Mark Mackie on...

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IN the final part of our interview with concert supremo Mark Mackie, the Director of Regular Music shares more thoughts on Edinburgh's live music scene

WHISTLEBINKIES...

“... venues like Whistlebinkies are incredibly valuable to the live music scene. I always say to people when they ask me about live music, ‘If you were a tourist coming to Edinburgh and you wanted a bit of Celtic traditional Scottish music, where would you go?

“There’s Whistlebinkies Sandy Bell’s, and the Royal Oak, that’s about it. There is still a real gap in the market, especially with the number of tourists we are getting at the moment.”

THE PICTURE HOUSE...

“... was not the best venue for atmosphere, for comfort, for staging, for facilities and dressing rooms. All of those things were awful. The office space was horrendous, there was no place to lay out the catering, so there was a lot of behind the scenes things wrong with The Picture House and perhaps that is why it became a bit unloved.”

THE VENUE...

“.... was where you would see bands like Texas, inset, and Hue and Cry on their first tours and that 300-400 capacity is much missed.

“That’s the one that has never been replaced because the venues that tried to replace it were nightclubs that put up with live music.”

THE GOOD OLD DAYS...

“...we can look back with rose tinted spectacles and remember Led Zeppelin at the Usher Hall, but that might have been the only gig that month.

“We are spoiled, you can have four gigs there in a week now. So there is a lot going on, you just have to waken up to it.”

COASTERS...

“... I really miss it. It’s what Edinburgh needs, a hot, sweaty venue for punk gigs. Coasters’ all-standing 900 capacity was perfect – Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Blondie, The Pogues and The Jesus and Mary Chain, I put them all in there.”

GIG GOING ...

“...the more people go to concerts, the more they want to go. It’s like going to the cinema, you forget how good it is if you don’t go for a while.”

EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY...“...when we started doing Edinburgh’s Hogmanay back in the day, hotel occupancy rates in 1992/93 were 30 to 40 per cent.

“Now hotels triple their rates over that weekend and give nothing back.

“A cultural bedroom tax would be a fantastic idea and is something hotels should actually be offering, not objecting to. After all, the more things that happen in town the better for them.”

LEITH THEATRE...

“...there is room for Leith Theatre to have a mixed programme. It would have been better if all the money had been put in place to begin with. It’s great that it opened for Hidden Doors to let us all see what it’s like and think, ‘Right, what’s next? What’s the future and where is the funding going to come from?’ It’s one for the future.”