In amongst all the commercial infrastructure as we know it taking a real beating due to the recent self-isolation directive, musical artists have suffered too.
Promotion, flights, venue bookings, accommodation, insurance and a lot more – the list of expenses is crazy and bands are out of pocket; especially indie-label bands who live seven thousand miles away.
With all this in mind, my love/hate relationship with streaming services is peaking now. Streaming really is an evil necessity as far as I’m concerned. Yes, it’s convenient, but that’s truly it. There’s no charm with it, no character with it, nothing TANGIBLE with it; I loathe it. ‘Device music’ – blergh. Add the fact that streaming is throttling indie artists big time, by taking a massive skim off the top of the indie revenue that should rightly be theirs, to feed the hungry promotion of AAA star acts across UK/USA you’ve never once streamed in your life. The thing is, ALL revenue goes in a pool and the streaming service decides where it goes. So you could exclusively stream your favourite indie bands all year 24/7 and at the end of the year a load of Simon Cowell’s battery hens will get a huge chunk of that revenue. Not fair, is it?
So I’ve made a little pact with myself, not to be vegan, no, nor to be teetotal, but… every time an indie artist who I like releases music, I head straight to their Bandcamp page, to buy a physical record…a warm, snuggly, genuine vinyl record. It’s the most efficient way of making sure the maximum revenue reaches the artist. It’s the situation of tour cancellation that so many have had to deal with recently that has sent me Bandcamp’s way.
It’s about looking at the self-isolation silver lining at the minute, isn’t it? Mine is music, but no gigs for now though – no they’re all on hold, aren’t they? So it’s about supporting each other, either at 2 metres wearing a face mask and gloves or more practically, online. If we support artists directly. it will stop them disappearing completely, won’t it, under the horror-pile of Simon Cowell’s battery hens.
So – you might not be happy that your favourite pub or club’s just closed or that the gig you’ve been looking forward to has been postponed, but there’s a world of music which is still open to us all. It is unlimited in supply, safe and – as much as it can be – sociable.