Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a new, short and sharp interview with a live music figure. This feature forms a regular part of the relaunched Music Week Live newsletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take part or put someone forward for inclusion.
This week's Q&A is with Simon Eaton, music business development manager at East London's Troxy.
What was your first job in music?
Unofficially I’ve been working in music putting on gigs since I was old enough to be let into venues, (and in some of the early cases even before!). However my first official ‘job’ was at EMI Music working within their International Promotions department. I’ve never really considered any of the positions I’ve held over the years ‘work’ if I’m honest, I’m in the very fortunate position to love what I do.
How long have you been in your current role?
I joined Troxy in March 2016, having previously been based at O2 Academy Brixton with AMG.
What is your favourite thing about working in the music industry?
That I get to be directly involved with what I’m most passionate about day in, day out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clearly not a non-stop rock'n'roll party, in fact most of my day is spent looking at spreadsheets! Knowing however that the hours spent staring at those figures will eventually lead to a successful concert happening is more than worthwhile. It’s a great feeling looking out across a sold out crowd knowing that you were a fundamental cog in making it all happen.
What is the one thing you would like to change about the business?
It’s a frustrating business to be in at times, especially as a venue seeing shows that looked likely confirm go elsewhere, but that’s the nature of the game. I’m sure, as with any industry, that changes can be made for the better but people get bogged down in old habits. You just have to keep plugging; the good times always come if you’re persistent.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Hard to say a specific highlight as I’ve loved every second of it. The big gigs excite me just as much as the small ones do. From booking artists like Slaves as a support act in tiny rooms years ago and watching their careers progress, to working on huge events with the likes of Robbie Williams, these days are all equally as important to me. I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing acts over the years and I look forward to many more highlights in the years to come.
What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?
June 6, 2010 - Rage Against The Machine in Finsbury Park, which followed on from their anti-establishment classic Killing In The Name becoming Christmas No.1 the previous year. I’m a huge Rage fan and have seen them many times over the years but the atmosphere all day here was electric, as a live band their power is simply untouchable. The song had climbed the charts as an anti-X Factor protest and it really felt like history was being made. Not only was the show amazing but I live local to Finsbury Park so this was basically like one of my favourite bands turning up to play a gig in my back garden!