2/17/10

LET'S GET A GENUINE, UNSIGNED BAND INTO THE CHARTS--TWO ARTISTS' STORIES!

Contact for "Let's Get a Genuine Unsigned Band into the Charts”:
Oliver Tooley
(0)20 8926 0857
oliver.tooley@ntlworld.com
http://www.facebook.com/unsigned
Excerpts of songs from all entrants: http://www.french4tots.co.uk/unsignedbands/
Complete songs of the semi-finalists:
http://www.french4tots.co.uk/unsignedbands/index3.html

Contact for Black Daniel: Contact: Craig Louis Higgins, Jr.
(0)7525740604
clhnyc@gmail.com
http://www.myspace.com/blackdanielspace

(Unique Internet contest looks to break UK charts with support from fans of truly independent music.)

Black Daniel, a London-based rock and punk band with a range of soulful and classic punk/new wave influences, are one of 10 finalists in the Facebook contest, LET'S GET A GENUINE, UNSIGNED BAND INTO THE CHARTS.

The truly international roster of acts' music spans a gamut of styles: new age/classical (Finland's Anielka), Contemporary Christian pop (United States' Bill Monaghan), electrono synth/dance pop jazz (Destination), electro/rap/soul (Digital Earth), ska with guitars instead of horns (Pablo Eskimo from Scotland), progressive hard rock (Limeshark), commercial dance rock (Trail), grunge (Six Degrees of Separation) and Folk/Punk (Deferred Sucess). (note to editors. There is one "C" in the band's spelling of "Deferred Sucess.)

"I liked the bands that weren't even in the running," said Black Daniel's frontman Craig Louis Higgins Jr., who picked Splash Theory and Me My Head as favorites. "They play the type of music I'm into. I also thought Sundae Club (who have an ELO influence) was pretty good."

Black Daniel worked to get the band's fans to vote, e-mailing and making calls to friend to vote for them at all the contest's levels. On its own, the band has worked very hard the past four years to build its following, including finding opening slots for Bryan Adams and Kasabian. Recently the Rough Trade record store offered to have the band do an instore, which the group is--of course--very excited about. Black Daniel does not look at this contest as a "make or break" for their career, but an opportunity. Higgins says, "We've got good things happening."

The finals of the contest are only on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/unsigned, at the link entitled "Polls."

Contest organizer Oliver Tooley says he did this to allow more people to vote. Previously there was one vote per IP address but this stopped people in the same house or same company from voting. Unfortunately that has led to a small number of complaints from bands that their fans do not have Facebook accounts.

"It doesn't matter what system you use, someone will not be happy, but the group started on Facebook and it is natural to end it there as well." The fact is that with over 1859 votes (as of 6 AM GMT on 17 February) already is clearly not an obstacle for some. The leading band already have more votes than Facebook OR Myspace fans so maybe it is truly about the music and not partisan fans."

Tooley says he's also received support from people from different parts of the music industry. People are scouting bands on his Facebook page, with a recent post, seeking a band to replace a drop out from a battle of the bands at the Chester Hangman, in Chester. He's heard from independent musicians, journalists, and terrestrial and online radio stations. This Friday night, Leeds' based radio programmer Bill Horncastle will be featuring the top 10 artists and other contenders on his radio show on Vixen 101.

Tooley is ecstatic over the amount of people who've joined the Facebook group, which (as of 6 AM GMT on 17 February) was at 8465 members. He's hoping 5000 people vote and also buy the MP3 of the contest winner in hopes the recordings hit the charts...as is whoever wins the contest on February 20. While people are quick to compare Tooley to the judges on X-FACTOR, he shrugs, "I want to align myself with radio legends like John Peel and Steve Lemacq. These people are not afraid of playing stuff that people aren't ready for. I'm interested in new ideas, and it's obvious the acts in this contest are, as well."

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1 comment:

Hamstall Ridware said...

Hi Anne!

Black Daniel (and others) have commented on our ELO influence, and I must wholeheartedly agree, although the influence was really on that track, and not really evident in much else that we've done (although we're currently working with original ELO member and Wizzard keys player Bill Hunt on a remix of a nice piece of electronica). That track, the deliberately tweely-titled "Honey Bee" submitted for the facebook contest as well as our back catalogue can be heard at http://sundaeclub.bandcamp.com The internet radio station plugging the competition, XRP, have been amazing in their promotion of our music, but they preferred another track, one from our first album (which sounds little like ELO!) and played that one rather more, which could possibly have added to the confusion!

The facebook contest was maybe not the fairest of them all in the way it was run (many Sundae Club fans are not facebookers) but really not bad, and certainly no worse than a large label pushing their product, and it was good fun to be involved. Deep kudos to Oliver for coming up with the idea.