Next up in the ‘Inspirational Women in Music’ interview series is Scottish promoter extraordinaire Catherine J Campbell. I first connected with her on Facebook and loved her energy and passion for music as well as her enthusiastic and positive attitude. She’s super supportive and encouraging of everyone and its her sunny outlook on life as well as the daily motivational posts that make her such a big inspiration!
Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I’m Catherine J Campbell. I’m a music promoter who presently lives near Aberdeen but spends a lot of time in Perth & Glasgow. I have many names given to me by ‘my’ bands including Rock Chick, The Boss, Doricana Girl and a new one is Catherine ‘multitasking’ Campbell. Lol.
Is working in the music industry something you always wanted to do?
I never dreamed of working in the music industry and went the usual route of college (getting qualifications in accounting, Spanish, biology and psychology) then temping in a range of places from oil companies to Universities.
Tell us about CJC Promotions and what your hopes and dreams are for it?
CJC Promotions was a wee idea I had but was brought to life by my very good friend, Nick J Townsend, lead singer with Birmingham band ‘Weak13’, actor, director…his list of talents is endless. Nick helped me with the name and setting up the actual CJC promotions fb page and a twitter page. In the last 16 months, the music promotion I do has snowballed into an avalanche and the respect and love I have from so many folk totally stuns me. As for CJC Promotions, I aim to carry on doing as much as I can to help bands & artists to get their music ‘out there’ with 100% determination and dedication.
I know you have some challenging health issues, do these hinder your career in any way?
Since I was 18, yes I’ve had serious health issues but I get on with my life the best I can. I guess many folk would be surprised to learn I am hard of hearing but the only thing I cannot do is use the phone. I hear music and as you know, love having my music LOUD especially in my car. In fact, all the serious health issues I do have which led me 16 months ago to change my life and just go for it, although still there…well being 100% positive and keeping busy seems to have had a hugely beneficial effect on my health.
Walk us through a typical day in the life of Catherine, if there is such a thing.
A typical day…hmmm…I guess there’s a pattern of sourcing radio stations, keeping in contact with ‘my’ bands and radio presenters but there’s also the continuous posting on Facebook and twitter, keeping an eye on ‘my’ bands posts and sharing on my own page, listening to new music that I get sent from ‘my’ bands but also from many other folk who contact me for help. Wi-Fi allowing, I like to listen in to radio stations, especially when ‘my’ bands are on. I also, try to set up interviews for them, either live guesting at radio stations or doing a phone interview. I’ve had the awesome Naked Sunday from Stafford …Laura Stanyer, Martin Stanyer & Craig Stanley on Canadian radio several times and Martin did an hour long live radio interview. I’ve had Fools on the Frontline on New York radio and also in Texas several times, The Swamp Born Assassins on New York radio several times and Michael Forsyth & The Amber Haze on Texan radio and over in New Zealand. Oh, and I’ve had Des Horsfall on New Zealand radio with his stunning track ‘Chameleon’ which featured Pete Townsend. Yes, and The New Madrids have been on Canadian radio.
You guest on quite a few radio shows, is having your own show something you aspire to?
The radio guesting that I do started when I created ‘The Interview Tour’ with Robert Woodside & Brian Lawlor of The Artisans. The guys made the stunning ‘Trilogy of the Somme’ in dedication to the millions of brave men who fought in WW1, including Robert’s own Grandfather, also called Robert. So far we’ve visited Oban FM & Radio North Angus in Arbroath with visits to Celtic Music Radio in Glasgow and Dunoon Community Radio coming up in November. I’ve done several solo visits to radio stations plugging ‘Trilogy’ and getting airplay. After we had been to these stations I started to get invited onto radio stations myself to talk about what I do and it’s been amazing, totally amazing the feedback I’m getting on these guesting stints. It’s actually gone crazy with invites but I love it. I love talking about ‘my’ bands with all the info, gig details, tracks & album launches etc. It’s incredible getting so much support with airplay and plugs from radio stations and presenters. I love guesting, it’s a lot of fun and I have great banter with the presenters. Its never been my ambition to have my own show, in the past I have been offered a slot by several stations however time-wise it wasn’t realistic…… but last week Heartland FM, a station I really love, offered me my own show to showcase new music as well as my own bands, that was an offer I just couldn’t refuse and I’m soooooo excited!!
Who are some of the bands and singers you want everyone to know about?
Gosh…so many bands…where do I start?? Ok….
The Swamp Born Assassins from Glasgow
Fools on the Frontline from the Falkirk area
Stevie Wood & Cousin Halifax from Helensburgh
Michael Forsyth & the Amber Haze from Huntly
Lonehead from Glasgow
Naked Sunday from Stafford
Weak13 from Birmingham
DEVILS from Birmingham
The New Madrids from Perth
The Carloways from Perth
Grand Cane from Perth
Kristian Clezy of Larbert
Sugarpill from Milton Keynes
Cain Rising from Milton Keynes
Magik River from Stratford on Avon
Matt Partridge & Soley Mourning of Dudley
Des Horsfall from Yorkshire
Michael Morrow from USA
Joe Matera of Australia
I’d also like to give a big ‘shout out’ to Sean Ty Dell of Auxiliary Studios and WFDUK (Worlds Fastest Drummer UK)
Music PR isn’t a 9-5 job, how do you balance other aspects of your life with it?
Other aspects of my life….Lol. Well I’ll be totally honest, music promotions takes up so much of my life that the things i used to do like swimming regularly, walking etc are kind of non existent these days but my life of today is one i love so much. I love tearing around the country on road trips, going to radio stations and gigs. I just love it. It makes me feel alive.
We went to Midstock Festival a few months ago and you commented this was the first outdoor music festival you’d been to, how was it and what did you love about it?
Yes…Midstock blew me away with the amazing family atmosphere, everyone having so much fun. It was just heart-warming to finally meet up with so many friends in ‘real life’ like yourself, Sherrene, Mr H of Channel radio in Kent, Marion and THE Airport Impressions guys!! I couldn’t believe we were there hanging out with these famous faces who were just so lovely. Midstock marked the start of a crazy buy week for me, following the guys round Scotland as they toured the UK. I was so lucky to be in Shereen’s, Mr H’s and the guys company so much that week. What a joy delivering amps from Perth to Dundee and ha ha, getting lost over the Tay Bridge.
Where do you want to be career wise this time next year?
As Del Boy said…’This time next year’…….yes, you can see I have a quirky sense of humour. But seriously, I just see myself continuing helping bands and artists purely because I love music and I think there are so many absol amazing bands etc. out there. I can’t help them all but I’ll do my absol best to help as many as I can. I don’t do it for money but for the love of music. I’ve built up a huge following and folk know me as being 100% dedicated, determined and everything is confidential. Everything.
Finally, you’re such a positive, caring and inspirational woman, what’s your best motivational quote for life?
Wow…to be seen as inspirational just blows me away totally!! A huge honour. It really, truly is!! I have 2 motivational quotes really. One is ‘Onwards & upwards’ and the other is ‘Grabbing life amigos’. You see, we have this one precious life and it goes so quickly. It isn’t a practice and you know that I’ve changed every aspect of my life over the last year. I want to look back and think ‘Wow. That was amazing’ not ‘Oh gosh. I wish I had done that’. One life so grab it with both hands!!