Today – Thursday 28th March 2013 – sees the publication of the first volume of ‘The History of Live Music in Britain’ since 1950, written by Simon Frith, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, and Emma Webster, published by Ashgate.
This post is part of an occasional series originating from ‘The Musicians’ Union: A Social History’ – an AHRC and ESRC funded research project based in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. Here, Martin Cloonan describes the Union’s dispute – up to and including appearances in court – with George Formby’s musical director Bill Main, and how they illustrate the legal and political climate around labour relations of the era.
This video is the keynote address from the Live Music Exchange: Cardiff event, November 10th, 2012. Professor George McKay gives a wide ranging presentation, which covers the history of music festivals in the context of the music industry, and also deals with its relationship to a sense of place in terms of both society and geography.
This week’s guest post is by Steve Waksman, Associate Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College and author of ‘Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience’ and ‘This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk’.
He is currently researching the history of live music in the U.S. from the 19th century to the present and looks here at how archival material about Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore illustrates changes and tensions in audience behaviour at rock concerts in the 1960s.
Today’s post by Professor John Izod, of the University of Stirling, has a historical bent and concerns the fate of musicians employed by cinemas in the 1920s. In many ways the issues facing musicians then were a world apart from those of today although one of the advantages of historical research is that it allows us to take a step back and adopt a broader view, which can reveal patterns that pertain over the longer term – to look back at the resonances between the disruptions to our current status quo and those that it brought about in the past.
The first in a series of posts that detail the themes and ideas developed over the course of research into the history of live music in the UK. Here, Simon Frith takes a materialist approach to live music, examining the factors necessary for a live music event. Simon also offers an initial typology of performance spaces and examines how the venues in which live music events take place have affected the evolution of live music promotion.