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Between A Rock And A Hard Place

As winter hits I find myself between a rock and a hard place in the Manchester music scene, the more I involve myself in it’s activities the more I seen it for the shallow mess it’s become over the years.

Not only is the market saturated with unsigned acts, but it seems wave after wave of self obsessed unsupportive bands have drown any sense of respect and fair play. It’s going to be a difficult winter and we’re just setting ourselves up for a fall.

I’ll try and keep this blog post respectful. I’m not going to name names, point fingers or trash talk acts at the risk of portraying myself as a hypocrite, you can read my other blog posts for that.

I consider my band and I one of the hardest working bands currently in the scene. (note the use of “one of the”) why? Because there are only a few acts out there that are trying to bring this supportthescene ethos to a wider audience, we are the few that use the hash tag and the message for other bands and not some personal attempt to sell tickets or plug the latest EP. I mentioned on twitter “it’s not about spamming the message” if you’ve got nothing supportive to say about another band don’t bother tweeting. Because I’ve already seen through you, how many more people?

Another reason is seeing the other acts on the bill, if there’s nothing that frustrates me more it’s bands that play and leave. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! And to be honest you disgust me, no lie. And your act will find yourselves in to my little black book of bands to avoid with a 20 foot bargepole.

For example of recent gig, the guys and me met up had a coffee, strolled down to the venue for the all day event. Walking in to find maybe 3 other people watching the first band on stage. From there it’s down hill. Not in terms of crowd size of general punters but with us being there from the first band I was expecting an extra maybe 16 people in the crowd all from the bands that played before us, that bands that we stood, watched and clapped for.

Look I don’t care what other plans your social calendar has to accommodate but I’ve got some news for you, if you’re playing a gig your calendar for that day is full, No half arsed excuses like oh I’m meeting my mates and we’re going to a club in town, don’t be fucking stupid, you are booked for the night until it started until it ends. The only possible excuse is work or death that’s about it. Your representing your band and ditching the venue after you’ve played some lack luster set is bullcrap and completely unprofessional. You’re not the fucking stones

We got on stage about 8:10 to a mixed array of people our mates came down and some of the people in bands on after us, a photographer people you’d expect to see at the show, the rest of the 5/6 acts had indeed fucked off from what I could see.

We don’t care what crowd size we play we’ll still give it a good shot, giving people a performance to remember. That night featured for me personally a lot of jumping around, a lot of half nakedness and then screaming the last lines of the last song on my back in the middle of the venue. If you’ve seen us before you’re well use to our on stage shenanigans but even to what 15 people? We still gave it our all.

So we arrived at 4:10ish and when to pick up and sort are gear at 7ish? So we missed one act for that reason, but we had to set stuff up. So we were there all day.

At least for one of the acts (an act we know) they messaged me explaining and apologising for their absence, but at least it was an explanation, were these bands too embarrassed after they played or something? It seriously felt like a high school prom with girls on one side and boys on the other, there was no socialisation with other acts, even the usually smokers hole remained silent.

Promotion was the standard facebook event page etc, and I’m not going in to the ins and outs of promotion techniques for the event, we didn’t get physical tickets and I felt even for a charity event the price was set far to high, however a quick and decent apology from the promoter was ok by me, at least someone held their hands up.

Look I don’t really what to turn this in to rant, nor does that blog represent what my fellow band members think, but things seriously need changing and fast, and stuck up bands who think they are better then everyone else need a swift and firm knee to the bollocks. You don’t deserve a fan base. You don’t deserve promoter’s support and you don’t deserve my support. I listen to bands, I check them out when I can, but the bands we played that day, bar maybe 3 forget it man. To put it in to perspective one of the acts down the microphone “check us out on facebook” I pull out my phone go on facebook and like them. After we played I looked around again, pulled out my phone and unliked them simple as that. I Get home open my little book and write in big black bold letters under AVOID the band that decide they were to amazing to see the other acts.

So what can you get out of this blog? Well nothing much but it’s just an insight in to what I’m like as a person I guess, a hardworking member of the Manchester music scene. Passionate? Maybe. Stuck up? Nope. I just want a united front. And any future band whom I share the stage with. I’m a nice guy, but pull unsupportive shit and you’ll get a blog like this dedicated on your R.I.P facebook page.

This blog does not represent the other members of my band; it’s solely on my back., you either agree or think I’m a tosser, honestly fine with either.

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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