Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MANuco, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. MANuco

    MANuco New Member

    I know that we are a self regulatory movement, but I am getting a little disheartened at the amount of reviews that are published on websites either anonymously or by any body who cares to take the time to write one!

    I am NOT trying to say that people should have a level of musical training to write a review, but i personally take more note of reviews written by well known/trained alan jenkins and co. I think alot of the reviews that appear on here or on 4 barsrest should be converted to entries in guestbooks as quite often all that appears in them anyway is a programme listing with no constructive review being made. I have also recently found out that someone who writes reviews for 4br is actually the librarian of the band he loves to write about......i know its a hobby, but who actually beleieves everything they read in these reviews.

    I'm not having a go at anyone. Just wonder if anyone agrees that the reviews that appear in the journals are far more credible?
  2. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    I'm guessing you just read my review of Hepworths Concert on Saturday night??

    In my defence I was just asked to write what I thought and hadn't even intended writing Mr. Thicko disclaimer is quite clearly printed at the bottom.

    If this thread isn't inspired by my Hepworth Band concert Review, please ignore this comment!! (and of course please read the review!)
  3. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I don't think he means your review Crawf! I thought your review was very good (I was sat in the audience next to you after all!) and certainly wasn't a "listing" of the program!

    But I'm sure you'll be able to agree that writing a review that is going to be viewed by a lot of people is not easy and I thought you did an excellent job.
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I have no problem with anyone writing a review, provided that they are willing to identify themselves.

    Particularly with live performance reviews, it is often refreshing to get a perspective from someone who was simply in the audience to listen to the concert and not specifically listening in order to produce a review. Most audiences are made up of far more "casual" listeners, and in many cases those are the people the band would want to satisfy.
  5. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Cheers Roy - thanks for that, and you're right, it would have been much easier to write something at all if I'd known I was actually going as a critic rather than a mere spectator.

    Still, I enjoyed sharing what I thought, they were good and deserved the praise, regardless of who it came from.
  6. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I'm particularly looking forward to your forthcoming review at the Foxy Boxing night at Hooters bar :D
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I think this topic is a wee bit silly, and the sort of thing that unfortunately rears its ugly head more with brass bands than any other form of music performance. (The sort of 'You're not a well known name so why should you criticise stuff' attitude). Recognised adjudicators and critics alike have feet of clay (I've occasionally bought CDs on the strength of 'recognised' reviewers only - sometimes - to be disappointed when I heard it).

    By the same token, just because one isn't a recognised 'name', it doesn't necessarily mean to say they're not qualified to write reviews/critiques. (Note, I am NOT referring to myself here! :)). Until I came on to tMP, I'd never heard of Peter Bale (just as I'm sure that he'd never heard of me! :)) and he doesn't play with a top section contesting band, nor is he (as far as I'm aware) a recognised adjudicator/conductor, but I would certainly buy stuff on the strength of his knowledgeable reviews and recommendations. (I have done and have yet to be disappointed!)

    In the end, it's just a matter of personal opinion, and ultimately, no-one's obliged to read or take note of any review if they don't wish. If 'unqualified' critics were being paid handsomely to spout their views, I could understand the point to a degree, but on here, we opine free of charge!

    p.s. Crawford, I didn't hear the concert but it was certainly a well written and constructed review!
  8. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Agreed! In my opinion, people are much more likely to take more notice of a person's opinion if that person is brave enough to give their name and to not hide behind a false/hidden identity. :cool:
  9. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Difficult to know where to draw the line on this one. I have read a hatful of reviews in the BB and I would say all of them are positive...if I bought every CD they said was 'recommended' or 'good' or 'an enjoyable release' I would have to archive my CD collection in the garage! Correct me if I am wrong but all of their reviews are by 'qualified/recognised' banding personalities.

