Monday, May 14, 2007

Are You A Mardy Bum? (Part 1)

Do you find that you have times when you are being irritable with everyone around you? You know you're doing it, but find it almost impossible to stop yourself? A lot of people in the music industry (and me too!) tell me that have days when no matter how much they try to stop themselves, they are almost biting the heads off everyone around them! You too huh?

If you are not familiar with the term, 'mardy bum' - it has now been immortalised by the fantastic Arctic Monkeys' song "Mardy Bum" from their first album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not".

But what is a mardy bum? Do you display 'mardy bumness' within your music career? And how can you stop being one?

Mardy is a word that describes someone who is: sulky, in a bad mood, being stroppy, grumpy, tetchy, irritable etc. They usually look as bad as they feel and people will often say, "What's up with him? - he's got a right face on!" meaning that he looks really mardy.

Most of my clients tell me that they either display 'mardy bumness' themselves or they certainly come across others who do! How does this manifest? Artist Managers will tell me that the artists they represent are 'difficult' and become 'mardy' leading up to a live gig or before an interview, for example. Artists themselves have said they become mardy before going into a studio to record or when they just feel the pressure of a huge music schedule. Unfortunately the impact of you being mardy is that everyone around you finds it hard to talk to you and feel like they are walking on eggshells around you.

Of course mardy bumness isn't confined to just artists, but extends to everyone involved in the music industry - managers, producers, A & R personnel, studio managers, publishers, promoters, booking agents - you name them, they get mardy!

However, most people don't get mardy just for the sake of it - there is usually an underlying reason for it. So what is this mardy bumness all about? It's about your stress, your pressure, your loss of confidence, you lack of self-belief, your feelings of insecurity. The problem is, is that most people don't realise what is happening to them and certainly don't know how to communicate their feelings of stress etc and so it inevitably comes out through being mardy.

In part 2 of this article, you can see a worked example of how to work through your own mardy bumness!

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