Tag: andy roberts

Parliamentary debate on the future of Arts, Creative & Cultural Industries and Birmingham.

Parliamentary debate on the future of Arts, Creative & Cultural Industries

The first debate in the House of Commons on arts and culture in over five years took place on 19th June 2013. Given the huge economic and cultural value the sector generates, how important to the government is the future? Maybe the clue is in the massive turn out (See picture above). Some valuable arguments were raised, including the BBC representation of regional broadcast production and investment to the Midlands. Here is the transcript or you can cringe through the video here:

If you are interested to read how some people perceive, research and formulate recommendations for the growth of the Independent Music Sector in Birmingham, read through this document: Does Birmingham punch below its weight? Research and recommendations for growth of the Independent Music Sector in Birmingham by Councillor Ernie Hendricks, James Burkmar, Kevin D’Costa. It has only taken three years of emails, phone calls, and meetings to chase down and read a copy of this, but read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

And if you want more, to put some context around what’s been going on over the years, have a read of this, it’s an eye opener. Birmingham: How to kill a city – The Economist http://goo.gl/fb/pZgKq  – Britain’s planning laws all too often restrict and prevent investment which might create economic growth. It is worth remembering occasionally that things were once even worse. For proof of that, see this fascinating post on Birmingham’s economy in the 1950s and 1960s, by Henry Overman, of the LSE’s Spatial Economics Research Centre. It’s worth reading. A shorter version here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2013/05/birmingham

More articles worth reading and discussing can be found here: http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/strategy/

Destination Birmingham. Birmingham A Music City Scrutiny Report

In 2010 Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry was asked to answer 10 Questions.

In May 2011 UK Music published “Destination: Music” the first study of its kind to scope the economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism throughout the UK. You can read all about it at http://www.ukmusic.org/news/post/147-music-tourists-contribute-at-least-864m-a-year-to-the-uk-economy

After May 2011 Emma Williamson (Group Overview and Scrutiny Manager) & Baseema Begum (Research & Policy Officer) at the Scrutiny Office of Birmingham City Council got in touch. Emma & Baseema sent through several documents that asked a number of interesting questions. Rather than try to answer the questions on your behalf, The Music Network decided to pass the questions on to you direct.

In October 2011 The Music Network asked Another 10 Questions.

The Music Network hope the discussion will continue. We have collected together your opinions, consultation and research here in the Strategy category.

In February 2012 An email and Scrutiny Report Document was sent to us by Baseema Begum, Research & Policy Officer, Scrutiny Office, Birmingham City Council. The email read as follows: Continue reading

Another 10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry.

Last year, Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry was asked to answer 10 Questions. In 2011 The Music Network is asking Another 10 Questions to continue the discussion. Replies by email can be sent to: info at birminghammusicnetwork.com

In May 2011 UK Music published “Destination: Music” the first study of its kind to scope the economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism throughout the UK. You can read all about it at http://www.ukmusic.org/news/post/147-music-tourists-contribute-at-least-864m-a-year-to-the-uk-economy

In recent weeks Emma Williamson (Group Overview and Scrutiny Manager) & Baseema Begum (Research & Policy Officer) at the Scrutiny Office of Birmingham City Council have been in touch. Emma & Baseema sent through several documents that ask a number of interesting questions. Rather than try to answer the questions on your behalf, The Music Network has decided to pass the questions on to you direct. The questions have no deadline for submission, the questions will be open to anyone to answer at any time. Your thoughts and opinions are welcome, at any time. We hope the discussion will continue. For more opinion, consultation and research we have collected together, read through our posts so far in the Strategy category.

If you want to submit your own “Ten Questions” or even just “One new question” please email them in. When we have enough, I’ll post them as “More Questions”. Completed submissions will be published at http://www.birminghammusicnetwork.com unless you state otherwise. Please include your Name, brief biography or information about who you are and what you do, and links to your website or blog. You will be credited as the author of the response. Views from all sides are sought so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. We may learn something. I will invite Emma, Baseema and their colleagues to read your published answers here on the website for themselves.

