Enough is enough. The underground is a real mess of brilliance. By brilliance I mean people ready to put their lives on the line for the music they believe in and by mess I mean little to no coherence or discourse amongst ourselves and the masses. Why can't all the good bits of the puzzle fit together? Why are so many people doing the same thing totally independently of one another? Why is it so hard as a punter to find all the best nights with all the ace-est new bands? Why is it so hard for the best new bands to put on a tour? Why should MTV2 control the tastes of the nation?
We think we have a solution.
WHAT WE'RE DOING ALREADY
We're attempting to create a Drowned in Sound configured tour circuit. Basically, with more co-promoted nights all over the UK, offering you the reader a reliable doorway (that more than likely already exists) into the world of future stadium fillers, cult-superstars and/or arty-netherworlds; basically showcasing the finest new bands.
We know what it is like out there. I've already promoted lots of shows whilst living down in Weymouth with bands like JJ72, Cooper Temple Clause, Stony Sleep (Serafin) and Cable amongst others, playing their first few shows, years before busting through and people came along each week because they knew I'd make an effort to keep the quality level up.
This year alone, we've done tours under the Drowned in Sound banner - arranged by big promoters - with bands we've been behind (admittedly rather rock biassed) like Kinesis, Reuben, Biffy, Oceansize, Span, Jarcrew, Crackout, Seachange, etc... and these will continue to happen but we want to go one proactive step further and push things forward, without the need for major label marketing spends. And most of all, we want to help the more left of centre, special acts, put on tours which will actually be promoted and attended, and not anchored to London-only one-offs.
Recently, because we got sick of bands we were championing spending loads on travel only to play in front of 20 uninterested people in Dudley, we've already started and co-promoted successful nights in London (three in fact, at Windmill, Dublin Castle and the Underworld), Colchester, Cardiff, Exeter, Cambridge and Peterborough. Within the next few weeks we're co-starting nights to coincide with The Koreans' debut single in Glasgow (Barfly), Leeds (Joseph Wells), Cambridge (Green Mind @ Boatrace), Derby (Old Institute), Stoke (Sugarmill), Bath (Purr @ Moles) and Liverpool (Glasswerk @ Masque Theatre), and a few others are being discussed. Dates Here. It's quite a good start, but we know we're not there yet. From September we want to have a proper network off the ground. But quite obviously we can't do this on our own.
If this can become a visible network, bands can find gigs, promoters can communicate and our readers reading about bigger bands can be introduced to nights locally where things are really happening in intimate surroundings. Communities can build, scenes can develop and who knows exactly what will happen from there.
We want to make it easier for people to get the most out of their nights. We want to help showcase the best local bands once, maybe thrice, a month, play a hand in building bridges enabling gig swaps, info sharing, contact building and help bands put successful together tours (which will help sales for Small Labels). Plus make it easier for bands from abroad to put on UK tours, playing nights renown for their quality putting on the new Trail of Deads, Muses, Sigur Rós', Bright Eyes', etc..
We don't want to make any money out of this for ourselves, but if it means the name of our site gets in all the right faces, as a symbol of a good new gig, then that's good by us. The bigger dis becomes, the more people will discover more music, that's our logic.
Just to explain, a lot of our current nights are run in conjunction with great promoters already putting on great shows. We help with publicity on this 'ere site with downloads, listings, etc spreading the word to over 6,000 new music fans in the UK including bands, the media and to the cleaner ends of the music industry (to help bands find managers, agents, small deals and the like).
For Promoters: We'll do flyers and some live ads for future tours. Set-up mailing lists if you need them. Give you a DiS staff account so you can add info to our site. Not to mention plans to put together quarterly compilation albums featuring bands that’ve played or are playing upcoming shows across the UK, free magazines... and allsorts of gubbins we're yet to think of. We want NO MONEY from any of this, partly because there isn't much and also because all funds should be reinvested to insure a future and development of the nights.
For Bands: We'll help with promotion (especially if we really like you, we'll even do an 'Introducing..' feature on you), make it easier to find great promoters/nights to play and put you intouch with other bands.
For 'Punters': We'll help you find nights promoting the most interesting and inspiring new music, which may be going on right under your nose but more often than not, there are so many rubbish gigs that the risk of blowing your cash and time usually put you off. We wanna change all that.
We're looking for new nights and promoters to join the network (even if it means folks reading this, right now, speaking to their favourite venues and starting a night with a collective of friends), and your help to recommend collectives doing great things who we should really be speaking to (link them to this page please!).
If you want to find out more and get involved drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below with suggestions.
Bands wishing to play please comment on this article, below, also.
Keep your eyes peeled on the site for news of new nights and shows in your area. Let's make it happen...