The Great Escape 2008: Day 2

So after the excesses of the night before its a wonder I managed to get up the following day. Maybe, it was all that kip I caught against that pillar.

Today was Talk day, lots of talks, where I could look very interested, maybe even voice an opinion, but because I am no one important in the industry (as I described myself quite often when asked to ‘say who you’re with’) it was of no consequence whatsoever.

Nevertheless there were some very interesting talks. I just caught the tail end of a one on one between Terry McBride and Jeremy Silver. Jeremy, MD of Avid Education (think Pro Tools) and CEO of Sibelius Software, chaired the interview and consequent panel discussion and asked some amazing concise and ‘crux of the issue’ questions. Terry, CEO and co-founder of Nettwerk Music Group (Canada’s Largest independent record label), gave us an insight into how the industry is developing, and explained how the digital platform was enabling the industry to overcome previously geographically constrained economics (think lots of little markets make one big market). In addition Terry gave examples of how some of his artists further their career by being ethical and ‘doing good’, but these acts weren’t motivated by a desire to further their career, and had they been, in today’s digital age they’d have been quickly seen through.

In between talks there was just enough time to pop over to Komedia to say high to Willy, Richard and my Dad as they started out on the Celebrity Pop Quiz. They boys were up against it, facing a team of musicians (inc. Mark from The Levellers) and a team of music journalists. Nevertheless, Willy’s musical mind proved fathomless and the team finished in second place just half a point behind the music journalists, and this was enough to win over the admiration of people who’s job it is to know this sort of anal information and receive first prize! Pete’s contribution was ‘mumblemublesomethingintheintrosroundmumblemumble’ but took one for the team when asked to recite lyrics from a love song in front of the contestants.

|Video: Pete’s Love Song Recital|

Anthony Volodkin

However, I couldn’t hang around in awe of Willy’s musical knowledge for too long. I had Anthony to see! For those of you not mildly obsessed by what some (read: Anablogue’s SRA application) have dubbed a revolution in the way we discover new music, Anthony Volodkin is co-founder of The Hype Machine, a website that aggregates music blogs from around the internet. The Hype Machine and Derek Davies inspired me to create Anablogue Radio, the specialist music show that Harry Garne and I presented in February 2007 on Fuse FM, so as you might imagine I was quite intrigued to see what he had to say.

It was a shame however that Toby Lewis from Music Ally who conducted the interview with Anthony and chaired the subsequent Net, Blogs and Rock n’ Roll panel discussion wasn’t quite as competent as Jeremy from the morning’s talks. Nevertheless, it was informative to hear from bloggers Stuart and Juan from 20 Jazz Funk Greats (XXJFG) who receive up to 2000 unique visits a day to their blog, and made up for the fact I didn’t spot Derek Davies of GWFAS.

I even managed to fire off a question to David Emery, Head of Web Development at Beggars Group. I asked him whether the paradox of labels financing tours to sell records but music fans downloading music from blogs and then seeing bands was evident, and what he thought of it. He replied that blogs are really a medium used by the early adopters, the muso’s and the die-hards. The benefit of exposure to this section of the music fan base outweighed the cost of lost record sales, therefore the music blog was an essential PR medium. Interesting eh?

Anyways, enough of that. Back to the music.

Matt and Kim

Despite being shifted around a couple of times, Brooklyn duo Matt and Kim finally managed to play. And play they did. With Matt’s keyboard and vocals running through a hastily set up PA and Kim’s drums just as they were, I almost missed them by watching the wrong band at the Ocean Rooms downstairs – good job I went for a slash! Kim didn’t stop smiling the whole gig through and Matt even got a bit of jovial flack when he used rarely abundant American irony in advertising sponsors Red Stripe.

|Photos – Matt and Kim|
|Video – Matt and Kim – Yea Yeah|

Late of the Pier

Despite being slagged off by Willy, I thought it best that I go and see a band who are as much as I can call local since I discovered the Young Knives were from Ashby de la Zouch. Late of the Pier are from Castle Donnington, even if NME interviews about the band giving a guide to their local town hark on about Nottingham.

They all look incredibly young, but I had to say give quite a mature sound. I don’t know of any other band quite like them at the moment and they do have some friends in the industry like Radio 1’s DJ of the moment Kissy Sellout. So, going their expecting to be disappointed I ended up quite surprised. The only thing I didn’t like though was the keyboardist – he acted and had this look about him like the weird kid at school does, you’re not quite sure whether he’s going to come out with something brilliant or stab a biro in your eye.

|Photos – Late of the Pier|
|Video: Late of the Pier – Broken|

Hot Club de Paris

Off to the end of the pier next to skip past another queue and spend an hour trying to buy a pint of coke from Horatio’s Bar. However, I did get to watch Hot Club de Paris in the process, notably the only band of the weekend I saw perform an encore. Listen out in the Shipwreck video below where I very shout “Wreck” very loud and the very wrong time (almost as bad as my Main Offender/Hate To Say I Told Your So moment at a Hives gig).

|Photos – Hot Club de Paris|
|Video: Hot Club de Paris – Yes No Goodbye|
|Video: Hot Club de Paris – Shipwreck|

The Black Lips

In a bid to not repeat the performance of last night’s pillar kipping antics it was a strictly alcohol free caffeine and sugar refreshments break between Hot Club de Paris and Barfly’s late night offering, The Black Lips.

The Black Lips are definitely an odd looking bunch, with one chappy reminding me of a flower pot man, and the lead singer sporting a Gangs of New York handlebar tasch. That didn’t put off the crowd though, they were definitely up for it. There was a heady thronging before the gig culminating in a pre-band pogo to the Rolling Stones by some of the audience. This led me and the chap next to me to have a very silly E number induced conversation about throwing pebbles and how dangerous it was.

And when The Black Lips eventually came on stage, all hell broke loose…

|Photos – The Black Lips|
|Video: The Black Lips Sound Check|
|Video: The Black Lips – O Katrina!| <- pint dodging mosh-cam action

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