From Martin Hadden:
“We’re all very chuffed here at Birnam having just become the latest recipients of a Hands Up For Trad “Landmark Award” in recognition of us having navigated our way through the ever-changing channels of the music business for over 30 years.
I started the business in 1986 as “Birnam Tapes”, Scotland’s first real-time cassette duplication facility. This offered Scottish-based artists the option of small-scale music production at a time when the possibility of releasing independent self-financed albums was just beginning to nudge into the outer edges of working musicians’ budgets. The deeply-ingrained and seldom questioned edict that you had to be “on a label” to release an album was still prevalent, but musicians were becoming more confident about doing things for themselves rather than handing over control of their music (and, often, their careers and finances) to others. The word got around pretty fast and we were soon churning out batches of cassette albums for a wide range of artists from all over the UK.
We began to receive increasingly regular requests to supply albums on CD. It was clear that CD would soon be the new standard and we needed to respond, so we struck deals with a couple of major European pressing plants. In a highly sleekit move, I changed the name of the business to “Birnam Cassette Duplication” which (once the transition was complete) was seamlessly abbreviated to “Birnam CD”.
As our list of clients grew, we were repeatedly asked if we could help with other aspects and tasks that need to be taken care of once an album is completed so we are now “BIRNAM – CD / PR / DESIGN / ONLINE”. We don’t just offer CD, DVD and vinyl pressing and design for packaging, we also offer a full graphic design service for tour posters, flyers, social media graphics and other band merchandise, downloads & streaming, online CD sales (worldwide via our own shop and Amazon), physical distribution and – most significantly in recent years – media promotion.
Of all the additional services independent musicians need, media promotion (PR) is probably the most vital. We introduced our range of media promotion packages about 5 years ago, to help artists get their music heard more widely, and it has organically grown to become a hugely significant part of what we now do. It’s extremely satisfying to see a top-notch independently-released album we have promoted be named “album of the week” on a national radio show or gain a 5-star press review. In response to very positive feedback and encouragement from the artists we have worked with, we are now expanding the range and scope of our PR services to reach media hotspots and audiences internationally.
Find out more about how Birnam CD support independent musicians here.
Photos shows L to r: Calum Hadden, Martin Hadden, Simon Thoumire Pic. by Martin Forry