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, 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!)

Copied from facebook..

The following was copied from this facebook page


Thank you so much for your support so far.

We are looking for 15’000 names to give to the council. Please help make a difference.

Please invite all of your friends to join this group.

Thank you x
Birmingham City Council EPU (Environmental Protection Unit), are today sat in session considering the serving of a noise abatement order against The Rainbow. 

This is the latest move in their wish to see a once vibrant Digbeth transformed into a souless artistic wasteland populated by Stepford wives and cultural pygmies, and where the only entertainment is watching tumbleweeds race down deserted back streets. 

This latest outrage is yet again the result of one – yes that is right ONE- resident of the Abacus flats complaining about a noise nuisance. This resident since occupying the flats has seen off the Spotted Dog (its nearest and most immediate target), is now close to achieving the same with The Rainbow, and will no doubt soon be turning their sights on The Rainbow Warehosue and The Custard Factory. Just how much devestation are they allowed to cause before someone has the wit to halt this senseless slaughter. Many of the councils own departments vaunt the vibrancy of Digbeth, and indeed the Planning office makes much reference to Digbeth’s unique ‘jewel in the crown’ potential as part of it’s big city plan. Just how much vibrancy will soon be left – perhaps just the vibarting echo of a hollow vaccum? Anyone who has followed this issue on line is aware of the strength of feeling it arouses, and the sheer frustration of how Birmingham seems determined to always be the ugly sister/poodle next to far more dynamic cities like Manchester, London and Liverpool who provide their cultural spaces with oxygen to breath and prosper as opposed to smothering them. No-one can underestimate the significance of art and cultutre on the desirability of a city to live and work in – and it is generally a city’s youth that are best placed to take a city’s cultural pulse. Increasingly Birmingham’s is flatlining. Just think how different it could be if institutions and organisations like The Rainbow were given support, and how much change they could effect in other people’s perception of the City.

Noise nuisnace is a totally subjective matter – it is not measured – it is all about a council officers ‘trained human ear’. There have been instances where even the EPU’s own officers have failed to detect a nuisance following a complaint against The Rainbow – but different day and different officer – different result.. There are residents on the same facade and elevation facing the Rainbow that maintain there is absolutely no nuisance at all and that far from having a problem with the Rainbow – the reason they moved in was to be close to such ammenities (this is similarly the overwhelming view of Digbeth’s Residents Association). The Rainbow’s own research from the Abacus rooftops indicates that yes a bass beat can be heard when there is a lull in background traffic noise – but would struggle to see how this was a noise nuisnace behind closed windows and doors and should certainly cause no problem when trying to sleep within a bedroom. Nevertheless accepting the views of the Council and having had a number of ‘noise nuisances’ subjectively witnessed againt them from one resident’s flat, the Rainbow has agreed to erect a roof on it’s courtyard area to prevent sound leakage. This in itself is a highly sensitive subject as the Rainbow is being made to pay the price of the council’s own negligence over the construction of the Abacus flats (which failed to comply with thier own rules on noise surveys). The Rainbow agreed to do this as soon as plans could be steered through the planning department – so completion would be around August. Meantime The Rainbow has regularly asked to negotiate/discuss with EPU/complainant it’s events over the ensuing 3 months, to try and ensure that everyone keeps a cool head, as we cannot afford to close for the period, and any suggestion of us playing music at an ambient level is just naive. This has included giving them details of what times events will start and finish, planning noisier events around times when they may not be in reidence (on holiday), offering to put them up at our expense in a hotel for the night if needed – even very simply getting them to phone us if the levels creep too high. REMEMBER this is just over a 3 month period until a roof prevents any further issues. Unfortunately EPU and the tenant refused to countenance such an initiative and have decided to simply stick to – ‘if you make what we consider to be a nuisnace meantime, we will act’ – this was even when informed we would need to hold some fundraising events meantime to ensure we could provide for the very solution to their problems.

Anyhow following another subjectively witmessed noise nuisance commieted before 11.30pm on Monday (hardly the middle of the night) we now are now awaiting a decision on an abatement order. Knowing what a ridiculous injustice this is and what the wider implications are for the area – we will fight it should we get it – to the bitter end if necessary – to the point we are physically ejected and the pub is boarded up. But we would like your help – sign up to the facebook group so we can present it to the council.

Thank you

The Rainbow Team

Burnfm…back with a band?

A couple of days ago I finally decided to GET ON WITH IT!

‘It’ being the first Battle of the Bands. We’ve scheduled it for the 26th March (thursday before term ends.)

I’m currently on a desperate search for the organisers of Vale Fest so that I can negociate a slot on one of their stages for our winner. I also need to find some willing judges who are passionate about finding new and up and coming talent. I feel it is important for people to show their enthusiasm for Birmingham produced music as this is one of the issues raised by organisations such as Gigbeth.

