Friday, 13 November 2009

Harmony ends at NIMIC

THE Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission board has broken up in disharmony. Whether anyone will really notice remains to be seen, but it is an example of good work gone awry.

Set-up in 2001, the Commission managed to showcase some local acts at high-profile events such as festivals in Texas and Northern Ireland music nights in London.

But, in its eight years did it propel any local acts to global recognition? Did the Arts Council and Invest NI involvement actually get the world rocking to the ‘Norn Iron’ beat? Or more to the point, did Terri Hooley achieve more for local music in a few short years in the late 70s? In other words is a motivated individual better than a board or commission?

The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Van Morrison, Snow Patrol, Ash are names recognised throughout the UK and in some cases globally. So, exactly how did a Commission help these talented acts? And, how did Invest NI hope to measure ‘job creation’ through music? Sound engineers, lighting experts yes, but the distorted guitar lines and thrashing of drums are not easily reflected on a spreadsheet.

What we can’t wait for is the Public Accounts Committee investigation with evidence direct from the mosh pit!

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