Monday, 24 January 2011

Promo Fail?

This is something that I'm sure everyone is aware of, and I know that we get a pretty good laugh at most of them, but I think that it's about time someone asked 'what the fuck is going on?'

Far too often now, when a new night is announced, someone releases a record or has recorded a mix, you are greeted not only by the essential details of what's on but you are given a free history lesson on the DJ/Producer. Now this would be okay-ish if it gave you some interesting information but it is always the same generic, meaningless background story (filled with superlatives), and it keeps getting worse..

Now I'm sure that the majority of folk who do this, care about their nights and invest a lot of time, effort and money to put them on.. Why then, do they have absolutely no pride or shame when it comes to promoting it? Does it really mean THAT much to get more views on the forum?

Do they really think, that having a 2 page essay on DJ A is going to convince you to spend your money?

Maybe you think differently, but if I haven't heard of a DJ, a page of generic text is most definitely not going to change my mind about going to the gig, never mind the cringeworthy drivel that you get from some promoters.

So have a read at the next few quotes and decide for yourself. If you read this, does it have you convinced? or does it leave you wondering what the fuck they were thinking?

* All of these are real and relate to house and/or techno, and can be found online

"Both DJ's displayed a fantastic knowledge of tracks when they last played ?, so we couldn't think of better pair to link together to kick start the night"

And how did they display this knowledge? A quick Q&A? I think that displaying a fantastic knowledge of tracks is a little bit misleading...

"Glasgow based DJ ? is rapidly gaining a reputation for his talents playing tech music. Possibly the most versatile and technically talented DJ we've come across, able to play a set seamlessly, combining a variety of different styles, with ease. Be it techno, minimal, tech house or deep house, he'll play it, if the time is right, and the crowd wants it. "

I'm almost certain that was written by the DJ, but if it wasn't - why would you even think about having it on your profile?

"Sometimes, no introduction is required."

This preceded 4 paragraphs about Ricardo Villalobos... c'mon?

"The ? lads have been putting in a sterling shift on the local club scene around Glasgow and have hosted some great nights around the city. Bringing something different to every night, the resident DJs mix it up with anything from Upfront House to some nice Techno beats adapting to give the crowd what they want. With their early success they have a promising future ahead, being booked to DJ at nights in 2011 such as ? & ? and supporting Stereofunks monthly residency @ Level 2."

I would read that one a few times..

"? talent knows no bounds, and musical knowledge is unsurpassed. To add to all this, his DJ talents are as impressive as his productions - can anything hold him back in 2011?!"

How can people write this and expect to be taken seriously?

There are tons of nights & DJs doing this kind of thing, most of them far too long to post on here, and I think it's getting out of hand... Seriously, get it together, it's embarrassing.


  1. 100 per cent agree with this. The ricardo villalobos one in particular especially annoyed me. If folk want to know a bit more about the artist all they need to do is type them into google...don't need to read in forums where a lot of folk wont give a fuck. People want tunes and mixes. By listening to a dj's productions or mixes, people can judge for themselves what the promoted night might ( not) sound like. Too much arse kissing the dj's their hiring, when they would be showing the dj and more importantly, the punters more respect by simply letting the music do the talking...not the drivel

  2. I agree, it's all about the music at the end of the day, so links to mixes/tracks and profile pages are much more useful and less likely to bore the reader. I think the producers/DJ's who really 'need no introduction' aren't bothered about writing an essay on how they got there (from the age of 5, he discovered a love of electronic music etc!!). For example, Speedy J., who could probably fill a book or two with anecdotes and production credits from his lengthy 20+ years career, has nothing written on his Soundcloud page except for links to Discogs, etc.

  3. seeing is believing. dont fake the funk, nor believe the hype.

    online, id add a video of said dj destroying a crowd. or a link to a great mix they made. one paragraph on their style and most important accomplishments. doooone.

