A Fee I Didn’t Sign Up For

I was rather shocked when I heard of the government plans to charge a fine on student loads paid before a 30 year period has ended.

Surely this would have had to be part of my contract with the Student Loans Company to be effective?

Even if it did not effect me, but future generations (with higher student debts) then it’s still sickening. To date I believe I have paid off £880 of my debt. It now stands at over £19,500. This will take me the best part of two decades to pay off – unless I occasionally choose to volunteer an extra payment or two.

I was always sensible at uni. I worked when I could, spent my spare time doing work experience and guaranteed myself a job before I graduated. I got myself out of my overdraft and left myself with just the loan to pay off. A noticeable proportion of what I earn now is deducted toward this (plus tax, but that effects all of us so I deal with it!). Why should I have to pay a fine as well as the interest?

What shocks me is that this hasn’t properly warranted headlines until the news that it’s probably not going to take effect (phew) and it’s due to the Conservatives deciding that this plan (attributed to the Lib Dems) is unnecessary.

Seems a bit like pro-Tory spin to me…

What do you make of the news?

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What to See: The Kidnapper’s Guide

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching a new production by fellow drama graduate, writer and director Joe White.

Needless to say, the show was an utter riot and, at an Edinburgh Festival friendly running time of 60 minutes, packed a hilarious punch.

Rather than give too much away, I thought I’d drop Joe a line and ask him to answer a few questions and let you know why you should catch the show while you can.

I’ve heard that the Kidnappers’ Guide wasn’t the original production that you were planning to take to Edinburgh. What happened, and how did you get the current show on the road, so to speak?

You heard right. If everything had ‘gone to plan’, then The Kidnapper’s Guide would never of existed. Or, at least, not existed in this time and place. We were originally planning to take an adapted version of Joseph Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace (which was closer to the Frank Capra/Cary Grant classic film than it was the original play) to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. All was sorted: we had a strong cast, we had a funny script, we had a venue (Zoo’s Monkey House), we were in the printed fringe programme and we had great accommodation. We couldn’t go wrong!

And then, on the 17th July, I got a very unwelcome phone call.

“Hello. Is this Joe White?”, the voice said.

“Yes.”

“I’m calling from Joseph Weinberger”

“Right.”

“Are you taking Arsenic and Old Lace to the Fringe this year?”

“Yes.”

“No you’re not.”

And that was that. It was difficult. There had been complications and mass miscommunications between us and Joseph Weinberger (who own the rights to Kesselring’s play), where adaptation rights had not been properly cleared or accepted. We were denied permission to adapt and we were denied permission to perform. We were due to perform in exactly 19 days.

Luckily, I am blessed with the most talented, enthusiastic and inspirational cast, and the best producer and co-writer in Nathan Teckman, who just so happens to be the funniest people on the planet, and, after a day or so of absolute, sheer, blind panic and a desperate battle cry, there was a call to arms, and we fought back the only way we know how – and made a play.

In terms of both structure and plotlines, how did you seek and discover inspiration for the show?

Within a week of losing Arsenic, we had arranged a three-day character workshop and began working on ideas – collecting and montaging scenes scribbled during lectures or from notes or after day dreams – and came together to start creating The Kidnapper’s Guide. Loosely based (and I mean LOOSELY – we don’t need any more rights aggravation) on the 1967 flop film The Happening (none of us have seen the film past the trailer because it is truly awful), we decided to work on an Arsenic-esque farce that was about kidnapping’s that go awry.

We did our research by watching classic farces: His Girl Friday, Harvey, Some Like It Hot, Bringing Up Baby etc. and we started collecting farcical techniques and structural frameworks (frantic entrances and exits, mass human traffic, secrets, disguises etc). These films all pretty much subscribe to fairly similar formulae – there is usually a reluctant hero, a love interest, a kooky relative or friend, a flawed villain – and, armed with a canon of classics and some great character and plot outlines, Nathan and I entered a week of writing and laughing.

 You had a cast in place for a different show, how did you redistribute roles amongst your cast for the eventual performance?

