Friday, 2 February 2018

Another new live video :)

Here it is, another new live video from Codfest last year. Check it out :)



Don't forget to get your tickets for the full band gig at The Robin 2 on the 22nd of February. It's going to be awesome!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Brand new live video.


Check out the live video of 'The Day That I Was Meant to Die' from Codfest 7. If you want to see the band in action, get your tickets for our upcoming show at The Robin 2 with The Arrangements, Alex Vann and Dominic Malin here.

Friday, 29 December 2017

2017 in review

So here it is, another year over, another end of year blog. But it has been a pretty good one, if I'm being totally honest.

I played 94 solo gigs this year. That's an average of 1.8 per week, which is a little off the pace for me compared to previous years *checks old blog posts*. There are a couple of possible reasons I can think of for this;

Firstly, For the first 9 months of this year I was working a school job. I know I've been working other jobs before while gigging more, but I can't say it doesn't have an impact on both having time to actually find and book gigs as well as being awake enough to play them!

Secondly, all of my recurring gigs have now stopped. I was running the songwriter's sessions at The Crown Joules for the first half of the year, but they decided to take their live music output in a 'different' direction. The gigs there were great while they lasted, but sadly, last they did not. I've also finished playing at Village Coffee in Codsall after many years. I'm not aware that they have any live music on there regularly now.

However, a lower gig output is somewhat outweighed by the fact that I finally finished and released my newest album, 'As I Live and Breathe' in 2017. It was a long time coming, and I'm incredibly proud of the way it came out. People seem to like it too! Massive thanks must be given to Dickie Davis, Dan Hart and my wife Kayla who all appeared on the album.

Stemming from the album launching, I've played my first ever gigs with a full and this year too, and they were great fun. I've got another one at The Robin 2 coming up in February, for which tickets are available here. It's going to be a great show, so come down and get involved :)

On to my highlights of 2017. Other than the obvious launching of the album, I also did a mini tour at the beginning on November which was a success. One of my favourite gigs was playing at Rough Trade Records in Nottingham for a multiple union event to talk about young people's pay. Tour aside, I also had a great time at Strummer Jam, as well as discovering cool new venues like The Windsor Theatre in Birmingham and Tom O' The Wood in Warwick.

Away from the stage, I've finally taken the plunge and gone full time with music as my solo job. It's going alright so far, but I'm sure I'm about to feel the January pinch!

In 2018 I hope to have a real go at making full time musicianhood work, as well as finding a new venue for the songwriter's sessions and generally looking to book more cool gigs. I've got some cool ideas for stuff to do at home too, but they need some refining yet so I'll keep them close to my chest for now.

See you out there,

Sam.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

That's not what the world needs.


It struck me that at the top of this blog's homepage I introduce the blog as my thoughts and musings on the music industry, then proceed to only ever post when I'm advertising something. I never rant. At least not on here. I rant in my songs about all sorts of stuff, but somehow putting it in writing on the Internet is too much. Well, that should change...

Recently I've been seeing more and more 'promoters' on social media advertising for what I'd call 'Z list celebrities' to play at their venues. One even put out a call to see if anyone knew anyone who 'used to be famous.'

Is this really what people want to see? That guy who was in a 90's band or the girl who got knocked out of the x factor a couple of weeks in? Am I missing something here?

I'm not saying there isn't a place for those guys. There totally is. But I can't help but feel that it's an easy option for promoters to get a couple people in a venue (probably out of morbid curiosity) rather than attempt to curate an actual cohesive line up of acts that fit together well and might draw a crowd when placed together. A line up greater than the sum of it's parts, so to speak. It's a greater risk and probably harder work to promote, but isn't that why you wanted to be a promoter in the first place? To showcase new music? To put on great shows? To be the guy who put on act X 'before they made it big?' I defy you to find me someone who got into the promoting game to try to give former pop stars and reality TV wannabes a paycheck.

That's not what the world needs.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Nan's Song on Spotify

A few years ago I wrote this song for the charity christmas album. For the uninitiated, it was an album I released once a year with the musicians who played at my various open mic nights and sold for charity. I think this is probably my favourite of all the Christmas songs I've written.

This year seemed like a good time to release it online for stream and download. Check it out if you get a few minutes :)

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Tour write up

So yesterday I finished my November tour. I've really enjoyed the whole experience and I thought I would write some of my thoughts and stats about the tour down here, just in case you're interested.

In total I travelled over 800 miles during the three weeks I was on tour. I played 10 gigs (11 if you count a private party) and sold 35 copies of my new album. Though I've not costed it exactly, I'm pretty sure I about broke even, which is cool for a first outing, especially as most of the gigs were unpaid.

As always, some gigs were more enjoyable than others, though I think I enjoyed all of them in their own ways. Heading into the tour I was least optimistic about the two nights that were open mic rather than booked shows, but they actually turned out to be some of the best of the tour. It helps that both Worley's in Stourport and The Market Vaults in Stafford are great venues that really try hard to support original music, and also that they have both promised me booked gigs going forward. Worley's also stream all of their gigs and open mic acts on Facebook Live, which is something I see a lot but hadn't experienced before. The video of my set there has been watched over 1100 times since then, which is crazy but really cool. I think the live streaming thing is something I definitely need to look into more in the future.

It was great to get the opportunity to play with some old friends too, and the beauty of booking your own tour through your friends is that they can come and play too! Massive thanks to Tone Tanner, Huffy, Dan Hartland, Bleeding Hearts, Dave Busby and The Pale Aliens for sorting gigs for me and playing. It's always a pleasure to see all of you play and spend some time with you. Thanks also to Roots Music, The Musician's Union and Pistol Pete Wearn for booking gigs for me too. I promise I'll come back to The Market Vaults when you're actually there to host Pete!

So to round up, I think the whole thing was a success. Yes I drove a lot (though the podcast 'I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats' has helped with that a lot), I did get woefully lost in Nottingham - huge thanks to Ben Benson from the MU for rescuing me - and I did only just break even, but as an exercise is playing to new people further afield I think it was worthwhile. After all, there are now 35 more people that have listened (I hope) to my new album, and if they tell all their friends about it then they will soon be flying out the door!

I wait patiently by the post box ;)

See you soon (like in Leicester next weekend, for a tour never really ends does it?)

Sam.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

November tour!

I'm delighted to announce that in just over a week's time I'll be heading out on tour! Check out the dates below, it would be great to see some friendly faces :)
I'm really looking forward to getting out there :)