  4. Nicely put. I thought it was just me it bored the pants off me. Nice sounds on soundcloud by the way.

  5. If the party is an underground affair that books fresh, and sometimes little known talent you need a little intro.

    The promo I've saw for Sven Weissmann was lengthy, but I'd never heard of him until the night decided to bill him. I decided to go off the strength of the promo and had a great time.

    So, take the above with a pinch of salt.

  6. This stuff seriously makes me just stay home. Throw in a circa 1999 pro quality graphic designed myspace page with some glossy photos involving hairgel and I'll move out of town too, which is getting really expensive. All I want is a name and an embedded play button, and I'll go out if I hear something good when I press the button.

    Small indie or noise bands are worse though... They have unsearchable names, don't know how to use the internet, and when you finally find their page you learn that they haven't ever recorded any songs.

  7. "Point 4 is a night run by promoters for promoters, the aim of the party is to bring a lot of the smaller nights together, under one roof and to create one great party together - there is also bound to be an after party too!"

    Is the above statement, as mentioned in a previous post, not equally as 'cringe' and 'pointless' as some of your aforementioned quotes?

    I think to slate the Villalobos at Sensu, one of the most successful parties in Glasgow, about their style of promotion and/or bookings is just idiotic. To ask 'how can they expect to be taken seriously?' is just blind ignorance to their consistent success.

    To knock promoters for trying to create a buzz and an interest around their night is, in my opinion, just snobbery. We should remember that not every punter knows some background info on an artist they are interested to see.

    I'm sure the blogger and the people who have commented negatively above will be the same punters who will be gnawing their faces off at these nights proclaiming 'this is the best night of my life!'

    If people go to a night and enjoy themselves, hear good music and see new/old talent surely that is what it's all about. Being critical of promoters who are trying to be successful, or being critical towards those who continue to be hugely successful is pointless.

    Surely its better to trust facts about big bookings/well known talent rather than saying '...bring a lot of the smaller nights together, under one roof and to create one great party together'.

  8. Alright man, it wasn't about slagging off any nights in particular I just used those quotes to make my point. It could have been any promoter or DJ, which is why I didn't mention them.

    I think it's excellent that Villalobos is booked for the Subclub, but I don't think that you need to do anything other than that to create a buzz.

    That was just my own personal opinion regarding Point4, and it let people know what to expect, the quotes I have used go further than that imo.

    Just to clarify it though, I wasn't slating Sensu, or any of the nights DJs mentioned, they were just the best examples I cam across to make my point.

  9. I think the 'problem' if you see at as such is that most promoters especially for smaller nights in provincial cities is that they are music lovers, DJs, party-people first. And not necessarily PR experts or even able scrape an English A-level between them. This isn't a criticism as such, just the way the cookie crumbles.

    Its a chance for you Wax Works and any other budding promoters to innovate, not sit on the periphery of your obscure little blog and throw stones from the glass house in which you sit.

  10. Iain Kerr you are an idiot, to try and slate promoters for promoting their nights.

    So your saying that people like you (pathetic losers) would rather go to a night that said:

    Ian Kerr from Waxworks playng records at a snidey wee club.


    Ritchie Hawtin & dubfire at the arches followed by a 3 page spiel.

    Just because they wrote a bit and took the time out to promote their night?

  11. @ Roo, it's not about being a PR expert or having an A Level. For 'famous' DJs there is no real need for anything to be said, and for DJs who are underground there is nothing to be gained from going over the top.

    As for your last comment, we are not promoters nor do we want to be, we play records and we put on the occasional party, but we don't see the need for all the fake shit.

  12. why would you want to go and see dubfire and hawtin any way. Commerical, shity minimal in a massive venue full of bam's and twats.
    Im glad hawtin and dubfire are the two examples you made however, as you've told me in one sentence that you're a queer hawk that loves 'big nights' and 'bangin choons'...'lets av it!'

  13. Ive been involved with a club night in glasgow for the last year and write most of the 'cringeworthy drival' that I hope will entice people to part with their hard earned cash and come along.

