Review - The Unsigned Guide

Contacts and tips for bands that want to take off

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 14 Dec 2010
  • min read
There are many thousands of unsigned bands across the UK, playing gigs in their local communities. All face common hurdles if they want to move beyond this and turn music into a full career. From building up to a national tour, recording an EP, choosing a manager… eventually maybe even entering into a recording agreement with a record company.

The Unsigned Guide aims to give bands the information they need to make progress on all these fronts.

Music contacts

At its heart, The Unsigned Guide is a contacts book covering the entire UK - with 8,000+ names and addresses in its 864 pages. While this sounds huge, the book is not actually all that large and is equivalent to a long paperback novel.

The guide is well organised and laid out clearly.

The first three sections - You and the Music Industry, Record Companies and Publishing Companies - offer a good overview of the music industry. The Record Companies section also includes useful tips on understanding recording agreements

The huge fourth section has contact details for Services that bands may need - most usefully legal advice, equipment hire, insurance services, rehearsal rooms and recording studios.

Next up, the Live Performance section gives contacts for venues, promoters and festivals broken down into geographic areas. This perhaps the chapter that gigging bands will get the most from; it even contains UK road maps.

The contacts continue with sections covering Management Companies, Industry Organisations, Media, and Education and Training. Section eight on Media, in particular, has useful hints on using web services to promote your music.

Immediate and helpful

Admittedly the internet means that many contacts can be found online, however for sheer immediacy and helpful summaries The Unsigned Guide cannot be beaten. Finding phone numbers can be near impossible on some websites, but the guide helpfully gives a number for most contacts.

For less than £50, The Unsigned Guide is the essential resource for anybody entering the music industry and an invaluable tool for bands that want to expand their horizons.