The Ninth Chapter
The Ninth Chapter

Musical renaissance

FOR THOSE involved in, or keeping tabs on, the local music scene in Grafton, it can be safely said that the winds of change are turning and the creative juices are flowing.

Over the past 12 months there has been a noticeable spike in not only local music activity but also venues seeing the value in employing artists' services.

"There has always been a lot going on in the Clarence but I guess suitable performance spaces have been part of the suppression of some of this talent," said Glen McClymont, member of the bands The Ninth Chapter and Mostaccio - groups with firm ties to the Clarence Valley.

"There seems to be quite a bit of interest at the moment from open-minded venues regarding local music, in particular original music, which is great to see.

"Some venues are even investing money in designated performance spaces, which has been basically unheard of over the last 15 years."

Glen said of particular note was the wide ranging diversity of genres which seem to be emerging with everything from lounge, jazz, heavy metal, blues, classical and the ever-present rock, folk and country styles featuring heavily in the developing scene.

"I think one of the most exciting aspects of this local groundswell is the migration of musicians and artists around the circles that exist. There is a real sense of a 'movement' among local creatives which relates more to them being seen as a collective rather than individuals or small groups," he said.

"A great example of this is the amalgamation of ideas and styles that are coming together when formally trained musicians are joining forces with self-taught "jam" style musicians. Both backgrounds obviously have their merits, and when a common page can be found the results can be fantastic".

Acts like Siskin River, Mostaccio, The Ninth Chapter, Clocks and Dice, Mick Carr, Airborne Blues Virus, Headpound, Ryan Enns, Auribus, Kevin Shanahan, The Jacaranda Strings Trio, The Lonely Daysa and Ryan Martin were just a few currently doing the rounds in the area but Glen said he was certain there were also younger and less known groups who were also out there slogging it out and trying to make a name for themselves.

Glen said the local scene was also being given a boost with several newly formed agencies within Grafton pushing towards ensuring that quality acts and performances are always on the horizon.

As a result, Glen said it may be a good idea to keep your eye on the gig guide over the following months and well into 2013.

"The word is that 2013 in particular could be a great year for music in the Clarence with both local and nationally recognised talent really getting amongst it here on our door steps," Glen said.

"There is quite a lot of study that has been done in relation to the links between cultural development and community health which show that a thriving cultural scene is either a precursor or a symptom of a healthy community.

"Either way, given recent talk of community decline in Grafton, let's ensure that this is the case."

With at least several Clarence Valley bands currently performing, promoting and touring their product outside the area, some nationally, there is little doubt that the "Grafton music scene" is a sleeping giant, recently woken from its slumber.

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