Cops and Robbers exists as a voluntary run and not-for-profit publication and website to help like-minded promoters and bands let people know about underground/DIY music events in the Leeds area. DIY is a much contested and fuzzy term but we use it to describe events that are:
Not for profit
This does not necessarily exclude gigs that might inadvertently bring in more cash than is required to break even. We believe profit-making shouldn’t be a motivating factor and we champion gigs that consciously exist outside of the professional sphere.
Not for kudos or careerism
Minor Threat (covering the Monkees!) once sang ‘I’m not your stepping stone’ and we think this phrase sums up the DIY approach well. We believe that doing music DIY is an attempt to create a genuine alternative to the commercial music industry and not simply a feeding pool, first stage or stepping-stone towards it.
‘Econo’ and efficient
Another phrase borrowed from the US underground punk scene: this time from the Minutemen. The DIY approach in our eyes is about making best use of resources and not being wasteful so that gigs can be as inclusive (i.e inexpensive) as possible. For example, gigs with guestlists, costly flyers/posters, wristbands, advanced tickets (and their additional fees) tend to make door prices more expensive.
Socially and/or politically aware
It probably goes without saying that we will not list gigs that promote racist, sexist, or in any way discriminatory or deliberately offensive views. We do encourage and support benefit gigs that help counter or raise awareness of resistance to oppression and ignorance in its many forms.
These definitions are not fixed and we welcome discussion around them. However, please do not be offended if we question or do not include submitted listings that appear to conflict with this definition.
Things that might prompt rejection or questioning might include:
High door prices
Whilst we appreciate that some bands have increasing costs to cover and venue hire can be expensive we may question listings that appear overpriced: a gig with a door price above £5 for a gig with just three local bands, for example.
Music press/industry language
Listings that are submitted that imitate, or worse, copy and paste the hyperbolic language of the music press tend to raise suspicion. To us, promoters that write their own descriptions of the bands demonstrate that they know and care about the music they are promoting.
Ethically questionable content
If you send in a listing for a night of EDL-endorsed Black Metal bands or a Rockabilly night with a wet T-shirt competition in between bands please don’t be surprised if we ask for additional info about the event to justify its inclusion in C and R.