Dan Bettridge’s Pick-Me-Up

Dan Bettridge has launched Pick-Me-Up his video blog talking all things music over on his YouTube channel. Take a look the trailer below and if you like, you can subscribe here..

Talking about the project Dan Bettridge said “Pick-me-up is a chance for me to introduce those who inspire or intrigue me to an audience who I think with love them too. Artists of all kinds, people within and around the music word, everything. An opportunity for me to find out what makes them tick and doing it from an easy, neutral environment, my car!”

 

Dan Bettridge releases ‘Asking For Trouble – Wave One’

We are super excited to be able to reveal brand new material from Dan Bettridge. His upcoming debut album ‘Asking For Trouble’ will be available for release on 1st June 2018, which you can pre-order here now!

‘Wave One’ sees Dan Bettridge release the first four tracks off the upcoming record.

 

Stream Wave One Here Now

Following tastemaker acclaim for his 2017 single releases ‘Heavenly Father’ and ‘Blame’ from CLASH, THE LINE OF BEST FIT and DEMUR amongst others, Dan now releases Asking For Trouble (Wave One) on 16th February 2018. ‘Wave One’ is an introduction to Dan’s ongoing progression as an artist and a teaser for what’s to come; consisting of opening track ‘Old Man’, followed by ‘Heavenly Father’, ‘Legacy’ and ‘Destiny Row’ – a heartfelt and emotionally-charged testament to battles with relationships, politics and purpose.

Talking about the record, Dan says;

“I believe in the songs so much I thought they deserved to be met with no distraction. It’s me saying ‘I think I did it – take a look at these 4 songs at a time’. I learned a lot making this album and haven’t stopped writing and thinking about more since – it’s opened my eyes a lot and I have a few more strings to my bow than before. ‘Old Man’ is an ode from one generation to the previous. ‘Heavenly Father’, a plea for answers. ‘Legacy’ was written the night of the Bataclan attack, it was one of those songs that are just handed to you, you don’t know where from but it pours out in 10 minutes and you just trust it. ‘Destiny Row’ is a brief, pessimistic vision of purpose – personally, artistically, globally.”

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2odiGP9
Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2GfvH1U
iTunes pre-order: http://bit.ly/pre-order-aft
CD/Limited Signed Vinyl pre-order: http://bit.ly/2o37xkp

How to successfully enter the US for showcase festivals (or not)

Tip: do your research… and cross your fingers!

This time last year we were gearing up for one of the biggest opportunities in our client  Dan Bettridge‘s career: South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. An exciting time for Dan, who had pricked the ears of international publishers and record labels and was set to showcase at the festival in March 2017.

His debut album was in the process of being mixed, meetings were booked in, interviews and live sessions scheduled, and we had just secured a PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund grant to cover the majority of the costs of the trip.

Little did we know, the visit was to come to a devastating halt. Just a few days before he was due to fly Dan received an e-mail from US Customs and Border Control stating that his ESTA* had been revoked, with no explanation, and that he would need to apply for a visa to be permitted entry into the US to showcase at the festival in under a week’s time.

Panic struck – this was a serious set-back for us.

Dan’s passport was valid until 2019 and his ESTA was valid until October 2017 (active from previous showcases in New York for CMJ Music Marathon in 2015).  We made certain Dan was performing all official showcases.  We had no idea why it had suddenly been revoked.

I distinctly remember this being one of the most stressful weeks of the year. We contacted everyone we knew involved in supporting Dan’s showcases at SXSW: the programming team and visa specialist at the festival, PRS Foundation, Musician’s Union, Wales Arts International, Welsh Government, British Underground, Tamzidat and Viva La Visa. 

“We continue to try to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly why this mess occurred. One thing is clear at the moment: the option to go under an ESTA is unreliable.” – Dave Webster, Musican’s Union

Dan B promo 2.jpegDan Bettridge 

Despite everyone’s efforts, this was clearly not going to be easy to solve.  We contacted Homeland Security direct; however, they weren’t able to disclose the reason for this. I stated “Dan has no criminal convictions, hasn’t been to any of the countries in the travel ban, hasn’t breached his South By Southwest performance contract or accepted any paid shows in the US”. The border control officer’s reply was, “then it must be something else.” and we were told he had to apply for a B1 Visa; however; with no expedited appointments at the US Embassy until Wednesday, March 15, it was too late.

Trump had recently come into administration and we were being asked if this was related to politics – Could the US Border Control have run inspections on the international performing artists at South by Southwest? Had Dan implied his political beliefs across social media? Had he traveled to any of the countries on the ‘ban list’?

