When the band I was in was gathering interest from the music industry in the mid 1970s, we weren't having to compete with Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Hollies, The Tremolos, the Four Pennies, Heinz, Wayne Fontana, Amen Corner and all those other great bands from the 1960s, because they had either moved on to other careers or had jumped to the cabaret circuit.
What did we achieve in 2015? Well: We gave the Government a bloody nose when they tried to introduce a private copying exception with no fair compensation. We told them it wouldn't stand up in court, we told them that if they did it we would take them to a judicial review and we told them that if we went to a judicial review we would win.
With hindsight, I am pretty sure that the record industry, in fleecing us over the price of a CD, sowed the seeds of their own downfall once the internet and Napster showed music fans that they didn't have to pay for recorded music if they didn't want to...
So, what did we learn at South by South West this year? Well, firstly that it can rain in Texas and did, almost solidly for two days. Countless burger buns were transformed into deformed sponges and all the swag shops were selling umbrellas at exorbitant prices, which, mostly fell apart within minutes of use and in my case, before I had even left the shop.
Now it seems that any band in any country that reaches the point where they think they can and should be breaking into new territories is looking for a showcase to perform at. In fact, ironically, sometimes the only way for a UK act to get some interest from the UK music industry is to play at an international showcase outside of the UK!
The UK film and gaming industries have both enjoyed generous tax breaks over the last few years. It's now high time that grass roots musicians and music venues got a break.
The coming of the age of austerity means that the big corporates that used to throw extravagant parties/conferences etc either simply can't afford to do so anymore or have decided that ostentatious displays of decadence and largesse are inappropriate in these straightened times.
Did you have a teacher who sparked an interest in a subject for you? Who went that extra mile and was so absorbed and enthused by their subject that you couldn't help but be in awe of them as a teacher, and years afterwards you can still remember how you couldn't wait for their lesson?
On the Saturday night Metallica clashed with Pixies, Jake Bugg, John Grant, Bryan Ferry, Dexys Midnight Runners, MGMT and Mogwai. Now, granted, maybe not all those bands float your boat but it really rankles that you can't get to see them all.
I still remember how hard it is to get a baby to go to sleep when there is a distracting noise. Nevertheless, if I chose to move into a flat or a house which is situated near a music venue then surely I'm likely to know that there will be times when I will hear the music coming from the venue, and if I have young children or a predilection for insomnia to contend with then maybe I should consider moving somewhere else.