Support Local Talent

I wandered into a certain town centre music store the other day and asked if they’d be getting The Lovely Eggs new album in on monday.  No, it seems, nobody had ordered it, but i could if I wanted.  No I told them, quite plainly.  If I wanted to order I’d use the net and save money.  They’re a successful local band, HMV should at least get a couple of copies in. 

The same in Waterstones’ with Jacob Polley’s new novel Talk of The Town (as read from at The Storey and The Brewery recently.)  Wouldn’t get it in automatically.  I could order it…

So, here’s a proposal folks.  Let these corporate clowns who haven’t a clue if they’re selling CDs or Books or Carrots and couldn’t care as long as the money rolls in know what we think.  Next time you pass pop in and ask if they’ve got The Lovely Eggs, or Stuart Anthony, or Jacob Polley or Ian Seed.  When they say no but you can order it tell them no, you won’t order through them, they should have it in stock.  Keep nagging them, keep Lancaster and the areas presence in their minds. 

Meanwhile bands out there, I believe Jill at The Book Room will sell your CDs for you in her shop.

66 Responses

  1. HMV and Waterstones are jokers full stop. Can’t say I’m suprised that they don’t stock local talent. Of course the way they operate is that they wanna as you say yourself stock stuff that sells vast amounts of units asap. So the latest ‘sensation’ from Britain’s got talent or X Factor. Either that or crap NME indie bands who are trendy and tick all of the record company’s boxes.

    So yeah lets storm the bastille and show these muppets what constitutes the real deal. It would be great especially to see Ponies in HMV. Tom is a great talent and should be heard by a wider audience.

  2. flash mob?

    • Possibly. Whatever works really. I think it’s terrible that Lancaster only has HMV. I remember a time when there was at least 2 or 3 independents here. What’s happened? I especially loved the cd stall in the indoor market. I could find some great obscure stuff there – IE- The Minutemen, Black Flag, Replacements and so on. Now I have to go to Preston and Manchester for my CD buying fix…Very poor…

      • Independent music shops don’t work because independent humans don’t really care very much about independent music in big enough numbers.

        The high street essentially sells what normal people think they want. In Lancaster, that’s phones, chocolates, pasties, lighters, greetings cards, fashionable attire, video games, Kings of Leon records and coffee.

        The things people think they need (such as food, white goods, electricity, telecoms, cars, computers) are usually sold out of town, over the phone or online, because the retailers of those items realise they’re going to come hunting them down anyway.

        If people think they need music that’s to their taste, they’ll find it. If they don’t look hard enough then they don’t care enough. That’s why indepenent music is stronger than it’s ever been… just online and by direct interaction with hard-working bands.

        Can we really blame people for not liking our music as much as they think they like “Sex On Fire” right now?

        I can’t. I think we have a choice as to how we go about reaching people. Lancaster’s “scene” is fabulously inaccessible and idiosyncratic and it’s only to be expected that our records don’t sell as a result.

        My advice to the one or two artists who might potentially read this post is to bring your music to people who care… the good, honest people who hang out in the Penny Bank, Stonewell Tavern, Robert Gillow… you know, normal pubs. Play to normal people. Then, if they like it, the normal people’s record shops might stock your records. Otherwise, play to cliques and sell your records online to people that like cliquey music.

  3. Spot on with this Lunecy! But i guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Is Jo Gillot’s C.D. on sell in HMV? I take it not. Does anybody know who runs the Lancaster branch of HMV? I wonder if he/she is even aware of how strong the Lancaster music scene is at the moment – probably not.
    It’s up to all of us, where you can, to support the small independant shop. The Book Room is one of those shops that is a bit different and is also willing to support any local initiative. I for one became aware of the Book Room when i was trying to buy a copy of the Dose C.D. (Local Band), funnily enough i tried HMV first and had no luck – managed to get a copy at the Book Room though!!
    Fell in love with the Book Room ever since.

    • It is very unlikely that the manager of Lancaster’s HMV has much power to make autonomous decisions, and when s/he does and hardly anyone actually buys these records, s/he’s only going to have his shit looked at by some officious turd in an office somewhere.

