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hello, i am purple bassest of lo-odio i am writing about a certain Paul Mills. im sure youve read his review about our recent gig with the glitterati. before i get any further i'd like to say that this is not an atempt to say our gig was good, but it is an atempt to highlight just how much of a FUCKING COCK Paul mills is. firstly he reviewed a gig that i played with the grapeseed bandits and slagged of most what we looked like and how aree singer was not 'fit'. excuse me mister mills but have you looked at yourself in the mirror recently? any way, i'll get to the point, what he wrote is outrageous. he is blatently bitter because he cant make music, or because hes not writing for NME. he said i cant play sax, and without wishing to be bigheaded, i'm grade 7 on the sax, and i 'can' play my sax. ben is a very good harmonica player, all his notes were bang on that night, i'd like to see PM's fat lips try an play a harmonica. give us a fucking chance, were lower sixth studdying for our A levals and yes we are amature. any way i dont really think this review should be on the internet because i don't have a problem with him having his opinions, but if someone else reads that review then there just gonna make a completely wrong judgement. Next time we play we are all wearing 'fuck Paul Mills' t-shirts. the only remedy for this problem which i can see is for us to get bloody big. well we are writing a song about him now so that should give the fat man some more bitching material.
thats all for now
purple xxx
p.s. this email has nothing against you, we think you lot at the forum are a jolly good bunch of people. but do us a favour and kick PM in the balls for me next time you see him.

You can read the review here.

We have a reply from the man himself....

Itís not often I respond to this sort of thing as insults are generally water off a duckís back to me. Being a fat ugly bastard, Iím kinda used to it so they bounce off me pretty well. Must be all the blubber.

Kid, youíre gonna have to do better than that, or at least try and justify yourself properly because like it or not, your performance was a frightful load of garbage and I stand by what I wrote. I donít believe I was alone in feeling this.

You seem to have taken this very personally young man, and I can assure you itís not meant that way. I honestly thought you were one of the worst bands Iíd seen in a long, long time and IĎll quite happily chat to you about it face to face if you wish. Perhaps then you might wish to kick me in the knackers yourself.

I wasnít aware that you were in the GBís as well. It must feel like a double-blow to be slagged off twice by someone you havenít even met, and I can only sympathise with how hurt you must be feeling. What I said about the singerís looks back then was meant as an off-the-cuff comment insinuating that if she was eye candy it would focus the attentions of the audience on her rather than making them listen to whatís on offer. You may not realise it, but thatís called a veiled compliment. Admittedly, in retrospect, this was perhaps a little tactless, but whatís done is done. You live and learn, but I stick by what I wrote then too.

So youíre grade seven on the sax and Ben can get all his harmonica notes right. Read what you wrote out loud and hear how ridiculous it sounds. Getting notes right doesnít mean youíre any good lad! Being a musical performer is more than just hitting the right notes. Itís about passion, soul, spirit and the ability to be able to write with strength. You appear to have neither and I hesitate to sound patronising but itís probably because youíre only young. Your music, as I heard and saw it, was shallow and meaningless nonsense that I did not like and I thought Iíd made it clear as to exactly why.

Purple, you are going to have to learn to put up with cunts like me if you want to get on in this wacky world of music. Youíre going to get people that donít like you, just as the people whoís job it is to review will have their opinions analysed and rebuked by people like you. But if we all felt the same way about the same things itís be a dull world indeed.

It concerns me to note that you feel I am bitter because I canít make music or donít write for the NME. I did all that kinda thing in my younger days, including writing for the more established press, and I donít bother with that kinda thing anymore because frankly I havenít the time as I have responsibilities and a life. HT and Blam suit me fine, ta very much.

So youíre concerned that people will get the wrong impression by the review? Well, thereís space on the site, so perhaps one of your mates who thought you were good would be kind enough to write their opinion of the evening in question and email it to Phil for publication. Itís good to have opposing views of the same evening, so youíve still got a chance for people to be convinced otherwise. Thing is dear boy, I wonít be the last person who feels this way about you, so get used to it. Youíre going to get more than your fair share of criticism and youíre just gonna have to deal with it. Yeah, get big and make me eat humble pie if that makes you feel better and I truly hope you do because being proved wrong is one of the risks that a critic accepts as part and parcel of what he does. A critic is not necessarily an expert authority, just as an expert authority is not necessarily a critic.

Criticism, as Oscar Wilde once said, is the most useless occupation on earth. A critic is a frustrated artist who produces nothing of merit himself but somehow thinks he has the right to pass judgement on the work of others. However, in his own way, the critic is holding up his own criticism for critical analysis as criticism by it's very nature produces controversy and conflict. In a nutshell, there's always going to be someone who disagrees and feels strongly enough about it to open the subject to further debate and that's going to happen regardless of the accuracy of the critic's comments because it's only one person articulating his opinion after all.

