Welcome to Our Music Page

stromectolice.com is not only about keeping alive the spirit of those who have left us, it is also about helping people, particularly the young, get a foot on the ladder through music & the arts.

Thirty five years after the demise of the first UK offshore pirate stations we are still left with a situation where talented young people are unable to get their music heard on mainstream radio & television. Even their own local radio stations refuse to play their songs. This is unacceptable.

The young should be encouraged to exploit their talent, particularly those who are unable to find work, and it is up to government to provide the conduit for this.

We are happy and proud to support a number of groups & solo singers whose work, we believe, is exceptional in their field. We hope you will support us by booking them for your local gig, concert or event.

October 2008

We've been saying it for years - the BBC, who are publicly funded via the licence fee, should be forced to include a quota of unsigned music on each of their music networks. This will open up a whole new world for the thousands and thousands of singers, songwriters and musicians who are not given a chance to get their music played on radio or television. These acts don't want to take part in X-Factor, they just want the same opportunities as their signed counterparts who get their mediocre songs played again & again on the BBC

Just have a look at what happened to No Fixed Abode & you'll see why things have to change. Why is it that one or two people sitting in plush offices, paid for by the licence fee payer, can dictate what the country sees & hears. These same people, influenced by the continual bombardment from record companies, have little connection with their audience & they rely on charts, funded by record companies, when compiling their playlists.

It's time for change.
Folk fans bombard radio chiefs

No Fixed Abode: Tony Dean and Una Walsh

08 October 2008

A FED-UP folk band is urging its fans to help them get airplay after being silenced by radio producers.
Talented Tony Dean and Una Walsh, who front 'No Fixed Abode' approached Radio 2 in the hope they could play their band's music. But, despite 1,000 requests being sent from fans to the station, the band — who record at The Foundry in Church Way, Chesterfield — are still no nearer to hearing their tunes on national airwaves.

Tony (50), said: "We are trying to impress on Radio 2 there is a market for our music. "But, we have found because we are over 40, we are not youngsters and are not signed, we are just dismissed. "I think it's disappointing. Radio 2 is a public funded broadcaster, but does not support that much unsigned talent unless it's walked in by record companies.

"How many people, even signed, can get 1,000 requests into the radio?"

Tony and Una, who live at Buckfast Close, Swanwick, near Alfreton, gave up their day jobs three years ago to focus on their music and their albums feature a number of Chesterfield musicians. The band is now urging more people to email the radio station in a bid to get their sound heard.

An email from Radio 2's head of music to the band, said the station received literally hundreds of records, MP3s and links per week and it is producers' 'editorial prerogative' in conjunction with presenters to play what they feel fits their show. A spokesman from the radio station said: "The network operates what they believe to be a fair music policy allowing them to select the best music for a very broad audience."

He added that the station wished the band well and would consider any future material

Internet radio stations across the globe have already played the band's music and the Derbyshire Times has also put on its website the song 'Absent Friends' which they sent in to Radio 2.

Do you think the song should get airplay? Visit No Fixed Abode's website at www.freewebs.com/musicnfa for more information.

With thanks to The Derbyshire Times

July 2008

What have we been saying for all these years? It's seems that the US is way ahead of the UK when it comes to unsigned music if Jerry Del Colliano's Inside Media Newsletter is anything to go by it could be that major radio stations could switch to playing unsigned music instead of music signed to record companies. He says "Greater Media's WBT in Charlotte is standing up to the record industry. Ever cost-conscious these days, WBT has had it with spending $30,000 a year on royalty fees for one show -- "Boomer" Von Cannon's "Time Machine" oldies show. Don't get me wrong, I'm sorry to see the show go. Maybe, for now, the show needs to go to a music station in town.

WBT, except for that show, a non-music station, is giving the first indication of what it could be like for the record industry if the labels succeed at winning repeal of radio's performance tax exemption. A House subcommittee has approved a bill that would add an additional performance tax onto radio station budgets. There could be a showdown in the full House where the NAB has been lining up Congressmen who are friends of radio. This kind of suspense we don't need.

Back to WBT.

So, WBT will save $30,000 annually and the labels lose a mere pittance.

Now imagine this -- and I've been saying this all along -- radio should get away from licensed music anyway.

I know you think I've lost it -- too much time around the next generation, the heat of summer in Arizona, etc. But, the labels think you need their music.

To some extent you do, but if the next generation matters -- and they listen to more things not on a radio playlist than on it, you'd probably be helping your bottom line and your audience if you featured music that is not protected by copyright.

Of course, you won't do that.

So the labels will continue to own the radio industry and eventually impose more charges on stations that are unable to sustain them now. Additional taxes won't come this year or next, but they're possible soon -- just what the radio industry doesn't need.

