Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New music today is amazing - but where can we hear it?

The record industry is in depression. (For me, that just means that they are catching up with the perennial state of the jazz sector.) But it has nothing to do with the quality of a lot which is being created at present. Last night's gig by Heidi Vogel at the Vortex is a case in point - with amazing guests like Eska just coming to sit in.
Many say that the live music side is that which is going to continue. Certainly, when I look at things as they are at the Vortex, I feel equally positive. But the venues too are not having it that easy. Two venues are about to close: Pizza On The Park (which failed to reinvent itself as a jazz/world music venue) and the Spitz. Meanwhile, bureaucracy isn't helping the rest. (The police are currently insisting that the Vortex might need 2 bouncers on the door if open late, because it's too dangerous in Dalston. An extra £60 a night.) Ronnie Scott's is being forced to putting on more "commercial" gigs in order to survive.
Squaring the circle doesn't seem that straightforward to me. It's all about getting the right balance between time taken to make a return and the costs. With patience it can be done. But someone somewhere, be it the landlord pushing up rents or a promoter with excessive short-term horizons, can destroy all the good work.

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