Time for another large slice of musical honesty, this week with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Whilst making sure that here on The Honest Music Blog we rightly praise all those who are worthy of such notable commendations for attitude, commitment and general all-round niceness, we must also cover the other 50% of people who would seemingly climb a hundred foot ladder just to make sure the dump they're aiming in your direction has a more satisfying impact.
Firstly, cudos must go to festival 'organisers' who in a rather backward move, ignore two successful year's slots on the Main Stage and the people who pay to come and see us there, and demote you to a pub, under the banner of 'Emerging Artists.' Perhaps it's like a musical hibernation, emerging periodically from your lethargic unproductivity to be spat blinking and naked as a newborn to desperately salvage what remains of your confused followers before your time runs out and you're replaced by someone less talented at music but much better at fawning and kissing backsides.
Further on, we are graced with the presence of an ego so swollen it rather obscures an ability to 'scat' and create rhymes so awkward I found myself blushing with embarrassment just being in the room. Suffice to say we were the only ones who thought so (again a healthy nod to our own lack of cool and 'down with the kids' awareness) and we were left to waste a few peoples time after the real star of the show had made a swift exit, explaining that all communications were directed through their Manager, so as not to dirty oneself with the humdrum of everyday humanity. I may add to this that Mick Hucknall and Chris De Burgh are quite frankly, worse than Hitler.
As a final kick in the teeth, we received a rather blunt retort at our request for a support slot at a particular venue. Now, I must make it clear that the venue and it's organiser have been more than helpful, and we shall be visting later in the year and are genuinely looking forward to it. Our particular gripe is with a certain group on being offered our support. When you are musicians actively seeking to further your fanbase in a certain area, it is customary to support a local or established act of a roughly similar style to yourselves, hoping that some of their fans become some of your fans. Its like social networking, only real. The promoter at the venue promptly contacted what booked acts they already had with the offer of a support slot from ourselves. Most replies were generally positive with a hint of unconcerned shoulder-shrugging, however the most spectacularly unhelpful reponse was this;
"We won't spend a long time doing their sound, they will have to plug
and play, we like to have some time to chill before the gig.
MUST supply their own mic cable, guitar cable, mic, guitar and mic
stand and get everything off the stage before we play."
Now, had this certain act been say, Neil Young or perhaps Rodrigo Y Gabriela, we would have doffed our caps reverently and bowed while shuffling away. The fact is though that this act has officially less than half of the online fans that we have and are quite frankly, terrible. So, just incase there is any doubt, they can take their shitty equipment and have a lovely 'chilled out' time inserting it up each other's arses, while we are playing with people who would at least appreciate our efforts.
Now, being honest is one thing, but being a whinging tosser is another. So, to end on a more positive note, we come to our house gig in Bolton. This was held by a man who had seen us play at The Deer Shed Festival last year and liked so much what he saw, he subsequently travelled from Bolton to York on a rainy Tuesday night to see us play again, and asked if we would play a small celebration he was having in his home for his friends and family. Upon arrival, we were adopted as part of his family, shown the most amount of free beer and spirits we have ever seen, fed with a specially created vegetarian meal and given the world's best cheesecake, played a set of our own songs with a few requests thrown in and finally paid for the privilege of being there. My hat goes off to you kind Sir, and if the music business was filled with more people like yourself, perhaps I wouldn't have to moan so much.
We're off on a Southern jaunt next week, to reaquaint ourselves with some old friends and play some wonderful venues, so expect a happier blogging experience next time on The Honest Music Blog with Holly and Chris.