UK Tour – February – March 2015

Introduction

In order to measure the success of the support tour, I set out on the task of booking a follow up headline tour every city The Caezars supported Imelda in (and a few other local shows that would hopefully be well attended). These gigs were booked in venues of 100-300 capacity and took place between the 5th of February and 14th of March 2015 and were promoted through tour flyers, and local promoters coming to the shows with Imelda May to raise awareness. This was an idea suggested by Imelda May when the band supported her at the Kentish Town Forum in 2011 as it was one of the ways she rose to success after touring with Jools Holland (Costa, 2011). The tour took a month to book in and was promoted through social media and appearances on specialist internet radio shows like Steve Stack of Wax’s Wednesday Night Rockin’ Party (Mixcloud, 2015) as well as posting flyers in the towns and cities the band were performing in.

Hail Caezar Tour Poster 2015

Posters and flyers were put up in the venues themselves, but also in vintage clothing shops (LOOT, Brighton (Facebook, 2015), Beatnik Emporium (2015) Southampton, The Vintage Collection London (Facebook, 2015) and independent record stores, Sounds That Swing (No Hit Records, 2015) London, Vinyl Tap (2015) Huddersfield, Pie & Vinyl (2015) Portsmouth. This ensured that they were reaching people interested in live music and vintage style/aesthetics who are part of The Caezars target audience. Reynolds believes the importance of specialised promotion for live music events is down to the fact that “The fickleness of the concert-going public should never be underestimated” (Reynolds, 2012, p. 17) and is why I enlisted the help of genre specific promoters such as “Make With The Shake” and “Go-Go Gorilla” for the geographically relevant shows.

Before embarking on the February 2015 tour, The Caezars recorded a new single to be released on 7” vinyl and digital download in time for the tour in February. The physical 7” single will be available for pre-order on the Bandcamp page and the digital audio track will be made available to listen to on the bands Soundcloud page. Soundcloud is where music is posted before it appears on Spotify or iTunes or anywhere else (Horn, 2014) because, as its CEO Erik Wahlforss (2014) told Gizmodo; “Soundcloud is where music culture happens on the web”.  The digital audio files  will also be made available on iTunes and Spotify upon the release date via the aggregator service Zimbalam (2015), as iTunes and Spotify do not work directly with artists to receive works. This releasing strategy will help rectify the errors made on the last tour whilst still servicing fans in a way that is simple, efficient and appropriate. Vinyl sales grew by 54.7% in 2014 and although the format only accounts for 2% of global revenues, it has an appeal that matches the bands current demographic (IFPI 2015).

The Results

The follow-up tour was a success and over 15 shows over 6 weeks the average attendance was 103 people with the highest being a sold-out 200 capacity show in Cornwall. To date the new single has been receiving radio play on genre specific online radio shows such as “Frockabilly” on Radio Reverb (2015) and “Get on The Right Track” on Rockabilly Radio (Rockabilly Duke Box, 2015). Ben Kirby (cited Reynolds, 2012 p.8), manager of The Subways, believes that continuing this level of touring is essential in the 21st century; “there’s such a fast turnover of acts these days, and it’s vital to gig your arse off and build a solid fan base that will still be there in 5 years time”.

Perhaps the way to grow and move forward is by trying to seek out a label services type deal for the next album, in order to fully distribute and promote the release. Especially when considering Passman’s (2012) theory; “for a record deal to make sense, the record company has to generate more money for you (after they take their piece) than you would get by selling less product on your own”. 

It has also led to the belief that one of the ways to survive as a niche independent artist is to follow the examples of The Wave Pictures (2015) and Bob Log III (2015), who are constantly on the road playing shows, earning money without the press and marketing campaigns of major record labels. Fabbri (1980) stated that “Every genre is defined by a community of varying structure which accepts the rules and whose members participate in various forms during the course of a musical event.” Performing on the Rockabilly scene is no different, with fans attention not only placed on the music but the lifestyle choice as a whole that includes the fashion, automobiles, and even the relevant furniture. The internet has enabled niche bands to tour specifically to their audiences on the relevant scenes. This means that the need to make the right noise in-front of the right people that is more interesting than that of our peers has never been so vital.

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