Edinburgh Music Scene
The Edinburgh music scene has always been surprisingly diverse. I remember once chatting to Island A&R rep Rich Brown when he dropped by our Edinburgh Recording Studio to listen to who we were recording. He said that wherever he went in the UK he could predict the kind of music he was going to hear depending on the city. In Manchester there was a particular sound, likewise in Glasgow and bands generally conformed to that.
But whenever he visited a Recording Studio in Edinburgh or went to a gig here, he was completely bamboozled as he never knew what he was going to see or hear next. It made his job as an A&R guy quite hard as he really liked the music he experienced but couldn’t see where it would fit in with the label, This general lack of trend may in part explain the lack of success Edinburgh has in being a place were new music breaks or gets noticed. It’s certainly not because there isn’t enough good musicians or writers. There’s a musician getting recordings together in every tenement around here.
I’ve always found this bizarre mix of things going on here really exciting so working and running a recording studio in Edinburgh since the mid 70s has never been dull. As a engineer and producer I’ve worked in loads of styles because that’s what the place has presented me with as well as chiming with my own mad record collection when I was in my early teens in the late 60’s early 70s. But that’s for a seperate blog. Since starting at Edinburgh’s Southside Studios in 1976 the range of music I’ve recorded has been consistently extreme.
And still now, In any given week I can record Folk, Rock, Alternative Pop, Classical, Jazz and loads of stuff in between which defies pigeon holing. In 1999 I produced a crazy diverse compilation called Selection Box just to highlight how many ranges of stuff I was hearing and recording and in the process the album perplexed everyone who heard it as it was way too diverse to get your head round if you are a reviewer , or marketer or even fan of a particular kind of music. So although there were some hard core fans of the album, it could never have worked commercially. Creatively it’s amazing but there is a commercial downside to having too wide a taste in both listening to and creating music.