One of our big goals for the year was to see a major piece on the Nottingham music scene in the national media, hence we were really happy to see last week’s Guardian piece. Acknowledging that happiness may affect our objectivity’, let us breakdown exactly why this is such a great thing for Nottingham (I can’t quite believe I’m having to but there have been moans, mainly along the lines of ‘why wasn’t I included?’).

Let’s first address the belief that if you aren’t mentioned in the article it’s not good for you. If you look at the bigger picture you’ll realise how good it is for you for your scene to be getting recognised at the national level, and that appreciation of the greater good should lead to an appreciation that it’s in your personal interest for the scene to be getting such recognition, regardless of whether you personally get a shout out.

Imagine if clinical research showed all men from Nottingham were great in bed but the news article didn’t mention you. Your ego may not have had a specific stroking (perhaps not the best word to use with this metaphor) but it would still be great news for you and your aspirations to get laid by the hordes of single woman who then decide to deluge Notts, Lynx advert styley.

For people across the UK to be aware of Nottingham is good for all parts of our scene, even if you yourself sadly didn’t get a mention.

We love this article for the following reasons:

– It’s forward looking, it could easily have focused on how unsuccessful Nottingham has traditionally been musically, with a small mention to how things are going well now. Instead it mentions the bad times briefly at the start, putting the whole article in context, and then proceeds to wax lyrical about a ‘formidable new generation of artists’.

– It’s broad genre wise, it’s not just bands as these things so often are. From Ronika’s Pop to Kirk Spencer’s Electronica and Cappo’s Hip-Hop, many genres are covered.

– It’s broad artist wise, the article could easily have been 90% Dog Is Dead, Ronika or current Guardian fav Spotlight Kid with a small mention at the end about the general scene. Ironically this would probably have catalysed less moaning. Because the article did such a good job of mentioning a wide range of artists (fifteen we made it) it seems to have annoyed more people. It could only have significantly increased this number by turning into a list, and that wouldn’t have got published.

– It’s incredibly positive. They could have said all this Nottingham chat is just hype and we’re all crap. They didn’t, they confirmed what we know which is amazing and the fact you didn’t get mentioned, with the incredible talent you have, just shows how much ability there is in Nottingham.

Those of you who have been upfront enough to express your disappointment (and we appreciate your honesty) have done so with expressions such as ‘I feel’, ‘I prefer’ and/or ‘I don’t rate’, subjective personal opinions. Journalists have to look past their personal tastes and live in the world of verifiable, objective comment, as such we find it very hard to argue with the artists focused on in the article. Just as in a college essay when you assert an opinion you have to back it up with a source, so has Mike Atkinson in this article. Of course when a national paper focuses in on a local scene it’s going to look to objective indicators such as the stature of the record label an artist is signed to, what gigs they have on their live CV and what local media recognition they’ve achieved. The Guardian is not going to ‘do a Nusic’ and give a Nottingham act their first media mention, they’re obviously going to focus on the acts that we as Nottingham Music Lovers already know, but few outside of Notts do, and that’s the whole point, to spread the love beyond the River Trent, particularly to London where so many of the media and music industry people who control your fate live. Them thinking good things about Nottingham is going to help you get laid – musically speaking.

I’d finish my lunchbreak rant by saying remember that Channel Four came to Nottingham in February and broadcast three live acts – none of who were from Nottingham. In that context I tip my head to Mike A and The Guardian for a big step forward. At least unlike their televisual media cousins they realise Birmingham is not Nottingham!

Yours in Love of New Music
Mark Del

PS One final ‘yeah that’s a fair point’. Once the article decided to venture into mentioning venues as well as musicians we agree it was a surprise not to see The Maze get a mention baring in mind the high percentage of Nottingham musicians who get their first ever gig thanks to the hard work of everyone at that venue.