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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sycophantic praise kills art.

Well it's been another strange week with yet another review acting as a catalyst for personal threats to be made.
In my opinion that part is now in the past, but it does throw up the usual questions.
When is a bad review damaging? Should ego's be taken into consideration? Is making a subjective comment really the end of the world?
Well I would say that a bad review isn't damaging at all.
Of course I would (sic).
If someone reading a review decides to check out the artist in question then they will obviously make their own mind up about the talent, or lack of talent, that is being displayed.
The end result is that one more person has listened to the artist(s), and isn't that what they all want?
As for personal ego's....well that's not something I have any control over.
If an individual is that thin skinned that they can't handle a negative review then the performing acts maybe isn't where they should be looking to settle.
Isn't criticism of anything that is put out to the public something that comes with the territory?
Those who have the confidence in what they do will consider a critique and take what they feel is relevant from it and move on.
….and obviously a bad review is never the end of the word, but it can be the end of a dream.
In this way it's a bit Darwinian with his theories about the survival of the fittest being writ large for all to see.
Consider x-factor for a moment.
Think about the opening rounds where those who seriously lack talent are cast like the Christians to the lions to be publicly mauled.
When we feel pity for then and they proclaim, 'but my family and friends think I'm great' then who do we think has dealt them the cruellest hand?
The panel of judges, or the family and friends who weren't honest enough with them?
I know who I think made them look like fools in public.
There's nothing wrong with pursuing a dream, but if anyone wants to realize it then they must accept that there can be limitations.
For instance if you're a tone deaf gentleman of seventy five then you're never going to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz on the biggest stages that the world can provide.
You can put your own production on in a local community hall and I'll admit that I'd pay top dollar to see that, but in all honesty real fame and fortune is going to be just out of your grasp by about a million miles.
That's the reality kicking in that some people fail to consider.
In my opinion criticism is a good thing.
Whenever someone makes a critical point (and simply calling someone a cunt isn't one) then it's at that point that the future can be viewed like a flow chart.
Is there a point to the critique?
Yes? No?
If no then that's it. Discount it and keep doing what you do.
If yes then another two choices are available.
You either consider that the best that you can do isn't enough and stop doing it, or address the issues raised and continue onwards and hopefully upwards.
I guess the whole point is that although the criticism is out there it is really down to the individual in how they take it.
They can have a healthy and honest approach or throw their toys out of the pram.
This takes me to another little problem that I have with the people who can't take criticism.
In lambasting the reviewer with threats and abuse what they are really doing is attempting to stop the person exercising the right to freedom of speech while exercising theirs at the top of their lungs.
How hypocritical is that?
You can't say you you don't like my music in public, but I can pass comment on your parentage, sexuality, looks, gender, height and threaten you as I see fit in public.
There's a lovely sense of karmic balance in that isn't there?
I've had it all over many years and the well is nearly dry.
I'm sure that every once in a while an original abusive comment will come along and amuse me, but without that originality I'd have to say that I'm a bit bored with it all.
Something to ponder as a last point.
If we all refused to criticize then there would be no quality control and all the good stuff would struggle to get attention amongst the drab and amateurish crap that would pile up looking to grab our attention.


  1. PS.
    I'm now going to write some high praise for the Plimptons x-mas single, the Jon Windle gig in Jollys, the Mondophonics debut single, the See Emily Play mini album, the Kick to Kill single and Sam Christison.
    All worthy of much positiveness and support.

  2. Very well restrained here, doll ................ cos you could`ve/should`ve said more ..... and named the fucker!!!!!!! Cos I read all of the threats that the guy made against you ...... what was that about "ripping your face off"??? Charming!!!! Seems like a very pleasant young chap!!!!! Although .... can I have ring-side seats if he`d like to try ..... that`ll be very entertaining!!!!!!!!??? LOLOLOLOL.

    Anyway ....... the Plimptons xmas single????????????? Tell me more!!!!!!!


  3. The Plimptons x-mas single is fantastic and you can get it for free from a wee link that I'll just find for you.

  4. It's not free. It's £2 for over 50 tracks.

  5. Jimmy Logan I remember many years ago harbouring a fair amount of ill will towards Martin Fry of ABC (the look of hate) because he had the nerve to rip an SLF single to death on a juke box jury type of thing on the radio. For a few years I disliked him with a passion. Then I grew up and realised that not only did he have the right to offer his opinion when asked. But, moreover, he was absolutely 100% correct, "The Price Of Admission" was a pile of shite! Most of us have a certain amount of the sycophantic within us, when we are going through our formitive years. We all want our band to be the best in the world. If we know this person we may hold a wish to share in the glory "when they make it big" This is when, I have noted the vitriolic expressions of vengeance can lose sight of reality.

    The secret I've learned over the years is to let it slide a little at a time as we progress along our life's path. I am sure I ain't alone in this.

    Reviewers are human the same as everyone else. They're entitled to their opinion. a reviewer in a good mood and an artist on top of their game, will on;y make for a positive review. If the reviewer can connect with the product being put forward. It isn't a crime not to get the point of a performance/ performer. it also doesnt afford the disgruntled fanatic the right to smash someone's teeth in because a critic views differs from their's! You throw the dice and take your chances for better... fate can be a cruel mistress, so fucking deal with it!

    It ain't the end of the world if someone doesn't tune in or see the imaginary talent you see lurking deep within. It's also fair to say that a bad review can have a positive effect. if we take the case and point of Charles Shaar Murray's review of THE CLASH show at the famous screen on the green gig in Islington in 1976.

  6. Mainy, by the way anyone can download all 3 tracks off the Plimptons Xmas single from for free. I'd said in press stuff release date was 05/12, but its up there just now if you want to put a link in the review or anything. - Martin, ta

  7. No problem Martin. I'm off work tomorrow and plan on catching up so the review should be up for then.