Today, We Turn 15
15 Sep 2015
I’m delighted to state that Rockfeedback remains now as it has always been: an effort borne out of friendship, love and heart, and – most crucially – a blind, unwavering passion for music and people.
Rockfeedback has developed immensely over the years, taking twists and turns in the way that only life can command and that plans simply cannot.
It launched on Friday 15th September 2000 as a humble online music magazine, compiling fawnings for the post-millennial indie types that walked brave and alone during a tawdry spell of inane, pap pop.
Fortuitously, we didn’t have to wait long until The Strokes came along and changed everything. For a while. Their British response – The Libertines – casted a dreamier, more poetic vision of things, and so Rockfeedback was established: in the thick of all of it, writing up debut show reports and first interviews with all of these characters, and along the way starting up a club-night in London and a production company to film and document such legendary encounters. In between revising for exams at school.
Like most things around back then, it was warmly naive, terribly designed, and yet brimming with some kind of clueless potential.
In 2015, what’s changed? With the exception of some occasional, impulsive and passionate you-need-to-check-this-out posts, Rockfeedback has admittedly slowed down on the words / magazine front (for now… to the earlier point on plans - who knows what might come next?), while our production company entity – the producer of multiple “Rockfeedback Presents” series for MTV and Channel 4 - was absorbed into the altogether-larger LoveLive TV family. Four years into Rockfeedback, we also started a sister company, in the form of Transgressive – a label/publisher/management group, which rather wonderfully was voted as Independent Label of the Year last week at the AIM Awards (we’re still recovering).
Our monthly live nights, meanwhile, morphed into the Rockfeedback Concerts brand (kindly nominated as “Live Promoter of the Year” by Music Week earlier this year).
It’s within this latter silo that we now stage more than 100 events a year in the British capital, promoting many more acts beyond that, and help curate and book a wave of new festivals including Visions, Illuminations, By the Sea (the first event of which takes place in November, featuring Foals headlining), and beyond.
And yet whether typing a word, ripping a ticket or holding a camera, our philosophy has always remained the same, this past decade and a half: to be editorially charged, cautiously curated, and with a love of artists at the fore.
Although things might have grown a little over the years, frankly, we still care and feel honoured to be around.
Thank you to everyone that has been involved with and supported us over the years – you know who you are. We remain as excited as we've always been. 15 Years celebrations to come – with a little party, too, perhaps…
But, firstly - let's "get with the times", and quickly follow the "modern-journo" schtick and deliver you the....
15 Things That (Amazingly!) Didn't Exist When Rockfeedback First Started Out 15 Years Ago
1) YouTube (2005)
Quite how we used to watch videos or music content online... I almost couldn't actually tell you.
2) Spotify (2008)
See above - what does Rihanna sound like without a joyous advert interruption again?
3) Soundcloud (2007)
It's going through a challenging time currently with rights holders, but since the peak of MySpace (itself formed in 2003!), Soundcloud has been the artists' choice. Let's hope it stays with us.
4) Social Media (Facebook/Twitter - 2006 / Instagram - 2010)
God, anyone miss forums or news groups? Said no one, ever.
5) Skrillex (2007)
From wobbly, glitchy, bastardised dubstep origins to dizzying Justin Bieber production peaks, it can simply not be denied in 2015 that Skrillex is alive and well on Planet Earth.
6) Craig David's Instagram Account (2013)
50% essential life skills, 50% just hilarious. Except this time Craig's in the driving seat - comeback of the year?
7) Vinyl's Double Comeback (2003/4 and 2014/5)
In the last 15 years, vinyl has had not one but two rebirths - once around the time of the "new rock revolution" (copyright: NME) in the early "noughties" (ugh, that term), and secondly in the past 12-24 months, with Arctic Monkeys and Jack White serving as two examples of bloody huge global shellac sellers.
8) That Term, The "Noughties" (2010)
9) Pixies Making Sure That Band Reunions Became Literally *Compulsory* (2004)
OK, I have to admit, I was very pleased about Frank's fashion in recreating former glories - the respective returns of Blur (2009), Super Furry Animals (2015) and Pulp (2012) were wonderful, because they are the greatest bands of all-time. I love new music, but sometimes we should also just admit: old stuff rules as well.
10) New Music Fridays (2015)
Albums are now released on Fridays. Not Mondays. Why? No one really knows.
11) Noel Gallagher Became The Funniest Man On The Planet (2010)
After disbanding Oasis, Noel must've had a serious weight lifted, and post-sobriety, seemingly became the funniest man on the planet. Everything he comments on, from music or drugs to current affairs, is simply pure gold. He's better this way.
12) Hip-Hop Is Now The World's Most-Listened-To Genre (2015)
A study (by Spotify) revealed this year that hip-hop is the most-listened-to genre of music in the world. Fair play, as well - whether Kendrick, Run The Jewels, or brand-new, British homegrown talent such as Loyle Carner, it's not just going through a purple patch, it's actually now the dominant force in contemporary music. Oft filled with the most honest prose, forward-thinking production and biggest characters.
13) Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
This album came out two weeks after Rockfeedback started. We knew we were on the right track, heading somewhere rather beautiful.
14) The X Factor (2004)
15) F**king Lists That Parade Themselves As Relevant "Content" And Journalism (2013-ish)
Is this really where we've netted out? Really?
Honorary shout-out to our friends at Drowned In Sound, which also launched in 2000. I greatly look forward to their Top-15 Lists as well.