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Blog: Roundhouse Rising

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I got to bed quite late/tiddly on Saturday, so wasn't quite as SUPER ALERT as I'd've liked to be for getting up EARLY on Sunday to catch the train back to London, to go and take part in a panel for CMU at the Roundhouse Rising event at the Camden Roundhouse.

I was THRILLED to be asked and looking forward to it a lot, the only downsides being a) the getting up early and b) having to go to Camden. I got over the early wake-up easily enough, but CAMDEN was worse even that I expected, as it was a SUNDAY and so the whole area around Camden Town station was full of tourists AS WELL as the usual ranks of wazzocks, show-offs and idiots. I don't understand WHY Camden is always full of tourists - do they not have tat shops and junkies in other countries?

ANYWAY I got through the THRONGS and emerged into Chalk Farm, where suddenly all was pleasant, friendly and NICE. After some Getting Lost I eventually found the stage door to The Roundhouse and got in just as Mr Chris Cooke, organiser, was arriving. I was there EARLY as my train had unexpectedly got in on time, so I had time to tell Chris about Project G - as soon as I told him the Main Idea he said "ooh, think of the press you could get!" which was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear!

The room filled... and filled... and filled, until it was TOTALLY RAMMED. Mr Dave Green had come along too, and I think he and I were the oldest people in the room. It was all YOUNGSTERS, and i was very pleased to see that the slight majority (i think) were women. It seems to get a bit taken for granted that there ARE young women interested in doing GIGS these days, but back when I started out (around the time of the Corn Laws etc etc etc) there were almost NO women involved in the sort of lower league gigs that I did, and still do. I know there's a LOT that still needs to change in the world of ROCK, but I do think PROGRESS is being made.

Chris did a VERY interesting talk explaining copyright to a crowd which asked LOTS of questions. It was like being back at a CONFERENCE, like the sort of thing I used to organised YEARS ago, but this time about something INTERESTING and with people asking questions because they wanted to know the answers, rather than just to demonstrate that they were THERE, like what academics do.

My panel was next, and I sat with Gabby Young and Laura Kidd to talk about being a DIY musician. They had lots of interesting things to say, and I tried to a) NOD VIGOROUSLY in order to look like i knew what i was on about and b) make some REMARKS if possible. The best thing was that we all AGREED that, basically, you have to not be a dickhead and be NICE to people, and treat doing gigs like a chance for ADVENTURE and FUN rather than monetising it... which was a little bit against what we were meant to be saying, but worked out OK. Everyone also started out by talking about not wanting to use The Terminology of "product", "content" etc etc... and then totally DID the more we talked about it.

It was, as stated, VERY interesting and also lots of FUN - in the krazy world of ROCK, and especially in the arena of Solo Artistes, we don't get many chances to just talk SHOP and so when we do i always find it fascinating to hear other people's opinions and experiences. It was GRATE!

After our panel there was a break, and Chris said "Laura, Gabby and Mark will be around if anyone wants to speak to them." I thought to myself "HMM. I wonder how many people will want to 1) talk to the inspirational young women, or 2) listen to a daft middle-aged man?" The answers to those questions were: 1) EVERYBODY 2) a couple of polite people who got stuck near me. This did give me time, however, to put some CDs on the chairs - I'd come back with a pile un-given-away after Leicester, so got rid of them there. HA!

Dave and I had a HALF and a biscuit each for lunch, then went back for more, including another GRATE talk by the founder of Music Glue, which gave me MORE ideas, this time for some MERCHANDISE for when we release the Total Hero Team ALBUM at the end of the week. ALAS tho the weekend FINALLY caught up with me around 3pm and I had to leave, waving goodbyes as I did.

When I got to Camden Town station I found it CLOSED so had to spend a LOT more time in Camden than I'd hoped for, but eventually I got down to Mornington Crescent station and was soon ZOOMING home back to the Olympic Village, having had a pretty bloody marvellous weekend. I need a bit of a rest now though!

posted 26/2/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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