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Sunday, November 14, 1999 Published at 09:36 GMT


Pop stars target school audiences

Fred and Roxy on the stomp

Pop stars are using schoolchildren to build up an eager audience for their singles ahead of the records' releases.

The BBC's David Sillito on tour with Fred and Roxy
This year a record 30 singles so far have gone straight into the UK pop charts at number one.

To increase the chances of this happening, new bands often spend months promoting a record before it goes into the shops - and promoters have realised that the big audiences are often children.

[ image: Working hard to promote a single not out yet]
Working hard to promote a single not out yet
Fred and Roxy's single is not due out until January, but they have been touring with it for the last few months.

"Just because you come to a school and you play a show and you sing your songs doesn't mean they'll buy it," said school tours organiser, Steve Andrews.

"If they like it, they'll buy it.


"I think it's a great way to make kids aware of new artists that are launching their careers, that's for sure."

[ image: Headteacher John Rule:
Headteacher John Rule: "Worth it"
But schools love it, and have learned to live with the commercialism.

"There's a mild form of commercialisation really," John Rule, headteacher at The Queen's Dyke County Primary in Witney, Oxfordshire.

"I think it's given the children far more in the experience and enjoyment of the music than worries about selling music."

Music analyst John Masterton says it makes good commercial sense.

"They know, once the release date of the single arrives there are enough people clued up about the existence of the single, and keen enough to buy it, to rush to the shops and buy lots and lots of copies ... the moment it's released."

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