Frome and away


Ian, Saskia and I went to Frome in Somerset for the Being Human Weekend.

Lovely town, and we met some fantastic people and listened to some great electronic and experimental music. And for the record, you actually say “Froom”, so the pun in the title of this post doesn’t really work. But you can be assured that we came up with dozens of puns on both pronunciations, just to be balanced and fair.

I moderated a panel about digital strategies for independent music, featuring Will Plowman from A Future Without, Steve Robson from SubHub and electronic artist Laura B.


Unconvention Factory: all kinds of awesome

Ian, Saskia and Andrea at the Unconvention venue as the bands set up

The New Music Strategies team was delighted to be invited to Unconvention Factory in Macclesfield this past weekend.

For a start, it looked like it was going to mean an opportunity for us all to be in the same city in the world again for only the second time. Unfortunately, as it turned out, we had to make do without Steve, who was otherwise engaged being a successful, gigging independent solo bass playing musician.

We did, however, have a very productive meeting on the day before the event – and as a result, we have some fantastic projects coming up in the near future. Watch this space.

But we also managed to get in and get our hands dirty at the event itself – participating in a panel, hosting a workshop and presenting a radio show… and in my case, having my face encased in plaster for an art project.


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:

20 Things video podcast


The university I work at has put together a series of videos about my free e-book The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online.

This is not a video version of the book per se, but rather me talking briefly about each of the different sections of the book in turn.

Because these video podcasts are eventually destined for the iTunesU site that the university is putting together, they are in a particular (and very nice) video format, which doesn’t lend itself well to embedding and distributing, which I think is a shame, really.

So as soon as I get a chance, I’m going to grab the files and stick them up on YouTube and Vimeo, etc. Feel free to do the same. In the meantime though – these are as they appear on the BCU website, where you can also get the files as mp3s.

Outside the Box at Un-Convention

Outside the Box panel
Steve, Amran, Abi, Stef & Caro in a church hall in Salford

This is the audio recording of the panel session I chaired at Un-Convention in Manchester last month. It was about music that falls outside the indie rock band tradition you’d normally expect represented at these sorts of events. I wanted to know if there were any lessons that could be drawn from outside the margins.

Some really amazing and insightful stuff from Stef Lewandowski, Steve Lawson, Amran Ellahi, Abigail Seabrook, and Caroline Churchill.

I actually posted this on my personal blog first, which is kind of telling. I think of these people as my friends, so that’s where it seemed to make sense. But then, of course, I realised (duh…) that it might be of interest to the sort of people who read New Music Strategies.

Hope you find it helpful and interesting.

You can listen to all of the panel sessions at the Un-Convention Soundcloud page… and you can follow the panellists (other than Abi, who I can’t find) on Twitter:

Stef Lewandowski: @stef
Steve Lawson: @solobasssteve
Amran Ellahi: @aashiqalrasul
Caroline Churchill:@carosnatch

and of course, I’m @dubber.

Un-Convention roundup

Un-Convention Salford was, of course, a great experience. All the more so because it brought together some of my favourite people from all over.

In fact – there were so many cool people at Un-Convention, it was hard to get around them all and spend as much time as I’d like to with each of them.

One of the people I was lucky enough to get to spend a reasonable amount of time with was Steve Lawson (otherwise known as SoloBassSteve). He’d been on my ‘Outside the Box‘ panel – which was amazing, entirely because of the brilliant insight of the amazing people on the panel (I was merely moderating – they provided all the awesome).

After lunch today, he grabbed my Flip camera and turned it on me for my impromptu roundup of the weekend.