If you’re a young band starting out in Edinburgh, then finding a venue to put on a gig is no easy task. The Scottish capital lacks a strong live music scene, SOmething that its western rival, Glasgow can proudly boast. What's more, The Tap 'O Lauriston pub in Lauriston Place, a bastion of live music is threatened by closure.
Redevelopment plans propose to demolish the disused Inland Revenue offices which house The Tap and replace them With an upmarket hotel. Andy Vannan, band promoter at The Tap believes Edinburgh would be losing a Vital part of its mUSlC community. 'lt's the only venue of its kind,’ he says 'In Edinburgh you have other pubs that host live music but the bands mainly play covers, at The Tap, 100% of the bands play original musm.’
Not only does the pub provrde an
No more ‘Ta
Former Tap stalwarts the Gin Goblins
opportunity for young bands to get up on stage and perform to audiences of similar interests, but it encourages them to sell their tapes and homemade fanzines. Many ambitious local bands have made their debut at The Tap before movmg onto bigger and better things. The Gin Goblins were regulars before gomg on to play at the big mUSlC festivals and appearing on Radio 1. Metal rockers, Unique Freak also enjoyed success further afield. As Vannan remembers, 'they were not Just pOpuIar in Edinburgh, they toured Europe and had big followmgs there too.’
As host of an internationally renowned arts Festival, one w0uldn't expect problems staging a gig in Edinburgh Live music is an essential part of the Festival's agenda, but when
the hoopla has died down, the capital has little to offer bands the year round. It would be ironic should a new hotel accommodating tourists Visiting Edinburgh for a Festival packed With cultural events, eradicate one of the city's few live music venues. The situation for new groups is further aggravated by the recent flyposting laws, whereby clubs and venues have been threatened with the loss of their licence if they choose to advertise in this form. During the Festival, boards are attached to walls and lamposts solely for this activity. Vannan is keen to discourage what he sees as a Festival bias and see more of the money generated by the event invested in promoting live music and supporting new talent all year round (Katie Hutc hison)
Arts Council boss bows out
18 THE “ST 4— l 8 let) 1999
Scottish Arts COuncil director Seona Reid has announced her resignation, to take effect from June of this year. The news marks the end of an era for the funding body which has been under Reid’s leadership since 1990 - nine years that have been witness to considerable changes, including, in 1994, independence from the Arts Council of Great Britain
The latter part of Reid’s tenure has been marred by controversy, With the SAC hamstrung by lack of cash and being forced to make some difficult and unpopular chOices - perhaps most noticeably the decision to Withdraw funding from the acclaimed theatre company Wildcat Stage Productions
Reid's announcement follows hard on the heels of Hilary Strong's resignation as director of the Edinburgh Fringe This feeling of limbo perrrieating the upper echelons of the arts industry was eased somewhat by the award of three-year funding to sixteen organisations across the country Theatres have done particularly well, With the Traverse, Tron, Royal Lyceum
and Citizens' receiving in the region of £2 million between them
Names being touted as a possible successor to Seona Reid are remarkably similar to those bandied about as a replacement for Hilary Strong, with Mary Shields and Neil Murray again emerging as front runners \thoever takes over Will come into direct contact With the punters, as the SAC now plans to open its two-monthly meetings to the general public move to cOunter the charges of elitism often levelled in its direction, the council is also investigating the possibility of increasing its remit to cover rock muSic Whether this might mean stretching its already taut resources to breaking point is an issue the new chief Will have to consider
Seona Reid, meanwhile, will take over as Director of Glasgow School of Art from retiring Professor Dugald Cameron SAC chairman lvlagnus Lmklater paid her a glowmg tribute, saying Reid was 'Iiked and admired by her staff for her passion, commitment and calm professionalism’ (Rob Fraser)
The Scottish Inquisition
Questions you don’t expect. This issue: Karen Koren, Artistic Director; Gilded Balloon
Tabloid or Broadsheet?
i don't read a daily, just a variety of Sundays when l have the time.
First arts related job?
Dancing with a rock and roll band in 1967.
Leaving full time employment as PA to the Norwegian Consulate General and going out on my own.
The award for a Lifetime contribution to Scottish Culture goes to?
Robert Burns, but not in his lifetime. Name a work of art you cannot live without . . .
The complete works of The Beatles, Jackson Browne, Greig, Bach, Beethoven and Billy Connolly.
. . . and a law you’re proud to have broken?
I haven’t consciously broken the law, however I'm sure there is someone in my colourful past that may know otherwise.
You're about to be exiled - how would you spend your last night?
In my home, with my family, in front of a log fire.
Glasgow: City of Architecture 8: Design. But which Scottish building would you like destroyed?
All the new ones built in the 605, especially in Edinburgh. The New Club on Princes Street, ObVlOUSiy the St James Centre
What motion would you make as an MSP?
Censor the World Wide Web. Increase old age pension, give all pensioners free bus passes.
Top Scot of the new Millennium?
It depends on which field! Ewan lvchregor.
What should be in the Millennium Dome?
It's a waste of Lottery funding — for 1% of their budget we could put on spectaCLilar events nationwide I w0uld have preferred Crystal Palace in 1900. How do you see Scotland's future? United and OpilmISilC. (Compiled by Rob Fraser)