Is THAT what DICE saw in Boiler Room? Survey by IFPI reveals 65% of people will continue to watch music live streams after the pandemic ends

There are some out there that would have you believe live streams will never catch on. You should question why these people are saying such things. Maybe it’s because they personally don’t like them. Maybe it’s because they feel it’s not the same as being physically present at an event. Or in some cases, these are people who are losing money because of the trend.

Whereas the truth is rather different. The first band to live stream their music online was Severe Tire Damage – and that was all the way back on 24th June 1993. The genie has been out of the bottle for nearly 30 years, and it’s not going back in.

And the pandemic has accelerated the trend. Many have liked what they’ve seen – a survey by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reveals 65% of those who have been watching live streams as Covid has gone around the world will continue doing so into the future. Yes, some people will undoubtedly think a live stream isn’t the same as being there in person – but have they stopped to consider that isn’t the point?

For every person out there who enjoys going to gigs and festivals, you’ll have someone who wants to go, but who finds the experience a real hassle. I speak from experience – when I’ve been out all day doing school runs, cooking meals, running this site and everything else, the last thing I want to do in the evening is sort out childcare and dress up to go out somewhere.

Most nights, I’m far happier at home with a cup of coffee. That choice came with a consequence in the past, but why does it still need to? Things move on. As far as I’m concerned, if you willingly choose to close yourself off to a potential new audience, that makes you an idiot.

When I consider all this, I start to realise exactly why Boiler Room was recently acquired by DICE. I have no explicit insider knowledge here, but my guess is DICE wants to add things onto Boiler Room’s streams – like the opportunity to buy merchandise. Something which often requires you to have physical cash in person – but something which can be done in just a few clicks online. Your only limit is your bank balance!

Although heaven only knows how much DICE will have to do to turn around a company with an £11million accumulated loss

So what happened to Larry Sherman’s “special royalty fund” for Trax Records artists out of work due to Covid-19? Trax remains silent on founder’s “final wish” for over 18 months…

Larry Sherman was the founder of Trax Records in 1985. He’s a man who has a huge, immeasurable legacy in house music – having led a label which released many of itsĺ earliest records. He’s also well known for having engaged in highly dubious business practices – such as using recycled vinyl to keep pressing costs down.

During the first wave of Covid-19 last year – when much of the Western world was under various stay at home orders – news came in from his native Chicago on April 8th that he had died. He was 70 years old, and it was heart failure which led to his sad departure.

Soon afterwards, Trax Records released a statement on their website about the passing of their founder – which included this segment at the end…

“Sherman was acutely aware of the plight of his artists due to the fact that they could not work because of Covid-19. Larry was planning a special royalty fund for TRAX artists before his death and his final wish will be carried out in his name by the label under the guidance of Rights Incorporated.”

No details of this royalty fund have ever been made public. And despite a number of press outlets – dance music and otherwise – reporting on it at the time, no one ever seems to have followed it up. So I thought I’d email Trax Records to ask them about it.

I posed two questions. How many artists have benefitted from this fund? And roughly how much money has been paid out? I didn’t ask for specifics on who got what – partly because I don’t care. That’s between the fund and the beneficiary.

So, what did Trax Records say in response? Absolutely nothing is the answer. Despite the email being sent last Monday – and a reminder ahead of publication sent out on Friday – stony silence is the response the label has chosen.

It looks like, for now, the mystery goes on…

Andrew Lloyd Webber did a DJ set this weekend and played an EDM remix of “The Phantom Of The Opera” – but can someone please tell him you’re meant to mix the next record in?

Andrew Lloyd Webber. You might know this name from the world of musicals. You might know him as the man who once suggested he’d break lockdown rules – and was rewarded with the Prime Minister suggesting “Cinderella” could become a government test event. Or you might even remember the time he voted to cut tax credits for the poor.

