- 08 Oct 08
Over 10,000 people packed into the RDS last weekend for The Music Show, which was presented by Hot Press in association with 2fm.
The official launch took place on Friday night in Trinity College where such high-profile figures as Ali Hewson, Gavin Friday, Liam O Maonlai, Steve Wall, Kevin Godley, Corrs manager John Hughes and U2 concert film director Ned O’Hanlon were among those who saw Island Records legend Chris Blackwell interviewed by Hot Press Assistant Editor Stuart Clark.
Having talked extensively about his involvement with the likes of Bob Marley, Nick Drake, Grace Jones, Tom Waits and U2, Blackwell turned his attention to such contemporary issues as whether or not Apple and iTunes have been good for music.
“I’m a big Apple fan – he’s my hero, Steve Jobs – but iTunes, no,” he said. “You shouldn’t be paying 99¢ for a digital track – it should be about 20¢.”
He also disagreed with U2 manager Paul McGuinness and his recent assertion that internet service providers are accessories to theft because they facilitate the illegal downloading of music.
“I don’t agree with calling your consumers thieves. If technology has evolved whereby people are able to access what they wish, then it’s the fault of the record companies not to have foreseen and done something about it. They could have done it when (the original) Napster existed, but because they’re so set in their ways they decided to burn it down. It was a site that had 60 million members, but because they couldn’t work out a deal they put it out of business. So I don’t agree with that at all.”
Among Saturday’s numerous Music Show events were the announcing by Chairman Keith Donald of the IMRO 2008 Live Music Venue of the Year Awards, which included three gongs voted for by Hot Press readers. These were:
HP Readers Award for Best Live Music Venue – Vicar St., Dublin
HP Readers Award for Highly Commended Live Music Venue – Cyprus Avenue, Cork and The Stables, Mullingar
There was more success for Peter Aiken & Harry Crosbie with Vicar St. also ajudged to be the Overall National Winner and Live Music Venue of the Year.
The regional nods went to The Spirit Store, Dundalk (Leinster Live Music Venue of the Year); Cyprus Avenue, Cork (Munster); Róisín Dubh, Galway (Connaught); and The Chasin’ Bull, Bundoran (Ulster – Donegal, Monagan & Cavan only).
While Blizzardsmania erupted on the Live Stage, the Red Room was host to a series of seminars and panel discussions, which were attended by hundreds of industry heads, band members and plain old music fans. ‘Yarn of the Weekend’ went to former Stiff Records boss Dave Robinson who fondly remembered the time during the ‘70s when he got Elvis Costello to play a guerilla gig outside Sony’s London HQ, and then put a call through to the Metropolitian Police advising them “of a dodgy looking Irishman with a suspicious package.”
Elvis, who was blisfully unaware of the scam, ended up in the cells and then the following day in all the newspapers, which had a very beneficial effect on his sales figures!
There was more mayhem on Sunday with The Coronas, Republic Of Loose and Damien Dempsey all drawing huge crowds for their sets – and the tabloid snappers going crazy for Sharon Corr, who was a late and very eloquent addition to the Songs Should Have Some Bloody Meaning! discussion.
The toughest talking of the day came during The Great Irish Radio Debate, which found Maria Doyle Kennedy bemoaning the lack of support given to Irish artists, while Willie O’Reilly (Today FM), Jon Richards (Galway Bay FM), Celine Craig (BCI) and Ian Wilson (2fm) defended their various corners. Wilson was in particularly forthright mood, dismissing RTÉ’s current digital radio trials as “a complete waste of time” and pointing to broadband as the future of radio.
*Keep an eye out for pictures, reviews and gossip from The Music Show on hotpress.com, and in our next issue.