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Introducing… The Secret Pianist

Well exactly where does one begin. I suppose the appropriate place is when and why I started to play the piano. I would say that there is 2 reasons which spring to mind. Firstly. Elton john was very much on the scene and I picked up a copy of the ‘goodbye yellow brick road’ album. Brilliant. What a great introduction to his creative melodies. I was completely fascinated with him, so much so I attended a number of live concerts. I was also very lucky to meet the man in person. A close friend had back room passes to a local football club where Elton was part of an all stars football team. I remember handing him a number of cassette covers of his early albums and asked him to sign not once, but 3 times. I think he saw the funny side of it.

Another part of the initiation to the piano was the film ‘The Sting’. Scott Joplin’s music was the background music which again really knocked me for six. So learning the piano became a must and I attended lessons. Mrs Gale was my teacher at the time and I picked up the basics pretty quickly. Anyway after about 3 months of playing the school term had come to an end and she asked me if I had been practising any kind of music pieces at home. I told her,
” well actually I have been composed something”
I think she was intrigued and said
“well go on, let’s have a listen”
So I sat back on the chair and took a deep breath and played a 6 page ragtime song with bouncing left hand syncopation and a right hand full of free flowing melody completely from memory that I had composed. The thing about ragtime is that it seems to train the brain to remember the structure of the song as it’s almost impossible to look at the music score and see where your hands are going at the same time.This early brain training was extremely important later in my composition life.
Anyway. I had finished the piece and looked up at her. We’ll talk about “just seen a ghost “expression. She just looked down, grabbed my hand and said, right were off to see the head master. Well that was it. Their going to give me detention or 1000 lines. Well, no. Actually, not at all. She just said, take a listen to what Gary’s written. They must have liked it because that week I was playing it in front of the school during assembly.
So there you have it, my first composition. Now at the time piano lessons was all about classical music. That’s great, if that’s what you like. However, my passion was writing melodies. So in the late 1980′s I joined a pop group. What else did we use to do in those days before mobile phones were invented.

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>> Before long one thing had led to another as we had developed a following, a great set of songs but unfortunately ….. no lucky break. That was not for the want of trying and before long I was fading away into music oblivion with very little to show for a period in my life that had completely taken over me and although I enjoyed every minute I had now found myself ….basically …..financially broke.
>> Music had to put definitely on the back burner, otherwise I would have ending up putting my head in the gas oven. I think Elton john went through a similar phase in his life but fortunately he had Bernie at his side to save him at the last minute. Hence the song, I understand, someone saved my life tonight. Unfortunately for me I did not have Bernie at my side but fortunately for me we only used an electric oven at home.

Well enough of depression, what happens next. Oh yes Marriage and Mortgage. Now I know that all sounds like fun but as we all know, both these things add up to 2 things. The chain around the legs and hard labour. Well that’s a nice combination ( not) and eventually as the years pass by and things get a bit easier, life has flown by and you suddenly hit 50. So I decided to get back to what I loved doing most, writing music.

Now the great thing with music is it’s like riding a bike. When you get back in the seat it all comes back. Although I was in and out of composing while I was on my way to 50 I just never had the spare time to concentrate on that side of things to the nth degree. It was only when my dad and I had had a long chat just a few weeks before he passed away that things took a different prospective. One thing we talked about was my music and I kind of promised him that I will get back into composing and dedicate as much spare time on it as possible. So when things settled down a bit I decided to invest in a log cabin which I set up at the end of my Garden. This was my man cave. A very quite zone where I could concentrate, develop and master my skills.

After writing a few songs I decided to drop into a local recording studio to get some tracks laid down which would enable some kind general feedback. Now on that point I’m very willing and flexible to my listeners opinion. There’s no point ignoring it.

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About the same time I put a few adverts in the ‘join my band website’ just to see if there was any like minded people out there. I had a few replies but nothing really came of it. So back to the studio I went. I actually had enough material for a cd but for me it was all about ‘learning’, understanding and trying to develop the music. The good thing about working with the tracks in a studio is it gives you the opportunity to look at each track from the listener point of view rather than the composer. I tried writing lyrics and ended up stumbling over vocals and soon realised that my songs were probably more instrumental based rather than songs you could sing along to.

