Putting your money where your mouth is

A couple of blog posts that are well worth taking the time to read were published earlier this week on Glasgow PodcART and Under The Radar.

The first article is a quite heartfelt outpouring of emotion about growing older (presumably in the late 20s/early 30s end of the scale) and never giving up on unfulfilled ambitions when the monotony of real world and adult decisions threaten to envelop hopes and dreams.

The second article questions whether Scottish bands who are popular in the ‘local’ scene are really making a big enough effort to get themselves heard in the wider world, and asks whether mainstream media (i.e. national press) coverage is a better gauge of a band’s true value to society than, for example, the amount of gig tickets they can shift in their hometown.

Although clearly different in style and content, both authors effectively ask the same question – just how far are you prepared to go to realise your goals in life?

In the context of musicians who want to turn their past-time into a sustainable career, talent is rarely enough. Do some digging on any artist who has ‘made it’ and you will discover a story of sacrifice and sweat. Every time. The notion of an overnight success is the biggest myth in the music industry (unlike groupies, which are not a concept of fantasy… well, not in the mythical sense).

All of this got us thinking about RODDY HART (that’s the dream-seeking, not the band-shaggers) and the lengths this young man is going to in order to ensure his extraordinary music gets the attention it deserves.

Writing classic songs – and make no mistake, his 2006 debut album Bookmarks is full of them – was not enough to secure fame and fortune for the Glaswegian first time around. Therefore he has made the brave decision to walk away from a cushy and stable career in law and literally put his money where his mouth is to promote his second album, Sign Language, which was released this week.
As well as investing in a professional promo video for lead single Send A Message, Roddy has hired the services of a well-known London-based press agency and plugging team to work on his behalf. It’s a smart move given that mainstream publications and radio stations ignore records that come their way if they don’t have a credible company name on the press release.

Of course, all that muscle counts for nothing if you don’t have the tunes to back it up and, just like its predecessor, Sign Language positively excels, at various points sounding like the best bits of Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, The Strokes and even Coldplay.

If indeed, to return to the theme of that Under The Radar editorial, an accurate meter of success is newspaper column inches then Roddy Hart is in a league of his own – this month he can already boast four and five-star reviews in the Daily Record, Sunday Mail and Sunday Herald as well as a front cover and two-page feature in the News of the World’s entertainment supplement.

And given that Roddy Hart has played four times as many gigs in England and Wales as he has in his native Scotland this year, it just goes to show the benefits of setting your sights a little bit farther than the borders of our small country.

Roddy Hart – Send A Message
Roddy Hart –

November 17, Hootananny, Inverness (free)
November 18, Red Rooms, Perth
November 19, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
November 20, Oran Mor, Glasgow (tickets)
November 22, Libertine, Ayr (tickets)
November 26, Apple Store, Buchanan St, Glasgow (free)

*Sign Language is available to buy on Amazon now.

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