Sacha Puttnam Reviews ‘Strictly Go Networking For Music Professionals’

We’ve received an outstanding review of our ‘Strictly Go Networking For Music Professionals’ event held on May 22nd 2017, featuring Geoff Meall from United Talent Agency and singer/songwriter, Kelli-Leigh (written by Sacha Puttnam)

Shoreditch sunlight bathed this gorgeous Monday evening at McQueen (recent recipient of the London Club Award for best DJ Bar and venue) for tonight’s event hosted by George Taylor.

We are greeted at the door by George’s team who supply us with friendly smiles and colour coded name tags. The atmosphere is relaxed. The nifty nametag hack allows us to easily target desired connections at sight. The crowd are an energetic mix of gogetter 20 to 40 something music professionals eager to build connections.

Maximillian stands above the crowd. His height, cosmic look and styling jumpsuit underline a confident artist with belief in his music. A prerequisite for networking. It becomes apparent he’s Russian and has a love of the spiritual so we parlay in Russian and discuss the merits of tuning to the 432khz heart chakra and elegant mathematics.

Maximillian is going places, so he thanks me for the metaphysical talk and wonders off to find something more concrete:

Next, I find myself in front of Rob Turner of Chili Music. Rob has a superb physical business promoting music and artists through mobile phones. He’s razor sharp, passionate and a good guy. I’m certainly following up his marketing knowledge and his mobile tech opportunity:

Clare Blacklock, with her raucous laugh befriended me before we’d even met. She’s a manager from Edinburgh with patience and clarity of vision looking after composer Ros Gilman – a delight to be around. She’s got something very special about her:

KelliLeigh and Geoff Meall

Singer KelliLeigh gives us effervescent insight into the world of session singing and topline writing. Kelli features on many club hits we’ve all heard. She tells us about the hits that were, that never were and creating her own identity, working with producers, agents and wrapping up with a blast from her latest release ‘What’s it Gonna be?’ @kellileighuk

United Agent, Geoff Meall talks us through the role of the booking agent. Geoff, from Liverpool, with a no nonsense approach to life, has great knowledge and experience of getting gigs and booking tours, and the live management of artists both established and rising.

His opening thought for discussion is the sheer amount of artists he is digitally approached by mainly through Soundcloud. It’s difficult to choose, Geoff muses: ‘the question I ask myself is, why would you get involved? You have to love what you hear. The low barrier to entry has vastly intensified competition…’

Geoff distils his work to ‘Sign Sell Serve.’ Artists join on a handshake. Geoff then has to sell the show both to promoters and artists, festival billing etc. and then service that sale. ‘It’s a bespoke career trajectory we’re creating for our artists,’ he says. @geoffmtag

The audience warmly applaud our speakers and it’s back to networking.

Yasmine Latkowski has a middle eastern band called Taqsim. They play ever popular belly dancing shows. She’s writing orchestral songs and we had a fabulous discussion about incorporating the Oud, Nay and Duduk within western classical settings.Watch this space.

Neirin Thompson’s huge smile and enthusiasm is enough to sell me on his potential in sound design and foley. Being from the film world myself, it’s a rare experience to feel such energy and ambition for the onset technical side outside the camera department:

Gianluca Fronda is a vivacious Italian composer, pianist who attended the event with his ballet dancer girlfriend Cozina. Fiery and artistically minded, Gianluca’s intensity shows through on his YouTube videos. Another developing talent to watch out for:


A wonderfully successful event. George Taylor has created a really easy networking environment. Nothing is forced, everything naturally evolves, the hallmark of excellent planning. I came away with fresh inspiration, new marketing ideas and greater clarity of purpose.

The event did however highlight the need for more dedicated managers and bright sparks to harvest the immense talent, create synergies and creative partnerships.

As Geoff mentioned in his interview, no one owes us a living. That is true, but with entrepreneurs like George and Strictly Go Networking, there are communities to help along the way.

I’d go again in a heartbeat.

Sacha Puttnam

Thanks for such a great review, Sacha! We’re glad you enjoyed it. Read the full report here.