Keith Ames

Songwriting & music industry comms

Tag: News (page 1 of 21)

Two days in Bath

I completed my regular mid-summer visit to magazine publishers Future Fusion in Bath today. I caught the 8am train from Paddington yesterday and arrived in good time to have a full day working on the autumn issue of The Musician magazine. In partnership with the excellent team on the fifth floor in Quay House, a considerable number of features were edited and sent onto the relevant MU Officials. I spent the evening with consultant editor Neil Crossley and enjoyed dinner at the Thai Balcony in the centre of town once more, before retiring my room at the Apex Hotel.

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I caught a train from Beckenham into Charing Cross this evening to visit Sarastro in Covent Garden and to meet up with Luisa Santiago, the Brit School graduate, who had been one of the songwriters at the Chris Difford retreat I attended earlier this month. She was performing at a weekly residency at the restaurant in Drury Lane alongside her father, Gustavo, a percussionist.

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Tileyard Studios

I drove Naomi Pohl and John Shortell to Tileyard Studios in London N7 this afternoon as we delivered a comprehensive supply of MU promo materials to Girls I Rate. GIR was founded to create a platform and voice for women to collaborate, celebrate and empower each other. Naomi and John were set to be involved from 3pm in the latest of their inspirational monthly Pop Pop Club events and I am delighted to report that the MU has been confirmed as both a partner and sponsor.

Songwriting camp

I have spent a superb few days at Tilton House, near Lewes in Sussex, in the company of eleven musicians, at a songwriting camp hosted by lyricist Chris Difford of Squeeze fame. Chris has arranged over twenty-five of such retreats and it proved a fascinating exercise in co-writing with new contacts.

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Delegate Conference

The contents of the MU’s 2019 Conference Report have been edited and laid out in the eye-catching new format, which significantly benefits from supporting graphics, illustrations and photos. This contains reports from the senior officials on the Union’s work over the last two years, plus the proposed motions and rule changes, which conference will debate on 23rd July in Brighton. 

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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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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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