What's wrong with the The British Music Experience?
A few weeks ago I was invited by PRS for Music to attend an open evening of theirs at the British Music Experience in the O2. I was faintly intrigued, plus it was free, so I went with an open mind and also with the childlike notion that I may come away uplifted and thoroughly entertained. Once inside, I even managed to get suitably excited by the futuristic glitziness of the thing. This lasted for about a minute. At which point I started to realise what the BME is really all about...
PRS for Music have this week kindly asked me for my feedback about the evening. Naturally I obliged. I thought I'd post it up here in case there's anyone out there who still gives a shit about this stuff. Feel free to pass judgement/comment accordingly
PRS Feedback Form
1. What was your favourite part of the British Music Experience?
Leaving it. As a professional singer-songwriter & music producer just about managing to eke out a meaningful existence in this dying industry, I found it to be a horrendously depressing experience. "Remember the music industry? Great wasn't it..." should be the tagline. Joni Mitchell sprang immediately to mind... "They killed all the trees and put them in a tree museum". In this case, they smothered the music industry in it's sleep and then buried it in the O2 surrounded by flashy lights... great, thanks for that. And no, that's not cynicism (as a PRS employee lamentably suggested to me), it happens to be the truth. To think otherwise is to utterly delude oneself.
2. Is there anything more you would like to see in the exhibition?
Yes. In the 1993 - 2009 section I would very much like to see a bit of truth and honesty. In particular, I think it's about time the public realised (even the music hating tourists who are surely the main BME demographic) that in the mid 90's the global music industry, the UK included, was finally, once and for all, utterly hijacked by the corporate world of advertising executives and brand marketeers and as a result any semblance of genuine music-entrepeneurial influence within the industry was eradicated, never to return, and that consequently mainstream music has ever since inevitably become dominated by soulless, uninspiring shite sold to the masses in exactly the same way that soap and car insurance is. That bit was strangely missing from the exhibition, I couldn't help but notice.
3. Is there any additional songwriting or PRS for Music related content that you think would fit well in British Music Experience?
Yes, how about a listening post four times as big as anything else in the place for paying punters to hear the plethora of unknown, undiscovered genius' on PRS' books, the ones whose music is easily as good as and more often than not infinitely better than 90% of the mainstream rubbish foisted on us daily, but who don't stand a chance in a nonsensical corporate quagmire where said pioneers are expected to be their own manager, publicist, marketing strategist and image consultant first, and an inspired/inspirational artist second? Just a thought.
4. Is there any other feedback on the open evening or the British Music Experience that you would like to give?
Yes, instead of supporting such a shamelessly corporate industry jolly that comes across to anyone genuinely in the business of creating great musical art as the swansong to end all swansongs, wouldn't it be more in your members interests to publicly challenge the false Cowell inspired notion that it's all over for us bar the TV talent show shouting? Because I tell you something, if PRS doesn't get with the program and realise that creative potential in music is infinite and accordingly start looking after the future innovators and pioneers of the sacred art form it claims to represent, then it's relevancy as an organisation is likely to become even more in doubt than it is already. In my humble opinion