Downloading…

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Charlie Pollard is busy.
His band Wallflower is in the middle of a UK tour and has gigs lined up for the rest of the year including appearances at 2000 Trees, Great Escape and…Download (on Aerosmith day.)
Plus there’s a new album set for release this summer.
AND, he’s in another band called Big Bug and you can read about that here.

He’s Only Human

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Human by Rag’n’Bone Man is out today and (literal, actual CM legend) Ben Jackson-Cook plays piano on it. And he is the band’s MD.

“The job means I’m responsible for the live band and Rory’s live performance. This can mean choosing musicians, creating new arrangements, organising live lounge covers, creating track if needed. It also stretches to making sure the musicians are paid correctly and looked after. I’ve been working with Rory for two years, and before I was playing for other major label artists in London”

After graduation Ben got a job with his friends from CM working for Disney Cruise Line in the US for a year before heading back to London where he got stuck into some serious networking.

“I’d go to lots of pop gigs and find out who the musicians who were in the band, add them on Facebook and hope that one day they would need a keyboard player urgently and I could save the day, which worked a couple of times. I met a couple of fixers in London, who helped me with my first TV work with X Factor. I got in contact with ex Bath Spa student Sam Kennedy who is musical director for Foxes, and who gave me great advice and also my first bits of MD work. I then ended up playing for Foxes when Sam wasn’t free. Other people I’ve played for include Omi, Angel, Kelvin Jones, Little Mix, The Beach, Ben Haenow, Mollie King (The Saturdays) and Ella Eyre.”

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Last year Rag’n’Bone Man played Montreaux Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, North Sea Jazz and travelled across Europe, Australia and the States.Along with these gigs and festivals the band has been doing a lot of TV including Jools Holland, Jimmy Fallon and Graham Norton.
Which goes out tonight!

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Breaking Bad

Bad Sounds are on the up. And Sam Hunt is on the bass.

Bad Sounds Press Shots 2016, Bath UK

This is what the Guardian says:

If you liked Beck when he was trying to be Prince rather than when he was trying to be Nick Drake and if you like 70s dance music with an 80s production gloss and a 90s baggy undercarriage that invites 60s-style exclamations of appreciation, then you’ll love Bad Sounds. Radio 1’s Annie Mac does – she made one of the band’s singles, Wages, hottest record in the world, and another, Avalanche, tune of the week. People are currently making their musical predictions for 2017. People are also currently complaining about the proliferation of musical predictions for 2017. Still, if you’re a betting type, the smart money is on Bad Sounds.

Which was nice.
And this is what Sam says:

“I was the last to join Bad Sounds but I had actually played with them whilst at Bath Spa, supporting their old band a few times. I always thought that I really wanted to be in their band, and hey ho they started something new and it happened!
I’m really into sampling and synthesizers and when I first went round to meet the band they had tons of gear like I did, so it all fitted. I think there are more Akai MPCs in the band than actual people, and there are 5 of us!
We practised a lot and did a lot of very bad shows in the beginning, like everyone does. More and more stuff got written and better songs came around, the set got stronger and then the BBC started to get interested. The “Introducing” folk helped to push the songs out to the broader radio waves, and after some videos and loads of shows, Annie Mac started to play us lots. We got an “Introducing” slot at Glastonbury and a few other cool opportunities, like an academy sized UK tour support slot. We did 2 final headline shows for 2016 in London and Bristol which both sold out, so yeah, it’s going alright. Hopefully next year will be even better.”

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Oh, oh, oh it’s magic…

Sam Kennedy (ROMANS, Foxes) is fast-developing another career; as a magician.
Please see below for further evidence…

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“Music has given me a lot of things over the last 10 years…I’ve traveled the world, made some best friends and am grateful that I have got to tick a lot of those ‘cool’ musical fun boxes. However, the most random thing music gave me was the time and inspiration to learn “Magic”. Not the White Rabbit, White Glove, Magic Wand and Cups and Balls kind – but the WTF you’ve unlocked my phone and read my mind, stolen my watch and boomeranged a card around my head kind.

