5AM MUSIC CLUB: Use Music Glue to sell stuff and apply for festivals

Hi 5am team! Yes it’s half twelve, I’m cramming this in a lunchbreak. So today a quick post about Music Glue. In short, it’s like an updated MySpace. You make a profile and can customise it a fair amount with minimal web skills. It’s responsive and works pretty well on tablet/phone. I’m fairly pleased with ours, it basically does the job and I’ve told myself to stop faffing with it now 😉


Two awesome things Music Glue offers:

AWESOME THING #1: The Apply To Play page allows you to submit your act for festivals and events including Great Escape and Blue Dot Festival. Once you have a Music Glue page, head to https://www.musicglue.com/blog/apply-to-play/ and check out the opportunities. Could be useful if you’re a promoter too.

AWESOME THING #2: Your profile can have a Products section where you can sell pretty much anything. We’re using it for music downloads, which we’ve enabled streaming on, but it supports physical merch, experiences etc.

Hope this is useful, ’til next time, keep it bleary. All the best, Chris FoH

5am Music Club: F*cking up on-stage

Morning 5am crew! If you’re gigging this weekend, take a read of this:


We’re playing this Friday at the Cellar (plug! bit.ly/foh-170317) and last time we were there we had a few technical boo-boos and didn’t bring the audience in as the article suggests. I remember feeling the rising panic as the seconds ticked by. It’s embarrassing to admit something is broken (maybe something entirely preventable) and have that black hole of silence sucking away the audience’s attention.

So our strategy is to give out more microphones, not to just Phil and me. If something breaks, we’ll ‘fess up, then Phil and drummer James will start waffling on entertainingly, probably insulting each other, talking board games and/or slow cooking. Play to your natural strengths 🙂 Have a great day! Chris FoH x

5am Music Club: Accelerate your band communication #2 with video chat

Crazy hair high-five 5am team! I’m going to try to keep these posts a bit snappier as the last one was a monster. That was about the joys of using group text chat rather than boring old email and as I said we’re using Facebook Messenger. Messenger also supports video chat between two or more people and this as been really helpful recently while guitarist/analog echo addict Krazi was living back in Wales. It took quite some encouragement to get the band to try it but it’s now paying off as we when we need to discuss something in a bit more depth than just text will allow, we message round to find a time and kick off a video call.

Starting a Facebook video chat is dead easy.

  • You’ll need a computer with a webcam and The Inturrnet, or a smartphone with the Facebook Messenger app installed.
  • You’ll need a chat group – Facebook calls it a Conversation – with all the people you want to call.
  • Get some headphones as these help avoid feedback and echoes on the call. Phone earbuds work fine for me.
  • Make your hair look like slightly less of a mess, then hit the camera icon  at the top-right of the chat window to start the call. It’s ringing!
  • People in that Conversation can then join and leave the video call as needed.
  • If you need more help here’s a WikiHow article and the spartan Facebook guidance.

Here’s what a chat looks like. Drummer James (left) is on his phone while Krazi and me are on our ‘puters:

UPDATE: We found Facebook video chat started to get choppy with five people. Skype is looking more reliable for us, and there’s Google Hangouts too which has the advantage of letting you wear silly masks and glasses, but we haven’t tried it for the band as yet. Both of these have smartphone apps too.

Give it a go folks. You have nothing to lose but your endless email threads! Peace and schlub, Chris FoH.




5am Music Club: Accelerate your communication with Facebook Messenger

Slightly achey high five 5am club! So over the last year ago we’ve switched from email and texting to Facebook Messenger for most of our communication. This morning I’m talking messaging and tomorrow will be video chat. Nearly everyone has a Facebook account these days which makes it great for getting projects going. Hold up Facebook haters, I hear your concerns; you can use Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and many others to achieve the same thing.

How do we use it? Facebook calls group chats ‘conversations’. Flights of Helios have one main conversation with all band members. Then we have other conversations for projects like making merchandise or video making which feature a few band members plus collaborators from outside.

So obviously you can use it to chat by text instantly on desktop and mobile for tiny data which is awesome for organising things. People don’t get tempted to spend hours honing an email to perfection which is a terrible time sink; it’s disposable communication. But that’s not all – you can also ping all sorts of other shit between you:

  • images! what do you think of this t-shirt design / photo for the website?
  • videos and voice memos! check me out playing this new riff in my jimjams
  • more uses for text! what do you think of these terrible new lyrics?
  • links to pretty much anything! YouTube, Soundcloud, Dropbox…
  • fun GIFs! Everyone needs a bit of silliness. We do a lot of psychedelic cats.

