Young Fathers aim to boost live music scene

Young Fathers won the Mercury Music Prize. Pic: PA

Young Fathers won the Mercury Music Prize. Pic: PA

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AWARD-winning city band Young Fathers are set to enter into talks with council chiefs in an attempt to boost the Capital’s flagging music scene.

The hip hop trio – who met at an under-18 Edinburgh club night and shot to fame earlier this year after bagging the prestigious Mercury Prize – said they were prepared to take part in talks in a bid to help struggling promoters and venues secure a better deal.

The announcement comes after a crisis summit of music industry big-hitters was held at the Usher Hall last month in an attempt to address growing complaints over venue red-tape and noise restrictions.

Venue bosses lashed out at “draconian” noise rules and claimed the city promoted a “zero-tolerance” approach that led to small venues being shut down after just a few complaints.

Young Fathers’ rapper Alloysious Massaquoi said: “It is so frustrating. Edinburgh is a vibrant, beautiful city and it would be great if it had a thriving live music scene. I just think a lot more could be done.

“It’s obviously not good at the moment. We’ve been trying to do events for years. It’s pretty bad when someone from the council turns up with a noise meter and says ‘you can’t go any higher than this’.

“The council has been aware of this problem for years, so it’s positive that they are now taking the initiative on it. I don’t see why we couldn’t go and speak to them and talk about the issues. It would be good to get an explanation of how it is and why it is.”

A council spokeswoman said the critically lauded group would be contacted by city chiefs looking to set up taskforce to address the issues.

She said: “As home-grown talent and a band due to take to the stage at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, we very much welcome views and suggestions from Young Fathers on how we can enhance Edinburgh’s live music scene.

“We know musicians and live music venue owners have strong perceptions around the council’s noise licensing. That is why we have now set up a working group to look into how we, as a council, could do things differently.”