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The Bright Side of Life

So my last blog post. Lets talk about that first shall we? I had a mixed response, mostly good, but some people did fail to see the point of the article.

“This and the strokes one in particular. Their moaning about small crowds but blaming everyone else, maybe they need to write better songs. It's a real shame that you don't put more positive articles up”

To be honest this was the biggest criticism of the blog post apart from Jack (Our Guitarist’s) continual pursuit to teach me correct English grammar.

I’d like to point out that this wasn’t me complaining about the size of the crowd, I would play to one person and still try to give a good performance. No the previous blog was about the unsupportive wave of acts gripping the Manchester music scene, and maybe we need to write better song? Well that’s for everyone else to judge, I’d like to think that we did write great songs, we put a lot of effort in to them and I hope it does show.

Lastly positive articles? Well I hope this silences your need for more positive soulful articles.

The brighter side is dedicated to those that do support people and do support bands and it seems that the bands that we do have a friendship with have been the right choices and indeed the promoters we’ve dealt with. You see it’s incredibly important to pick the right people to respond to. I’ve see band circles plagued with bitterness spoilt by their “one up man ship” which it a crying shame. I’ve been playing in bands since I was 15 and now I’m 22 so I’ve seen a lot in my time in the scene. I’ve seen bands fall, I’ve fallen out with bands, I’ve been kicked out of bands, I’ve started new bands. And I’ve seen a lot of bitching.

I do believe that with Dead Retinas I’ve been given a chance to play with people that I’m good mates with, that I’ve known since primary school and it’s a fresh start, and apart from mine and Sam’s huge slag off matches kept well out of the public eye on occasions we’re all best friends (I’d like to point out me and sam are still friends but he needs to stop robbing smokes from me and BUY HIS OWN!). I also believe that the people that we’ve chosen to specifically relate to have indeed been the right choices. Here’s a list.

Designer Magazine: who put on our first gig (we never told anyone it was our first gig back in april 2012)

New Revolution Music: Ste has been a great guy and has put us on with some fantastic bands.

Cherry Valentine/ Deaf FM: who we’re due to play for, but Cherry’s impact on the scene in just a few months has been absolutely amazing.

The Ordinary: Who have considered us so many times for shows since April, and have got us out the shit at our “Punkenfunk” gig at Retro Bar

Morphine Ghost: Who have been gems, and whom I feel we have built the biggest relationship with, minus the fact Neil their chubby drummer is hot! (love you babes haha)

Kids With Machetes: Whom I’ve recently interviewed for the SUPPORTTHESCENE documentary, and who have always thought of us for shows (even though we’re yet to play with them)

Saving Syenna: Who have been a constant joy to speak to, and who have kept we rather entertained with their facebook page status’

Sister Ray: Who we’ve yet to play with but they’ve always believed in Support the scene and regarded me as a respected individual in the Manchester scene.

Halflings Leaf: Who we’re close friends with from high school, and have turned prog and avant-garde in to amazing works of art.

God so many! I seriously can’t fit them all on and I’m sorry for that, but we’ve always been right on the money with bands we want to play with and talk to.

Granted I still see people and bands using the abusing the message we try to put out there which is a real shame, but the company I keep gives me hope that we’re all going to be the next wave of Manchester acts that break in to the dreaded (by some people) “mainstream” which either haunts the minds of fans bases or turns them in to highly respected artists.

I know with the bands I support I’ll always consider them highly respected artists and they are living proof that they’ve taken the opportunity to do something good and have rolled with it, and guess what the idea where maybe it’s better to promote other bands instead of yourselves has turned into a extremely plausible method of creating a fan base and friends.

I’ve been blessed with friends in higher places to, I’ve known Wade from Alexisonfire and Gallows since 2006, and He’s been my fixation and my idol for years. We go see him in Manchester and I give Lee (the drummer from gallows) a Dead Retinas tshirt for Wade and he walks on stage with it on and gives us a shout out on stage.

I’ve been given these opportunities to go forward with my band mates and show the world what we’re made of, I’m not going to keep that to myself, I’m not a selfish person, I don’t want the chance of becoming a mainstream act if I can’t say well “check these amazing bands out, show your support”

Despite the previous articles, here right in front of you are those little gems that stand out from the crowd, that want to be part of something bigger and better then themselves and want to make Manchester a once proud centre of musical genius back on the map, and I would trade any slight chance of fame and fortune to be part of it any day.

Music runs our lives, it gives us a chance to express current, pass and future feelings, tell life stories and those so out there it wouldn’t happen to anyone. It bonds us in band friendships throughout the UK each one creating a bigger scene.

We’re entertainers, entertaining ourselves, the I hope the solidarity of those I choose to be with show those who fail to support how important it is.

I’ve said I lot in this blog post, and again there is no intension to be smug or revel in the good times and the opportunities Dead Retinas have had in just over a year. But if I am considered by bands as a “Highly Respected” member of the music scene, then you’ll take at least so joy in reading this, or some ideas? I’m sharing these words with you to prove a point. That maybe the doom and gloom shows through, but I guarantee you one thing. You have shared the same experiences that I’ve done when it comes to band friendships

CJ Smith

CJ is bass player for Manchester punk band Dead Retinas - check out his band here www.facebook.com/deadretinas

CJ also started making the #supportthescene posters after Designer Magazine set up the twitter hashtag


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