Barry Gordon: How do I annoy thee, let me count the ways . .

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IT’S been a while since I’ve had a justifiably good rant on Music Matters.

Tearing into just one subject, though, isn’t enough. There are far too many bees in my bonnet. So here are a few of the contentious issues currently buzzing about my head.

First, there’s a disturbing number of bands, many local, trying to cajole people into sending them money to record albums they’ll only sell back to them later.

I mean, the nerve. Some of these bands (I’ll spare their embarrassment by not naming them) have already received public funding. So here’s a thought: work hard, save up your pennies and pay for it like everyone else has to.

Second, it’s amazing how many bands, seeking press attention, fail to understand the basics of PR.

Tip one: have an actual story. “We’re playing a gig/ selling a single you simply have to see/ hear” just doesn’t cut it. Explain what makes your project/gig/album more interesting than anyone else’s.

Tip two: when it comes to photographs, make sure it’s in colour; make sure faces are clearly visible (head-to-waist), and leave the pretentious ‘arty’ stuff for your website.

Tip three: personalise it, be imaginative (but not too wordy), and ensure the important information (who, what, where, when, why and how) is clearly laid out. Easy.

Finally, my funk band, JBiA, recently recorded an instrumental tune named after Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. In an email account from a galaxy far, far away... it appears a certain Jedi Knight might just be willing to lend his vocal talents to the project. Watch this space...