Q&A: Richard Cheetham, High Voltage

Blog by Molly Jones under Live

Manchester music’s movers and shakers give us their unique perspective on the best (and worst) of working with unsigned acts…

Richard Cheetham is the man behind High Voltage, a live music night, label and fanzine.

Favourite Manchester bands:
MAY68, Spokes, Dutch Uncles, Wu Lyf, Hey Zeus,I am Blackbird.

What’s the best way for unsigned bands to approach you?

A brief and polite e-mail / facebook message with a bit of background info and weblinks to some recordings. Soundcloud, twitter and are also great ways to profile your music and spread the word.

How can they make an impression?

Great songs, which has been mentioned by other people profiled on this blog. But I like bands to show some kind of originality in the way their portray themselves via photos/myspace/website etc. I think this attention to detail says a lot about the creativity and tastes of the people behind the music, and it kinda adds extra depth too – four blokes stood against a wall in the Northern Quarter is an over cooked look.

What’s you biggest bugbear when it comes to dealing with unsigned bands?

I can forgive bands starting out for being over-confident, or those who aren't sure of the 'plan', but over persistence is a big turn-off.

Top tip for unsigned bands:
Try and have some concept of how your band is viewed by everyone else. Take a note of what others are doing (remixes, blogs, djing etc) to help create more interest in the band, but don't copy. I'm not saying you should create a 'brand' but you'll stand out by doing something a little different.


manchester gigs, high voltage, unsigned gigs, manchester bands, manchester music, unsigned bands, unsigned artists, emerging bands


Your Comments

WOMEX comes to Manchester in 2024 & calls out to artists, bands, DJs & producers
Apply to play Ireland Music Week
PRS Foundation's POWER UP initiative open to Black creators and music industry professionals
Charmfactory launch Emerging Talent Scholarship
Launchpad Conference returns this March - register for free one day event!
BBC 1Xtra's Touchdown Tour returns to showcase unsigned artists