Off we go again on the magical MANNifesto June rant…

This month I try to take a pragmatic view upon bands who hug sound checks, and how their high opinion of their own ethos is important in the biz but irrelevant if the project delivers very little
…. And as we know – as I teach you to suck eggs – that’s like most things in life.

“The Essential can commonly not be seen”
-T.J. Smitherington Esq., 2010-


“If our Intellect is our glasses to the world, where did I put them?”
-T.J. Smitherington Esq., 2010-

So to summarise here’s this months topics –

This intro
Arctic Circle
Psychology of The Band
Tellytubbies are bigger than Pete Doherty?
The SMBC points award System

Arctic Circle

Its not until I have been here in Finland for a while that I realise the planet we live on is so bloody small.
I wake, or rather more rock n roll description, when you stagger home from a club at 03:02…. hehehe, you can see the sun that is shining on Sydney at that time also. You feel on top of the Planet and the smudged mascara Sheila you have pulled is trying not to break an ankle on the Cobbled streets (careful not a typo).
But it is true and the web speeds now mean that you can, if you can get off your butt, have band members round the planet. It’s like looking over the fence.
Its mad now but do you remember the 56k modem … Well a dongle that cost pence per day now allows us 52 times that speed from the middle of a field.
So lets get collaborating …  I talk about Tribes later but it’s possible now for each member of the band to live on each continent.

So much to do in so little time and so much collaborating to do
(See Wikinomics ) .
So what are you going to collaborate with,..what do you bring to the table?
… don’t worry do it tomorrow!!!
Hare and Tortoise syndrome…. whatever
Sofa syndrome the usual lazy oh yeaaaaaaa I’ll do some practice in a minute…
Conversely there is the person who does nothing else but applies him or herself….. it becomes an obsession it takes over their persona and their personality suffers.

I remember I had a drum tutor, who was kind enough to introduce me to Bob Armstrong, but he was so focused he made it into The Royal School of Music  (where you have to study two instruments to be accepted OMG!).
He was an amazing drummer (although he did tell me to play with my thumbs on top but we wont go into that right now)…. I went to one of his SOUL gigs and guess what?
…His eyebrows went up every time he hit the snare. What a player but you couldn’t watch him! Too intense….
…. You can’t push it and THATS!  Why the Tortoise won the race with the it?

So what’s the answer?
Feng Shui?
(Ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of heaven (Astronomy) and Earth (Geography)

(Use BBC voice)
Practice your style movements slowly and gracefully.
Exaggerate your technique arc your arms and practice slow, feel the stick.
The Bigger the roots the bigger the Tree Grows.
Build your practice upon deeper and deeper roots…you are feeling sleeeeeeepy.
And relax to go faster …you can’t play fast tense.
Relax teach your muscle memory and enjoy….
Use/reflex to develop your playing….
(Stop using BBC voice)
-Jo Jo Meyer DVD- hahahaha don’t you just love it…

YAAWWWWWNNNN   Do it tomorrow I’m watching Neighbours from Finland at 03:56 and she dumped me …

Psychology of The Band

How many people you see running actually need to be running?
It’s of their volition but if they had planned things better would they need to run ………
There’s this girl I know and every Friday she runs in the office around the time its time to catch her plane to Poland …FFS it gets on my nerves. Every Friday !! at 2pm Fin time.

To be good in any field you need to be able to relax at the right time
…. Most things get fucked when expectation or application is overdone…
While grooving …as we have said, you can’t force the vibe to make people dance….you feel and hear it if you do.
What the hell am I talking about!!    … Its true though isn’t it?

Example 1 (as its World Cup time I have adopted this approach)

DAN – Pure Talent no Application v Pure Application and little Talent

Of course there are the exceptions or are there?
Dan Traecy oh what a dude … I Like him v I don’t Like him
Our Dan falls into the Home team the Pure Talent and No Application

He is has not misunderstood his persona, has a great heart, but that’s not enough to win. Some people think he is the Messiah, well as you get close to him you realise he is not and literally he is a very naughty boy.
I personally think he is a genius for 45 minutes a month and probably in the early days of the Television Personalities there was a window of a week I don’t know. Drugs and Alcohol have taken their toll and during my tenure on the drums there was 1 rehearsal in 2 years at which he slept on the floor exhausted from his London late night activities.
There was no application, no respect for the music or for the public that go to see the present traveling circus. I would be the first to ask for my job back if he was able to put his trust in the right application, and halt the plastic pathetic scene that is perpetuated by the sycophants that surround him.
Oh Mr. Smitherington stop getting all stressy think of the TREEEEEEeeeeeeeeees.

