Rating: Guest appearance by USA’s The National
When Telefonica’s O2 launched its new location based promotions service yesterday [July 14th 2001], we could easily appreciate the depth of the High Street bands this UK mobile operator was in cahoots with. [See our previous story here]. O2′s marketing and consumer director, Sally Cowdry, made some throw- away remarks about her company becoming a major force in UK music ticket sales. This seem to be a strange by-product of being a mobile network operator which just happened to buy the Millennium Dome (renaming it the O2) and turning that into a major music venue. We didn’t fully appreciate the significance until a band from the States called The National gigged the Priority Moments launch.An indie rock band, The National appears to be fronted by a singer called Matt Berninger.
A little bit of research has shown that this band didn’t even have a public London gig. Yet O2 managed to get them play to a select audience at London’s Oxo Tower. Impressive stuff.
O2 said at the time that Priority Moments follows on from the success of Priority Tickets. This has made O2 one of the UK’s largest distributors of tickets to music events with over 600,000 tickets distributed with in the last two years.
Not a lot of people know that. Just how seriously O2 is taking Moments can be gauged from the fact that it intends to spend millions of pounds on a major through-the-line marketing campaign.
Some of the budget extended to hiring The National, it seems.
Obviously The National’s Beringer has a sense of humour because the last number he sang was entitled, ‘Vanderlyle, crybaby, Geeks.’
It contains the notable lyrics, ”I’ll explain everything to the geeks.” Obviously he had noticed that O2′s ‘Gurus’ were still wandering around the venue wondering quite what was going on.
The National are headlining the Latitude festival tonight.