The conference at the Central Methodist Hall on Oldham Street took place in the day with a series of showcase gigs from new artists running at multiple venues in the Northern Quarter during the evening. The event was attended by music industry newcomers and established professionals from all sides of the music and entertainment industry.
A wide range of topics were presented offering guidance on how to break bands, increase revenue from merchandise sales and build engaged audiences in the age of streaming before lunch.
In the afternoon the panels focus were on addressing gender imbalance within the music industry followed by the launch of Music accessibility charity Attitude is Everything’s DIY Access Guide for bands, artists and promoters on how to make gigs and tours more accessible for Deaf and Disabled people.
This essential guide is available here.
Throughout the evening we managed to see a huge variety of live music. In addition to Cassia (shown above) and The Blinders at Gullivers, some of our other favourites included:
Low Island at Night & Day
Oxford’s most vibrant musical export play slick contemporary pop. Think Talking Heads meets Friendly Fires. We first found out about these guys when they had their single That Kind of Love added to Radio 1’s BBC Introducing playlist earlier in 2017. The boys were interviewed about their influences, clubbing v gigging and their current tour for the TicketWeb Blog.
Revenge of Calculon at Night & Day
A squelchy funk duo, there were rendered menacingly incognito thanks to their Mexican wrestling masks and distorted vocal fx. Fantastic festival fun. Get more information about them here.
Eliza Shaddad at Jimmy’s
A long-time favourite of Artist Services, Eliza is a gifted songwriter and vocalist based in London who’s won fans thanks to singles like Wars that pack an emotional punch and a cerebral message. Watch her perform Wars here.
Other highlights of the night were Pat Damn Smyth also at Jimmy’s; Layfullstop and Pink Kink at The Castle; Elle Mary and The Bad Men and Fehm at The Peer Hat; and Queen Zee and The Sasstones at Soup Kitchen. We were also wowed by The Sugarmen, a Liverpudlian beat combo that mix Libertines and Vampire Weekend sounds and styles, at Aatma. Plus, gravelly voiced troubadour River Matthews breathed new life into the well-trodden singer-songwriter genre.
You can check out the Off the Record Spotify playlist of all bands that performed here.
Words by Jason Boardman & John Talbot
James Bay released the luscious ballad Wild Love on Virgin (Universal Music) this first new song since his 2015 double platinum selling debut Chaos and the Calm.