The Music Network
25th September
TIC, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham

Andy Derrick     -Midlands Regional Officer for the Musicians’ Union

Lyndsey Hardiman     – Midlands Regional Administrator for the Musicians’ Union

Dave Ewer    – Creative Communications

Cameron Morgan    – Student from South Birmingham College

Abi Seabrook    – Singer and workshop leader

Bob Ubki    – Singer/songwriter and project leader

Simon Howes    – Hardware developer and acoustic engineer

Robert Lane    – Singer/songwriter and guitar teacher

Emma Nouriel    – Head of Music from Scratch radio

Justin Stainton    – Head of New Music from Scratch radio

Pete Rhead    – Video producer from Musoplex

Andy Blakemore    – from Creative Launchpad

Perminder    – Singer for Asian films

Clare Edward    – Gigbeth

Angela Wilson    – Singer/songwriter

Emma Seel    – Singer/songwriter

Dave Withney    – Owner of the Roadhouse venue in Stirchley      

Apologies    – Mark Sampson (in Norway)


Andy Derrick introduced how the Birmingham Music Network works and that it was a support network for musicians.

1.    Lyndsey Hardiman asked if any of the attendees had come across pay to play in any local venues.

Abi Seabrook said she had heard of venues that make the band buy an amount of tickets.

Bob Ubki said that Rich Bitch studios wanted bands to pay for hire of the room for invited guests.

Andy Derrick voiced the opinion that pay to play takes away artists choice and is very narrow minded thinking.

A discussion ensued of what opportunities are available for Birmingham bands.

2.    Andy Derrick asked the attendees if they were aware of Surface Unsigned and what their thoughts on it were.

It was mentioned that on certain websites and blogs there is a general negative feeling.  There is a rumour that it is pay to play and that bands are required to sell a certain amount of tickets.

Robert Lane asked for people’s opinions on competitive gigs

Abi felt that even if it was competitive it was just another gig that would raise your bands profile although she would never pay to enter one.  Also that a bit of competition is a healthy thing.

3.    Bob Euby is looking to get Bhangra footage edited and put together and asked if anyone could help.

Andy recommended musoplex and Pete offered to help.

4.    Dave Ewer who is a student at Birmingham College University has taken over Birmingham Words which is a local website whose funding has been taken over by the University.  He wants to find creative people in the following areas, music, film and fiction writing.
The website is going to be re-launched over the next few months and they are hoping to bring out a quarterly magazine.  He is hoping to feature and showcase people, also to promote Birmingham.

Simon Howes recommended that he spoke to Andrew Dubber and Paul Bradshaw both of which work in the Media School.  Also that he speaks to Paul Brushwood who is a Creative teacher in the college.

5.    Pete Rhead spoke about his work at the studio Musoplex which can do everything for a musician from videos and photos to recording etc.

Andy spoke about the workshop that is happening at Musoplex on Thursday 9th October entitled ‘Everything you need to know about the music business’.

6.    Andy Blakemore talked about Creative Launchpad which helps people in the creative sector and is free of charge.  It can assist people to put together a business plan. He offered his availability to help anyone that wanted to chat.

7.    Perminder who is a singer for Asian and English film is looking for finance for films.  He spoke about his work to date and the fact that it is a very specific art form and difficult to do.

8.    Justin from Scratch Radio which is a student and community station that is trying to reflect what goes on in Birmingham.  They want to connect with people that are passionate about music and are willing to get involved.  Examples of way that people can get involved are interviewing bands and artists and going to gigs and reviewing them.  They are offering training to anyone that is interested in getting involved.  The radio station is based at the Perry Barr Campus and is going live in January 2009.

9.    Clare Edwards came to speak about Gigbeth which is running in conjuction with Music Live.  The headlining acts are the Guillemots and the Sugar Hill Gang plus lots of local bands. There will be a conference at the Radisson Hotel on the 6th November.  Gigbeth has three stands of thought music education, how to promote your music better and music law and IP.  Clare offered to have interviewers from Scratch Radio.  Tickets are available from and at Rooty Frooty’s and also from 0844 8883 883.