A city’s culture is like it’s brand, each one being slightly different. A massive part of any culture is it’s music scene, and Stirling has some improving to do.
Because of its size Stirling has a music scene that is based on local pubs, clubs and other venues in-between. New York is lined with Skyscrapers, Paris with restaurants, and here we are surrounded by countryside and hillwalkers.
Stirling is not only filled with the loyal locals, but also international students with a great music potential. However, the unique music scene might be flatlining.
Jumping back a few years, Jamie Flynn from Good Vibrations Studio says:
“I feel the number of available music venues in Stirling has largely diminished since I entered the music scene around 2010. Back then, venues such as Cape and Fubar often held nights showcasing original music.”
Beth Sangster, a ‘Violent Inc Promotions’ Shotgirl employed by Dusk and Fubar, Stirlings only clubs, says:
“I would say the clubs definitely stick towards charts with a few old classics, It’s heavily repetitive. I can pretty much predict the next song that’s going to be played. However dusk is a lot more versatile with the genres they play, all depending on the night, techno, house and charts.”
She admits “Personally I would like for the DJs to mix things up and play more current songs, I think they play it too safe and stick to the same songs we’ve all heard over and over again because it’s easy.”
Stirling’s music scene has become about clubbing, and these clubs only play the songs we already know. With the lack of originality and opportunities for locals to perform, we have lost our local music scene.
Stirlings club scene is underwhelming for many with only two venues, and the music choices have stagnated, resulting in the same cheesy hits and chart songs on repeat every night.
In an anonymous online poll answered in March 2019, 94% of Stirling residents said they feel the Stirling music scene is not good enough. Comments were left saying “we need a wider variety in clubs” or “pop dominates the clubs” and suggesting “we need more music venues.”
So, if locals are unsatisfied with the overall music scene, instead of constant international hits on repeat a unique scene is being demanded. Stirling’s local businesses have taken it upon them to create a more dynamic range of music and to fill the gap in our music culture.
Stirling City Radio Presenter Ronnie Mclean says:
“We champion local bands all the time to promote them on our station and we are very much community based. We get a lot of locals from the UK sending us stuff and doing live sets in the studio.”
Robert Vint, SGL Area supervisor says:
“The music scene in Stirling is quiet, but good. Live music is creating a better atmosphere than club music. Molly Malones is one of the busiest bars in Stirling because of its reputation for live music, especially acoustic.”
Molly Malones have many local artists playing both originals and covers live. Like other pubs they have been trying to create a better music scene in Stirling at night. One hope for Stirling is it’s local pubs reinventing its music scene.
Local acts are now being given a platform night after night. Local talents are now being given a chance to perform live and record.
Jamie Flynn from good vibrations says:
“I feel that the recording facilities recently introduced to the studio will be an asset to the Stirling music scene in the near future. Many Stirling bands are currently travelling to Glasgow and Edinburgh for professional recording, which is something I hope will change.”
Businesses are providing a way our small city can rely on itself to give locals and tourists a new, bright music culture. No. 2 Bakers Street is a local pub in the city centre and has become well known for its contribution to Stirling’s music scene. They are booked in advance and has more bands each year that send in demos or request to perform. This successful music scene is now expanding towards other pubs.
Hazel Craig, No. 2 Bakers Street Assistant Manager says:
“In here we have live music every night in summer, and three times a week for the rest of the year. We have jam sessions for local musicians and volunteers. On Mondays in the summer we have a Scottish music night for tourists. We play a lot of acoustic music, but also punk, rock, 80s and so on.”
Stirling cannot rely on International talents and two pubs to create our music scene for us. Local talents and bars are working together to give Stirling a name and bring its culture to life.