But an act of courage -- one act -- could send a powerful message.

May I?

1. A national new music day -- featuring artists who gladly give you the right to play their music. Don't have make it a "cause" on the air if you'd rather not. Just new music from beginning to end. Rest the old tired (copyright protected) playlist for a day. Scare the labels.

2. If that doesn't work, do it the following month again. Then, twice a month.

3. If your ratings actually go up (as I'm predicting) because you have finally discovered that listeners in this day and age can get this music elsewhere if you don't want to play it, then you'll get even more courage.

4. Schedule one of these one-day marathons (all unlicensed music in your format genre) on a day the radio industry descends on Washington for a march on the Capitol (wake up, NAB). Then, if you have a Congressman in your district that favors repeal of the performance exemption, make sure their names are on the air (with phone numbers and email addresses) the way you usually do one liners for less important programming elements. Now that's pressure.

Of course, don't be surprised if your listeners actually hope radio's performance tax is repealed because these one day previews will be just what they've been asking for -- for decades.

More variety and less repetition -- not just liners and sweepers saying so.

Hell, you can even throw in fewer commercials that day and really knock them dead.

What radio doesn't get is that unlicensed artists and all types of new music will make their stations sound better and attract younger audiences.

What the labels don't understand is to shut up, take the current ASCAP, BMI, etc. fees and leave well enough alone. Let radio think that they can't survive without playing the same music over and over again.

Thus, the farce.

Radio would be better off with more unlicensed performers.

And the labels would be better off if they dropped the subject of repealing radio's performance exemption.

Imagine the message WBT is sending with their news/talk station but on thousands of stations.

Or, imagine paying more money for the music younger listeners are sick of hearing.

Next move is yours.


Editor: Thanks Jerry, you've hit it in a nutshell.


May 2008

We are pleased to announce details of an Unsigned Showcase to be held in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire on Saturday June 21st. The showcase will feature a number of acts we are supporting including, Inlight, No Fixed Abode and Souljacker. The event will also feature a question & answer session hosted by former NME editor Steve Sutherland. The panel will include Simon Gavin from Universal and Andrew Bishop, MD, Carlsbro Electronics. For more details log onto:

www.northcotswoldonline.com

Tune into North Cotswold Community Radio for further details about the Unsigned Top 40, to hear the best in new unsigned music and for more news of future events.

May 2007

A revolution is starting to happen & it’s building pace. Unsigned music is slowly beginning to impact on the commercial marketplace & the current music industry model has to rapidly change otherwise it will die. However, the existing model is being held together by the BBC & commercial radio stations whose music programmes are guided by an industry chart that is easily manipulated and falsified. We have more or less given up trying to persuade the BBC to play more unsigned music. It is clear that the Board of Governors, management & the DJ’s themselves are only willing to pay lip service to unsigned music. Online features and a few plays at night do not make for a major shift in policy.

We have decided that the time is right to launch a series of radio stations aimed at highlighting the quality of unsigned music. The first is already accessible at www.northcotswoldonline.com and others will follow. Each week we will be compiling a chart featuring the Top 40 unsigned songs. This chart will form the basis of our daytime programmes with evenings dedicated to Rock, Dance or other genres of music. A download facility will be available where listeners will not only be able to buy the music they like but find out more about the artist or songwriter. Once our chart has been established we hope to put on a number of concerts featuring unsigned acts and will be supporting these acts with a booking agency & management.

February 2006

Our on-going campaign to persuade the BBC to play more unsigned music is finally starting to pay off.  We understand that the BBC will shortly be announcing a new initiative where new music will be taking centre stage.  Although this concession does not go the full way to playing unsigned music during the daytime we believe that it is the best we can get in the circumstances. Sadly, the BBC is still motivated by the same commercial desires that drive most other radio stations and so we, the licence payers, are not getting the best out of a public corporation that should be doing more to highlight the wealth of talent in this country.

We applaud their efforts to devolve some programming to the regions but believe that music led radio stations, such as Radio 1 & 2, should have been the first to move away from their London base.  By doing this, in one fell swoop, they would have thrown off the shackles that have tied them to the record industry and opened up the market to new types of music, not dominated by the major record companies in London, or the record charts that are so easily manipulated by those self same companies.

Watch this space...

November 2005

It’s not often that a well-known personality comes out in favour of unsigned music however the following article appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday 9th November.