The following questions have been inspired by the contents of a letter to Birmingham Music Network from Councillor Philip Parkin, Chairman – Leisure, Sport and Culture, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, The Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB. (The letter was dated 29 July 2011)

Destination Birmingham: Birmingham, A Music City Continue reading

10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry.

The Music Network invites people with an interest or active role within Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry to answer 10 questions.

There has a been a lot of discussion around these Ten questions. The questions have no deadline for submission, the questions will be open to anyone to answer at any time. You thoughts and opinions are welcome, at any time.

Ten Questions have already been answered by:

Andy Derrick, Keisha Thompson, Jon Cotton, Pam Bishop, Andy Roberts, Ben Calvert.

For more opinion, consultation and research we have collected together, read through our posts in the Strategy category.

If you want to submit your own Ten Questions or even just One new question please email them in. When we have enough, I’ll post them as “Another Ten Questions”.

Completed submissions will be published at http://www.birminghammusicnetwork.com unless you state otherwise. Please include your Name, brief biography or information about who you are and what you do, and links to your website or blog. You will be credited as the author of the response. Views from all sides are sought so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. We may learn something.

Submission by email send to: info at birminghammusicnetwork.com – Thank You.

10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry:

1. In your view, what is the current state of the region’s “Independent Music Industry?”

2. What do you think are it’s immediate needs with reference to the areas that you are most familiar with?

3. As far as the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what do you think shows the greatest potential for the next few years?

4. In recent years, there has been a range of initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham. Can you list 5 projects or initiatives that you think have proved beneficial to the “Independent Music Industry?”

5. Can you list any projects or initiatives that you think have proved “of little use or benefit” to the “Independent Music Industry?”

6. With regard to your answers to questions 4 and 5, do you think Birmingham should continue to pursue the idea of more initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham?

7. If you could make any changes to, or include any new ideas for, any “strategy for supporting the development of music in Birmingham” what would your top priorities be?

8. If you were given the task of evaluating whether a project or initiative had been successful, what would you suggest as the best indicators of success, failure, benefit or disaster for the “Independent Music Industry?”

9. As far as your knowledge or understanding of the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what are it’s greatest strengths, and what are it’s greatest weaknesses?

10. If you could do anything to “support the development of music in Birmingham” what would you do and why would you choose to do that?

(The term “Region” as far as these questions are concerned refers to Birmingham or the geographic area Birmingham City Council works within.)

I have also quoted a number of existing articles below. Can anyone suggest any other existing articles that the group should read and consider that may have been omitted?

A DIGITAL AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES ACTION PLAN http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2008/03/06/a-digital-and-creative-industries-action-plan/

The people who control the Funding are damaging the Creative Industries in The West Midlands by Anthony J Hughes http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2008/06/12/the-people-who-control-the-funding-are-damaging-the-creative-industries-in-the-west-midlands/

Birmingham Twinned with Your Darkest Thought? by Mark Iron Man Records http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2008/11/10/birmingham-twinned-with-your-darkest-thought/

A Year later – Perspectives on the West Midlands Music Industry – Scott Roe, Solar Creations http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2008/11/10/a-year-later-perspectives-on-the-west-midlands-music-industry-scott-roe/

What is your view of the West Midlands’ music industry? by Mark Iron Man Records http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/02/03/what-is-your-view-of-the-west-midlands%E2%80%99-music-industry/

A Vision for the Music Industry in the West Midlands by Clare Edwards June 2008 http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/02/03/a-vision-for-the-music-industry-in-the-west-midlands-by-clare-edwards-june-2008/

Another view of the West Midlands’ music industry and FUNDING by Andy Ward http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/02/10/andy-ward-another-view-of-the-west-midlands%E2%80%99-music-industry-and-funding/

Countercultural Capital & the Creative Economy – How do 1990s DiY Music ‘Entrepreneurs’ talk about the contemporary music business?” by Charlotte Bedford 2008 http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/06/04/countercultural-capital-the-creative-economy-how-do-1990s-diy-music-%E2%80%98entrepreneurs%E2%80%99-talk-about-the-contemporary-music-business-by-charlotte-bedford-2008/

Funding the Creative Industries by Andy Derrick 13th Feb 2009 http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/02/13/funding-the-creative-industries-by-andy-derrick-13th-feb-2009/

