The Problem With PledgeMusic

I was first approached by PledgeMusic in 2009, shortly after I left Sony/Columbia with my second solo album. The company (and music-based crowdfunding as a whole) was in it’s infancy at that time and I was a belligerent young man who didn’t see the early potential in the platform. Fast forward just under a decade and I’m getting together the songs that would make up my latest album The Latchkey Kid. PledgeMusic again came forward, waxing lyrical about my previous releases and asking if I’d accept an invitation to fund the recording and release of my latest project. As an artist who truly appreciates the connection that I have with the relatively small but fervent following I do have, I accepted. I worked hard through 2017 and 2018 to obtain the funding and you responded in kind, sending me way beyond the initial target set.

It’s important here to talk about how this “deal” looked on paper. Artists do not receive 100% of the money upon completion of funding. Pledge take a 15% cut, and the rest arrives as follows:

• Roughly 1/3 of the amount upon 100% funding.

• Another 1/3 upon the digital release of the album.

• Final 1/3 upon completion of all pledges.

I could be wrong, but they seem to be the only crowd-funding organisation that operated in this manner. What money did arrive came late. Once again, my campaign was started to fund the recording and release of a new album. PledgeMusic’s arrangement made it difficult to make any of this work from the get-go. It is only down to the kindness of the brilliant people involved in the album’s recording that it got off the ground, in most cases waiting without complaint until funds came in or until I found money elsewhere.

On the face of things, PledgeMusic set out these payment “milestones” to incentivise the completion of the campaign – something I can wholly understand. But in reality the only incentive I need is to maintain the relationship and good faith of my following, and in light of what has happened in recent months those milestones now look like a delay tactic. Using your money to pay out on what was owed to other artists’ that they were already late paying. In my eyes that’s a ponzi scheme, and I could be wrong but I suspect that I’m not.

The company continued to expand, spending more on staff wages and taking on new projects to keep cashflow coming in. It looks like the bubble finally burst last year, and yesterday their original founder Benji Rogers (who was parachuted back into PledgeMusic a few months ago to right the company’s course) emailed artists to inform us that a potential buyer for the company hadn’t worked out and that the company will go into administration this week or early next, taking my money in the process. I don’t expect that I’ll ever see it. It’s substantial, way into the thousands.

So I’m now left still sending out Pledges with what money I do have and owing out expenses that the album racked up. Yes, I have CDs and t-shirts etc (paid out of my own pocket) and have been waiting for Pledge to come through so I can get them out to you, mailing out what I can in the meantime. There’s hundreds, you beautiful bastards.

My album was roundly rejected by pretty much every label my manager and I approached. I get it – I’ve been through the major label mill and haven’t necessarily set the world on fire. Myself and those that work around me (for little to no money) know it’s a brilliant album, but critical acclaim seems to count for fuck all. Thankfully the brilliant and forward-thinking people at Kobalt/AWAL have allowed me the opportunity to distribute the album through their company. It will see the light of day and you’ll be hearing more on that soon.

In short, every PledgeMusic artist has been completely shafted and you have been cheated in the process. But I promise I’ll do everything I can to get every single Pledge out one way or another. If you can’t wait, please do contact your bank/credit card company about arranging a chargeback or refund. Reason: fraud.

I play the Didsbury Arts Festival in Manchester on June 28th, and the Blackthorn Festival with the band on July 21st. More national dates will be announced shortly. If you do decide to get your refund, I encourage you to buy merch at my shows. The webstore will expanded with swag pretty soon as well.

There have been times in recent months that I’ve felt like jacking music in altogether, and I’ve spent nights awake wondering how all of this will work out. I’m mentally spent. But I won’t let it beat me. Fuck them.

Liam x

EDIT: In the last few days, a wonderfully kind soul started a Just Giving page (see comments below) in my name out of the back of all of this. I didn’t expect that - I'm humbled and astounded.

Thank you.

Hello all,

It’s been an overwhelming day hearing all the wonderful things that have been said about my new album, released today exclusively at my Pledgemusic site. I thought it’d be a good time to thank everybody involved in the making of this thing. It’s been a true labour of love, one of which I’m very proud.

