Can you remember the Kaiser Chiefs? I’m not sure whether they were big in the US, but they had some clout over the water. Their debut album produced such indie dancefloor hits as “I Predict a Riot,” “Oh My God,” and “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” around 2004-2005. More recently, they were billed on the Live8 schedule in Philadelphia to their and the American public’s surprise. The 3000-mile round trip for the Leeds-born boys was put down to a tired planner scribbling their name on the wrong bill during a long scheduling meeting coordinating the marathon charity event.
My first interaction with the Kaiser Chiefs came after their debut album skyrocketed to the top of the charts and their name filled every column inch of UK music mags, such as NME. Their every movement was praised and their every choice of apparel lauded over. They were the hot band, wearing the hottest clothes from the hottest city. At the time, I was living in their hometown and starting to book gigs for friends’ bands. I found that more press, both nationally and locally, went to musicians from the area that sounded like the omnipresent Kaiser Chiefs. For that period in time, it was clear that the geographical position of where you lived/gigged was a detrimental factor in how much a band could work as musicians. My local music scene was geared to the sights and sounds of the Kaiser Chiefs and the Franz Ferdinands of this world.
My friends and I had many questions: great musicians could live anywhere – not all creative people live in London, New York, LA, etc. – so how does the music press then generate hot cities like Leeds in 2004, Seattle in the ’90s and Montreal more recently? Does that mean that at any one time we are missing out on a whole stack of great music just because their hometown is not a hot commodity in the music press?
Over the next four years Nick Shane, Robert Harrison, Mr. Stephen Hedley, and I saved up some money, bought some plane tickets, set up a website, opened email communication, bought a camera and headed off around the world to see whether other towns and cities had similar experiences to ours. We toured England, South Africa, Australia, USA, Mexico, Canada, and France in much the same way as most music bands do: without any funding. While on the road we spent a week in Seattle seeing the collective Beep Repaired, interviewing Levi Fuller, Hollow Earth Radio and a whole host of Ball of Wax bands. A treat!
The documentary and website Glocal Scene documents the modern day music scene as told by the artists themselves. My posts on this wonderful blog will feature news from the Global Local Music Scene! Enjoy!