Keith Ames

Songwriting & music industry comms

The Musician (summer 2019)

The summer 2019 issue of The Musician is being dispatched to members this week and in this edition we lead with a profile of vocalist/writer Zara McFarlane; interview Simon Rix and Andrew White of the Kaiser Chiefs; report on the MU Women in Music Conference; how drill music artists are being criminalised; the inequality in music education provision in England; the challenges faced by mothers in the workplace; the MU Theatre Section; while the last Regional Focus in the current series visits Coventry.

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Most improved

It was presentation time at The Warren FC this afternoon as the club and its staff marked the end of the 2018-2019 football season.  Players, management and parents could be found in groups on the playing fields at the Met Police ground, Hayes, and we soon hooked up with the Under 13 squad, plus their managers and coaches, Bill, Bradleigh and Matt.

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Pullman Express

My wife Julie had very kindly bought me a day trip on the Pullman Express as part of my 60th birthday events and so this morning we travelled to Victoria Station and made our way to Platform 2 where the Pullman reception lounge is located.  The sound of a live jazz band greeted us and I was delighted to say hello to trumpeter John Shepherd and his trio, who were regaling the gathering passengers with appropriate tunes from the 1920s and 30s.

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Media training

An MU team could be found at Kindred PR’s offices in Horseferry Road, SW1 today, as General Secretary Horace Trubridge, Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl, National Organiser for Orchestras Jo Laverty and National Organiser for Recording & Broadcasting Phil Kear and myself spent several hours in a media training session.

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Comms survey

The MU’s Communications and Government Relations Dept met this afternoon to review the results of the latest survey into our communications and campaigns and how these are perceived by the members.  I am delighted to report that an amazing 97% of the members reported that the Union communicates either ‘very well’ or ‘quite well.’  This is a superb result and an improvement from the previous research.  (Last time out, in 2015, this question generated an equivalent response from an already impressive 92% of the members).

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Music Declares Emergency

I attended a meeting on behalf of the MU this evening at offices in Euston, following an invitation from a group set up the banner of Music Declares Emergency.  I was met by one of its founders, Fay Milton, and a small number of participants gathered in a ‘media room’ to discuss how musicians and the music industry could respond to growing concerns about climate change and immediate threats to the environment.

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Go karting 2

A busy day for Ben, as  The Warren Reds FC had a friendly end-of-season match in the morning at Westerham FC, which proved an exciting sign-off to a few months of squad development.  Ben had started the game in midfield, but Westerham proved tough to handle at set-pieces and The Warren were 2-6 down at half-time.  Bill the manager made a few changes during the break, one of which was to move Ben to right back. The second half proved a revelation as The Warren, displaying very creditable spirit, fought back to level at 6-6!

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Future Fusion

I was up early yesterday morning to catch the train from Paddington to Bath to visit the offices of Future Fusion and complete the quarterly edition of The Musician, the magazine I have edited since late 2004.

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Archery

My son Ben has kindly bought me six archery lessons with the Crystal Palace Bowmen, who meet and practise at St Dunstan’s, where regularly Ben plays cricket for his school and football for The Warren.

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Lisbon

One of my long-held ambitions has been to play golf abroad.  Whilst I have played extensively across southern England and on occasion in the Edinburgh area, I have never swung a club overseas.  So it was about time to arrange such a trip and I invited my best man Ian McConnell, photographer Jonathan Stewart and Oliver Morris of UK Music to join me in Lisbon for a few days.

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