Born To Be Wide -The Record Shop Seminar

Get your motor running!

I am incredibly pleased to be on the panel for the upcoming Born To Be Wide event at the Electric Circus on Market Street on Thursday 7th November. For those of you who haven’t noticed that the nights are fair drawing in, that date is really soon. It’s this coming Thursday. The premise of the event is this:

“A single shop can still sell hundreds of albums by a self-released act or small label, as well as providing promotional support through in-stores and recommendations to other retailers. This discussion will look at how artists, labels and managers can best work with the stores to increase the chances of success. “

Born To Be Wide

So then, it’s a seminar on how artists can engage with record shops arranged by the fantastic folks at Born To Be Wide** -An important and increasingly relevant community interest group dedicated to helping Scottish artists find their way in the music industry.

More about the event and tickets, HERE.

So, Are You Experienced?

There is only so long that George and I can say that we’re a just a new shop learning the ropes. After 2 and a half years we’ve learned a lot about the local music scene and have befriended so many of our customers, several local bands, solo artists and the record company distributors, the SMIA/SAY award team and many small to medium records labels. I think we’re no longer two virgins* and even have a bit of expertise to share from the perspective of an enthusiastic new shop.

Failing that, the incredibly experienced Sandy McLean from Love Music in Glasgow and Rose from Coda on the Mound will be there too to give insights gained from their many years running Scottish record shops. I’m hoping that young artists, labels and bands will attend and use the opportunity to ask some questions and say to hello. [Tom from big boys Fopp have joined and Vicki from the label Comets and Cartwheels is on the panel too]

Questions that I’m thinking might come up are:

Who still shops in record shops? Who looks at the local stuff? Isn’t it a bit cliquey? What do shops know? Who do shops know? How should a band or label approach record shops? Don’t I need a label? Will you stock our release? Will it sell? How to help your release sell in shops. How much commission does a shop take? Instores –are they worth it? What about Record Store Day? What’s selling just now? Should I release on Vinyl or CD when downloads are doing well? I’ve made 15 albums or CD-R, do I just bring them in? Where did you get that jumper?

As a band T-shirt wearing kind of guy, my own point of view is that record shops should have local stuff all the time. We have an open shelf policy towards Edinburgh bands and I’d like to invite any artist or label from Edinburgh and throughout Scotland to get in touch and we’ll put your record or CD on the shelf.

Interestingly, Honeyblood have been featured on Wide Days/Born to be Wide. They are now signed to FatCat and have a single out Monday on pink vinyl with an album coming out next year. The girls played for us and you on Record Store Day this year and we’ll have plenty of in. It wasn’t Wide Days or RSD with us that got them a record deal or onto the stage at T-in the Park but I suppose it works as an example of the symbiosis (yes, symbiosis!) of the music community. Lots of little kicks can smash down big doors. It’s really a small world and it’s sensible that we should all be pals.

This is the strange and floaty video for Bud:

Ask not what your shop can can do for you but what you can do for… Sorry, no that’s not right.
Anyway, I hope to see you Thursday!

* A Lennon and Yoko album.

** Born To Be Wide is a Community Interest Company based in central Scotland which stages regular music business seminar and social events for anyone involved or interested in the Scottish music scene. Born to be Wide is a Community Interest Group aimed at supporting local artists and giving the best advice on how to get along as a musician.

ince April 2008, Born To Be Wide has hosted seminars covering subjects such as How To Get A Gig, Unveiling The Mind Of A Music Journalist, A&R, Music Festivals, Music PR, Record Sleeve Design, How To Get On Radio, Music Management and Booking Agents.

In addition to the regular events, Born To Be Wide hosts Wide Days, an annual two-day convention and showcase event which takes place in Edinburgh in April, as well as delivering seminars for various other music industry events including GoNorth.

Olaf is the blond D’Artagnan of the Scottish music industry has been running this important community event for ages and has become a stalwart of the Scottish music industry.

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VoxBox Music became the newest record shop in the world on May 21st 2011. We buy and sell vinyl and other formats of music. We are independent and sell mostly pre-owned records although we are slowly branching into new vinyl too.

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