Advice for Danish jazz musicians

The Fringe's combo

I spent last week at Vallekilde, about an hour outside of Copenhagen, at an annual event called Summer Session.

It’s an intensive retreat for jazz musicians hosted by national agency Jazz Danmark. They invite world-class artists to come along and work with the musicians, do workshops, stage concerts and jam together. It’s a fantastic week for all concerned.

With my New Music Strategies hat on, my role at the event was simply to try and be helpful where possible, talk to the musicians about their own digital strategies, and help them think through what they’re doing online and how that could be refined.

I thought I’d share some of the advice I gave and my answers to the most common questions and problems I encountered.


The 3 types of music industry blog

I’ve taken what you might call a professional interest in the writing of ‘new music industry’ bloggers and pundits over the past decade, and while there is a great deal of disagreement among them, they all have certain similarities about their approach.

Or rather – their approaches, as there seem to be three main ones.

It’s useful to break these approaches down so that you can recognise them when you see them – but also in order to get a sense of how these kinds of information sources can be interpreted and used in a practical way in your own music industry practice.

You can probably think of other ways to slice this, but here are the three main ways in which I interpret the approaches of music industry bloggers.


Un-Convention Factory

Un-convention Factory from Un-convention on Vimeo.

Calling the UKs best creative talent.

Get involved in a music first…

As part of a larger event called Unknown Pleasures, celebrating the life of Ian Curtis on the 30th anniversary of his death, Un-Convention has been commissioned to develop a very special version of the event. Un-Convention have teamed up with the creators of iconic indie-rock footwear, Converse, to search for 300 of the UK’s most promising creative minds.

This is your opportunity to attend this spectacular free event –

8 bands
60 music industry professionals
300 people
12 hours to record, produce and release an album.

This is Un-Convention Factory

Get involved…watch the bands record the tracks live, design the sleeve, debate ideas, learn about releasing music, explore new digital platforms and create a unique piece of history.

At Un-convention Factory, a mill space will be transformed to contain all of the elements and processes involved in creating and releasing a record. You’ll be free to explore everything that is going on, interact with music industry professionals and ultimately make all the decisions along the way.

We’ll even provide food, drink, a free pair of trainers and a CD of the finished album by the end of the day for everyone who attends.

And to cap it off, the day will end with a free evening show featuring the bands involved, with a line up including Reverend Soundsystem, The Whip, I Am Kloot, New Education, Young Fathers, Virginmarys and more.

Music industry professionals include Peter Hook (New Order), Graham Massey (808 State), Har Mar Superstar, Andrew Dubber (New Music Strategies) and Karen Piper (Radarmaker).

It’s all taking place on 8th May 2010 at Un-Convention Factory in The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield.

If you’re in a band, make cool videos, design amazing things, run a cutting edge blog or are just keen to get involved then tell us about it and you could be coming to Un-Convention Factory. For the chance for you and a friend to attend this free, once in a lifetime event visit

Applications close on 26th April 2010

Enquiries to:

Tour Smart Top 5

Martin Atkins, drummer from Public Image, Killing Joke and Nine Inch Nails wrote a book called Tour Smart. He does a good bit of public speaking, and we’re on the same wavelength about a lot of stuff. In fact, people have described him to me as “New Music Strategies with swearing.”

He was on a panel at Un-Convention and I grabbed him for a quick moment for a chat. I put him on the spot a bit, but got him to do a top 5 Tour Smart tips.

Unconsultancy wrap-up

Unconsultancy in Manchester went well, I think. I certainly had a good time meeting some amazing people. Thanks to Andy from Indielab for organising it, taking me out for dinner, and letting me sleep in his house. Brilliant job all round.