My statistic might not be scientific but at a wild guess it is safe to say you, dear reader, have at least one friend in a band that is not going to be heading Glastonbury any time soon and not just due to the festival's former policy of giving the fields a break every five years. Namely this band are rubbish, but what is to be done when your friend demands an on the spot review?
In the mid 2000s my friends and I were shambling indie types - as was the law (so forgive me). We were all too drunk on Becks and hoping that sound was not the seat of our skinny jeans bursting as we danced in a shambling indie way to our friends' shambling indie tambourine jam. 'It's supposed to sound this way! We are so DIY!' We told ourselves and each other. But the motto: 'Good Enough' only gets you so far in this world and eventually chords must be learned or 'guitar for sale' signs put up on Facebook.
Of course a lot of this is a matter of opinion. I was once given a cheque for £50 by my boss to pay friends I'd hired for a shop launch to stop playing. I still maintain they were good. Some people just aren't ready for improvisational electronica.
Fortunately for me my friends either gave up or, after a couple of re-inventions, vastly improved. I have even been lucky enough to have some friends who are fantastic musicians. This means taking the option to wait it out instead of delivering a harsh truth can turn out to be worth it. Until the day comes that your friend's terrible band start discussing getting music PR... This is when the truth must out before an expensive deal is struck and empty promises made.
It has been a while since we published a How To guide on Squeamish Bikini. It is one of our missions to provide assistance with some of life's awkward situations. If your friend's band truly are terrible but you can't bring yourself to lie outright I suggest these non committal comments should they demand feedback:
That was epic = I didn't think that was going to end.
Why don't you write a song about me? = So anyway, back to me.
I got chills down my spine when you played = That was chilling.
You looked great on stage = If you spent as much time rehearsing as you do coiffing your hair you might sound great too.
Did I detect a bit of Dylan influence there? = I was listening to Bob Dylan on my iPod in the toilets.