Midas banned from chart


The Stirrer reports that Birmingham band Midas have been disqualified from the UK charts for the current single Red Shoes expected to chart in the top 20 based on midweek figures. It appears they prompted a suspicious spike in sales by selling pre-loaded SIM cards at gigs which make downloading the single easier for fans, but the Official Chart Company have apparently refused to investigate further.

It’s worth noting that the band release on their own label, Plastic Tank, and therefore don’t have the legal muscle of, say, EMI. And it’s also apparent that the chart system isn’t able to deal with innovations in selling digital music. I mean, I’m a total tech-nerd but the concept of selling pre-loaded SIM cards seems totally left-field to me.

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Ah, the perils of writing stuff and scheduling your blogging software to post it the next day. In the meanwhile someone else will write something much more informed, detailed and in all ways better. Step forward Andrew Dubber who reckons Midas getting kicked out is the right thing, but that everyone should get kicked out cos the charts are rigged, and anyway the charts are rubbish and mean nothing. He goes on to hope that Midas’ outrage is just for the publicity (independent act banned by majors-loving charts shock) rather than a genuine desire to get in the charts and welcomes a fight if anyone wants to take him on about this whole “the charts are shit” point of view.

(For the record the top bit was written at about 10pm Thursday with the second bit at a little before 7am. This whole thing will arrive online at 11.58am UTC+1)


  1. Hey Pete,

    Sometimes the timed blog posts work in your favour too. I wrote the whole ‘the charts are rubbish’ thing (along with that whole series of ‘things that are still true about music’ posts) nearly two weeks ago, before I went off on a trip around the country and popped off to Shambala.

    The idea was that I’d get a couple of days grace when I got back to collect my thoughts, and that I could start blogging live again on Monday.

    It just so happened that I learned about the Midas thing last night, a full day before that post was due to go live. Good timing.

    I had originally scheduled it to appear at 6pm this evening, in order to pick up the weekend readers, but once I’d added on all the stuff about the Midas debacle, I moved it forward to about 5am so I could pre-empt everyone else (ta-dah!) without moving the posts too close together.

    And then, I get all the extra bonus of your brilliant, insightful and just-wrong-enough-to-gain-traction comments so I can spin it out to a premium linkbaiting post, rather than simply a minor part of a little series.

    Playing with the release dates: ah, it’s all so cynical and calculating…

  2. Sophie Smith

    I’ve just seen the linkback post on Dubber’s site. As a friend of mine pointed out, digital media is moving at a very fast rate, and the various societies out there who try and play gamekeeper will always be one step behind the poacher. It’s interesting to note that the tracks weren’t loaded onto sim cards – I actually purchased one myself at a gig. The sim card is preloaded with enough credit to make a purchase via SMS, by texting “redshoes” to 78789, from which you then get a link sent back so you can download the track on your PC on the day the track is release. Complicated – yes! Ingenious – yes! It convinced me to buy the tracks then and there at a gig, which I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise (for no other reason than I didn’t have enough credit on my phone!!)

  3. Ant

    Its a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery inside an Enigma

    I have trawled the net in search of information and there is some out there, including reference to the Music Week feature on the band and their innovative approach.

    A brilliant solution, fans still have to buy the music – just in a different way and it gives a good unsigned independant band chance to create a few ripples.

    What ever the thinking judging by the HMV Instore response I still can not fathom why the track was pulled? Without doubt Midas are a very popular band with some cracking tunes. HMV (London) unsigned band of the week along with headlining and supporting a number of sold out gigs in the run up to the release and with a 3 month pre-order period its not surprising that they were set to better than charting at 59 with Dont Dance?

  4. elena tompkins

    everyone loves an underdog.
    iam no exception.
    the midas track was a great one and i can only wish the band every success :)
    (bout time we started talking about the music and not the corperate bullshit that has to sadly go hand in hand with it)

  5. steve marent

    innovation is a terrible thing. The OCC’s silence just incriminates their motives further. I’ve heard red shoes, in fact ive heard it live at the Shiny toy guns gig in birmingham. That band have got some potential make no mistake. Viva Machine were ace too, support bands stealing the night there.


  6. John

    It’s all politics. The big record labels arent making money from unsigned acts in the charts. The last thing they want is in two or three years time half of the top 40 chart being independant acts. How many other bands have been in the same situation as midas without us knowing?

  7. D. Kirby

    Look guys.
    The band sold 90% of their sales via consecutive sim card numbers. I think its around 1% of those were actually redeemed. So no one was downloading the track AT ALL.
    If you want to cheat then don’t be surprised if you get caught.
    And if you are naive to think ANYONE believes that you were buying box loads of Sim Cards to “Sell at gigs.” Even though no actual people who arent made up internet names can confirm this, then you deserve the press raping that you are getting. You bought them to do buy backs, no one is is that stupid.
    And if you do get caught, take it like men for gods sakes

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