Nothing New Ever Happens Here
I’ve been an Edinburgh resident since 2006 and despite the bracing winds Edinburgh still makes me feel cosy. It’s a comfort that I can still go and see the musicians who first got me into that-sort-of-music on pretty much any given Friday without having to get on anything more than a number 2 or 14 bus . Recently however there’s been a growing part of me thinking that it seems these musicians who first got me into that-sort-of-music are still around because they are the only ones granted the opportunities required for them to stick around and grow. For years I didn’t see Edinburgh’s music scene as cliquey and in a personal sense it isn’t, it’s made up of some of the loveliest and open people you’ll ever know, but lovely people alone doesn’t create a scene. Nothing Ever Happens Here is seemingly being hailed as a savior of Edinburgh’s failing music scene but what is apparent to me is the relative lack of new talent on show. Myself and Rachel’s first thought upon seeing the line up about was “that’s so boring”. The event seems entirely fixated on rinsing the group of people who’ll show up to see veterans Withered Hand or James Yorkston any day of the week instead of attracting anything in the way of a new audience and this won’t help “save” anything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the people being rinsed and will attend as this lineup includes some of my favourite bands but I’m also disappointed but how very few new Edinburgh acts have been chosen. For a scene which often claims students not caring about it is one of it’s biggest problems, the scene doesn’t seem interested in them at all.
What prompts me to write this is that last Friday night I went to see Spoonboy, The Spook School, ONSIND and Miaoux Mix and what surprised me about this show is how well it was attended and how few of the faces I recognized from attending the stuff The Skinny talk about as our scene. My interest has been piqued in this underground scene bubbling away beneath Edinburgh’s talked about underground scene. Focused around indie-pop there’s some real good new stuff being put on at venues like The Banshee Labyrinth and it even includes touring bands! The same music types who complain about the BBC’s “Sound of…” list being a self fulfilling prophecy perhaps don’t understand that they have a minor case of it on their own hands when they organise their own well publicized events or talk about Supermoon being a “new band”. Perpetuated by bloggers, promoters and media publications Edinburgh’s visible music scene is a case of tried-and-true over new blood.
Nothing Ever Happens Here seems to me like another opportunity for Edinburgh’s indie scene to pat itself on the back again for the fact that Broken Records and eagleowl are still bands who are playing but have gone nowhere, which is fine but along with Pleasance Sessions and Pale Imitation Festival do we really need this too? Perhaps I’m failing to see the beauty in Edinburgh being the perfect place to incubate talent which perhaps needs more time to flourish than elsewhere but to the tired and isolated audience of this means it seems Nothing New Ever Happens Here.