FIRST of all thanks to all who read this blog - this is the 1,001st post and from our inbox loads of you still read the ramblings contained within.
Now down to business - that's the rock 'n' roll business. Before starting I want to say the Belfast Telegraph can piss away off.
Yes - the biggest circulation daily newsaper in Northern Ireland can just fuck off and die, with their attitude to hard rock and heavy metal. It rehards it as something barely worthy of a few paragraphs when they deem it worthwhile to allow reviewers like Andrew Johnston to pen a few token lines.
And their true nature is revealed in their 'business' section today (20th November) when in a feature about how the music industry can be a source of income blah blah blah fucking blah...
Did they mention ANY Northern Irish hard rock acts? No. Did they mention ANY Northern Irish heavy metal acts? No.
So let us take stock here for a moment. Northern Ireland has, and is, producing some of the finest hard rock and heavy metal acts, supported by venues like the Diamond Rock Bar, and promoters like James at the Distortion Project, and SO
While we doff our hats to the work of Stuart Bailie at the Oh Yeah Centre we have to wonder just exactly WHAT THE FUCK hard rock and heavy metal have to do to be recognised as a valid and potent part of the Northern Ireland music scene?
We have had SLF and Therapy! blazing a trail. We have had Sweet Savage influencing generations of NWOBHM followers, not least Metallica.
We have the likes of The Answer playing to hundreds of thousands across the globe, but regarded as a light feature piece for the mainstream media.
We have Million$Reload and Stormzone with record deals, and Trucker Diablo proving that a party doesn't mean banality.
We have Worldsend touring the UK; we have Sinocence blazing a metal trail, we have the hardcore sounds of By Any Means; and we have the smart, intelligence in musical and lyrical terms of A Little Bitter.
And that's not to mention the likes of Baleful Creed, Double Wide etc etc. The Belfast Telegraph did feature Bakken, but one wonders if that was a result of the back story rather than the music...wait a minute it definitely was the back story.
Instead of featuring this wealth of talent we have a feature piece name checking shoe gazing numpties with dodgy fringes and checked shirts. (Believe us, after attending the NI 2011 Music Awards we could use more colourful language about the so-called talent!)
So what other 'entertainment' stories did the Belfast Telegraph cover today? Well Page 3 had the illusionist David Mead pulling some 'outstanding' feat of levitation, or as we prefer to call it self-publicity (and we dislike the land of woo as much as Mr Mead...)
Then on Page 6 we have a picture and story about 'I'm a Celebrity just shoot me; sorry that I'm a talentless knob stuck in the jungle.
On Page 15 we have a jolly wee story about the Orange Order doing self-deprecating Christmas cards.
There's a wee mention on Page 18 that Snooze Patrol are doing a charity gig this Yuletide (hands up the hundreds of you out there who have played, organised or attended a charity gig...yep there's hundreds of y'all who do that without needing Gary Shitebody and his band promotion disguised as charity...)
Then comes the 'Life' Feature section where there is more about 'I'm a wannbe talent trying to be a celebrity in some Australian carefully controlled TV exploitation show - this time with the veneer of 'concern' at bullying.
So, apart from a few paragraphs grudgingly inserted occassionally the largest circulation daily paper in Northern Ireland has all but said we don't want those smelly, long-haired hard rock and metal types.
The easiest thing would be to turn our back on the mainstream media, and say 'screw you' we'll just get on.
But the money men read this type of coverage. Of the 54,000 to 60,000 circulation of the Belfast Telegraph there are few who actually 'read' the snippets on music, but every publicity chance and every piece of coverage counts.
Why should the darlings of the scenesters and the fawning BBC types get more share of the column inches?
Do they 'sell out' shows more than the hard rock, metal and punk acts? If they do, it is a marginal call at best, and with the mainstream media behind them to such an extent they should be at arena level by now.
So, Belfast Telegraph you can fuck away off and alienate the thousands of rock and metal fans.
And to all of you who have been to a rock or metal gig recently, have (legally) downloaded and paid for a track from a local rock and metal artist; you are the proof of what a music community is, and that community is one that still exists, still flourishes despite the sneers and sideways glances.
Hold yer heads up high, raise a glass and raise the horns!
Thank you to all the promoters, all the bands, all the fans and all within the community we have shared a handshake or a pint with. And until they recognise us, the Belfast Telegraph and its like can fuck away off!