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Secrets & Wives Free EP

The Secrets & Wives EP is a collection of four songs from the Enormous back-catalogue.

The songs feature on Electric Baby Grand: The Enormous Early Years compilation, but, in our benevolence,  we decided to make them available for a limited period as a totally free download.

There’s no catch, no annoying DRM, you don’t have to sign anything, and nobody will visit you in the middle of the night with a big sword.

Click here and grab it now, and if you like it follow Enormous on Twitter and tell your friends.

Piggy back WordPress marketing

In the ever growing online world, as we move closer and closer to a time where internet access is available to everyone worldwide, creative marketing opportunities become more and more powerful. Sometimes, however, the most powerful marketing solutions are those that combine existing but otherwise uncomplimentary methods.

Producing a WordPress theme and distributing it for free is a proven way of getting inbound links and traffic. That traffic can be used to generate an income or for practically any other purpose.

Creative professionals of all disciplines know that to succeed online they need to get their creations in front of the eyes and ears of as many people as possible.

Add to these two inescapable facts a human being’s dependable love of anything that is free and you have a winning formula.

Create a WordPress theme and add a free gift to the zip file. Make it clear that there is a free gift and make it clear what it is, after all, this is piggy back marketing not trojan horse marketing. Honesty is the name of the game since no one likes surprises online. The spammers and scammers have forced surfers to become suspicious of everything, even if they don’t want to be.

I’ll give you an example.

Enormous is a band you may have heard me mention before. A long time ago the band split up and went their separate ways. Recently a few of the members, me included, got the band back together. And now Enormous have a new blog, powered by a WordPress theme with the same name. That theme, in all it’s oversized typographical glory, will be released here as a free download on Monday once I’ve ironed out a few little kinks in the code. If you want to the theme now then click here and grab the beta copy. Assuming the theme is enjoyed by enough bloggers the credit link in the footer which goes back to the Enormous blog will provide a good and growing stream of traffic to the reformed band.

This in itself is nothing new. It’s similar to theme sponsorship. The only difference here is that no money changed hands since I am in the band and benefit from the exposure as well. Hopefully this lack of financial influence will mean that those directories that usually frown on sponsored themes will still link the download.

But there’s more. Happily aware of the importance of letting people hear your work, I’ve included three tracks in the zip file. Those three tracks piggy back the WordPress theme if and when it is downloaded. The more people that download the theme, the more people get to hear the music. And that’s a very good thing for the band since it increases awareness and drives word of mouth referrals.

If you have a product that can be digitized and included in a zip file then creating a WordPress theme and using it as a carrier might be the magic bullet that delivers your promotional material to a wider audience than you thought possible. It could be as easy as releasing your current blog design to your audience.

Click here to download the theme. Simply edit the header.php file to replace the Enormous image with one of your own and add your own text to the top and bottom of the page as necessary. As long as you keep the footer links back to Enormous and Upstart Blogger you can do whatever you like with the theme and, as always, use it as you please.

And if you enjoy the music be sure to bookmark Enormous Reloaded and subscribe to the blog.

Thank You Very Much

It’s hard to believe that it is only 30 years since Elvis Presley died. It seems like yesterday. (Sigh.)

I was only a twinkle in my father’s eye when the famous singer shrugged off his mortal coil whilst trying to empty his bowels on a toilet in Memphis back then in ’77, but I remember it well.

Enormous have covered a few Elvis songs in our live shows in the past including: Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, That’s Alright Mama, Train Arrive, and my personal favourite All Shook Up which, as luck would have it, is available as part of the Something for the Weekend EP, a totally gratis download from the Enormous Reloaded website.

Now, to celebrate this poignant anniversary, I must go and do something constructive. I shall get drunk.

Here’s to Elvis the Pelvis – and not forgetting his brother Enis, of course.

On the Fantastic hi-fi today:
Elvis Presley – G.I. Blues

The Artist Formally Available in Record Stores

I am somewhat concerned that Planet Earth, the new album from Prince, the artist formerly known as ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’, was given away free this weekend with the Mail On Sunday newspaper here in the UK.

