FREMANTLE bands dominated WA’s big music award night last week, perhaps pointing to a renaissance for the port city, says WAM head Mike Harris.
Jazz-rap collective Koi Child chalked up four wins out of five nominations taking out Most Popular Act, Most Popular Music Video, Best Album and Best Urban Act.
Abbe May got the gong for Best Single and Best Female Vocalist.
Hip-hop-jazz, psychedelia-grunge-soul band Pow Negro took out Most Popular New and Most Popular Live Act.
North Freo venue Mojos collected Most Popular Venue for the third year in a row.
Keeping the ball rolling for Fremantle The Triffids, along with Rick Steele, were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Both [were] integral to shaping the thriving musical landscape we see in WA today,” WAM board chair Al Taylor says.
For years Fremantle’s music scene was in the doldrums as cashed-up retirees moved in and gentrified the city, but things are reversing, Mr Harris says.
“Fremantle has the strongest music scene in the country…One of the 10 best bands in the world [Tame Impala] comes from Fremantle.”
A new study into Perth’s music scene commissioned by WAM has found it pumps a whopping $1 billion into the economy.
Mike Harris says they wanted to use the study to give them ammunition when arguing for a bigger slice of arts funding.
“Music is such a massive industry…it’s contribution is significant,” Mr Harris says.
“There was a degree of pissed-offness. We don’t get the same level [of funding] as other art forms.”
ECU, which conducted the study, found there were almost 3000 full time jobs and wages of $149 million associated with music.
The figures could be even higher, as the data was based on people listing music as their primary job and didn’t take into account door sales at smaller venues: “What is missing is the cash economy,” Mr Harris says.
WA performer and WAAPA graduate Tim Minchin put his scathingly stylish seal of approval on the study.
“Trying to convince economic rationalist of the impossible-to-quantify cultural benefits of music is like trying to explain Shakespeare to pigeons,” he said
“This…study proves…the music industry is economically smart.
“The least profound way in which it profits is finanacially…but if that’s the only thing you care about, then fine. Look at the data. Fund the arts. For fuck’s sake.”
by JENNY D’ANGER