I worked for the very busy and very cool PR/Communications Agency ‘Bite’ in 2006 and 2007. As most people will know, working in PR (Public Relations) means long busy hours, but often some nice freebies and perks. I was very fortunate to be working on the Apple brand. Yes that’s right I used to do the UK PR for Apple, the company who started with the Macs, got even cooler with the iPod and have now taken over with the iPhone, iTunes and the like. A massive company and there I was answering the phone and doing their UK PR outreach. Every now and then Apple would have events, shows and live iTunes performances. I was lucky to be invited to quite a few of these, some of which I went to and some of which I didn’t. In my entire time working at Bite Communications and on the Apple brand, I attended one Live Exclusive iTunes gig. It was a dark cold Tuesday night in November 2006. The previous few days in work, one of my superiors, young Andrea Christopherson had got me working on attracting media to the upcoming iTunes gig by the English band “The Feeling.” At the time “The Feeling” were pretty big in the UK. Previous hits “Fill My Little World” and “Sewn” had become anthems, major radio appearers and UK Top 10 singles. I even knew the lead singers name, Dan Gillespie. We normally had a target of 10 journalists to invite and they would get free tickets, often the chance to interview the band and also the opportunity to take photos. In return we expected some coverage in newspapers, magazines etc. The gigs should have been a major selling point. They were EXCLUSIVE, limited to less than 100 people (and in the case of “The Feeling” gig, there were less than 30 in attendance). Yet for some reason the Tuesday and Thursday night timings in London seemed to clash with “bigger” gigs for the music journalists.
I had phoned and e-mailed some 40 odd journalists who worked for music magazines, radio shows or national newspapers, including celebrity journalists at some other magazines. In the end I think the journalists who attended this one were from NME, GQ, Grazia, BBC Radio and ITV. On the afternoon of the gig, we received an e-mail from the client at Apple to check if any of the Bite Apple team wanted to attend. Normally Sally Plant or Jonathan Hopkins would attend, and I also had been offerred the chance to attend the previous gig. This time I just jumped in and said I was going. I felt like a nice night out in London. So the gig was meant to begin around 7.30 pm. I left work at Bite around 6 ish and caught the District line to Hammersmith and then the Picadilly line to Lesi’s Q (my nickname for Leicester Square). I remember it was cold and dark, and it was also the same night as the James Bond – Casino Royale premiere at the Odeon in Leicester Square. I had to get out at Lesi’s Q and check it out, hoping I would meet some celebrities. I hung around for a bit and grabbed some photos of the large posters of Daniel Craig as James Bond and the red carpets, but there were peelers and security about, but no celebs yet so I was off to find Air Studios! Air Studios was at Hampstead and I remember hearing that Oasis had recorded a few songs there in the 1990s, so I was keen to see it. There were two options. One was to get out at Hampstead and dander right down the main road and the other option was to get out at Belsize Park. I chose the Belsize Park option and decided to go straight there from Lesi’s Q on the Northern Line. When I arrived at Air Studios, I noticed that it was a large Church. It was a former Church now converted into a music studio. Even in the November darkness it looked good. It was at the entrance where I met Helen Lord and Michelle Husain, the PR ladies from Apple, who were doing the welcoming. I was given a special ‘ticket’ on a card round my neck which also included a code to download the entire gig a week later, which I then did through iTunes. On entering I didn’t ask for a bar, it looked like there wasn’t one and we were ushered in, while I spoke to a few of the journalists including Leo Holden, a blond and very cheerful funny character, who just happened to be the producer for ITV’s Richard and Judy show. Soon we were in a very small room and the band “The Feeling” were due on. I had already met Paul Stewart, the drummer while waiting. “I’m the drummer” he said to me. Cool or what! I can’t remember if I shook his hand, spoke to him properly or introduced, at any rate soon he was in position and ready to bang the drums, while the band warped their way through an excellent set.
I didn’t own any “The Feeling” CDs but was mightily impressed with their tidy performance (which included a few minor cock ups, just for good measure). At one point singer Dan Gillespie said “this is gonna be available on iTunes next week and we’ve just fucked up the start of that one. Can we delete that bit and start again?” They did and the song sounded perfect on the second atempt. We were treated to two new songs, which is always a bonus. These songs took almost two years after this to be released, and were “Join With Us” and “Love It When You Call”, both are on the latest album as far as I know.
It was in a packed room, small and noisy and the music sounded great. I later downloaded the whole gig from iTunes, but have as yet to buy a ‘The Feeling’ CD, which I might do at some point, though perhaps they’re “too nice” to be rock’n’roll and I do prefer the likes of Oasis and Ash. Leo Holden was loving it – this was the only time I met him from working on Apple – though we did exchange e-mails and voicemails on other ocassions. After the gig Helen and Michelle hung around for a bit and then Leo said he was going to the pub. For some reason I didn’t join him or his friend from GMTV. I should have done as my journey back to Kent was going to be a long one anyway, so a beer would have done the trick…
Instead I popped into two different pubs on my own on the way back, one, The George was at Belsize Park, where Noel Gallagher’s abode Supernova Heights was meant to be. I hoped Noel would pop in for a pint, but he didn’t. Then I had another swift pint at Charing Cross before heading home, but it was nice to be working on the Apple brand and getting invites to exclusive events such as this. Plus if I’d wanted I could have drank beers with ‘The Feeling.’ That would have probably filled my world right up, right up, right up…
Intro / I Want You Now 4:22 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Helicopter 3:44 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Fill My Little World 5:00 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Rosé 4:29 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Never Be Lonely 4:51 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Sewn 5:46 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Join With Us 5:27 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Love It When You Call 5:13 The Feeling Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) £0.79
Available to download from:
CLIP OF “HELICOPTER” FROM MY DIGITAL CAMERA:
CLIP OF “FILL MY LITTLE WORLD” FROM MY DIGITAL CAMERA:
CLIP OF “SEWN” FROM MY DIGITAL CAMERA
SOMEONE ELSE’S CLIP (BETTER QUALITY):