Revolutions - The Launch Party

Set List
Our launch party for Revolutions was held in London last night - Sara and I had a fantastic time with a really great crowd of people. It was also amazing to get to perform "Revolutions" live with Sebastian - he was brilliant.

It has been quite a busy week preparing for the event. Big thanks to Rhonda for all her help in organising everything for us! We couldn't have done it without you.

Photos to follow ...



While I waxed on yesterday about MySpace losing its mojo, the BBC confirms that only 25% of people polled in a recent survey find the networking site to be their favourite place on the web for music.

That is a shocking statistic - considering I would hazard a guess that most people see the brand as being geared towards bands and their fans. But it backs up my thoughts that the platform isn't really working anymore.

The headline of the article is equally perturbing:

"Almost 75% of music pirates would stop if told to by their ISP"

Two points here:

1.) The poll was conducted in a survey of 1500 people. Who out of the sample have NEVER downloaded music without paying? And out of those, who would admit to it? I'm not sure I know anyone in the 20-35 category that haven't downloaded music (or perhaps even a film) for free - whether they would admit to it, is another point. Those in the "pirate" group must then be quite a high percentage.

2.) The fact that it would take a third party company - even one with no legal authority, such as your ISP (in my opinion they are merely a conduit of information - the crime is between the end user and the copyright holder) - to deter the theft, is very interesting. It says a lot about our society's acceptance of being monitored vs. our value for copyright.

Psychologically we do not process the act of downloading music without paying for it as theft - UNTIL we are caught doing it by someone else. Those polled might confess to the illegal download - and thus they recognise that it is "wrong" to do so, but this knowledge alone is not enough to have them change their behaviour. It is too easy to get away with the act, so morally we do not consider it wrong. Much like speeding - if no one is there to see it happen, is it really a crime?

Image by asboluv



A recent visit to Facebook this week got me thinking about the role of social networking in our modern busy lives.

First off - what a mess Facebook has become.  I have been avoiding it for months now - primarily because the functionality of it was tiresome (have I ever really wanted to be "poked" by anyone I didn't know? or turned into a zombie? hmm). Seeing it this week I was amazed anyone can be bothered with it - the "new" design is a truly shameful cluttered chaos.

For Gaymonkey, social networking has been an amazing tool.  I remember the first time I heard about MySpace - I didn't quite understand why I would need another home on the web when our own was doing so well. However, the direct marketing potential quickly became very clear. Finally we had a platform to interact with lovers of music - and potential fans! The dream of the Long Tail was born ...

But as more social networking sites have popped up, MySpace's power has diminished. Facebook has proven to be more appealing to the less-music conscious masses, and it feels that no one is using MySpace to interact - it is now simply an easy way for a band to have a website.

The big winner at the moment for labels and their fans is Last.fm. Gaymonkey artists have always been involved with the site - and while they started out as more of a digital radio service, their expansion into social networking has been very slick. Here we can actually see who has been listening to our tracks, and then interact with them directly. The potential to build a community of like-minded individuals, passionate about our niche, seems very real. And the library is massive - providing the ultimate on-demand resource. Who needs radio at all anymore?

Whenever I mention Last.fm on this blog, someone emails me about imeem.com, boasting about its superiority. Imeem has nothing that interests me - certainly it caters to a more mainstream american market as it has no presence in the UK. 

A new kid on the block is SoundCloud.  Based around peer-to-peer sharing, the site could prove to be very useful for labels and artists to swap music without using FTP or services like YouSendIt. Although it is a member site, i'm wondering how they will get around potential copyright infringement by joe public ...

The synopsis? as social networking becomes increasingly a part of our lives, the scope for the niche communities to find their own corners of the web to hang out in becomes even more possible. The Long Tail will support those sites to thrive and grow.  And hopefully we won't all lose the ability to interact with each other in the real world ...

Image by rabinal


They Could Be Heroes

"Lyrically though, I'm proud of Falling Down on this album. You mentioned earlier that you thought it was about a comedown from drugs. That song started when I was sitting in my back garden this time last year and there was this beautiful early autumn sunset. I was thinking about all that climate-change bollocks and came to the conclusion that man really is incapable of destroying all this." 
Noel Gallagher, Irish Times

Noel Gallagher was never going to be a poster child for any worthwhile cause.  His small mind seems capable only of the solitary task of spewing forth the same inane drivel - in the form of either his ridiculous opinions, or the regurgitated musical mulch he's been releasing since the mid-nineties.

Certainly if he looked beyond the porch of his country pile, he'd see that man is making quite a dent in his pretty little world.  Then wouldn't it be refreshing if an icon, such as himself, were to stand up and do something about it?  Think of the influence he could have over his legions of fans. 

What if he asked every one of the unwashed masses who attends Oasis' forthcoming worldwide tour to consider taking public transportation to see them - maybe even giving them a discount to do so? Or played some gigs by webcast rather than tour to the far end of the globe by private jet?

Madonna could then take some lessons from old Noel.  I love it when she gets political. Madge likes to talk the talk - just take a peek at her live visuals for "Get Stupid'.  But she suffers from a severe case of cognitive dissonance.  While she wants her fans to seize the moment to save the world, she fails to recognise the damaging effects of her own career - with a massive carbon footprint from not only her travel, but that of her adoring masses.

We need more heroes.  Such a shame that these two continue to fail to grasp the potential of their influence.


What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up, Vlad?

It is interesting to see where our leaders move on to once they have received their P45 and leave their seats in office.

Tony has been doing a great turn on the circuit - in between his part time position as advisors for JP Morgan and Zurich. Then there is Al - who may have lost the White House job, but went on to collect his Nobel gong for saving the world in the fight against climate change.

Mr Gore might be tough on carbon - but according to The Times - its Vladimir you want on your side. 

What better way to deal with political retirement than to release your own series of judo DVDs? Certainly Putin isn't getting into home entertainment and media just for the money.  I'd like to think it was simply a goal he'd had as a young child, and now that he hasn't really got the mandate to crush rogue states or order the execution of dissidents with radioactive sushi, he'd prefer to lend us his wisdom on self defense.

Looking forward to seeing how Ms Palin decides to retire ...

Image from Wikipedia


Late Night Music

Our television sets have become burdened with late night music television.  Now and again you might catch a great exclusive video on Channel 4 - but by and large the programming tends to be self indulgent rubbish (cue Jo Whiley/Zoe Ball/Mikita Oliver/Steve Jones et al. fawning over disinterested sweaty greasy arrogant nouveau guitar icon wannabe).

Last night I had the extreme displeasure of catching the tail end of the BT Digital Music Awards. Because we really need another music awards show.  How the nominees - never mind the winners - were chosen has yet to be revealed to me, but the real cringeworthiness of the affair was the blatant propaganda of the inter-award vox pops, where selected artists waxed lyrical about the importance of downloading legally.  Although the message was important, the sheer boredom exhibited by the talent forced - no doubt by their worried record label - to express their supposed thoughts on the matter (clearly from an autocue) detracted somewhat from the impact.

Throw Ferne Cotton's presenting skills into the mix, and I had every reason required to reach for the remote.



Wordle is a little bundle of java joy that set the studio buzzing today.

It analyses your site/blog, and constructs an instant cloud, assigning hierarchy to your most used words. The fun the continues as you get the opportunity to select from a choice of layout, font and colour options.

A glance at my own musings seems to indicate that the words "never" and "bit" are most prominent. Surprising - I thought I was one of those "never say never" people ... 

It does amuse me that "Adele" gets a prime placing top right ...