It’s been almost four weeks since I sat in this chair in front of the keyboard and thought about this blog.  All the recent posts were composed in a frenzy of energy before I went on holiday and put into a daily schedule.  I’ve been back from Canada for well over a week but left so exhausted/jet-lagged by the trip, not to mention feeling rundown from having a chest infection that won’t shift, that I haven’t had the energy to get my brain in gear.

I’d love to spend ages boring you rigid with the events of the past two weeks – after all you should have to suffer the same way my colleagues at work have heard over and over again about my adventures in Toronto and slightly further afield, but I will resist that self-indulgent temptation.  For now anyway.

Instead let me share with you something two things that have annoyed me in recent days.

It’s now been the best part of six weeks since the original TVV met its demise at the hands of blogger.  Thanks to advice from a number of readers I have been able to access some of the material in an indirect way which is why I’m able to fill the new place with inane ramblings from the old place.

One of the things that often accompanied a dmca notice was a notice being served on the place where I pay a monthly subscription to host my files ( saying I was breaching copyright.  Box, without failure, always immediately deleted the ‘offending’ file.  The thing about many of these dmca notices was they were in respect of posts that were week, months and in some cases years old with the links having often been long removed so I wasn’t all that bothered that the box file was ever deleted.

With TVV having gone forever I thought that, unless a dmca was served in respect of stuff at T(n)VV then my box files were safe.  But I came back from Canada to find four separate e-mails from box advising that they had received notices about breached copyright.  But with none of the songs being available via a link I’m bemused as to how someone could serve such a notice…unless off course it’s the fact that summaries of the old posts with the tracks featured can be found over at Hype Machine and the continued appearance on those pages is causing offence.

And it’s worth mentioning that in three of the four emails from box, I was informed that the files removed were in relation to around ten different songs by Belle & Sebastian (the other was an obscure b-side by Echo & The Bunnymen).  Any of you other bloggers had similar experiences??

The other annoying thing?  It’s probably saddened me more than anything now I’ve had time to reflect on it.

I was initially excited by the news that High Land Hard Rain, one of my favourite LPs of all time, was going to be performed by Roddy Frame at a special show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 4 December.  It is one of just three specially arranged shows which will mark 30 years since the LP was released.  The one fly in the ointment was that the date coincided with a planned week’s holiday with Mrs Villain but with nothing having been booked I was going to ask her to look at either going out early or delaying by a few days so that I could go to the show.

Until I saw how much I would have to pay for a decent seat – £45 plus booking fee.

This is just greed on the part of all involved and I’m sorry to say that I can’t absolve Roddy from blame.  If he was going out on tour with a new record there is no way as an artist whose hit-making days are behind him would go dare dream of asking for more than maybe £20.  I’m sure that as a sop to his fans such a gig would include a handful of tracks from the LP for which he is most fondly regarded by most.  £45 is just too rich for my tastes…and I know I’m not alone as there’s a couple of other long-time fans who equally have shied away from the gig.

I’m sad because this marks the first time in my life when I have put the cost of a gig before the value of the experience of being there.  It’s not that I can’t afford the ticket – and even if I was that skint I’d save the money by not doing something else such as miss out on a couple of football matches.

It’s the plain and simple fact that I’m not having my fandom and dedication taken for granted.  I’ve seen Roddy Frame play live many times over the years and I’ve always enjoyed it.  I’ve bought all the records/CDs over the years and  I even got a an overpriced but attractive t-shirt the last time I caught him in Glasgow (it’s a bad habit of mine but when I really enjoy a gig I do buy something to commemorate it such as a t-shirt or tour edition CD).

But this time I’m giving it a miss. Right now I have no regrets.  But just to make sure I will be taking that holiday so I’m out of the country on the night of the gig.

It’s good to be back dear friends.

mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – The Boy Done Wrong Again

mp3 : Roddy Frame – The Boy Wonders (live at Ronnie Scott’s, 2005)


14 thoughts on “RETURN OF THE HACK

  1. I bought my tickets on Thursday. Got the cheap seats, 25 quid. It is expensive and at my limit but I think that the Concert Hall is expensive. I’m sure my Billy Bragg tickets were in the region of thirty pounds. These two are about the only ones I would pay over £20 to see.

