Monthly Archives: April 2014

Can’t be arsed

I’ve had two quite connected emails today one from an artist another from an industry person.

Artist says please don’t remove me from the bill, because in spite of not mentioning the 6-weeks confirmed show on my website I have bought a train ticket and I can start to promote now less than a week before the show. And in any case, I promote events myself and would never expect the artist to do the promoting for me.

Industry person says the argument that PAY TO PLAY PROMOTERS ARE COMPLETE CUNTS doesn’t totally stack up and that given they’re the bank, holding the risk, what’s so bad about promoters trying to protect themselves in the face of a tide of lazy bands who promise 30 mates and bring nobody.

There’s a lot of grey between the two arguments. And to start from either position is wrong.

One thing is certain: when you’re doing a show and you check the acts websites and the show isn’t mentioned, it’s just completely soul destroying. This process could be got through far quicker by just handing out some money to some acts, and not actually doing the “event” part.

Christ, my band used to make our own flyers and posters on top of what the promoters did, and hit the promo *hard*.

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The Marathon and me. Bawling, Therapy, Guilt, Bawling

When I was a kid, the only Marathon I was interested in was the chocolate bar now known as Snickers. Having said that, I was a little chubby kid and didn’t like a lot of foods, and peanuts back then were a no go area. I would hate discovering a nut in my chocolate, and couldn’t stand the fact that nanny and grandad only ever had whole nut or fruit and nut…  anyway.. I digress before even properly starting…

I did start to run as a kid and remember the first times I went out on a run. I knew I was a little fatty, and I wanted to try and do something about it. (today I measured the distance of the first run I did, it’s just over a mile). I felt very self-conscious. I still do at times when out running now. I kept up running occasionally through college, as a smoker, and in 2006 I used running as a way to give up smoking. I signed up for a marathon, and stopped smoking.

The fact I was doing it for The Alzheimer’s Society was down to my mum having been diagnosed. With Mild Alzheimer’s. That’s how you dealt with it. You say “mild”. Like as if it’s any different than if it was really strong. Or like it was going to just be a little brush with Alzheimer’s and then it’ll go away. Here’s the first instance of the symbolic nature of running. Like you’re running away from something. I think always with running, for me at least, I’ve been running either away from or towards something. Depending on how good I am at applying spin to how I’m feeling at the time it could be to/from a bad marriage, a sick mother, a smaller waistline, health, a new personal best.

This guy’s piece in the Guardian about how he HAS to run marathons is a really good example of how training for a big run can be a decent strategy for good health. It takes a good 4 months, a third of a year, to train properly, so it can be quite habit forming and you’re likely to be still benefiting a good while later.

There’s something most existential about running. Not being able to get your head round something and then going out for a run. The Forrest Gump thing. The doing of an activity for the sake of doing the activity. It helps you to breathe, to concentrate on breathing (much like Yoga). I’ve been able to think about the symbolism of a long run like a marathon. How it’s an achievement in life which might be a suitable enough replacement or substitute for no great achievements in work, love, family etc… How it might be symbolic of an understanding of the longevity of things. “A marathon not a sprint” and all that. It can be very therapeutic.

Recently I joked to a friend that his enthusiasm for running was equal only to the guilt he felt in his personal life. This is classic projection really. My own enthusiasm has diminished the further away from a bad marriage I get, and the closer I move, to a decent set up both at home and at work. I do think the amount of penance in the name of charity x or y does come from a guilt position. It’s a very public display of good-doing.

A friend asked on Facebook last week whether anyone else got all teary when watching the marathon and a few replied yes. I was one of them. Given the stuff I’ve covered above I think it’s hardly surprising. Seeing folks put in so much effort with a picture of “dad” on their backs, or similar is very tear-jerking. For me it’s enough just to see people running.


CULTURE.

I gave Maria Miller a chance. I blogged here that the arts should ask for less money just one time in return for more once it had been proven that the arts can be entrepreneurial, smart, and make more money, be less dependent. I thought her speech telling the arts that it needed to prove its value was just the bluster of a new person in a new job (they all say that, or a version of that don’t they). Man, when you’ve given someone a chance and they act with such arrogance. I’ll never forgive her. I gave her a chance.

In broad terms this new chap needs to be given a chance. I’ve read that his dad was a bus driver from Rochdale. I’m proud and glad that Rochdale is just tenuously on the map for more than just some new horror. But I don’t want to speak too soon. Please don’t be *another* reason The ‘Dale is implicated in something horrible. I’m worried, but I don’t think it’s particularly constructive to make snide comments about the art or culture that he likes though, Guardian.

I know very well where I sit on the debate around secondary ticketing, but I am aware of an argument for many free marketeers, of ownership, and then reselling something that you own. It goes far deeper than some surface level argument of course, and Sajid Javid might not have researched it too well. I want to give him a chance. I think he might be more responsive to my suggestion at the top of this piece,of rewarding entrepreneurship. He might be. He has in the past been quite complimentary about ticket touts/secondary ticketing… I do want to give him a chance. He’s not making much in the way of good noises thus far.

I was once on a late bus home from Finsbury Park. A full one. I sat downstairs at the back, in the corner, and a boozy fella sat down next to me (I think I might have been a bit boozy too). We got chatting. He was a scouser. He’d been to see The Coral at Brixton and had a great time. He told me he was a tout and had done ok that night. He touted at gigs he liked, and went to them too. It was hard not to see this as a decent little bit of enterprise from a loveable rogue type character, and I certainly didn’t get on my high horse and attempt a reprimand. I wanted to give him a chance.

When the entire arts/music/sports industry roundly condemns something it’s going to be hard for our Sajid to stand tall. But it’ll be just one bit of his job. I’d like to give him a chance. Please don’t fuck it up Sajid. For music’s sake, for arts sake, for your dad’s sake.

I’m not into open letters too much. This one is a good one. But I do want to give him a chance. After Maria Miller, I’m going to be watching this closely.