      It’s ludicrously easy to come down hard on people who are just doing their job. They are paid to perform a function that’s entirely about hitting insane targets by putting bad-ass selling titles right in the faces of pasty-eating fuckwits. If I was all about blaming people (which I’m not), there’d be 200 people in the firing line before this poor bastard.

      • When i spoke to the manager of HMV he said he would look into stocking The Lovely Eggs, thus demonstrating he had the authority just not the local awareness or interest.

  4. Interesting conversation.. It seems pretty easy to get your stuff in HMV if you want to, as long as you have a bar code an catalogue number you can stock your stuff in there if you want. Ive bought A loki CD, Stuart Anthony and Kriss Foster CD from there. If you are gaggin for a local artist CD, the best way is to get direct from the artist. HMV take a big cut, so if you want to support local talent the best bet is to buy direct. The Lovely Eggs have an internet shop, so do many others. Otherwise, buy at a gig.

    • Ah Tom, fair point about buying direct.
      The thing is, the more casual buyer maybe has seen and liked The Lovely Eggs or whoever, but has missed the announcement of the album being out could in a better world see it on a small ‘Local Artists’ rack in HMV. Some branches used to do this.

      • Surely this is down to the promotion of the particular artist. “The Lovely Eggs or whoever” will make their own decision weighing up the pros and cons of having their material in HMV. There seems to be no consideration of the industry you are picking at.

  5. ooo, sue seddon has a book in waterstones you can purchase. Little book of lancaster. Its good.

  6. If you want to support local talent why not set up a distastefully named website and slag local artists off with sensational, self indulgent reviews? I’m sure that would help.

    • Well said, who writes these badly composed and opinionated amateurish ‘reviews’ of local talent?

      It’s interesting that our name is a required entry on the posts but the writers of the piece remain anonymous.

    • Quite harsh James. The Lunecy Review does support local talent. I for one do a slot on Diversity FM where we play local bands, interview local people etc in addition to contributing for the most part positive reviews on TLR. Although every scene needs its’ critical component as well.

      However maybe you’d like to contribute a review yourself if you’re unhappy with what you’ve been reading?

      • Hi Reza
        I think the style of the review which included comments about our gig wasn’t constructive. It gave me a few laughs I must admit but for the guys in the band and possibly for some of the poets it was in parts, offensive and ageist.
        From our point of view we were asked in good faith to play at the Storey and didn’t realise that we were running the gauntlet at knife point with a trigger happy critic in the audience ….(hey ..maybe I should write reveiws ?
        – but then probably would only distract with mixed metaphors….. I digress….)

        We have been asked to play at the venue again and got some good feedback from people who listened to the set. If the delivery wasn’t to the critic -on -the -night’s taste ..( hi Kev) there are ways of writing which don’t have to be offensive – and which we and other artists can apprecialte and actually can learn from. I mean…. this site isn’t trying to be a branch of the Sun newspaper is it?
        (Blanket Apology if this post is offensive to you as someone who reviews other peoples’ work).
        It’s just that life is pretty short and when those who write about others on the internet don’t sensiively use their “critical “power – and go for the funny one liners, which distract from the learning points, it can come across as injust and ..well …sort of like cyber bullying?

        I actually agree with James ( who ever you are James….) that there seems to be little “support” in some of the reviews for local talent on this site.
        We live and learn…
        Best wishes to you.
        Jan Blanket Apology
        PS ( Kev – don’t hang draw and quarter me after this review lol… I may even try and dig up a few jokes as patter in the set list in case I become a sleeperwoman (???)…. not …….😉

      • I think that broadly speaking, when someone spends enormous periods of their time creating a body of work that they then need to go to some trouble to perform, usually for nothing, to a generally indifferent audience with a handful of fans and a handful of haters, it’s always a shame when a cursory search on “teh cybernets” for the artist or event yields little but a handful of pissy remarks.

        A nice review costs nothing to write and will generally be well received and pleasing to all. A pissy/indifferent one won’t. It’s directly damage the artist in question in a way that’s hard to recover from and that shouldn’t be undertaken willy-nilly. Also, when you’re inclined to be negative/lukewarm about an artist it’s usually because you don’t get it. How profound one’s arrogance would have to be to overcome that particular hurdle. It’s like me saying that crab meat is objectively shit.

