Christopher Nosnibor’s Guide to Being a Music Reviewer – Part Five: Bollocks to the Brits!

As mentioned in the last installation of this occasional series, it’s often the case that music fans have unreasonable expectations, they seem to think if you haven’t heard of their favourite band, or don’t know not only every track of their favourite new release intimately and by title, then you clearly don’t possess the breadth of knowledge required to be a music reviewer worthy of respect.

Conversely, if you’re not completely ‘down with the kids’, then the same accusations are also levelled in your direction.

In short, you can’t win.

During the course of a single day, I’ve been quizzed – by which I mean grilled and challenged – over my lack of knowledge of various top 10 chart acts and Brit nominees, and been subject to complaints that my reviews are all of bands that people have never heard of.

Now, while I do try to expose myself to as much music of all strains as possible (to be clear, that’s an exposure to music, rather than me simply exposing myself) there are only so many hours in the day and like any other music reviewer, I only have one pair of ears.

This means that I do know who Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Paloma Faith are. I also know they hold no appeal to me, and don’t interest me. They represent the face of the mass market, the apogee of mediocrity. Aural chewing gum with haircuts. Stylised, mass-market emptiness. They have to have strong images to compensate the lack of substance to their music. Fuck ‘em. There are plenty of other reviewers out there to cover them. I consider it my job to provide exposure to the many interesting acts who don’t have major-label backing, who won’t get played on R1 and won’t be in line for Brit awards.

“I thought you were into music,” is the moan I hear most frequently.

I am, and that’s precisely why I do what I do. But we all need our niche. I don’t write for NME or Kerrang!, Q or Mojo, I’m not on the playlist panel for R1 and I’m not in the A&R department of Sony or Warner’s.

I’ll see who won what at the Brits on one of the news websites tomorrow. Or the next day. Really, it won’t change my world. For tonight, I’m busy sifting through the 40 or so independent releases of wildly variable quality I’ve received in the past few days. It ain’t glitzy or glamorous, but it means something.

 

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These smug crets are, allegedly, the face of music that matters in 2015, along with Paloma Faith and her big gums, and Madonna and her granny guns. Don’t believe the hype.

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at christophernosnibor.co.uk

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