Tuesday 30 May 2017

INTO Glasgow this morning. The usual routine – drop Margaret off and stop at McDonald’s for coffee and wifi!

I’m on a mission today. Having researched a bit on how best to make promo downloads of my forthcoming Live at Memorial Hall album I decide to give Soundcloud a tryout. I already use Soundcloud to provide the audio samples/downloads on my website but have never really examined the possibilities. For the last two albums I’ve used Bandcamp and promo codes, but it’s a bit of a fanny dance responding to requests by allocating and sending individual download codes.

For last year’s Hellbound Train EP and the recent Live EP I”ve hosted the downloads on my website and directed media to an ‘unlisted’ download page where they fill in their name, publication/radio show and email address in a form..when the form is submitted my system automatically sends an email with a link to download the promo stuff in a zipped folder.

Benefits of Bandcamp are you see who actually redeemed the download codes but that’s offset by the limited number of codes you can generate and the already mentioned fanny dance with all the admin. The self-hosted thing worked well but, on research, had a couple of drawbacks.

First, some media/recipients might not be comfortable downloading a zipped folder from what is essentially an unknown – and therefore probably untrusted – source. Also, there is no way to preview the tracks/release so the recipient has to commit to downloading the lot without knowing what it’s like.

Soundcloud offers a neat way around all these drawbacks at the expense, I think of some of the data…but the paid for (pro account – only £45 a year) option does promise some kind of data/analytics. I tidy up my existing Soundcloud accounts (I have a few!) and upgrade one to ‘pro’.

The fast wifi at McDonalds allows me to get all 26 tracks uploaded as 320k MP3s by the time I’ve finished my coffee 🙂

Next stop is Silverburn to pick up a couple of things we need for our camping at this weekend’s Red Rooster Festival where I play on Saturday night.

The wifi at Silverburn is crap, but back at the car I have a full 4G signal so tether the Macbook to my phone and manage to upload the same tracks as uncompressed .wav file versions – I want to be able to give folks the option of downloading 320k MP3 or WAV files.

I have time for a wee walk before I get some shopping and pick up Margaret before heading to the Scottish Music Centre for a meeting about the industry/media launch event for Live at Memorial Hall. We have a productive meeting and all looks good. Planning is everything!

Next stop is Costco for some more shopping and bite to eat before we go to Glasgow’s Citizen M hotel for a networking event co-hosted by the SMIA (Scottish Music Industry Association) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited). We spend a good couple of hours catching up with folks and drinking beer (well I do – Margaret’s driving!)…great event, great evening 🙂

Wednesday 24 May 2017

A good night at the SAY Awards longlist announcement

WE BOTH hit Glasgow early.

I make my usual stop at McDonalds for coffee and wifi and get a bunch of stuff done, including getting the four track Live EP up on Bandcamp.

We’re also delighted that our pal, London-based singer/songwriter Lucy Zirins will be my special guest opening the Glasgow show at Broadcast on Friday 1 September and Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, on Saturday 2 September.

I get Facebook events set up for the two shows and get the ball rolling on spreading the word.

I have mail to pick up in the centre of town so park up at the People’s Palace and enjoy a walk through Glasgow Green. I check out a few things int he city centre, pick the mail, deal with some other and pick up a wrap and walk back. Just as I get tot he car a huge bird shite lands on my left leg, Uuuurgh, Luckily the People’s Palace toilets have hot water!

I eat my wrap then go to pick up Margaret via Tiso’s where I get some advice on walking footwear. My walking boots have soles in both soles and are pretty worn – they were a bargain a year or so ago at about £60 but even so, I’m surprised the soles have worn so fast. The assistant in Tiso’s confirms my thoughts that the wear is down to the amount of walking on tarmac and we come to the conclusion that a shoe with a sole more suited to tarmac, trails and paths might be a better choice. I can always get a new pair of boots later on for the more serious hill walking.

Downside is, as usual, we’re skint! I get Margaret and she’s adamant we should go back to Tiso;s and get the shoes, so that’s what we do. Then we pick up some shopping and make our way to the O2 ABC for the Scottish Album of the Year longlist announcement. IT;s a good event and there’s a load of folks we know. Nice to catch up. The live music from Steve Mason, Admiral Fallow and Mungo’s Hi-Fi is disappointing. We like all three and were looking forward to seeing them, but the performances are lacklustre and lacking in any dynamic…we hang around for the longlist announcement and listen to a bit of Mungo’s Hi-Fi’s DJ set then head for home.