Un-convention Blog

…..Board Members

Andrew Dubber – New Music Strategies

Jay Taylor – The Ruby Lounge

Al Farquhar – Modern Art

Bill Devon – School of Sound

Ruth Daniel – Fat Northerner Records

Nick Fitzsimons – Un-Con Belfast / Penny Distribution

Chris Long – BBC

Colin Consterdine – Sound of Monkey

Mike McNally – McNally Consulting

Jeff Thompson – Fat Northerner Records

Howard Mills – Humble Soul

Michael Cassidy – I think music, Barcelona

Michael Fuller – AIM, London

Mark Meharry – Music Glue

Phil Ellis – Manchester College

Sarah Purcell – Concrete Recordings

Howard Monk – The Local, London

Carolyn Gamble – Urbis, Manchester

Mark Brown – Mark Brown Studio, Manchester

Pete Jobson – I Am Kloot

Vic McGlynn – livefrommanchester.com

Andrew Dubber – New Music Strategies

Andrew Dubber is an Arts and Humanities Research Council Knowledge Transfer Fellow in Online Music and Radio Innovation and a Senior Lecturer in the Music Industries at Birmingham City University, UK.

Originally from New Zealand, Dubber moved to the UK in 2004 to begin a research project in Online Music Enterprise. With a background in both the radio and the music industries, and with an academic record that includes numerous articles, book chapters, and conference presentations about digital media, the music business and media ecology, Dubber has fast become one of the UK’s leading experts in the field.

His research includes a project on online fandom within the BBC’s Audio and Music Interactive division; explorations into jazz and other specialist music consumption online; the social impact of iPods; and post-graduate work on digital radio and deregulation. He is the co-author of a book about new technologies for broadcasters in developing nations, commissioned by UNESCO, and has been a member of the steering committee for the Radio Studies Network.

He has written articles for Computer Music Magazine and sections on blogging and podcasting for the Alternative Media Handbook (Routledge, 2008). He is currently co-authoring an undergraduate textbook on the Music Industries.

When he’s not teaching and writing, most of his time is spent travelling, presenting seminars and workshops across the UK and around the world; as well as consulting independent music businesses – from established record labels and retailers to entrepreneurial online music start-ups.

In his spare time he hosts whisky tasting events, rides bicycles, plays chess and Go, takes photographs and collects jazz records.

Website: www.newmusicstrategies.com


jay-finalJay Taylor – Promoter / Venue Director

The Ruby Lounge

Jay Taylor has been variously… In-house promoter at Manchester’s Night & Day Café and Manchester235 Casino, a radio presenter, studio producer, illustrator, music journalist, shoe model, Gold Blade guitarist and partner in the great folly that was Manchester’s first urban beach project. In recent years he has worked on live events alongside XFM, Urbis, Channel M, BBC 6 Music and BBC GMR among others. Jay is currently carving up his time between promoting at Manchester’s superb Ruby Lounge venue, working as promoter’s rep for SJM Concerts, as A&R panelist and live advisor for the annual In The City Music festival alongside toiling away on a film soundtrack to a UFO road-movie documentary.

Website: www.therubylounge.org




board-pic-templateBill Devon – Director Of Operations


Bill started in the music industry as a session bass player working with various bands around 1985. He frequently rehearsed and recorded in Spirit Studios in Tariff Street before the studio became the School of Sound Recording (SSR). Bill’s varied musical career has seen major recording and publishing deals with Chrysalis Records, Rob’s Records and Warner Publishing. He has toured across Europe and has recorded in the UK and America. Bill was also a studio owner/producer for 10 years and worked as a live sound engineer before moving into education. Bill now works full-time in education and specialises in careers advice for the creative media industry.

