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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

I blame Kerry Katona

The economic screw tightens and in the entertainment world the small town club return to type.
What am I talking about?
Well I'm referring to the time old tradition of clubs who wouldn't normally let a lover of live music darken their doorway deciding that a Sunday night would be ideal to host a couple of bands.
It's never been about providing a service to a community, and there's rarely anyone involved behind the scenes that has a love for music either.
It's always about the filthy lucre.
I've lost count of how many times I've seen this happen.
On the plus side they never last long, but while they are operating what they do is provide an alternative to the events that the local hard working and altruistic music loving promoters are putting on.
This in turn has a knock on effect, and in the worst case scenario the small town heroes who provide us with live music get squeezed out, and then when the club decides that live music isn't enough of an earner and pull the plug on their nights – as they always do - we are left with a vacuum.
Everything locally goes back to square one.
On a very small scale it's like the big multinational supermarket coming to town and then leaving after all the corner shops have closed.
That's the awful downside.

Even worse is that a little bird has told me that the club in Kilmarnock has hired in a Glasgow booker/promoter to secure them the artists.
There's something wrong with that in my opinion.
The natural order of things is that young men and women in small towns start locally and build up what they do on a grass roots level, and then they take the skills they have garnered to the big city and attempt to crack it.
If it's the big city moving outwards and expanding, then it becomes a one way street, and the bottom rung of the ladder that leads to success is simply drawn up leaving our own young entrepreneurs clutching at air as they try and snatch at it.
The bottom line is that no matter how 'sweet' the deal is I'll not be supporting the clubs venture.
Especially as when they were challenged on not using locals who know their way about the music scene they claimed that no one had approached them.
It's hard to swallow this from them when I know of a few people who in the past have contacted them and made enquiries about booking their venue for live events, and in every case they said no.
Maybe no one approached them for this specific venture, but I have a sneaky suspicion that was because it was outsourced prior to anyone hearing about it.

Anyway. I'll continue not to darken their doorway, and instead continue to support the efforts of David Hanvey, Dani Camacho, Taylor Buntain and Danya Bryson as they are the people that deserve our patronage at their events.
They work hard and I'll not be helping anyone pull the rug from below their feet.
I sincerely hope others will think about all this before they commit to supporting the club shoehorning itself into the local live music scene.
Even if a mates band is playing.


  1. Dani C - P.o.t!1 August 2012 at 13:54

    here here mate!!!

  2. You're welcome Dani. I'm only making public the opinion of many.
    Support was never willingly offered to those who wished to bring live music to the area before from certain quarters. That they wish to participate now without using locals who already have a working relationship with bands isn't something that I am comfortable with.

  3. On your high horse deciding what is right and wrong.

  4. Happy Hippo Shagger13 August 2012 at 17:53

    I don't really get the problem here. Ok, they didn't want you to use their place but they were upfront about it and didn't waste your time. If they later decide to employ other promoters that's their business.

  5. Thanks for posting.

    Just to clarify a few things.
    I never approached them to use their venue so they never wasted my time.
    I just know of others who have contacted them and been knocked back.
    (Even though the events that these people wished to book the venue for mirror what is going to be put on now.)

    And of course if they want to use other promoters that is indeed their business.
    Who could argue with that.
    It is entirely up to them who they wish to work with.
    It is however a shame that when they were asked why they didn't use local promoters, that they claimed that they couldn't as none had approached them when that is blatantly untrue.
    It's also rather sad that they couldn't have used the many talents of - and simultaneously supported the efforts of - young local entrepreneurs, and instead are outsourcing the work to promoters who apparently have no experience of booking acts in Ayrshire, nor know any local acts.
    Seems like poor business sense to me, but that's just a personal opinion.

    The problem here, as I mentioned, is the impact outsourcing has on the local economy and how it halts progress on a grass roots level.
    The choice they had was to invest locally, and hopefully reap the rewards of doing so,
    or pass their cash to those who reside further afield and whose interests in creating a successful event are rooted in little more than the profit that they could accrue from it.
    Between the choice of hooking up with someone young who knows the area, knows the music fans and is passionately wanting to create a vibrant music scene for all, or a small company who doesn't know the area, doesn't know the music fans and may not be in it for the long term I think I know who I would sway towards.

    Some have claimed that this post seems a bit unbalanced as I don't have an issue with local promoters branching out and dipping their toe in Glasgow.
    The reason I don't have an issue is because Glasgow has many many venues that can be booked on any night of the week, and there always seems to be plenty to go round.
    Comparing Glasgows music scene, and what is available to promoters there, to Kilmarnocks and claiming there's an even playing field just doesn't wash.
    It's like saying it's a fair fight between Mike Tyson and Mike Rutherford because they are both male and called Mike.

    This means that a local promoter really isn't swooping in and ripping the rug out from under anyone.
    Or colluding to keep Glasgow promoters out of the picture.
    While it is when it is applied to Glasgow promoters coming to Kilmarnock

  6. Happy Hippo Shagger14 August 2012 at 09:24

    What's all this about 'fair fights'? It's not a competition. As far as I can see, you can still book your usual venues. They're not preventing you from doing anything.

    They might have a different idea of live music (and the acts they wish to book) to you or existing local promoters, so the person they've employed may be better suited to what they want to do.

    And does it matter where a promoter comes from? If he/she books acts that fill the place (and who wouldn't normally appear in the town) then that can only be good for the local economy.

    Viewing it as some kind of fight is just daft.

  7. I think between the original blog update and the reply to your vague post that all the points are covered.

    I would think it is fair to say that from the outside looking in most would consider that you are cherry picking issues that you wish to raise and avoiding any responses that answer your points.

  8. Happy Hippo Shagger14 August 2012 at 11:58

    In what way am I 'cherry picking issues'? I just fail to see the problem with out of town promoters working in Kilmarnock. They're not stepping on anyone's toes.

    Whether they become successful or not, it's no skin off your nose, you can carry on promoting simultaneously. Getting up in arms about it and calling for a boycott seems a bit counter productive to me.

  9. and you are entitled to your opinion.