Writing for 12 actors was a blessing and a curse. The cast themselves started to sculpt their characters in the workshops, so, even when away from the rehearsal room, we could imagine every detail, physical or vocal, of their creations (and we fully credit the actors in this collaborative process) and therefore knew the strengths of all involved. The Kidnapper’s Guide spans many comic genres and, knowing and working as closely with the actors as we do, it was simple to tailor to their own humours, tone and physicalities. The problem, however, lay in writing 12 parts and giving opportunities and scope for all of the actors to play and expand on ideas. However, the process of division and balancing roles was, after initial fears, actually fairly easy. The actors, their suitability to a certain role, and the roles subsequent place in the play actually evolved organically – everyone just kind of fell in to place – and after some early adjustments, we felt as though we had given everyone enough to sink their teeth into and just enjoy. I think that, in writing an ensemble comedy, it is crucial to give everyone at least one REALLY good line or bit and give every actor their share of the laughs. This sounds shallow perhaps, but it is true, and I think it works for exciting and layered characterisation and happy, confident and enthusiastic actors, which is probably paramount in performance.

 Who will the show appeal to and why should they make the effort to come and see it?

The Kidnapper’s Guide was not created for any specific age group, gender or personality. Without any crudeness or any sanitised-for-family-feel, we take the comic heroes of the past and, with modern touches, pull them into the present, concentrating on good, pure fun and respecting ‘funny’ first and foremost. All we care about is filling the room with laughter – whether they are the laughs of grandparents or grandchildren – and simply entertaining all who visit.

The Courtyard Theatre is a wonderful independent theatre and one which thrives on giving opportunities to aspiring writers, performers and companies like ours. It is a venue and organisation which should be celebrated and revered. The Courtyard is a breeding ground for the new and the unearthed and, almost pulsating with energy, the theatre reverberates an excitement through it’s theatre-makers and theatre-goers alike. It is the perfect home for The Kidnapper’s Guide, and the perfect place for you to see it!

What would you personally like to achieve in the next 5 years?

Being alive would do! I don’t exactly have a five year plan – I have hopes and aspirations of course, but remembering mice and men (the proverb, not the book) and all that, for now, I want to just keep writing whenever I can – predominantly for theatre, but also expanding to television comedy and film at some point – and hope to move into direction through my writing. My first full length play Phoenix is currently under scrutiny here and there, and I hope to see that someday – it took a bit longer than a week to write. Theatres such as The Bush, The Royal Court and Theatre 503, whose lifeblood is new writing are my ideal. But I want to keep options open. Beggars can’t be choosers. And I don’t want to be a beggar. And I’m nearly am a beggar. So, in answer to the question, I’d say either missing, presumed dead, or the Artistic Director of The Royal Court.

The Kidnapper’s Guide is on at The Courtyard Theatre from the 13th – 17th September at 8pm, Tickets cost £10 (£8 Concessions)

For further information, please contact Joe White on joemarkwhite@gmail.com

 

You’re a sister and let me introduce mine.

Really excited about the You’re A Sister gig we’re playing for Oxjam on April 16th. It’s being held in support of Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet campaign. Entry is a donation of £3 or more… bargainous! You can find out about more of the acts by following the previous link. We’re playing with brilliant poet and compere Jodi Ann Bickley, my most fabulously heeled/voiced friend Stav and The Electrilickers, folk star Abie Budgen and of course, the lady fronted Che. We’ll also be entertained by the Atta Girl DJs – I’m particularly looking forward to their female records, particularly as Atta Girl’s Claire is a regular in the CIB shop, which is where I spend my Sundays.

Here’s a nice picture…. use for twitter/facebook profiles if you’re feeling supportive (please!)

So, to celebrate all things sister-hoody, I wanted to introduce you to the current line up of Get Frank.

First up, we have Mr James Chester on acoustic guitar. James is former Uni Rock Soc president and the longest serving musician of the group (alongside myself.) He joined after Nick Mannix had to leave to spend more time studying rocks and stuff. James accompanies me on many a journey to many a random venue. We have played in the wind, the rain and sometimes even indoors! We played outside New Street’s tourist info centre for Artsfest and hopefully we will continue playing for the foreseeable future. James loves a bit of Ska and Rage Against the Machine so often we like to slip in the odd RATM reference (ie. HUOGH! or similiar sounds…)

Next up, the genius that is Eve Hunt on drums. Eve has helped revolutionise the Get Frank sound. Suddenly we’re tighter, more upbeat and practices are even more fun. Eve keeps things light, punchy and pacey. And she doesn’t know how good she is, so if you ever see her at one of our gigs then please do tell her! She also copes mightily well to keep the boys in check, particularly as I have an odd appreciation for putting pauses in so many of my songs and it could otherwise be hard to keep up all together!

