Norwich Sound & Vision 2012

We spent the last weekend at the 'Norwich Sound & Vision' conference incorporating the John Peel festival of new music.

Love it as we do, our hometown of Norwich can sometimes feel like a bit of a backwater, so it was gratifying to feel that something dynamic, inspiring and genuinely worthwhile was going on here. A mixture of daytime seminars and panels on different elements of the music industry and evenings full of all manner of gigs attracted a diversity of local and national musicians, industry people and fans.

We met some lovely people, heard some insightful (and occasionally slightly depressing) speakers - ex-Cocteau Twin and Bella Union head honcho Simon Raymonde stood out - and heard some great music. Mary Epworth was my stand out act, despite her having a cold, but there were loads of other fantastic bands and singer-songwriters around in a range of venues.

I guess the main things I took away from it as a musician are:
  • It's tough times for the industry at the moment (that's news?)
  • Free booze really helps networking
  • Sometimes it's a victory just to keep creating
  • Label people claiming that they are 'just really passionate about music' can sound like so much BS. But not always...there may be a correlation with the proximity of the words 'analytics' and 'synch'
  • The tools are out there to make, distribute and promote music for next to nothing but it requires diligence, passion, good relationships and a level of fortitude that doesn't always sit well with a creative zeal
  • The same old streets can feel really different sometimes so renew the world with each breath...

Well done to the organisers. I'll definitely be there next year.