A small indie band without delusions of grandeur

In the late eighties before the advent of the Premier League an 80s indie band might be described as a good “third division” band. This was based far more on sales than on how good the band was and many of my favourite bands of the time come from that lineage.

First division bands would sell 20K+ and that would be a level the majors could work from. Second division bands hovered around the 10K mark and were of interest to the majors who would consider whether with their backing sales would improve. Third division bands would sell a few thousand, sell out small to medium sized venues and were often just one hit away from promotion. Nobody proved this better than Pulp.

Of course things are much different now and if you sell 10k records you would be unlucky not to be top 10, possibly top 3 and on rare occasions you would have a number one album ! The other thing that has changed is that before the internet bands built up a following locally and then gradually expanded their sphere of influence. Now 500 loyal fans can be spread all over the world which from a gig viewpoint is no use at all.

For a while issues wee mitigated by how cheaply CDs could be made and bands having access to recording their albums for free or at least for relatively little. However now we are back in the world of vinyl which for all its advantages is not a cheap format to produce.

This brings me to The Salient Braves “Barnsley’s best kept secret” and their album “Delusions of Grandeur” which was brought to my attention on twitter. They describe the album as 80s influenced indie and they are not wrong. Fans of the Scottish indie bands of the time the songs don’t rely on generic jangly guitars but instead are more lyric focused and sometimes veer into Half Man Half Biscuit territory.

So far so good. Their aim is a modest one to sell 200 copies of their album on vinyl  and given what I’ve already said that is a reasonable goal.

I see they say they can’t gig a lot and that is a problem. If you can sell just five copies every gig after the initial push then sales figures do start to mount. Radio play and reviews I wouldn’t worry so much about. Contrary to what they think if somebody of influence says an album is great that won’t matter unless the album really is outstanding as people will at best go away and listen, quite like it, maybe even go back and listen again but not consider it worthy of their cash.

Personally I can still make a big difference to an album if I say it is outstanding and worth people’s attention but that is because I do so very little. If I was saying every week how good bands were or even worse being paid to say that then nobody would take any notice. However even I now struggle to generate sales as it becomes clear that there has to be a personal connection with the artists that make folk want to physically own something by them otherwise they will simply just stream their music.

What I can do with the extensive social media presence Avalanche now has and given its high rate of engagement  is bring  music to people’s attention knowing it will appeal to some. Of those people a few will buy and even more will be aware and listen out for the band in the future.

So if the idea of 80s indie with Half Man Half Biscuit leanings appeals then give The Salient Braves album a listenhttps://brokendownrecords.bandcamp.com/album/delusions-of-grandeur

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