“If they’ve got great songs and refuse to give up they’ll make it. I believe that.” – Says Musicians about unsigned artists

ESTABLISHED musicians from Britain have been commenting on the unsigned music scene.

In the UK, acts from all genres have to make their way as unsigned artists, before finding a fan base and eventually signing to a record label that can provide them with the resources to help them succeed in the industry.

The road to the record label is known as being incredibly difficult, as competition from other performers and issues with funding can get in the way of success, leading to band break ups, as members go in search for steady work.

Former Kaiser Chiefs drummer, Nick Hodgson released his debut album ‘Tell Your Friends’ independently on his own label.

He said: “Doing things independently is total freedom for me. I love being able to make instant decisions about things without having to go through a dozen people.

“It’s a lot of hard work though. For unsigned bands it’s always been hard but now is a particularly tricky time to get signed.

“If they’ve got great songs and refuse to give up they’ll make it. I believe that.”

Folk musician, John Smith has been successfully recording albums on his own for years, as he opts to remain unsigned.

He Said: “I think the music industry has changed a lot. I’ve been a professional musician for twelve years and it’s changed a lot in that time. There’s so many more people who have access to an audience.

“Now, any numpty with a guitar can make a record and put it out there. Some of it is frighteningly good, but some of it is terrible, so the competition is so much bigger and so much more diverse.

“People send me stuff and it sounds amazing and these people would never have had a platform a few years ago, but making it in any arts industry is never going to be easy.”

Ex-Kaiser Chief Launches Debut album in home town || D&A interviews…


Former Kaiser Chief, Nick J.D Hodgson launched his Debut Album, ‘Tell Your Friends’ at Headrow House, Leeds last night.

The event was free to fans and attracted an enthusiastic crowd for the former drummer’s first solo outing. D & A’s Tom Rogers interviewed Nick prior to the launch..

T: Hi Nick, Can you tell us a bit more about the journey you went on making this album and what you wanted to achieve with it?

N: At first I thought I’d write a couple of songs and just put them out online but as I continued to write I started getting more excited about it. I imagined at first that the songs would be similar to the ones I’d sung on the Kaiser Chiefs albums, like Boxing Champ and If You Will Have Me, delicate and understated. But I started surprising myself with some actual bangers! After I wrote RSVP I thought, OK let’s see how far this can go. So the goalposts have changed and now I’m totally into the idea of being a solo musician, playing gigs and making more records.

T: Obviously Leeds is an important place for you, but how influential do you feel the city is in your career?

N: I think that without the song I Predict A Riot my musical career wouldn’t be the same. The song is specifically about Leeds city centre so I owe it a lot. As well as that, the city’s music scene was always really inspiring. There were so many bands around the late 90s early 00s and the friendly competition was important to me. Being a big band in Leeds was the first goal.

T: How was it for you after leaving Kaiser Chiefs? Did you find the journey from band member to solo artist hard? Was there a defining factor musically that fuelled your change?

N: I left 5 years ago and went straight into writing and producing for other artists. I don’t like repeating myself so this transition was perfect for me. I was writing about three songs a week with totally different artists and going home every night, it was the opposite of life in the band. Then one day in March last year I felt like I was bored of this life too so I decided to make a change. I don’t like repeating myself (that’s a joke). The defining factor was simply writing a song and thinking, how about I sing this? The song was Thank You which is on the album.

T: And finally, what’s next for you after the album launch?

N: I’ve got some more live dates, then I’ll have a little break and do some more live dates. After all that I’ll go back to my studio and see what happens. I’d love to just make albums for the next ten years.

‘Tell Your Friends’ by Nick J.D Hodgson is out now & will be @ The Wardrobe, Leeds and Deaf Institute, Manchester in April. 

Music ticket touting threatens to kill off the UK’s gig culture, campaigners claim

MASS SCALE Ticket touting is causing considerable harm to the British music scene, alongside causing concern to the gig culture community, according to a survey.

Commissioned by anti-touting campaigners, Fan Fair Alliance, the survey reported that 80% of Britons find that secondary ticketing is a ‘rip off’, and those who purchase them tend not to spend further on other live events as a result.

The survey also found that the majority of people asked supported the idea of precautionary measures being put in place to fight the issue.


Adam Webb, campaign manager for Fan Fair Alliance said: “It’s the scale of online ticket touting that’s the real issue, and the fact that it’s become endemic across live music. Each Friday we see the most high demand events targeted and high volumes of tickets moved straight into the secondary market by professional touts. It’s distorting the market and leaving music fans disaffected.

“If your core audience is disaffected and feels they’re being ripped off, then that’s potentially a nightmare for the long-term health of the business. On a more basic level, if a large segment of gig-goers are over spending on tickets then they’ll have less to spend on other shows, on recorded music and at venues.

“It’s undoubtedly damaging. It engenders a feeling of mistrust and of being ripped off. That’s no basis on which to build a music culture.

“Fan Fair wholeheartedly believes that fans should be able to resell a ticket – but at the price they paid for it, not as a means of making a quick buck and screwing over everyone else.”

eBay owned StubHub, is a ticket sales website allows users to buy and re-sell tickets online.

When asked about the survey, a spokesman told D&A: “Less than 1% of tickets for most events in the UK end up for resale on StubHub, and 40% of these tickets were sold at face value or below.

“The real problem is the lack of transparency in the primary market, with the distinct lack of tickets made available to the general public. We would like to see government bring forward rules where primary sellers have to list how many tickets they are actually listing for general public sale.”


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