Sunday, May 24, 2009
Why so few Earache band shows in Ireland?
Question: Hi Guys, been a long long term fan of earache and everything they stand for. Just one curiosity though .... why the hell are there so few N.Ireland shows penciled in? We have a thriving scene and lets be honest aren\'t really a million miles away ... keep it extreme ..
Answer: Its not deliberate, we encourage our bands to play everywhere they possibly can, but I agree, the amount of shows played in Ireland, be it the North or the South, are very sparse indeed. The reasons are purely economic. We have currently signed to the label an Irish band with members hailing from Newry & Dublin - GAMA BOMB plus we recently worked with CELTIC LEGACY on our Heavy Metal Killers compilation, and neither of those bands seem to play much in their home country either.Though Celtic Legacy played Full Metal Racket fest in Belfast in April, according to their myspace.
We know there are tons of fans of heavy and extreme stuff in Ireland,our webstore sells a ton of Cds/Vinyl and shirts to Irish metalheads so we hear from you all the time, plus for a few years Earache had a Irish dude working over here at the Nottingham HQ of the label, he clued me in on the whole scene.
Its not a million miles away, as you say, but the costs of bands travelling on the road is enormous, and sadly, Ireland is in the wrong direction, and a expensive ferry ride away, which makes bands think twice about it. For the overseas bands coming over for a European tour, say flying in from USA , they invariably touch down in London/Heathrow and their touring endeavours begin and end at that location.For smaller bands the income from touring and selling merch literally keeps the show on the road,so they stick to shows which pay a decent amount, mostly its the ones on the English small/medium club circuit of major cities- London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds- plus the biggest paying shows of all, are over on mainland Europe- Germany, France, Holland .
The small to medium size bands and their booking agents (the ones who book the tours) naturally gravitate towards the cities which pay decent fees, and this means they invariably play a handful of cities in England, then catch the Dover-Calais ferry to head east into mainland EU. Things could change easily if the promotors in Ireland could guarantee the bands healthier fees, you can bet the bands would be queuing up to tour there in a flash.
This doesnt apply to the larger bands- Machine Head, Motorhead and the like- because Ireland does have its fair share of massive level promotors and the fanbase to make it economic. Thats why you mainly see the big metal bands appearing in Ireland, for 20 Euro and up priced tickets, in the large concert halls & arenas.Interesting blog about the gig scene here.