Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

ITC 2010 round-up: the £1 CD man, Pink Floyd, sports and live reports

I’ve already covered a lot of the In the City 2010 action here and here, but there were a few things which slipped through the net. The £1 CD: during the course of a public interview with REM manager Bertis …

Wed, Oct 20, 2010, 09:55


I’ve already covered a lot of the In the City 2010 action here and here, but there were a few things which slipped through the net.

The £1 CD: during the course of a public interview with REM manager Bertis Downs, former Warner Music boss Rob Dickins made the point that CDs should cost a quid (or €1.13 per xe.com this morning).

Dickins said that such a low price would help to defeat piracy and lead to a huge sales’ spurt. Of course, he didn’t put forward this radical policy when he was running things at Warner Music from 1983 to 1998 (when the company, along with the rest of the industry, enjoyed windfall profits from selling plastic discs) because the shareholders would have kicked his ass. Naturally, those still involved in the record side of the house have been rejecting this out of hand since it was proposed. Still, it got Rob some headlines. By contrast, celebrity interviewee Downs didn’t really have much to say.

Old music story: Pink Floyd may reform if drummer Nick Mason has anything to do with it. He talked about the band’s Live8 appearance in 2005 and how the remaining Floyd members might well do something similar if the “right” occasion came along. Maybe they’d do a gig if Johnny Ronan ever gets his Battersea Power Station project off the ground – or is that a case of pigs might fly?

What the music business can learn from the world of sport: a fascinating panel featuring managers involved with football, professional cycling, snooker, Manchester United, Man City and, er, Ant & Dec. A lot of nuggets here, from how sports managers tend to concentrate on either the commercial or sports side to the use of clinical psychologists to help performance (a figure of 50 to 60 support staff for the players at Old Trafford was cited). At a conference where there was a lot of talk about band and brands, one panelist pointed out that less is often more in this regard. George Clooney only has two commercial endorsements while, in contrast, David Beckham has 18. This is one panel discussion I’ll be checking out again once the vodcasts go up on the ITC site. I’d also recommend you check out footage from the panels on brands and data mining, the latter producing such buzzword gems as fanalytics, sentiment analysis and a great line that a band needs “a manager, an agent and a geek”.

Live reports: I’ve already filed my impressions from Wednesday and Thursday nights so here’s Friday’s despatches. I was hugely impressed by Glasser (delirious tribal fever rays and very smart icy pop spells), Spectrals (lovely, charming, wide-eyed doo-wop surf and garage-rock), Breton (snappy-as-fuck art-rock delights with loads of interesting left-turns), Spark (loved her monster voice, monster pop tunes and very hooky arrangements), Ramona (charity shop Blondie complete with excellent frontwoman and classic songlines), Slow Motion Shoes (neatly grilled sweet, bright indie pop from a band playing their second ever show), Bewitched Hands (long-time OTR faves who return with a shortened name – or else the booklet shortened their name for them – better songs, sharper playing and more charm than was case when caught in action at SXSW in March) and Clock Opera (really strong, assured, symphonic indie tunes with huge potential lurking within the noisy bits from a band who’ve featured on The Far Side a few times already).

One final note: ITC’s move to the Northern Quarter can be considered a huge success – great to see the festival bedding down in what is the city’s most vibrant music-friendly area.

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