UNCONFERENCE - 2012
11.00-12.00: Introductory Open Morning
A personal welcome for everyone attending The Unconference, where we’ll try and point you toward like-minded people and address your specific enquiries. Our welcome board will allow you to scan your fellow attendees and numerous stalls will be able for your perusal
12.00-12.30: Tom Robinson Keynote
After 30 years working as a songwriter and a further 10 championing new artists on BBC Radio 6 Music, Tom has seen the music industry from both sides. His freshonthenet blog - and occasional writing/performance workshops - offer practical help & info for independent musicians. Here he argues there has never been a better time since the birth of rock'n'roll for outstanding new artists to get heard and break through. For the first time in history all you have to be is good.
12.45 -13.45: Making The Most Of Your Digital Presence
Our panel of experts discuss the various roles in bring music to the digital platform, and how to make the most of your music, be it commercially, or in a promotional and marketing capacity, as well as looking at other tools to help bands maximise their presence and fanbase
Led by Sean Adams (Drowned In Sound) with Darren Hemmings (Motive Unknown), Colin Roberts (Big Life Management, Work It Media), Nick Holden (Get Ctrl)
14.00-15.00: Social Recommendation & The Digital Press
A look at how the digital landscape has altered the way we consume music and altered the way we engage with and find new artists, as well as how new artists can get exposure, and who from – looking from newspapers online and webzines, to blogs, to the social interactions of Spotify playlists and This Is My Jam.
Led by Sean Adams (Drowned In Sound) with Matt Britton (The Pigeon Post, Lost Lost Lost, Loomer Agency), Laura Snapes (Pitchfork) and Dave Simpson (The Guardian)
15.00-15.30: coffee / food break featuring:
Performance - Metropolis: A Digital Narrative
Mountain Range + audioPORNOGRAPHY
A live re-scoring of Fritz Lang’s 1929 film, Metropolis. A thirty minute excerpt has been selected that will highlight the emotional narrative of main character ‘Maria’
The score itself has been composed, and will be performed live, on an entirely digital platform, using current sample manipulation software and MIDI hardware. This contemporary approach will raise issues both aesthetically and authentically, when played in conjunction with the early silent film.
It will be performed by two artists, Stuart Thomas & XXX, both attendees of Leeds Metropolitan University studying a BA in Music Production, under their individual alias of ‘Mountain Range’ and ‘audioPORNOGRAPHY’. Both artists will incorporate ideas and techniques from projects they have undertaken outside and within their time at university.
15.30-16.45: Meet The Experts
A forum to meet the people you need to know in the local music scene, as well as experts dealing with national issues in the music industry. Delegates will be grouped by table while a combination of local and national experts move around the room sharing knowledge
LOCAL EXPERTS: Jack Simpson (Eiger, Milo, Vibrations), Ed Heaton (The Soundmill / ELfm), Alan Raw (BBC Introducing), Richard Watson (360 Club), Simon Glacken (I Like Press, Brew Records), Steve Morricone (Wrath Records), Simon Fogal (I Like Trains, I Like Press), Pett Bott (Heads We Dance, Blacks Legal), Grant Henderson (Loom Studios), +1 more
NATIONAL EXPERTS: Simon Pursehouse (Sentric Music Publishing), Sean Adams (Drowned In Sound), Laura Snapes (Pitchfork), Colin Roberts (Work It Media, Big Life), Lewis Jamieson (Loudhailer Press), Darren Hemmings (Motive Unknown), Dave Bassinder (Loomer Agency) +3 more (Matt Britton?)
17.00-18.00: Listening Panel
We ask bands to submit music to be discussed by our panel of experts in relation to the bands ambitions. This year we’ll also be asking for audience opinions on the music we hear!
Led by Sean Adams (Drowned In Sound) with Colin Roberts (Big Life Management / Work It Media), Lewis Jamieson (Loudhailer Press) +1more
19.00 – late: Unconference The Gig @ The Cockpit
Featuring King Charles, Shark Teeth and ???
