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  • 3 Jun 2020 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to all our members who joined us in the day of learning yesterday.  Blackout Tuesday was a day of silence, a day to pause and show respect but also a day to take stock and learn about how we can do better. 

    AMA-UK will now do more for our BAME members and work hard to encourage more BAME artists to join us  - we invite you to work with us on improving what we do  - if you have resources ideas or information about positive action we can take or that you have taken please do get involved, comment below to start this conversation or email if you want to share privately. 

    Being silent on Racism is not an option, AMA-UK accept this and we want to now work actively be more inclusive. 

    Here is some food for thought...

    Educate yourselves and others...Learn, read and share - be vocal about what you have learnt   - there is no shame in sharing that you have discovered you can do better 

    A good read: For Our White Friends Desiring To Be Allies 

    Resources to use with your children

    An comprehensive resource list from The Show Must Be Paused initiative 

    Donate if you can....We know lots of people are finding life very tough right now, especially financially so we are not saying you should donate, but if you want to help some of those who are in peril during th protests in the USA here are some places you can do that.

    List of Black Lives Matter Resources 

    Talk to each other...We are a wonderful community of members, we can help each other, we must keep this dialogue going  - we have spoken about this at conference most years, are we learning? are we doing better? let's keep this up, LET'S DO BETTER.

  • 3 Jun 2020 8:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Matt Hill

     Within a couple of weeks of lockdown it was clear this was going to have a big financial impact. I'm a freelance musician who does songwriting on community projects. I was working with people who had dementia and at homeless day centre. Both projects were cancelled. I had begun booking some  album  launch shows and tour dates for later in the year. Suddenly all those plans evaporated. I was starting to feel worried and a little bit sorry for myself. But life always has a way of giving me perspective and very soon a more pressing problem presented itself.  

    My friend Pauline Town supports homeless people from her pub and music venue in Greater Manchester . The gigs she puts on 5 nights a week raise money that helps feed and house the homeless people in the local town. It's a real community effort and musicians play gigs to help her out. But now she was facing a crisis - the pub had to shut and that meant no more gigs and no more money for packed lunches or rent deposits. 

    Joe Solo, a musician and activist, sprang into action and before I knew it I was helping Joe organise a virtual Facebook music festival. We hit up friends and contacts and soon we had 36 artists booked. We could have filled the bill three times over. Billy Bragg agreed to help us, Grace Petrie too, Sid Griffin from the Long Ryders and before long we had 26,000 people joining the private facebook group which became our festival site. Talk about learning curve! Artist liaison, stage management, graphic design, press, so much to learn. On Easter weekend we put on 12 hours of quality live music. People threw themselves into the festival spirit. We saw photos of bunting and banners, of tents set up in back gardens, BBQs, face painting. By the time it was over we'd raised £28,000. That money will keep Pauline going well into 2021. Securing the future of the vital work she does in one of the most deprived areas of the UK.  

    This virus has really brought home just how vulnerable we all are, but it's also showing the best of people. As a freelancer, living month to month,  I'm usually focussed on my own issues but it's good to volunteer time to others. My own problems didn't disappear but it felt amazing to help make that festival happen. Since then, thanks to an Arts Council Emergency grant, I'm weathering the storm and looking for the positives. I'm learning loads of new skills, especially around live streaming and audio/video production. I'm even recording a podcast. I've had much more time to devote to releasing my album and although I'm not able to tour it, the extra time will mean I can hopefully do a better job promoting it. It's certainly been an experience I will not forget.   

    Matt Hill's  Savage Pilgrims is released on July 6th

  • 26 May 2020 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Seminar Series for members

    Please LOG IN and go to the members area to link through to register for the seminars 

    Not yet a member? JOIN NOW 

    AMA-UK Community - Staying Connected, a series of seminars to help members with essential skills to thrive, connect and generate income during COVID-19.