        It’s not important for a scene to have its “critical component” any more than it’s important for any group of people to slag each other off in public.

        Incidentally I’ve seen James Knight on a number of occasions and found him to be about as good as whatever PA he’s talking through. When it’s clear what he’s saying, he’s a joy to watch.

  7. Regarding Waterstones…

    There’s a world of reasons why they keep the stock they do.

    It’s to do with the end of this…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Book_Agreement

    … which directly explains the colossal success of both Harry Potter and Ian Rankin.

    You can’t really blame anyone. It’s just dudes in suits making decisions that some other besuited dude would have made if they didn’t, and we’d have had some other massive bookshop doing the same thing.

    People bringing rad art to one another is only stifled by raining hate on people who are dicks for a living. We should bring better art harder and faster than they can bring pain or stfu.

  8. I came upon this thread searching ‘pasties AND local talent’

    Imagine the disappointment!?
    🙂

  9. Bottom line is that youngsters or ‘regular’ society isn’t really given any choice about the kind of music offered to them. Whether that be local or slightly more obscure stuff that I’m into. The major high street stores such as HMV along with trendy popular music magazines such as NME and Kerrang! dominate the industry. Therefore people in this way aren’t really given a choice. These people aren’t interested in promoting stuff that’s innovative or innovative. Because at the end of the day it’s not bringing them enough profit. I do also believe that HMV is to blame for the closure of some of the decent record stores in Lancaster.

    Stuff for example like Roky Erickson, Gary Floyd and Alejandro Escovedo and local bands such as Ponies and 3d Tanx are not considered cool and hip and plus their unlikely to compromise their ideals for greater success (as far as I know). So in some respect I’m proud of that fact that the stuff I listen to is underground and on the other slightly fustrated that not many are getting to hear it. and instead are having to make do with crap like MGNT, Kasabian and Ladyhawke.

    It’s a double edged sword really.

  10. Well, this is a big ol’ can o’ worms, eh?

    HMV (especially in Lancaster) have a very limited selection, but the independents in Lancaster shut because of Supermarkets selling loss-leader cds, plus the internet meant you could get obscure stuff easily, so independents hardly had a niche left. And punters went one way or the other. But HMV didn’t help.

    I used to work at Andys Records and instigated the whole selling of local musicians (with or without barcodes). Kriss Foster was the biggest seller. He was at school then, and it’s nice to see he’s developed well since. When were shutting down, people came in and said what a shame it was, but these were people who’d I’d never seen before and hadn’t ever bought anything from us. So, basically, people didn’t put their money where there mouth was.

    Personally, I usually order from Piccadilly Records’s website, based in a real shop in Manchester – they know their onions, sell/support unsigned and small label stuff, vinyl etc.

    I do find it ironic that HMV online and even HMV Japan both sell Dan Haywood’s New Hawks EP, but HMV Lancaster don’t sell it.

    Let’s face it though, frustrating as an independent artsist as it is, most people will want Susan Boyle’s CD, and in these hard retail times, it’s lowest common denominator all the way.

    Frustrating

  11. Not sure what that ‘Frustrating’ is doing floating there at the end…

  12. Come on guys…Why don’t any of you open a record store then? I’ll tell you why- because you’d make sod all money and wouldn’t be able to live. And neither would HMV if it replaced Lady Gaga CDs with New Zealand Story EPs. Many decent acts from lancaster are either already in or can be ordered. I don’t see the issue anyway when all of you drink in the same three pubs and can just ask each other for CDs. I went to see the Lovely Eggs and Hotpants Romance last night in Manchester and I bet they sold more CDs in one night than in a week on the shelves of HMV anyway. So just work hard and tour (like many-not all- of the bands in HMV have had to do) and if you’re good enough you’ll sell. And as to suggest that the general public only ‘think’ they want what they want- Theodore Adorno died in the sixties, and it was a good day for popular culture.

    • I’m not suggesting that HMV should stop stocking Lady GaGa but how about this for an idea James. Instead of stocking 20 copies of Lady Gaga and no Lovely Eggs, maybe 18 Lady Gaga and 2 Lovely Eggs CDs on the racks would make them more money?