In the days that followed, it became apparent Dan Bettridge was not the only artist to be declined entry into the US to perform at South By Southwest. Soviet Soviet from Italy and the London-based drummer Yussef Kamaal — were denied entry into the country after their B-1 visitor visas were rejected. Members of Soviet Soviet were arrested at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, detained over night in jail cells and deported back to Italy the following day.

Artists who enter the America for a tour must obtain a performance visa (P-1); however, artists performing for free at showcase events such as South by Southwest have previously been permitted on an ESTA or a B-1 visitor visa. Customs officials have recently advised that a B-1 is “appropriate when bands will be engaged only in showcasing at SXSW” because “it is not labor for hire; rather, it involves unpaid demonstrations of skills that include composition, practice and performances.”

“We have seen quite a few estas being revoked and people being refused entry to the US. Although most of them are performers who are are playing non official showcases not all are. CBP have now issued an ‘advisory’ stating that ‘most performers at SXSW will require P1 visas’. We are now advising anyone performing in the US for any purpose to get a work visa.” – Andy Corrigan, Viva La Visa

Despite Dan not being able to showcase at the festival, his management team managed to gain some wins from the SXSW mission through connections made during our visit, making some light of a negative situation.

Perhaps a blessing in disguise for us? Dan’s news traveled fast among artists concerned for their own entry, and the case became a talking point for industry professionals and delegates. It even made national press via WalesOnline (read here).

A year on and Dan Bettridge has been continuing to flourish in the UK music scene. Following tastemaker acclaim for his 2017 single releases ‘Heavenly Father’ and ‘Blame’ from CLASH, The Line of Best Fit and Demur amongst others; Dan is now set to release his debut album in Spring 2018 via Listen To This Records and The Orchard.

We’re thrilled that Dan has been invited back to showcase at South By Southwest in March 2018 and is being supported by PRS Foundation‘s International Showcase Fund, with support from Wales Arts International. The future is looking brighter for Bettridge, with their help. With his visa granted, Dan is hoping to woo the festival goers and music industry delegates out in Texas and couldn’t be more ready to embrace this opportunity that we’re thankful has been awarded to him (twice).

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It’s a precarious time for artists wishing to pursue a career in music internationally. With a P1 work visa costing thousands of pounds, it isn’t viable for independent artists to cough up this amount for what will likely end in a loss, realistically (we’re talking a first US tour).  Seek out the advice of the festival you’ve been invited to showcase at, speak to the Musician’s Union (sign up here) and funding bodies, such as PRS Foundation, for best practice.

You must also ensure you have a printed copy of your performance agreement, your accommodation address, financial support, showcase advancing information – the more information to hand the better prepared you’ll be if questioned at the border.

I believe more work needs to be done at a government level to ensure artists awarded with opportunities such as this one to be supported, not only financially but intellectually. The lines are too blurred – we need clear advice and procedures for our musicians.

 

*ESTA Waiver Program is a U.S. government program that enables citizens and nationals from the Visa Waiver Countries to enter the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.


Official SXSW Visa advice: https://support.sxsw.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001649052-As-an-International-Artist-from-countries-other-than-Canada-do-I-need-a-visa-to-perform-at-the-SXSW-Music-Festival-


Apply for  B1 Visa here:
Step 1: Fill out your DS-160 https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/
Step 2: Click continue and book your interview https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb/iv


Written by Charlotte Final, Listen To This

charl@lttmusicmanagement.com
+44 7974937861

Dan Bettridge SXSW, GRIT and WISP (Week round-up)

A post on musings and workings within our little music company.    

Hiya!

As we close out another week, after yet another trip back and forth down the M4 corridor,  it’s with pleasure to report that Dan Bettridge successfully obtained his B1 visa to the United States at the London embassy for his upcoming showcase at SXSW in Austin Texas this March.

The whole team had a real headache (and heartache) in 2017 hours before we departed for his showcase resulting in a no-show at the world’s biggest showcase festival.  Through the ordeal, we received incredible support from the Musicians Union, British Underground, SXSW, Wales Arts International, PRS Foundation and Welsh Government in trying to make sense of and rectify a situation no one had the answers for.   We will be announcing Dan’s showcases in the week’s to come along with some new music.  We will endeavour to publish a post on our experiences with artist visas and the USA on here in the near future where we can perhaps help out with anyone planning a showcase trip and who to speak to.