We’re looking for about 5-10 acts. The amount of songs they play will depend on how much interest we recieve. If we have 10 then I’m currently pondering whether to get them to play one ‘crowd pleasing’ cover and one of their own songs (so the judges can really pick up on whether they have that ‘special spark.’

I’m going to have talks with members of Rock Soc, Indie Soc and the newly launched Band Soc to try and see how the event will work and how to get people involved….

Any ideas please comment or email me

On other stuff we’ve been back online for nearly a week and finally have some stings and beds in place which is lovely! We’re going to sort out more marketing and start talking…!

The most important thing to get off the ground is the computer system which our Tech guy, Michael Barton has built us an automated playback system. He just has to correct a bug in the program and then we’ll all be able to put music on the system and really get things off the ground.


Frank x

Hot and Cold

I have felt absolutely rotten for the past couple of days.

Tomorrow I have an important interview so I hope I’ll feel a bit more on form! My house has no hot water or heating at the moment so when I am cold I am really cold. I’ve shaken so hard today my leg went pop! (Ouch!) Right now I’m all hot and all over the place but hopefully it will calm soon. has been going well so far. I’m going to have a meeting with my mainstream team now they’ve experienced being on air and have a feel for radio. This will hopefully lead to correlation within shows, with linking features, competitions etc.. I want to get it settled into routine before my essays/practical exams kick in so I can focus on work and not worry!

I really want to make a video for Gigbeth’s Sugarhill Gang Competiton but right now don’t feel so great, perhaps I’ll hip hop out in my pj’s!

Nature Boy, Open Mics, Burning hot and Laura Marling

I wrote a song with my friend Fuzz on sunday. I was teaching her to play Ukulele and as she learnt four chords I wrote a song using them and a story about a boy she exploited for the sake of art! Well not exploited exactly…but the picture she used him for got her artwork displayed in the Ikon gallery so clearly it was a love story worth singing about! I’ve done a simple keyboard version as you can see on the second video below. When I’m concentrating on playing my instruments my accent descends into Kate Nash territory however, apologies in advance.

I played this song at an open mic night yesterday with my boyfriend Chris. We also played Disappointed in Me and I performed ‘You Don’t Like Love’ on the guitar (it was originally on the uke) and we finished with Chris’ song Optimist which I sang backing vocals on. This is him playing the song in his room. When I first met him at an open mic I performed before him and as I sat on the stool I said “Well you’re all a bit optimistic aren’t you?” which made him decide to play it in his set, saying “Someone mentioned the name of this song earlier so I thought I’d play it!
I was hooked, so here it is… (at the top of the blog.) is now up and running! We’re in the first week of broadcast so not pushing too much marketing wise at the moment but listeners would of course be welcomed with open arms! I’m currently on air from 10-12 on monday mornings and during the same time slot on wednesdays. We’ve found a tech supremo who is going to develop our website, hoorah! Tonight I’ve got a meeting for Rhubarb. It’s important that I sort out my position within the community radio station as Burnfm+Uni is quite time consuming!

Finally I sorted out questions for my Culture Deluxe interview with Laura Marling. Unfortunately it’s an email interview which, despite saving on long transcribing, is hard to get right as I can’t pursue a subject or develop an answer. However, it’s been my dream to interview Laura for a while now so I’m still rather happy!


continued from below

So I thought of something to say!….and then I forgot!

The brumlive photographer I’m working with tonight is the lovely-seeming (I’m making assumptions having never come face to face with her, but her myspace is cool and she sent me a nice message) Kate Snape.
I must say I’m also quite jealous because she’s my age (19) and she’s photographed loads of really cool bands so I’m looking forward to have a natter between acts. Also she taught herself and developed her own style of photography only a year ago so it gives me hope that I, one day, will actually be able to operate an SRL camera….or is that SLR…I think it’s SLR!!!
(Ask me what you like about mics, recordings, gaming, music, sound etc but I’m awful with camera knowledge.)
Tonight the first support act is Birmingham based Kate Finch who has got an acoustic-punk feel to her music. I’m looking forward to seeing her live because I think that she’ll sound fresher on record…would be interesting to see if she ever plays with a band when she’s live too.
Also playing are two full bands with punk-rock stylings, The Kamikazes and The High Society.
I’m having a listen to The Kamikazes right now and I’m getting really excited…It’s gonna be a high octane gig I think…I’d get out my skinnies if I had them!
Unfortunately I haven’t…(I’m the girl who bought skinny jeans 2 sizes too big to avoid muffin top…and therefore lost the skinny effect) So its another dress I think! (with some customisation of course!)
So if you’re there tonight please say hi, Ill probably have a button headband on my person. It’s my current signature
Frank. x