This Horizons Tumblr will be our project home for plenty of extra-curricular footage, blogs, diaries, and music biz guest writings. We can’t wait to share this Welsh world of musical expertise with you… but first….
One of our friends on the Horizon project has had extensive experience of playing in a well-known Welsh band, and they enjoyed a certain level of success before the band called it a day. We asked Alun Gaffey of Racehorses to help write some handy tips for new bands.
Fe fydd y blog hwn yn le i rannu deunydd ychwanegol gyda chi, blogs y bandiau, dyddiaduron arbennig, ysgrifenwyr gwadd. Ni methu aros i rannu’r byd o gynnyrch cerddorol Cymraeg yma gyda chi… ond yn gyntaf…
Mae cyfaill sy’n gweithio yn agos efo’r tîm Gorwelion wedi cael profiad helaeth o chwarae mewn band amlwg iawn, ac wedi mwynhau cryn dipyn o sylw cyhoeddus cyn chwalu’r band. Ni wedi gofyn I Alun Gaffey o Racehorses am tips bach defnyddiol wrth ddechrau mas yn y diwydiant cerddorol.
6 Do’s and 6 Don’ts
- Do buy a stage tuner (very useful investment).
- Do be yourself and project it into your performance. I always find if someone tries to project an image that really isn’t them or what they’re about then you can instantly see through them. Notable exceptions to this rule of course are people like Bob Dylan or David Bowie, to whom reinvention was something they courted throughout their career and to superb effect.
- Do be clear with the rest of your band about your goals, desires, and the vision you have for the project - these things may vary within a band.
- Do try and wear earplugs when possible – tinnitus is horrible.
- Do try to have a laugh - even when you’re skint, starving and sat outside a drab venue in Coventry on a rainy day waiting to soundcheck for a gig that you can’t even be bothered playing.
- Do apply for the Horizons / Gorwelion initiative – if you get picked it will mean you get to play gigs in some great festivals, and decent coverage for your band on Radio and TV.
- Don’t listen to anyone.
- When meeting with label bosses, A&R people, publishers, general industry types, they will try to convince you that they are the ones who know what’s what and that you are lucky to even meet them – Don’t listen to them. Remember that you are the one that makes and loves music –
- Don’t dwell on the same live-set for too long, mix it up – but keep it tight.
- Don’t think that one single event (e.g. a gig, meeting or showcase) will instantly be the thing that teleports you to success. It takes a lot of gigging and more often than not will not result in anything other than a drink-problem and a massive chip..
- Don’t listen to me! (Who the hell am I anyway?)
- Don’t forget to have a laugh. (Which is obviously what I’ve tried to do with this list)
In all seriousness, you could do much worse than apply for the Horizons initiative. It’s an opportunity to play on some great stages across the country. I did a similar thing with the band I was in (not Horizons but a BBC Introducing scheme) which meant I got to play in Glastonbury, go on a full-scale tour of the UK complete with a rock&roll sleeper-bus, the works, and played in the Electric Proms with Siouxie and the Banshees no less, the gig where we met our manager and went on to do much bigger things.