Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by whippet, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. whippet

    whippet New Member

    Did anyone of you listen to the Radio 4 programme about Grimethorpe on Boxing Day (I think) ? Music to Save Grimethorpe. If you missed it you can listen to it on iPlayer Radio. The programme is narrated by Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan

    Very interesting and well worth a listen. Only lasts 30 mins
  2. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    Enthusiastic presentation by Ian Macmillan and summed up the general problems with brass bands today. Still suffering from the "cloth cap" image in spite of all the modern/popular music played by most bands.
    It still surprises me that although we offer free music tuition to all we have so few takers. I'm sure its a commitment thing with everything else the kids are asked to do but once learned its a skill for life, good for the CV etc.
  3. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes, a good listen, and another example of the skill of the Grimethorpe management team in getting their message into the public domain - I'm guessing that it was Grimethorpe who approached Mr McMillan, a known supporter of brass bands and frequent voice on Radio 4, rather than vice versa. It reassured me that, like so many other bands, Grimethorpe are struggling for money too. Although I did think their plea of poverty was slightly undermined, late in the programme, by the revelation that they are planning a trip to Australia next year!
  4. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Well it has been a while since Grimethorpe used the BBC as part of a pan handling exercise.
  5. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Grimethorpe do seem to have a decent approach to PR, but I'm guessing they will be the 'go to' band whenever the media do an article on banding. All part of the brassed off legacy. Incidentally, I always thought brassed off far from helping banding simply reinforced the old cliches and probably undid all the good work Elgar Howarth/Grimethorpe had done 20 yrs earlier for the sake of a quick buck. Of course it may be like the old saying - there's no such thing as bad publicity?
  6. tallyman

    tallyman Member

    I think Grimethorpe have added alot strength to their plea of poverty by being prepared to travel to the other side of the globe to earn money to support the band and other worthy organisations without relying on handouts and sponsors. well done them!!
  7. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    But please keep those hand outs flowing ladies and gentlemen, especially when we are on our Australian jolly.
  8. tallyman

    tallyman Member

    I have just been told that this is not the first time that Grimethorpe have performed concerts and tours for an agreed fee. Come on Grimethorpe stop living on hand outs and get caroling outside Sainsburys with a collecting bucket with some tinsel round the top and the words please GIVE generously written on the side.I'm sure Ian will lend you his.
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Fair play to them, but stop pleading poverty !
  10. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I believe that the programme is repeated on the 31st at 9.00 pm and that the web address for the iplayer version is:

    The band has a very busy schedule of events with something on each weekend, see: .

    It's hard for me to understand how they might be struggling for funds given that it's £20 or so a ticket, but I guess 'hamster wheels' come in various forms and some bands manage the juggling act (of whatever success is and finance) better than others - no slight intended.

    Whatever, well worth listening to.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    The wheel is still turning but the hamster is dead.
  12. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member


    Works for other arts organisations. Without money, every musical group from the Shillingsby Blowers to the Royal Opera House shuts up shop and finishes, and telling people you haven't got any (even when it isn't true) is a good start.

    To take the ROH as an example - they claim they have no money, and need huge Arts Council handouts to survive. Yet if they rented their massive property in the centre of Covent Garden out as offices, rented their own scenery workshops and rehearsal space in the East End somewhere and toured the UK and overseas performing in Opera Houses up and down the country as a true 'National' opera company they'd have cash resources to last for years. Pleading abject poverty where it technically doesn't exist doesn't appear to do their case any harm though, in fact it's the only way they get their cash and they have a whole department of people whose job it is to do just that.

    Without a whole department of people dedicated to fundraising and getting grants approved (like pro groups have), the only way to get public money out of politicians, generally, is to make the public demand it. The only way to get (wide) public attention is via the media. The media are not interested in a headline that reads 'Famous brass band is quite comfortably off but could do with a couple of timps, any chance of passing the hat round?'. They are only ever going to be interested in 'Legendary band of working class heroes on the brink of financial collapse' and if it's the more liberal end like the Beeb or the Grauniad it never hurts to add 'while bankers scoff fox sandwiches in subsidised opera seats'. Whether it's true or not is about 9th on the order of priority, somewhere far below 'will it sell?' and 'will it annoy George Osborne?'.

    I see no reason why Grimey and in fact every other band out there shouldn't play the same game of funding fibs that the rest of the arts world plays so well. EVERY pro arts organisation will tell you if asked that they are at most 6 months from financial disaster unless they get their next round of funding approved, and in some cases it's even true. Why shouldn't bands do the same? The money's there, but it's the squeakiest wheel that gets the grease.
  13. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Because it is dishonest.
  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Really? Gosh. Tsk, tsk.