Today we bring you the latest installment in the North East Business Column, from Lucy at LPH Associates. If you are interested in reading previous articles for the NE Business column you can find them all here.
Catch up with Bruce Tate of Need Music Ltd
We had the pleasure of catching up with the enigmatic rock legend that is Bruce Tate about the growth of his business ‘Need Music’. It’s been 2 years since we first interviewed him, so we were eager to discover how the North East music scene was treating him these days.
As it turns out, the last two years have been very kind to him. Hard work, good contacts and determination have ensured that Need Music are a much bigger player on the scene now. Bruce is keen to emphasise that much of this growth comes from the fact that they have built up a good reputation; being dependable both for the musicians and the venues they work closely with. Given that they’ve worked with over 50 venues already this year, their growing reputation speaks for itself. This growth in venues and musicians means that their roster has grown dramatically too. As such they’re now able to offer wedding DJs, as well as live bands and singers.
Asked if the past two years have held any surprises for him, Bruce notes the increase in the amount of new bars and restaurants that have opened in Newcastle; not just centrally, but right across the city:
“There is so much to do on an evening. The city is thriving as far as I can see.” Of course all these additional bars and restaurants require a lot more musicians, and Bruce is constantly amazed at how much musical talent the region has; meaning that he often finds himself shouting at artists: “Why have I never heard you before?!”
Their geographical coverage has also expanded in the last couple of years, in part due to Bruce’s insistence to seek out quirky venues that suit the ‘vibe’ of the majority of the musicians on their roster. As such they are still always on the lookout for new venues that suit blues and folk genres.
From the inception of Need Music in the basement of a hotel in Tynemouth, they’ve recently partnered with a new venue in Liverpool, which really evidences how much the business has grown, though as you would expect from Bruce, he is keen to point out that they have capacity for more growth yet.
Now an established and thriving business, Bruce acknowledges that starting the business with no financial support was tough at times. That said, he would still advise his 18 year old self to do the same thing again, because growing the business steadily without the need to consider debtors, has gained him the success he has today.
Slow and steady has won the race in the case of Need Music. Following his college tutor’s advice he did not quit his day job until Need Music was in a position to replace that income. From one event per week – and one less day at work – to resigning that job with a big grin on his face. He’s clearly not looked back in anger since!