Been There, Done That, Lost My T-Shirt... with Alt-J
If you are a new artist looking to make it BIG or dare I say it, make a career or even money out of your music then you've no doubt realised already that you have to be in for the long haul. You already know there are no set paths to getting where you want to be, in fact you may already have experienced some of the pitfalls of being a young artist.
I'm using this blog to pester as many new artists that have made it into telling us what they wish they hadn't done on the way to the top. You know... so you don't have to.
It's fair to say Alt-J have had a pretty meteoric rise to prominence this year, and rightly so as their debut album is a stunner - intricate, subtle and devilishly addictive. Although it's been a mad year for them, it doesn't mean they haven't paid their dues and... learnt a few lessons along the way. I met them literally moments after they'd played a super secret acoustic set on the BBC Introducing Stage on the Friday of this years Reading festival, live on Huw Stephens Radio 1 show no less. I think I probably shattered any post-set elation by taking them back to when things were less glamorous and asked them for some tips of what not to do as a young act trying to progress...
So piece for advice number one from them was don't play in London (unless you are from there obviously). Sage advice as not only is the price of a round of drinks on the more expensive side but add a van, food, accommodation and the odd congestion zone charge - suddenly a glittering London date on your tour poster isn't so appealing. If the timing is right, in that you have dominated your home area, got some nationwide label, blog and possibly radio interest, then it is totally worth it, if not, maybe best to hold off.
You can't beat hometown support and create some real hype around your music and live show - then promoters from London may well be coming to you, to get you on the right shows, supports and showcases they put on.
Time a show in the big city correctly in the career of the band, and someone else will pick up that horrible bar tab.
Ally McCrae presents BBC Introducing with Jen and Ally every midnight on Sunday heading into Monday.