Rant in B Flat…

I’ve recently been putting up lots of free download tracks on the Twelve Bandcamp site.

By giving away tracks for free I hope to at least get an email address from someone and hopefully then stay in touch and try and convert them into a paying customer at sometime in the future.

Bandcamp don’t like it when I give tracks away, especially when I do it with six by seven, they once emailed me and asked me not to do it. However, it’s very easy to just take songs off Bandcamp for free, just google it and you’ll see.

They say this about themselves and why Bandcamp is so good:

“Fans want to support the artists they love, you just have to give them direct and compelling ways to do so. On Bandcamp, fans can listen to your music, decide if they like it, and if so, pay you directly for it.”

Great. But it can also mean this:

“Not all fans want to support the artists they love, in fact, the greater majority don’t, even if you give them direct and compelling ways to do so. On Bandcamp, fans can listen to your music, decide if they like it, and if so, either pay you directly for it or just persistently take it for free”

That’s the reality.

I can show you some of the statistics for Twelve. (These are some examples but it applies to every single thing I’ve ever released on Bandcamp)

Here’s an example, just out of the hat…

A few years ago I did an album called Live at The Windmill in Brixton. 98 people downloaded it, of which 8 people paid, giving me an income of £32.00. Ninety people took it for free. If those ninety had also paid, I would have made an extra £360. So did I loose £360 on that album or did I gain 90 new fans who thought £4 was too much to pay?

So I know what your thinking: “Hey Chris, let them have it for free and if they like it, they will come back and pay for the next one.”

The stats don’t let this theory stand up because since I started Twelve, the ratio between free downloader and buyer increases as more people start to follow the project. This ratio is also prevalent across every single release. The more people that buy an album, the even more people that grab it for free. The more popular the album the higher the ratio between buyer and taker.

Take for example the album NO_COUNTRY. This was a little downbeat techno album made with an 808 and a 303 and some samples from the film No Country For Old Men.

241 people downloaded the album. Out of that, 21 people paid for it giving me an income of £50.90. If everyone who took it would have paid I would have had £583.90. When you are trying to run a business and trying to survive, the difference between making £50 and making £580 is life changing. Was that money lost or fans gained?

“But hey Chris, you didn’t lose that money, those people are now on your mailing list and they will support you live.”

If they take it illegally, I don’t get their email address. I only get the email address if I give the track away as an official free download. Anyway, if I did get their email address then I would just have the email address of someone who persistently takes music they like, for free. (Don’t get me started on the debate about live music and free downloads. It’s complete crap to think that by giving music away for free, you are somehow letting people fall in love with your music so much so that they will just start to wander into and show up at a gig you might organise.)

For some reason it’s ok to take music. When I talk to people about this, the main justification I get is this one:

“I just can’t afford it and isn’t it better for me to at least be listening to your music for free rather than not at all?”

More and more people are now cool with downloading. I used to get emails from people saying: “I don’t and won’t do downloads Chris! Please release this as a CD.”

A lot of the people who used to say that are now happy to download. So now we have more people downloading legally and more people downloading for free and more people buying vinyl. The mixture of all three keeps me going, but I know where the money comes from.

For me, when I look at the stats it’s frustrating because I know that if everybody who downloads for free actually paid, it would make the difference between six by seven being a proper touring band making music in proper recording studios and Twelve being able to do what six by seven does now; the odd gig and some nice vinyl releases.

Chris….Music is like office supplies, it’s simply morally ok to half inch it!

…and why is that?

There are no answers just yet, I’m just writing this because I wish things were different but I’m also only writing it from my point of view.

This blog or indeed any rational discussion won’t solve the debate about why people choose to take music for free. It’s all about moral judgements and people need to become aware of the underlying explanations for why they are making those moral judgements in the first place.

People on either side of the debate of internet piracy will selectively use evidence to support their claims; perhaps that is what I’m doing here? I don’t know? I don’t think so? I have all the stats in front of me but the rationality of those stats and what they suggest will in no way change the situation.

My livelihood depends on selling the music I make so therefore I will always be on the side condemning people who illegally obtain music. For those of you who do other things to earn a living and whose livelihood does not depend on selling music, and those of you who can’t afford to pay for all the music you would like to (and can) have, will defend illegally obtaining music.