Come and socialise with The Unconference team at this warm-up event to Live At Leeds. Entry is free if you’ve been to The Unconference, subject to availability
THE UNCONFERENCE ORGANISER
Samuel ‘Whiskas’ Nicholls
Originally the guitarist in mid-Noughties band ¡Forward, Russia! notching up two Top 4 0 singles and touring throughout the UK, US and Europe. In the UK, the band were signed to whiskas' own Dance To The Radio record label, which featured other artists such as The Pigeon Detectives who went on to great success selling 1/2 million records
With the dissolution of Forward Russia and DTTR, whiskas has moved in Production, gaining a Masters Degree and working with bands that regularly garner national radio play
His views on independent sustainability in the music industry, has led him to be invited to speak at numerous events, notably alongside Geoff Travis (founder of Rough Trade) at In The City 2009, and is now a permanent Lecturer in Music at Leeds Metropolitan University
Currently, through his new IMGNTN consultancy for grassroots music, he's involved in curating Live At Leeds' The Unconference and setting up the new Leeds Music Hub project. Somewhere inbetween he still writes songs for his Honour Before Glory project, with an album released in early 2012
Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music)
London-based broadcaster & songwriter b.1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad to be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. He's presented shows on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 4Xtra, 5 Live, 6 Music, BBC LDN and the World Service. He currently hosts two weekly shows on BBC Radio 6 Music. He was an early supporter of Rock Against Racism and remains an active campaigner for Amnesty International and gay/bisexual rights.
Sean Adams (Drowned In Sound)
In October 2000, Sean and a bunch of music obsessives founded Drowned in Sound, one of the UK’s first online music mags-slash-blogs-slash-social-networks.
Over the past decade or so, DiS has become "the discerning indie fan's first point of reference," (The Observer) and has built up a rabid and influential readership of over half a million music readers a month.
In 2003, he set-up Drowned in Sound Recordings. The label most notably released the debut singles 'Oh My God' by Kaiser Chiefs and ‘The Wizard’ by Bat for Lashes, and albums by Martha Wainwright, Metric and more.
Sean writes a regular column for The Sunday Times, has spoken at various conferences, and dabbled in artist management
Darren Hemmings (Motive Unknown)
Darren Hemmings was the Head of Digital Marketing for the [PIAS] Entertainment Group from 2009-2012, managing campaigns for anyone from Dan le Sac & Scroobius Pip through to We Are Scientists, as well as working to advise and steer the company's digital strategies pan-group. He left PIAS this year to found Motive Unknown, a strategic digital marketing agency currently working with the likes of Temper Trap and Alt-J, as well as non-music brands like Fly53.
Colin Roberts (Big Life Management / Work It Media)
Colin works as an artist manager out of Big Life Management, working with the likes of La Roux, Klaxons and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. His background in digital PR has also led him to found Work It Media – online & print PRsocial media management.
Nick Holden (Get Ctrl)
Nick is part of the development team behind Get Ctrl – a tool for building your own band website that by integrating industry-leading platforms within, allows it to be swift and incisive in meeting the changing demands of the music industry and your fans.
Dave Simpson (The Guardian)
Matt Britton (The Pigeon Post, Lost Lost Lost, Loomer Agency)
An English and Creative Writing graduate, Matthew has spent the time since his degree working low-paid jobs and being unemployed whilst spending large portions of his time blogging. This has led to him writing for the likes of NME and TLOBF, also being on the panel for BBC's Sound of... for both the 2011 and 2012 editions. He is currently 24 and lives with his mother in Manchester, whilst freelance writing and managing a few bands
Laura Snapes (Pitchfork)
Laura Snapes is Associate Editor of Pitchfork. Prior to this, she worked at NME, and has also written for The Guardian, The Quietus and The Stool Pigeon
Mountain Range & audioPORNOGRAPHY
Jack Simpson (Vibrations / Eiger Studios / Soundpeople)
Jack Simpson has played in bands for (many) years, co-founded vibrations magazine in 2003, the magazine has become a mainstay of the Leeds music scene, interviewing Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian and the Arctic Monkeys. In 2005 Jack started Soundpeople to release the debut single for Micky P Kerr, the b side of which was picked up for a jet 2 national ad campaign. Sp has put on gigs for the likes of Everything Everything, Esser, The Pigeon Detectives and Noisettes. In 2009 Jack became a partner in Eiger studios, rehearsal rooms, recording studio and venue. Home at varying times to the likes of The Music and Pulled Apart By Horses. Jack currently studies Philosophy and Politics and lives about 3 miles from where he was born, making his speed on average about 160 meters pre year.
Ed Heaton (ELfm / The Soundmill)
Producer at Soundmill Studios, Leeds and director of East Leeds FM
Alan Raw (BBC Introducing)
It's 10 years since Alan Raw gave up Session Drumming to start DJing/presenting BBC Raw Talent across Yorkshire. Now called BBC Introducing West Yorkshire & BBC Introducing Humberside. He's had over 1000 live sessions on the shows so far by some great new artists. He also co-founded and presents the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds Festival. Outside of the BBC: Alan has worked in voluntary and community arts since 1992, developing talent, Coaching performers & creative businesses, delivering workshops and providing opportunities. Alan also DJ's new music at festivals and venues including The 360 Club Leeds
Richard Watson (360 Club)
Promoter of 360 Club & 360 Live.
