Live music. You can put a month of work into trying to get a review in a national newspaper. You can tweet the writers, day in, day out. You can bankrupt yourself sending review copies of the music to their physical addresses, or bash your fingers to stubs emailing them the mp3s. Even if you do get a review, a few hundred people might actually end up reading it, but you’ve got a one-day window to capitalise on that before the paper ends up lining parrot-cages or wrapping chips.Alternatively, you just play loads of gigs.
Tomorrow night our most recent signing, Vanito Brown, is heading out to the Libertad8 cafe in Madrid with Robin to play a couple of songs from the new solo album that he’s been recording with us. Robin’s been producing, so he’s going along to add some piano to the voice/guitar act. If the night is successful, by Saturday morning there’ll be a hundred or so new fans, or if not fans, then informed punters. They’ll talk to their friends and will recognise the name Vanito Brown next time they see it. It’s bread-and-butter stuff, no secrets involved. If you want to build a fanbase, getting out and playing live is a good way to start. There have been examples of the contrary – Enya shifted something in the region of twenty-million albums without ever touring. But then, it was the type of aural wallpaper that is almost designed to be played as the soundbed between programmes on TV, or by unimaginative documentary makers and toilet-paper advertisements. Don’t think it would work now anyway. If a band doesn’t have a live following, there’s precious little chance that it will sell records.
So, live performance is going to be a big part of what we do at BlancoMusic. It’s costly and time-consuming, especially here in Spain where venues refuse to pay performers and punters refuse to pay to see live music. Most small gigs in Spain involve the act having to compete with the constant background of vociferous conversation and mobile phone ringtones. Still, if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. It’s a mileu in which our own Mil i Maria have cut their teeth, and Rocio, their singer, has developed a stage persona that can shut all but the most troglodytic of audience members up. Vanito and Robin have about forty years’ worth of onstage experience between the two of them, so they know how to work a crowd. It’ll be fine.
Anyway, a fairly fractured blogpost today. My excuse is that we’ve been negotiating with a new digital distributor. Lots to check over and think about, and not much time to develop the clarity of thought I need to write something special up here. Before I go though, it is Thursday, and I did promise to put a tune up here every week. I shall paste the link anon, you may listen at will.