The best in the world

Mike Dawes has been voted the best acoustic guitarist in the world.

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Music Radar (the No.1 website for musicians) has published the results of its 2017 poll.
The MusicRadar/Total Guitar Best in guitars 2017 polls received over 136,000 votes, the nominees were the guitarists and guitar gear that have excelled in 2017.

Mike is at number one.

I told him the news:

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“Woah, that’s incredibly flattering as this year has probably been the busiest yet. I set up a label, self-released and promoted a new record, new videos and toured literally ALL YEAR. It’s super nice that Musicradar acknowledges the grind. I just feel awkward as I’m the youngling on the list and most of the others are mates (or even extended family.) But yeah, sick. Thanks Musicradar!”

Mike will be coming back to university for Music Think Tank in February 2018.

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Go on Jed!!

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They’ve played with The Stones, The Who, Guns’n’Roses, Mötley Crüe and The Killers. Now Jed Elliot’s band The Struts is going on tour with The Foo Fighters.

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“After studying Commercial Music at Bath Spa University I had the opportunity to join a new band called The Struts. We signed with Virgin EMI and toured extensively across the UK and into France for 3 or 4 years, leading to a support show with The Rolling Stones in Paris. This attracted the attention of management based in America and in 2015 we signed with Interscope Records and relocated to LA.”

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The band has spent the last two years touring the USA and Japan and is currently recording the second album ready for a 2018 release.

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“I feel that the Commercial Music course inspired me to improve not only as a musician but also equipped me with the skills to form relationships in the music industry, based on an understanding of the roles involved.
I was able to have a solid idea of how to treat my band as a product, without inhibiting the creativity, and this proved invaluable when it came to management and record label discussions. I also developed production skills, became much more confident as a performer and fell even more in love with music. I have a lot to thank the course for!”

Tour dates and more at www.thestruts.com

Foo dates:

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The future will either be green or not at all.

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Ben Green is busy.
His band Pattern Pusher has just recorded an album with John Cornfield (Muse, Supergrass…) and a release is imminent.
“I also played Beautiful Days three times last year, culminating in sharing a stage with The Levellers while playing bass for the Rev Hammer band.”

He has also just started a job teaching music tech, entrepreneurship and events (and “teaching kids how to make synths and drum machines go ‘bleep-bloop’ in a satisfying manner”) to BTEC and Foundation students at the Exeter Academy of Sound.

Pattern Pusher, the band Ben plays synth and bass in, is supporting Dutch Uncles at Moles in Bath on October 6th. (£10 adv but he’s got some £6 tickets that I’m fairly sure you could tap into if you get in touch with him.)

Chris has got a job…everywhere!

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Chris Johnston has got a job working in sales for Paxt, an international distribution company selling sound equipment and DJ gear to retailers in the developing world.

The Cambridge-based company has been around for 30 years and has relationships with thousands of distributors, exporters and retailers throughout the Middle east, Africa, Eastern Europe and India.

“Paxt represents brands such as Roland, Numark, Focusrite, Marshall and Pioneer. At the moment I’m in charge of accounts from Africa, the Middle East and India so this will mean travelling all over the place eventually which is exciting!”

Good luck Chris. Send us a postcard.

Jaidon has got a job in London

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CM legend Jaidon Kent has got a job as a Music Licensing Agent with the PRS at the Kings Cross office in London.

“I will be communicating with labels, venues, businesses and other members on music usage claims, new licenses and other queries. That’s all I really know about it at the moment, I start on Monday!”

“I’ve spent every day for the past year looking for a music industry job, so it feels amazing that it’s paid off. CM really inspired me over the three years and beyond. Having the CM degree is a small part of it, the rest is all about the people I was surrounded by, the support from lecturers (even a year on!) and the realisation that I can bring something to the music industry.”

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Amber has got a job in London

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Amber Dee is working for the live team at the PRS.

“I look after the PRS accounts of music venues and festivals in the UK. I’m the first point of contact when they have questions about how to categorise events, which events need to be covered by PRS and what information they need to collect from the artists and promoters.
The work I do means that the royalties are collected from the venues, then we have these royalties to distribute to the artists.
I went to V Festival where I had to find the artists backstage and ask them for their set lists so that we could make sure they got their royalties. It’s a big thing, especially for up and coming singer-songwriters as it helps fund them to continue what they’re doing. I’ve learned a lot about royalties and different types of music venues and events. Music copyright is very complicated.”

Phil has got a job in London

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Phil Yates is working at the London office of WME, an American talent agency with an impressive (and massive) roster.

Here’s a quick alphabet of some of the clients:
Air, Burt Bacharach, Cypress Hill, Duran Duran, Eagles of Death Metal, Faith No More, Goo Goo Dolls, HAIM, Ice-T, Jet, Keane, LL Cool J, Maroon 5, N.E.R.D., Outkast, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Skrillex, Toto, Underworld, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, XTRMST, Yusaf, Zero 7.

“I set up video conferences with the other offices in Beverly Hills and New York, and most day-to-day office things like visitors coming to see agents etc. I’m on track to go into music central in 4-5 months which will be doing ticket counts.
It’s such a great opportunity as we have 31,000 clients worldwide spread over TV, film, books, music, digital and commercials.”

“Working at WME is really humbling knowing that 60% of the current agents have gone through my job role. I certainly wouldn’t be at this company if it weren’t for the Tour module, as in all honesty, that was my only selling point!”

Brilliant.