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Small Band Struggles: The Introduction




This is an idea that I did a few years ago for my English Language speaking exam, but that was YEARS ago, so I want to do that idea again, but I want to make it into an informative piece of writing to raise awareness for your local bands, and why I'm always trying to support local bands, I also want to make you aware of the struggles they face.

So let me give you a little bit of an overview as to why we're doing this...

No matter where you live, there'll be some local bands somewhere in your area, and it's important to show them your support because they're the artists that really need your love and support. I know of people who've not seen the point in supporting small artists because "If they were good they'd be big" but how can you expect a band to get big if you don't support them?
The first time I did this idea back in the day, I actually had the help of Milestones, because at the time Milestones were tiny and before they broke up they ended up being a decent size for a new band. I remember telling so many people about them and nobody would listen to them. Another band I remember supporting in the early days was As It Is. Back in 2012/2013 they were tiny, and they were in a competition to support a small band from Birmingham called Taking Hayley, and I remember getting the Two Tracks EP and Blenheim Palace and loving them!
Taking Hayley, their bass player was Tom Paton, he's now the bassist in Hot Milk. I still have the photos from when I met him back in 2013 and 2014, and that's how long I've been supporting him, and I get so proud seeing how far these bands (or individual members) come. Take a look at a favourite here on this blog, Fast Car To Florence, Isaac is a touring member for Louis Tomlinson like that's insane. Another artist, Lewis Capaldi, one of the biggest names in music at this point, an absolute legend. I remember following him on Twitter and seeing him play these tiny pub gigs and stuff up in Glasgow and when he first released Bruises I was so excited. If you look at my top tracks of 2017, it's near the top, and I told everybody to listen to it and nobody would and I remember playing it at sixth form and people told me he was shit and couldn't sing, the same people now adore the man and think he's the best singer ever.
 My point is, these small musicians have all the same talent if not more than some bigger artists and the only way they can actually grow is by getting you to support them when they're small, so they grow.

Small musicians face more problems than well-established ones do, which you'd expect. However, a lot of people seem to overlook this, and it annoys me because don't say you support the music industry if you refuse to support small bands. So every week for a few weeks, we are going to be putting up a post about a different struggle small musicians face, and we really want to open your eyes and educate you on this, because I want to try and make a difference and break the stigma really.

So here comes the exciting part, I've said 'we' a lot here, and this is where it excites me a bit. I support my local scene, however, I'm not an insider, so for this series, we're going to have the help of an insider. Someone you will have heard of a lot on this blog because honestly, when do I stop hyping up his band? I shall be doing the Small Band Struggles series with no other than Jay from The Mocking Jays. When I had this idea, I needed someone who was an insider, and if you know me, you know me and Jay have a lovely bond so I knew I had to ask him, and he seems pretty passionate about this. So every week me and Jay are going to try our best to educate you! Stay tuned for part one!

Enjoy this bit from Jay:

As a member of a small / local band since 2015, I guess it’s fair to say I’ve seen a few different approaches to tackling the industry, met different people with diverse backgrounds and have been immensely fortunate in meeting and receiving the kindness, support and reward from incredible people, often young, who support local and more international music, alike… Some I haven’t even met, and they have been pivotal in my own development and given me drive to continue in some trifling times.
The reason I start this way is to make point of two things. 1. I’m immensely humbled to be asked to provide my account on what it’s like to be in a small/local band in the 2020 industry (or perhaps 2019 is a better comparison, given circumstances) considering how many people are in the same position as I. 2. Grace is one of the people I mentioned latterly who has an undying support for music in a multitude of forms and is certainly a great spokesperson alone for the topic. However, there are some things you see more clearly when operating as a producer in the industry than you do as a consumer. Assuming you are an artist or performer in a group you may have faced some of these yourself. I aim to tackle one major point a week for the next few weeks in the hopes of offering some real, practical observation and perhaps even a starting point for some solutions for the subjects explored for fan and artists alike.

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