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13 September 2015

Glasgow Milk Turns Sour

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**Update** – since publishing this, Milk Fridays have changed their Facebook page in order to remove all reviews and have deleted all negative posts and comments. There were in excess of 65 x 1* reviews.

In 2011, ex-Podcart companion Kirstin Lynn introduced me to MILK Glasgow duo Hannah Currie and Aileen Lynn. She boasted about their love of music and their live event that had kicked off at Flat 0/1.

It was an exciting time for the local music community and there seemed to be a genuine buzz about what they were doing. A number of people know I have been featuring their exciting endeavours on the site for over 4 years now, but I never thought it would be writing an entry like this.

For those that don’t know MILK, they built a brand and helped glue a significant part of the DIY live music scene together. Also a number of musicians that have gone on to enjoy significant success have also played with previous bands. Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry played with her band Blue Sky Archives, Prides played under their old guises of Drive By Argument and Midnight Lion, Stina Tweeddale sang with Boycotts and played with her current band Honeyblood and the staggeringly good PAWS have even played nights for MILK in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Furthermore, artists such as Hector Bizerk, Man Of Moon and United Fruit have all played nights and are significant in illustrating how rich Scottish music is and how it continues to grow.

Oran Mor booker and Instinctive Racoon head Jamie Webster started the night with the girls back in 2011. Aileen Lynn’s brother designed their branding and the girls came up with the ideas of MILK cartons, drinks promos that were in keeping with the night and more. It wasn’t just about that though, it was about the experience of the night and this is why it has been so successful. Having interviewed them several times, one of the things that strikes you is the passion they have to get things right. They want the artists to have a gig to remember, they want their punters to have the night of their lives and they want to create a platform for future artists to showcase themselves.

This year a new night called ‘Milk Glasgow’ appeared on social media channels. The advertising campaign for the night was slammed immediately. It was cheap, tacky and misogynistic. Images of girls scantily clad, milk being poured over faces and sexualised imagery in general was used to promote the launch. This offensive marketing just pandered to the lad market. Dapper Laughs would fit well in this company for a start. It went against everything that the original MILK Glasgow night stood for.

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Hannah and Aileen’s supporters, previous band members, DJs, their gig frequenters and I then started a backlash. Negative ratings were left on the new clubnight’s page and various tweets highlighted how vile the marketing was.

One of the first concerns is that the original night run by Currie and Lynn, did not want to be associated with the crass marketing of the new night. However, it was too late and people began contacting the pair asking about their involvement. They vehemently denied their association and had to publically advise of this.

After a quiet period from the new clubnight, they returned like an evil juggernaut with a new name ‘Milk Fridays’ and a new advertising campaign. The new marketing was a blatant rip off of the original MILK’s ideas and design which can also be seen below. The venue for this night is Kushion, which hilariously, is next door to Flat 0/1; the night additionally canvassed Flat 0/1 with their advertising material (which I witnessed in person) and was another slap for the original duo.

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I would have to argue that Hamish Rowe (club organiser) and his collective must have realised that this would be a difficult and controversial decision to bring a night to Glasgow that was based around the same name.

Friday 11th September was launch night and it has once more received backlash from MILK Glasgow organisers and their supporters. It is also extremely disappointing that it has highlighted putrid support. Responses like the one below continue to illustrate the repugnant lad culture that breathes. If you continue to feed this, that is your choice, but think about it carefully.

Glasgow is a beautiful city. It is rich with culture and is wonderfully liberal; every person has a choice to attend what he or she wants, they have the right to enjoy themselves and to support what they wish. However, when a night such as this blatantly plagiarises another and then presents it’s night as something which is detrimental to another then questions have to be raised. Hannah Currie and Aileen Lynn have worked tirelessly to create something that has not only aided Scottish music, but has been a labour of love. It is shameful that a group that advertise and promote in such a careless and odious way are threatening that.

There has always been this culture whereby people in a position of power or those have positioned themselves on a golden pedestal feel they have a right to piss over those they feel are less significant. The dozens of clubbers that attend Milk Fridays will not give a shit; they will still attend, get fucked up, dance the night away, accept the sexism of the night and wake up to their morning shame spiral. For those that support the underdogs though, it has to be remembered that without the dreams and risks they are taking to fight the good fight then we would live in a very depressing place. As I was reminded this week, think about who you crap on the way up your ladder as they will be there on the way down waiting. I know who I would rather support.

 

 

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