06 February 2010

a waste of talent?

I have never been to a talent show, not once have I ever though about going along to a Battle of the Bands evening, the closest experience I have to something like this is sitting watching the X-Factor. Quite simply I don't see what good can come from it, over the years I have been to more than my fair share of gigs, out of all of them I can name only one band that had 'won' some form of talent contest. That would be We Were Promised Jetpacks, who won a 'Battle of the Bands' contest in school. Now you could argue that this helped to to give them the momentum and motivation to become the successful band that they are.
For me personally talent shows of this sort only hamper up and coming bands, although I suppose it really depends what they want to take from it. Yes it can give them a bit more exposure, they can get all of their friends and family down for the night and you never know they might even win. But on the grand scale of things I don't think it means all that much, in fact I think a lot of bands lose a degree of credibility because of it. In music there is a very fine line between what is decreed to be 'cool', and indie circles 'talent shows' most certainly don't fall into this category. I guess what I am saying is that these things have to be approached with a degree of caution, bands have to think what they want to get out of these things. I guess I am being a bit hypocritical in a sense, as yes I was chuffed to bits at my placing in the Scottish Blog Awards, does it give me anymore credibility in the grand scale of things, I doubt it. There were plenty of music blogs that weren't in there which I think are a lot better than my own, do they retain their air of cool by not taking part, possibly.
I guess what I am saying is at the end of the day it is such a fine line that we all tread, we all want folk to notice how wonderful we are, but at the same time we want to retain our own credibility.

Wanted Talent Contest are host a talent show at The GRV on Guthrie Street, Edinburgh EH1 on Monday 15 February from 8pm. The winner gets £50 and the chance to work with a professional producer. Entry to the contestants is free - but they must register in advance by email with their name and phone number to wantedtalentcontest@gmail.com Singers and/or rappers will be asked to sing one tune of their own choosing (as long as it's not Queen or ABBA) to a backing track on CD or iPod. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 28 can apply to take part. And if you want to watch the contest, entry is just £3.

PS - S1Play you could have made some form of effort and edited the Press Release


  1. Let's enter!
    Battle of the Bands competitions generally piss me off. Most of the ones I've been to have been judged on which band flogged the most tickets. That's great, you brought all of your pals and every memeber of your family, but it doesn't mean you are better than the other bands that were on. I can feel a rant coming on, so I'll stop there I think.

  2. It might please you, Lloyd, and Jim, to know I've called the contest off. Slightly closer attention would have shown this was never a 'battle of the bands', only singers and rappers were invited. This was a, probably, misguided attempt to try something different in this conservative place - a chance for exhibitionists, moaners and groaners and screamers to get on stage and perform, with the chance that they would win 50 quid and end up recording and releasing a single or more. As it is, 50 quid wasn't enough to attract any contestants (maybe they all wanted to hang on to their credibility...) I'll leave the city to its Hot Chip cover bands and move on...

  3. Tim - I am sorry that you felt offended, but i was just expressing an opinion. I appreciate that you must have spent a fair bit of time trying to orgainse the event, which should be commended. I probably wouldn't have mentioned your event if I hadn't written the post.
    I was simply expressing an opinion on talent contests, and how I felt about them.
    Hopefully that doesn't put you off running your own events, provided you know what you want to get out of them that's fine.

  4. Tim London11/2/10

    No offense taken! The contest was meant to be a means to an end: I'm a producer & writer and I don't get to meet many singers/rappers in 'Burgh who don't want to be Cheryl Cole/Jay Z and this was a way to find some, I thought. I generally feel the same way about battles of the bands/Xfactor etc as you and your commentator. I guess 'ironic' talent contests are probably self-defeating without an energetic art school scene... but 50 quid is 50 quid, though... I've only been to one talent night in Scotland, the only contestants I remember is Found - I think they were competing ironically - I don't think they won...