Islet live. Photo by @edhombre

I’m at Un-Convention in Swansea this weekend. Lots of talk with lots of interesting people about the independent and grassroots DIY music sector. It’s held in a cafe/bar called Monkey in the central city, and in the evening, bands play.

I’m here with a bunch of people I know from these sorts of things – and I’ve been spending a fair bit of time hanging with the very clever Ben Walker (@ihatemornings), who you know as the guy who wrote the Twitter song.

One band played last night that blew me away. And I don’t just mean I liked them, or really loved their gig. They BLEW. ME. AWAY. I can’t remember being this excited by a band in years. Possibly decades.

Ben was excited too. We came back downstairs, had a beer, and raved about how amazing they are. We were instant fans. So we went straight online and looked them up.

We Googled: “Islet band Cardiff” and various other combinations of the band name and their city of origin. Nothing. They’d played one support gig for Shonen Knife (how cool is that?!) – but no website, no MySpace, no nothing.

And we were stuck. They had no CDs for sale. Nothing we could do. We just didn’t know how to be Islet fans.

So we made them a fan site

What we did
In fact, what we did was very simple – and we’d encourage anybody else with an internet connection who has the same Road to Damascus experience with a band that we had to try something along these lines.

1) Posterous
We set up a Posterous account. It’s really simple – and it means that anything we want to put up on the blog, anything the band wants to put up on the blog, or anything that any other fan wants to put up on the blog can be done with a simple email.

2) Domain
We found a domain name ( that we thought was good, and paid pretty much exactly what it would have cost to buy their CD, had they had one for sale. By following some very simple instructions on the domain provider’s site, and on the Posterous site, we made the URL point at the Posterous page.

3) YouTube
I had my Flip camera handy, and had shot some footage of the gig. We also collared the band on their way out the door, asked them to sit down on the stairs and introduce themselves. Upload the video to Youtube, email the link to Posterous – and Bob’s your uncle.

4) Flickr
Someone else at the gig had a flash looking camera, and he’d been taking some shots. We asked him to send us the photos, and he tweeted us a link to the Flickr set he’d made. So we used to make a nice, compatible version of the slideshow, and emailed that to Posterous. Job done.

5) Words
I wrote a quick review of the gig, and emailed it to the Posterous email account. Again – very simple, and there it is.

Really simple stuff. We made it, tweeted about it and got excited about it. Less than 24 hours later, close to 1000 people have visited, checked out the band and have, at least, now heard of the amazing band that is Islet.

The band were a bit bewildered, and possibly a little bit frightened by it all as it happened. They thought we were from the future. But we’re not. This is what can happen now, and it can happen easily.

So the big question is… are YOU amazing enough for your fans to be inspired to do something simple and thankful like that?


UPDATE: We just made them a t-shirt on Spreadshirt. Buy it here – all profits go straight to the band! (and of course, you could do the same yourself – it’s really simple).