Monday 22 January 2018

The next big thing in music

Anne-Marie Walsh

Or has the Irish edition of New Musical Express got its first prediction wrong?

A BAND described as the 'biggest' new act in the country on music magazine NME's first Irish front cover has only sold around 500 albums.

Overhyped Humanzi's debut album only reached number 44 in the Irish charts before plummeting to number 89 two months ago.

But on the cover of its first Irish edition, which was launched last night, NME claims Humanzi's success has stopped Dublin in its tracks.


In a glowing tribute, accompanied by a photograph of the sulky foursome and a big banner headline, NME gushes: "How Ireland's biggest new band brought the capital to a standstill."

Its praise is completely at odds with the verdict of one critic, Jim Carroll, who recently described the band's debut album Tremors as "the most expensive and embarrassing flop of 2006".

Music commentators were last night scathing about the hype used by the iconic commercial glossy to push marketing agendas.

In its first venture outside the UK, the new Irish version of the famous music magazine is set to go head-to-head with Niall Stokes' veteran music mag 'Hot Press'.

It is even priced in the same range as the local publication - at around ?3.

Ironically, the new magazine is edited by former 'Hot Press' journalist Steve Cummins.

Irish Independent rock critic John Meagher strongly criticised the Humanzi front cover.

"Calling Humanzi the biggest new band in Ireland is ludicrous," he said.

"Bands who find themselves featured in 'NME Ireland' should remember that their exploits will only be read about in Ireland, not the UK. And you have to wonder how quickly it will take the bigwigs of NME before they realise that there just are not enough bands in this country to give the hype treatment to anyway."

He believes 'NME Ireland' will offer a serious threat to long established Hot Press, which he said has enjoyed a virtual monopoly in Ireland so far.

"It is good to see Hot Press getting competition from a dedicated music magazine," he said.

"'Hot Press' needs a good kick up the behind - it has become dull and predictable and has been threading water for a long time."


"The current issue's cover story is a profile of Damien Rice, not an interview. How lame is that?"

Meagher said he believed NME is looking at the Irish market in a bid to stave off a circulation drop.

"It has been struggling to attract readers in recent years and seems to be a shadow of its former self."

Humanzi's public relations company admitted the band had not sold a 'huge number' of albums.

Friction PR said the band's career was at an 'interesting stage' rather than a 'fantastic, commercial stage'.

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