A mutant attempt at answering a few questions I'm regularly asked...
What's in the name "Brickbat Enterprises"?
The name came about because my original surname was regularly mis-spelled and pronounced, so it was a play on that. Also, how often do you see the word "brickbat"? Gotta stand out somehow! It's a bit silly, but life's too short to be all stern and serious.
Have you really been in business since 1989?
Yep - sort of. It was my final year at school and I did this recording project, a cassette "album" of some songs. You know what yer like as a schoolkid, a bit pretentious, so when it came to putting a copyright notice on it, I thought up "Brickbat Enterprises" and it stuck. I used it on all my creative projects ever since and then in 2015, decided to put it to better use. It's never made any money or anything like that, but it is a good catch-all umbrella name for what I get up to or find.
And what do you get up to?
Ask a silly question. I'm creative in a wide variety of things. My biggest love is music but I don't get to do much of that though still indulge. I'm not a great singer nor can I play any instruments as such, but I am a bloody good and unique performer! I write a lot, done a few blogs over the years, currently writing a play. I write poetry and enjoy messing around with that, introducing elements of audience participation... I do all that under the name The Brian Prebble Experience. I do photography, generally street photography stuff, so... a bit of this and a bit of that. Always working on something or other, usually several things at once so never at a loss for things to do. It's better than sitting in front of a telly.
Why the name "The Brian Prebble Experience"?
This is what I get asked more than anything and whilst irritating, the name does intrigue and amuse people... so...why not? I dunno... the name Brian Prebble makes me laugh for some reason. I adopted it in 1994 as a joke thing and it became the name of my recording and performing projects. It's memorable. I did discover there was an actual Brian Prebble who was this geeky guitarist in a late 60's band called The Attack. They did a great track, "Lady Orange Peel" some piece of psychedelic rock shoved away on a B side. Prebble is an amusing surname in my books whilst Brian, I couldn't help but notice that some stars with that name had rather unusual or tragic lives - Brian Jones, Brian Epstein, Brian Wilson, Brian Cant, Brian Connolly, Brian Pendleton, Brian Eno... there's something about that name! I could toss in Brian May as well... can't stand his music but a great bloke, very inspirational and diverse with his constant animal rights work and Astronomy.
What changed in 2015?
I had been ill for many years and my creativity had more or less vanished. I sensed a light at the end of the tunnel and that I would soon be back in action. Online I was occasionally encountering new musical talent that I liked but sympathised they weren't getting as much promotion or help that they deserved. I do NOT buy that nonsense that "the internet has made it easier for musical acts to get discovered" - sure, you can post your stuff on YouTube, but how are people gonna FIND it? I spent many hours scouring YouTube trying to find something new that I'd like and 99.99% of it was utter rubbish. So for the next 3 years, I sought out the few talents I liked, plugged and promoted them on the site and via social media. I think I found some great acts, a few singer/songwriters Shana Rose, Jessica Law, Ronald L. Smith, Anna Ling and Jenni Noyes plus a couple of wonderful bands called Passion Bel Canon and Bouche. I decided to drop that direction at the end of 2018 when Passion Bel Canon announced they were splitting up. I was gutted, I thought they were great but most of the other acts had also gone silent, either given up or moved on so I felt there was no more point in trying to promote acts that no longer had stuff to sell. Bouche did this fascinating album called "So Long, Solemn" which I'd love everyone to hear but they're inactive and there's no way you can buy that album now... A shame, but life goes on.
Why did you move to Blackpool?
Lots of reasons, some explained elsewhere on this website. Essentially I had gone through a 20 year ordeal, come out the other end and having gotten my life back, I now had a bit of a mid-life crisis on my hands as I never quite felt I belonged anywhere. I kept visiting Blackpool and for whatever reason, it felt like "home" to me and as the saying goes "home is where the heart is" - it's an interesting place, I had the opportunity so went for it and have never looked back. Blackpool gets a lot of stick and I can sometimes understand why but I'm happy here. I feel a sense of belonging here that I haven't anywhere else where I've lived. I just wanted to live and enjoy life again, try and make up for the many years I lost due to illness. After many years of being lost in the woods, I'm genuinely happy here. What more could I ask for? Well there are one or two things, but in general, life is much more balanced.
What was your illness?
