Two of my favourite acts in the country are just back from a successful, lengthy and inspired tour of France and Spain. I think that this is absolutely brilliant and audacious and fantastic. I haven’t spoken to the lads about it but when I heard about it, I was so thrilled and excited by it. They were a great collaboration, very different sounds and from opposite ends of the country. But they had a shared goal to travel and do it right. I’m sure that they played in places and used contacts that go back through the years of punk and hardcore and DIY touring bands in Europe. I was really just lit up by the whole story!
And then the other thing that I was thinking about was The Choice Music Prize. The 10grand for the Choice Music Prize is raised by IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation) and IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association). Great, fair play to them! 10grand is a spicy meatball!! I feel bad for the fact that I work in the music industry and in commercial radio and I still do not have a bull’s notion what IMRO and IRMA actually do!!!
With regard to the Choice Prize, I think that all of the nominees deserve it. They have all earned it and I wish them all well. Nobody values the brilliant work of Irish hardworking musicians more than yours truly.
And then I thought, ‘…wow, 10grand would go such a long way in the world of DIY music….’
For example, it could buy one of those vans that 10past7 and Hands Up Who Wants To Die went and rented! As a matter of fact, IMRO and IRMA could buy a crew cab van and just let bands use it for free! That would be a huge huge cost-saver and in one move, it would do more for up and coming artists than any award that is given to one single act at an awards ceremony.
A van, built for touring. An asset to touring bands in Ireland that can be used by an annual selection of bands. Then that might lead to a recognised circuit in the UK and on the continent of touring Irish bands and artists. Sharing a resource, sharing ideas and sharing contacts. Wouldn’t that be funny and cool!
I know that this is very simplistic, but we all know that the music industry is arseways, and that the punks get stuff done. By helping the community, it would benefit a lot more people than a huge cash-prize award.
OK, best of luck to the nominees in the choice prize. I hope that the cheque inspires others as much as the lads in their rented van inspired me.