Thursday, March 17, 2005


In a not atypical piece of bandwagon jumping, the chair of the Scottish Parliament's "cross party group on the contemporary music industry" has called for more support for Scotland's musicians.

Ms McNeill told MSPs: "Scotland is taking its place in the world as a home for contemporary music. We are contributing to the renaissance of live music - Biffy Clyro, Idlewild, Belle and Sebastian, Aberfeldy - the list is endless.

"But unless we take a conscious decision to better support it as an industry it will fade as quickly as it arrived."

Biffy Clyro? Contributing to the renaissance of live music? They do have different laws in Scotland, but...

Anyway, she went on:

Ms McNeill praised the Welsh Music Foundation, a not-for-profit agency with a dedicated board of industry figures. She added: "Peter Hain [the Welsh Secretary] was so shocked at learning that all the economic activity that a rock concert in Wales generated did not benefit Wales directly, [he] set about changing that immediately.

"The Irish have a similar music board, and I believe that in Scotland we must have a similar plan - a plan which recognises there are thousands of small businesses which could be larger with the right support."

What's disappointing, but unsurprising about this is that music isn't being seen as an important thing in its own right - that decades of Scottish talent have played a major role in shaping a distinctive international, cultural identity for the nation - but that it's seen as being valuable because it helps flog stuff. These are people who go to festivals and applaud the t-shirt stands.

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