The Scottish Music Industry Association(SMIA) – launched at Go North conference http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/07/21/the-scottish-music-industry-associationsmia-launched-at-go-north-conference/

Redefining the Music Industry – A public consultation on the future shape, needs, direction and ambitions of the music industry. http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/09/10/redefining-the-music-industry-a-public-consultation-on-the-future-shape-needs-direction-and-ambitions-of-the-music-industry/

National Survey and Mapping Exercise assessing provision & scope of music support work across UK 2009 http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/09/22/national-survey-and-mapping-exercise-assessing-provision-scope-of-music-support-work-across-uk-2009/

How does Iron Man Records choose it’s artists and how does it promote them? http://birminghammusicnetwork.com/2009/11/28/how-does-iron-man-records-choose-its-artists-and-how-does-it-promote-them/

your comments please…..

cheers Mark – The Music Network, January 2011

April 2010 Music Network Meeting Minutes

The Music Network Meeting Minutes 29th April 2010

Chaired by Mark Badger

Introductions:

Mark Badger (Iron Man Records / The Music Network), Keisha Thompson (M.M.I), Simon Howes (Sound Engineer), Hannah Smith (‘iamRuby’ Singer Songwriter), Darren Roberts (University of Birmingham), Kieran Williams (ATM), Gary Seeney (Birmingham Yamaha School of Music / Melting Ice Artist Management), Marc Malone (ATM Malone Productions), Richard Mitton (Mitton Audio Live Engineer / producer), Michael Wood(Songwriter performer Composer), Jenny Tate (Violet Sky Management Ltd), Andy Roberts (Blue Whale Studios), Sebastion Tulinski (Decibel Studio), Steve Beddington (Gotseen.com), Kieran Graham (Gotseen.com), Clare Edwards (Soweto Kinch productions), Nicola Toms OxjamBrum, Rose Brown Upbeat PR, Mark Winters (BCC / Songwriter / Performer), Adrian Kimberlin (Exit Recording), Saurabh Thomas (BCI Student), Alice Martinez (Academy of Gospel Music),Itehl Campbell (Accuprint / Promo), Thomas Richardson, GuillameRousere, Spence Cater (Focuspoint photography.co.uk), Ed King (edkingfreelance@yahoo.co.uk)

apologies: Dusky Edwards, Anthony Hughes, Andy Derrick,

Steve Beddington:
Gotseen.com
Music Website, similar to myspace, artist’s do what they like
Gotseen.com offers live streaming of gigs across the net.
At The moment they have permission to use the 02Academy
Recent good reviews in Music Week and Guardian
6 months old so far.
Contact: steve at gotseen.com

Jenny Tate
Launching “Hope Order Truth” – Americana style rock at custard factory
21st 22nd may gig will be under the arches
www.myspace.com/hopeordertruth
info at violet-sky.com

Rhubard Radio:

Bands are invited to sumbit their music on cd or mp3 for airplay

Saturday 1-3 rock show
www.rhubarbradio.com
saturdayrocks at rhubarbradio.com

Michael:
A songwriter, interested in working to promote a christmas song
Looking for a music producer and someone who knows what to do with a christmas song
suggestions: Barry Tomes? Gotham Records?
discussion followed.

Rich:
A sound engineer, interested in looking for work providing technical support
he can offer production management, front of house engineer, looking for work
www.mittonaudio.wordpress.com
Sound engineer for hire plus all forms of production and technical support.

Darren:
Doing a phd at Birmingham university. He wants to talk to people as part of his research, looking to talk to people in the music industry in attempt to get an idea of what happens in the growth and development of entities in the music industry. He is looking at power relations within the industry.
dxr827@bham.ac.uk
07727689806
please get in touch if you want to participate.

Kieran:
Currently working with ITV fixers and looking to get his music into tv like bbc
looking for event opportunities
www.myspace.com/kvibe1
07973998661

Keisha Thompson:
Here on behalf of a friend organising shows on the 2nd and 4th week of month at the yardbird
if you are an artist or musician and want to play at Yardbird
if you want to play jazz blues reggae or soul or acoustic:
Call: 07776 480734

Clare Edwards:
The Flyover Show
working with Soweto Kinch
www.soweto-kinch.com
Miss Dynamite will be playing and exclusively performing new single for first time at the event.
29th May 2010 Saturday
its all freeif anyone wants to volunteer get in touch with clare edwards.
clareedwards at mac.com 07973694913
www.theflyovershow.comEd King:
First year he has worked on the Flyover Show. Concept of the event is using parts of the city that dont usually get used for music.

