How to Help Us Spread the Word on Spotify

In punk circles vinyl tends to be king with good reason. It’s a joy to hold something substantial in your hands, read the liner notes and look at the design. The sound on a good system is also the best you can hear. Warm and rich with all the instruments separated.

But the world of music is becoming increasingly streamed and it’s easy to see why. On your phone you have almost every record ever released. I have to admit, as a consumer, I love it.

One particular feature on Spotify has been a joy: Discover Weekly. Every week Spotify sends me 30 tracks it thinks I might like: and they are often right. I’ve discovered loads of bands I’d never heard before who I’ve come to enjoy.

How does Spotify decide what I might like? When I put a song on a playlist, it looks at the playlists of other people who have added the same song, works out which songs are most common and sends them to me.

It works! So much so that the major record companies spend a fortune trying to get people to add songs by their artists to playlists.

So -you can really help us if you have Spotify. Just start making playlists and, in among the tracks you love, add Duncan Reid and the Big Heads songs. It’s that easy and its really powerful. The more you do it, the more people are likely to have one of our tracks sent to them each Monday when they receive their 30 songs on Discover Weekly.

And as an added bonus Discover Weekly will work better and you will be more likely to discover music you didn’t know that you will love.

I don’t know if the same thing happens on Apple Music but it’s been such a hit for Spotify I bet they will be using the idea in some way.

Moral of the Story: Make playlists and add Duncan Reid and the Big Heads songs (and songs by other bands you love and want to help).

 

 

My Brush with Chuck

Sad news that Chuck Berry died today. It took me back to the one time I came accross him on my travels.

In 2013 we were lucky enough to tour Argentina and Uruguay with TV Smith. It was a mad tour, as they all seem to be, but great fun.

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The tour finished up in Montevideo, a lovely, sleepy town that I’d written a song about, implying that the place was a non stop partying cross between Dublin, Ibiza, Berlin and anywhere else you’d like to throw in where the locals value a good time over sleep eight days a week.

In fact Montevideo has a lot more in common with Geneva where everyday seems like a gentle Sunday afternoon stroll in the park.

It turned out that the government of Montevideo were delighted with my portrayal of the local population as a bunch of 24 hour a day inebriates and decided to bestow on me the honour of becoming a “Visitante Illustre”, the equivalent of being awarded the keys to the city. The only other British musicians to receive this honour are Paul MacCartney and Elton John so it’s a big deal.

In particular they liked the video of the song which can be seen here.

So, after a wild night of last show of the tour celebration, with precious little sleep and a thumping head, off I went to the Uruguayan Parliament to collect my award. This entailed giving a speech in Spanish, – demanding under the circamstances.

Afterwards, as we walked up the stairs to the front of our hotel, the doors opened before us and an extremely sprightly, elderly black guy came through. He was cool. Dressed in a captains hat, bootlace tie and leather bomber jacket, he passed quite quickly on his way to somewhere important.

“That’s Chuck Berry”, said my wife Liz and by golly it was. I didn’t realise he was still alive at the time, let alone still touring the world and playing shows.

So, clutching my medal as the illustrious visitor to Montevideo I felt honoured to have received it, excited to have seen one of the original greats of Rock n Roll ……….. and a complete and utter fraud. Who was I to be honoured in this way when playing in town was the guy who invented the rock guitar solo, the widely acclaimed ultimate poet of Rock n Roll, the man who inspired The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and just about every other iconic musician of taste who picked up a guitar? Indeed you listen to all the great guitar solos on the early punk records and there is one man whose two string style is behind them -Chuck Berry.

I got over it though, and when I showed the hotel my medal they allowed me to check out later that evening, way after the official leaving time, without charging. A memorable day then, but they often are in South America.

(PS: There is a fuller blog I wrote about this eventful tour which begins here )

Bombs Away: The Artwork is here

7600 COVER_RGBMany thanks to Steve Green and everyone at green square design for coming up with a great album cover.

The cd will be a digipak with a 16 page booklet full of pictures, song lyrics and the usual notes on the stories behind the songs. The same information will be on the insert included with the vinyl LP.

For those downloading the album or listening to it on Spotify or Bandcamp we’ll post some of the song notes on this site later on.

Keep an eye out. Not long to go now!