  13. There are quite a few different points being made on here, but I think we’re all agreed that:

    1. The Lovely Eggs are fantastic.

    2. Ideally, it’d be a good thing if they were supported by their home-town record shop, but you can get it direct from the band/label/independent shops.

    • Agree with you there Robot Richard, they are a fantastic band. Very lo-fi which appeals to my taste. Kinda Jad Fair/Half Japanese meets Daniel Johnston. I’m not often taken with a lot of the local stuff, but The Lovely Eggs are certainly an exception to the rule.

  14. Well I don’t like absolutely everything that comes out of Lancaster David, sorry about that…I did say ‘not often’.

    I do a radio show on Diversity FM and am going to buy a copy of the latest Lovely Eggs cd. Will try to give them a play on next weeks’ show or the week after. Will also try and get our breakfast DJ Silent Mark to give them a spin too.

  15. Haven’t checked this website for a few days, missed all the FUN!
    Think people are been a bit hard on Kev. I for one love the name – Lunecy Review – & think on the whole Kev’s reviews are fair and often constructive. ( A Review website which just said everything’s good/brill/fantastic would be tedious & all of us would get bored with it.)
    The idea of the site is to encourage debate, without it getting too personal. If you disagree with Kev, engage/debate with him, i’m sure this is what he was hoping for with his site.
    I know Kev’s got a full time job yet he still manages to make most events in this area on average i would say 4 events a week & then spends time reviewing them. That takes incredible effort & dedication & i for one am grateful Kev does it.
    All performers/promoters need publicity ( any publicity is good publicity )
    Kevin’s website provides this.
    The original source of Kev’s topic seems to be ” Could Lancaster HMV do more to promote local bands?”
    The answer to which is Yes.
    But unfortunately the manager of HMV probably is not in a position to change this even if he/she wanted to.

  16. Not having had the resources to have got on here recently, I have to say that catching up with the debate has been a revelation. To clear it up about HMV Lancaster once and for all, the manager is more than willing to stock local music and is an incredibly nice person to work with. This isn’t to say that in order to get your work in HMV is easy. You first have to approach the head office and get a name from them who says it is okay for the local branch manager to stock your record. You then have to pass this name onto the local manager. When your product is ready, the manager will negotiate with you how many copies you should stock, tell you how much HMV want per unit, take the Cds from you, send them to head office to receive a HMV barcode and they are then returned to the store. As any other independent distributor – and if you are a band pressing your own stuff then that’s what you are – you are then required – unfortunately – to get off your arse and promote your record in every conceivable way you can muster. Kriss Foster, The Adventures of Loki and Stuart Anthony have all had records in HMV and have sold decent amounts of copy.If you can be bothered to sign the forms, then you can get in. All record companies have to go through this process whether you are Sony Music or a ‘pasty eating fuckwit’; and again, if you have pressed your work independently, then you are a record company.
    Of course, this process is a corporate ball-ache – I wish to the skies that Andy’s Records were still alive and thriving – but the point is they are willing to do it if you are willing to go through the process.
    Regarding everything else being said, I find it sad that a previously harmonic co-existence and collabortaions between those who have had – and in some cases lived – the ‘dream’ of doing what they want and those who are, have had a divide driven between them by a critic website. The only cliques in any scene are those made by lack of communication between all artists in the same place, or the engineering of one.

    • That’s interesting to know Paul, thanks. I do believe that the manager of a store should have enough awareness of the local scene to order things like The Lovely Eggs, Stuart Anthony, Kriss Foster etc without the band having to jump through all those hoops, but I guess that’s life.

      I am puzzled by the suggestion that I am driving a wedge between artists by my reviews. If I upset by ciricsing someone, for example James Knight, how does that drive a wedge between anyone except James and me?

  17. Cheers, Kev. I hope this clears it up for anyone wondering where to start to get into the local branch with their work. I think expectations grow too high because it certainly isn’t a retailers job to ‘promote’ local talent; promotion is done by the artist/band/management and/ or record company. A retailer is just what its title implies.