Prince probably feels that he has employed some clever marketing tactics and has outsmarted the record industry in the process – something that many musicians would dearly love to do on a regular basis. But he has manifestly done it at the highest level.

Although the performer himself (who received around £250,000 in the deal – more, in all probability, than he would have earned if the album went on sale normally, his last CD selling only around 80,000 copies in the UK), the newspaper, and around 3 million consumers – who may or may not be Prince fans - have greatly benefited from the promotion, the whole thing is an insult to high street record stores and other music retailers.

As a songwriter, musician and record company co-owner, I personally feel very uneasy about this move. It implies that music ought to be free and therefore has no value. Retail prices for CDs and tracks available for download have fallen considerably recently, and whilst this is obviously advantageous to the general music-buying public, it is a serious concern for the rest of the industry.

And while you ruminate on this, why not go and download the free 4-track Enormous EP, or the awe-inspiring EP from the critically acclaimed ultracool, punky pop band Slaughterhouse 5 . . . which, as luck would have it, is also free. Hehehe.

By Popular Demand

I have been asked by several people after the Classic Lines post to include several examples of my own song lyrics. (Oh gosh darn it, I’m blushing now.) I do not like singing my own praises, as it were, but here are a few that I am particularly proud of:

‘Nice bloke, he’s the cheekiest chappie
He’s got a pink grin on a face like a knee’
It’s Gonna Happen

‘You can see her face
You can smell her feet
You can still hear her shoes in the hall’
Goes Against the Grain

‘You’ve got me speaking a language
Where the verbs are unpronounceable‘
The Definite Article

‘My type – you’re not very bright
But you’re my type – with your slightly-crossed eyes
And you’re my type – you’re not very bright
But you’re mine’
My Type

‘Here comes that girl again
There go my knocking knees
Here comes that girl and I just
Lose the basic power of speech’
That Girl Again

‘Pretty little painkiller
I’m in love with you
Sweaty little stocking-filler
Sealed me in her little tomb
Starts like an embarrassing affliction
Ends up as a permanent addiction
Pretty little painkiller
I’m in love with you’
Pretty Little Painkiller

If you like these examples of my oeuvre to date, many more can be found at enormousreloaded.com and slaughterhouse5.co.uk where you can also find free and exclusive tracks to download.

Bad Hair Day

I have just made my hairdresser cry. She was only a young girl – a trainee, I believe.

‘Very short, please. About a one-inch-length all over.’ I told her upon my arrival at the new and very cheerful little barbers in the village. It costs a modest £5 to have one’s hair fashioned and styled at this particular venue, but even at such a low cost, I expected a decent job to be done. Alas, ‘twas not to be.

When the girl began to take off only about five millimetres from my long mane, I reminded her of my initial instructions. ‘Sorry,’ she said with all the sullen disregard she could muster, and continued with her delicate snipping.

To cut a long story short (hehe), she spent about forty minutes removing hardly any hair from my head.  I determined, for once, that I was not going to endure such unacceptable treatment and decided to make a stand right there and then – not only for myself, but for all the discontented individuals who are afraid to speak out and stand up for their rights in such situations.
I decided to complain.

‘Do you know how long an imperial inch actually is?’ I asked her.

At that, we both went very red. She also began to tremble slightly and pursed her lips as if she had just swallowed a large beetle. I insisted that she continue until I was happy with the result – something I have never before done in my life and probably never will do again.

As I left the shop, she burst into tears – perhaps because I did not leave a tip. It has often been said that Napoleon Fantastic is ‘tighter than an Eskimo’s nad’, but on this particular occasion I did not feel that such an extravagant gesture was at all warranted.

Yet again, I have been left severely disappointed by the level of service one often receives in this country. ‘Bring back conscription!’ my grandfather was prone to declare in certain instances – and the older I get, the more I feel inclined to agree with him.

Talking of barbers, Something for the Weekend, the astonishingly brilliant (and DRM-free) 4-track EP from Enormous, is still available as a totally gratis download.

(And I can personally guarantee that you will be utterly satisfied – and also a little turned on – by the quality of songs that it features.)

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