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:: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 ::

Most Musical City?

The Arts Council are investing public money in a ridiculous online vote to find that people think that London is Britain's most musical city. Obviously they will go through a pointless public voting system before declaring the winner to be the place where the largest population lives as everyone just votes for their home town, but its all gone fun along the way isn't it?

"Ten cities from across the country have been short-listed at www.mostmusicalcity.co.uk by the Arts Council's 'Take it away' scheme. Celebrity ambassadors for each city, including Sting, Jamelia, Richard Hawley and Engelbert Humperdinck, lead the debate for the Most Musical City until voting closes on 30 May 2008.

"The ten cities competing to win are: Birmingham; Brighton; Bristol; Colchester; Leicester; Liverpool; London; Manchester; Newcastle; and Sheffield. (The arts council are happy to comment on the reasons why a particular city has not been shortlisted)."

The celebrity ambassador for Bristol is DJ Krust. I presume the list of people they asked looked like this:

celeb ambassador
Originally uploaded by gusset.

Somehow I couldn't help myself from getting involved in the "debate." I wrote the following on the site:

This article seems to be a fairly typical under-researched effort at dropping in the names of all of the Bristol artists who have become known across the UK, but says little of how imaginative and vibrant up-and-coming artists from the city still are. I was pleased to see references in the comments to Big Joan, Kid Carpet, Gravenhurst, Angel Tech, Rose Kemp, The Heads, Joe Volk etc. I’d add Geisha to the list too. I was also pleased someone mentioned the criminally under-rated “King of Totterdown” (to quote PJ Harvey), John Parish.

From a personal perspective, when Breakcore hit its stride a few years ago it was Bristol that was the mecca for the whole of the UK, thanks in a large part to the legendary Toxic Dancehall parties and labels like Death$ucker Records, Cleancut and 1manarmy, who continue to push the boundaries of electronica whilst maintaining a crowd friendly danceability.

Now Dub-Step is in the same position, with some of the genre's most exciting names (eg Pinch, Appleblim, Shackleton, Atki2 etc) quietly beavering away, producing solid release after solid release and cross pollinating with the other scenes that all sit together so happily here.

As an example of the open mindedness that can be found, at the most recent Goatlab party (I have to hold my hand up here and say I promote it) General Disarray has just finished a hard as nails breakcore set and Syntheme was next up with her acid techno twiddlings. Before she started she felt the need to point out she’d be playing something different. A heckler from the crowd shouted back, "It's OK, we like everything!", which was followed by a small cheer from the rest of the crowd and another loan shout of "..except house!" and a laugh from everyone else.

We may have lost our ‘community festival’ last year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton_Court_festival) but look at the support that has risen up to make sure something replaces it (http://www.thebristolfestival.org/), with local musicians, promoters and venues all pulling together to put on fund raisers.

Independent music is alive and well in Bristol and award or not we're quite happy about it here.

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:: Dan 30.4.08 [Arc] [2 comments] [links to this post] ::
Hah, I find this really funny - I'm reading Peter Ackroyd's biography of London right now (BLOODY AMAZING) and I'm just past the part where he discussed the noise of London via historical excerpts from the era (I forget how far into time I am right now). It was, apparently, a very noisy place.

Nothing to add beyond that.
Interesting looking book. (I think I remember hearing something about it on Radio 4 some time ago.) Added to wish list.

From a geeky point of view I'd like to see the stuff about the noise.
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