Friday, September 12, 2008

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: He knows his Elbow

Presumably to avoid the need to pay for people to write stuff, Metro hands over a large chunk of its post-Mercurys coverage to Gennaro Castaldo:

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "Following Elbow's popular Mercury win, The Seldom Seen Kid is currently selling four times as many copies at HMV as it was before the ceremony.

"That's a pretty big pick up for such a relatively short time, and with more sales to come over the weekend, when music fans will be out in force, the band look set to enjoy one of the biggest lifts ever seen by a Mercury prize winner.

"A lot of music fans will be aware of the band and their music, but may not have got round to buying one of their albums before.

"The main purpose of the Mercury's is to shine a light on music that deserves to be listened to by a wider audience, and Elbow are certainly in line to make a lot of new fans, and to take their profile to the next level."

I'm a little bemused by this, to be honest - what sort of person would know about a band but not actually bother buying a record until it had won some sort of award? How does that work, exactly? Are there really people who won't touch a record unless Simon Frith has listened to it for them first?

And since the point of the Mercury is to boost sales, wouldn't you expect the lift in sales to be instantaneous? Does Gennaro really find it surprising? Would he really have thought "well, it'll take about a month and a half for that prize to generate an upswing in sales"?


Anonymous said...

When he says "music fans" does he really mean "HMV customers"? Isn't this their way of saying "Yes you are clever and sophisticated and have good taste. Why not buy a copy one of our products with a recommended sticker on the front?"

Chris Brown said...

It doesn't seem that implausible that there are people out there who've heard a couple of Elbow songs but not been sure whether to take the plunge and buy a whole album. Or even, dare I say it, people who bought one of the previous ones and were disappointed by it.

What's really odd is the strong possibility that 'One Day Like This' and 'Grounds For Divorce' might re-enter the singles chart. Not everyone can be doing it to annoy Guy Garvey, surely?

simon h b said...

I take your point Chris, but are those the sort of people who would say "I wasn't sure if I should buy this album, but now a a panel of judges have decided it's better than Burial's record, I think I'll give it a go..."?

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