    I didn’t mean that you personally are driving a wedge or divide between artists – though it is interesting you brought up James Knight in your reply who has tasted your blade of late. I feel that there is a misunderstanding perhaps of what the younger end of the talent in the city is trying to achieve. This is a common and age-old problem that I too suffered when I was a young musician surrounded by – amongst others – sneering Blues and Prog Rock bands who were legends in their own minds, refusing to – or being unable to – understand the new punk world that was growing up around them. Though they are big enough and talented enough to fight their own corners, and have the resources to review those who review them, with respect and without prejudice, Kev, I do feel that in your (and other’s) reviews of late of the younger end of the spectrum such as James and a few others have had a rough time of it. In short, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and although I respect your site, your opinions and your right to air them, I agree with David Wright that a bold, fledgling organisation, band or artist can be damaged by a simple internet search engine, and that to me does not constitute support.

    Could just be my imagination, I suppose, but I keep reading the words ‘clique’ and ‘inaccessible’ by various commentators here, and they seem to be snide and bitter about something that is at best in their own imaginations. Absolutely all of the bands I have seen have played – alone – out of town and some at large festivals. I, like you, enjoy a wide range of music in Lancaster, but whether I am watching The Low Countries or Uncle Jeff play, I have never felt there to be any clique or inaccessability from either genre. A clique is only something viewed from the outside and inaccessibility is only brought on by an individual’s fear of asking to be admitted. I know for a fact that The Ledge Collective and Barnbox are neither of these, as were not the New York Factory of the 1960s and the Manchester Factory of the 70s 80s and 90s.

    • I can’t speak for any of the other contributors here, but what i have said, in person and on here, is not about a clique amongst musicians but amongst sections of audiences. For example I do not feel that a sizeable chunk of Spotlight attendees who were impressed by Mikey Kenny recently would go to see him play at a non-Spotlight event, or that those who saw him play at LAWM would go to Spotlight. The cliques I have observed are around venues rather than artists. I know I’m not alone in seeing this, I suspect that was part of Wes’ thinking with The Ledge, it was in my mind when I began this site.
      With regard to not supporting the younger artists, yes I was critical of James here, but I have been very complimentary to Jo Gillot, Mikey Kenny, Uncle Jeff, Stephen Hudson, Niamh Starkey and others who are all younger than James. It’s not an age or inexperience issue.

  18. I didn’t say that you are not supporting younger artists. I said that you can damage them with a review as David Wright pointed out, and that does not constitute support.

    • Maybe I misunderstood you Paul. I took comments such as ‘I do feel that in your (and other’s) reviews of late of the younger end of the spectrum such as James and a few others have had a rough time of it.’ and ‘I feel that there is a misunderstanding perhaps of what the younger end of the talent in the city is trying to achieve.’ to mean I was being particularly unfair to the younger artists. If I have been unfair, then as I said, it has certainly not been to the artists I listed.
      I question too, whether ‘the younger end of the talent’ is trying to achieve the same thing across the board. Grouping them together is more suggestive of a clique than I ever did.

  19. Manipulative rubbish, but nice try. For one: I did not say that you mentioned a clique – I specifically said various commentators. Not once did I say ‘you’or ‘Kev’. Two: I didn’t say the younger end is trying to achieve the same thing across the board. As I mentioned in other communications with this site, they have formed a co-operative to help each other out to release their works and absolutely ANYONE regardless of age or experience is welcome. That is not suggestive of a clique, either, but you appear to have tripped yourself up by now suggesting you indeed did think it was a clique despite the fact that I left you out of it.

    What I am afraid of – as I keep saying – is that someone will punch one of these artists’ names into a search engine and – as David Wright pointed out – it will throw up nothing but negativity.

    Hypothetical situation: You punch The Lunecy Review into Google and it comes up: …’More like Pleurisy Review. Someone attempting to set himself as a reviewer coughing up ill-informed, half-baked views about things he likes and doesn’t like.’ Would that suit you?

    • Please cite the sentence where I suggested I thought it was a clique. As I said, your comment reads like you are grouping a disparate bunch of artists in various genres together purely because of age, and that suggests you see them as a clique, not that i see them as a clique. I have explicitly said I don’t view the artists as a clique, so please read what i actually write.