Nicola:
Oxjam Birmingham wants to put out request for help.
Oxjam is run by volunteers with other full time jobs
Oxjam are trying to recruit a team of volunteers, marketing coordinator, production coordinator, fundraining coordinator details on website www.oxjambrum.org.uk
deadline to apply is 9th May. Job starts early june
also recruiting for one other position:
smaller music event organisers in the region wanted for an idea to put on more events in October which is oxjam month. Oxjam Month is a music month that runs up and down the country.

email: oxjam.birmingham@gmail.com If bands want to get involved by all means send in an email

Rose:
Student from BCU
Rose said that one of the researchers at BCU came up with an idea of a Birmingham Music Month and tried to organise it last year but the project didnt work and was deemed a failure. BCU has suggested birmingham music month should be run as a student project this year and the students are keen to do it properly this time and make it work. The whole idea of a Birmingham Music Month is being relaunched and May is now the Music Month. Rose asked that anyone who wants to get involved in BirminghamMusic Month should get in touch, in particular anyone organising an event in the month of May. Currently the only event organised under Birmingham Music Month is an all day event at the Rainbow May 6th from 2pm
www.brummusicmonth.co.uk
May is now brum music month
the charity to benefit from bum music month will be sound it out. It would be great if people can come to the event or if people want to get involved email: roseybrown@live.com

Mark Winters
New library of Birmingham is starting to be put together, in 2013 it will be a brand new building, possibly to include a recording or rehearsal studios, maybe looking at partnerships to help plan rooms or ideas for the new library
mark.winters@birmingham.gov.uk

Hannah:
Singer Songwriter in pop rock genre
‘iamRuby’ is her artist name
She has co-written many of the songs and she wants to get these songs out to other producers also interested in opportunities to play and perfom from september onwards, interested in collaborations.
she will be doing national schools tour backed by global radio and idea is that in certain areas they will be media partners
iamRuby@hotmail.co.uk

on facebook iamRuby

www.iamRuby.co.uk

Tom:
in a band called Thomas Richardson Blues Band. His band have started opening up for band called after hours
band play originals to covers, play a lot of blues music. Tom is also a sound engineer from yardbird, used to work at venues, foh, thomas.blrichardson at gmail.com

Tom asked about places to play and suggestions made included: tower of song, southern blues collective,

Kevin

from south birmingham college
Kevin is head of Music at South Birmingham Community Radio
He is getting ready for next broadcast and on internet
Kevin wants bands and labels to get in touch: send in cds or mp3
www.southbirminghamcommunityradio.co.uk
sbcradio at gmail.com
put: “attention head of music” in subject of any emails

Lee
Ditto music
Ditto distribute about 12,000 artists and help people set up record labels etc
lee@dittomusic.com
0121 551 6624
also offer digital pr

Alice:
Works at
Academy of Gospel Music just opened in hockley
Its a christian type organisation
Currently looking for opportunities
she is a manager of amazing artist called: www.myspace.com/afropunkno1
live sound engineer and also studio engineer
martinez@niktame.re
studio based in hockley part of academny of gosel music

Andy from Blue Whale Studios
does a show on Rhubarb Radio, get in touch with cds or mp3 for airplay

Simon Howes

Birmingham Social Media Cafe
for anyone interested in social media
10am at the coffee lounge navigation street downstairs
www.birminghamsmc.com

March 2010 Music Network Meeting Minutes

The Music Network Meeting Minutes 25th March 2010

Chaired by Andy Derrick

Simon Howes – self employed sound engineer in tv and film

Andy Ward – Musoplex, video, cd and live and merchandise

Katie Southall – WCR – DJ playing music to unsigned bands and musicians regardless of genre – send stuff to katy@wcrfm.com – Facebook – search for ‘katyjay’. Also a what’s on guide is being setup – contact Katie for more info about when and who. Business Development Consultant – making radio stations sustainable with a mixture of private and public funding.

