Keith Ames

Songwriting & music industry comms

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My brother Ken and I were very keen to thank our sister Janet for all her sterling efforts in handling the administration of our late sister Wendy’s estate since her sad and sudden passing in July 2017.  Aware of Janet’s love of orchestral music, I contacted Alex Gascoine – violinist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – and asked for his recommendation for a concert that we could attend as a family.

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Bebel Gilberto

Mark Batchelor kindly booked tickets for us to catch a rare UK live performance by Brazilian/American vocalist and Bossa Nova specialist, Bebel Gilberto.  She is the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha and has been performing in the family tradition in Rio since an early age.

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Go karting Sunday

I was kindly given a present for my 60th by my work colleagues at the MU of 50 laps for a friend and myself at the multi-level 400m Go-Kart Track in Mitcham, south London, and so Mark Batchelor and I drove over to the site early this morning. We joined the group of 6 other drivers for the pre-race briefing, before putting on the driving suit, helmet and gloves, and heading out on the track in the superb petrol-engine karts.

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Record Store Day

I was kindly asked this afternoon for my contribution to UK Music’s page marking Record Store Day, set to take place across the UK tomorrow, and to recall either my first record purchase or my memories of record stores in days gone by.  I jumped at the chance!  You can read my words here on the UK Music site.

Drake Yolanda Award

I could be found tonight at the excellent Under the Bridge venue, Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, for the inaugural Drake Yolanda Award event. A very enjoyable evening, which benefited from live performances by the 10 winners of the 2019 prize who were selected from over 200 entries by a panel of industry judges including Gareth Malone OBE, Roisin O’Connor, X Factor winner Matt Cardle, Ben Earle from UK country band The Shires and chair Yolanda Brown.

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Ivors Academy

The Ivors Academy was launched this week, following the renaming and rebranding of BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.  The launch event took place at The Ministry of Sound in London SE1 this evening and attracted many well-known faces from across the industry.  I attended on behalf of the MU and caught up with Peter Leathem (PPL CEO), Paul Scaife (Record of the Day), plus songwriters Anna Neale and Jona Lewie amongst many others.

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The Strad magazine in partnership with John & Arthur Beare Violins hosted the first ever StradFest at the Royal Institution, Albemarle St, Mayfair today.  The event consisted of a series of workshops, presentations, seminars and exhibition stands across two floors, with the MU stand positioned outside the entrance to the main theatre.

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BBC Introducing Live

My MU colleague Sam Jordan and I attended a planning meeting at the offices of the Music Publishers’ Association in Southampton Row this morning, at the invitation of James Sterling, Head of BBC Music.  The meeting had been arranged to coincide with the launch of this year’s BBC Introducing Live event at Tobacco Dock, which is to run from 31 October to the 2 November.

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The Musician (spring 2019)

The spring 2019 issue of The Musician magazine, the quarterly publication of the Musicians’ Union, is being dispatched to members this week and once again contains its award-winning mix of profiles, features, reports and advice.

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Whatever you do

The MU launched a ‘Join for £1’ scheme in January and I have been busy booking full page adverts to publicise this discounted membership opportunity.  Full display pages using the ‘Whatever you do – Join the MU’ design have been booked over a three-month period in a series of industry-related publications including Guitarist UK; Classical Music; Future Music; Bass Guitar; Rhythm; Music Teacher; Guitar Techniques; Total Guitar and PSNEurope.

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