I spent two days at the new 12 Points festival put on by Gerry Godley in Dublin. Big congratulations to Gerry for working out a way of putting young musicians together in this way, giving many a great opportunity to get international festival experience at an early point in their careers. Led Bib were there, and played stormingly, as I would hope and expect. The other great impact over the two days was by Carsten Daerr from Berlin. Dynamism, tightness and effective interplay. Now I have to try and work out a way to get them to London. I was glad to hear some of the other bands there, such as Daniel Szabo from Hungary, but didn't feel that they had that "special" feature that means that I would want to bring them to London. It's always been a principle behind Babel that I try and record artists that have a uniqueness and validity to be heard beyond the confines of their own locality. It's a relief that Led Bib proved themselves here, and Fraud are one of the next in the line that I have been lucky to find.
It's vitally important that young bands get chances to cross borders and develop careers around Europe. Some governments realise this, such as the Goethe Institut. The British Council no longer knows how, concentrating on the political agenda further afield. Promoters such as Gerry do this by organising festivals, and also manage to bring in outsiders - such as me - to hear. The Vortex, by contrast, has to work out ways of integrating it into the annual programme. Such bands are coming in, often at the behest of musicians themselves, as was the case at the recent F-Ire festival, where musicians such as Stephane Payen came and played the club. It's difficult to get the curiosity levels of the public up. Persistence is one way that we'll do it, I hope.
ONE LAST REQUEST FOR YOU TO VOTE FOR FRAUD AND FINN FOR THE BBC JAZZ AWARDS. Link through from here.