I had a ‘right place, right time’ moment on tour with Coldplay this year, where Chris Martin asked me to open one of their stadium shows in the US with a 20 minute close-up magic show. He was even kind enough to introduce me on stage…which made me feel slightly better about the 24 hours notice I had to prepare the performance as a magician!”

www.maddoxmagic.com

Aaaand, she’s off!

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Lil Patuck is the new “Research and Development Executive” at Music Ally.

Music Ally delivers information and training to labels, artists, DSPs, universities and publishing companies on digital technology, digital marketing, social media and all the latest news and developments across the digital spectrum.

“In my second year I was keen to do an internship over the Easter holidays so approached Nigel about it who told me that someone from Music Ally was coming in on that day to talk at our Music Think Tank lecture. So 2 hours later (after frantically Googling Music Ally) I was introduced to the guest speaker. He said they needed someone to come in and handle data, and I said “yeah, yeah sure! I love data!” After an interview in London I started interning two days a week, living out of a rucksack, staying on sofas and in creepy Airbnbs.”

Lil applied for the Cullum Family Award to fund her travel and accommodation, and got money to support the internship.

“I never would have survived without that. I would recommend anyone wanting to do something outside of university apply for this funding. John Cullum is a great guy and has an amazing grasp of how important it is to discover other avenues in the industry.”

After four months Lil was offered a part time job and worked 2 days per week throughout the third year (“which was incredibly difficult”) and now following graduation she has started a full-time role as “Research and Development Executive” where she coordinates events, research for training modules and writes articles on marketing platforms, startups and artist marketing campaigns.

“I’d worked really hard and become responsible for the projects I worked on, so it was amazing to know they trusted me to continue. The work is nerdy and meticulous, and I love it.”

In November she met with the London team of Sofar Sounds and was asked to found the first ever Sofar Sounds Bath, which involved managing a team and putting on secret gigs as part of a worldwide brand.

“I never would have got here with the CM course – and certainly not without their support and lenience with all the travel etc. It all started with a vague conversation in Nigel’s office about wanting to maybe be a music journalist, you know, something like that? And now I’m an adult with a grown up job.”

Lil will be a guest speaker at Music Think Tank in 2017.

The Kids Are Alright

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Bruce Galliver’s time as president of the Students’ Union comes to an end today. At 3pm!
Bruce graduated in 2014 which is when his 2 years at the SU began.

This month’s CM Grads post is a Galliver special.

On Commercial Music we have a long session at the start of the year where the new students stand up one by one, introduce themselves to the cohort, talk about their musical influences and play some songs. When Bruce was in the 1st Year he volunteered to go first. I’m not saying that volunteering to go first will necessarily lead to becoming the president of the SU, but it’s certainly an idea worth considering.

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We sat down for a chat this week and talked about Bruce’s journey and his approach to the job. So here for your enjoyment is Bruce’s last interview as the president of Bath Spa University Student’s Union.

How did this journey begin?
The first time I ran for president I was a 3rd year student and a lot of the motivation behind that came from how broad my student experience had been. As well as doing the coursework on Commercial Music I was also in 5 or 6 clubs and societies as well. I joined the Meditation Society, the Surf Society, started the Gymnastic Society, ran the live sound at the SU and attended the course rep meetings.
I felt that through the things I was doing, the people I was meeting and the different facets of the university I was involved in, that I’d gathered a broad understanding of what the place meant and was starting to get ideas about things that I thought I could improve.
I really started entertaining the idea of running for president and after talking about it to a few people and realising how much I enjoyed the leadership elements (such as the leading the gymnastics society and feeding back about how other students felt about the course etc) that to take it to a more significant level of responsibility felt like a natural progression.
It just felt really good!

