Paul Hutton – The Show Must Go On
Paul Hutton is a London-based concert promoter who after 28 years in the business as part of another company launched a new start-up company called Crosstown Concerts in early 2016. With a wide-range in concerts planned for this year, we sat down and interviewed Paul about his new venture, his background and his first gig! Enjoy:
- How did you get into the music industry e.g. concert promotions?
I started as an elected social secretary at Goldsmiths college London, I then ran things at ULU (University of London Union) for a couple of years, then joined Metropolis 28 years ago, when it was run out of a front room.
- You spent a lot of your career at Metropolis Music before launching your new company Crosstown Concerts. How important was that experience and what did you learn?
I learn’t that you should trust some people who you think are your friends! Obviously you never stop learning, but we built that company from very humble beginnings, so although I’m starting again, it is further along the line from starting in pubs again.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received and who was it from?
Never assume anything!
- Where did the name ‘Crosstown Concerts’ come from?
We have an office in London and another in Bristol, so that is part why, and we all put names in as suggestions, and this had the best logo.
- How many people are in the team at Crosstown Concerts and what are their roles?
7 at present, booking acts, marketing, production, the usual promoters work, we are looking for some young guns to work with newer bands. We have only been going 4 weeks, I would think 12 by Christmas
- What was the first live concert/gig you went to? Where was it?
It was Greenslade in Hemel Hempstead, I had no idea who they were, it wasn’t until punk came along three gigs later that I realised what I liked. Bowie in a perfect world would have been my first gig!
- What concerts does Crosstown Concerts have coming up in 2016 e.g. which artists and which venues?
We have only been going a month, but have shows coming up with Peter Doherty Explosions in the Sky. Seasick Steve, Teenage Fanclub White Denim, Lucinda Williams and Jack Savoretti, ranging form Islington Assembly Hall to SSE Wembley Arena. We are confirming a 200 cap Water Rats this week, so we are keeping our feet on the ground
- Do you have a favourite venue in the world? If so, which venue, where is it and why?
It used to be the Birmingham Hummingbird, because it was a real venue, eccentric, brilliant and edgy, now I couldn’t say, I might offend someone!
- Do you play any musical instruments?
None at all
- Which artist did you go to see perform with low expectations but ended up impressed? Where and when was this?
Difficult that one, more the other way round, I’ve turned up expecting brilliance and been disappointed – Robert Gordon, comes to mind
- What do you think is/are the biggest challenge/s for concert promoters in 2016? How do you think they can be combated?
I think we forget the public pay the bills, so we need to give them the best experience possible. There are too many third parties trying to make money and not putting enough back, I’ll say secondary ticketing sucks money out of our world
- Name a recording (an album maybe) that really ‘grew’ on you and has ended up as essential listening? What is it about this recording that you value?
10,000 Maniacs in my tribe great album and the C Duncan album Architect, because we manage him
- What advice do you have for people who are thinking about forming their own companies/brands like you have done?
It probably will be but treat any money like your own, protect it and don’t just promote things because you like them, that would be a dream, but not always the best idea!
- Two tickets arrive for an artist you’ve always wanted to see live. Who is it and what song/s are you hoping to hear?
I will do this with someone I’ve never seen, Carole King, all of Tapestry.*
(*Carole King will be performing ‘Tapestry’ in a full as a world exclusive at Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom on Sunday 3rd July 2016)
For more information about Crosstown Concerts visit their official website here: http://bit.ly/1pOWtoT
For concert announcements and updates you can follow them on Twitter here: http://bit.ly/1N797e4
(Paul Hutton feature image credited to City Showcase. A big thank you to Paul Hutton for taking part in the interview)