Sandi Thom was an up-and-coming Scottish singer who got a lot of airplay on Radio 2 for her single I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair). It was released. In October 2005. It charted at #55. Oh dear. But she kept gigging, supporting The Proclaimers in their UK tour in late 2005. However, plans for an album release in January were halted for some reason. In February, after a few more frustating gigs, and trying to figure out how to recapture her lost momentum, and without a major label contract, she hit on the idea of trying to do a webcast "tour", "21 Days in Tooting", which could then be used to generate further publicity for a re-release. It went quite well, thanks to a mailing list campaign and myspace invitations, by her PR agency and manager. A little while into this, her manager used this to get an awful lot of publicity, which then led to being unexpectedly signed to a major label. Her single was eventually re-released on Monday 22th May, and got to #2. It's tipped for #1 this week.
Of course this got a lot of people very annoyed. How could someone who had been apparently too poor to gig because her car broke down, suddenly afford webcasting bills for 60,000 streams? If "viral" marketing was used, why was their no evidence of that?
this was the article as i found it. as you can see it mythologises somewhat. this is because it's more or less a copy and paste from another internet site. i started rewriting it and then noticed the copyvio, so purged that and replaced the stolen bits. this is what i did to it.
Of course, some people are decrying her as manufactured evil for even having a manager/PR agency, whilst other people are saying "omg! how dare you accuse her of such things." I think, as with most things in life, the real situation is more complicated, a shade of grey. My best guess is the narrative above, but who knows? My real problem with her is that her song is stupid: purposely so, true, but nontheless.
as a footnote, someone originally created the Sandi Thom article on Wikipedia back in August 2005, saying simply
Thom attended the Institute of Performing Arts in Liverpool during which time she joined a 7-piece band which made it to the semi-finals of BBC Radio 1's urban music awards.
It was deleted at that time, for not meeting the inclusion criteria.