And now, at the grand old age of 73, Lord Webber has decided to get involved in the world of DJing. Even in this world where practically anyone can give it a go – even when most will inevitably be crap at it – this one caught me somewhat by surprise.

Here’s some footage, taken from outside Broadway in New York. The track ID, because it seems compulsory for someone to ask these days is “The Phantom Of The Opera”. The artist is unknown, as is whoever did the remix…

Hmm. It tells you something about the state of dance music that this isn’t a complete train wreck. Indeed, it’s nice to see a crowd for once that actually seems into the music and is enjoying themselves – in most videos of this type I see these days, the only one enjoying themselves is the overpaid DJ.

But as far as I can see, he only played one record. Who does he think is, Father Billy O’Dwyer? So perhaps next time, he could arrive with a bit more material. Oh, and seeing he’s worth £650million, he can afford to commission some more remixes from his musicals.

Perhaps Masters At Work could do one of their dubs of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”. Or Derrick Carter could create a credible house interpretation of “Any Dream Will Do”. And maybe a new mix of “Sunset Boulevard” by Sterling Void – leading to articles on this blog asking who really made it.

Full credit for his enthusiasm, though. A lot of DJs can’t manage anything like that, and they’re nowhere near 73…

Who do they think they are, Amateur’s House? DJane are running their best female DJ poll for 2021 – but just look at what picture of blog favourite DJ MJ they’ve decided to run!

Regular readers of Amateur’s House – or indeed, anyone who’s been here for longer than two minutes – will know this blog does things differently. The veneration of dance music DJs and such present in the mainstream dance music press is absent here. They’ll even see words of criticism and photos in which they don’t always look flattering – and often very moody.

But believe it or not, there are some people who I do like. Carl Cox, for example. Yes, he’s one of those DJs who earns gargantuan fees for what he does – but I do like the fact he takes a stand when others won’t. Or Danny J Lewis – aside from his music being brilliant, I also liked the successful campaign he helped orchestrate to get garage its own Traxsource category.

Now one grumble which occasionally flares up is the lack of female DJs on big festival lineups. Someone usually responds with “ah, but where are these female DJs so we can book them?”. And the answer can be found in places like DJane – who are currently running their poll to find the best female DJ. It’s not hard to find extremely talented DJs that aren’t men if you look, you know…

Anyway, blog favourite DJ MJ – she’s one of few DJs these days whose sets I consistently enjoy – is in the running. But the other nominees are looking all serious and stuff, the photo which they’ve chosen of Miss MJ is this…

Mercifully, DJ MJ herself sees the funny side. But since you’re here, do go and vote for her

The Six On Saturday (That Aren’t From Me!) – 23rd October 2021

On the week a six foot deep pothole was discovered in Northern Ireland, I dig – but possibly not quite that far – for the next new releases of the week, bringing you tunes about as welcome as fresh tarmac to said pothole…

Ross Couch – Deep Down (Body Rhythm)
Mr Couch hasn’t featured on this column for a little while now. I’m not sure exactly why. At one point, pretty much everything he put out ended up being reviewed here. But I’m ever so glad I came across this – there’s something very, very infectious in the groove on this track. Strong work.

Demarkus Lewis – Not Today (One City Music Group)
Does Demarkus Lewis ever sleep? I’m beginning to think the answer is no. The normally prolific producer responded to the pandemic in the only way he could – by increasing his output even further. It also helps his tracks transcend a number of genres within house music. This is on the deeper, smoother side – and I can’t get enough of it.

Arie Mando – Get Together (Bob’s Your Uncle)
This was a treat on the ears. Arie’s original mix is a weird cross of house, garage and rave with cut-up vocals that seems to work. The BLK JCK & B15 Project mix isn’t my cup of tea – but Leandro Di’s version most definitely is.