I make no secret of the fact I suffered from severe depression. That began in 1996 and ended in 2016. I still have my "off" days every once in a while, but they quickly pass and after all it's unnatural to feel happy 365 days a year. It's really disturbing seeing how so many now suffer from it or other mental health issues. It's an issue very dear to me so I am a Time To Change Champion, helping to do my bit reminding people that it's good to talk and that it's OK not to be OK. Just to make matters a little more complex, I was born partially deaf in both ears - I have a complete hearing loss to high frequencies... have a speech impairment thanks to that and rely on lip reading. I get by fine... it's not a problem to me, it's other people that make it a problem if they're lacking in understanding and tolerance.
So, what are you up to right now as Brickbat Enterprises?
Again, I go into a lot of that elsewhere on this site or on our blog. I do my best to keep busy doing this and that, keeping creative and all the while supporting other local creative talents and hoping to seek out and help some newer talents. I'd like to do something about the music scene here. If you want tribute acts, "punk" and karaoke, Blackpool is perfect, but none of that has any interest to me... I want to be hearing and seeing original talents with original voices. It's a bit of a conundrum to say the least but I'm hoping to try and tackle that in the long term. I'm also good friends with a poet who for many years has been quietly working on art... it's very interesting material but nobody's had any chance to see or engage with it - I'm hoping that will change over the next few months. As Brian Prebble, I'm working on a script for a one man show containing music, poetry, audience participation... an odd piece of entertainment and I hope to present that later in 2019. I still indulge in my photography, presenting oddments on Instagram but that's a very long term project as I think that work will be better understood and appreciated in many years to come as pieces of social history. I am a born archivist!
Watch this space.
You mentioned a dislike for "punk"...
Yeah. I don't mean to be rude but the place where I was born was full of punk bands and they were all bloody awful. No substance, no dynamics or originality... and damn all talent. "Punk" is basically used as an excuse to make a loud largely tuneless racket to make up for the fact they're incapable of anything else. It's pathetic. It's OLD. Even original punk music in 1976, 1977 and all that was 98% drivel so it pisses me off there are STILL younger people forming punk bands and making the same kind of rubbish their grandparents did.
What do you look for in other talents?
Creativity, some originality and personality... a passion for creativity. I genuinely think with the world being in this ever screwed up state that creativity is more important than ever. Creatives have a lot to say and offer so deserve to be listened to in whatever genre in which they operate. We need to be entertained and educated... not always possible but the point of creativity for me is to present something to the consumer and if they go away and think about what they've experienced, then it's achieved something positive and useful... even if it's something the consumer didn't like nor understand. We need to be asking questions about our society, the people within it, why things are the way they are and it falls to creative artistes to ask such questions and present their findings. We don't necessarily have or offer "answers" either but by people engaging with the work, they're then free to draw their own conclusions.
Ultimately, sure I speak for myself here but having spoken to many others, those of us who are creative live and breathe creativity. It's our life, our pulse, our very sense/reason for being. Creativity has been cruelly devalued over the 21st Century so far and it's just not on. Why should all creatives be expected to work for free, constantly give away their work "for exposure" and all that guff? So there's also those issues which are at the heart of what Brickbat Enterprises is hoping to try and change.
Lastly, you mentioned you're an archivist. Care to explain a little more?
Sure. Beginning in 1987, I have been actively archiving my life and adventures. I wrote diaries occasionally then moved on to writing a journal. I write a journal every day... tons of material in there! My archive consists of tons of physical and digital material. There's all my writings, emails, memorabilia like if I did a gig and there was a poster, ticket or flyer I'd grab and preserve them... there's over 700 hours of unique recordings, I have most of those original cassette tapes then some stuff was captured on minidisc, VHS video... jeez... tons of stuff. Most people I encountered over my life is in there somewhere whether it be a photo, piece of video or an audio recording... not to mention my journals. I indulge in videography, have tons of stuff shot on phone cameras, I keep most of my Nikon outtakes... all this stuff has been digitised and is backed up multiple times for safety. In the end and as a parting shot I'll say this.
Be NICE to me because if you are, you'll be in my archive... and if you're NOT nice to me, you'll be in my archive...
This website © 2015-2019 Brickbat Enterprises.
This website © 2015-2019 Brickbat Enterprises.