My passion to write an interesting tune probably gets the better of me at times and the desire to succeed in the music business is immense. However I feel age is not on my side. So in a way I feel like I’m the kind of ‘under dog’. When I replied to an advert for new artists to be apart of a new record label I had know idea that they would like what I do. To be honest I’m the underdog in many ways as I don’t get much encouragement from my family at home so the enchantment of having my music available to buy world wide is quite daunting. The most important thing was never to ‘give up’ on the dream. So in a nut shell if you would like to make a fairly old guy happy well why not have a listen to see what my compositions are all about. I’ve got a lot of melodies waiting to get out there and I’m very confident that once you latch onto the music I think you might like them. I’m not going to be a production line of tracks. I would rather try being more creative and as variable as I can with each track. I’d rather spend a whole month in the studio on one track and get it right rather than trying to develop 6 tracks In the same time of a poor quality.

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Songs definitely take a different tangent when you start to break them down. That’s all part of the leaning curve in trying to develop the track to it’s full potential. I always stay focused when the engineers is working on the track. However the ideas have to come from me as an engineer is only the man to input your requirements. On thing I like to do is to prepare. Time is money so to go into a studio unprepared is bonkers. I usually write a track and get it recorded with either a simple drum pattern or a session drummer. I then take it away and constantly listen to it while I travel in the car to work. This allows me to prepare a countermelody in my mind so when I get home I can apply that information to the keyboard. If you recall, when I first learnt the piano, I always remember the ‘ragtime’ pieces I played. This was a great way to train the brain. So when I learn and put down counter melodies I just put everything into my memory. The 2 engineers I work with at different studios find that kind of fascinating. I’m not sure why as, to me it’s just the way I like to do things. However one benefit of this is the ability to put my tracks and counter melodies down in one take. After I develop the track with a number of counter melodies it’s then all down to the mix This means working and listening to the track over and over again, looking out for any small improvement to enhance the piece of music. ‘ The Raven’ is developing all the time and although the track is available to download free, it is at the moment not fully developed so the finished article will, if you like it, then I’m sure you might consider buying the final outcome. Another new track called Grand Piano, will I hope be a great track to listen to. I have spent probably more time on this track than anything I have written so far so I intend to complete the final mastering at Abbey Road along with ‘The Raven’ in London. I’d like to write a bit more about that experience when I venture down to London in late November or December.

secret-pianist-in-studio

Well, I hope you find this blog interesting as I did not want to make it too biographical but more of an understanding to the way I think, compose and an insight to the amount of time and effort I put in to try and give you, the listener, something worthwhile to sit down and listen to. May I even suggest closing your eyes, so I can take you to a place where my melodies create something special in your imagination. Well that’s what I think I am trying to achieve.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully listening to

The secret pianist.

Soul Takers EP Promo Video

Introducing Carlos Kaehler and his new live album

Introduction

I’m hastily putting this blog together in my excitement about an artist who recently joined the Elite Record Label and is deservedly attracting a lot of attention with the release of his new live album.

If you’re a rock fan in search of real talent and quality, I think you’ll find that Carlos Kaehler and his band tick all the right boxes. The powerful, melodic, progressive rock music of Carlos Kaehler has a wonderful versatility and depth. Every track has it’s own magic and the musicianship is outstanding.

But don’t take my word for it, our eight minute promo video will give you a flavour of what to expect from the album, as well as providing information about Carlos Kaehler; his background, musical influences and how to find his music online.

This is really just a quick reference guide with some information, images and a few links to videos, social media etc. The following information is from Carlos Kaehler’s website and the videos from the Carlos Kaehler Youtube channel (I have of course obtained permission from Carlos to use the information for this blog). So for more in-depth information, updates and new video uploads, please use those sources. I’ll be showing a full list of important web links later on in this blog (non embedded Youtube links will open a new browser window).

About Carlos Kaehler

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• Music: Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, frontman of his own rock band also with numerous works written for classical orchestras and rock as well as music for advertisements, poetry and television series. Classically trained at the Royal School of Music in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (piano, violin, viola, music theory and choral singing) and also trained in guitar and harmony at the jazz school of Málaga “CAMM”.

• Lawyership: Director of his own law firm, he has represented clients of many nationalities throughout the Spanish courts. He is currently a Lawyer exclusively for his own firm Carlos Kaehler Music, S.L.U. (Ltd).

• Theatre and Film: Occasional acting in theatre plays and basic training in the Actors Studio (Pinewood Film Studios – London) and Canary Actors School.

Also author of the screenplay thriller genre feature film “The Betrayal”.