Andy Roberts – Blue Whale @ Custard Factory and writes for The Fly magazine. Blog and a show on Rhubarb Radio. www.rhubarbradio.com – a mix of cutting touring acts playing in Birmingham plus artists from Blue Whale.  Podcast on Speech Fewapy network – 1500 subscribers it’s a feed of different podcasts from around the world.  Promoting gigs at The Rainbow.  Also running Intro to Logic and FInal Cut courses. andrew-roberts at hotmail.co.uk

Alex – BCU Architect Student looking at pathways beyond degree.  Just here to absorb and be inspired. Interested in voluntereering talk2alex@gmail.com @alex_john

Rich – here out of curiosity – guitarist – interested in using media to promote music here and beyond – Post Grad at Aston Business School, former President of Birmingham Uni Students’ Union and promoted many nights. – rj.walker87 at gmail.com

Vince and Colin from Musical Excahnges – Sunday 18th April The Bridge FM 102.2 FM – 2-4pm. Also issuing invites for test pilots for the web site.  Give email for an invite. enquiries at musicialexchanges.com
Also played Newcastle Guitar Show – record signups.  New collaborative diary service.  MX Recruit – musicians and tech recruitment section launching this weekend.

Spence – songwriter and looking for other songwriters with which to collaborate – ones with studios a bonus.  Also a photographer for live music and studio based.  http://www.myspace.com/themackenziefriend
Also a tutor a Access To Music. ATM band playing at the O2 – 3 Joyous performing tonight.

Sam – ATM student – sing semi pro doing a vocal course – also singing teaching – into singer/songwriter.  Looking to collaborate with other artists. myspace.com/samstarrmusic

Sarah – singer, songwriter and pianist at ATM.  Also a tutor at Yamaha Music School.

Jay – form Hinckley – freelance audio engineer – starting a new shared creative studio, space – shared resource centre – large footprint building 4 – 6,000 sq ft. spaces.  secretlabproductions at hotmail.com

Adrian – Exit Recording – songwriter and producer working with a variety of artists. New website www.adriankimberlin.com – Also looking for contacts experienced in placing dance tracks.

Anthony – musician, co-founder of BMN, video production company with proven track record of videos for musicians

Jenny – pa to Dusky Violet Sky Management –  getting exposure for bands. – present Saturday Rocks on Rhubarb Radio – info at violet-sky.com jennytaterocks at gmail.com saturdayrocks at rhubarbradio.com

Dusky Edwards – Violet Sky Management – artist management, managing talent generally.  Keen on fairly managing and developing talent.  www.violet-sky.com – happy for new talent to get in touch. myspace.com/hopeorthetruth – HOT are a band managed Violet Sky – rock with an electric undertone – American Rock

Keisha Thomson – Action for Haiti – feedback – event really well, 500 people, £3000 raised.  Keisha performed her own track Who Loved Themselves – reggae jazz vibe – looking to develop it as a charity single – @keisha_thompson – twitter

Mark Malone – ATM student – songwriter/musician – released on soundclick – amateur internet store website – good ratings – broad genre – rock/acoustic/folk/indie – also working with Crisis Homeless Charity – looking for vocalists (gravelly preferred). – maloneproductions at live.co.uk – available for session guitar/bass/producer/song writer.

February 2010 Music Network Meeting Minutes

The Music Network Meeting Minutes 25th February 2010

Chaired by Andy Derrick

Andy Roberts – Blue whale studios based at the Custard Factory in Digbeth – looking to connect with potential customers – they offer live location recording, filming plus lots more – blog: http://bluewhalestudios.wordpress.com – also running training courses in music production, final cut, logic etc.

Vince – MX – guitar tech – update on MX
Colin – MX –

Keisha Thompson – singer, songwriter and poet – looking to network with other musicians.

