January Post Tour Update (House Concerts, NAMM, Fecking Airlines, and the Continuing Sonicbids Saga)

Hi there all!  This’ll be a long one as I’ve got a lot to say.  😀 Hopefully you’re itchin’ fer an update so you won’t be snoozing by the end.  If not, treat each part like a chapter…bookmark my RSS feed and come back every day!
House Concerts and the Like

I know that I’ve been a bad person and haven’t been blogging of late.  Truthfully, I find it hard to be on the web much when I’m on the road.  I just don’t have the constitution for it, and am likely to be more concerned with when/where I might find something I can eat. (I’m endlessly concerned about food when we’re touring)  I have tried to keep you all updated via facebook and twitter…and if you’re following Steve, then none of this matters because you’ll have known our every move for sure as he lives his entire life on the web….well, almost.


So having a tour that was almost exclusively house concerts this year was a blast.  There’s nothing like getting to play to groups of under 40 each night, the connection you can achieve with your audience is astounding.  There’s a real conversational banter that opens up between you and your audience and it makes me realise how much I always hated playing club dates…and why I was always happier playing places like the Yellow Door and Ginglik.  Aside from that, getting to stay somewhere cool each night, rather than some overpriced rat trap with someone else’s hair on the sheets was amazing.  Aside from that, people letting me use their kitchens….personal tours of new cities….and just an all round feeling of welcoming into new/old groups of friends was stunning.  
Thanks to everyone! Here’s some great pics from the shows!

There are way more photos to post and lots more here if you’re interested.

USB Sticks

Besides our new house concert model for this tour, I tried some new merch as well.  I decided to put my whole back catalog along with a rarities album, three tracks from my new disc and some video on a one gig usb stick branded with a moo sticker with my logo on it to see how it would sell.  They went over quite well, especially to the more tech related crowds.  So end result:  CDs are still outselling by about 3-4/1 but well worth doing and the combination possibilities for exclusive content and the like are endless.


Fecking Airlines

So you all know that I have no love for the airlines.  If I didn’t have to fly to get over here to the US….I wouldn’t.  So last time I flew, my NWA replacement flight for Delta made me check my guitar planeside…and then ran over it with a truck and smashed it.  The man who ran over it preceded to piece the case back together and was going to put it in the hold!  Thankfully a stewardess and the pilot of my flight saw it happen and went to bat for me.  Otherwise, I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten any money out of them at all.
On the BA flight to NYC from London.  They smashed up Steve’s bass so badly that it is a write-off. You can read about it here and still haven’t provided any inkling that they are going to accept responsibility for it.  If you have had similar experiences, please post them here.  We all need to let the airlines know that it’s not acceptable.  As musicians we travel a lot.  It‘s not fair to us to have to constantly be concerned that our instruments are in danger because FRAGILE seems to mean…LETS SEE IF WE CAN SMASH IT.  Aside from that, the last 3 times I’ve flown at least one of my bags has been damaged each time.  Doesn’t seem quite fair that I need to Expect to add the cost of replacing my things to each flight.  OK, enough ranting about that…now on to other matters.


Continuing Saga of Sonicbids

So, I’ve discovered that there’s a sonicbids employee who has been blogging about experiences from the inside. I meant to blog about this ages ago, so it might not be nouveau news to you now.
I really didn’t mean to stir up so much shit when I posted about them last year, I was just truly angry at how much money I’d wasted over the years on a service that didn’t deliver.  I also like to see the best in people, so when sonicbids tried to make amends, I was open to hoping that they were truly trying to change things. I don’t really think that was the case, they seemed to be only trying to placate me in order to shut me up.  It’s not really something I think about much anymore as I feel the sonicbids model is over.  Even record labels are trying to make it look like they’er interacting with their audience one on one.  We don’t need go betweens anymore.  Your blog, flickr page, twitter feed, and facebook pages ARE your EPK.  Your day to day life is far more interesting to people than a page that houses a few songs and a bio.  And festivals, venues and opportunities that try to make me pay exclusively through another company in order to be considered are not worth it.  I’m through with big businesses trying to strong-arm me.  Read this and tell me what you think.  You can check out the Full Speed Ahead blog here.
OK, well that’s probably far too much into for now and I have to get ready to go out and buy a replacement suitcase for the trip home.  More soon, I promise!  More often, and less wordy.  More often and less wordy.  It’s my new slogan. x


2 Replies to “January Post Tour Update (House Concerts, NAMM, Fecking Airlines, and the Continuing Sonicbids Saga)”

  1. Your observations about Sonicbids are right on the money. I was disappointed to see that the http://soundslikepenis.wordpress.com/ has been deleted by the author. Wonder if he was threatened by Sonicbids (which is now owned by Billboard). Their redesign has been a total disaster. I believe as you do, that the whole paid submission thing is B.S. Seems like many of their so-called “opportunities” were for “gigs” that pay little or nothing. If you’re a serious professional and actually expect to make a living playing music, you’ll do much better contacting promoters yourself through people you know in your network. Meanwhile disgruntled Sonicbids members might want to check out https://www.facebook.com/sonic.sux.

  2. Thanks for your comments Rick! I’ll check out the facebook group! Very disappointed to see reverbnation go the same way with paid submissions although I don’t think they are nearly as dubious a company as sonicbids!

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