Composer, Guitarist, Multi-instrumentalist, Producer, Actor, Lawyer, Businessman and Screenwriter.

c-kaehler-on-stage

Carlos Kaehler – Live Album

Available now on iTunes.
Also available on Spotify, Google Play, Amazon and over 150 other online music stores.

​All tracks recorded purely live at “La Trinchera” – December 2015.
No studio overdubs.
​​All tracks written, arranged, produced and conducted by Carlos Kaehler, except:

“Gimme Your Hand”: written by C. Kaehler & V. Rodríguez
“Don’t Look Back”: written by C. Kaehler & V. Rodríguez

Line-up:

Carlos Kaehler: Lead Guitar & Vocals
Carlos Moratalla: Lead Vocals
Sebastian Rodríguez: Bass & Backing Vocals
Edu Díaz-Miguel: Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Carlos Casco: Rythm Guitar & Backing Vocals
Claudio Tamer: Drums

ep cover 600px

Listen to track 1. “The Chain Is Sold”:

Here’s the video for track 2. “Gimme Your Hand”. Please click on the links below to watch videos for any song on the album (those videos will load in a new browser window).

Click on a link to watch the video for any track:

1. The Chain Is Sold
2. Gimme Your Hand
3. Knee Flowers
4. All Right
5. Don’t Look Back

How to find carlos Kaehler online:

kaehlermusic.com
facebook.com/kaehlermusic
twitter.com/kaehlermusic
Carlos Kaehler Youtube Channel

This blog was produced by Elite Recordings.

eliterecordings.com
facebook.com/eliterecordings
twitter.com/eliterecordings

Thank you for your time,

Lee.

How to make a simple promotional video (non software specific)

In this blog post I’ll be explaining how I made a very simple video to promote a singer/songwriter on the Elite record label. I’m not saying it’s the best way to do it, just showing how I did it. You’ll see how simple it can be to make your own promotional video, whatever it is you’re promoting. I’m no expert, but running an independent record label and before that an online live music booking agency, I’ve found myself having to learn quite a wide range of skills and have become quite proficient at them all. If I can make a video like this, as long as you have creative eye, I’m sure you can.

You can use most any video production software to do make a simple promotional video. I used one with a timeline and the ability to have multiple video, audio and text tracks, like you get with most video production software. I only used one video track, one audio track and four tracks for text. There are no split screens in the video, it’s simply made up of three other videos, some additional audio and a few images. This isn’t a technical tutorial, I’ll just explain step by step, the idea behind the video, how I got the content to use (including the subject of copyright) and how it was constructed.

First thing’s first, let’s watch the video:

Step 1: Preparation

Decide what kind of elements your video will be made up of, will it be one piece of video footage with text and perhaps image overlays, or will you be using more than one piece of video footage?

Copyright

You’ll need to have the permission of the rights holders of all video footage you’ll be using of course. In the case of videos, copyright is usually owned by the person who actually shot the video footage, but if it’s been put together by a video production company, it’s possible that they hold the copyright. The easiest thing to do is to ask anyone allowing you to use any video footage to ensure that you have permission to use it in the way that you intend to. One thing you must never do is use anything such as video footage, images, audio, textual content or anything else that may be under copyright without the correct permission. I’m assuming that any images you’ll be using are legally yours to use, if not, you’ll have to get permission to use them. I’m sure there are masses of videos on Youtube where no permission has been obtained for using copyrighted content, that’s a whole subject in itself, but videos are removed all the time from Youtube for copyright breaches. How people get away with it, I don’t know. I think there are certain things Youtube can allow because of various licences they hold, so that’s up to you to find out.

Once you know roughly what content you’ll be using for your promotional video, you should write down, step by step from start to finish, roughly how your video will be constructed (we’ll have to come back to this second part of course). I find it absolutely essential to plan projects like this, writing everything down in order, in pencil on sheets of A4 paper or in the case of the Aaron Norton promo video, as a Word document. Don’t just open up your video production software and start it that way, it’s a recipe for disaster; you’ll probably only end up writing it all down anyway.

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Before we move onto step 2, Just so as you can keep in mind as we go along, a few things you’ll probably be repeatedly doing while you build up the video, I’d like to highlight them and offer a bit of associated advice for what it’s worth. I’m not a specialist on making videos, but I have come across a few things I stick to in order to save time and effort.