Abi Seabrook – freelance singer and community musician

Katie Southall – Wolverhampton Community Radio (WCR) – community development role – only community station in Wolvo – 280,000 listeners 20-55 age group – volunteer dj’s production training plus courses – http://wcrfm.com

Andy Ward – Musoplex – company of creative enterprise in Oldbury – Framework recording studio, video production and editing, live sound, sound stage, green screen and rehearsal rooms

Tom – local assistant – recently did the sound for amateur film ‘Killing Me Softly’ – student at BCU music technology – electric blues player also

Adrian Kimberline – Exit recording – songwriter and producer – always looking for interesting collaborations.

Paul Linton / Mark Horton – Punch taverns – looking to recruit a partner for a large pub/music venue in the Black Country

Nicola – Oxjam festival – interested in bands, engineers and others in Oct 2010 – 16th April The Victoria, raise money and awareness  – showcasing four acts with female lead –

Caroline Bevan – ex-Kerrang journalist now working as an independent blogger/journo, run the blog for Wolvo Civic Hall

Darren – Birmingham Uni – research in music

Simon Howes – professional live and studio sound engineer with experience in live music and TV.

Gary Seeney – Yamaha music school and melting ice

Robert Lane – singer songwriter – recorded and self released an EP – interested in festivals
www.robertlanemusic.blogspot.com

Minutes

Keisha Action for Haiti – 7/3/10 – charity event for survivors of Haiti earthquake @actionforhaiti – twitter evening gig and afternoon education session. £5 ticket

Andy Ward – looking for publishers interested in licensing a band Discotheque Wreck

Tom – The Camp – open mic night – Thursday nights £9 – Free – Pershore Road – Stirchley – jam/open mic night – looking to expand the night for a broader night – sound assistant looking for work – hard worker – looking for gigs for a blues band (A Boy Named Sue – gigging already in Aylesbury). Teched The Old FOlkers – worth a look – very
entertaining

Paul and Mark – publicans – Punch Taverns – A site in Kidderminster – think it could become a live music venue (with outdoor license and covered area).  Hosting an open day 10th March and have a look. Looking for a pub manager to rent it – no criminal record!, investment required, no experience required – but pub knowledge obviously a bonus.

Nicola – Oxjam – looking for a female compere. Also looking for people interested in putting on smaller satellite Oxjam events.

Carolinecarolinebevan.com – former presenter and newsreader at Kerrang – interested in opportunities in music journalism online/video suggestions: Katie FItzgeralds, City TV, Balcony TV. ELT Records launching a music show in the midlands. Also offers media training for musicians.

Musical Exchanges – week 53 – live! – musicalexchanges.com – 3 parts – networking – 1-facebook-esque  2-auction site like ebay but without traders 3-recuitment(find a muso, crew, arrangers, art work etc.). New: coming soon a diary system.

Carlo – Birmingham Promoters – signed touring bands and local groups

Gary Seeney – Birmingham Yamaha Music School – 350 students – lots of activity for Childline – Beatles Tribute band – gary at byms.co.uk New course – Yamaha – junior play for keys Key stage 1

Blue Whale Studios, Birmingham

Here’s the latest information from Blue Whale Studios, Birmingham

Blue Whale Studios is celebrating it’s relaunch by offering three days recording for the price of two.
Blue Whale is based at The Custard Factory and boasts a TL Audio VTC 24 track console. This valve desk gives an unparalleled analogue warmth which when combined with the digital based recording system, Blue Whale is able to create one of the best value and highest calibre recording, mixing and mastering packages found anywhere.

We relentlessly promote artists that we work with through our online channels and regularly updated blog page at www.bluewhalestudios.wordpress.com

For more information check out the Blue Whale Blog here:

http://bluewhalestudios.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/new-year-offer-at-blue-whale-studios-3-days-for-the-price-of-2/

Blue Whale Studios
Custard Factory
Birmingham
0121 247 1680
www.facebook.com/BlueWhaleStudios
www.twitter.com/BlueWhaleBrum
www.youtube.com/BlueWhaleTV
www.facebook.com/AndyRobertsBham
www.twitter.com/AndyRobertsBham
www.linkedin.com/AndyRobertsBham
www.myspace.com/MediaAssassinBrum

10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry answered by Andy Roberts

1. In your view, what is the current state of the region’s “Independent Music Industry?”

Great pool of talent with extremely creative people working very hard to make amazing music and projects with little recognition from outside of their small pockets.