    It was refreshing to read a review the other day of the 'Golden Swing' CD Dyke have just produced. I think Iwan Fox was suggesting that although the playing was of a terrific standard, he was not bowled a way by their swing playing and felt it was a disappointment. I am sure people will still buy the CD as it has enjoyable/accessible music on it and Dyke are a great band. I am glad however that someone has had the guts to be honest about a recording from a top band and not resort to the usual summaries listed above.
  10. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    But by the same token, if your average punter goes along to a concert and decides to write down his thoughts then he should be allowed to. If that person enjoyed the concert then what's wrong with saying so.
  11. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    Average punter?? I'm no average punter..I'm an exceptional one!! :-D
  12. Fergus

    Fergus Member

    Surely living in a democratic country where we have freedom of speech we should encourage it regardless of qualifcations / training etc.
  13. critic

    critic Member

    INreply to manuco on concert or contest reviews he seems to thing that or implies that unless your a well known name your reviews can not be taken seriously.
    Ifully respect anyone who takes the time to report on our wonderfull movement
    It would be a dull place with out them.
  14. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I think there is a big difference between having an opinion and airing it to friends et al, and publishing that opinion to the big wide world. I firmly believe that everyone should be able to express their opinion on something such as a public forum like tMP where it is clear (or should be) that it is just that, an opinion to be discussed and digested and sometimes disagreed with. Publishing that opinion as hard fact (as in putting it into a publication) should be done with care since it can be (and frequently is) taken as fact.

    However not everyone always agrees with any one persons opinons (hey it makes us human) witness the recent spat on my opinion regarding the Regionals CD (i do notice however that 4BR have yet to do a review!).....
  15. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    On the subject of opinions, I had a couple of things to say in a different thread on 24th January about two performances at the recent RNCM festival. On the RNCM band's performance of Images, I said:

    "...John McCabe's Images...always right on the edge of the precipice..."

    While on the festival's finale, I said:

    "Edward Gregson's Age of Kings - what a great piece of music theatre!"

    It was nice then to read the 4BR account of the same pieces, published seven days later. On Images, the reviewer said:

    "James Gourlay's interpretation kept you right on the edge of the precipice so to speak..."

    while on The Age of Kings, he concluded that

    "the more you see and hear it, the more you realize this is pure ‘musical theatre'".

    And like me he also bemoaned the replacement of Ascendit in Coeli and Altitude with Requiescant Aberfan in Brighouse's concert.

    It's nice to know that reviewers are so independent, and of course, that great minds think so much alike!
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... nice to see that they were using some informed opinion ... yours! ;)
  17. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    While I have submitted ocassional comments on CD's and concerts, I don't consider or represent myself as a "qualified" reviewer. What are my "credentials"? I played for over 45 years; I am a serious collector of recorded music (mainly brass band but also symphony and some pop). I have what I consider a pretty wide musical palate. I make my comments with my real name attached (not that many would know who I am anyway but I prefer to be open).

    My most recent comments were made on the CD "Going Solo" by Carl Saunders and I think that would be a good example of the type of comments I make. Some might think it's rubbish, some may think it's useful and the originator of this thread clearly is of the opinion that I should keep my thoughts to myself.

    I agree with Dave Payn and have also bought recordings over the years that, for me at least, don't match the review. I also appreciate the type of comment made my Iwan Fox on 4BR re Black Dyke and their (in)ability to swing. I also appreciate other comments made re the recent Brass in Concert CD. Both reviews helped me made a decision; I bought "Swing" and won't be getting "BiC".

    I also agree that Peter Bale does an excellent job when compiling a review. I value and appreciate his comments.
  18. JR

    JR Member

    Therein lies the problem john - no-one wants to (or dares) criticise their peers - invariably BB reviews are so uncritical as to be virtually unreadable with their fawning, deferential garbage.
    It will be interesting to see whether Iwan, now he has a foot in the BB door can do anything about this - I'd like to see CDs reviewed properly i.e. objectively and independently as they would be in a quality newspaper or magazine; some attempt at this has been made recently by 4br - pretty good examples have been contributed, not only by Iwan but also Peter Bale who gave a very fair and certainly not uncritical assessment of my own band's (United Co-op Yorkshire) latest CD.
    I would have been particularly interested to read an objective review of this year's "Regionals" CD for example...

    john roberts
  19. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I think CDs and concerts are two separate issues.

    For a concert, I am most concerned with what the band played and how it was recieved by the audience, and that's about it.

    For a CD I want to know what pieces are on it, how it sounds, would it inspire me to practise, etc... I how reviewers are much more critical, candid, honest, etc... when it comes to CD's than concerts.

    TIMBONE Active Member