Over the next few months, we are all going to be spending a lot of time inside – what better opportunity to get the record player spinning and the speakers blasting out your favourite tunes!
Wherever you are, we can all come together to help the music industry through this crazy crazy time. Musicians, promoters, venues and record shops have taken a massive hit from coronavirus, with the closure of stores and thousands of concert cancellations.
Music has always had our back, so let’s return the favour now by supporting the industry. Here are Alternative Atmosphere’s top five ways to help…
Tune in to Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties
The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess has been working tirelessly to arrange two – sometimes three – listening parties a night on Twitter. The parties are a simple way to have a lot of fun, discover new music, and celebrate albums you love.
If you have a Twitter account, all you have to do is follow Tim Burgess (why wouldn’t you anyway? He is a legend), go on Twitter at the time of the listening party you want to join (usually 9 or 10pm) and start the album at the same time. Then, just sit back and enjoy. Whilst Tim and members of the band lead the discussion, use Twitter to praise the music and share your experiences linked to the songs, along with thousands of other users.
The listening parties highlight the power music has to effortlessly create a sense of community, which is what we all need at this lonely time.
Upcoming listening party albums include Hills End (DMA’S), Holy Fire (Foals), and The Masterplan (Oasis). To see the full list, click here.
In conversation with The Nine, the ‘North Country Boy’ singer said: “If people hear these listening parties, they might buy a record from an independent record shop and they might have it sent to them”.
Buy music and merchandise
One of the best ways to support musicians is to buy their music and merchandise. I’m not sure about you, but if I ever have an excuse to buy more band merch, I will always use it. Forget about the convenience of streaming platforms for a moment, and treat yourself to a vinyl, cassette or CD. Physical purchases are more special for you, and more helpful for musicians.
If you’re looking for a new vinyl that prioritises originality and quality, check out The Ruby Tuesdays ‘Rivers Of Gold’ 7” single. The gold-standard track is accompanied by an irresistible B-side and an exclusive band zine.
Scotland’s innovative icons Pictish Trail are currently selling a range of merch on Bandcamp, from caps to stickers. To make up some of the money they have lost by having to cancel their tour, the band have released a live fundraiser album which you can download and stream on the Bandcamp app. There is no set price so you can pay an amount that is best for you!
Purchase products from local record stores
Since lockdown began, record shops have had to close. However luckily for us staying inside, some stores are working from home to send stock out, or using Discogs to sell certain vinyls.
Take a look at the approach your local record store is taking, and help them out if you can. If you do not wish to spend money on records right now, share the shop’s page on social media for others who may want to financially support them.
If you do wish to treat yourself to a vinyl whilst you have the perfect opportunity to stay in and listen to it, check out Piccadilly Records’ website for vinyls that can be sent straight to your door!
Alternative Atmosphere are NOT encouraging readers to go outside to retailers, such as Sainsbury’s, to buy records. Staying at home and providing everyone with the best chance to get through this is paramount.
Show support by attending online gigs
To try and make up for all the cancelled gigs, artists are taking to radio stations and social media to provide online gigs.
Every Thursday at 9pm, Radio X are putting on ‘Home Shows’ – iconic concerts broadcast live on air. Last week, Radio X kicked off the bill with Foo Fighters, and this week, they played Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer’s intimate performance from 2006 at The Lowry, Manchester.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next home show announcement! Radio X is available on 104.9FM in London, 97.7FM in Manchester, on Digital Radio across the UK, online or via Global Player.
Donate to charities that help musicians
If you’re like me and know the money you would usually spend on gig tickets, petrol and eating out is not going to be withdrawn for a while, donating a small amount of money to charity not only makes you feel good for completing an act of kindness, but it also helps other people out.
I have donated money to Help Musicians – an independent UK charity who help musicians in times of difficulty, but also in times of opportunity. Every penny you donate will go to upcoming, current and retired musicians.
If you would like to donate, click here.