The Saturday Recap – 23rd October 2021

So that’s another week over and done with. Welcome to the weekend! Your Six On Saturday column is coming up later, but let’s quickly recap some of what’s been on Amateur’s House during the week. Seven days a week, unlike the dance music press…

If you’re not following Amateur’s House by now, you’re missing out. Much of what’s written about on this blog simply doesn’t appear anywhere else. Show your support by following the blog on the socials and subscribing at the right hand side of the page – and you’ll never miss a post again!

Are London’s Printworks under threat of closure? Property developers want to stick offices on the site – and refuse to say the club will remain open afterwards

Who in the right mind would want to set up a nightclub in London these days? The authorities give the distinct impression of not wanting you there. The London mayor only takes an interest when there’s votes from young people to be had. And you have Amy Lamé, the Night Czar who is as much of a lame duck as her name implies.

And once you’ve got your venue, you have no end of unscrupulous types who could bring the whole thing crashing down. Including property developers who seem to want to buy the whole of central London and turn it into one enormous office – the increase in the number of people working from home is obviously not something they’ve yet noticed.

Which is why I always found the arrangements of Printworks to be very odd. The land is owned by British Land and they gave events company Broadwick Live permission to run a nightclub there. How long did this permission last? And what happened if a dispute occurred between the two?

Whilst I’m confident solicitors would have resolved these questions beforehand, there was always the possibility British Land might want to do something else with the site. And it turns out they do, as part of the Canada Water Masterplan.

But what will happen to the Printworks if this goes ahead? Their own words on the question are…

“We have explored a range of future uses for The Printworks and as part of this have taken forward a workspace-led design, for which we’re preparing a Reserved Matters Application. Nonetheless we believe that culture will play an important role as part of a new urban centre at Canada Water, and remain in discussions with Broadwick Live as a key collaborator and tenant, following their success in the Printworks over the last five years.”

Nowhere do words to the effect of “Printworks will remain open after the development” appear. Hardly reassuring…

Credit for this story goes to the Architects Journal.

Can you dance without a mask on when ordering a drink at the bar? Just some of the rules in place as Irish nightclubs reopen today – but those of you in Northern Ireland will have to wait another week!

Nightclubs are finally open again as of today in Ireland. For the past three months, a curious anomaly has been in place where if you lived on the island of Ireland and fancied going to a club, it meant a flight across the Irish Sea. They were closed on both sides of the border, with Stormont and Dublin showing little interest in reopening them.

So if you intend to go clubbing tonight in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick or wherever, what rules do you have to follow? Well, for starters, you must be able to prove you’re double jabbed. Quite simply, if you’re not, you won’t be allowed in. I can’t help but suspect this is a policy which will soon ensure Garda Siochana* are busy trying to close down illegal raves, but I digress.

Elsewhere, you’ll need to wear a face mask. Except when drinking. You won’t need one whilst doing that. Or whilst having a dance. Capacity is restricted to 1500 people when standing up, but more if some people are sitting down. Quite how you ensure no more than 1500 people are on their feet at any one time is something the Taoiseach** has yet to explain.

Oh, and bar service is allowed once again. This one doesn’t just apply to nightclubs. However, people will need to put on a mask to go to the bar and order their drink, return to the table wearing the mask and take it off to actually drink the damn thing. And pretty much the only way to avoid having to wear a mask whilst ordering a drink at the bar is to dance whilst in the queue.

Which, by the way, you have to do in a socially distanced manner. Yes, you have to remain two metres apart in a queue for the bar. Which goes down to one meter if you’re wearing a mask, but goes up to two again if you’re dancing which means you won’t be wearing a mask. Because you’re dancing.

And none of these rules apply in Northern Ireland. Because it’s under different rules, where nightclubs remain closed until Halloween – but rest assured some civil servant in Belfast is writing all this stuff down and working out if they can make the Northern Irish rules even more baffling to follow.

After all that, I need to go and have a coffee. Extra shot of Baileys in this one, please!

* The official name for the Irish police. ** Irish term for Prime Minister.