February 2006

Hi everyone firstly let me wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2006.

It's amazing, I have been doing this column for about 8 years, maybe longer, yet, things never seem to change with record companies! The general public, you and me, know what we like, so why do they decide on what they think we would like! Just because Busted and McFly are successful - or are they? It doesn't mean that all record companies have to have 'clones" - now they are saying that we will see a revival of Pop and Dance!

I have got news for them, it has never gone away!

It's like going into a supermarket for baked beans and being faced with a choice of either their own brand or Heinz, you want beans you have to buy one of them but it doesn't mean you are totally satisfied!

I have always loved Pop, Dance and Soul and there are thousands of people out there the same, so why give us a load of rock that we are not interested in!

Even Urban music has a small market in the UK and is usually filled by American artistes as opposed to UK artistes.

I would lie to see obscure artistes and genres of music give a chance, as all music needs to be fostered and all takes need to be catered for. I am all for the majors making a profit, but let's face it they make their profits from an art form and therefore in my opinion they have to nurture all types of music, which will in the end keep people's interest in buying records and seeing live bands or artistes.

I think if they put 10%of their profits into nurturing obscure music then the whole music business would be in a much more healthier state.

PRIMERA Signature Z1

As you all know I purchased the Primera Signature Z1 after my TDK CD 50 died!

Well, it hasn't lived up to the promises made in the literature. Allegedly the thermal cartridge gives 200 print areas, which means if you use the four print areas on a cd you should be able to produce 50 cd's.

Well, I managed 25 cd's! When you consider the cost of the tape which is approximately £20, it is costing about £1 per cd, just to print on the cd!

I can get fully mastered cd's including on-body printing and a full colour inlay car, basically what you buy in a music shop, for 45 pence each !!

I wrote to Primera complaining about the machine and they would not budge from their quoted 200 print areas. When I told them that I would be reviewing it on my column they sent me loads of information, pictures if I needed them etc. What they didn't realise, I suppose, was that I wasn't going to be praising it !

So, if you are a young artiste or band, then the cheapest way for you to produce professional looking demos is to get them pressed up, unless of course you re doing a very small run.

Moans over!


By the time you read this column, I will hopefully have returned from MIDEM. For all those who do not know what MIDEM is it is basically all of the music industry getting together to try and do deals.

It is an ideal opportunity for young artistes or bands with a bit of imitative to put on a showcase in one of the many bars around Cannes.

Let's face it, if you can play a live set and produce enough flyers, handing them out outside the Palais, you might well end up with 20 or 30 record company representatives at your gig ! Where else can you do that?

Although, it will have to be next year now, but it is certainly worth thinking about.

It might be an idea over the Summer to fly down to Cannes on Easy jet and suss the place out and make preparations in advance.

Anyway, food for thought!

British Talent Nominated for US Awards !

At last British artists are being recognised for their immense talent ! The Bloc Party, Anthony and the Johnsons, who's album I have just bought !! At first when I heard his voice I hated it, but I gave him another chance and listened to him a few weeks later when all the hype had died down, I was blown away ! I just love his voice no ! also among the top ten finalists for the inaugural US Pantheon Music Prize are MIA.
The Pantheon award, which effectively replaces the Shortlist Prize, and is designed to commemorate the most creative album, which has to have sales under 500,000.
The winner will be announced on 6th February in Los Angeles.
Personally, I think Anthony and The Johnsons will win it !!
That's the lot until next month, a bit shorter than normal as I am rushing to get everything ready for MIDEM ! Keep the e-mails coming in markwinters@btopenworld.com

And don't for get to check out the following sites:

For the budding artiste and songwriter

Bandit A&R Newsletter
Helping unsigned acts/songwriters target their material to the right people. bandit@banditnewsletter.com / http://www.banditnewsletter.com

Songlink is for Songwriters who need to place their songs www.songlink.com

If you are a performer and you want to showcase to the industry then this is for you www.kashmirklub.com

Also don't forget the song for little Sarah, who was so brutally murdered www.asongforsarah.co.uk

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