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 Post subject: End of an era -
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:11 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 2922
Location: Sweden
"End of an era
Yesterday was a sad day and the end of an era in Irish Music in Ireland. I collected remaining stock of my CDs from Claddagh Records before they close in a week. Claddagh have been bought over by Universal, and the company, and the shop in Temple Bar as we know them are gone forever, as is the expertise of the wonderful staff, Eoin, Charlie, Jane and co. Watching Charlie clear out the shelves, while we both chatted about the changes was emotional and it made me think of all the changes that have already happened since I released my first album 14 years ago. Some changes have happened gradually, and others suddenly, and perhaps because there has been an 8 year gap since the release of my 4th album “Cuz” and my new album, “Donnelly’s Arm” these changes have come as a bit of a shock.

But here it is: Gael Linn and now Claddagh have stopped distributing to music shops in Ireland; music shops have been feeling the pinch and have closed (remember The Living Tradition in Cork, Celtic Note in Dublin?); some great venues and festivals too have gone by the wayside; some international music publications that include Irish Trad and folk have gone out of business, and the amount of slots available to review Trad albums on Irish MSM has drastically shrunk to the extent that slots need to be booked well beforehand and there simply aren’t enough to cover all the releases, especially now. With lockdown resulting in a collapse of touring and gigging, attention has turned to creating more material – not a bad thing at all – but now more than ever musicians need to sell online, and depend on good reviews, airplay and the support of our government and the Arts Council. Yet Jack Talty’s excellent report shows that a mere 2.6% of its overall budget was spent on the traditional arts.

Have I seen positive changes? Yes – I’ve seen more musicians take a more active role in recording, composing and promoting their work (this should not be a dirty word if this is your profession). I’ve seen some fantastic new presenters come on the scene with a real interest in our tradition and the wide range of musicians within it. And with people getting serious electronic fatigue from zoom meetings, home-schooling, family chats and constantly being plugged in and stationary, I’ve seen a real increase in appreciation for a physical CD arriving in the letterbox. Something tangible, a gift that sparks joy, and a welcome distraction.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that our musicians, our music shops, our venues, our festivals and our music teachers all need more support than ever and while we can all do our bit individually to support them, we also need to pressurise our Government and the Arts Council to deliver on that. If we’re good enough to roll out on the red carpet for every visiting dignitary, if we’re good enough to quote, if we’re good enough to represent Ireland and promote this wonderful country we have, then we are good enough to be respected and supported properly. Sorry – I guess I’m just really sad to see Charlie clearing away all that wonderful music from the Claddagh shelves." Niamh Ní Charra posted on FB.

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 Post subject: Re: End of an era -
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:00 am
Posts: 210
Location: US West Coast
That's most unfortunate. I stopped by the Claddagh Records shop in late 2019 but I didn't have enough time to look at the selection as it was near closing time.
So I was looking forward to visiting the shop again someday, and now it won't be possible. And no doubt some of the distinctiveness of the record label will be lost in its incarnation as just an imprint of a larger record company. On the plus side, this could make much more of their catalog available for digital streaming or download: ... ble-online

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