A music blog from Ireland.
Over the course of December 2010, nine events will take place across Northern Ireland, providing ample evidence of why we have the most vibrant and exciting music scene in the UK, and we want you to be part of it. As Northern Irish music reaches new heights and goes in new and exciting directions, we want You to join the likes of Fighting With Wire, Kasper Rosa, A Plastic Rose, Colenso Parade, Axis Of in reminding us of why we do this, as well as providing the fuel to fire up the next wave of music to come from this country. The potential for experience in the Northern Irish music scene is astonishing, and this is your chance to be part of something special. If you’ve ever wanted to form a band, this is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to share your thoughts and opinions on music, this is the chance. If you’ve ever wanted to put on gigs or record bands, the time to start is now. Get involved – You Are the Scene.
Eight towns, nine gigs, twenty-nine bands. Organised by A Plastic Rose and their DiDi Mau label boss/BBC Radio DJ Rory McConnell, there are no shared interests or connections amongst these musicians other than deep bonds of friendship and loyalty.
Not gonna get drawn into the ‘UK vs. Ireland’ debate that the press release drags up, nor the quality of North against South. I just think this raises some important points. I first heard about this new venture You Are on AU yesterday and it’s great news for Northern Ireland where they have a music scene that actually supports itself instead of just celebrating. For quite a long time now I’ve envied the way they do things there and wish there was something similar here, seeing two hundred people brave a blizzard to get to a gig on a lonely coast road outside Portrush a few days after Christmas really opened my eyes to how tight and supportive music lovers were up North. I know that here in Dublin we have collective labels like Popical Island and Richter who put on big gigs that give all the bands on their rosters a bite of the cherry and that’s cool but not exactly altruistic as they need to promote their bands. There are also examples of groups of people with a shared musical identity like those in Cork and the Hardcore vibe in Galway, along with the now-defunct Box Social and of course there are promoters everywhere who book various different styles and genres for great gigs with a diverse line-up. You could say that’s exactly how the basic foundations of an indie music scene should be laid down but when it comes to showing a united front, that always has to be the work of some official body or showcase, it happens rarely and with a huge amount of fuss instead of regularly, naturally and in good faith that will people will come along just to hear good music. I mean sure, we have HWCH and Breaking Tunes but those were put together by people who bring home a salary for doing so. Donal Dineen did a great job of organising the Fresh Air Fest this time last year but it would be nothing short of amazing for a bunch of Irish bands to say, ‘wow, all this music is fucking great…let’s play together!’
It just seems that the guys up North are always one step ahead. It’s not the fact that Belfast is the main hub for music in Northern Ireland because we have similar strongholds in cities all across the land. It’s not that they’re all friends and know each other well because the exact same applies here. It’s just the way they think, there are countless examples of bands bonding together despite their different interests and sounds to collaborate and work together regardless of label or success. It’s goodwill amongst bands and it doesn’t have to be the result of a mishap or catastrophe. From the Start Together recording studios and Oh Yeah! Centre, ASIWYFA‘s weekend festival A Little Solidarity, the NI Chart of free music, the fundraisers such as the huge Belfast4Haiti or the personal effort of Fuck The Scene, Show Me The Green…Nordie bands just don’t shy away from getting involved. Considering that’s supposed to be divided territory, I think there’s a lot we could learn. If anyone involved is reading this, I hope it all goes brilliantly. Please bring the tour down south, share the deadliness and show us how it’s done.
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