To Do Or Not To Do It Yourself – April 27th 2011

DIY, the buzz word in music right….NOW! Closed Recordshops, labels playing it safe and promoters persistently acting like leather jacketed Gordon Gekkos – hardly a fucking surprise musicians need a new angle, an outlet for their wares so they don’t feel shafted like a cheap Westminster rent boy.

But DIY isn’t new, it isn’t something the Artrocker and Vice crowd just plucked out of the ether of their coke (cock?) addled minds. DIY is an ethic, for some a way of life and others a chance to do things on their own terms but it should never be an access all areas pass for the backstage of cool.

The juke joints of the Mississippi, the garages of teenagers, inner cities warehouses, Dischord mutherfucking House – all home to like-minded musicians for decades. No clamour for fame and fortune just a desire to play, to create, to just be. That spirit needs nurturing. That’s where we all come in.

Rip This Joint started as a way for a group of bands to put on their own gigs. Frustrated with the shit venues and unscrupulous promoters of our fair capital and unaware of much of the underground scene we got together to put on bands and play some records always with the stance that we were non-profit but that we’d always try and pay the bands somehow.

We’ve come a long way in four years. Made countless new friends (and a few enemies), witnessed some astonishing bands, hosted some never forgotten events (last summer’s all dayer springs immediately to mind – although the last two hours are hazy!) and learnt more and more about what it means to be involved in DIY. Most importantly we’ve also witnessed the rise of other likeminded groups eager to join the fight, people and bands that we respected before and now truly count as brothers and sisters in arms.

To me that’s what it’s all about. This fledgling scene of ours is a family, dysfunctional at times yes, but a family nonetheless. A support network, a feeling of trust and a warm embrace that is quick to welcome anyone in. This isn’t a clique or an old boys club. It’s important that it’s ever growing, developing, maturing. That’s why when we book new bands we encourage them to get involved, chat to us, get drunk with us, become part of our merry band of minstrels. Stamping out the attitude that you play a gig, get paid and go home is paramount to the survival and success of all of our nights. Leave that narrow-minded philosophy of selfishness to the Hoxton-set. Bands that don’t watch and support their fellow travellers need to be versed in the etiquette so that they feel part of our world, go out and build their own night, spread the word and start their own little family.

But above all that, the real heart and soul of our community are the folks that venture down, watch the bands, pick up merch and document the events through their images and words. Without you, yeah you – none of this would work. Go out and preach our message, the future is already here and we’re just getting started.

steveshoutsiniotaw

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