Richard is based in Leeds – capital of the England
I have been a promoter for over 20 years now (please forgive me), it started when me and a mate ( EASE – Nightmares On Wax) wanted to hear sounds we loved but weren’t getting played anywhere, so we put on a party and that kick-started a long wonderful journey….that ended my career as an industrial chemist. I have promoted a massive range of genres and acts from - underground, grass roots and internationally known artists. Having promoted events throughout the UK, overseas, Ibiza, including live broadcasts with Radio 1 and MTV and lots of other stuff that may be too dull to mention.
I am a passionate supporter of live music and work to develop talent through advice based upon my experience and through my industry contacts. Most of my time is dedicated to helping and advising bands/ artists on their development and the monster aka the music industry. This is done via my not for profit 360 Club.
Simon Glacken (I Like Press, Brew Records)
Founder of Leeds based rock label Brew Records which was started in 2007 releasing records by the likes of Kong, Hawk Eyes, Castrovalva, These Monsters, Humanfly, Blacklisters and Holy State.
Also director of music and event PR company I Like Press. Currently working with bands such as I Like Trains, InMe, Maybeshewill, Antlered Man, Run Walk, Mojo Fury and Conan. As well as events such as Live at Leeds, Beacons and Constellations Festival.
Steve Morricone (Wrath Records)
Steven Morricone is one of the founders of Leeds-based, truly independent label Wrath Records. Over the last 10 years, Wrath has released a cool 60-odd records by a plethora of ace artistes. Steve is also player-manager in the UK's most formidable underground 'evil pop group', The Scaramanga Six who have rampaged through the live circuit of the UK and Scandinavia for the last 16 years & are just about to record their 7th studio album in Chicago with Steve Albini. On top of all this, he also runs EduPop Productions, a musical/educational crossover production company based around his other full-time band, Being 747. As well as releasing several albums, Being 747 have been touring around secondary schools and science fairs for the last 4 years with the natural history musical show 'Amoeba to Zebra'. Other recent/current musical endeavours include playing bass for excellent rock combo, Eureka Machines, and Sax for festival spacefunk outfit Kava Kava and re-formed daft teenage band, Roger's Trout Farm.
Simon Fogal (I Like Trains, I Like Press)
Drummer and visionary of I Like Trains. Simon has been a key player on the iLT wagon for 8 years, from early
Gig bookings, press, tour managing to social media and fan engagement. He is co-founder of I Like Press, a music and event or company and looking after Live At Leeds, Beacons and Constellations Festivals. He is also a partner in ILR (I Like Records).
Pett Bott (Heads We Dance, Blacks Legal)
Prior to joining Leeds law firm Blacks Solicitors LLP in 2010, Pete Bott worked in the music industry for many years as an artist, writer and producer signed to 679/Warner Records (Plan B, The Streets, Little Boots, Marina & the Diamonds and The Futureheads). Pete now works in Blacks’ Company & Commercial Department, specialising in music, media and entertainment law, and continues to work closely with local, national and international artists and music industry professionals. Pete also guest-lectures on music law at local universities and colleges including Leeds Metropolitan University, and has mentored young, local musicians as part of local charity schemes
Grant Henderson (Loom Studios)
Grant has been professionally producing music for over 10 years. His career got a kick start after signing a deal with Blue Amazon's record label Convert records. His 2001 release "Satellite" gained critical acclaim from internationally renowned DJ's John Digweed, Anthony Pappa, Danny Tanaglia & Paul Oakenfold. Although Grant has a lot of experience with electronic music, he has mainly gained a reputation for recording bands across many different genres. He is a rock/pop drummer and has a real ear for drum tuning!!! He has recorded music for film & television (ITV). He has also recorded projects for the Joe Strummer foundation for new music (Strummerville). His attention for detail and tenacious attitude has earned him an excellent reputation as a producer and enabled him to Launch LOOM as a platform for his talent.
Simon Pursehouse (Sentric Music Publishing)
Lewis Jamieson (Loudhailer Press)
Dave Bassinder (Loomer Agency)
Dave started out in 2008 running DIY clubnight Underachievers Please Try Harder in Manchester. This night has now run for 4 years, being an ultimate indie disco and helping elevate many of the best new bands from the rainy city and beyond. In 2011, Dave joined forces with some other well-informed folks from the DIY scene to make their mark on the industry side of things. The result of this was Loomer Agency. A company the started out as a booking agency and has now moved further towards management, working with the likes of Patterns, Ghost Outfit, This Many Boyfriends, Milk Maid, PINS and quite a few more! Their aim is simple- to help bands they genuinely care about and get them out there to as many people as possible.