Local Newport, UK Music Scene
The Newport music scene feed off other UK and European music scenes, but is also home to many enduring artistic acts. Unfortunately, the local Newport scene has been under pressure in recent years, as reported by The Guardian in a May 2012 article. Venues have been closing due to the economy and government restrictions. The Live Music Act, however, began to relieve some of these restrictions in 2012. Residents had complained about noise, making it more difficult for venues to get music licenses. Promoters now point out the grass roots movements have less money to spend on promoting music.
Local music in the South Wales region follows the national UK scene in many respects with a heavy emphasis on mirroring the acts of London and Wales. The region hasn't been known for international artists for awhile, and the city council has not been favorable toward music education in recent years. In fact, in 2013 they made plans to cut back on the Gwent Music Support Service (GMSS) by 40 percent. Critics have argued that cutting back on these type of services pushes toward a system that benefits elitists in music but not the common people.
Newport and nearby Cardiff were sometimes called "the new Seattle" in the mid 1990s. Some of the emerging local bands at that time were Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Catatonia, Super Fury Animals, The Cowboy Killers and The Flemgods. Creative minds in Newport need to work on developing new ways to create musical value. At one time the region had a very vibrant music scene but in the early 21st century the scene has struggled with the shutting down of clubs like TJ's, which at one time showcased international acts.
The music scene of the 1990s was much different than the next few decades. During the height of Newport's time in the spotlight, the scene brought crowd who just came to see music in general and weren't particular about certain bands. By the 2000s the scene had become economically challenged. The golden age of Newport's music scene was 1993 through 1996 with bands such as Rollerco, Flyscreen and Five Darrens. After the scene dissolved one of the bright sports was the return of Stereophonics in 2005. Charlotte Church for Cardiff rose from the scene to fame as a mainstream pop artist and has been one of the area's top artists in recent history.
The first step to the localization of popular music is for establishment owners in Newport to meet with local music leaders. They need to discuss the tastes of the community and work on building a better future for musicians, who can help elevate the mood of a city. We know that music has that power and that it doesn't have to be national. The only reason national music has dominated stores and restaurants as background music is because a handful of corporations want it that way. Do national corporations help local culture? Not much, other than unifying people to accept a short list of brands, which can easily be argued as hurtful.
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