  20. Can somebody please delve back into the Lunecy Review archieve’s and produce actual quotes where they feel Kev is out of order.
    Otherwise all this reeks of personal vendettas/agendas against Kev and his Lunecy Review to me.
    Also like to point out that any performer/artist must expect to receive unfavourable reviews at some point in their career – deal with it.
    To suceed in this business you have to be thick skinned and expect to get some stick – its having the confidence to believe in yourself and what you are doing is right that matters.
    As i said earlier sometimes getting criticism can be constructive, nobody is the finished article and there is always always room for improvement even in the greatist performers.
    Toughen Up!

    • Hi Wired
      Please go and look at the review of the Storey for May.
      The guys in the band I am with were described as having the combined charisma of a corpse – actually I found this funny at first and we are all ok about it now – but a bit shocked at such a vitriolic description – also some of the reviews of the poets used terms and words which actually I thought could be viewed as offensive.
      Sorry to keep this one going but you did ask….

      ( Our set performed at the Storey was written by a friend of ours who died last year and we told the audience our set was a tribute to his work. Rather insensitive to use the above imagery I thought).
      (The guys are all on red bull and vodka for future gigs ;-))
      Best Wishes
      Jan – singer Blanket Apology Band
      PS we are aged 40 to 50 – and getting gigs – with feedback from people on how to improve our performance – and really glad to get this constructive criticism… from musos and punters alike.

      • Jan: you are right, the corpse remark was in bad taste. I could have used a better analogy in the context of your band. If you wish i will take it down or amend it.

  21. WiredR, I’ll defend to the death Kev’s right to say what he pleases, and far from having a pop at him, I enjoy what he is doing here. As I said earlier: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You are correct in saying that getting constructive crticism at times can be a good thing, but the emphasis is on ‘constructive’. As far as I understand it, if you are reviewing something that hasn’t appealed to you, it is helpful to amplify why you think it is not saleable or viable, not just why you personally don’t like it or get the gist of it. Nobody minds too much when you can understand why the reviewer thought you didn’t deserve a good review if that reviewer can point out where they think your potential audience may believe you’re going wrong rather than just his/her personal opinion.

    Nobody is so arrogant as to think they don’t have room to improve – after all, it is the audience you are trying to sell your work to; and no-one is not thick-skinned enough to take it. However, this is an interactive site, not a magazine, and therefore, the critics also hold themselves open to criticism, so there is not really any toughening up to be done. A little less bluntness perhaps? I suggest the greatest reviewer ever was Lester Bangs, and his work is worth reading.

  22. I agree with Rich (WiredR), I think Kev does a brilliant job on The Lunecy Review and I for one am proud to contribute reviews and help in whatever way else is needed.

    One thing is for sure and that is that Kev wanted to encourage debate,he certainly has done so with this particular topic.

    Keep up the good work!

  23. Re David/Paul: I do take on board the point about a search bringing up a negative review and potentially that being harmful. On the other hand, the interactive nature of this site means that people can respond to any review with a counterpoint of view, which in the long run means that people should actually get a range of opinions about a band when they come here. That’s the theory, maybe it doesn’t work in practice.. yet?
    Also if I can blow my own trumpet for a moment, before I set up this site what coverage good or bad were these bands getting anywhere at all? None that i was aware of. Surely that was a worse situation?

    • With respect, what publicity were they hoping for?

      Whenever I want a gig/event/record/blog/facebook status/great cup of tea to be talked about on the internet/radio/other talky medium I make sure it’s got some kind of reasonable chance to be seen in an appropriate light beforehand, then I inform the relevant wordsmiths/pundits/bank managers/tea drinkers that this is about as decent a representation of the work as they’re going to get, make sure they get in free, then send them a set list and a biography so they don’t need to guess things.

      It was about 4 years before superkings did any of that and will probably be about August/September before NZS start that particular vile ball rolling (when our record’s out and the band is functioning at full tilt).

      (http://www.superkings.org – our finished first and only album available free there and you can review it all you like guys!)

