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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Ben, Josienne, The Young'Uns and Navigator Records

Two bits of news.

Firstly, I understand that the frankly marvellous Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker - for whom the expression "I don't usually like this kind of music but..." could have been coined - have been taken on by Navigator records for the purposes of their new and third album, to be released in July and called Fire and Fortune.

Navigator will be doing marketing, manufacture and distribution. I asked Ben how that came about?

"We met someone from Proper who was interested in distributing the new album. The two ways Proper would distribute it were if we were to self release, or get it released through Navigator... So we gave the CD with an introduction to Navigator, heard they weren't interested, then a couple of days later they called back and asked to meet up..."

What changed their minds then?

"They hadn't listened to it, then they listened to it..."

Yup, that would do it... There's an album launch in July at The Forge in Camden. Get them while they're hot etc.

And the second piece of news is that The Young'Uns, who I saw at Kings Place the other Friday and who made me laugh particularly hard after a long, long week, tell me that they are about to go professional. What does that mean, I asked David Eagle?

"We're all kind of giving up our jobs. Mike is signing up as a supply teacher, Sean will do his story telling and work in schools on a freelance basis, and I'll be doing freelance work too." David does radio work.

As luck would have it, The Young'Uns are also signed to Navigator, so did they have any advice for Josienne and Ben?

"Signing to Navigator is great for profile but you have to sell quite a few albums to make it work for you financially. They should make sure they read the contract and understand what the deal is. But that's great news for them."

What are the practical advantages of being signed to Navigator?

"Exposure, publicity, radio play, media coverage, prestige, complementary groupies..."

But the terms are not especially favourable for the band?

"It depends what you want. If you're as committed and as active as Lucy Ward then I'm sure it worked out brilliantly. But we were part time. It was still a great thing for us though."

It sounds to me as if what The Young'Uns learnt was that they needed to go professional in order to make the most of their Navigator deal.

What's next?

* The Young Uns are on tour at the moment. Check out their website for dates. You can also tweet them here and if you do, it's important to only talk to David, as Mike will then get an annoying ping on his phone every time you send a message but will be unable to do anything about it...

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