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albot40005 karma

I work with vulnerable young people with mental health and behavioural issues. Among other things, I am a musician and so this is sometimes part of my work (music lessons, songwriting/emotional literacy work etc) A young girl I once worked with told me when I first met her that she had got through to the last audition before the televised judges bit on BGT. She could reel off producers she had met, had official paperwork and had even been supported to attend one of her auditions by fellow youth workers so I had no reason to doubt her claims of how far she had got. Anyway, by way of introduction she offered to sing for me, knowing me as "the music guy" she was keen for my feedback. It was apparent that she could not sing at all, and was in fact terrible within seconds of her opening her mouth. I don't mean this to sound cruel but even to untrained ears she would rank among the worst you would be likely to hear on the show. There is also no nice way to say this, but she also spoke with a strong accent with limited vocabulary (due to literacy issues and her social situation/upbringing, one of the reasons she was with our service and had outstanding issues), was severely overweight and clearly "wasn't right" to even the most casual observer (due to her substantial personal issues). It seemed clear to me that the only reason they had allowed her to progress was as a "comedically bad" auditionee. When she got knocked back and told not to bother coming back for the live segment she was crushed. She had never expected to get past first audition but like many had dreamed of a better life and thought "what the hell? Can't hurt to try!". Their stringing her along and building up her hopes (when all they were clearly planning to do to her was humiliate her on television) led to a period of genuine depression when she didn't get through and though she is progressing years later, the amount to which it held her back doesn't bear thinking about for me. Tl:dr - Fuck these shows and the sub-human parasites that make them. If OP has a chance to nail them to the wall you should go for it if you feel you can and are happy to.

albot40003 karma

I work in a care home for adults with Autism/Aspergers and they have benefitted greatly from animal visits ("Therapets"), but this is the first I have heard of service dogs for Autism. Would be very curious to know what the specific "outcomes" are for the individual who will eventually get the dog. Is it to develop sociability/empathy or for more practical issues like crossing the street/hazard awareness? I dare say I could learn a bit with a swift Googling but am keen to learn first hand if you could expand a bit on what the dog will eventually do for it's lucky owner. :) (And if you don't get round to my question, also just want to say keep up the good work and good on you for raising awareness!)

albot40002 karma

Hi Jonas and Johan!

I have to get the massive fanboy bit out of the way first (sorry! I promise it leads to my questions!).

Since first hearing the opening minute or so of "Am I Wry? No", (way back in 2003 when they used to still have CD listening stations in HMV stores!), I have been utterly hooked and a massive fan of everything you guys have produced. A shared love of your music was also one of the first things which drew me to my partner (9 years together this July!), so your music is hugely special for us to say the least. What I love most about your music is how you are able to combine so many diverse and distinct-sounding influences and create music which is both fragile and muscular, intricate, complex and challenging yet instantly accessible, and has such depth and range.

You guys basically combine everything I love about different styles of music in one sound, and I find it hugely inspiring as someone who tries to write their own songs but was constantly torn between different directions. I also have a high singing voice for a guy and felt I would never be able to sing convincingly or effectively along with heavier or louder music. Basically, you guys proved to me it is not only possible to fit it all together, but that it can sound absolutely bloody fantastic too, and so original! This was the lightbulb of inspiration which kept me making music all these years and getting hours of joy out of doing so, and so for that and so many other things, I cannot thank you enough!

My questions would therefore be:

1) Which of your influences showed you something was musically "possible" or gave you a similar "lightbulb" moment in the way you guys did to me and what as it?

2) What else drives or inspires you guys to keep making music?

Thank you so much for doing this AMA and for all the wonderful music and memories!

albot40001 karma

Thanks so much for the reply! Also, thanks so much for sticking your neck out and calling them (the programme makers) on their underhanded actions. It is so hugely important that the public know the full extent of what the programme makers get up to and the results it has on the people they put through the wringer for "entertainment". These shows don't exist without willing applicants so if sharing your experience has already slowed their progress in that regard, most likely saving a few people from the sickening state of affairs the girl I worked with went through, then you should be hugely proud of what you have accomplished. Can't thank you enough! Good on you and best of luck!