New Grey Whistle Test
I went to see Dufus play live at the Jug of Ale in Moseley last night, and was lucky enough to be let in early to catch a shoot for the New Grey Whistle Test, an internet-only live music ‘telly show’. It did make me wonder about the viability and potential for such a venture, but they seem to have made a good go at it.

It’s a little rough around the edges — I watched an episode this morning and found myself reciting all of the interviewing ten commandments: ‘Don’t ask yes/no questions!’ ‘Never ask “who are your influences?”‘ etc. — and they use the term ‘broadcasting’ and ‘television’ a little too liberally for my pedantic tastes (hello – whole different medium here…) but it’s the kind of site that you not only wish well, but hope gets the support and encouragement it needs.

It’s a simple idea: take out a couple of cameras, film some local gigs, ask a few questions. With a little bit of kit, and some new media know-how, here is a very good example of grassroots online music enterprise made good. There’s no good reason you shouldn’t incorporate an idea like this into your own online music practice. Or maybe invite them along to your next gig.

Interestingly, they’ve used Windows Media as their video format of choice (it’s very easy to implement at the server end) and they’ve set it up so that when you press play, the video loads in fullscreen — to give the impression that you’re watching telly, I suppose. They seem to have struck a good balance between filesize and quality too. The bitrate they’ve chosen is perfectly acceptable, even on my 17″ laptop monitor, and the stream was glitch free after a moment’s initial buffering.

Best thing about it? These guys are enthusiasts — and the love of what they do shows through. Which, I guess is the best reason in the world to do something entrepreneurial out in uncharted territory.

Keep an eye on the site — and watch out for the Dufus performance coming soon. It was pretty spectacular.