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By Mark Lancaster on 30/11/-1 | Category - Interviews

Tom Hingley.

Saturday sees the welcome return of Tom Hingley to The Railway Hotel in Southend. It is Tom's third visit to Southend's premier music venue since August 2013 so it is obviously a venue he enjoys playing. I was at the gig in August last year and his excellent  acoustic set, coupled with some fine re-workings of tunes from his old band Inspiral Carpets, went down a storm with a packed pub.

 

Inspiral Carpets, in my opinion, were the best band of the Manchester scene that exploded in the early 90's. They made wonderfully catchy pop tunes with a twist. Tom's music is now much more stripped down and decidedly Bluesy laced with some very fine guitar work. Tom also gigs with The Tom Hingley Band playing what has been described as 'Dirty Blues' which sounds pretty good to me. I wanted to include a video with this post so I asked Tom which video he would prefer me to use. He pointed me in the direction of Route Publishing who published his excellent autobiography of life on the road with the band 'Carpet Burns'. So here is Tom reading an excerpt from it chronicling an appearance on Top of the Pops and encountering Mark E. Smith.*

Inspiral Carpets, in my opinion, were the best band of the Manchester scene that exploded in the early 90's. They made wonderfully catchy pop tunes with a twist. Tom's music is now much more stripped down and decidedly Bluesy laced with some very fine guitar work. Tom also gigs with The Tom Hingley Band playing what has been described as 'Dirty Blues' which sounds pretty good to me. I wanted to include a video with this post so I asked Tom which video he would prefer me to use. He pointed me in the direction of Route Publishing who published his excellent autobiography of life on the road with the band 'Carpet Burns'. So here is Tom reading an excerpt from it chronicling an appearance on Top of the Pops and encountering Mark E. Smith.*


Tom's website can be found at www.tomhingley.co.uk 

Tom's music and other cool stuff can be found at www.tomhingleymusic.bigcartel.com

*I had to upload the Route Publishing video from Youtube because I couldn't insert it from their site. It is exactly the same clip though. 

Mark Lancaster. 
By Dave Collins on 30/11/-1 | Category - Interviews

Hugh Cornwell interview.

 

We are very lucky over at Ship Full Of Bombs Blogland today as we have an exclusive interview with a true punk icon. Dave Collins from Podrophenia bagged an interview with Hugh Cornwell ex of The Stranglers in a North London pub. Thanks go out to Dave for allowing us to use this excellent piece. 

Crowd-sourcing, fan-funding, pledging, kick-starting: call it what you will, the essence is the same. And for my English pounds it’s the future and way forward.


It could be argued, the internet sinkhole of dodgy downloads, torrents or even *gulps* legit online shops -  killed off the established entertainment industry model, leaving established artists and authors adrift –with their talents no longer underwritten by cheque-signing, cash-happy corporates.

 

So hats off and hurrah for pledging where fans (both casual or avid) are now offered the chance to get involved with albums, books or exhibition, showing  their support via tempting reward options and opportunities for all budgets

 

Ex Strangler and established solo artist Hugh Cornwell’s recent album Totem and Taboo was entirely fan-funded. I caught up with him at a Tufnell Park pub to be Pledge-uctated. 

 

DC: Totem and Taboo was funded by fans at pledgemusic.com – were you comfortable with this after having corporate support for most of your career?

 

HC: You're liberated because you own the work, and the fans get something - the people who've paid the money: signed artwork, limited edition vinyl. What we did with the first five hundred pledges, they got their names on a limited edition CD and all the names are on the front cover. We've made up the shield in black and white - and where it's in black their names are in white. When it crosses over into white it, goes into black. It forms the shield.

 

DC: So working up an album, now involves planning out the bid options as well as the writing and recording the material?

 

HC: Yeah, one area that went down really well, were hand written lyric sheets - either a Stranglers song or solo catalogue song. I had to do about one hundred of those.

  

DC: So a better situation for you - and the fans than with a major label? 

 

HC: Now if someone wants to market this they're taking it on because they like the record. They're not having artistic input into anything you've done. That was the whole thing with record companies - playing them mixes 'we don't like that song, you've got to come up with another couple'! Why should they be making those decisions?

 

The classic situation all producers will tell you:  they send mixes to the record company - who say 'we want tracks four and five remixed' so they (the producer) used to do three takes of the exactly same mix, send them back and  say 'here's three different mixes which one do you prefer

 

‘Oh we think number two's the best’. And it's exactly the same. They'll all tell you stories like that. It's just they (the labels) want be involved in making decisions. 

 

DC: But you can become over-subscribed – I noticed yours was at 149%?

 

HC: It’s a pledge, but, based on the Groupon System (the guy who invented that, a multi-millionaire now, he went to School with Steve Albini) - if you pledge, no money is taken until the 100% mark is reached. Now if you set your 100% too high, you run the risk that you’ll never get there – so it won’t happen. You deliberately have to set your 100% lower than you need.

 

So our 100% was much lower than it cost to make the record, but if we’d set it at the real value we might not have ever got there – but you want to make it. So that’s why it went to 150%. But it still didn’t pay for all the record - it paid for most of it.

 

It worked! Everyone’s got something out of it. Some of them pledged to be in a film we’ve just made a video for Totem and Taboo – it’s a performance thing, and they’re in the audience

 


 

DC: A double-whammy win for the audience and artist?

 

HC: Another thing it does, it empowers the fan. The fans suddenly realise ‘there aren’t that many of us, but we can make things happen. We’ve enabled him to make the next record – which we’re going to benefit from’

As a direct result of this – two fans have become gig promoters - my gig promoters! they’ve never done it before, There’s one in Nuremberg who’s an architect called George and there’s another guy in Holland and they’ve promoted a gig of mine – and the one in Holland was a sold out gig. And he’s now arranging a tour for me in Holland - all because of the pledge thing.

 

--------------------------------

 

If you’re inspired to become a pledger: SFOB’s own Zoe Howe is currently running a campaign to get her authorised Lee Brilleaux biography Roadrunner funded.

 

You can add your backing to the book here….

http://unbound.co.uk/books/roadrunner

 

 

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