Most brands of video production software use a video timeline where you can drag and drop images into the same track as the video footage, then set the duration that the image appears on the screen. You may prefer to use two tracks and overlap segments that way, in fact the software you use may only work in that way. I’ll be calling each individual little piece of your video in your project a segment. So each time you drag something into your project’s video track, whether it be a piece of video footage or an image, that’s a separate segment. When you overlap, you’ll want to fade out the preceding segment and fade in the following one. Try and make the fade duration roughly the same throughout the video so that it looks uniform. Some software packages are better than others for this, but I like to have control of exactly how long the fade duration will be without messing about, which isn’t always the case with video production software, they sometimes work on a percentage of the segment duration, which can be a bit annoying and time consuming, unless the segments are the same length.

Later on, when you’ve constructed the main body of the video, you might find a few issues where things don’t seem to fit too well, so you may have to make compromises like shortening fade durations between segments or lengthening segments. You’ll see what I mean later on if that’s what happens, but my advice is to keep on saving your changes and renaming the project file in case you make a mistake, which for me is usual. When I say rename the file, I mean if for instance, if your first project file saved was called project1, then you’ll end up with one called project2, project3 and so on in your folder (and back up your folder on another device as well). Some software packages save everything in the same folder, which is ideal, so you can open the project later on another device if you choose. Make sure all of your files, including any source files are in there as well, otherwise when you revisit a project, those elements may be missing and your project will be incomplete.

I must admit, I had a few issues with the software I used, which wasted a lot of my time, but I’m not here to review software, so all I’ll say is, I won’t be using that particular software in future.

Creating a video of this kind can be extremely time consuming if you’re not careful, so selecting a good software packing is vital. If you can’t afford a good one, you may have to put up with a few annoyances, but it may well be that you can still get good results from cheap or even free video production software. I’ve gone into a couple of what might seem minor issues in this section in great depth, but I think you’ll find these things very important as you go through the process of making your video.

Step 2: Opening Sequence

At this stage, you’ll have written down roughly how you want your video to be constructed, but of course we haven’t gone into that yet. It is very important though, so you may want to read this article again once you’ve made those notes.

My advice for the opening sequence as we’ll call it, would be to begin with your logo if you’ll be using one (or show the name of your company/organisation or your own name, if it is yourself that you’re promoting), then after that (or at the same time) show your website address. You have to remember that people will be viewing the video for the first time, so you have to introduce it in a clear way and make it obvious as soon as possible what the video is about and what you’re trying to say.

You’ll be glad to know that the rest of this article will not be nearly so in-depth. Now that we’ve got those few things you should bear in mind out of the way, you can start putting your video together from the various elements you’ve decided to use to construct it (video footage and/or images). You don’t have to be too exact with this process at this early stage, you can change things later.

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Step 3: Constructing the Video Track(s) In Your Project

You’ll be referring to your written notes of course, which I’d advise you to start compiling when you’ve finished reading this article. As you write, you may well find that you need more images than you first thought, or maybe even more video footage, though that is less likely as you can always lengthen what you’re already using.

What kind of images might you need?

  • Logos
  • Pictures of merchandise
  • Other photos relating to the subject matter
  • Plain background images

All of the above would usually have the same background colour, but that’s only my personal preference. I find doing it that way seems to work better for fading in and out between segments and also I like the continuity.

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If the video footage I’m using has primarily black backgrounds, which a lot of live music videos do, I’d most likely use a black background for images and the text would usually be white, as in the case of the Aaron Norton promo video. What I mean by background images are just plain images, usually in either black or white, which are very useful for achieving certain effects like fading in and out or enabling text to be shown in certain situations. To make these, I just go into my image editing software and create a new image, choosing the appropriate colour, the size is unimportant, but I make them the same size as my video project (for some reason).

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So, let’s say for the sake of argument, that you’ve done the same as me and started the project by dragging your logo into a video track. You can then use another image, like I’ve done, fading to the EP cover, or just go to the first piece of video footage you’re going to use. Somewhere right at the beginning there, you should, in my opinion, show your website address, your name and/or the product name if it’s not in your logo, or maybe even if it is. It’s important to cut to the chase and get the important information in there as soon as possible, so that you can make your message clear right from the outset.

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Don’t be ambiguous; make it clear who you are and what you’re promoting straight away!

How long should your video be?

That depends on what it is you’re promoting, but I’d say, as a rule, try to make it as brief as possible, while still getting all of your message across.

Adding video clips

So, once you’ve got that important introduction information into your project timeline, my advice would be to add your pieces of video footage without worrying about the finer details, they can be sorted out later. Drag the first clip (piece of footage) into your project video track, decide roughly where you want it to start and finish, then split the clip at those points, deleting the unwanted sections at the beginning and end. After you’ve done this for all your clips, you’ll be able to see your video coming together. You can add your ending segment now if you wish, but we’ll go into that later.