The week held a very inspiring meeting of heads involved with Trackd at The Hospital Club in London.  Very much looking forward to sharing details on that and introducing new members of the team.    Progress was made on the Trackd SXSW activities, we will be announcing a showcase event in partnership with Focus Wales and our artist sessions with an innovative music company called Banders in the coming week or so.

Through Trackd we made some exciting new discoveries this week.   A user called WISP put out a snippet of a demo called ‘Heaven On The Ground’ which I really love, a very mellow Elliott Smith type ballad.  Have a listen yourself here.  We are looking to develop this further.

We also on-boarded an exciting French artist called GRIT who in the past two months have opened for Wolf Alice and Starcrawler in their native Paris.  Take a listen on Trackd here and I also recommend you watch this well thought out (and produced) video for their last single ‘Others’.

This is a band we really want to get behind in the months and years ahead.

We announced some new shows for Vince James this week.  Our musical raconteur will be opening for Billy Lockett in Le Public Space in Newport, South Wales and joins the Welsh Fest line up in July 2018.  Show listings and ticket links are here.

I will be checking in next week, where we will be in the thick of the Department of International Trade, BPI and AIM music is GREAT mission to Mumbai.   Until then have a great weekend!

Thanks for reading,
Grant 

New year, new music from Vince James and other news

Hello reader,

Grant here, as I stare at the blinking line, I want to say, first of all, a very warm welcome into 2018.  It’s been quite the January here at Listen To This as we journey into the new year.  I am very pleased to say that we have a new Vince James single set for release on February 2nd at all good streaming services and online stores via our friends at AWAL.

It’s a great little tune with a positive message to believe in ourselves and to remain strong through hard times which we all journey through at some point in our lives.  I for one love the lyrics and feel it’s the strongest offering from Vince James yet.  The team were all very proud of him last year, a particularly difficult year for the songwriter, but he persevered and shown his substance and produced some fantastic songs which you re going to hear throughout the course of the year.    Vince James also managed to generate the support of the extremely supportive Forte Project, complete a UK tour with The Undertones and get under the noses of the new music folks and Ticketweb and Live Nation source.   2018 is showing positive signs for Vince with some European shows being discussed, a rollout of his music across pub jukeboxes across the land and plans for further releases.

Press release: ‘Magnificent’ the new single by Vince James : Out February 2nd 2018

In other news, Charlotte and I have been busy putting together an interesting release plan for Dan Bettridge with the team at The Orchard, expect a wave of new music soon from his camp as we prepare for his SXSW 2018 showcase.   Richard has been preparing for the Our Last Night world tour kicking off in March and has been discussing options for expanding our artist roster in the USA.

On the Trackd front, I am looking forward to the Department Industry and Trade Music Is Great mission to Mumbai, India Feb 1-7th.  Whilst in India I will be connecting with artists, pushing some partnerships forward and working on a collaboration between songwriters here in the UK and with schools in Mumbai for the Songs of the Centenary project which we are powering through the app.

Moving into March I am currently putting together our SXSW showcase and artist sessions.  So if you’re an artist and heading to Austin Texas for the conference please drop me an email and let’s try and book something in!  You can see an SXSW session we did last year here with Austrailian foursome ‘All Our Exes Live In Texas’ and our showcase at The British Music Embassy here.

Okay, to round off this update I’ll leave you with some music, whilst researching music fro SXSW I came across this little ditty called ‘This Is What I Am Doing’ by Dick Stusso and I absolutely love it.  Have a listen, I hope you like it too.  You can listen to my Trackd SXSW 2018 picks so far on this playlist.

One last thing, if you want to be notified of news via mailing list you can sign up here.

Okay over an out for now.

Big love, Grant x

Dan Bettridge releases new single and video for ‘Blame’

At just 24, Dan Bettridge already stands up with the kind of growl and richness you’d    expect from a blues and soul singer twice his age. The young artist not only knows his Stax from his Motown, but his penchant for fast muscle cars cuts him from the same cloth​ ​as​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​wildest​ ​musicians​ ​to​ ​come​ ​out​ ​of​ ​Nashville.  Dan however, has the virtue of hailing from Ogmore-By-Sea in the Vale Of Glamorgan; a potentially unlikely stage for one of the most compelling, authentic voices in soul.

Following tastemaker acclaim for his first release of the year ‘Heavenly Father’ from CLASH, THE LINE OF BEST FIT and ​DEMUR amongst others, Dan now releases this new track “Blame”. Another heartfelt and emotionally-charged testament to relationships, Dan’s wistful vocal laces a stripped-back, electronic instrumental that balances beautifully with his tender guitar flecks. With his debut album ready to drop Spring 2018, ‘Blame’​ ​is​ ​another​ ​serious​ ​statement​ ​of​ ​intent​ ​from​ ​the​ ​precociously​ ​talented​ ​star.