Then we have Miss Desiree Benson on glock and keyboards. Now I know I’m guilty of going up to Dezzie in practices and telling her to play something just once but she works it out anyway, because she’s awesome like that. I’m going to start writing more stuff specifically for keys so we can start showing her off a bit more! She’s also a darned skilled stylist and I very much need her in my life to dress me for gigs. Oh, and a great Burnfm DJ too!

The latest member to join our lineup is tallest member Richard B Brookes (or Richie B Brookes for short.) Richie brings with him a love of ska and nineties hitmakers Babybird – so much so that he spent the last weekend stalking them (he calls it ‘going to two gigs in a row’) We would do a cover of ‘You’re Gorgeous’ but it’s only a ‘feminist song’ when its sung by a man… maybe.

In fact you are more than welcome to interview the above without me. As I’ve only really been interviewed once and I forgot to ask for everyone’s names to be published in the article, nor did I ask for Kate Hindley’s wonderful artwork to be credited.

So yes, any questions for the band please ask away!

We’re playing a free gig at the Bulls Head, Mosley tomorrow at 8pm with a fantastic lineup including A Bull, Greatest Hits and Boat to Row so please do come along!

Frankie x

I could have died.

Sorry to use shock tactics to get your attention! It’s not a lie – but it does require a long winded story [disguised as a review!]

Last night I popped over to Digbeth’s Rainbow for a night of sober fundraising recklessness. The University of Birmingham’s Oxfam Outreach society were holding their annual Rainbox charity event (I believe this may be a national thing – although I’m afraid I’ve not researched properly – I’m on a bit of a tight schedule atm.) £3 on the door, cakes for a donation. Bands. Brilliant!

First up on the bill was gifted singer Bethan Court, who used to sing for a band called The Harbour Lights who have unfortunately now disbanded. This may, however, be a plus for Bethan as it will give her a chance to experiment with younger, edgier material. Last night she performed a range of covers including Emmy The Great’s First Love and Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees. There is a fabulous ethereal quality to Bethan’s voice – it’s depth of tone lulls one into a sense of security which didn’t quite fit with the latter two songs, particularly when performed in such a musically sound way . I would love to see her perform material that she herself has written or has been written for her so that she can explore the content of the songs truthfully. That, in time, will guarantee a more affecting performance. I hope that she finds a band to work with soon, because I really want to see her perform again.

Next up, the Miles Bradley fronted LookiMakeMusic who haven’t had a great deal of gigging experience as a group. This wasn’t, however, an issue to themselves or the audience. Miles is a witty orator rather than virtuoso singer lamenting love, breakups and Supersonic Vague/Snobs in a self effacing way. Like a less enthusiastic Eddie Argos I suppose! He’s got a very good sense of rhythm, particularly when reciting very very fast passages of lyrics – almost like a MC crossed with a slam poet. Musically the band allow themselves to vary their accompaniment between sparse and robust – the robust, collective sound being particularly effective (as one would expect.) One moment where all members sang in enthusiastic harmony was particularly impressive. More please lady and gents! One thing that did stick out was the occasional use of violin by muli-instrumentalist Caitlin Price. To me I didn’t always feel that the timbre of the violin quite fit with the rest of the music, particularly at the end of a couple of songs where it was played for a couple of phrases longer than the other instruments. This was not due to Caitlin’s abilities – she is a very capable, impressive musician. It was purely a concept that didn’t quite gel for me. The synth, however, went down a treat!

Third to take to the stage were Young Runaways, an event looked forward to by many of the event attendees. The Wolverhampton wonders burst into their set and never lost a drop of energy throughout. They produced a set of well crafted, musically interesting pop songs, with a wealth of experience clearly on their side – it’s not hard to tell why they’ve been played on Tom Robinson’s BBC6 Music introducing show… Theirs is music of the heart swelling kind – that is to say, you can stand (perhaps sway a little) and watch respectfully, or you can jig to the music joyfully – the resulting rapture is still the same. Gorgeous.

