It’s not always about finding new talent. It’s often about going back in time and revisiting that back catalogue.
It’s like being Indiana Jones. It’s about rediscovering those gems lying there dormant. All the great music that’s still relevant. Often in a different class. With legendary back stories. But unknown to at least two generations of music fans. It’s all about embarking on a wonderful journey of discovery. Making up for lost time. And lost musical notes. It’s reviving that Indie spirit.
It was exactly what was needed. Fun. Infectious fun. So infectious that the dancing magically morphed into a conga line. And all this taking place at a racetrack. At the venue known as Adrenaline of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
The last race had been run and the international group of young millennials from the Beer Garden had been making their way up to Adrenaline to kick on before the last two races had been run.
One friend was wondering if we’d ever hear what he termed “real songs by real songwriters”- tunesmiths like the teams of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Lennon and McCartney.
There were then those songwriters who wore their hearts on their sleeves led by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Jimmy Webb, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the musical stories of Dylan, the Brill Building commercialism of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Sedaka and Greenfield, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Boyce and Hart, Neil Diamond and so many others.
When the majors talk about the money they’re making from the streaming of music, they’re not lying. It’s more than a good soundbite. Where the real truth lies is that only around twelve of their most important artists with big back catalogues that continue to sell and are protected by armies of legal crossfire hurricanes share in the financial repast. And even though those golden days of these artists are spluttering to an end where even the Asian region which used to take in any touring act from the West are now saying, Thanks, but no thanks, there’s that association through name. It’s an attractive magnet for similar deals and ammunition for the future in case anything new might come up.
Where things are on hold right now is that the old business mantra of “It’s the economy, stupid” is baaaaack. Today’s consumer has a much greater choice of everything than ever before, and music is being pushed further and further back. It’s not important anymore.
“We’re not pushing the envelope. We’re licking the envelope.” I said that to a musician friend of mine recently who shan’t be named as he has to work in Hong Kong and do what he has to do to make a living.
As for myself, I’ve now come to a point where I really don’t care what anyone thinks and am spending more and more time away from the usual chatter that doesn’t seem to have an Off switch. It’s boring as none of it leads anywhere except maybe to a Facebook page that has no relevance to where I’m heading.
Forget the tiresome excuses about there being a lack of venues. There have been venues and they closed because they went bust. The Morrison Cafe comes to mind. So does the doomed-from-the start Orange Peel. There’ve been more.