2. What do you think are it’s immediate needs with reference to the areas that you are most familiar with?

Record labels that have competent distribution and marketing / advertising / plugging support.

3. As far as the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what do you think shows the greatest potential for the next few years?

Hopefully labels such as Bigger Than Barry Records, Ondryland, Speech Fewapy Records, and any other small labels that are nurturing local talent and managing to sustain themselves

4. In recent years, there has been a range of initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham. Can you list 5 projects or initiatives that you think have proved beneficial to the “Independent Music Industry?”

Not sure if these count but the work of:

Bigger Than Barry for bringing cutting edge, fashionable acts to the city and taking Birmingham on tour. Also packing out every event they promote.

This is Tommorrow for putting on shows for alternative acts that are touring nationally and billing local artists with them to help nurture audiences

The Rainbow Pub for giving Birmingham a quality small and mid size independent venue and cultural hub.?Capsule for offering a vibrant, left field alternative brand of events and Supersonic.

Moseley Folk Festival for being generally ace and offering local acts a channel to perform on the same bill as mainstream artists, especially Ben Calvert’s Bohemian Jukebox Stage.

Also Oxjam Festival, Cold Rice and Chicks Dig Jerks deserve mentions.

5. Can you list any projects or initiatives that you think have proved “of little use or benefit” to the “Independent Music Industry?”

Gigbeth – poorly curated. For something as ambitious and potentially amazing, it falls flat due to weak line ups. Does not give a good impression of Birmingham to the outside looking in, especially when Camden Crawl, Nottingham’s Dot to Dot, Brighton’s Great Escape and Manchester’s In The City are widely commended.?Give Bigger Than Barry, Chicks Dig Jerks, This is Tomorrow, Moseley Folk, Cold Rice and Capsule a budget to put on the festival – they are all experienced and have kudos.?(I realise that there are more promoters / events companies doing fine work in other genres, but these are the ones I am familiar with)

6. With regard to your answers to questions 4 and 5, do you think Birmingham should continue to pursue the idea of more initiatives and projects designed to support the development of music in Birmingham?

Yes, but re: point 5 give it to people who can make the city desirable, dare I say ‘cool’?

7. If you could make any changes to, or include any new ideas for, any “strategy for supporting the development of music in Birmingham” what would your top priorities be?

Support for small independent record labels in the form of advice from experienced and respected mentors from their respective genres.

8. If you were given the task of evaluating whether a project or initiative had been successful, what would you suggest as the best indicators of success, failure, benefit or disaster for the “Independent Music Industry?”

Whether an event is well attended or not is a signal of success or failure and whether a record label could sustain itself would be a measure.

9. As far as your knowledge or understanding of the region’s “Independent Music Industry” is concerned, what are it’s greatest strengths, and what are it’s greatest weaknesses?

The artists are the greatest strength we have.
Perhaps weaknesses are a lack of direction or focus from these talented individuals due to a lack of support from a local ‘industry’.

10. If you could do anything to “support the development of music in Birmingham” what would you do and why would you choose to do that?

Plug alert: I try to by shouting about the bands and promoters that I love in national press (The Fly) and my local Blue

Whale music blog. So anything involving writing.

Andy Roberts 

The Music Network was contacted in January 2010 by a group drawn from Birmingham City Council and the Arts Council England to begin to determine an overview of the current state, needs and potential of the “Independent Music Industry” in Birmingham.

The Music Network invites people with an interest or active role within Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry to answer 10 questions.

If you wish to get involved read 10 Questions for Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry and send your completed responses by email to: info at birminghammusicnetwork.com – Thank You.

Simon Howes has created an easy to use google survey for these questions here too.

All completed questions will be published here unless you state otherwise. Please be sure to include your full Name and any links to your website or blog so you can be credited in full as the author of the response. Views from all sides are sought so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. We may learn something.

Andy Roberts – Birmingham Music and ongoing work to promote it

For a while now, Andy Roberts has been blogging about Birmingham Music here, take a look.

While you are at it, have a look at In The Belly – Birmingham Music Podcast up now for free

see also:

www.facebook.com/AndyRobertsBHAM

www.twitter.com/AndyRobertsBHAM

www.myspace.com/mediaassassinbrum