The penultimate act of the night was SDF. I can honestly say that I have no idea who they are and still don’t (as I was in the bar during their set… whoops!) Although my housemate DP reviewed them as ‘confusing.’ Basically he had no idea if they were ‘trying to be ironic as they stood in a line and danced campily.’ However DP admitted that he rather warmed to the band and others I spoke to from the audience ruddy appreciated them. If you like your electro, check them out.

The act that the audience had unanimously braying for all night was uni musicians The July Days. I’ve been a fan (and, hopefully) a friend of the band for a while so haven’t written too much on them so as to remain unbiased, however after last night I really felt that seeing them for a measly £3 donation (they have the potential to command a lot more) meant that they deserved a little more of my time (and words – if they have the potential to be worth anything.) The band always kick off with singer Reece Lipman’s introduction; ‘This song is called I Said, You Said and it goes like this.’ – which is fast becoming a bit of a trademark! The band had a generous 45 minutes onstage (which rushed by as furiously as ‘badger haired flemmy skeleton’ Sam Lewis’s mighty drumbeats.’ We were treated to classics such as ‘Babe Ruth’ and ‘Hollywood’s Future’ as well as similarly older, less played songs such as ‘Broken Lyrics’ plus newer material such as ‘Empire State’ and ‘Quirky Isn’t Working.’

I think it was halfway through ‘Babe Ruth’ when I looked over at Sam Cowley (Sir Digby himself) and realised that we both knew the words so well that we should audition to be backing singers/dancers (I have choreographed a rather fetching dance, you see.) Unfortunately, from the looks of the rest of the crowd, we’d probably have a lot of competition!

For the grand ‘Quirky Isn’t Working’ finale myself and Ms Helen ‘Shaniqua’ Shepherd (one of burnfm‘s newest DJs) took to a rather wobbly picnic table and gave it some ‘Kevin Lyttle‘ dancing. When the audience demanded an encore (and the band repeated ‘Babe Ruth’) we were joined by more jubilant dancers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I nearly died. The table bounced up, down, forwards, and backwards, but myself and Shep did not mind. When I did get a little scared however, we hopped off and headed to the stage in preparation for invasion…. just as the song ended. Rats!

Get Frank are playing an acoustic at the Bristol pear this Saturday so I hope some of you can join us. It’s a mere minimum £1.50  donation for entry (proceeds to the DEC Haiti earthquake appeal I believe.) Rainbox raised (at last count) a massive £700 for the Oxfam earthquake appeal so I hope we can raise a sum too!

The July days also sold a special acoustic EP for charity yesterday (an amazing £1) yesterday. Here’s mine:

Aren’t you the jealous ones?

Right I’m off to rehearsals.

Frank. x

p.s

To those of you reading on Facebook, this post, like most of my ‘notes’ originated from http://www.getfrank.co.uk, just so you know!

My nearly-the-end-of-the-year resolution!

Who says you can’t attempt to make ‘fresh starts’ before January?

I’ve become slightly concerned about my little grey bubble that I’ve begun blowing recently! The thing about being president of a society, and a substantially sized one at that is sometimes it’s easy to take it all too seriously! I tend to think of myself as a radio station manager rather than a student club leader which means hat maybe I invest too much of myself into it.

Take the Burnfm mousemats situation. The mats, which cost burn £700 and the Guild £300 are far bigger than the size we asked the Guild to order. Apparently this is the fault of the supplier. The biggest issue is that the Guild logo takes up over half the space on the mat meaning that although Burn’s investment was of a much higher sum, the Guild appear to have much more of a visual benefit. These mats are going to be placed in computer clusters where the Guild – or Burn – have ever been able to advertise before so I don’t accept the counter argument that ‘the Guild need the advertising less than Burn so should pay less.’ At the end of the day advertising space is advertising space! The Guild also need to raise awareness about their own site. The biggest issue is that perhaps a smaller mat would have saved Burn money (as well as meaning that the Guild logo wouldn’t stand out as much.)

So that’s the stressy bit out of the way. On a positive note we’ve got them! After around 4 months of planning (since June) the mousemats are now safely with University IT services. Hopefully the mats will last around 3 years a provide a unique way of connecting with potential audiences – after all, all they need is headphones and they can plug into the library computers.

I guess I need to think about the positive things achieved this year at Burn! It’s just frustrating when you put time, effort and most of all passion into a project and it’s not entirely perfect, it can be hard to swallow – particularly when there are over 100 people looking to you to sort things. Any mistakes ultimately fall to me – if someone says something incriminating on air, for example, I may be the one who is ultimately disciplined. When you try and work with people who have less interest in a project than you have your sense of urgency isn’t matched and priorities are different – therefore wires have crossed.

I had a really stressful day last Wednesday. There’s no need to go into details really – there’s not much point, although I’d like to say that it is unfair that the way that staff talk to guild members is not seen as important as how staff are approached by members. I usually communicate everything by email, but not being able to be at the Guild every day I sometimes cannot wait for a reply and have to have a face to face conversation. These conversations are best had in comfy chairs (or at least sitting down.) When there’s an imbalance in the room – i.e someone is seated and another is stood awkwardly by the doorway, it can escalate to something unintended all too easily – tense body language is read wrongly etc… I’d also had the stress of showing the 27 strong committee the mousemats. I’d been frightened that they would be upset with me for giving the go ahead with them but luckily they were supportive as ever.

So, anyway (onto the point!) I went home when I’d finished Burn duties and wrote on my twitter an angsty (borderline hormonal sounding) tweet about how I was ‘fed up of the guild’ and that the ‘VPSAD’ was going to have a meeting to tell me off (or something along those lines.) Actually, upon reflection I shouldn’t have brought the VPSAD into it – and as such I’ve deleted the tweet. It wasn’t a personal attack on the VPSAD herself (I didn’t name her, because it was a general moan about the structure of the guild rather than the way she does her job – I was annoyed at how the VPSAD has to carry out the potentially uncomfortable council of disciplining a student rather than the student and the offended party having that discussion themselves. Had I been asked for an apology, I most certainly would have given one – I had my deputy manager with me and had I been offensive I’m sure he would have had a quiet word with me post event and I would have immediately tried to rectify the situation. I have never set out to deliberately offend anyone.

This is why I want to publish a public apology to the Guild’s VPSAD, Emma Packham, because I understand that my public tweet may easily have been offensive. Emma has been a great support to Burn, myself and all other students involved in societies since she took to her role and has always been open to chats with me – and I’m honestly really sorry if I caused her any upset.

Tomorrow Emma and the Guild gang will be campaigning with a flashmob at the Old Joe clocktower on the University of Birmingham Edgebaston campus (12.50pm.) This campaign is to try and ‘tell David’ Eastwood, the uni’s Vice Chancellor that a rise in tuition fees to £7000 plus is unreasonable. David will be One of the six people sitting at the Governmental table making such a decision. If you are reading this and are available then please come down and support. At 1pm we’ll be heading off to Joes Bar in the Guild to find out more.

Hope you are all well!

Frankie x

It’s burn a while!

Hello!

It has been a while hasn’t it? I’ve graduated from Channel 4, returned to University, proceeded with my court case (still waiting for a date but have received the ‘defence’) and got a radio station back up and running.

This Freshers’ Week was the first time Burnfm broadcasted outside into Mermaid Square. We weren’t allowed to broadcast into the Societies Fair but we did get to have a small speaker in the corner of the Sq. Although small we did get some lovely comments from the people in the square and got to have fun running around trying to find guests. It also gave us the chance to open up Burn’s doors to our fellow societies and sabbatical officers (who did an awesome job throughout the week, particularly Emma Packham the VP Student Activities and Development, Fabian Neuner, Guild President and…. heck all of them! Katie Ford, VP of Sport was brilliant to interview on air – she’s a natural.)

After a successful Burn introduction meeting (which featured legal training from wonderful University lawyer James Piggot) we managed to get down to training. This year, rather than train people in large groups (and a very small studio) we devised a training rota, training smaller groups (ranging from around 1-5 people – last year it was around 20 at a time.) We decided that DJs had to have both legal and studio training before going on air – so even past DJ’s had a refresher and more in depth legal training than ever before. I’m also planning on sending out a feedback form shortly so we can develop this further.

On Monday we went on FM for the first time since Spring 2007 (before I was even a student.)

On Wednesday members of Midlands student radio stations joined Burn at the Guild for some informative Q&A’s from the West Midlands branches of  Galaxy FM and Heart. They gave loads of advice about being on and off air – and I’m hoping to get some more experience soon. Deputy Programme Controller of Heart West Midlands, John Collins also popped into the Burnfm studio with weekend breakfast presenter Matt Jarvis to give Burn DJ Rob Watts the shock of his life! Rob, being the trooper that he is successfully managed to involve Matt and John in the conversation (about 500 Days of Summer.)

In the evening we headed over to TC’s, an undervalued Selly Oak establishment to hear the nominees for this year’s Student Radio Awards. We hadn’t entered a great amount and weren’t nominated however you still have to consider that we’ve still not been long on air. Perhaps surprisingly for me I’m not at all bothered! In fact, I had a ruddy brilliant time! The ‘Social Sams’ (Sam Cowley and Sam Willet, Burn’s Head and Deputy Head of Social) organised the evening party and looked after me rather well. Willet infact described me as being ‘amazingly happy.’

It’s pretty obvious, but I’ll say it anyway, Burn wouldn’t be Burn without the committee. There have been times when people have been telling me to give it all up and maybe I would if it were not for them. Next year, once a new committee has taken our place I hope we have ex committee socials!

Our current ‘big challenge’ is to get Burnfm played in venues around the guild such as Joe’s Bar and Spar. Now we’re on FM, Spar may be possible (but I want to finish the week so I can make sure that everyone is ready.) A motion was passed in Guild Council to make sure that Joes Bar play Guild TV on its TVs and to make sure that Burn is also played. We don’t mind if this is not full time – (the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ comes to mind) however if Guild Council has decreed this, surely it should happen? Students have said it’s okay, many Guild staff have also said they think it should happen – it’s the Venues team that haven’t agreed to anything.

If the Guild is for Students then why is it being run (in some places) entirely as a business? Students were lead to believe that an event featuring Calvin Harris would feature a live performance from the pop star (and they paid £10 for the privilege.) Instead Mr Harris arrived at approximately 2am and played a DJ set (his third event of the evening.)

I saw a fantastic DJ set at the Guild in my first year – it was the fabulously talented Zane Lowe and was part of the Guild Awards afterparty. (I paid £6 for both Guild Awards and aforementioned party,) so surely when one pays £10 to see someone, they expect them to do more than just plug a couple of laptops in? Why would you want to see a DJ play their own voice loops? (The word ‘tragic’ comes to mind.)

I also have a serious issue with Guild Venues as they dislike direct contact with me. I decided to pay them a visit to ask if a full building event would be occurring on Tuesday as the original act had been cancelled and I’d just heard that Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners would be doing a show. The reason Burn needs to know about events in the Guild (and I would say more than most other societies do) is because sometimes these events mean that DJs are not allowed to enter the building to do their show. Now these DJ’s pay for the privilege of broadcasting. It’s also hard for them to build up any kind of following when the schedule is disrupted. Some events mean that we can’t broadcast from the studio, and others still let us – this is what we need to know. Looking at a poster does not tell us this. The same with if a full building event is cancelled. I need to know so I can reinstate the DJs for the evening.

Right, rants over! It’s Peep Show time!

Frank x

ps

Redbrick editor Nick Petrie has helped give the Redbrick Online website a complete (and seemingly Guardian online inspired overhaul) – it’s looking rather fantastic so be sure to check it out.

Deposit Dilemma – Please Help!

I received a letter from my previous landlords/agency (they own all of the properties that they let out) and was shocked (and quite distressed.)

My deposit was £400. I left my room in the condition I found it (except maybe a little cleaner!) and cannot believe what I am being charged for. We received a letter outlining fines and costs (i.e unclean toilet – £25) and made sure all requests made by the landlords were completed to a high standard.

So why am I now being told my deposit has had £148.20 deducted because of a so called missing key (that firstly was not for my room, and secondly, was returned,) windows of an unspecified location (mine were bloomin shiny!) as well as blatently ridiculous ‘administration fees’ and a service charge (for an inspection!?!?!?!?!)

The appalling letter from rooms4every1.com

The letter also features incredibly poor grammar and presentation. The word ‘whatsoever’ has been separated into three words, my name has a small ‘f’ and a scribbed out ‘C’ in front of it and also a lack of proper signature at the bottom of the letter. Accounts is not a person and whoever on earth they are, they clearly didn’t do very well in maths class.

