Right, let the madness begin! This year I headed down to newly comandeered venue City Inn, where ITC headquarters are to be based for the conference itself. After getting my goodie bag, I check out the end of a fascinating debate on how bands can break into China, lead by the right honourable John Robb.
The elder statesmen of Manchesters' punk scene lead a fascinating topic, which revealed that there is a burgeoning market for live music in China - there is a huge explosion in the number of venues and bands out there, both domestic, and foreign acts. Modern Sky is a leading Chinese label at the heart of this scene, it was revealed. The scene is not without it's idiosyncrasies - one promoter revealed how his band Star 64, had their visa application refused because in china 6/4 is widely accepted to refer to the date of Tienanmen Square. A quick name change to Star 69, and the application was okayed!
Meanwhile, over in the next room, Blogging In The USA was a really fascinating debate lead by Ollie Russian of My Band Is Better Than Your Band, with notable panelists including Ryan Schreiber of Pitchfork and Dev Sherlock of Hype Machine talking about the merits of blogging, and its' growing influence on the music industry. one of the key points was that having something unique to offer, and voice, or editorial, was key to standing out, as opposed to just posting song after song to drive traffic, as well as the idea that older conventional media publications are definitely threatened by the emergence of the power of blogs.
As for the gigs that evening, I was joined by the lovely Rhian Daly of abeano, who lead proceedings with her ear to the ground for hot new bands, and so we checked out boy girl duo Big Deal, I thought they were amazing. And they look great too.
Big Deal - Locked Up by snipelondon
r Dalston powercore trio No Age (why does everyone hate Dalston so much?) Beaty Heart who were like a more chaotic, less commercial, frantic Friendly Fires. I loved their energy, but I think these Goldsmiths students need the influence of a decent producer to introduce some discipline and tidy them up a bit! Finally, I got my one pick over at The Roadhouse, going to see Chiddy Bang.
Chiddy Bang - Stylo (Remix feat. Chiddy Bang) by pacificfestival
Personally I thought they were brilliant, but Rhian wasn't impressed much. *sadface*