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

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

Burnfm’s Battle of the Bands

botb-poster

Finally!

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

Motion

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.

Frank

x

Burnfm…back with a band?

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

‘It’ being the first Burnfm.com 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 Burnfm.com 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.

HURRAH!

Frank x

My name in ink

When I was six and being ‘groomed for stardom’ by a weekend stage school the only ambition myself (and my mother) had was for my name to be up in lights on Shaftsbury Avenue.  Thirteen years later I have seen my name in super shiny ink and I couldn’t be happier.

On Saturday morning a bubble wrapped package lay in the hallway of my student house. On seeing the Channel 4 logo I realised the package was for me and spent the next ten minutes joyfully trying to work out how to actually hack my way through to the gloriously bright magazine inside.

It came as quite a surprise to me when I discovered that, despite not winning, I could still make an appearance in the winter issue of 4Talent magazine. I entered the wrong category, without preparing a proper portfolio or giving myself enough time to post hard copies off to Birmingham based 4 Talent Central. (Ironically I usually live in Birmingham for university but was in Kent working for the BBC when I discovered about the awards and it’s nearing deadline for entry.)

Reading through the magazine has given me inspiration for the future- not only because of the advice and professional insight provided by the contributors but also due to the fact that the age cut off for entering the awards is thirty. This means I have eleven years to get myself together!

Without realising, my first foray into journalism came on my16th birthday when I decided to make a documentary on the ‘chav culture’ of a local nightclub titled ‘Ikon or Pikon.’ When I showed this, and other videos to my year eleven form tutor he insisted I show them to the head of media studies and consider the subject itself for A level. I declined the option to study the subject however; I wanted to create media- not study it.

When it came to choosing University I decided to do a subject I could actually stick at for three years and enjoy. I went into uni thinking I wanted to be a theatre director. As I sat in a student union bar full of student drama fanatics I yearned to be in the meeting next door, where my friend was applying for a radio show. A few days later I found the studio and blagged myself a specialist music show. A few months later I was on the committee and in a few days time I will stand for Station Manager.

At first, trawling through online work experience applications and email rejections I imagined I’d never find a placement to set me on a broadcasting career path. I was of the opinion that to get work experience you had to have already had experience and the whole system was an impenetrable system. Now I realise you have to make your own. My way of doing this (again without realising it) was through writing and contributing to blogs and radio.

One of the great things about being a student is the freedom of having an interest free overdraft! I worked for BBC Blast, BBC Radio Kent, Myspace Radio and 4Talent over the summer and found myself owing a lot of money to the bank. The good thing about education is I have a while to pay it back, and as far as I am concerned, the more experience I get, the more likely I’ll be able to once I have graduated.

Recently my University held a ‘Breaking into Broadcasting’ event that I unfortunately missed. My friend, however, didn’t. “It was all scaremongering” my friend said, “They basically said there’s 100,000 British media students and 60,000 broadcasting jobs.” (both of us, not studying media, are not included in that 100,000.) Suddenly I was glad I’d passed up the opportunity to stay at home and write.

These days broadcasting has become increasingly focused on the ‘360’ of television, radio and online. I realise that it’s been three years since my debut documentary and now may be a good time to return to the moving image.

Since getting a Macbook with a built in camera and getting involved in the Internet Zombie Movie (which was referenced in the current issue of 4Talent magazine.) I’ve developed a keen interest in the way that You Tube works. How do you get subscribers for starters, and then how can you become a You Tube Partner and actually make earnings from your home made efforts?

This process I am aware, will not be as simple as creating a blog: I have no budget. My three year old camera makes a horrible whirring sound when I press record and all I really have is my Macbook, but something tells me I can do it…

Well I made it into 4Talent magazine didn’t I?

 

Focus.

Looking at my blog posts for the past few days I feel like I’ve been a bit unfocused with this.

The joy of blogging is it’s your own free space, but at the same time you can use it for a particular purpose. Currently my purpose seems to be just type up everything I’m working on. I guess its kind of eclectic.

As I’m busy with three drama practicals (for assessment in december) and a couple of assessed essays I’ve had to clear my diary out in terms of reviews and getting out and about and ‘meeting creatives.’

I was on twitter when I discovered Ed Walker’s blog. Being a student who dabbles in journalism I found his site really interesting and left a couple of comments. It was his blog that also made me rethink my own. I want to continue writing for Gigbeth but I also know that right now I’ve got to sort my degree out. Being ill in various grades of seriousness for three weeks has set me back a bit. It turns out I had a kidney and a chest infection at the same time so I’m still doing delightful tests for the doctors to make sure all the nastiness is gone.

As Gigbeth was my music focused blog, this was more about everything else. I may keep it general. Currently it seems to focus on Burnfm, other people’s music, my own music, youtube, internet zombie movie and a bit of drama (degree). I am starting to pick up on other people’s websites as well, which I quite enjoy doing so I may continue.

If I achieve my ultimate year old objective of Station Manager of Burnfm on the 2nd December I believe this blog will focus more on radio, but I’ll address that idea if and when I come to it.

If you have an opinion, then I welcome it. This isn’t youtube so I doubt I’ll get “Your fat, give up already” comments!

Frank. x

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.)

Burnfm.com 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!

Frank.