RTÉ’s new platform for talent, a boost for the recovery of the music industry

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IRELAND’s biggest broadcaster features some of the country’s best talent this week, while fringe genres enjoy the sunshine every year as festival season reaches its peak.

Led by publicist and industry professional Suzanne Doyle, RTÉ premiered a new TV show earlier this week, the first of six in total, called The Main Stage.
After a few years of pandemonium (and some of the, in my opinion, troubling decisions that have harmed music makers in this country by the national broadcaster), independent artists have struggled to promote and promote themselves.

This new show, presented by R&B singer-songwriter Erica-Cody and Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas, takes a primetime slot at 9:35 p.m. on upcoming Fridays and features some of our best and brightest. With an all-star opening night cast that included villagers, Rejjie Snow, Lyra and others, it’s a really positive step forward for RTÉ to dedicate airtime to celebrating our musicians on a national scene. Upcoming episodes will have features from Damien Dempsey, The Scratch, Tolü Makay, James Vincent McMorrow and more.

Derry’s Celtronic festival went off without a hitch, presenting citizens of the inaugural city with a packed lineup of electronic artists from near and far across multiple venues, while All Together Now in the south announced a breakdown of deeds and days which strongly showcases Irish talent. This follows the advent of the Stendhal Festival last week, which recorded its biggest booking of talent from the North in recent years in front of crowds of 8,000. It’s a positive trend for Irish tastemakers, one in which writers and producers from all walks of life, genres and creeds continue to be celebrated on the main stages. May he reign long.

On that note, in March we reported on a new award set up to provide much-needed funds to groups and individuals in the Music Capital program to purchase new instruments. Since concerts were the main source of income for the average practitioner, it was an essential investment for artists who would continue to record and perform excellent original pieces. A total of €306,096 was awarded this year, split between 28 groups of non-professional performers (a total of €165,156), 18 individual talented musicians (a total of €100,940), as well as nine emerging professional performing musicians (a total of €40,000), such as Niamh Regan and Christopher Cole.

Farah Elle continues her stunning debut
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Farah Elle continues her jaw-dropping debut “Play It By Ear” with luminescent and visually stunning single “Desert”

And to wrap up this week’s column, we’re once again shining our spotlight on some of the best indie releases of the week. With so many bands committed to the festival circuit, it was a quiet seven-day count, but the quality was still just as high. Whether it’s the grating, confrontational noise-punk of M(h)aol’s “Bored Of Men” or the scintillating piano ballad of Brighton Dubliner Matt Taylor’s “No Matter What I Say”, we find always a way to be on top. The two stars this week, however, both live in separate worlds. Farah Elle, who we’ve covered in columns in the past thanks to her stunning debut “Play It By Ear,” returns with the luminescent and visually stunning “Desert.” A key-driven arrangement that’s initially populated with sparse vocal arrangements before morphing into a flood of electro-pop and harmonizing howls, it’s a definite departure from its early days and a stunning track from start to finish. .

And finally we have a great collaboration. “Without You” comes from Finnian and Ciaran Lavery and has a low-slung velvet country vibe. With a backline of loose acoustics and lo-fi percussion, Lavery and Finnian’s sweet vocals drape the arrangement with grace and undemanding. A fantastic result from both songwriters.

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