So there is an example of talent and no application for whatever reason. You tend in life to bypass these… well I do. I did have a great time in the TVPS and I do have a soft spot for Mr. Traecy for 90 mins a month
…none of this is new news MGMT love him, The music biz know about him (Good old Marc Riley said to me how can I take a risk of having Dan live on the BBC , cant argue with that), he is not contrived and as the above eludes to, and I have mentioned in the past the fact that he is naturally the way he is means the Television Personalities are the last Punk band – its not music its mental chaos and that’s Punk isn’t it.

I was able to play what I like on large stages in Greece Italy Spain etc and play his epic catalog of songs and I saw girls try to get into his dark places
…. arrrrrrgghhhh I miss the madness!!
But I m not going to kid myself even if the band does so I’m out.

What other Englishman in the past 30 years is better at creating 4 chord songs?
Answers on a post card
To the Blue Peter studios please.

Pure Talent no Application v Pure Application and little Talent

I’ll keep this a bit short.
But unfortunately most bands/musicians fall into the away team.
There is a very good reason why there are only so many teams in the Barclays Premiership and it’s the same for bands and songwriters.
Oh come on just go on Myspace and have a random listen at what noises are being generated.
Some journalist talked about being at the South by South West festival in Texas and how he stood in the middle of an intersection, and how from a number of venues he could hear this mixture, a cacophony of sound emanating from each venue/performance…..his point was there is too much music … and I have to agree.

When I was a wee lad I remember I used to play my garage band’s (Null & Void …I used the fridge freezer as a hi hat) latest demo to my mum and being Irish she would say “That’s Shite” and I thought she was wrong then …but I realise now she was right.

Not many people can independently listen to their own work and make unbiased adjustments …the lead singer has a shit voice but I, went to school with him and I’m going out with his sister …all that non music related talk.

It occurs in my opinion at the very high end also….
I attended the “Rhythm” drum clinic that is held in a castle in Bavaria for a week, it occurs every 2 years. Its superb probably 5 of the top 40 drummers on the planet give seminars and you just take what you want from them technique wise.
Johnny Rabb, Steve Smith, Russ Miller, …if you put Ronaldo or Thierry Henri in at his point you will understand what Mothers these guys are … and so friendly you live with them for a week.
Anyhow I also realised at times we were there for the technique and not the Music …what I mean is the music became secondary when playing that US Modern Jazz NONESENSE!

Also Zorro (Lenny Kravitz, Cher etc.) god bless him …he said that we given this opportunity by god to play to the audience and we must thank him for that.
…Well I would like to thank Zorro for that because now I have a paradiddle every day, and I always leave my sticks in a crucifix on my snare now, when I have finished playing. Oh praise Dee looooorddd!!!!
But you get my point there can be too much application
Not easy is it?

And if anyone says they joined a band coz it’s easier to get a girl or boyfriend well….

So that leads on nicely to the next concept
oooooo a blog segue way oooooooooo

Tellytubbies are bigger than Pete Doherty?


At a time like this…..
“The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” 
         “The Few”, Churchill 20 August 1940.
Well change the Airman to Musicians (not postman) and think of the War as the music business and there you have it….

Band Levels
Take the footy analogy at a time like this and we can see there are levels into which bands fall into. My friends Paul Morea, (Null & Void, 4 Came Home, Selfish etc.) and Tony Barber ( The Creation , Go Kart Mozart, Buzzcocks etc.) and I ( Trumpton Brass Band , Eurovision Song Contest 2003<with BOOMY BOOMY BANG BANG>) we have discussed band levels and I think it is an interesting topic .
The first point to make is the criteria which dictates the Level into which a band falls is interesting …is it Record Sales, Touring, Popularity, Infamy, History…. there are so many.
And then there is genres – ABBA, ACDC, U2 and Mozart, it’s not the German World War 2 Enigma code but is an example of bands? i.e. an example of artists that belong at the top, in Level 1.