    The seminars will be held every other Thursday at 12.30-1.30  - you will be prompted by email to sign up for FREE to join the seminar on ZOOM.  Each seminar will have a key speaker and there will be time for Q&A

    • Thurs 4th June - Understanding music publishing and collecting your publishing royalties - Lara Baker, Songtrust 
    • Thurs 18th June -Top tips for successful live streaming - Ben Tipple, Ticketmaster 
    • Thurs 2nd July - THIS ONE WILL BE AT 4PM as main speaker is from Austin Texas: The art of virtual co-writing - Graham Weber, House of Songs 
    • Thurs 16th July - Funding for artists during COVID-19 speakers TBC
    • Thurs 30th July - Get Played, Get Paid – An introduction to PPL
    • Thurs 13th August - Music Venues Trust, SAVE OUR VENUES  - Beverley Whitrick & Mark Davyd 
    • Thurs 27th August - Optimising your YouTube Presence -  Proper Music
    • Thurs 10th September - Role of Agents I the next phase of online shows  - matt Bartlett Midnight Mango 
    • Thurs 24th September Digital marketing and social media tips for artists - speaker TBA

  • 23 May 2020 2:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an artist, my initial reaction to lockdown was one of panic, I had gigs lined up, a new single and video to promote and also songs for a film that I had spent the past few months writing that was due to be pitched to studios in LA. 

    It soon dawned on me, through my panic, that everyone was in the same boat, and although the boat was partially sinking, I sensed a spirit of solidarity within our global musical community that was genuine and very welcome.

    So, I figured out how to film and broadcast a live video, not easy for someone who is a ‘technophobe’ and started doing fortnightly shows streaming through Facebook and Instagram and also put a shout out on my social media sites asking people to send in requests and dedications.

    I was really surprised by the response I got. Initially the idea of doing my first livestream was daunting, I guess that for me and most musicians who play live, the performer persona needs a certain amount of feedback from an audience - or to put it bluntly, it's good to feel the love, we thrive off it, it tends to feed a performance, and can often be the difference between a mediocre, and a really good show.

    I was unsure how this ‘love’ would translate into emojis and written comments, would it be enough? Would I be able to feel it, sitting in my kitchen with my cats wandering around and my teenage daughter blaring out Netflix upstairs? 

    As I sang the opening number I was pleasantly surprised to see heart and hug emojis floating up on my laptop beside me, and even happier to discover that they were making me feel good, little comments and requests bubbled up and people that I had not heard from in years suddenly appeared on the feed sending love and wishing me well. 

    I have since embraced livestreaming wholeheartedly with great results. I have experienced far more engagement with fans, my Spotify figures have increased by over 200% and the online launch of the video for my single, has attracted almost 5,000 views. Ok these are not massively high figures, but it is certainly a huge upturn for me.

    I've had to find a much more relaxed way to perform. It's just not the same as performing in front of 300, 3,000 people in a venue, and so I don't need to have the same amount of energy. 

    I've found that if I can approach it in a Zen-like way, embracing any technical difficulties, cats or teenagers that suddenly appear, then it is far more enjoyable and far less scary. 

    Afterall, that is what the audience will be doing, you are unlikely to get the full attention that you would at a gig, they will be cooking, gardening, chatting, bathing and all the other million things people do in the privacy of their own home.

    And that’s the beauty of it.

  • 16 May 2020 8:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     Photo credit : Jörg Detering

    First of all, let me count my blessings. I’ve still got my health, so far. I’ve got my family around me, we’ve got a roof over our heads, and we’re surrounded by woods and fields where we can go for walks without getting into a car or meeting anyone else. We are fortunate. 

    But ... I’m still feeling blindsided. I’ve been a full time musician for over twelve years, and it was starting to seem like I was getting somewhere. I really thought that at the end of my 49-show spring tour I’d be able to pay off a big chunk of the debt that I’ve been building along with my career. Now 39 of those shows have been cancelled, and it could be a long, long time before things get back to the way they were. 

    It’s not just the money worries that are getting to me; it’s the loss of the magic that happens when a bunch of people are in a room enjoying music together, whether they’re listening to a concert or taking part in a singaround, session or choir practice. I miss that magic so much. 