      Just to stay alive, bands usually have to play out. I’d personally stay in writing and recording records and never leaving the house, but when you’ve encouraged, cajoled and back-patted 6 guys to come on the ride with you it’s only respectful to their fun/development and to offset the sacrifice they make to their social lives to gig once in a while.

      It’s a widely held misconception that if you see a band/musician/poet/musketeer performing out in public it’s because they long for feedback/adulation/a duel.

      I do it to see/meet/hang out/drink/have sex with people I don’t normally get to, including the band (Paul on top, obviously), and to help the band feel confident that when the fire-breathing gryphons of electronica come down in earnest, we will comfortably fend them off with rock(s).

      Anyway, my point runs thusly:

      If you see a band playing in a pub and you aren’t completely enamoured with them, why say anything at all? A pub gig is not a tacit invite to comment, and it won’t benefit a band (or the community as a whole) if this website informs 40-50 local enthusiastic music goers that they’ll have an poor-to-okay evening if they go and see X or Y.

      It’s more than likely that any band of 20-30 somethings that has gone to the trouble of moving gear about from place to place, writing songs, compiling them into some kind of set, practicing them together, recording them and dragging their friends and loved ones down to the pub has at least a nugget of radness in it. If you can’t see it, it might be invisible for any of the myriad of reasons outlined above, none of which would be a fair representation of the band to a propsective audience member.

      Similarly, it’s possible that if you see a band you don’t like very much you’ve… not… got… it.

      The high quality negative/tepid review is a complicated and wonderful art honed to perfection by Yahtzee…

      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation

      …and, of course, the great Charlie Brooker… but these guys have great self-awareness, dazzling wit and most importantly a devastating understanding of their subject areas.

      Without these characteristics, and mainly being exposed to shitty pub gigs with bad sound and drunken locals (myself included) who don’t know Regina Spektor from Adam (Ant), I’d say that if your goal here is a genuine enhancement of the musical community, stick to saying nice things (or nothing) about acts you’ve seen once in a bad environment.

      If, on the other hand, this project is about feeling the warm, fuzzy glow of expressing yoursel(ves) and people are reading it, fill your boots and disregard the above.

      • fire-breathing gryphons of electronica? Genius, wish I’d thought of that one, Dave. Ever fancied being a reviewer?

  24. “If you see a band playing in a pub and you aren’t completely enamoured with them, why say anything at all? ”

    Totally agree – excellent point!!
    Superb comments expressed above Dave!!
    Jan Blanket Apology Band – reviewed recently via this site.

  25. Dave/Jan: if I PAY to see a band and aren’t enamoured doesn’t that give me the right to say something?

    • ..Of course..maybe though as a critic and role model on this site you could perhaps use words more sensitively to achieve change?
      Apology accepted re the corpse imagery… leave it on the site… you wrote it and helped to contribute to an interesting chain of debates and maybe some learning curves in itself ;-)?
      Hope to meet you again –
      Best wishes
      Jan Blanket Apology Band

    • It really isn’t about rights, this, is it?

      As I suggested, perhaps to vaguely, in my last remark, I’m only saying it isn’t helpful, not that you shouldn’t be able to do it.

      If you enjoy criticising people, fill your boots. It is a pastime the magic internet has allowed the whole world to indulge in in droves.

      I’m only saying that if you want to be helpful, think about saying helpful stuff. What I have read in here about some (most) people would put me right off not only attending their events, but the events they have appeared at.

      In the real, big, outside world there are always many perspectives on offer. It is appropriate to talk critically and forthrightly about the latest Brad Pitt movie or Franz Ferdinand record because people can find writers whose perspectives match their own.

      This is not true on the scale we operate on, and if a promoter was searching for an answer to the question “should I book band X?” and the Internet spoke back: “they were bland/tedious/crap” from the kind of website that speaks about “supporting local talent”…

      I just can’t imagine a scenario in which this is at all helpful.

  26. Come on everyone, this isn’t the middle east or Northern Ireland, it’s a bunch of local musos talking about eachother.

    Surely we can conduct this in a more civil, less personalised way? Without all the negativity?

    This site has filled a niche and has been largely supportive of local talent, with a couple of exceptions. The recipients of those exceptions may rightly feel aggrieved, and I suspect Kev (and other reviewers) will take this debate into account when writing future reviews.