So I suggest you talk to you friends at the next gathering and start to discuss this idea.. …
There is a very important issue though…. we have all been there the bands that hog sound checks …
Why? …. Rudeness 20% Ignorance 10% EGO 70%

The EGO element is so funny … there are thousands of bands out there that are and always will be Level 8… oh sorry Level 8 is for street performers, pub cover bands and open mic night musicians.

The bands that think they’re Level 4 but really and truly they are prob best just going to the local for a pint….

THE SNIFFER CHOCOLATES their demo is too predictable, the singer my god does he love himself, and the guitarist and him think their songs will change the face of music … well they have done in Chichester …they got in the local paper.

So here’s an example of the Level idea – its great because it creates debate, but what’s truly inspiring about this concept, is that it puts THE SNIFFER CHOCOLATES at the bottom where they belong – with Level descriptions below.

Level 1
– The top of the Musical Rock Classical Pop tree
Pink Floyd, U2, The Beatles, The Who, ABBA, Led Zep, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mozart, ACDC, Sex Pistols, Hendrix

Level 2
– sold loads of records but just not enough bling for Level 1
Pink, Oasis, Pearl Jam, The Doors, Depeche Mode, Alice Cooper

Level 3
– Revered
Joy Division, New Order, Green Day, The Creation, Kraftwerk, Culture Club, Blur
Eurhythmics, The Damned, The Cure, Soft Cell, The Jam, Iggy Pop, PIL

Level 4
– You either love them or hate them but you always watch them at a festival.
Tellytubbies, Buzzcocks, Adam and the Ants, Palcebo, Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz
Bananarama, Wagner, The Offspring, Ah Ha, Slade,
Babyshambles, The Fall, Paul Weller

Level 5
– Well known niche artists
Television Personalities, CAN, Crass, ATV, Killing Joke, Pete Doherty, Sweet,
Terence Trent Derby, James Taylor Quartet, Sigue Sigue Sputnik

Level 6
– Record Deal Charted but got nowhere
Dubh Chapter (99 in the charts for 1 week 1992 hahahaha…loved it )
The Mission, Then Jericho, Benjamin Britain

Level 7
– Bands that have cut a single or PAID for a demo
Kindergarten, Le Volume Corbe, To Young to Love, The Fishermen
More bands fall into this level now because the music biz is over from a development of band sound is concerned
…we’ll pay for music then!!!

Level 8
– Street Performers, jobbing cover bands, open night sessions
THE SNIFFER CHOCOLATES, Scam 69, 2 piece bands , function bands

Look all these lists would be different for various reasons but its a start … when I have brought this subject up, it creates a lot of discussion….
”WHAT so you are saying that the Tellytubbies are bigger than Pete Doherty? … You’re off your tree!!!”
Well they have sold more records and Kate Moss slept with La La ….  Oh come on!!!
Try it people go mad

But I will take it a stage further
If we take the size of wealth or rather Sales Volumes for each category and compare it to no. of people in that zone it starts to look like an African dictatorship

(Source T.J. Smitherington, Esq. estimations)

Level 1
70% of Music Sales Paid to .01%

Level 2
20% of Music Sales Paid to .01%

Level 3
5% of Music Sales Paid to .01%

Level 4
3% of Music Sales Paid to .01%

Level 5
1% of Music Sales Paid to .01%

Level 6
0.000002% of Music Sales Paid to 2%

Level 7
0.000001% of Music Sales Paid to 10%

Level 8
Cover band cash, wedding fees, coppers in hats etc and zilch   Paid to 88% of Musicians


ALSO we can, like mathematics, build on the theory and apply further logic that is very useful …

The SMBC point awards System
You can also award points to gigs to establish your comparative Smitherington Music Biz Credential (SMBC) in the biz.

Example (a)
If you are Bono or Freida in ABBA and you do a gig you get an SMBC point award of say 3000 pts.

