Tuesday 20 February 2018

Loaded: Another blow for ailing industry

John Meagher

John Meagher

Monday's decision by the High Court to rule against Ireland's main record companies in a dispute with UPC over illegal downloading was one hell of a body blow to an ailing industry. But at the same time, it was hardly unexpected.

Download culture has changed the game entirely and the simple fact remains that a large portion of the population believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking music for free online. They feel that they are supporting the act by going to see them live and maybe buying some merchandise.

The industry has had some very lucrative years, but I take no pleasure in its troubles today. All the majors here -- and plenty of the smaller players -- have some fine people that work hard for the acts on their rosters. Michael Bublé's latest album, for instance, wouldn't have sold anything close to 150,000-odd copies in this country without a series of smart campaigns from Warner's.

But when it comes to illegal downloaders, all record companies are fighting a losing battle. The horse has bolted, folks.

  • He may have referred to him as "Jason Cocker" on Later With Jools Holland, but there were no communications problems when veteran guitarist Duane Eddy performed with Jarvis Cocker in London's Clapham Grand last week.

In a now annual collaboration concert organised by Jack Daniel's whiskey, there was something inspired about pairing the much-respected 72-year-old Arizona musician with the eccentric Pulp frontman.

Their blinding set was capped off with a gorgeous rendition of Something Changed, the undeniably sappy but truly lovely tune from the Different Class album.

Ex-Pulp man Richard Hawley was another key part of proceedings, and one can certainly hear the influence of Eddy's trademark guitar on his own sound. And I could listen to the man's singing all night, especially when crooning Open Up Your Door.

Ellie Goulding, who was named at number one in the BBC's Sound Of poll in January, played support and, although she's got quite a voice, I'm still not convinced.

  • Good news for fans of Brian Eno's seminal 1983 album, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. This haunting work will be performed in its entirety at Dublin's National Concert Hall on Tuesday, November 9.

Pioneering ensemble Icebreaker and renowned guitarist BJ Cole will reinterpret the album at the show, which is one of the key events of Science Week Ireland 2010.

Apollo was initially written for Al Reinert's documentary on the Apollo space missions, For All Mankind, and this show will return the music to that original audio-visual conception. The documentary, which was completed years later, captures the extraordinary achievements of those early astronauts and boasts some of the most breathtaking photos of Earth -- and, of course, the moon -- ever captured.

Tickets cost €25 and €30.

  • Declan O'Rourke has been quiet of late, but he pops up on a charity compilation album with an Irish language version of one of his most popular songs, Big Bad Beautiful World. And Drochdomhan Mór Álainn doesn't lose much in translation -- it remains a powerful showcase for his Rufus Wainwright-like vocals. O'Rourke and Alice Jago -- whose Feist-like Lullaby is a delight -- are the marquee names on Every Child, an album that aims to raise money to help the street children of Calcutta. The money will be used for graduates from Dublin's Froebel College of Education to pass on some of their knowledge to trainee teachers in the Indian city, a hugely worthwhile project conducted under the auspices of the Hope Foundation.

The album is available for €10 in Tower Records, Dublin, and can be bought directly from Froebel. Tel: 01 2888520. Ask for Breda Stanley-Pickford.

  • Music lovers with a keen eye for a bargain could do a lot worse than getting down to City Discs in Temple Bar, Dublin, before October 30. All stock is being sold at half-price, and considering the reasonable prices Gerry and his staff normally charge, this is a sale not to be missed.

Irish Independent

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