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Scottish music gas onine

The on-line musical revolution as hailed by ex-Creation Records chief Alan McGee is already happening in Scotland with many new artists turning to the internet as an outlet for their music.

McGee boasted of putting out internet-only albums at knockdown prices, cutting out the record companies altogether. For many new artists, this is already happening. Sites like Peoplesound (www.peoplesound.com) and BT (www.getoutthere.bt.com) specialise in music by unsigned artists. The swift development of the MP3 music storage format has meant whole albums can be downloaded from the internet; established artists like Prince and Public Enemy have both released albums exclusively on the internet.

Ex-Lost Soul Band frontman Gordon Grahame is one of the internet success stories with the release of his debut solo album on Peoplesound’s website, where taster tracks can be downloaded and the full album either bought and downloaded or purchased by mail order. 'The websites have a dual function within the music industry,’ explains Heather Banks, Grahame's agent. 'Firstly, the artists can sell their wares over the net without the huge financial risks of starting their own label, but also A&R men can go on-line and look for any interesting new stuff.’

Artists on Peoplesound split the sales revenue 50/50 with the company but the website manufactures the CDs on demand, reducing the risk of having to manufacture CDs which no one wants, eliminating the distributors, record shops and labels from the process. The limitation, it would appear, is getting a non-internet audience to hear the music. ’It then comes down to traditional methods of promotion,’ says Banks. ’Getting


lntemet gain: Alan McGee

good press elsewhere still has to be done in the same costly, haphazard way.’

Scottish independent label Chemikal Underground have always been conscious of having an on-line presence since the label’s inception. ’Small bands who want to showcase their work have an outlet for their work,’ says Scott Savage, the label’s internet co- ordinator. ‘It has always been part of our plans to expand into using MP3 technology but, like many small labels, time and facilities are tight.‘

As far as Alan McGee’s claims over the imminent demise of the record industry, Banks is a little more realistic. 'T he two exist symbiotically for the moment.’ she insists. ’Things will take time to develop, but one is unlikely to engulf the other. But it does put artists in a better bargaining position with labels if they have a proven sales record on—line.’ Savage is in agreement: ’We must welcome technology as it ultimately makes our lives easier.’ (Mark Robertson)

More , multiplex

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company’s Artistic Director, William Burdett-Coutts. ’The Fringe is the biggest, most popular part of the Festival, and yet the notion of public funding doesn’t seem to be in the Council's psychology. The International Festival gets £1m of public money a year; the Fringe gets next to nothing.’ Burdett-Coutts denied, however, that the Assembly Rooms’ Fringe programme for 2000 has been jeopardised. 'It's an interesting challenge, because ordinarily we would start planning in October. But we're confident we can get the programme together. At least now we know where

The prolonged wrangling between the City of Edinburgh Council and Assembly Theatre Limited over the future of the Assembly Rooms as a Fringe venue has been resolved. The Council has now come to an agreement with Assembly, who have cleared their outstanding debts and will now continue to run the Fringe venue until 2006.

Figures published in The Scotsman suggest that the Council has substantially increased the rent paid by Assembly from £50,000 to £80,000 per year. They have also withdrawn the grant of £20,000 provided in previous years - a net increase for Assembly of £50,000.

’This whole process has been unnecessary and unfortunate,’ said the

we stand for a period of time.’

Burdett-Coutts is adamant that an effort to utilise the Assembly Rooms more productively during the remainder of the year would secure its position during the Fringe. ’I’ve maintained for a long time that it needs a concerted effort to allow it to operate as an individual concern.’ (Hannah McGilI)


News in bite-sized bits.

THE RSNO HAS announced details of the ScottishPower Proms 2000. Scotland's award-winning national symphony orchestra will perform 25 concerts in the space of five weeks. Boasting an exceptionally strong line-up, this year's Proms features the talents of Alexander Lazarev (RSNO Principal Conductor), Marin Alsop (RSNO Principal Guest Conductor), soloist Evelyn Glennie and, new to the Proms, Edinburgh- born Garry Walker and Nic Raine, a leading exponent of film music (the programme includes the work of Bond composer John Barry). Kicking off in Dundee on Friday 19 May, the Proms continue onto Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

IN THE WAKE of the controversy surrounding Scottish Opera's funding, The Scottish Arts Council has issued a response to the government's report on the national arts companies. While the SAC is pleased that the Education, Culture And Sport Committee's report indicates 'strong support' for national companies, it accepts that there will be no future additional funding to resolve financial problems. The SAC also accepted criticism of its handling of public expenditure on Scottish Opera and recognised the Committee’s recommendations for the development of educational work and emphasis on funding for Scottish traditional arts.

HAVE YOUR SAY in the regeneration of Edinburgh’s shoreline. Armed with a draft plan for the development of the Granton shoreline over the next fifteen years, Waterfront Edinburgh and its partners - The City Of Edinburgh Council, tothian And Edinburgh Enterprise Ltd and Scottish Homes - are keen for local communities to have a say in the project’s planning. A series of exhibitions and public meetings have been scheduled to take place in the Granton area between Wednesday 23 February and Wednesday 1 April. Full details are available by calling the Council’s City Development Department on 0131 469 3914 or accessing their website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/ waterfront.

Bond is back: the RSNO play the John Barry themes

l7 Feb—2 Mar 2000 THE U81 19