    Live-streaming isn’t a solution for me; I’d never be satisfied with the technical quality, and more importantly, I don’t feel that the magic would be there. So here’s an idea: 

    I wrote those words in an email to my newsletter subscribers at the beginning of May, along with an invitation to contribute towards the costs of that idea: an album to be recorded “as live” (minus audience) in a beautiful, inspiring setting, and filmed for a series of videos. The response has been amazing: three days after sending the email I was already halfway to my goal, although contributions have slowed since and I’ve got a ways to go … but it looks like the project will be able to happen whenever the lockdown permits, and I’m grateful for that.

    Of course, I’ll also need money to live on. I’ve been lucky enough to get grants from the Arts Council and PRS Foundation, and I should be getting something from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, but it won’t amount to much, as my profits have always been minimal. So I’ve set up a Patreon page and am pinning my hopes on that! 

    It’s even worse for my sound engineer, who’s not eligible for the SEISS as over 50% of his income was from short-term PAYE contracts at theatres; he can’t get Universal Credit either, because his partner has a job. He’s been working and paying taxes all his adult life, and he’s left with nothing.

    It is wonderfully heartening to see how the situation has been bringing out the kindness and generosity of so many people, but I worry for the future of all musicians, technicians and venue staff. Will we ever be able to get back to doing what we do and love best? I wish I knew the answer. Sending love to all!

  • 6 May 2020 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The AMA UK Takeover of Shut-in & Sing featuring Elles Bailey, Robert Vincent, Ferris & Sylvester & Martin Harley.

    May 6th
    3pm - 5pm BST
    8pm-10pm UK

    'Pay what you can' ticket so grab them while you can from Stage it and we shall see you on May 6th!

    A festival of songwriters joining forces to stay connected through music and community.

    This project has come together as a response to the COVID-19 quarantines. We thought, “What if we get to be together even more in these times? Not in person, but in innovation, creation and connection?” Ours is a small and grassroots community. We take care of each other in the good times and in the challenging times.

    Shut In & Sing is a roster of some of your favourite artists… and some people you’ve never heard of. Here is your chance to discover new music, to feel connected to one another and to us. By sharing resources, the artists have the possibility of making news fans and even ONE new person makes a difference in their world. Oh wait… ONE PERSON MAKES A DIFFERENCE? And we’ve reached the point of everything!

  • 5 May 2020 2:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shoulda Been and The Garden Gigs 

    When the lockdown began I started playing a game called ‘shoulda been’. April 5th, shoulda been in Aberdeen. April 11th shoulda been in Cottingham. Gilford, Cardiff, Kendal. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda. It left me feeling pretty low, counting those losses, because that’s exactly what they felt like – loss. A grief for the sudden absence of structured time, of the excitement before a live show, and of the opportunity to connect with new and existing audiences. I tend to write best when I’m on the road, melodies arriving alongside me at each new venue, and I missed the chance to meet them too.

    When it was suggested I play gigs online I resisted. I’d never done a Livestream before and was worried about not having any crowd interaction to bounce off of. If you can’t see the audiences faces or feel the room, how can you know if people are enjoying the gig?  How do you adjust your set to match the vibe of the room when there is no room? The idea of it all made me feel more vulnerable than the thought of being on any stage. I had to start thinking seriously about how I could find the confidence. 

    The first step was to think about where in my house I would feel most comfortable and the answer was: outside it. I knew I would be happiest heading out to the garden to be with just the birds and the sun to sings some songs. The afternoon rather than the evening seemed ideal as the sun was still out and people could have a little break during these days which seem to last so long now. I wanted to make it a relaxed and regular event rather than a one off gig with the pressure to wow and impress. I took requests from the audience so I could continue to feel connected to them, and also so I had a challenge during the week learning and rehearsing new songs.  This was to be a dependable date in the diary giving me – and maybe others - back some of the structure lost. 

