A shared DIY approach to music has united prog-rock giants Marillion with a pioneering Birmingham-based unsigned band distributor.
Ditto Music, based in the Jewellery Quarter, broadcast a Marillion Special on Red TV’s Ditto Music Live show on Sky.
This featured a live performance and interview with the band – sellers of millions of albums during the past 20 years.
Marillion are widely acknowledged as the first band to truly embrace the internet and tap its potential to interact with their fans.
For their last album Happiness is the Road, the group raised funding from 12,000 dedicated fans who ordered the album twelve months in advance of its release
Marillion’s do-it-yourself ethos resonates perfectly with Ditto Music’s approach.
Founded by two brothers from Edgbaston, Lee and Matt Parsons, Ditto Music made music history last year by launching the first unsigned band into the Top 40.
The pair managed to exploit a change in chart rules at the start of 2007 allowing digital single sales to count towards a chart position, even if there is no CD.
Since its first success last year, Ditto Music has managed to get another seven unsigned artists into the Top 40.
Ditto Music cofounder Lee Parsons said: “Marillion is all about DIY and that’s what we’re about as well so it’s a really good tie-in for us.”
“Ditto Music has been a champion of the alternative artist and Marillion represent the cutting edge of DIY ethics, it’s a pleasure having them perform on our weekly show .”
Keeping up the DIY theme, Ditto Music enlisted Marillion fans to do the promotions for the show by offering free tickets for those who came up with the best PR stunt.
Ditto releases and distributes artists through its own network of official record labels and handle back-office duties like airplay royalties in the same way as other record labels.
The two brothers founded the company in their flat, spotting a gap in the market after they faced big challenges releasing their own music.