Ok chaps and ladies. It is that time of year again, here in Manchester. Delegates from all around the world gather at the prestigious Midland Hotel to discuss the future, past and present of the music industry, as well as watch 150 bands.
It will be time to run off and catch said bands in a moment for yours truly, but for now, a quick word on the 2 debates I managed to see. Firstly 'Licence To Ill; Digital Licencing, How Do We Build a Future' was a fascinating debate, with the CEO of We7 Steve Purdham, and James Healy from Universal, among others, contributing. It was fascinating to learn the various issues and structures behind licencing music to the likes of Napster, Amazon, We7, Spotify, Last.FM etc., and how incredibly difficult and disorganised this sector is - no wonder people many people don't pay for their music when the various commercial offerings from the music industry are only now beginning to develop a competitive market, with a variety of options.
Far more full of anecdotes was 'God Show Me Magic: The Story Of Creation Records', which was chaired by Radio 6's Steve Lemacq, with contributions from the labels' former MD, and Mark Garndener of the creation band Ride. It was crazy to hear how Mark once played as the keyboardist in Primal Scream on Top OF the Pops because the original keyboardist Duffy hadn't applied for his musician's union card, or how fisticuff fights took place in the labels' Hackney HQ.
Anyway, I'm off to catch Ou Est La Swimming Pool, Kirsty Almedia, Wolf Gang and Music Go Music. Hopefully, that is........