Make sure your clip volumes are similar

This is something that’s easily overlooked while you’re busy doing everything else, so my advice would be to do it as soon as possible. You may even want to compare your overall volume to other videos that you know are the right volume. There’s no golden rule to video volumes and I don’t know how much online advice there is about the subject. On Youtube for instance, you’ll find a lot of variations in volume between videos, so if you can find a way of comparing your overall video volume with other video or audio files of similar content, that might be the best test.

Adding text

Before you add any more text, my advice would be to fade the first clip from the preceding segment, otherwise your text will shift position in relation to the clip. Your text can be added as you go along or after you’ve added all the video clips because whichever way you choose, you’ll have to move it around later anyway.

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Now move the individual sections of text around to where you think they should go. To make this possible, you may have to change the durations of your video segments. Remember to keep saving your project in case you make mistakes.

Adding the credits

Make sure you credit everyone who contributed to the making of the video. I like to include copyright information, showing the copyright symbol and in the case of the promotional video itself, the current year.

When you think you may have finished putting your video together, watch it back to see if you’re happy with it. Make sure you read the text carefully, checking for any mistakes. When you’ve done that and you think it’s finished, I find it often helps to leave it overnight and come back to it with fresh eyes because in my experience, it’s possible to miss obvious things after working on such things for a period of time. It’s important to try and put yourself in the shoes of someone watching the video for the first time; it may be that you’ve assumed they’ll be aware of something just because you are.

Step 4: Saving and uploading your video

For anyone not too familiar with video formats, or even if you are, but have never had to save or upload one, I must explain that you’ll want to save your video as the right type of video file and at the right resolution for the video streaming website or websites you’ll be uploading it to. I upload my videos to a Youtube channel and it’s primarily Youtube that I tend to aim at, although of course, it wouldn’t be wise to restrict yourself to just one website. I don’t want to give technical advice as such in this blog because I can’t be sure if my information would be correct for every situation or website, suffice to say that my videos look good in HD quality on Youtube. In any case, it’s easy to get this information from the horse’s mouth; I believe every major video streaming website offers advice on the correct format to use for their particular website. You may well find that you can use the same format on multiple websites. The format doesn’t have to be exact in most cases as far as I’m aware, it just has to fall within certain parameters, so you can often choose a middle ground and have one format for multiple websites. When I say format, I’m including the codec as well as the file type. For example, there are many different variations of mp4 files.

Adding tags when uploading your video

Once again, for the uninitiated; tags are keywords or phrases you can add to a video when uploading it. I’ve heard that tagging is a science in itself and can make or break a video; well, that may be true or not, I don’t know. I think it can depend on many factors, but just like the title of a video, there’s no doubt that tags can help the right people find it. As long as your tags relate to the content in the video and maybe a few associated things as well, I don’t think it’s worth putting much more thought into it than that. You can do some research into it if you like; how many, how diverse etc, but who can tell what to believe.

Make sure you choose the right category when uploading your video, otherwise it might end up in something like “People and places” – not that I’m saying that would be a bad thing. Also, if like on Youtube, there’s an information section can fill in when you upload your video, I like to include some relevant information; a website address, contact details or anything else you’d like to make people aware of. As you may know, you can often leave those details elsewhere on your channel, but people may just watch the video and not visit your channel, so I’d suggest that you cover both bases.

So that’s it, once you’ve uploaded your video, promote it any way you can, as often as you can.

If this blog helps you make a video, please let me know and link us to it here at Elite Recordings, we’ll paste your link if you’ll paste ours.

UPDATE…

If you’re using Windows Movie Maker and want to add two audio tracks, here’s a video showing how you can do it. When using the software, there is no obvious way to do this, but the guy has used a bit of lateral thinking to solve the problem. I find that approach works myself when faced with problems in producing videos, music recordings and many other things where there’s no immediate solution, even when fixing things like cars and other things – just break the problem down to the basics and sometimes the answer’s obvious.

I’m not sure if this video is relevant to all versions of Windows Movie Maker, but it looks like it’s the 2012 version the guy’s using, I think a lot of people are still using that version.

As well as being very informative, this video is funny; the guy has a good sense of humour, which makes the video very entertaining, it did for me anyhow.