Parky on song

He may be the softest interviewer on television, but you have to hand it to Michael Parkinson: he knows how to showcase young talent. And on Monday night, Parky was honoured with the 2005 Music Industry Trust's Award for bringing new acts such as Katie Melua and Jamie Cullum to our screens.
Not that Parky had ever sought such an accolade. "I was baffled to be chosen," he told me. "I just put on the music I like; I certainly don't regard myself as a talent-spotter. But too many outlets just go for mass appeal these days. The X Factor is a good game, but it's got nowt to do with the kind of music I like.
"There ought to be an Alternative X Factor for all those musicians who can't get on television: creative people who don't just emulate others, but write their own songs. I'd be happy to judge it."

July 2005

After many, many months of wrangling, deliberation & delay the Anti-Trust Registry of the European Commission and the Office of Fair Trading in London have ruled on our submission.  The outcome is as expected; that they believe there is no cartel or arrangement in place, between large record companies and broadcasters in the United Kingdom, that denies unsigned acts the ability to get their music heard on UK radio or television.  Over the past year or so we have tried everything to make the decision makers aware that larger record companies, or their affiliates, account for over 85% of music sales in the United Kingdom.  We have also made them aware that, in our view, the close relationship between decision makers in the BBC & the company that compiles the music chart is not in the public interest as it distorts the record charts and the market in general.  We have also put forward the argument that collusion & anti-competitive practices are not allowing new players to enter the UK music market place.  This has resulted in individual singers, songwriters & musicians having to sign away rights to their music when modern technology allows them to market this themselves.  Despite our continuing protestations nothing is to be done.

We are saddened that our submission has not been taken seriously and that a proper review of existing arrangements has not been instigated.  We are also saddened, despite a continuing campaign to get the BBC to play more unsigned music, that they do not feel obliged to even discuss the issue in any great detail. We, the licence fee payers are, as usual, the losers.

We are not asking radio & television stations to stop playing music released by larger record labels, just to spread the jam more evenly by including unsigned music on their playlists or during daytime programming.

We’re not asking too much, we’re just asking them to listen.

October 2004

We would like to thank a number of radio stations, individual presenters and producers for their continuing support for unsigned acts. Please support them by listening to their programmes on the following radio stations:

Jeff Cooper 2XS www.radio2xs.com

Michelle Around Midnight BBC GMR www.bbc.co.uk/gmr

Martin Ballard BBC Radio Leicester www.bbc.co.uk/leicester

Malcolm Finlayson Radio North Angus www.radionorthangus.co.uk

John Holmes BBC Radio Nottingham www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham

Olympic Radio www.olympicradio.co.uk

Ian Anderson SIBC www.sibc.co.uk

The following radio stations have stated that they will not play unsigned music on a regular basis:

• BBC Radio 2
• BBC Radio Kent
• Fosseway Radio
• Lincs FM
• Huddersfield Home 107.9
• UCB

Most other BBC & Commercial radio stations have also indicated that they will be unwilling to play any unsigned music on a regular basis.

As it is more or less impossible to break the stranglehold that London based record companies have over the BBC & Commercial Radio Stations we are submitting a number of documents to the Anti-Trust Registry of the European Commission and the Office of Fair Trading. These prove that collusion & anti-competitive practices are not allowing new players to enter the UK music market place. This has also resulted in individual singers, songwriters & musicians having to sign away their music when modern technology allows them to market this themselves.

September 2004

The first stromectolice.com compilation "The First Step" is released. The CD is available in the shops or via mail order, priced £10 + postage (50p in UK). To order your copy send an e-mail to [email protected] giving your name & address.

February 2004

In October 2003 we submitted a complaint to the Competition DG, European Commission about the treatment meted out to unsigned recording acts by public organisations, such as the BBC, and commercial radio & television companies.

Several months later we have received an official response asking us to submit material information that could lead to a fully blown investigation into the activities of those companies that operate “restrictive practices and agreements” to the detriment of unsigned musicians or singers.

Over the next few months we will compiling a dossier of evidence to support our claim and will also put forward suggestions on how a level playing field can be created for the future.

If you wish to submit your own evidence you can write to the Commission at the following address:-

FAO: Dr Herbert Ungerer
Competition DG
European Commission
B-1049 Brussels
BELGIUM

If you wish for your evidence to be grouped with our submission please e-mail this to us at:

[email protected]

or write to the following address:-

stromectolice.com
PO Box 100
Moreton-In-Marsh
Gloucestershire
GL56 0ZX

December 2003

We are also happy to report that organisations, such as the BBC, are starting to appreciate the worth of the unsigned artiste. However, they are not doing enough to support these acts who do not have a record company to back them. We have asked the BBC to introduce a quota, similar to the independent production quota, so that unsigned artistes are able to get their music heard during the daytime on BBC radio. We at stromectolice.com believe that it is wrong for our public service broadcaster to only play music supplied by record companies when there is a wealth of unsigned talent that cannot be heard.