“‘Blame’ was born out of a desire to do experiment with melody and instrumentation, to try and challenge myself to write on something other than a guitar and see how my voice would fit in a different musical landscape. I also wanted to write a song with a more pop sensibility but still with very honest lyrics about my view of myself as a partner and on a larger scale, the view of someone being involved with another who is constantly on the road or often absent. It’s kind of a warning.” – Dan Bettridge

 

Watch the official video for ‘Blame’ here:

 

 

NEW SIGNING! Our Last Night joins Listen To This

We’re excited to announce the latest addition to the Listen To This roster – Our Last Night!

New Hampshire based post-hardcore band Our Last Night was formed in 2004 by brothers Trevor (vocals) and Matt Wentworth (guitar, vocals) along with childhood friends Alex Woodrow (bass) and Tim Molloy (drums). Combining the melodic structures of emo with the guttural sounds of hardcore, Our Last Night sporadically toured the New England are for three years, releasing several EP’s and self-made demos along the way. These recordings found their way to Epitaph, where label owner Brett Gurewitz took interest in the band’s maturity and wide ranging vocals. 

The label signed Our Last Night in the summer of 2007, and the group soon headed west to record its debut album in Orange County, California. Completed later year, The Ghosts Among US was released in early 2008, followed two years later by We Will All Evolve in 2010. 

For their album the band began to refine their sound, moving in a more melodic, post-hardcore direction with few metal moments on their third album, 2012’s Age of Ignorance.  

The same year their deal with Epitaph was finished and the band began to further alter their sound, releasing a self produced and self released EP of cover songs as well as acoustic and electric versions of their 2013 EP Oak Island. 

Following on from the success of their viral cover of Adele’s “Skyfall” the band have continued to put their own spin on the biggest radio hits and covering songs from Kendrix Lamar, Chainsmokers and Rae Surrmond to name but a few. All the while releasing in original content which has allowed them to tour their music all over the world.  

Our Last Nights fifth full-length album, Younger Dreams arrived in the summer of 2015, proceeded by 2016’s single “Common Ground” the band issued the seven selective hearing EP in 2017.  

photo



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Dan Bettridge To Tour with Allman Brown

One of many announcements to come from the Dan Bettridge camp.  We are excited to inform you all that Dan will be touring with Allman Brown who’s recently stacked up a staggering 30 million streams on Spotify on a full UK Tour this October.

You can purchase tickets to a show near you here.

  • October 1st – La Belle Angele, Edinburgh
  • October 2nd – Stereo, Glasgow
  • October 4th – Brudenell Games Room, Leeds
  • October 5th, The Castle Hote, Manchester
  • October 6th, Ort Cafe, Birmingham
  • October 7th, The Crofters Rights, Bristol
  • October 9th, The Prince Albert, Brighton
  • October 10th, Omeara, London
  • October 11th, Little Johnny Russell’s, Portsmouth

So, who is Allman Brown? Allman Brown is a London-based singer-songwriter influenced by the likes of Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow and Sufjan Stevens. Since announcing himself onto the scene in 2013 with the ‘Sons And Daughters’ EP (the lead track of which recently surpassed 3.5 million streams on Spotify), he has built a solid fan base on both sides of the Atlantic through a number of his songs being featured on notable TV dramas in both the UK and US. His debut album ‘1000 Years’ is available now.

Vince James to play Clwb Ifor Bach tomorrow

Vince James is set to perform Cardiff’s renowned music venue Clwb Ifor Bach tomorrow night, supporting Jack Ellis. Also on the bill are Niterooms and Rebecca Hurn (who fills in for To Bear Sir)

Doors from 7.00pm
18+ [ID MUST BE PROVIDED TO GAIN ENTRY TO THE VENUE]
£4 ADV// £6 OTD

Buy tickets HERE!

 

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Dan Bettridge and Vince James play The Great Escape 2017

A big shout out to The Great Escape festival and BBC Horizons for having our boys Dan Bettridge and Vince James on the South Coast for the 2017 edition of TGE.

Vince and Dan played Latest Music Bar, Brighton, on Thursday 18th for Horizons’ Great Escape showcase, followed by two stellar sets at Jubilee Square on Saturday 20th, after a surprise performance by Rag ‘N’ Bone Man.

Follow Dan Bettridge’s musical endeavors, follow here. To keep up-to-date with Vince James’ movements, see here.