    Maybe we can move on now?

  27. I’m not aggrieved, by the way. This site has been nice about us.

    I guess I’m saying that leading people towards stuff you like is way cooler thank leading people away from stuff you don’t.

  28. Also, I wish my phone wouldn’t guess my words so badly.😉

  29. Ah, David, my comment came after one of yours that hadn’t appeared when I started writing mine…in fact some of the ordering of these comments is a bit scew-whiff, which perhaps explains some of the aggro – people are taking some points as affronts when not intended etc…

    Anyway, your comments seem very fair and I agree with the ‘leading people towards stuff you like is way cooler thank leading people away from stuff you don’t’ ethos, especially in this local context as you’ve also argued…

    And to everyone else….Peace!!!

  30. The Lunecy Reviewer Man has a purple beard

  31. Thanks Jan – for pointing out your review from The Storey – i think you have a case with that one! Good to see Kev offer to withdraw it as well.
    I think all of us can learn from this debate we have had over the last week, at times its been fascinating, other times its been a bit over the top. What it has shown is that The Lunecy Review is something we should all support and where possible contribute to. I totally defend Kev’s right for freedom of expression as long as it doesn’t get personal.
    Remember anybody who disagrees with Kev, has the right to argue/debate their case on this website – again as long as its constructive and not personal.
    I’m sure this is what Kevin had in mind when setting up his site.
    I’d be gutted if Kev packed in this site, there’s absolutely nothing else out there that is anything remotely like The Lunecy Review.
    We all need this website, its vital!!
    So many people i’ve bumped into in Lancaster this week have all commented on Kev’s site – the more people who read and contribute to the site the better.

  32. I don’t fully understand what rights have to with anything.

    It’s not as though there’s one group of people who believe in freedom of speech and another who think the lunecy review should be silenced. That would be Totally Weird and it is disingenuous to imply that that is the choice on offer.

  33. Rights have everything to do with it , rights are hard fought and something not universally enjoyed. Look at China at the moment. A review site is a declaration of certain freedoms and rights. I mean, I presume that you, David, enjoyed your ‘right’ to vote on thursday? Of course. whats really happening here, on this thread, is a semantic bitch slapping contest.

  34. Even if that were true, then the very nature of this site is open to it. It isn’t a closed magazine but interactive; therefore, the slappers should expect to become slappees occasionally.

  35. Christ, if this debate keeps going any longer i’m gonna have to rush out and buy a dictionary. Wish i’d concentrated more at school now.
    WeirdRx

  36. Make love and war

  37. Blimey – it’s all been happening…

    A review site that only says positive things about acts might be briefly useful for the acts (promo material) but would soon lose credit with the readers and so would soon be of no use to the acts either.

    How can a review not be opinionated? How can it not be subjective? It would have to be a tape/film recording of the act posted on site…

    I don’t always agree with Kev’s appraisals, but ultimately the only thing that differs about the validity of mine and his opinions is that he has typed his up and posted them (Apart from the one I did do of Fell foot!). That takes balls, let alone a pink beard. Kev has repeatedly invited people to contribute their own reviews – he’s created a space. If people want to respond, they can. They should. I don’t think Kev is presenting himself as the One True Verdict.

    But it needn’t get personal – people should (IMO) present an alternative review NOT lay in to the original reviewer (unless the reviewer really has crossed a line) I think a lot of this is because this is the first time in a long time we’ve had a forum where local artists are taken seriously and we’re still settling in.

    Having said that, a bad review will probably knock those with growing experience and less-calloused hides. So, maybe there is a compromise to strike here. It would be good if new talents were supported as well as being toughened up! This would require the reviewer to do their homework beforehand. A little diplomacy here and there. And if telling the truth as they see it is more important to them (and for some reviewers presumably it would be) then they take the flak for it. If they misjudge it too many times, they will lose readers and credibility in the same way a performer will lose credibility and audiences.

    Anyway, we might all have moved on now anyway….

    Mollie

  38. God molly, that was sooooo last week😉

  39. Why break the habit of a lifetime…😉

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