Down the Procurement Pub with David Shields, CIPS, Spend Matters Almanac and Flyte14th

All joking and James Pond adventures  aside, there was much to mull over after the CIPS dinner the other night. The picture shows little Cherie Blair and giant screen image reading her speech, which was OK. There had been an effort to make it relevant for the procurement audience which was good …  but it didn’t help that it was almost 11 pm before she started, and generally the whole event would have benefitted from being brought forward by 30 or 45 minutes really. And although it had good points, it was also an event that I admit left me feeling slightly ‘down’,  and we’ll come back to why next week.

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Earlier in the week, I met David Shields for a chat. Having left his job as Chief Executive of Government Procurement Service (as it was) last May, he is now driving his new business, Apsiz, which is looking to help organisations implement what we might call IT-enabled procurement change and transformation. He has already got a good team in place – into double figures already, and for a new firm that is less than a year old, they've developed a strong and international client list already. More to come on that too.

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We introduced you to our new initiative the Spend Matters Almanac, Spend Matters 50 to Know and 50 to Watch here, and we will have more on that on Monday. But if you can’t wait till then, here is the announcement of the firms who made those two lists,  from our sister US site this week – 50 to Know here and 50 to Watch here.

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Reading and Leeds Festivals announced more acts for this August's events and it is looking good. Vampire Weekend only third on the bill on Friday at Reading – amazing as I thought they were a potential headliner. Ditto the Klaxons, Bombay Bicycle Club, Imagine Dragons, Disclosure and Mackelmore & Lewis. All big enough acts to headline other festivals but it is this strength in depth that makes Reading & Leeds THE best for true lovers of 'popular music' (no longer just rock, Reading is embracing dance, R 'n B, etc).

We saw Bombay Bicycle Club this week in Portsmouth, and they have developed into a fine live act and simply one of the UK's top 3 or 4 rock bands. But we'll feature their opening act the other night, Flyte, who for a pretty new band, gave us some of the best 4-part harmony vocals I've heard since Midlake (Trials of Van Occupanther period) at Shepherds Bush some years back. Impressive stuff in an Orange Juice, Mystery Jets clever  indie-pop stylie.

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