    Good to have you back.

  2. JC, spare a thought for those overseas; it’ll cost me quite a bit to fly to London to catch the show there during peak travel season…and London is not the cheapest city in the world

  3. Hi Jc

    couple of points

    1 sad news re Box – always thought they were a reasonably safe haven. I too have had take down notices for links that no longer existed (prefab sprout in my case) . I think notices are sent out without any human input/checking just a search engine programme . It is all about point proving ie the firms that are hired by the record companies to do this can say they have taken down x0000 posts this month … all just numbers for the bean counters.

    2 agree it is steep (I went for the cheap seats in London) I do agree with Drew though I’ve often had to spend £10 – £15 more to see the same band in different venues

    welcome back from hols

  4. It’s true you do end up paying a premium to see shows at the Concert Hall but oh! the acoustics in that place make it seem worth it.

    Says she who is normally working and therefore doesn’t have to pay for it, I know…

    I assume the post means you’re feeling better? Hope so x

  5. Hey JC. My latest DMCA notice came just yesterday. The powers that be didn’t fool around either. Different situation than yours, however. It was a post I put up late afternoon on Friday, and the offending piece had been removed by Blogger sometime on Sunday with the usual warnings of termination. Did I post a live song by the Clash from an album that is in print? Guilty. I linked to the album on amazon to try and get interested readers to buy, and even went so far as to plug the upcoming box set with another amazon link, but I don’t think the suits care about the service we provide. Is all of this really worth the angst? I love our little community here and live for the music, but I feel like the answer, at least today, is not as clear as it once was. Time to go listen to some records and try to forget about all of this.

    Oh, and as for Roddy doing ‘High Land’ in its entirety, I think it’s worth the expense, but backing off of a promise made to the Mrs. in order to see him… too rich for my blood. Sounds like a wise decision on your part no matter the price of admission.

  6. hey jc

    welcome back from your holidays…

    the b&s link you posted today brought a smile to my face… is it a test to see how long before it gets removed…?

    and £45 to see ANYONE is a rip off… especially if you risk annoying the wife…!


  7. Suspect the Belle and Sebastian notices could be due to the new compilation they’ve got coming out- some bands/labels don’t seem to mind so much if there isn’t any new product out. Echo and the Bunnymen are always quick to get take downs.

  8. £45 is simply far too much. You’re quite right not to pay it. Why should concerts cost so much more than the price of an album?

  9. Back to say hello after a long hiatus, JC…and glad I found your new digs. Given it is my favourite album of all time, I’d find it hard to turn down the chance to see it (would Haywire get a run out too from subsequent cd releases?). I’d no idea these gigs were happening. I miss is by two weeks, as we’re back from Oz for a Very Scottish Christmas.

  10. I’m old enough to remember when a ticket for a show was usually cheaper than buying an album by the same artist. OK, times change and a majority of musicians now make most of their money through playing live but I did raise an eyebrow when a pal told me yesterday he’d just spent the best part of 50 quid for a ticket for Roddy Frame.

    Count me out too.

    P.S. Just checked there and I see I could buy three of the recent Aztec Camera expanded/deluxe editions for around half that money.

  11. I had a couple of take-down when my blog was running. Most of my posts were single 30-minute MP3s comprising 10 songs, often edited in order to fit and crossfading into each other. In other words, if anyone wanted a song, they’d probably find it a pain in the arse re-editing it (reducing the quality still further). Yet I still had take downs. One was for a Frank Turner track that had been up for several months, but was being re-released in conjunction with his Wembley gigs!

    I also once put up a homemade compilation. When the takedown notice came, it cited the artists it claimed were of concern. Not a single one appeared on my compilation. In fact not a single one was worthy of being anywhere near chez Robster. Yet it was removed nonetheless.

    As for gig tickets – cannot and will not pay more than £30 unless it’s someone that’s really really worth it. Bowie, for instance. I’d sell my house for him. Hell, I’d consider selling my kids for Lord David…!

  12. Robster….my missus was lucky enough to see Bowie as far back as 1972. It’s the one musical experience of hers that I’m jealous of.

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