Steve Wall: State of the Irish Music Industry

Steve Wall_photo Brew Up A Storm

The Stunning were an Irish rock band that formed in 1987 gaining huge recognition within Ireland and selling over 100,000 albums.

They split after business disappointments and a lack of progress internationally. They played a farewell tour in 1994 before going their separate ways but reform every now and then, still attracting the crowds and their fans.

Steve Wall singer/songwriter of the legendary Irish band now front man for The Walls, brews up a storm with his honest views about the Irish music industry. Steve has been recently challenging the public with questions, stirring debates on national radio and open topic discussions about how Irish artists are up against huge international acts that hoover up massive amounts of money here in Ireland every year.

He posted a criticism of Arthur’s Day two years ago about how he hated the fact that only UK headliners were advertised without a single mention of any Irish artists. Steve’s post went viral and about 99% of people agreed with him and last year at least half of the headliners were Irish acts.

Recent research shows that three pubs or clubs are closing every week in Ireland which has an impact on gigging bands. Despite the fact that there was a recession in the 80s and early 90s, The Stunning’s tour consisted of 22 dates around Ireland in 1991, which would be unheard-of today. Radio airplay was also huge for Irish acts mainly because there was only one music radio station which was 2FM. They played most new releases, which helped lots of Irish bands become household names. Now Irish bands are lucky enough if they get a play on their local radio station, let alone 2FM.

A few years ago Steve called the head of music in an Irish radio station to ask why their single hadn’t received a single play and he could tell he hadn’t even listened to it. “We spent about four grand of our hard-earned money in our own country and we didn’t even get the decency of someone on a national radio station giving a few minutes to listen to the song. This is what we’re up against in this country. If it was a single that arrived in from the US or the UK it would probably go straight onto the playlist.”

Steve Wall photo by Natalia Kostrzewa.

By Donna Dunne