To create a level playing field more must be done to convince decision makers that unsigned music has a role to play in the music industry of the future. However, at the present time, broadcasters are reluctant to commit to playing unsigned music therefore we have written to the Anti-Trust Registry of the European Union and to the Office of Fair Trading to ask them to investigate the cartel that is being operated between record companies and broadcasters in the UK. We have pointed out that no other industry would be allowed to operate a system where one supplier, the record company, is given more beneficial treatment than other suppliers, the unsigned artiste. We have asked for this cosy relationship, which has been built up over the years, to stop and have put forward a number of suggestions on how this can be done. The first is to move BBC music production to the regions thereby reducing the influence of London based record companies. The second is to reduce the influence of the music programmers who can be narrow minded and influenced by their own taste in music. We believe that presenters should be allowed to choose their own music. This will not only help to widen the choice of music heard on public radio but will add back the creative element that has been lost in music programming over the years.

If you have experienced a situation where you have been put at a disadvantage because of an agreement or understanding between a broadcaster and record company we would like to hear from you. As part of our submission to the OFT we need to put forward a number of cases that highlight the many complex issues that make up the basis of our claim. Please forward your submission by e-mail to: [email protected] or write to: stromectolice.com, po box 100, moreton-in-marsh, gloucestershire GL56 0ZX.

June 2003

stromectolice.com asks you to support our campaign to obtain a better deal for unsigned acts by clicking on the document link below. Here you will find the suggested format for a letter that you can send to your MP or to the BPI. If you are a band, artist or manager, or if you put on live music events, please help us to help you. It's your future!

Click here to copy and paste a letter to be sent to Peter Jamieson, Chairman of the BPI, asking him to put a resolution to his members that they introduce an A&R ‘kitemark' for unsigned artistes. This will help ensure better treatment for those who send demos to BPI member companies. Hopefully, it will also promote a better understanding between people in the industry and those who seek to make a career in music.

Click here to copy and paste a letter to be sent to your MP asking for help and support in obtaining a better deal for unsigned acts and, in turn, live music venues. With enough support we aim to bring about a statutory or voluntary quota for unsigned music on local, regional & national radio. Our longer term objective is to see the development of a network of local stations promoting unsigned acts and live music venues.

The following article, written by Robb Eden, appeared in Music Week, w/e 8th March 2003.

Off The Record

Today I have written a letter. Perhaps a letter I should have written many, many months ago. Written at a time when many people in the industry are talking of a ‘downturn' the letter points a finger at those record companies who fail to respond to the very people who buy their records and who have supported their acts over the years. The letter was written on behalf of the numerous ‘unsigned' acts who send demos to record companies hoping that theirs will be heard. If my experience is anything to go by then 99% of these will not be replied to. That is a terrible indictment of an industry which moans & whinges when these very same kids download songs from the internet. Let's have some respect!

At a time when the face of the industry is rapidly changing perhaps management should reflect on the way they will be doing business in the future. I think that we all would agree that the internet will play a major part in this. But, unless record companies are careful, the future could be a future without them. You see, for the first time, the artist is moving toward a position of strength. Not only can they produce product to the same, if not better, standards than the professionals they can also distribute this to a worldwide audience so cutting out the middlemen who, for so long, have attempted to keep them out of the loop.

Here in the UK, where regionalisation is being talked about as if it were something new, a ‘breath of fresh air' could radically change the way in which the record industry operates. Maybe the fact that most record & media companies are centred in London could be just one of the reasons why the industry is not hearing the voice of those of us fed up with being force fed manufactured product. A move to the regions would help A&R staff focus on the music rather than short lived trends generated by those intent on cultivating a narrow minded industry dominated by their type of music.

Only one factor stops the artist from taking complete control right now and that's exposure. The cosy relationship between record companies & media companies could be broken if the government allows further deregulation of radio leading to local & regional stations which promote home grown talent. Once this happens the vital link that stops the artist taking control will be put in place. At that time, I predict a growth in live music, a resurgence of interest in many genres of music lost in the ether and a revitalisation of an industry that desperately needs to review where it's going before it's too late.

By the way, that letter, the one I've been talking about, was sent to Peter Jamieson at the BPI . I have asked Peter to persuade BPI members to adopt an A&R code of practice, a kitemark, so that budding artists will be safe in the knowledge that their music is and always will be taken seriously. I am sure that, if this were to become standard, both the artist and record buyer will support an industry which, in the past, has done little to persuade the record buying public of the value of the product they are buying.


Robb Eden is the manager of unsigned act Surefire, (www.surefireuk.com). Previously worked in promotion & artist development at Capitol Records and in A&R at EMI Europe. He worked for many years in the broadcast industry.