Music Reviews haven't changed much since I first started out, there's just more people doing it due to social media and many people charge for that service now. But I'm not one of those people, I do it for Free because I believe in supporting artists/bands & good music. Eargasm started life as part of my Column at the Watford Observer, where individuals & record companies would get in touch and send in their latest music offerings for review consideration, I also peruse social media looking for something special. I'm quite a tough cookie to crack & having been around the music block it's got to be damn good for me to give up my time to write about. Having a credible review that hasn't been written by your Mum or your best mate can make people sit up and take notice and it only takes one right person to take notice for an opportunity to come along, all I ask is to be shown a little respect, not too much to ask surely?
I'm often asked why I don't review more Rap/Hip-Hop artists seeing as that's my first love, well sadly because it's the worst genre to deal with. The majority of the time I'm met with things like: "Yo, I'm busy, back atcha soon" Followed six weeks later by "Yo, so about the review?" My response "Yo, too late"
But other genres don't fair much better either, I have promises of info being sent over the next day only to show up three weeks later, or worse still, not at all. And when I ask about a bands name I end up being sent such fictional stories: " We were Mice that died but have been reincarnated as humans so we can come back and take revenge for being kept in labs " yadda, yadda.... really? it's not only naff, bands and artists were coming up with such drivel in the 70's, it was naff then too, but it was just part of the music scene back then, back then being the operative word, it's 2018 don't do it.
In the past two months I've offered up 5 reviews, but only 1 has made it to the Eargasm Column and that's been down to the artist/band and a lax, unprepared, unprofessional attitude.
So if you make Music & you expect people to take you seriously then act professionally, even if you have to blag it, we all have to start somewhere but showing a bit of respect and professionalism when someone is trying to help you costs nada.
Many moons ago when I was starting out ...yes, that far back, I was sat chatting to Paul Weller & Mick Talbot post Style Council gig, when Paul suddenly asked what I'd thought of the Gig? I was thinking, yeah right, here I am in the presence of a Music god and his asking ME what I think? He obviously read my facial expression & finding it amusing continued "No I'm serious, it's always great to have feedback, how would you review the gig, I really want to know, was it okay? " And I realised at that moment he was serious indeed, not only that, in his own way he was giving me an opportunity and so I took it.
I started by suggesting he lose the sound guy because the balance throughout had been erratic and often drowned out the vocals & to hold on to the 17 yr old drummer Steve White because he was phenomenal for one so young and that the gig had been excellent because as with most of Wellers gigs they always smacked of credibility and you felt the blood, sweat and tears of his performance. He laughingly agreed about the sound engineer, thanked me for my honesty and we continued chatting. I didn't expect for one minute someone of Wellers magnitude to give me the time of day, but there was no ego, in his presence I was an equal and he treated me as such and that's what I've continued to do throughout my life, regardless of who I'm dealing with, be it signed Run DMC or Unsigned Ron & the Racoons, whether 9 or 90 yrs of age, I treat everyone with the same respect, and as I want to be treated, and that's the moral of the story, or in simple terms, Don't be an arse when somebody is trying to help you.😂😂😂
On a positive note, I've been blessed to review some brilliant bands and artists who are easy and awesome to work with, and who are going to go far because they have a great attitude. Yes the Music industry is tough, Yes it's often cut-throat, but that doesn't mean you have to behave disrespectfully.
Ending the week on a positive note, I had an awesome E.P & lovely little thank you note drop through the letterbox from Amy & the Calamities Re her review earlier in the year:
Plus a Hollywood Rock bands E.P showed up in my inbox the other day and immediately my ears were doing somersaults (yes, I'll leave you with that image ) I've no doubt there's exciting times ahead for them. When dealing with overseas artists/bands It can be hard to gauge how well known they are & I may be a tad too small fry for them agreeing to a review but I've asked & it's now in the hands of their publicist, so watch this space? UPDATE: I've been granted a review with the band & hope to share it with you shortly.
If you like listening to good Music then please share and show them your support.
Til Next Time, Stay Blessed
Back Before Elvis