Category Archives: Punk

Thoughts on the upcoming UK / Ireland tour…

Since the ‘official’ release of ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ in late 2015, the release hasn’t had its tour of the UK yet… March will be its time…

I find releasing a record a lengthy and quite draining process. Preparation will have occurred at least a year in advance of release and once it has been released for public consumption, there is still a lot of promotion to be done for tours and reviews etc.

There is no doubt that the world of a musician is changing rapidly. Advancements in technology and how we reach a ‘fanbase’ are ever-changing and I have only just succumbed to using a touch screen phone. This technological Luddite has made peace with the fact that he will never be up to date with technology and staying ‘one step ahead of the game’. There are fantastic ways that the technology we have can link us all across the globe and help us reach and connect with new people (those who read my posts may recall my Latvian super-fan called Monika) and I believe that Facebook and even Twitter has had its time to some degree as a social media platform as they sensor posts and encourage you to pay a fee to reach more people. There is over-saturation and the social media bigwigs realise that.

Even doing a world tour for the Mainstream artists doesn’t have the same gravitas as it once did, streamed concerts and uploads onto Youtube kill any kind of anticipation and mystique of set list and arrangement.

But for the DIY artist, I believe a ‘back to basis’ route is possibly the simplest and most effective way of creating a buzz in your area for a tour. The March UK / Ireland tour will be in England / Northern Ireland / Ireland with a couple of gigs in Yorkshire and none in the south of England. (That’s in September). As musicians (and promoters) we don’t often get out as much as we’d like to shows but it is very important. Not only to support your scene, pick up new ideas, influences and of course, if you don’t attend your friends’ shows, how can you blame them for not attending yours? In a DIY scene there has to be give and take. It is that simple.

Me and Tim Holehouse will be starting the short 11 day run of shows in ‘home town’ Huddersfield. ‘Home town’ shows are something I have a love/hate relationship with because as a touring artist, I don’t believe that the place where I decide to pay rent is the place where I garner a baying audience who ”Just can’t get enough” to quote an 80’s Synth-Pop band. Also if the place you decide to call ‘home’ has little or no scene, performing a ‘home town’ show isn’t likely to be worthwhile. Musicians will often use their ‘home town’ to end or start a tour to create a buzz and can often guarantee a sizeable crowd. Luckily Huddersfield has a number of venues where original music can get well attended and there is a healthy alternative scene, but as will all scenes, it can be fragmented and the dots haven’t joined up yet so to speak. Nothing is guaranteed.

I haven’t performed in Huddersfield for nearly a year as I knew that it would be my first show since the release (preparation a year in advance) and I’ve enlisted Kieran O’Malley and Karl Senior for duties on Cajon and Violin to create more of a ‘show’. Support will be Satteli, a Alpine melody duo from Holmfirth. As for the shows that are out of my physical reach, posters, flyers, social media and word of mouth have to be the way of spreading the word.

There is still a lot of preparation for this show (a video release and press coverage planned) and whilst that isn’t ‘back to basics’, making appearances at shows to spread the word, obligatory posters and flyers etc will play their part. I hope the preparation will pay off!

Johnny x

HUDDERSFIELD @ Small Seeds (formerly Bar 122) 8pm doors – £5/4 entry OTD

UK /EIRE TOUR INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/481914091989124/

REVIEWS: http://brightyoungfolk.com/records/hook-line-and-sinker-johnny-campbell

https://londoncelticpunks.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/album-review-johnny-campbell-2015/

Tim Holehouse: http://www.timholehouse.com

 

Hook, Line and Sinker release and the ‘Alternative’…

So, here’s another self-obsessed blog post by another DIY musician instafacetwittering for the approval of others while trying to promote their new release with no backing from agents, labels or Arts Council funds. Yes… and no…

Contrary to what is lamented and blown out of proportion in music (auto)biographies where a front-man/singer/songwriter in a band for years craves to release a solo record and finally relishes the opportunity because ”I can put down what I really feel now, man” or some other equally stomach-churning diatribe that serves to build up the ‘Myth of the Man’, it may come as some surprise that I wasn’t necessarily compelled with or struck with an immense creative urgency to release my début solo record.

Songs had been festering for a while I admit, but some riffs (Blue Mountains) lay dormant for years. In fact I must have written the Guitar riff well over seven years ago…but I digress. I started recording in October 2014 with a friend of mine at his home studio. A couple of days to lay down the Guitar and vocals for the songs and working on it from there. A few tweaks in the future with the vocals and doing re-takes…it’s a lengthy enough process.

What I was apprehensive about with releasing a record is simply the way we consume and interact with music these days. On average, people will listen to 15-30 seconds of a track and make a judgement before skipping tracks. Imagine if you did that with Pink Floyd or I Am The Resurrection by The Stone Roses. Yes, as a musician, you want to get your work out there, but with so many outlets to spread your product and the days of listening to a record all the way through (god forbid) are now confined to the dusty box filled with such gems as ”The days when you could leave your door open”. Is there really any point to release another musical interlude into the ether? After all, videos, music and more are being uploaded every second making it a commodity and while the World Wide Web is a true democracy, it is open to a lot of these problems. As everything is expected to be free, it diminishes the countless hours of work put into it, production costs and more…

Rant, rant, rant…come on, get to your point….

It may be tempting to wait in line for the next Bob Dylan release to keep your collection up to date regardless of the quality he puts out (£400 for a box set of every musical brain fart he’s had from 1965-’66 available now!) but if we can tear ourselves away from bolstering Dylan’s lifestyle, supporting localised events and projects, music, theatre etc, must be the way forward right?

edward tubbs

Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. When I put on my own shows, I try my utmost to support the right venue. Bar 122 in Huddersfield was started by ‘Stevo’ who built from the ground up, supports underground artists, national and touring artists and manages to keep his drink/food prices at a competitive and affordable level. This is not a corporate venue and has been a lifeblood of the town for a long time and continues to support the local economy this way. In this past year I put on a show at a corporate venue where drink prices were over £4.50 a pint and because the show didn’t manage to cover itself by ticket sales (booking the room fee, soundman, bartenders) and as soon as I stepped offstage I was handed a bill of £3.20 to the venue. It is little things like this that remind me that personality, familiarity and supporting the right people will hopefully pay off for all of us. Grow your own, support the scene and create communities!

Johnny x

Hook, Line and Sinker will be released Friday 9th October via http://www.johnnycampbell.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/johnnycampbellmusic / http://www.johnnycampbell.co.uk