Krakow Jewish Ghetto

Those in my family who hadn’t been to Auschwitz before went yesterday but I didn’t go. The main reason was that as a child I watched a lot of documentaries I probably shouldn’t have done, especially as I was a pretty sensitive boy. Those black and white pictures of the slaughter and suffering of the holocaust have stayed with me until today and I couldn’t stomach bringing them up again.

So I felt a little guilty I hadn’t gone to Auschwitz when I was walking around a new bit of Krakow yesterday and came across a building with a plaque. It said something like (I’m paraphrasing as I didn’t write it down) this building was a children’s hospital and on this date the Germans came and killed everyone. I then came across a sign that said this building was an old people’s home and on this date the Germans came and killed everyone. Then another. All the buildings looked like no one had been inside since those murderous events.


The Ghetto Heroes Square

A short walk away and I reached a bleak and empty square with chairs dotted around it. This is The Ghetto Heroes Square. It was the place the Germans gathered Jewish families before sending them to their deaths in the industrial scale murder factories they had designed and built during their occupation of Poland.

In many ways seeing these chairs and the matter of fact plaques on abandoned buildings brought home the evil of the Nazis and the horrors those Jewish families suffered more than a visit to Auschwitz would have done.

It was just a walk through a modern European city yet the echoes of that evil butchery could be seen everywhere. Not in a camp. Not in a documentary but on a casual holiday stroll in the sun.

Utterly breathtaking and profoundly moving.





Free Music Industry Event

BBC Music Intro mock up

From BBC Introducing Lancashire

So we can make some radio and socials we’ve put together a great panel of industry professionals to discuss the challenges facing emerging artists in the music industry. Five specialists will be on hand on Thursday the 23rd March from 6.00pm at BBC Radio Lancashire in Blackburn to discuss a range of issues and they’ll also be happy to answer any questions you may have too!

Entry is on a first come, first served basis as numbers are limited. So make sure you register HERE for your FREE ticket. Also please be there on time as we are recording the event for the radio, so if you are late it may take time to get you in.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sean McGinty and Shell Zenner


Jeff Thompson –  Co-founder Un-Convention / Off Axis

Jeff is the co-founder of Un-Convention – a UK-based global music network and development agency established in 2008, which organises music events across five continents, aimed specifically at the grass roots of the industry. Jeff’s current work includes a long-term music project with young people in Manchester, the development of a number of music co-operatives in Africa, and a revolutionary new UK-based touring model called Off Axis. On top of this, Jeff also runs a number of independent record labels in Manchester, including Fat Northerner Records.

Rebecca Ayres – Chief Operating Officer, Sound City

Rebecca Ayres is COO of Liverpool Sound City which is a world renowned international music, media and technology conference and live arts and music festival. Hosting hundreds of artists performing to an audience of 40,000 music fans and 3,600 industry professionals from 26 different countries, it packs controversial debate, unparalleled networking, amazing music, groundbreaking film, fantastic photography, eclectic art, an Expo, and even a football tournament into 3 inspirational days and hedonistic nights in the world’s most legendary music city. Rebecca is passionate about emerging talent succeeding and one of the favourite parts of her role is overseeing the international and emerging artist programme.

Kelly Munro – End Of The Trail Records / Management

End Of The Trail Records is run by Kelly Munro. He has steered numerous bands to record deals.  He currently manages Coquin Migale who headlined the BBC Intro stages at Reading/Leeds and recently recorded a live session at Maida Vale for Huw Stephens at Radio 1.  Kelly also manages Lancashire artist Pip Hall who’s first single reached Radio 1, gained coverage on the Line Of Best Fit and in the Daily Mirror to name a few

Ady Hall – Sugar House

Sugar House is upcoming UK record production duo Lee McCarthy and Ady Hall.  Formed in 2008 Sugar House have worked on records for a number of indie and major labels with songs being played on Radio 1, Radio 2, BBC 6 and Radio X. They have worked with bands such as Pale Waves, Viola Beach and Stillia.  Sugar House have built a reputation of being one of the best production teams in the North West UK.