First off, I'm honoured to have released this album with the help of PledgeMusic. I operate at the fringes of an ever-evolving and increasingly challenging business - PledgeMusic has afforded me the platform to interact with you, and with your help fund the recording and promotion of this release. Thanks to everybody that contributed to the campaign. From the Access Pass right up to the house shows, you played the key role in this adventure.

Biggest thanks go to my brother in the struggle, Roo Walker - an insanely talented musician and producer who dragged this record kicking and screaming into the world. Big love to James "Slim" Campbell for doing an astonishing job of the mix. Thanks to Roberto Ruiz, Jim Jayawardena, Etienne Girard, Luke Flowers, George Cooke, Kate Anita, Philippa Hannah, Dawn Elektra, Lucy Fellows, Scott Poley, Christian Madden, Chris Howard, Aron Bicskey and Adrian Gautrey who all gave their considerable musical talents to the project. Thanks to Chris Taylor and all at Parr Street Studios. Tim and the gang at Blueprint Studios. To Danton Supple for all of his advice and for introducing me to Pledgemusic in the first place. Love to Justin Moorhouse for his help in making this excellent video and to Ben Clark for his design wizardry.

This isn't an album attempting to chase a scene or reinvent the wheel, more a collection of good, honest songs that I legitimately believe are my best yet. If you’ve enjoyed my work from Spectres onwards I ask that you pick up the record at Pledge if you can, listen and tell your friends about it. It all counts.

25% of all profits after my target goal has been reached at the Pledgemusic campaign will go to CALM, an amazing charity dedicated to preventing male suicide - the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

With love, pride and strength.

LF x


So as promised I wanted to introduce you to some of the songs from The Latchkey Kid in the run-up to it's release in August. We'll start with Smoke, one of the earliest I wrote for the album.

Let me preface this by telling you that I cannot play the piano. I think that was kind of the point when it came to writing some of the songs this time around. I was in something of a funk, and I wanted to be challenged into writing again. The simplicity of my playing brought a new naivety that I hadn't felt in a while.

My mum had recently passed and I took a trip to the coast, a beach resort that I spent a lot of my childhood at. I was walking what felt like an age from the beach to the water's edge - it must have seemed so much longer as a child! There wasn't a great deal of people around, and I took a moment to take in the stillness of it all. It was then I felt this history on my shoulders, almost like I could feel my parents' presence. I've never been one to believe in any of that sort of thing but there was an acceptance of some sort, I felt at peace with it and the next day I wrote Smoke. It's about all of that, but it's also a reflection on so much more. It dropped out of the sky, into my head and out of my mouth!

Hope you like it folks.

LF x

Chequered flag Vans and an old suit jacket.
You and I were on a tear, running rabid.
Time waits for no man, time has passed me by.
It’s still you for who my soul is thirsting.

It’s the bad dream I’ve been having every night this week.
On a balance beam.
It’s a day late – I was sleeping in this stalemate.
Treading water.

Time, oh time - did I wither on the vine?
You were mine, all mine.
Was I clear enough in the words we spoke?
Did you know I was that ghost?
We are smoke.

So I’m going where the ocean meets the land.
My father walked the steps in which I stand now.
Was I drinking the Kool Aid when I told you I felt you there?
In this new loss I feel the weight of you, I swear.

Its the shoulder fake. 
For each passing car, a half-life taken - I bide my time. 
Keep it well hid, a book of matches for the latchkey kid.
I set a fire to my insides.
You hold it up to the light.
Take a look from both sides.
You hold it up to the light.
Say never mind, let it ride.


Hello everybody,

Really excited to tell you that I've launched a Pledgemusic campaign to help fund the release of my next record with Latchkey Kids. There's a bunch of options in terms of levels to opt in at. Frrom £8 Access pass allowing you a digital download of the album on release day, right up to house shows and guitars and some higher-ticket stuff. Check it out at the link below - it'll be lovely to have you onboard for the journey.

LF x


A new song for this Sunday morning. It's about my dad, my mum and a time when Normcore forefather Seth Cohen was my go-to style guy.

It's a phone demo, but sometimes these things are the nice to hear. This will make the new record, which will be ready for the late Autumn.

Liam x