A while ago we got a new flyer done to take to gigs. It said "New album due in 2011". Well that has now turned out to not be possible. Not for lack of trying. It simply hasn't been possible. We finished recording the album in December of last year and then spent the next couple of months back and forth to Wiltshire to mix the record, do the odd spot of re-recording and get a mastered version ready to fulfil our commitments to Bowers and Wilkins.
Steve Osborne making our album sound sexy
Since then, we have been presented with the seemingly impossible question of how best to proceed in getting the album 'out'. By what means, in what format, and with what type of support. We're clearly not the only ones to find this interesting, as it has actually already been the subject of a blog by journalist Emma Hartley. Indeed this question is not ours alone. It could be argued that right now is one of the most difficult times ever for an emerging band to make an impact, or gain the industry support necessary to give yourself even a fighting chance of turning a 'glorified hobby' into a career.
completed its long and painful disappearance, as it was broken up by its owner (Citibank) and sold off to other members of the big 4; now 3.
Nevertheless, the attached article by pointing out that Adele, the biggest artist in the world in 2011, is signed to an independent record, XL. Now, while it may be true that XL are "a label that has bucked the trend for gloomy music industry stories over the past decade", this doesn't tell the full story. Adele's record contract is with XL, but her publishing is held by Universal Music, and her music is looked after in America by Columbia Records, which is part of Sony Records. Moreover, when The Guardian published their Music Power 100 in May of this year, number 1 was "Team Adele" - containing representatives of her label, her manager, her publisher and her plugger.
While, I don't think Urusen are going to be 2012's Adele, I use this example to give an insight to what we're faced with. We have no label, no manager, a loose affiliation with a publisher that was swallowed by EMI earlier in the year (so where that leaves them now even we don't know!). When we put our single out last month we enlisted the help of a radio plugger, and we are currently in talks with a 'booker'.
Managers, pluggers, bookers…What are they? What do they do? How, when and where do you get one? And in what order?! All questions we've been trying to get our heads round over the last year, whilst making sure we maintained our presence on the gigging and festival circuits. And paid our rent. Bit of honesty for you here, we haven't written 1 new song this year.
On Thursday, we're playing our final gig of the year at the Star of Kings for the London Folk Guild Christmas Party. LFG involves some of our favourite promoters, Continental Drifts and The Magpie's Nest. It should be a really good night, with lots of great music and dancing. Would be lovely to have some friendly faces to see the year out with. Hopefully see you there. x