Ireland is in a ‘state of chasis’, as Sean O’Casey would say, ‘a state of chasis’. It’s pretty crap at the moment. The current economic climate (in future to be referred to as CEC) has left a lot of people jobless and everybody broke.
One thing I remember saying at the beginning of last year was that if our little nation did go into recession, there was a good chance the grass roots music industry would benefit and we would end up with some shit hot music. Look what happened in the early eighties in the UK! Bands who stand out include The Smiths, Duran Duran.. even Wham! were on the dole! (Yes Wham! were a good thing).
While currently people have lost their jobs, music and their writing now takes on a new importance and meaning.
The only band that I can really think of who have written about life on the dole, girlfriends getting pregnant, life in other words, in the 21st century is Hard Fi. It obviously existed only for them and no one else before the CEC.
The magic of music and the realisation of why people picked up a guitar in the first place, is hitting home with heavy weight force. The bite is back.
Why did it go away? I blame accountants for ruining the live music scene in Ireland.
During the so called ‘Celtic Tiger’, certain elements or professions in society, made a hell of a lot of cash. For some reason, the people I have come across who fit into this box are accountants!
Artists who have been striving and living a life of full-time promoting their music, don’t necessarily make a lot of money. I know this seems like a broad generalisation but the image of the struggling, starving artist didn’t appear last week! They don’t have full-time jobs because they spend their time, writing, recording, playing crappy gigs, perfecting their art.
What has that got to do with accountants ruining everything? Simple. Being in a band has always been a cool thing to do. Unlike their starving counterparts, accountants and co, it’s not their passion, it’s not what defines them as a person.
Here’s where they ruined it all. Accountants & Co. know how to play their instruments. They are however a hobby band. There’s nothing wrong with being in a hobby band but there comes a time when one must ask themselves ‘how much is enough’, ‘how far is far enough?’
The cost of venue hire sky rocketed, so we were left with a lot of music, some very cover version like, made by accountants. They were the only ones who could afford these extortionate prices. They didn’t care how much the venue cost, they just wanted to break even. If they lost a few quid, it wasn’t the end of the world.
A lot of venues didn’t and still don’t upkeep their equipment very well. When the accountant’s bands came to play in the venue, it didn’t really matter, the could afford to have their own flashy new PA system anyway. The poor broke die-hard is still singing at the top of his voice, trying to be heard.
It doesn’t matter how expensive your gear is, what matters is the passion you bring. Your audience will see that. Remember just because you have the best bass doesn’t mean you have the best bassline.