Ev­ery band wants a manager with the Mi­das touch, but good ones are few and far be­tween

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - JIM CAR­ROLL

If you were to can­vass new bands about who they need to help them out, a ma­jor­ity would in­di­cate they’re af­ter a manager. Dream­ers might seek a record la­bel, prag­matic acts would re­quest a book­ing agent or a de­cent van driver and the greedy opt for all of the above. But for most acts, the per­son they want to say yes to is a manager. Rock and pop lore have it that ev­ery band needs its Colonel Tom Parker or Brian Ep­stein or Mal­colm McLaren, the manager with the Mi­das touch who will en­sure con­tro­versy, glam­our and suc­cess. Rock and pop re­al­ity, though, means ev­ery band re­ally wants to hand over the hard, un­sexy, off- stage work and drudgery to some­one else at the first avail­able op­por­tu­nity. The prob­lem is that there are very few good man­agers around and most are choosy about the kind of acts they’ll work with. They can af­ford to be picky be­cause they know there’s a lot of hard work re­quired to turn raw, promis­ing tal­ent into a best- sell­ing act – and that their rep­u­ta­tions de­pend on a high suc­cess rate. Right now, there’s a very suc­cess­ful manager with time on his hands for a new act. Scott Maclachan is best known for man­ag­ing Lorde. This re­la­tion­ship be­gan when he saw a video of the then 12- year- old in a school tal­ent con­test in 2008. They worked to­gether for years long be­fore Roy­als came along and turned the singer into a in­ter­na­tional su­per­star. It now ap­pears that Maclachan and Lorde have parted com­pany. While no rea­son has been given for the split, we’ll no doubt hear more about it in due course. The fact that Lorde’s suc­cess has been worth an es­ti­mated $ 2 mil­lion to Maclachan to date may sweeten the pill a lit­tle for the manager, but it also shows the scale of fu­ture lost in­come for him and his com­pany. Maclachan prob­a­bly has many acts beat­ing a path to his Saiko Man­age­ment door at the mo­ment, yet it’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that he’s the one who found Lorde be­fore she re­alised she even needed a manager. He saw some­thing in that early video that no one else did and pro­vided the time and space for her to de­velop. A good manager has many tal­ents, but the knack to spot some­thing be­fore ev­ery­one else is key. Emeli Sandé’s first manager Adrian Sykes saw some­thing in the teenage singer and was pre­pared to wait un­til she fin­ished school and uni­ver­sity to pur­sue that po­ten­tial. Other man­agers may have rushed things and told Sandé that she had only one chance at star­dom, but the long- term view turned out best for the singer. It’s one of the things bands should re­mem­ber when man­agers come their way. For an­other, it’s an em­ployer- em­ployee re­la­tion­ship and it’s the bands who call the shots. Just be­cause some­one is of­fer­ing you a man­age­ment con­tract and also wants you to sign away your record­ing and pub­lish­ing rights doesn’t mean you have to go with them. There are many fish, as well as sharks, in the sea.

YOU’VE GOT TO HEAR THIS Milk & Bone Lit­tle Mourn­ing ( Bonsound)

Dash­ing de­but al­bum from one of our SXSW 2015 faves. Mon­treal duo Lau­rence Lafond- Beaulne and Camille Poliquin’s Lit­tle Mourn­ing is full of lush, soft- fo­cus, min­i­mal­ist elec­tronic at­trac­tions and at­mo­spheric, hooky dream- pop.

ETC

It’s al­ways sur­pris­ing that the Bal­ly­ke­effe am­phithe­atre in Co Kilkenny is not used for more shows dur­ing the sum­mer. It’s great then to see the Hol­low Sounds hap­pen­ing listed for the out­door au­di­to­rium on July 4th with live sets from Jape, Slow Skies, I Have A Tribe, Sails and oth­ers. The night be­fore, there’s a screen­ing of The Goonies. More in­for­ma­tion from face­book. com/ home­beat

Rock and pop lore have it that ev­ery band needs its Colonel Tom Parker or Brian Ep­stein or Mal­colm McLaren

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