THE BEGINNING

Ian Roebuck on being a tech-savvy club promoter

Ian Roebuck on being a tech-savvy club promoter

I’m taking no requests, making no new Myspace friends and attending fuck all Facebook events. The phone’s flicked to silent, my hotmail box is barren and I haven’t checked Pitchfork for weeks. None of this is strictly true. The indisputable truth is that a promoter’s job consists of bone dancing with every piece of electronic equipment available to mankind. Whether it is dry humping my laptop on a commuter-crazed tube train or parallel parking the mobile phone in a busy restaurant; technology and my good self have become inseparable.

Imagine a David Cronenborg wet dream penetrating the doldrums of my existence and you are half way there. Some may say this evaluation is considerably over the top, and they’d be right. I draw the line at porking mechanical objects but you can see what I’m getting at – being a promoter is becoming increasingly reliant on communicating in the language of avoidance. Bands are stumbled upon through tired eyes in reassuringly familiar places, contacts and friends are made in identifiable environments where security is a click away. Got the kettle on? The proliferation of Myspace has provided an explosion of talent for promoters to tap into beyond their LCD screens and increasingly bands are clinching deals having played only a handful of gigs. Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong played out their whole career in a space of months and if it wasn’t for some clever management bands such as S.C.U.M and The XX, although undeniably gifted, would soon be over-exposed. It is innovative acts like these that are breaking the mould – a single launch in a church or being selective in press and gig choices are now necessary means of creating the right buzz.

This culture of instant gratification of course has its benefits, and not just for people with a penchant for laptop loving. Promoters are granted immediate access to a bands inner sanctum where a simple point and press gives you all the management details needed. In fact, if you didn’t have to wait practically a fortnight each time you contacted a booking agent, it would all be plain sailing. Bills can now be booked with not one chord watched within a live arena, but like viewing the Isle of Wight festival on the idiot-box or getting the district line to work I wouldn’t recommend it. There is no substitute to watching a band first hand. The Internet has bestowed the industry with both a blessing and a curse and it is up to us to do what we will with it. Now dim the lights and turn that monitor on, it’s sexy-time.

Illustration by ELEANDOR DUNK

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