Website: www.s-s-r.com


al-picAl Farquhar – Managing Director

Modern Art

Al worked for Stiff Records, A&M, Polydor and ran GoBeat Records for it’s owner until the bottom fell out of the label sector. His company Modern Art is a modern music company, managing The Whip, Pacific!, Kyte and Whyte Seeds, Modern art occasionally releases records and has a publishing arm.



ruth-finalRuth Daniel – Co-Chair Un-convention

Director – Fat Northerner Records
Ruth Daniel co-founded Fat Northerner Records in 2003 and is Director of the label. Fat Northerner is an independent record label based in Manchester, England. In the proud tradition of great British indies such as 4AD, Warp, Creation and of course Factory, Fat Northerner only release music by artists they believe in. Fat Northerner has worked with over 60 bands and artists and was one of the first labels to fully embrace the digital revolution, developing the ‘Digital Northerner’ release series. Their recent project involves current bands reworking Salford punk-poet John Cooper Clarke’s material and has attracted interest from Maximo Park, The Cribs, Matt Berry, Chas Smash (Madness), Ladytron and The Longcut. Ruth has recently been short listed for UK Young Music Entrepreneur 2008 and is one of the founders of Un-convention.

Website: www.fatnortherner.com



nic-finalNick Fitzsimons – General Manager

Penny Distribution

 Since 2007 Penny Distribution has handled physical, digital distribution and marketing for it’s affiliated artists and labels. In addition, Penny Licensing offers an automated system for the licensing of musical works for use in a variety of different media and has worked with NBC, PBS, Miramax Films and others over the years. Efforts are driven by a culture of non-exclusivity, a desire to achieve marginal profitability for artists and music businesses while strengthening artist and label brands and band-to-fan connections.

Website: www.pennydistribution.com


chrislongfinalChris Long – Producer

BBC Manchester Introducing

Chris has been knee-deep in Manchester’s music for the best part of a decade, seen hundreds of bands – some amazing, some appalling, most somewhere in-between – and interviewed everyone from the cutting edge to the old hands. Now he’s in charge of BBC Manchester Introducing, which means he’s devoted to new music, from first rehearsals to debut albums. As a music obsessive who loves nothing more than sharing the latest undiscovered brilliance with the big, wide world, he couldn’t think of a better job.

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/introducing


colin-finalColin Consterdine – Label Manager Sound of Monkey

Colin Consterdine has worked in broadcast TV, print media and at Independent Record Labels. He has enjoyed a successful 18 year career as an artist, in Zion Train, and is now putting into effect the lessons of a creative lifetime, as Label Manager at Sound of Monkey Records in Swansea. He created his first artist website (wobblyweb.com) in 1995 and has worked as a web developer and beta-tester for music hardware & software.

He ran Wibbly Wobbly World of Music Studios for 15 years. With Zion Train, he played 500+ gigs over 14 years and, alongside running the band’s label, Universal Egg, was signed as an artist to China in the UK and Warners worldwide. This experience of Indie and Major labels, and a 15 year involvement in music on the Web, feed into his current development of a web-based centre of activity for artists in control of their own works.

Website: www.colinconsterdine.com


mike-finalMike McNally – McNally Consulting 

Mike’s industry career started in a basement of an Our Price Records store – and then in a fit of poverty driven enthusiasm continued in the commercial departments of various media including the NME & Melody Maker – where he was the advertising manager of the seminal and once influential music weeklies in the early 90’s – and Richard Branson’s Virgin Radio – where he spent three happy years before being moved to the front of the office for being mildly disruptive.

In 1996 he joined EMI. After nearly a decade of hits, misses and general good times he left EMI soon after his new label MD suggested that the the core purpose of all the label staff at EMI was ‘to enhance shareholder value’. Mike still thinking naively that it was really about the music gracefully jumped ship.

He then joined the influential and innovative music and management company Nettwerk – owned by Terry McBride – where he ran the UK label operation and worked closely with the management teams of artists including Josh Rouse, The Submarines, Datarock,The Be Good Tanyas and many more.

At the start of 2008 Mike opened his own consultancy, McNally Consulting. He specialises in developing marketing and branding strategies with independent artists and labels.

He is also a member of the marketing committee of the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and is proud to be on the board of UnConvention. In addition he lectures on various industry topics at the Academy of Contemporary Music and Bucks New University.

Website: www.mcnallyconsulting.co.uk


michaelcfinalMichael Cassidy – Founder, I Think Music

Michael Cassidy is the founder of I Think Music, a professional tool (a platform) used by independent retail brands, labels and artists to build their own independent music stores for a industry beating 5% share of RRT. Already hundreds of record labels and artists use the platform. As well as enabling indies to list their own catalogue, the platform enables labels to stock releases from other labels. In practice this has created a network of independent store brands all cross-selling each others content. ithinkmusic.com replicates the physical distribution mechanism for independent labels in the digital realm, at low cost, enabling users to create profitable specialist download stores championing the music they love.