Example (b)
If you are the twat in the THE SNIFFER CHOCOLATES and you do a gig then you get 1 point
… the guitarist and the singer need to work all their lives to do a 2 hour level 1 show ….
That’s about right it is also in proportion with the monies earned

Example (c)
A Level 4 band does a tour of 30 shows supporting a Level 2 band so that’s say ..
30 X 100 SMBC points = 3000

…you get the idea…we could go on and on about this subject ….but you get it and its very important because its provenance. It’s reality’s experience … THE SNIFFER CHOCOLATES have only played to their mates ….where as a Level 5 band has released work and charted and played in front of 32,000…there’s no comparison
Therefore this ability to apply comparative SMBC analysis to any artist nullifies the distortion that EGO’s and Bullshit that purveys our beloved industry.

Fuck you shut your mouth!! Your a Bungalow and I’m the Eiffel Tower compared to your musical experience  … yea but the song sounds shit.
…Not easy is it?


What’s happened to the tribes? (See pic above )
For those of you that were around in the 70’s 80’s I’m going to look at this in greater depth in later blogs, but where have they gone?
There is a demographic missing, like an indigenous race that has been wiped from the Landscape forever.
Who am I talking about …well I’ll tell ya
Tribes that are now extinct but for car rallies and knees ups in Milton Keynes.
Where are The Mods, The Skins, New Romantics (gone thank god!), Goths, Rockerbillies, Punks, Teddyboys, Soul Girls n Boys etc.
Can you imagine how good it used to be all these groups all dressed in different colours and face paints. All of them affiliated to the cause fighting and swaggering along Enfield Town High Street.
Oh yes we are not talking about the fashionable Kings road this was everywhere….it made England England ….
As the change has happened the Fashion trees were cut down to make way for hip hop baggy trousers … FFS
Does anyone know what that trouser thing is about…I do…shall I tell you?
‘What used to happen in da states man, iis when a really top hip Mother F. Gangster geezer was put inda clink …he’s given a uniform …NA WOT IM SAYIN?
And den …sort of Gym and no food and press-ups he loses dee Big Daddy Bear gut ting
den his uniform hang Bro from his arse
AND he don’t get new one coz its PRISON n it really cool; so that’s it
This bloody show your pants bollocks no one knows where it comes from …’
Well you don’t get that past Smitherington …its a bloody prison uniform…WHAT A JOKE
Don’t you think there is something wrong when sheep follow sheep and they don’t know why they do it….
I think there is…. so to all of you out there that show your stupid pants or even pay extra for baggy bottoms
It’s not expression its blind SHEEP shag mentality….and hip hop can be turned down too.
With regard to hip hop …don’t get me started on that, apart from being responsible for many Gangster like knife gang crime related bollocks its repetitive beats make me puke …..

“We don’t like that punk rock – it’s too scratchy scratchy,” said Fiona Biare, 23, a data entry technician of St. Catherines, Ontario.

“Music as a whole is a waste of time,” chimed in Lance Raintree, 30, of New Orleans.

Still, the government gave lots of dough to the Commission, so here’s its’ findings:

1. The Clash are dead.

2. The Knack are dead.

3. The Sex Pistols are dead.

4. Jay-Z and The Sunshine Band are dead.

5. Green Day are not dead.

6.Rancid are not dead.

7. Avril Lavigne is not dead.

8. Sum 41 are not dead.

9.The Offspring are not dead.

Therefore, as you can see from this list, more punk people are alive than dead and so punk’s not dead.

“Punk’s not dead,” beamed Vice President Joe Biden, who chaired the Commission in its last few weekends. “Don’t worry – you can still listen to your Chili Peppers on your iPods,” he went on.

These Americans cant be serious Avril Lavigne , The Offspring PUNK!! … I think someone’s having a “Wolly Scarf”

Well on that note…. sorry I’m off now ( quick think of an excuse uuummmm)

My Idiosyncratic beans are rotating and popping in the microwave they are going to explode!!  …Thanks for reading my article this month and speak soon…
Oh yes if you to want a more in depth analysis of the SMBC concept then leave a note at the bottom of the Blog … I’ll send you the thesis on PDF    NOT!!!!!!

Best Regards

T.J. Smitherington Esq.
(European commission Bathroom Inspection Supervisor)

“I could be wrong. I could be right!”
“Rise” PIL

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