Ellie Moore – Creative Programme Officer – Help Musicians UK

Ellie Moore is Creative Programme Officer at Help Musicians UK, the country’s leading independent music charity. The charity supports musicians of all genres at every stage of their careers and lives, from starting out through to retirement. HMUK’s Creative Programme provides a range of learning and professional development opportunities to help musicians throughout their careers by investing in innovation across artistic practice, talent and skills development, and removing barriers that exist for many to launch and sustain professional music careers.

Off The Record Manchester

Off The Record is a new music event and conference in Manchester put together by some lovely people who are passionate about the effect the music industry can have on us here in the North West. 

I can’t remember exactly how many years ago it was when I first went to Manchester for the In the City music conference/gig/piss up. I didn’t drink a whole lot or even go to the gigs much but I did go to the conference a few times. I saw Tony Wilson once. Then once again in Paris but now isn’t the time. Suffice it to say that for all his eccentricisms (not a word) he had a huge effect on Manchester and the North West and his opinions (of which he had many) still resonate today.


Tony Wilson avec Buzzcock

I was running a telecoms business but with a keen interest in technology and how music would fare as the internet boomed.

I’m not sure why I went to In the City in retrospect. I’d take a minidisc recorder and interview as many people as I could find about the music industry. It has always been music I go to for solace, for inspiration, for peace or for noise. I’d put the interviews on a real audio server somewhere. It was kind of practising for my future as yet unknown radio career.

Off The Record – Manchester

Off the Record is on Friday 4th November 2016 and will be a whole bunch of people talking about ideas and going to watch new bands and artists across 6 iconic Manchester venues. I know why I am going to this music event. It’s because despite the “democratisation” of music production and distribution that has turned the world upside down in the last ten years or more this revolutionary change has, I fear, not entirely helped new young artists.

I am interested in talking to some of the music biz people that will be there. I want to see how they view the new music landscape just now but I also want to talk to artists, as I do on BBC Introducing Lancashire (the programme I present.) How do they see the industry? Do they think about it much? Or are they just creating music in the hope that someone will drag them from obscurity with no strings attached? Sadly there are always strings and it’s usually those record company strings and the strange dark relationships between manager and label that destroy the very talent they are claim to support.

bbc intro state of the industry event .jpg

BBC Introducing Lancashire “State of the music industry event” 

Why you should come to Off the Record

Book your ticket now. Go on do it. The reason I think you should is that I see the huge commercial interests desperately clinging on to antiquated business models of music and that has to change. I want you to go if you are interested in any aspect of the music industry. Mainly so I can interview you for the radio and for a book what I is writing.

I don’t have any financial interest in it. I have been invited to be on a panel and to suggest artists to play at the gigs but I’m going because I want to support anything in the North West that can bring us all together and hey, maybe find new ways of supporting and nurturing young new musical type peeps.

That has been the focus of what I’ve been doing with BBC Introducing and in the social enterprises I have been involved with for the last ten years and more and I am chuffed to bits to be asked to attend.

Come and find me if you have a view on the industry and how we can shape it for a better future. Also tell me what you think the BBC could do better to add to my long, long list of suggestions.

I present BBC Introducing Lancashire the new music programme and gob off about the music industry.











The Fylde Community Radio License

For years now I’ve been working with others to bring a community radio station to the Fylde Coast. If you don’t understand how great that would be for the area then stop reading now and go and watch Dave.


I first worked with our local hospital trust on community radio when a forward thinking Chief Executive asked me to get involved. They were concerned about their hospital radio station and wanted me to sort that out and bid for a community FM radio license; which would work for the good of the hospital and also serve their wider community.

A bid was put together to Ofcom which eventually delivered us a community radio license. I then built, with others, a sizeable group of volunteers who worked hard to make the changes needed to uphold the standards of an Ofcom licensed radio station.


Unfortunately, just as all that hard work came to fruition, the senior management changed at the trust and after some discussions we suddenly had no studio.


Sadly, today I have handed back the community radio licence to Ofcom.

The hospital has an internal radio station again which is good to see but a great opportunity has been lost for Blackpool and The Fylde Coast.

I’ve looked at this from both sides now

I am looking at this whole subject of how Blackpool can change itself another way now and am already exploring some really exciting ways that the arts with journalism can impact here.

Thank you

I must thank all the people I have worked with in the last few years including those who didn’t share my vision. It’s taught me a lot and that’s a total bonus.