Michael has been working with music and multimedia since leaving university in 1991. He has worked as a music promoter in Birmingham, Cophehagen and Barcelona. Michael was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Central England, and head of new media on the BA Visual Communications degree course. He still runs a small independent record label, Softly Records.

Website: www.ithinkmusic.com


Michael Fuller – AIM

Michael is a qualified New York Attorney-at-Law and has worked in the music industry for over 15 years with a major label and several independent record companies and artists and has project managed several one-off events including the industry-supported Sound Advice tour. Michael has worked at AIM since 2001, is the Company Secretary and Head of Business Affairs and sits on the AIM Board, Business Affairs and New Media Committees and has coordinated the implementation of several collective New Media licensing deals. Michael continues to work closely with the independent sector and is currently overseeing the development of an online networking application.

Website: www.musicindie.org


Mark Meharry – Music Glue

Mark Meharry started his first music technology company in 2003 with The Barfly as his first client. As a result the entire Mama Group portfolio of venues (including the Barfly chain, The Forum, ULU, Hammersmith Apollo etc) operate their entire online operation via the system built by Mark’s company. Furthermore the Great Escape festival in Brighton also runs on a sister system which includes ticket sales. Recently Mark started Music Glue ltd, which is the world’s first system allowing artists to distribute music via existing file sharing networks in a way that is interactive and profitable. Clients include: Marillion, Enter Shikari, Feeder, Little Fish, Hot Leg and Saving Aimee.

Website: www.musicglue.com



Sarah Purcell – Concrete Recordings

Sarah is one half of husband and wife team Concrete Recordings. The label’s creation in 2004 was in reaction to the huge amount of unheard talent throughout Manchester. So named as the side project to Mike’s other life at ‘Manchester and Cheshire Construction Company’ responsible for some of the finer details of our great City. (Ever noticed Potato Wharf Bridge, the retaining wall and its funky lighting opposite our illustrious cathedral or how that Chinese Arch got a recent lick of specialist imported paint? Well, that’d be Mike Concrete)! The label was lucky enough to become involved with The Glastonbury Festival from its early days producing compilations of the Emerging Talent finalists and going on to curate the Festival’s Late N Live stage for several years. As trendy as a slab of reinforced concrete, and as artistic as a pair of bricks they simply enjoy representing those who seek to make our world a little less uniform. Together they have produced a number of releases and events and are currently working as management for Power pop punksters Orphan Boy, country-groomed folk popster Jake Flowers and Pogue-like pranksters Frazer King.





Vic McGlynn – Radio DJ / livefrommanchester.com

Former BBC 6 Music lunchtime hostess and new music sourcer-ess, Vic McGlynn, was raised from a young age on a healthy mix of The Smiths; Tears for Fears, Wings, Labi Siffree and The Who. At 17 she was Djing in clubs and dens, delivering schmindie and funk to schmindie funksters. At the age of 18, she blagged her first radio graveyard shift and cocked about in the small hours. Landing a specialist show in Liverpool, she was able to fill her alternative boots and get tickets to the gigs. Via Manchester she headed to London and 6 Music and then 3 years later did one to Australia and cycled 3000-miles across the desert – you know, just for a laugh.

She’s currently exploring hip hop and metal (again) and is struggling to understand bitcore.

Vic is soon to co-launch livefrommanchester.com – a not-for-profit podcast broadcasting from a great Manchester boozer with a healthy and varied output of top draw fodder – unsigned, semi signed, news, reviews – all helping the music community gain attention.

“All we ask is that bands give us their music for the intents of broadcast, and in return we can give them exposure and help the cause in delivering that sweet, sweet music to our sweet, sweet ears.”
Website: livefrommanchester.com

1 Comment

[…] media, websites, venues and of course – bloggers! This year the event has formed it’s own board of directors to steer the conference and it reads like a who’s who of people you’d like to buy a pint […]

Pingback by | IndieLab - Indie Music Promotion in the UK

%d bloggers like this: