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


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!


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


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.



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…


None of us are tw*ts…


Joanna Geary at the Journalism Leaders Forum from Chris Unitt on Vimeo.

I had problems with websites run by big news publications after the Daily Mail wrote a factually inaccurate article about the radio station I now manage, Burnfm.com. This was duplicated by other papers’ websites before filtering to blogs. The good thing about the bloggers is that I could write to them without fearing being quoted on the front page of a paper.

Blogs are vital to students like me who don’t study media, (or even do study media) and would like a job within the media sector. From being involved with CIB, Gigbeth and my own blog I’ve managed to gain experience with the BBC and Channel 4. If it were not for blogs, and the Birmingham blogging community my CV would be dramatically shorter.

By talking utter nonsense about how blogs and UGC are ‘scary’, it is the media ‘pundits’ who make themselves look like idiots, particularly as I’m sure many people who read their publications have their own blogs or take part in social networking. Their narrow minded attitudes could damage their careers.

I am 20, the negative men in the video are clearly a lot older than myself (and Joanna Geary) and may be struggling to cope with how fast the blogging community is growing….(and perhaps I am trying to create excuses for the ‘experts’ because I can’t believe how hysterical they are about blogging for goodness sake!)

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


Swine Flu – How to strike the balance between fear and ignorance

The current subject of major international focus is the Swine Flu.  Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that – it’s probably the most talked about thing on the internet right now, seemingly stealing the focus from the ever depressing recession. Being a student I’ve felt slightly cushioned from the talk of unemployment and bankers’ distress, preferring to concentrate on my deadlines and my final year of study before I’m thrown into a world of economic turmoil.

When I last checked today, just before starting write this article, it seems that there have been 91 cases of Swine Flu confirmed by laboratory testing in America (51 of those in New York) and sadly one death (a child in Texas.) There have been five UK cases affirmed, with one woman being treated from her home in Redditch. On the TV as I am currently writing a news anchor reports from outside a health centre in Northfield reporting that ‘we must hope that the threat in the West Midlands remains mild’ and that a victim’s uncle could not obtain tamiflu from 6 different pharmacies. If this was a confirmed case of tamiflu then I am sure that the patient would have been given tamiflu directly by the hospital so I’m not entirely sure what that victim was suffering from… (I’d been briefly watching Newsnight on the other side…)

The following was published from this article on the BBC news website:

The BBC’s Alex Bushill in Paignton, Devon

No school expected to be at the centre of a national media storm, but for the pupils of Paignton Community and Sports College in south Devon, there were to be even more shocks and surprises.

A little after 1300 BST this afternoon, the 2,000 pupils were told that one of their friends had contracted swine flu from a recent trip to Mexico. They did not know it, but already satellite vans and cameramen were gathering outside the school gate and the prime minister had announced on the floor of the Commons that a 12-year-old girl at the school was ill with the virus.

Although she is now responding well to drugs, there is a great deal of anger amongst parents and pupils alike that they were not told in advance.

In amongst the tears, parents came to collect their children as the school was closed. Reeling not just from the shock that swine flu had arrived on their doorstep, but in the manner that they had heard the worrying news.

It is the content of stories like the one above that make me worry about the way that the potential pandemic is being handled. The fact that 2,000 students and their parents reacted with hysteria surely reflects what a nation constantly accompanied by the media must be enduring. I myself have become uneasy this evening particularly after seeing footage of Dr Margaret Chan of the World Health Organisation officially raising the alert over the level of swine flu to 5 – one away from the level of ‘pandemic (human – human transmission in two countries.) This means that countries must ready their ‘pandemic preparedness plans.’ In Britain this appears to be stockpiling as many doses of tamiflu as possible (and hoping that the virus does not mutate to become untreatable.)

All of this is news that we, as members of the public are perfectly entitled to of course and most coverage by the media has been greatly informative, particularly by sites such as the BBC. However, for the next few weeks I would not even consider buying a tabloid newspaper for fear of seeing sensationalized pictures or ‘survivors stories.’ For example this story on The Sun’s website starts to read as a fairly factual piece until a silly picture of random people arriving at Heathrow airport is followed by text in bold to make you feel INDIGNANT AND BETRAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT the piece ends by saying that ’25 million could catch it here in months.’ Surely this is scaremongering? The content about the lack of masks is completely unnecessary, particularly as we have already been informed that masks are only useful to members of the medical profession as touching the masks after using them renders them pointless.

So what I have deducted from the oodles of internet, tv and print info is that people should carry tissues, get out the old festival anti bacterial gel and to not sneeze on people. To be honest I’m going to be doing this namely because I have a bit of a cold at the moment and my hayfever is rather chronic and is beginning to flare up.

Personally I am going to try not to worry; I have an exam tomorrow and an interview for an internship with Channel 4 as part of their Generation Next scheme next week. My exam is a practical performance of an Alan Aykbourne play called Invisible Friends. In it I play an angry middle aged dad and the voices of a tv, including a speech about rising inflation which suddenly feels all the more relevant!

The Channel 4 interview is for a new media post, as an assistant to the producer of the Big Brother website. When the program is on each Summer I’d say I probably visit the website more than I watch the program itself so therefore I’m quite excited about it! Aside from being keen generally my experience online and also through running Burnfm.com I’d say I’ve got as much a chance as any. As long as they don’t think I’m too young or don’t like that I’ve not finished my degree hopefully I’ll do well. The internship is from July to mid september and therefore I’ll be free to devote all my time to the job. (Put it this way; I really, really want to do it!) A task created video of Ulrika Johnson and Verne Troyer performing the Diana Ross and Lionel Richie duet, Endless Love from this year’s Celebrity Big Brother got over 81,000 views in a matter of days (the task was to get at least 10,000) which shows exactly how cross platform content is becoming increasingly popular amongst mainstream audiences. 

Hope you are all equally well and that this article hasn’t caused a panic!


Let Battle Commence…

Tonight is the night!

Its the very first Burnfm.com Battle of the Bands at the University of Birmingham Guild of Students. Personally I’ve put LOADS of work into this, as have the societies who have been helping us, Vale Festival, Band Soc, Rock Soc and Metal Soc.

We’ve got 360 headlining which I’m very excited about…however I know I’ve blogged about this before so all I really need to say again is…

7.30pm, guild of students underground, tickets £5. Student bar prices!!!

On tuesday it was the guild of students Guild Awards. Burn didn’t win anything. Burn did not even have a photo in the slideshow of the years events.

We have had a number of issues recently and therefore I have decided to publish an email I sent to the sabbatical officer for Student Activities and Development…

I understand that the Guild want to support us however I really feel that currently we are not appreciated as a fully functioning society. At the Guild Awards we felt that we were unfairly left out of the proceedings, with any possibility of mentioning Burnfm completely overlooked. For example in the photo montage (and I sent in plenty of photos with nominations and after nominations had closed as I was aware that there would probably be a slideshow,) we were completely left out and the only look in burn had was a short, silent clip in a film made by GTV. Of course it is up to the discretion of the panel who chooses the shortlist for award winners and I totally respect those who won and was happy for them, but I think we deserved at least a shortlist position for Most Improved. We have worked so hard this year to get Burn back up and running. We visibly support the guild (including a ‘Guild news’ section of our hourly news bulletin,) advertise its events, give societies a spotlight in specially allocated radio slots and also allow the guild and societies to use our recording equipment, making time to show them how to use it, and often operating it for them. For example I have recorded podcasts with yourself in the past and today I helped Watch This! record voice overs for a production they are putting together.

Personally I feel my job has become a thankless one, it is not my agenda to recieve personal praise for what I do but to get the radio station noticed and appreciated. I’m sure you understand that. This is one of the reasons I do things like strictly brum, to try and get our society’s name recognised. I always do as the Guild asks me, including missing classes that my tuition fees have paid for but feel that the Guild do not always do what I ask of them. I am very grateful for the BOTB spot on the TVs in Joes bar however no A0 posters have gone up and there are still Got Involved posters up in the Guild that could be replaced. In the STA travel corridor there are at least two empty poster frames where the posters could have gone, without disrupting advertising for Fab and Friday or Stock Exchange.

Tonight I am writing this email after spending a great deal of time on the phone to Burn members who have not been able to do their last ever shows on Burnfm because Luke Mayer (?) of the sports night is refusing them entry on account that we have not given the guild a list of the DJs broadcasting after 8pm. This has never been requested of me or Burn, otherwise you can be assured that I would have done it. For the past two semesters we have been broadcasting until 11pm on a wednesday night. We have been broadcasting until 8pm on tuesdays, despite VIT’s cancellation (the Guild did not inform us of this, therefore wasting oversubscribed specialist hours) and this friday, despite not being informed, we have chosen to cease broadcasting at 8pm due to Fab and Friday. To make us cease broadcasting early on another day is ridiculous. It is another example of Burn being treated as though we do not matter. Mr Mayer refused to speak to me on the phone, but due to having spent 7 hours on shift at Burn today, I need to catch up on work and could not spare the hour or so required to travel to the Guild deal with an impossible situation and then travel back.

I would also like to be updated on the motion passed in Guild Council about Burn being played in Joes [bar]. I want to work with the Guild on making sure this motion is stuck to, and making sure that the broadcasts are of high quality. Next term we are going to formally write up how training will work (probably an hour or two talk with the committee, James Piggot of Legal Services and hopefully a radio professional) and then studio sessions with small groups. We will start to look at how we can really push the idea of producers to potential members and how to make sure shows are efficiently structured and broadcast. We also want to focus on our community of DJs next term by having more socials, applying for SRA awards and putting together podcasts with input from everyone and anyone – just giving a voice to whoever wants one (this includes societies, musicians and the Guild in general.)

The reason I am publishing this is because I have not yet recieved a reply from the officer I sent the message to. I feel that Burn is actually supported more by people outside of the Uni currently. I have recently been faced with a situation that required me to miss classes that my tuition fees have paid for. My time might not be worth money to the guild, but it is worth marks to me….

On Friday I participated in Strictly Brum Dancing for the University of Birmingham Ballroom and Latin Society. After speaking to DJ Steve LeMaq on his friday BBC 6 Music show. I didn’t win but apparently, for my quick efforts in learning a chacha and a waltz I have been named a ballroom dance prodigy…hurrah!

Frank x

Burnfm’s Battle of the Bands



We have a Battle of the Bands poster! I don’t think I can get it to display, but the event is at the University of Birmingham Guild of Students at 7.30pm on Thursday 26th March.

I’m ruddy excited…We’ve got six university acts lined up to battle for a slot at Vale Fest 2009, and a headline slot from brilliant Birmingham act 360.

The finalists are:

The July Days

Varney and Sons


Battle Stations

Jessica Sharman

Wicked Messengers

We held a preliminary round to whittle the bands down and you can here recordings from this here, simply click on the BOTB link. We judged the acts by their live performances, not recordings as we felt that this was much fairer.

The final will be judged by Aaron Wright, music editor of uni paper Redbrick, Johnny O’ Callaghan who runs InD at Walkabout and two members of another Birmingham band, the almighty Scarlot Harlots.

We would love to have you along as profits are going toward Vale Fest and its charities. Vale Fest usually raises over £50,000 for charity, we hope to make that over £60,000 this year! Tickets are £5 and are available from Joes Bar (in the Guild) or on the door. It is not a student exclusive event and is open to all, so if you’ve never been to the Guild/Uni before, or are simply feeling nostalgic and want to check out both new and established talent, then please come! Group (10 or more) discount is £4 per person and can be arranged by emailing me, frankiepromotes@googlemail.com

If you would like to review/photograph this event also please get in touch.

The live music ends at 12am and will be followed by DJs until 2am.