Monday 30, January 2012
Students bask in famous Northern Quarter music scene
STUDENTS dominated the Northern Quarter music scene on Monday night with three events at three top venues.
The budding music managers, from Manchester College, put on performances at Gulliver's, The Castle and Night & Day Café - all on Oldham St.
On a typically cold and wet Manchester evening, arguably Britain’s premier musical city, offered testing conditions for the cohort to drag out punters.
Groups of between 12 and 13 undergraduates organised each event, drawing out of a hat to decide which venue they would have the use of and what music genre their night would be.
The ‘stressful’ task is designed as a sharp learning curve for first year students in event management on the Foundation Degree in Music Industry Management.
The two year course nurtures students' skills as music managers, following in the footsteps of the likes of Brian Epstein (The Beatles), Nigel Martin Smith (Take That) and Chris Morrison (Thin Lizzie and Blur).
Few will scale those heights and many will not even become music managers upon graduation. The ones that don’t can expect to become promoters, agents or specialist journalists.
Lecturer Andy Woods, 45, said: “We just said pick a genre and venue out of the hat and get on with it.
“One group got urban, one got rock and one got sort of techno/house/club/electro so they are each doing their own little thing, which is great.”
The students can look forward to an ultra competitive industry after graduating next year with venues struggling to fill up as disposable income continues to decline.
Andy added: “At the end of the day, they have actually got to go away and organise an event and there is no better learning process than all the pitfalls and the bad things that go with it, it’s quite stressful really.”
Woods says the size of the groups is problematic for the exercise to be an accurate simulation but has plans to improve it next year with events spread across May to excite Manchester music lovers.
If those events can match the level of this year’s domination on Oldham Street, it should be impressive. This year saw three events each with well known local artists and even an entry to the British Air Guitar Championships at the rock event.
One of the rock night organisers was Robert Loughlin from Rusholme, he said: “There’s all official rules, you’ve got to bring your own music and then the sound guys play it through the PA system and then you’ve got 60 seconds to basically go mental on stage!”
Dedicated Robert added: “I think you get out of the course what you put in, if you just go to class and not really immerse yourself in the music industry outside of college I don’t think you get much out of it.”
Headlining the rock event was Blackburn’s Middle Finger Salute, whose bassist Chris Brownless, thinks the competitive side to the task is a good thing.
He said: “It’s important, from a professional side you’ve got to grit your teeth and go for it really because there is always going be competition, especially in Manchester, there is that many bands and that many venues, there’s always stuff on.”
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