby!

The Victoria Inn a.k.a The Vic; situated just opposite the train station, just on the cusp of the town centre. Many known bands have played there during their early years and the locals and visitors definitely enjoy going for a taste of both local and main-stream bands such as Kasabian, Snow Patrol, Biffy Clyro and The Subways to name a few. 

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Brighton Unsigned Band Review: Yourgardenday

Our Brighton UM rep, Kaye Inglis, went to see Brighton unsigned band Yourgardenday at The Live Music Zooberon 1st Birthday in July 2012. Here is what she had to say:

Robin Coward, the man behind the music of Brighton’s yourgardenday, played an integral part in the launch of the Live Music Zooberon - one of the city’s most successful independent live music nights. This was a fact that organiser Mark Stack was quick to point out at the night’s first birthday party in July.

yourgardenday has been around in some form or another for several years. After playing at Glastonbury in 2010, a brief hiatus ensued, before Robin met drummer and talented vocalist Peter Rowley at one of the open mic nights he hosts in the city. The present incarnation was born soon afterwards.

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(Source: unsignedmuso.co.uk)

In the next issue of UM we catch up with Alex Baker from Kerrang! Radio - Here’s a sneak preview of one of his tips:

"Too many bands try and sound like their favourite bands, originality comes from just doing what you want to do because you want to do it and not worrying about whether it’s fashionable or the sound of the moment. Bands like Enter Shikari started out because they loved Trance and they loved Metal. You have to do what’s true to you - if you don’t believe in your music, no one else will."

Issue 2 will be available from mid July - more details on how to get your copy soon! In the meantime limited copies of Issue 1 are still available, email editor@unsignedmuso.co.uk with subject ‘subscribe’ and your postal address for your FREE copy now!

In the next issue of UM we catch up with Alex Baker from Kerrang! Radio - Here’s a sneak preview of one of his tips:

"Too many bands try and sound like their favourite bands, originality comes from just doing what you want to do because you want to do it and not worrying about whether it’s fashionable or the sound of the moment. Bands like Enter Shikari started out because they loved Trance and they loved Metal. You have to do what’s true to you - if you don’t believe in your music, no one else will."

Issue 2 will be available from mid July - more details on how to get your copy soon! In the meantime limited copies of Issue 1 are still available, email editor@unsignedmuso.co.uk with subject ‘subscribe’ and your postal address for your FREE copy now!