What were some of the ideas that shaped your approach to the job?
We had a hustings with all of the candidates for the roles answering questions from the floor and I was asked about great leaders that I aspire to. I cited Carl Sagan. I was really inspired by his idea of the planet being a human family, one home, and you can say that a university is a microcosm of that.
I felt that I was right in the centre of the community and that I’d turned a lot of the stones over that were available to turn over during the student experience and I’d got a feel for the potential that was beyond that. I felt strongly drawn to the idea of being able to have an influence on it.
The journey that I’ve been on has been about understanding more and more ways of making a significant impact. I wasn’t interested in quick wins that are difficult to see, easy to miss and quickly forgotten, so the way I approach the work is to focus on the areas where I see the greatest potential for impact.

What are you going to do next?
Because the intensity of this role means that I haven’t seen my family and friends as much as I would have liked to then what I’d like to spend quite a lot of my time doing before taking any developmental next steps into a career or anything, is to go and say hello to them, talk to them and find out what it’s like outside my life here. To be honest, it’s quite difficult to know what it’s like not doing this job now.
So I’m going to understand that first in a pretty laid-back fashion. And then probably towards the end of the summer I’ll start thinking about which of the different things that I’ve learnt in this role I want to pursue.
It’s given me a lot of options. Everything that surrounds what it means to work in a big organisation, things I’ve learnt about organisational culture, how to write a strategy for a charity, everything I learnt as a student, the creative stuff…
One thing that I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to is creative personal expression outside an agenda related to a job.

Are you still playing the guitar?
Erm…….…(thinks)………I can still play the guitar!

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This is not a complete list, but during his time as president Bruce has:

  • Led on the development of a new strategy (The Big Plan) with the SU which has just been launched.
  • Introduced another sabbatical officer position (Vice President – Education) so there are now more student leaders and more opportunities for the union to be more effective.
  • Improved the transport available to students. Including the free bus from Sion Hill to Newton Park.
  • Hosted “Who Should Run Your Bath?” at Komedia prior to the general election with all of the Bath parliamentary candidates. Students were invited to hear from and put questions to the prospective MPs.
  • Created Facebook groups for every block of accommodation in order to shield the freshers from aggressive promotion from venues in Bath and create a cohesive network for new students.
  • Got an in principle agreement from a University committee that students shouldn’t be fielding the cost of printing for work that can be marked online.
  • Organised a conference to give students the opportunity to feed into the university strategy.
  • Submitted a response to the government’s Higher Education Green Paper.
  • Ensured that the student voice is heard through the university’s undergraduate framework review (ahead of the new scheme’s launch in 2017.)
  • Raised £600 for Comic Relief by shaving his head. His hair went to the Little Princess Trust.
  • Ran the Teaching Awards (re-branded as the Staff Oscars for next year) and sent feedback to every member of staff that had been nominated over the last 2 years.
  • Helped to revamp the Student’s Union Awards.
  • Organised cleaners for the kitchens and communal areas at the Gardens accommodation.
  • Successfully responded to the student request for a microwave in Commons.
  • Ran workshops with a local creative collaboration organisation to give students more opportunities to collaborate across courses and with people from outside the university.
  • Organised a series of Wellbeing Wednesdays to promote conversations about wellbeing and signpost students to the university’s support sevices.
  • Bought a dimension of student engagement to the Board of Governors (the university’s most senior group) and increased the degree of student representation on other senior university committees.
    Worked with students on numerous campaigns such as the EU referendum, trigger warnings on course material, timetabling issues for joint honours students, more events at Sion Hill, hidden course costs and international students rights.

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Bruce didn’t get where he is today just by making great videos for campaigns and initiatives. But he certainly made a lot of them on his way there.
Here are just a few of them:



Good luck with everything in the future Bruce.
Don’t forget to come back and visit!!

Hold The Front Page!

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This just in:
CM legend George Huitson (Class of 2008) has got a new job as account manager on the Sales and Optimisation team at the Guardian.
”It’s an honour for me to say I’m part of a team that makes up the most trusted newspaper in the UK, something I’m extremely proud of.”

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Today’s Guardian

George joins the Guardian from her current job at Trinity Mirror. Along the way she has also worked at Sony, Universal and EMI in New York.
“When I finished my degree I decided to go to New York. Pack up all my things without knowing anyone and…work for a record label for 7 months.
Without Commercial Music I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do that.”
Good luck George.