    I did the first Garden Gig via Facebook Live on April 1st and, to my surprise, I loved it. I’ve found myself connected in a totally new way to my audience, a personal and intimate connection I could not have anticipated as we navigate these strange times together. My audience is also growing with people who click on shared videos sticking around, and with my neighbours who have coincidentally started rambling out to their own gardens at 2pm each Wednesday for tea. Through performing online I have found incentive to keep being creative, to keep writing, to keep looking forward. So while I’m still playing shoulda been my new game is trying to out-sing the local birds, and that is much more rewarding. 


    Twitter: @roseanne_reid



  • 30 Apr 2020 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the unfortunate consequences of the current lockdown has been a dramatic rise in domestic violence and charities are struggling to keep up with the increase in calls for help.

    The Blue Highways, started planning a cover of the classic Van Morrison track “Days Like This” to raise money for leading charity: Women’s Aid.


    Wanting to maximise its potential to raise as much money as possible, they wondered if other UK Americana artists might like to contribute their voices and/or their instruments.

    They got a fantastic response and the final list of artists reads like the line-up of a who’s who of British Americana, including vocals from the likes of Emily Barker, Robert Vincent, Pete Gow, Issy Ferris & Archie Sylvester, Lukas Drinkwater as well as Callum and Theo Lury from The Blue Highways.

    The Blue Highways recorded the core track and then called upon the instrumental skills of Henry Senior (pedal steel), Lewis Fowler (guitar), Jake Stanton (drums), Rhona Carse (trumpet), Archie Sylvester (guitar) and Eddy Smith (organ). Together, they have given the song a new, distinctive sound.

    “We chose the song because it somehow seemed apt. None of us have seen, or expected to see, days like this, and its message of coping with both the ups and downs of life reflects the current day-to-day reality for so many people” said Callum Lury, lead singer of The Blue Highways.

    Translating the idea into a recording was the next challenge for the band. With even the four members of The Blue Highways being in three different houses and the guest stars spread right across the country, it has been down to technology and the expert mixing skills of Julien Baraness to deliver a completely new and unique interpretation of the track.

    The band has put together a video of the artists performing from their respective homes alongside the track which is being pushed across social media. They are asking their audiences to donate to the #SupportSurvivors campaign to keep Women’s Aid’s Live Chat service available during this crucial period. The MP3 will also be made available to all individuals that donate.


    Days like this was first released by Van Morrison in 1995 on the album of the same name.

    Women’s Aid is a registered UK charity which has created a grassroots federation that works together to provide life-saving services and build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated.


  • 27 Apr 2020 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    556 Grassroots Music Venues in the UK are at imminent risk of being closed permanently.

    The situation is dire, government support has been exhausted, and it now falls to artists, music fans, local communities and the wider industry to take action

    Put bluntly, without these venues the opportunities for artists and audiences to connect in a meaningful way at a local level will simply disappear in a lot of cases.

    And if they go they will never come back.

    Please help us to help grassroots music venues to survive this unprecedented threat to their existence.

    Please help us to #saveourvenues

    More information on the WEBSITE HERE


  • 27 Apr 2020 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s strange to think in these hard and uncertain times everyone around the world is currently in the same situation. For the greater good we are all staying inside and keeping our social distance from each other. It is easy to fall into a slump and for the first couple of weeks that is how I spent it. I then said to myself I could be using this time to be more proactive and productive and seeing all the hard work the front line NHS have been and are currently doing I thought what could I do to help. 

    Over Christmas we released a song to raise money for a local Swansea charity for the homeless so I decided to do the same to help raise money for the NHS. So I got to work and over the next week or so I wrote and recorded a brand new song called ‘Change. Grow. Save.’ with the message of using this time to look out for one and other and also the world in general and seeing the world healing whilst we are all locked away is something to behold. 

    We’ve set up a Just Giving page  (link below) for people to donate what they can to the NHS and as a thank you we will send a free download of the song for every donation.

    I have also recorded an interesting video to go along with the song for people to see. This video is currently viewable on our Facebook Page (link below). We would love it if you could all go and check it out. 

    We hope to see you all again soon!


    Sons of Owen

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