Rock To The Future

It’s incredible to think that the dawn of the 21st century is now nearly 15 years ago. For my fellow 30-somethings the time that has elapsed has seen us grow from young adults starting new jobs, gaining qualifications, going out on the pull, drinking a weeks worth of recommended alcohol units in one night, to mortgage paying, pension planning, family orientated adults- a night on the sesh now happening once a blue moon with a 3 day hangover as souvenir.

Along with the personal and physical changes, we’ve also been witness to the most accelerated progression of technological advancements. Being a musician going up in the 1990s, the only ways in which to arrange band practices, band meetings and even just arranging going out for a night was either by landline, letter or simply tell someone you’d meet them at a given time and place and stick to it. One guy who wanted to keep up to date with our latest gigs had invested in a-to be short-lived-‘Pager’. The idea being that a message would be relayed to an operator who would then send it in text form to a fellow pager user. Sadly, the idea never quite caught on and, in any case the guy accidentally dropped his pager down the toilet whilst inebriated. A perfect metaphor for the legacy of the gadget! To today’s student it may seem inconceivable that assignments were almost always hand written, research conducted in the library, leafing through hefty, dusty old books, the internet still being in its infancy.

The biggest notable changes however, have been for the performing and recording musician. At the back end of the nineties and until 2007, before the days of Rock My Reception, Kieran and myself, plus James and Aaron our guitarist and drummer were collectively know as Serf- a rock/indie band hell-bent on world domination, or at least achieving a record deal. We were already playing London most weekends plus supporting the likes of Shed 7 and constantly up and down the M1 motorway in our orange L.D.V van. I guess as an a very earlier in-carnation of Rock My Reception Serf played for the Huddersfield Town players ball in 2005, Serf’s single watch the world go was played on radio 1 and Only recently during a spring clean did I find several artifacts stretching back to these antiquated days. It made me realise how laborious the process was to achieve things that we often can, in these days, achieve with a click of a mouse.
In 2000 we were on a mission to get Serf a reputable management team. A couple of Huddersfield media students had used us as a subject for their studies. It was a win/win situation: they got a band- we got a free music video recorded. We then set up two video recorders to fire off no fewer than 30 copies of this music video on VHS to send to prospective management companies. So, that’s 30 blank videos, 30 Jiffy Bags, 30 sets of stamps and 30 phone calls to check with the management companies that they’d received the packages. Then who knows which of the companies could be bothered to stick the tape in a player and watch till the end of the video!
Back in the early noughties, if you were a rock n roll band wanting to get your music out there, the format was purely and simply a good old C.D. There were names banded about such as ‘Mp3’s’ and ‘DAT tapes’, but the most commonly used phrase at the time from record producers, managers, pub and club owners was, ‘Have you got a demo C.D.?’ To be fair we had already had a seismic shift from the cassettes of the 1990’s. The demo C.D. was contemporary!
It often stirs a few strong nostalgic emotions at the best of times when holding pieces of your own history- not only because of the memories they conjure, but the realisation that times have changed so rapidly and how hard you once worked with the comparatively primitive tech to try and achieve your goals. Today, although Rock My Reception aren’t trying to promote original material as we did in the Serf days, we do benefit from advances we could have only dreamed of in the rock band- advances that other young bands are using today. As wedding musicians in rock my reception we no longer needs to go through the process of sending off demo C.D.’s through the post. Their high quality homemade demo can be send as a file on soundcloud without accruing any costs. Neither do bands have to send bulky VHS videos in expensive padded envelopes- with a couple of clicks your music mogul can view a high definition clip on his laptop recorded by the band on YouTube. Simple, sensible and effective.
A sign of things to come o the acoustic guitars

A sign of things to come on the acoustic guitars an early Rock My Reception


Above picture Serf playing down Carnaby Street in London an acoustic set with rock my reception’s Dominic, Kieran and serf guitarist and our good friend James Armitage
So please feel free to check out our latest YouTube offerings. No doubt in the future we may be appearing as holograms playing in your living room, but I’m sure you’ll agree that in 15 years we’ve already come a long way!!

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