My cheque, which I’m unsure if I can post has £251.20 written in the numerical amount space and the written amount is a barely legible ‘one hundred and fifty one pounds’….so they’re trying to keep an extra £100.20 (or get the cheque to bounce so that I don’t get anything.)

If anyone can help me. I’m still a student and not earning much for my current work experience position (so I need this money) please, PLEASE let me know. I’m thinking of making a trip to Birmingham on Saturday (in fact I AM) so that I can go to the office and express my feelings….

The incorrect cheque (bank details covered)

Thanks everyone.

Frankie x

SR AYYYY

 

This is an entry for the Student Radio Awards (Best Student Radio Station.)
It took me bloomin’ ages as we didn’t have many recordings…I’ve been rather pedantic and reorganised all the files on the production computer.
It would be amazing to get nominated as we’ve worked ‘rather hard’ (to put it lightly) this year – however I listened to stations such as Warwick’s RAW recently and they’re all amazing.
Next year we are going to have to supervise the broadcast constantly so I’m having to enlarge the Burnfm committee to around 25. We currently have around 20 committee members and 171 members. This means that I am ‘in charge’ of 170 people. My big issue currently is that the university ignore the fact that I pay a lot of money to do a degree at their establishment and the ‘daily mail’ incident that occurred last year was no one’s fault (except the two boys who are no longer members.) I’m quite tempted to publish the email I was sent by one of the Uni lawyers as it was rather disagreeable but I’m going to wait until I receive further messages and have more meetings before making that decision. Usually I just publish my own on this blog but sometimes I get so frustrated its tempting to just say ‘what the heck’ and copy and paste…

 

Operation Mousemat

Today in the Burnfm studio I came up with…an idea!

Basically in the OLRC (library on the Selly Oak campus) there are old mousemats next to every computer. These were sponsored by a now defunct computer company called DCS plc. My idea is to replace these mousemats with Burnfm.com mousemats. It’s a hugely ambitious idea, even if it doesn’t sound like it (I mean mousemats for goodness sake!) However mousemats are not posters – they are likely to last for a few years at least and remain where they are. They will be next to the computers, hopefully inspiring people to listen as they work and they will also imprint Burnfm’s name and image firmly in people’s minds. There are students who haven’t heard of us.

If we can get Burnfm mousemats into at least the Main Library and the OLRC then we will definitely be reaching out to people. Then if we can branch out to the other 7 computer cluster areas we’ll be getting somewhere.

If anyone has any idea who to approach about this, be it through printing or in terms of who to approach at the Uni (I really don’t know, but have tried emailing the IT services as a start…will talk to the Main Library staff in person as soon as I can.)

Budget wise I know that unless we get some kind of sponsorship, we won’t be able to get enough mousemats, but ideally I’d like to start at 500 and see where we can go from there…

Any ideas give me an email at frankiepromotes@googlemail.com or comment….

 

Thanks!

Frank x

Gearing up for Get Frank

The news in briefs (aka bulletpoints)

  • I’ve just finished my last bit of work for uni and now just have  a dissertation proposal meeting (weds) and a 9am-5pm audition on tues to go.
  • Am about to launch a podcasting project on Burnfm.
  • Have been offered (and taken) the position of Generation Next Future Media Production Assistant for Channel 4 (more on that later.)
  • Have a featured open mic slot at The Phoenix, Coventry on Monday
  • Am preparing for my first gig with a full band at The Rainbow on Friday 29th May…

So firstly the ‘big gig…’ I’ve been dreaming of playing The Rainbow in Digbeth for over a year. It’s literally my favourite Brummie venue so I can’t believe I’m getting to play there. I’m playing with the wonderful Dan Smith, who I played at the Yardbird with in March. You can check out my myspace or my youtube if you’ve not heard my music before. All tracks on myspace are available to download for free! I’ve got five extra people helping me so expect glockenspiel, keyboards, guitars, drums, bongoes and a saxophone…

Also big thanks to all the lovely tweets about the Channel 4 internship I was very pleased too! I’m going to be focused on the Big Brother website and a few others I’ve not been told about yet. It’s my first proper paid internship so hopefully I won’t be too overdrawn at the end of summer like I was last year.

 

Hope to see you at the Rainbow on Friday!

Frank x