Now that HMV is re-open on Grafton Street in Dublin, and that Record Store Day business is behind us, First Music Contact have announced that they are teaming up with HMV stores in Dublin and Belfast to showcase the bands on the network Breaking Tunes IRL too.
Bands featured on the site will get the opportunity to play in front of store audiences regularly on the Breakingtunes Breakingstage, with the first happening on Friday April 25th at 1pm with We Cut Corners (listen to their new album premiered here yesterday) and Liza Flume.
The initiative says it’ll offer Breakingtunes artists (there are 8,000 in total – that’s a lot of bands) a platform (Literally and figuratively) for their releases in the two HMV stores. From May 16th, bands will be able to perform instore every Friday at 1pm and have releases stocked there too. Similarly in Belfast, the Donegall Arcade store will be open to Northern Ireland acts on Breakingtunes at 1pm on each Saturday.
“Supporting Irish Music is an important focus for HMV and Xtra-vision, and our new ground-breaking relationship with FMC puts our money where our mouth is,” said Chris Keena, Head of Music at HMV Xtra-vision.
HMV have also committed to becoming the main sponsor of Hard Working Class Heroes.
“There is a burgeoning domestic music scene that has been largely ignored by the bigger labels. HMV and Xtra–vision will support all genres of Irish music at retail level across our national network of stores. We hope to roll out the Breaking Tunes stage into more shops during 2014.”
FMC’s Angela Dorgan had this to say about these developments: “First Music Contact is all about supporting musicians at the key ‘gear change’ moments of development and this support is essential and so welcome. A relationship of this nature with HMV is a significant moment for any band and will serve to bring more and more focus on Irish consumers buying IRISH music.”
While I think these developments are good, I would like to see more GOVERNMENTAL support for young Irish music beyond FMC. First Music Contact is kind of out on its own in providing that support for bands and artists that fall under the indie/alternative/rock/electronic/commercial sphere.
What they do with their very limited budget provided by the the Arts Council every year including HWCH, the FMC tour, Breaking Tunes, Music From Ireland administration and organisation (at SXSW, The Great Escape etc), not to mention the invaluable day-to-day advice, factsheets, clinics and connects offered is hugely impressive.
Again, as the Arthur Guinness Fund showed, and this HMV partnership further demonstrates, Irish music (and the resources provided to it) is finding it easier to get a leg up from private enterprise.