I was thinking about all the unsigned bands I'd played on the same bill as since I'd started playing on the original band scene, and the fact I'd seen only 2 bands I'd consider signing if I was an A+R man (a combination of liking the music and predicting other people would too=sales); one was Syndrome, the other Angellica. Syndrome went on to release a few singles on small indie labels, had XFM airplay, then split up. maybe if they'd had better management they could have made it to at least the level Turin brakes are at. Angellica, much the same, but still going today- singles and album releases on small labels, XFM and Radio1 airplay. on listening to their demos maybe their problem is the vocals aren't strong enough, and they're not quite original enough (a bit too much like Kenickie). a few other bands I've seen were practically carbon copies of successful bands like Lost prophets, Hundred reasons, Turin Brakes, and had a following, and went on to be signed to small labels. the trouble with these clone bands is that while they have a "our very own local version of Lost prophets/Green day etc." appeal, there's a ceiling to how big they can get, and won't make it to a second album before they get dropped, unless they can change their sound radically to latch onto the next big thing when times change. so what would you look for if you were an A+R man/woman? is anyone here one/ has been one? in genres other than rock/pop/alternative you could say "just great music, maaaaan", but in those; in a demo or seeing/hearing the band live for the first time, memorable hooks. if I couldn't remember any of the melodies, riffs choruses etc. I wouldn't bother with them. re. stage presence + image, if they had those already, great, otherwise if their music was good enough it could be worked on, guided for more appeal. also i'd note if the band members got on well with each other- a band always on the verge of breaking up not being a good one to work with... if a band was terrible overall, but individual members stood out as being particularly talented, i'd consider poaching them to replace/augment members of a band i was dealing with. I suppose this could apply to a manager scouting for talent too.