So what's been happening?

   

Purpix

 

So what's been happening? Well, on the musical front, there have been significant developments over the last few months...

When the album was finished before Christmas the immediate challenge was to shift a few copies and ‘launch' this in some way that might kick-start some publicity. However, there is a slight chicken and egg dilemma regarding gig opportunities and getting press - good press seems to generate good press but how do you get off the starting block? If I could secure a serious venue for the launch, then perhaps some reviewers etc. might take it more seriously.... Anyway, I sent a CD to the 606 Club amongst others and club owner Steve Rubie got back a few weeks later asking, "When do you want to bring the trio down?" This was what I needed - I couldn't believe it! We're off ...With the thought of playing there in mind, I decided to do a reckie of the venue and went down to watch a hero of mine, John Taylor playing solo piano. Whilst there, I noticed another jazz legend sitting in the corner - Julian Joseph who was very much on my contact hit list of people I wanted to get a copy of my album to.... Steve Rubie kindly introduced me and remarkably (as I hadn't crossed his path since Academy days) Julian remembered me. He was happy to receive a CD and so I sent one to him  - even daring to ask in a covering letter if he might offer a couple of quotable lines that could be used in the write up for the 606 gig if he liked the recording. A few weeks later, some very encouraging comments were returned... So I now had a gig in the diary and an official ‘jazz establishment' endorsement. Now we were motoring...! Julian's endorsement provided the basis of my e-mail ‘press release' as a way of introducing myself to freelance reviewers, magazines and radio etc.

 

So I invited everyone and his dog to the gig at the 606. Amongst those that attended was broadcaster Helen Mayhew who had received a CD when I put out my first batch of media enquiries via e-mail. Out of perhaps 100 e-mails sent out (I found contacts mainly through the Jazz Services database) maybe a dozen requested a CD. Of those, a couple led to concrete and positive reviews (Chris Parker and Peter Vacher) One blogger wasn't so favourable but then I guess one has to take the rough with the smooth! Helen Mayhew suggested sending Mike Chadwick at JazzFM a copy of the CD. He was into it and played a track on his Cutting Edge show a couple of weeks later....

 

Following the success of the launch and feeling a surge of confidence, I put out some more media feelers.... This time, Linley Hamilton from BBC radio Ulster replied saying he'd like to play some tracks and even do a telephone interview on his show.... Wow, I thought - result! But I was a bit nervous about the prospect of doing an interview, as I didn't feel I had quite the jazz pedigree of many of his former guests. However, I was confident about the music and his enthusiasm and encouragement about the project was a real boost. That interview was broadcast last Sunday and I was pleased with how it came across.

 

So there we have it...the ‘independent musician' saga continues. I feel there is a gathering of momentum and the plan now is to secure gigs. (Dates are being discussed and other feelers are being put out too...) If I can get a half decent gig sheet, then I'll push more seriously with some print / review and airplay angles again. I went this week to an MU seminar on preparing good press releases and an Association of Independent Music induction meeting - both very timely. In fact, the importance of ‘timing' struck me a fresh in terms of any promotional strategy. I'd like to run a few thoughts past the folks down at the AIM offices....