There are two types of critic. The first is the true critic, who feels passionately enough about a subject to want to express his opinion publicly because it's what he believes and he feels that he has enough knowledge about the matter in question to consider his opinion to be of merit and of interest to others.
The other type is the verbal masturbator who cares little for the subject matter but gets off on seeing his name in the public arena because it makes him feel important. Anyone who chooses to express their opinion publicly in this fashion likes to feel that they are the former but with everything they produce, they risk accusations of being the latter.

In many ways, the critic is often more open to criticism and spite than the artists they criticise. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of music criticism because music is the most personal, emotive and misunderstood medium of personal expression that there is. A musician's music is his baby. He creates it from his own soul and unlike other forms of 'art', you actually need a modest amount of ability to be able to string notes together in a coherent format. You can throw together objects, or hurl paint randomly onto a canvas and pretend that it's art, but music has no such pretensions because it's got to have some form of true substance to be recognised as music. Therefore, even a simple two-chord melody has had the benefit of someone working on it for hours trying to make it as right as it can be. As I said, a musician's music is their baby, their creation, the result of their labours. Nobody likes to be told that they have an ugly baby and therefore no musician is keen on having their work criticised negatively.

Fans of the music similarly feel outraged that someone has the audacity to slag off something they themselves might enjoy. Itís like being told that youíre wrong for liking something and thatís not the intention with any criticism.

You see then, that the music critic puts himself in an awkward and vulnerable position. If he gives a Ďgoodí review, then the artist gets his ego massaged and of course is agreeable to all the points raised. Itís a wonderful feeling to be told that youíre good at what you do, and no artist who has laboured over their efforts will disagree and say ďWell, actually it was crapĒ. Instead they often convey their thanks and the occasional free pint and pat on the back comes the criticís way. A Ďbadí review however, or even a few negative points, will always invoke a opposing reaction from the artist because itís often taken as a personal insult. The artist and the followers of that artist will then vigorously disagree, often validly, and the critic is then open to personal insults himself. A positive review is accepted gratefully but often disappears into historical anonymity, but a negative one is rarely forgotten or forgiven.

Advice often given to artists or musicians is Ďdevelop a thick skiní because theyíre going to get people who donít like their product. Itís a harsh lesson for a critic to learn, but he has to develop a thick skin too, because although he may honestly feel the way he does about his subject matter, he can quickly develop a reputation as a contemptible human being.

Although Iím waffling a bit here, there is a point to all this, and thatís that the criticís role is often misunderstood. To be a critic is to expect others to disagree with you and not take it personally if the response to his criticism is overwhelmingly opposing to his published opinion. The critic must have enough belief in the validity of his arguments to feel that if just one person reads it and forms a new opinion on the basis of it, he has performed his role well. Thatís the difference between the true critic and the verbal masturbator; the desire to communicate an emotive opinion verses the desire to wallow in the narcissistic glory of conceited self importance and there s a very thin line between the two .

You have to realise that itís just one personís opinion, and opinions, as Oscar Wilde probably didnít say, are like arseholes; everybodyís got one and itís rather unpleasant to have one rubbed in your face.
However, I wonít apologise for having one, even if it upsets others because I believe in the words I expressed. I stick by what I said in the review regarding the performance you gave because I did not find your musical ability or songwriting to be even vaguely appealing, in fact I found it offensive to my ears, and gave what I believe to be my honest personal opinion of the evening in question. I speak as someone who has witnessed literally thousands of gigs in his 30-something years on this planet, has an extremely broad taste in music an intensely passionate love of music, an irritatingly trainspotter-ish encyclopaedic knowledge of music and has been writing about music in mediums ranging from the likes of Kerrang to fanzines for longer than many of the Forumís punters have been alive. I happen to feel that I know what Iím talking about, but Iím always glad when people try to put me right because you canít continue to criticise without having to eat humble pie now and then and if Iím wrong, Iíll admit it as readily as I did with my original perspective. Nobody knows everything and itís human nature that we are constantly learning, constantly evolving and constantly having to re-evaluate previous held beliefs. If someone wishes to educate me on something that in their opinion I donít understand, Iím delighted because it enables me not only to increase my own knowledge, but grants me an opportunity to develop as both a writer and as a man. However Purple, I donít think that a response like yours has got what it takes.

Iím quite eager to hear the song by the way and perhaps we could publish the lyrics on HT so that people can sing it at gigs when I walk through the door. Stick an MP3 of it on your site or something when itís done, but judging by what I heard when I saw you play, I could be in for a long wait before 2 or 3 minutes of actual music emerges, so I wonít hold my breath.

Good luck and peaceful vibes to you all.


