Music First Ltd is a forward thinking entertainment company. Trading as The Gig Cartel they are partners in the one of the largest independent national tour promoters in the UK. Managing Director Barney Vernon has worked with artists such as Maximo Park, The Arctic Monkeys, Richard Hawley, Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Darkness, Billy Bragg, Adam Ant, Wilko Johnson and Imelda May to name a few. He managed the careers of local band and indie popsters Little Man Tate and has played a part in the development of many breaking bands. Crossing genres the company has promoted shows and developed a career for USA based Grammy nominated blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa starting at The Boardwalk in Sheffield & Borderline in London, culminating 8 years later at The Royal Albert Hall in London and a full UK Arena tour including Manchester MEN Arena. 

In 2014 Barney launched record label Axehouse Music. Blues / Rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor was the first artist signed to the company. Her debut album ‘The Dirty Truth’ was released in Sept to world wide critical acclaim. The sell out ’Dirty Truth’ tour was promoted by The Gig Cartel and climaxed at the prestigious London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire.

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