I thought maybe it's time I explained why my pace of blogging has slowed recently, and why I've got so behind with commenting on other blogs, and responding to emails and everything else. There's been a bit of a setback with the music which has distracted my attention away from the garden.
The small independent record label who released my album Mind The Gap has gone tits-up, and I haven't been paid for my sales. The most immediate impact of this is that my album no longer exists as a going concern, at least until I can get it re-issued. I'm not impressed, because CD sales are one of my few sources of income, and the album (which only came out last August) represents two years' work.
It's not just me either. I've spoken to a number of artists from the same label and it seems none of us have been paid, nor even told our sales figures. As if it isn't difficult enough for musicians to earn an honest crust without having somebody else pocket our hard-earned cash. For some of the artists the sales figures matter more than the money ... how can they make a decision about whether it's worth re-issuing their albums when they've no idea how many they've sold? We've all been treated very shoddily.
I must admit my first instinct was to curl up under the table with my thumb in my mouth, but after a few weeks of being very depressed I'm ready to get on and sort things out. One thing I have in my favour is that my album has been getting good reviews - really brilliant reviews in fact - so I know I have something worth pushing. It's just a case of what to do with it next. Rather than throw myself on the mercy of another indie label, I'm planning to set up my own tiny label and release the album myself. It will mean scraping together a few hundred pounds upfront to get the CD pressed and printed, and a lot of work promoting it, but at least I'll be in control of things and will have a sporting chance of hanging on to any future income.