Hi, it's Hayes again.
Can I first of all apologise for for the last email, I was a little hacked off straight after reading the review (and also knackered as it was quite late). So i didn't quite get down what i wanted to say, and i think you got the wrong end of the stick. I don't have a problem with critics holding their own views at all - i don't even have a problem with you saying we were crap. All i was questioning was can you really justify degrading people to such a great extent. You said in your reply: "You seem to have taken this very personally young man, and I can assure you it's not meant that way." Now please correct me if i'm wrong, but i think saying we "are a waste of perfectly good oxygen", is fairly personal.
That is basically all i was trying to say (sans the multiple personal retorts)

Hello again Purple

Thanks for being more reasoned this time. It takes serious balls to apologise publicly but you really have nothing to apologise about. We all occasionally say things in the heat of the moment that we later wish we hadnít but to say it publicly is a risky business as we canít pretend it didnít happen.
I note from the Lo-Odio site that you have parted company with the band and Iím very sad to hear that. If our public argument has anything to do with it, I hope that they will be brave and mature enough to reconsider this decision as Iím sure you were acting in the best interests of the band and their public image. Your first review being so overwhelmingly negative canít have been a pleasant surprise for you so they should try and understand your reasons. If however, their comments shield a dissatisfaction thatís unrelated, and this whole thing has simply been Ďthe final strawí, then thatís between you and them as itís one of those things thatís simply not meant to be. The Grapeseeds are a far better band in comparison anyway so perhaps youíre better off there.
I wonít stretch this out much further because I think itís better said in more detail outside of the public arena (weíll chat about it at the bar sometime and the dizzyade is on me), but yes, I suppose you have a point in that the Ďoxygení comment could be taken personally. I can honestly say though that it wasnít meant to be taken that way, as I thought it was pretty clear that it referred to the band collectivelyÖ
Joking aside, the comment suggested that as a unit, you were a waste of space, effort and time, which equates to a waste of perfectly good oxygen; mine, yours (as a band) and that of the audience. I wasnít suggesting that you would be better off dead or anything, just that there is no excuse for such a frightful pile of rot to be sharing the stage with such magnificent examples of how things should be done as The Glitterati and Scenes. Itís what I believed then and still do. If you want me to apologise for upsetting you and Lo-Odio personally, then for what itís worth Iím sorry for causing you public humiliation, but if you want a retraction of my views on that gig youíre not going to get one and if that makes me an arrogant bullying fat twat then so be it. Get over it.
Yes, I can be a touch scathing at times, though the intention is not to degrade people, but to express as passionately as I can the feelings that are evoked by what I witness. The emotive response I had when confronted by Lo-Odio was anger at such a dreadful band being inflicted on paying punters. If I was bitter and twisted enough to want to just insult people all the time, I wouldnít write positive reviews and thereís enough of those on the site to convince you and others that I just say what I feel, whatever that may be.
Letís consider the matter closed and move on now shall we? This sort of thing really should be on the Message Board where it belongs, or better still, over the more traditional arena of adjacent barstools with a pint or two.

Good luck for the future and I mean that most sincerely.


Even 2M has something to say on this one as well...

Whilst I agree with a lot of what Paul says in his response, is it just me or could he actually have said this in about twelve words? "It's my opinion and if you don't like it tough" would appear to about cover it. I particularly liked the opening gambit of "............it's water off a duck's back to me....." - followed by seven billion heartfelt words as to why he is a bit upset to be criticised back.

In the middle of this tirade my eyes started to glaze over. Luckily, the old lids were still propped up enough to read the bit about the true critic and the verbal masturbator. I am sure that Paul feels he resides comfortably in the first category. I rather hope he does, because if he needs this many words to respond to a fairly plaintive whinge from a local band his right wrist is going to need to be the girth of a giant redwood if anybody ever gives him a proper telling off.

For my tuppence worth, I generally didn't read critical "appraisal" of the music I used to be involved with as, frankly, my opinion is slightly better and more informed as to what I am doing and creating than the verbal hogwash of some half arsed, vaguely comatose, cloth eared, partially plastered Joey Deacon with a biro who stands around at the back trying to be associated with creative art by having an opinion about it - and you know that most of them struggle to get girls and smell funny. It seems to me that Paul Mills has a Steven Wells fixation. As SW is a blinkered philistine pig ignorant eejit who recently praised TaTu in preference to Radiohead, I think perhaps Purple and chums should learn to trust their own judgement. I also think that Paul needs some time management and summarisation lessons.

I have no opinion about Lo-odio until somebody plays me their tape which they will probably do early next year. It may be, as Paul asserts, the worst thing ever recorded by humankind. I suspect that it probably has some saving graces no matter how flawed the tibetan nose flute playing was. I think, to give Paul a true critical appraisal of his writing rather than some meaningless sniping just because I can, that generally Paul's stuff is mildly entertaining but that he sometimes fails to see the light at the end of the tunnel - by which I mean that for comedic effect he tends to turn his hateful glare upon a band's inadequacies and fails to mention their strengths. Lighten up mate, life's not all black clothing, large rimmed NHS glasses and grimaces. Try writing using a yellow crayon.

See, I really do read absolutely every single thing you put up....................

Marky Mark

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