Just another gig that showed how hard a sell live original music is in Swindon, mid-week in a small back street boozer. I’m a about a year in to promoting music here and still the turn out remains below average to embarrassing. Tonight two more artists who deserve a bit of recognition get to play to a near empty room whilst everyone is murdering Mr Brightside in the name of karaoke at The Victoria.
Leon is from Cirencester and having arrived early after a quick sound check we found ourself chatting about local history. Cirencester is the place for history, one of the big Roman provincial capitals you only have to put a spade in the ground to pull up a bit of the past. It’s a theme that continues with the arrival of Anna whose last album was about people living in the last days of Pompeii and who has, on occasion dressed up in Roman garb to play shows at The British Museum. All we needed was Tony Robinson and we could have staged Time Team: The Musical. Both played great sets, Leon takes a sort of Del Amitri/Squeeze approach towards songs and Anna a more pop template.
A chat with Sam Bates over a beer did moot a few ideas regarding marketing strategies and promotion. With the music industry in total overhaul as consumption habits change maybe it is time our ways of promoting what we do change.
As the acts drive home to Cirencester and Woking respectively, am joined at the bar by a self confessed music nut (not nutty enough to actually catch the show though) who proceeds to tell me where I am going wrong, that I should put more cover acts on and does so whilst wearing a supermarket brand Ramones T-shirt, so the shining example of supporting live music. I never realised that irony could work on so many levels.