Human behaviour and moral judgement is based on strong feelings of desire and social context rather than logic and reasoning.

Each side is motivated to talk about and give the explanations that defend their emotional desires.

I wonder how many great bands have gone to the wall because of this though? I suppose it’s highly probable that we lost a cure for cancer somewhere on a battlefield?

It’s just life isn’t it. It’s never black and white.

Please subscribe to Twelve.









TWELVE iCircuit_2018

For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been putting up quite a lot of free tracks as downloads on the Twelve website recently. I’ve now compiled these 12 tracks onto a CD (and a Free download).

It’s a jewel case CD and is only £5.00

There some great music on this CD ranging from Kraftwerk Computer Love melodic grooves to minimalist influenced loops and arpeggios.


Also, please pledge for The Submarine Broadcasting’s compilation vinyl KLANG on Kickstarter (featuring six by seven). He’s nearly halfway there now to making this happen. Please help if you can. He’s put a new video up featuring all of the bands on the record. You can have a look and pledge by clicking HERE.

In the meantime, please head over and grab yourself this free Twelve album, I’m sure there will be something on it for you to enjoy.

Thanks everyone. CHRIS

Stuart Pearce – The Church Of…


I’d like to thank my mate Rich Fisher for giving me an advance copy of his book (signed by Forest legend (legend?!) Brian Rice – who has written the foreword).

The book is out on Monday and I implore you to buy it if you love football and have supported a team all your life.

I started supporting West Ham in 1970 and it’s been a life of misery, mostly! We won the FA Cup in ’75 and 1980 and nearly won it again in… er, I don’t want to think about that particular one too much.

I chewed my nails to the bottom listening (on the radio in Germany) to the rest of the Final in 1980 against Arsenal after Brooking scored his header.

“Surely they can’t!!”

I cried my eyes out in ’76 when we lost to Anderlecht in the Cup Winners Cup final. Oh man, how great that next day at school could and should have been.

Everyone who follows a team, other than teams that constantly win stuff, knows exactly what I mean. It’s like being in the trenches, you win the odd battle but it’s mostly just dirty and wet and unpleasant. Occasionally you get the chance to stop Man Utd winning the title or you knock one of the big boys out. It doesn’t last. But it’s worth it.

Rich’s book is all about this. What I love is his spirit and the infectious way in which he writes. It’s the sort of book you can leave on your coffee table and pick up at random and start from almost anywhere in it and half an hour later you are still sitting there chuckling away to yourself.

I’ve met few men like Rich. He takes out of life all he can get and his relationship with his team (and cheese) is exactly that. He is the ultimate supporter. He spent years writing the Forest Forever fanzine and was responsible for getting a fantastic statue of Brian Clough made in the City Centre. That statue was put there by the fans and not the council. It’s all in this book and so much more. It’s hilarious and you won’t be able to put it down.

I’m glad I met Rich in this life and I’m happy to say I was the first person to take him to the City Ground in style on the back of my motorbike! All I can say is:

“Rich, good work son, this should be a best seller. You Reds.”



I managed to make this track today despite having man flu.

I took that picture of the Nottingham Trent University building the other day whilst walking past. It’s called the Newton building, I only ever went in there to pick up my grant cheque (before student loans) when I was a student.

Some guy jumped off it in my second year.  Because I remember this and because it’s a dark fascist looking building, I find it quite foreboding.

Klang – Krautrock Compilation

KLANG – Krautrock Vinyl Compilation.

Hi Everyone,

Long time six by seven fan and music devotee, Rob Mellor, aka The Submarine Boadcasting Company has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of a brilliant Krautrock compilation he has put together which also features six by seven.

Although Rob is funding this release himself, he needs £2200 to help him towards paying for the vinyl.

PLEASE PLEASE go and give Rob some money so he can get this brilliant independent project off the ground. 

He’s only charging £18 for heavy Weight Vinyl in a gatefold sleeve and that includes extra downloads.

The artwork looks brilliant and has been designed by Adrian from The Glove Of Bones who made all the Walls Of Dada Videos and the Mother Of Life video for six by seven.


Klick HERE to pledge


Peace Love and Kling Klang – CHRIS