All the best,

Lee (Elite Recordings).

eliterecordings.com     facebook.com/eliterecordings     twitter.com/eliterecordings

Musical time travel

Just as a song you hear for the first time in years can evoke feelings and bring back childhood memories or recollections of things you did and places you used to go, a good tribute act can transport you back in time or leave you with a long, lost feeling of unease or elation.

As well as portraying the characteristics of a particular singer or band and delivering their repertoire in a time-honoured fashion we’re all familiar with, a quality tribute act can often do much more than become that singer or band and give us that special performance we might expect from the genuine article. They can be David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust once more or a rockin’ Elvis singing “Hound Dog” from way back in the fifties.

Through tribute acts, the superstars of music we know and love can be any age at any stage of their career. They provide us with the opportunity to relive those magic stage performances we may have thought were forever lost in time, or they give us the chance to experience what we may have missed all those years ago. Of course, more contemporary tribute acts cannot possible perform this “musical time travel”, but who knows, for some of the latest arrivals on the world music scene, future tribute acts will be taking that journey back to the here and now.

In thirty or forty years from now, who will appear on that distinguished roll of honour? Who knows! The best known acts of the current era can take us back five, ten, maybe twenty years; Bands such as Oasis, singers like Robbie Williams and a select few from the last five or ten years who’s music has managed to stand the test of time.

It remains to be seen whether groups like the Arctic Monkeys and the current crop of female solo artists for instance, will sustain the popularity and have the longevity to become the inspiration for tribute acts of the future.

Going to see a quality tribute act can not only provide us with an evening’s entertainment, but it can also remind us of times gone by in our own individual lives and bring back memories and forgotten feelings. Their performances can unlock parts of us which were helped shaped by those original acts who’s wonderful music became the soundtrack to our lives.

Lee,

Elite Acts

Choosing the right set: Have we got it covered?

Angels, Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, Is This The Way To Amarillo, Johnny B. Goode… songs that come up again and again from numerous live covers acts. And why not, they’re great songs. Material from modern bands and artists like Kings Of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, Amy Winehouse and so on, join Guns and Roses, Prince and Tina Turner on the “A” list of so many covers acts.

For a live act playing cover versions, one of the main ingredients must be the play list, or set as it’s often referred to. Just for argument’s sake, I’ll concentrate mainly on general pop music, which I suppose includes rock, rock and roll, r&b and soul, although I feel any genre applies to a large extent.

It’s hard to generalise because every venue’s different and there can be geographical variations in taste. For instance, in my experience, I’ve found pubs in central London often prefer more modern music than their counterparts in the Home Counties. Of course, that’s just my observation drawn from my own experience, but if it is often the case, it does give an act something to think about if they perform far and wide.

If we give our audience the same old familiar songs, are we just playing safe, or is that the whole point? Maybe it’s the familiarity of the content, performed well that’s the recipe for success. If we then drop in the occasional lesser known number, should we be concerned about the lack of applause? I feel this can be a dilemma faced by acts playing cover versions. Pleasing everyone all the time may not be possible, so perhaps the trick is getting the right balance of songs throughout the whole performance.

Occasionally, when covered, a song, or indeed a band or singer seems to have a limited shelf life of only a year or two. I wonder how many times a covers act has found that out the hard way. You may know that feeling when you feel you’ve done a great job of a song and wait for the applause, but all you get is a mere trickle at most. Another thing that can throw you is the fact that some audiences may not clap even though they’re enjoying the music. Again, I’ve found, thankfully not very often, that some venues can catch you out and I think it may be that the audience is very reserved and applauding is not the done thing. Cries of “more” at the end of the performance come as a nice surprise in some cases and any doubts we may have had about the set can soon disappear.

Of course, a powerful melody with strong lyrics is always a good bet, even if a song hasn’t been around for long, but if it’s been a big hit, it helps. Sticking to general pop, I’m sure songs like “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Buble and “Empire State Of Mind” by Alicia Keys have been extremely well covered for a while now and will continue to be on the set lists of many live covers acts. A recent favourite of mine is Adele’s “Someone Like You”, which seems to have both the melody and lyrical quality to be one of the top choices for quite a while.

For many covers acts, other factors that come from the performance, such as originality, flamboyancy or any number of things may prove more important than having hit songs in the set, I don’t know. Many variables must come into play, so it’s more with questions than opinions that I throw my hat into the ring. Experience probably tells us what works for us – I feel it’s a learning curve that leads to improved performances.

Lee,

Elite Acts

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