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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 10:10 GMT
Music industry 'deserves backing'
Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand were recently nominated for five Brit awards
Scotland's thriving music scene deserves official backing in the form of a dedicated agency, MSPs have urged.

The call came at Holyrood's first ever debate on pop, rock and indie music.

Pauline McNeill, head of the cross-party group on contemporary music, wants a dedicated enterprise agency similar to that in Wales.

The debate took place as 10 Scots acts, including Biffy Clyro and Idlewild, played the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas.

The event proved a springboard to a highly successful year for Franz Ferdinand when they played in 2004.

The motion, entitled Franz Ferdinand Rocks and backed by more than 35 MSPs, congratulated the Glasgow quartet on their two recent Brit Awards.

We are contributing to the renaissance of live music - Biffy Clyro, Idlewild, Belle and Sebastian, Aberfeldy, the list is endless
Pauline McNeill MSP

Labour MSP Ms McNeill said: "Scotland is taking its place in the world as a home for contemporary music.

"We are contributing to the renaissance of live music - Biffy Clyro, Idlewild, Belle and Sebastian, Aberfeldy, the list is endless.

"But unless we take a conscious decision to better support it as an industry it will fade as quickly as it arrived."

She acknowledged the support of bodies such as the Scottish Arts Council, which helps home-grown acts attend SXSW, and Scottish Enterprise, which helped bring the 2003 MTV Europe awards to Edinburgh and the Music Works industry event to Glasgow last year.

However, the Glasgow Kelvin MSP urged the Scottish Executive to build on this with a "more co-ordinated approach" to all types of business operating in the music industry.

Belle and Sebastian
Belle and Sebastian have received widespread critical acclaim

Ms McNeill also praised the Welsh Music Foundation, a not-for-profit enterprise agency with a dedicated board of industry figures.

A 2003 study commissioned by Scottish Enterprise estimated that Scotland's music industry generated about 106m annually in sales of music and services.

However, the study by academics at the universities of Glasgow and Stirling said a lack of business service providers such as managers, agents and publicists had hampered the development of Scottish musicians.

Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson paid tribute to Franz Ferdinand and spoke of the "real buzz" in Scotland's music industry.

'On BBC2 now'

She also pointed to a study recently commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council to consider the possible development of an organisation to represent the interests of the entire Scottish music industry.

Green MSP Mark Ballard, who called for more venues to support "grassroots gigging", concluded by paraphrasing Franz Ferdinand's track, The Dark Of The Matinee.

"So I'm on BBC2 now, telling Terry Wogan how I made it... my words and smiles are easy now, yes, it's so easy now," he said.

"And it would be great to hear more Scottish bands saying how they made it, how it's now easy for them."


SEE ALSO:
Franz man seeks government help
03 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Belle named 'best Scottish band'
12 Jan 05 |  Entertainment
Franz win 'good for rock music'
08 Sep 04 |  Entertainment


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