    When booking 'unknown' djs I think its important to show that they have had some clubbing experience and havent been plucked from their bedrooms to play sets that you are expecting people to pay to listen too. It also helps to promote the individual djs themselves to extend their prospects at other nights. At the same time when a night has managed to book a big name dj surely they want to show their pride that their night has become successful enough to book the big names?

    When we first started, a lot of existing nights gave us lots of support, wished us luck etc.

    Im really surprised that you would feel it necessary to diss hard working djs for their pr skills (or lack of) when surely its all about the passion that these djs share for their love of music.

    I am very proud and hold no shame for the success I have achieved through a lot of hard work and really appreciate all the support from other nights and djs in the glasgow music loving community.

  14. I'm not 'dissing' anyone, I'm making a general point that applies to promoters/DJs/agents/distributors all over the world, it so happens that I'm from Glasgow and the examples I chose are from this city. If this kind of thing works for you and you appreciate it then that is cool, but you shouldn't be surprised that not everyone thinks the same way.

  15. It's a fine line that is often crossed in a cringe-worthy manner especially when they're dressing up unknown DJs with all manner superlatives. For that I think the original post has some value.

    However, the fact is that there are a lot of people, especially journalists in listing magazines that know fuck all about anything techno-orientated etc. They need info, whatever it is, to at least fill column inches etc.

  16. Refering to promoters as having 'absolutely no pride or shame' and then saying that your not 'dissing' anyone is a bit rich!

    Its certainly a good topic thats open to debate but you have made it a bit personal by selecting sections from glasgow based promotors - these guys are more likely to read your blog.

    I assume you would now agree with this as i have noticed that you have changed some of the wording from the above.

  17. brilliant! agree totally!

  18. I think topics on blogs like this a waste of time. It's like moaning to your mate down the pub only it's online for everyone to see.

    I might start a blog having a pop at blogs that take a pop at others trying so hard ?

  19. I think the quotes that were chosen are indicative of what happens all over the UK, and it does make me cringe and think these guys need to have a bit of integrity...

    To cover your night in glory, might persuade a few people to come, but Id prefer to be able to make up my own mind rather than be implored.. its like begging, and at times it can be pathetic

  20. Everyone on the internet is a douchebag. Including all of you, including me. Everyone's got somevsort of a problem with everything. In actuality, I agree with this post, but it still puts a bad taste in my mouth and makes me wish you had spent your time putting it together more wisely/constructively. Perhaps completely away from your computer.

  21. I agree with most of this to be honest.

    If its a small night with a few mates playing tunes then there's no point in writing biographies, no-one knows who you are and no-one cares. A short blurb about what you play and a link to something is more than enough. People go to nights like that cos they're looking for a smaller, cheaper more intimate night out, not because they were persuaded by the paragraph that says you were classically trained on the piano when you were 12.

    With regards to the bigger nights and in particular the Sensu / Villalobos one. There isnt much need for it really. Its enough to say Villalobos is booked. It'll sell out. Easy. Fuck all extra sales achieved because of the bio. Should say though the Sensu one isnt too bad, certainly not the worst I've ever seen - focuses mostly on his music at least & avoids most of the 'grew up in a very musical household' bollox. It does commit the sin of opening with 'no introduction is needed' before giving us three paragraphs of introduction though!

    Think some people have maybe got the wrong end of the stick here though. Iain's not having a go at anyone, there's no dissing going on just making some comments that maybe people could rethink the way they promote. Or not - up to you. Obviously other people agree with him though so might be worth considering that you dont need to give yourself the hassle of writing some cunts life story.

    Would be interesting to see who was posting though and what nights they're attached to. Shame that people have kept it anonymous.

  22. The drivel is hard to stomach to be fair. I defy anyone to say they have been to see a DJ for the first time on the strength of a description written on a ten-a-penny flyer.

    At the end of the day, these wee "bio's" are written by the same people who paid money to book the DJ, so it's hardly impartial. Thus, the whole things a waste of time.

    If I'm handed a flyer and I end up going to a night, it's because of looking into the DJ online or whatever and not on good faith that the guy that wrote the Bio is actually right.

    Hen Hen