Wanted: Critical friends

Birmingham has a problem, I think. It doesn’t have enough people doing enough to point out the good and the bad.

There’s lots of stuff going on, sites like Created in Birmingham and LiveBrum will take care of you finding out the what’s on. There’s a lot of space for preview, and not that much review.

But how does a committed creative city emerge? How do you decide what of the what’s to spend your time and cash on?

I think you know that because of reputation. Some artists (in the widest sense) or promoters or venues have worked hard over many years and been able to do build one of their own, but for smaller or newer happenings that can only come through recommendation, word of mouth or association. And that can only happen if there’s talk about whether things are good or not.

Above all critical comment (using it’s proper meaning: comment on the value of something rather than ‘criticism’ being about pointing out failings—a huge 10 out of 10 is an act of criticism) is the bedrock of any ‘scene’. It’s how something gains perceived value. Critical comment both helps promote good gigs, promoters, venues, comedians, band, artists and reduces the viability of the stuff that devalues the stock of the artform generally.

I’d like to think BiNS could be a hub of that, it doesn’t have to make money or please anyone—so if there’s good criticism (good as in, well written, well reasoned, timely, honest) it could live here. But I’m not going to write it, I like to be one that knows what’s good rather than spends a lot of time experimenting. That’s me.

So BiNS is looking for contributors, willing to go out, and then come back, and write good criticism about what they found. Are you one? Get in touch.

What this is: all call for people with good critical faculties to use BiNS as a host platform and a mechanism, perhaps, to access get to the events they wish to review.

What this isn’t: a chance to pimp your own stuff, to get free entry to gigs and them post a couple of cliched lines or a slagging. There also isn’t going to be a lot of help in the writing or editing—you’ll need to be alright at that.

Why should I do it here, I could start my own blog: yes you could, and please do, you might be a little more exposure here tho’.


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