So how do I start a Facebook conversation?

  • You’ll all need to be friends. On Facebook, that is. IRL is harder sometimes.
  • Start a new Facebook message, add everyone to the recipients list, add a nice little one-liner and send it. Your group chat is on!
  • Click the cogwheel top-right and rename the conversation to something sensible if you’re planning to use a few different ones.

That’s it, see you tomorrow where we talk video chat! Chris FoH 

5am Music Club: Upgrade your band photos for more impact

Yo 5am team, all hail caffeine! I’m drinking Yerba Mate like the hipster I am. Let’s get moving.

I’m a big fan of smartphone apps for photo editing (and video too; that’s for another post…) There’s usually very little learning curve unlike Photoshop and you can use them anywhere you have a few spare minutes. Photos with text, stickers, filters, overlays etc stand out in your social media feeds and are more likely to get people to stop and interact. So here are three tips.

MOLDIV has a good spread of editing features without getting overwhelming. Starts free and has upgrade packs for a few quid for more filters, stickers etc. Get it on App Store and Google Play.

Prisma will turn your photos into art like cartoons and paintings. Totally free! On App Store and Google Play.

Photo Candy allows you to layer cool shapes over your images, as well as providing standard photo editing tools like filters, brightness, colour etc. Only on App Store.

Right that’s quite enough time looking at my silly face. The trick is not to get bogged down. This is still relatively disposable communication; go with your gut, get it out, move on. Chris FoH over and out xox

PS. If you’re interested in learning more about Yerba Mate (it’s really great stuff) check out https://www.healthambition.com/yerba-mate-health-benefits/

5am Music Club: Use Doodle to easily schedule events when you have seven members like us

Snotty but undefeated air fives* 5am club! Along with a shared band calendar, Doodle is our top tip for finding out when people are available to do stuff. It’s easy to use and free, the best combo. Essentially you suggest some dates you think might work, everyone responds yes/no to each one and then you get a grid showing what days everyone can make.

  1. Open up doodle.com
  2. Create an event, eg. ‘Next recording session’.
  3. Select some potential dates. Tip: if you want to make it a whole week or weekend, click the first date then drag the right-hand arrow along.
  4. Specify start/end times if you want.
  5. Leave it as a ‘Basic’ poll if you just want people to respond yes/no to each date, otherwise there’s a few additional options like yes/no/if need be.
  6. Bang in the emails of your bandmates and hit Finish. They’ll then be emailed the suggested dates.
  7. Each response updates the grid and you’ll end up with something like this little beauty:
Doodle results grid

Doodle results grid

Let us know how you get on. See ya tomorrow!

* The most hygienic five: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rsoAuo9AgU

5am Music Club: Get a band bank account

Hi 5am team! Get some coffee to burn away your hangover and let’s talk bizniz. Getting a shared bank account was a great admin hack for us:

  • Use online banking to see at a glance how much/little money the band has! We put all cash we get from gigs and merch into the account.
  • Take payments from proper grownup companies! BBC, PRS, University of Oxford museums etc all paid us via bank transfer.
  • Pay for stuff electronically! No more paying with personal money then forgetting to claim it back.

We have a Community and Group account with NatWest, more details and application form here.

BONUS POINTS: Get a band PayPal account! Flights use this for Bandcamp payments. You’ll need to order a debit card, check it out:

See y’all tomorrow!

5amMusicClub: Get a shared band calendar

Sleep-addled fist bump 5am-ers! One move that really helped Flights of Helios get organised was a shared online calendar. We use Google Calendar. We put in band commitments (rehearsals, gigs, baannd meetings) and personal ones (holidays, weddings, Settlers of Catan games), everyone’s got it on their phone and so we can answer pretty accurately whether people are available for new fun stuff.

So our calendar’s called Flights of Helios and is on our flightsofhelios@gmail.com Google account. Each band member has a Google account tied to their email address (doesn’t need to be a Gmail one) and the calendar is shared to them with permissions to ‘make changes and manage sharing’.

Sign up for a Google Account then create a calendar, then invite people and set permissions in the Calendar Settings:

Then just hit ‘Share My Calendar’ and add email addresses; if the person doesn’t have a Google account yet they’ll get an email asking them to make one. TTFN x