Saturday, December 15, 2007

Shaun The Sheep - The Offical Chart

A funny old week where I have learned something about the music business….

There is a thing called the midweek chart which is a chart available only to the music biz and which tells record companies on a daily basis how their records are doing . The information is embargoed which means it's not for release to the general public. It tells record companies what position they command in the singles chart on a given day and how many singles they need to sell move up a place or 10.

See here for more info:

What I can tell you about Shaun The Sheep is that we have a lot of work to do to get to that Christmas Number 1. But I can also tell you that if you phone up everyone you know and ask them to buy the single we would probably shoot up the chart by 10 places or more.

That’s YOU, even if you are a hermit with very small phone book. Geddit?

The singles business is about profile and promotion, it ain’t about volume. Unless you are the Crazy Frog.

So, I went onto BBC Points West on Tuesday and on to BBC Radio Bristol to promote the single. One of my ‘no-more-rent-a-gob resolutions’ was never to go onto TV again as I hate seeing myself on it. But BBC Points West isn’t so bad - I’d be playing to the home crowd in Bristol and my clever clogs London mates would never see it. I’ll try and put the interview up on YouTube once the guys at work have finished laughing at it.

I don’t mind public speaking because however much of a tit you make of yourself there is no public record. The memory of the performance in question will fades in the memory - mine and the audiences.

Not so TV. I remember my first TV appearance as if it was yesterday. I was Head Boy at Rugby School. About 5 years after the event the press and local TV caught on to the fact that ‘fagging’ had been abandoned at the school. I was summonsed to Pebble Mill to sit in the studio and talk of the demise of this most peculiar tradition.

I was hopeless. This was 1976. I was 17 and as self conscious as you could possibly be. It was before VCR’s were in any way part of the household gadget menagerie. So my girlfriend’s dad (I know - having a girlfriend in 1976 when you are at public school is worthy of a blog itself) recorded the interview by pointing his Super-8 camera at the TV screen. He recorded the sound on a separate audio cassette.

Despite the crudity of the recording it still caused me acute embarrassment. People were kind and said I was fine but they were lying.

After the BBC Points West/Shaun The Sheep ordeal I walked back into the office to find that my colleagues had freeze-framed me on the office TV (a Sky + Thing) looking fat and effete and hopeless and I laughed and so did they.

Back home I watched the interview with my wife and daughter and they told me that I was fine. They are both the types who would tell me if I was crap or not so I think I got away with it.

I can’t tell you what I think of the interview as I was hiding behind the sofa when it was on.

The next day the Shaun The Sheep single rose 10 places in the midweek chart. I emailed the record company and told them to book me on the 10 O’clock news.

I write this as my wife and daughter watch the X-Factor final on Saturday night. Rydian has just blown the roof off the studio. The official chart is announced tomorrow. If we aren’t in the top 20 we are dead.

Our prayer is that this weekend, kids flocked in their … hundreds into Woolworths and made their parents buy the Shaun single.

Watch this space.