Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Battle of the (Mobile) Band(width)s

No matter what way you dress them up, local Battle of the Bands competitions like this piece of crap from Vodafone really do suck and, if you're in a band, are a complete and utter waste of time. NO matter what bells, whistles and a token deluded Hot Press staffer have been attached to them in recent years, they all hark back to the clapometer system, i.e. the band who brings the biggest audience wins. Hot Lunch has lost count of the amount of talent contests/battle of the bands in recent years which have all been dressed up as the next big thing in talent contests. The one that will send you all the way to the top, and not just to the bottom of the bill at Le Cheile or some other rural music festival for the locals. From the pitiful You're A Star, to Coke's Blast thingie with those strange people, to a dreadful one I was involved in a few years ago, Emergenza, it always comes down to tribal lines. If you bring them with you, and they clap loudly, or drink whatever's been hawked, text whatever has to be texted, or download whatever has to be downloaded, you will win. And no amount of shite PR will tell me, or any other bitter old soak, any different.

But little did I realise there would be a new method of polishing a turd!

So, kudos to the reputable Jim Carroll of the Irish Times for exposing the latest battle of the bands sham, and a quite worrying one at that. If your band makes it to the final (which is hosted by RTE's latest comedy sensation PJ Gallagher, chuffed I'm sure that Makin' Jake has been dropped) your humble entry form MP3 becomes property of none other than Universal Music Ireland, the home from home for talent show nobodies like the white hat sporting You're A Star winner Lucia Evans and, er, a host of other bright young things. You also get optioned for a deal, whether you like it or not, with no trace of the normal trappings a band gets in return for handing over the rights to their music. Of course, it's all dressed up like the greatest thing since Ready To Go phones, so nobody will notice the small print, but if Jim's post gathers the same momentum that nialler9 did back in November when he exposed another sham, then I'm sure mobile phone companies will need to find a different method of getting into the youthful moshpit for the time being.

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