One of the main reasons I read Socialist Review is because of Martin Smith's columns on culture and music.
If it was not for his column on The Wire I would not have discovered the greatest TV series, period. I loved his polemics about Love Music Hate Racism, and his piece on Katrina was truly moving.
But I know I am not alone when I ask why the hell did he write his last column about dance and Sadler's Wells (Culture, Socialist Review, July/August 2008)? This is art for rich people and says absolutely nothing about the world I live in. It can cost over £100 to see a show at that theatre. Most working class people can't afford to see shows at places like this.
If I want to read about what the rich and pseudo-rich are reading and watching, I will go and buy the Financial Times.
As Martin has shown brilliantly in his book on John Coltrane, despite massive commercial pressure working class artists have created wonderful music and art. Our music comes from the heart; this is why it is so important. It is art created from racism, oppression and exploitation.
Martin and Socialist Review, please stick to what you do best. Forget ballet, opera and all those bullshit subsidised art galleries. Shine your light on our own art.