INTERVIEW WITH MIKE MCGRATH-BRYAN AND NIAMH HEGARTY OF MIDWEEK MIXER

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2015-05-14

Text under photo of article

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Echo article - Interview Midweek Mixer

The Midweek Mixer is a new monthly music night run by two people who’ve been bubbling away at the local music scene for a good while, Mike McGrath Bryan, best known for his work with the dropd website, and Niamh Hegarty, who presents on radio and blogs as ‘newnoise’, and both are involved with The Thin Air magazine.

Mike explained how the idea to start working together came about, “the idea for the Midweek Mixer is to have a night of just good music, regardless of genres or other labels. Cork has a small, dedicated gig-going community that generally supports a whole heap of genres, and that cross-section has always been there in Cork musicdom, going back however far you’d like. This night is a little nod to that tendency.
The idea came from a gig Niamh threw my way to organise and promote, when that fell through, we took the date we’d booked with Mr Bradleys and thought about local acts. The mixed-genre thing was Niamh’s shout, and the rest is history…. Very recent history!”

Niamh continued, “for me, the idea was to mix genres and not have the same group of bands playing together. I mentioned to Mikey that it would be great to have some local hip-hop acts play with some metal acts and he listed off some bands that he thought would be a good fit. I hadn’t seen Spekulative Fiktion or Apocalypse at that point but he had at Quarter Block Party, we’d both been to different shows that weekend.”

Mike thinks the first Midweek Mixer, which featured those acts, was a great start, “last month featured bands and rappers with their DJs. They all had a jam at the end of it for the craic – Olan from ‘Here We Stand’ hopped behind his kit and jammed with JusMe on turntables and pads, while Spekulativ Fiktion and ApocalypsE rapped over it. That set the bar high.”

While this is only the second in the series, both Mike and Niamh are focussed on making this develop, she continued “I think in time it would be great to bring Irish and international acts into the Midweek Mixer but for now we starting small and working our way up. Once we’re in a place to be able to cover guarantees for local acts, we would absolutely love to mix Irish and international acts of different genres.”

‘Different’ is a word that keeps cropping up when speaking with the two promoters, as Mike followed on from Niamh’s point, “there are many different elements in Cork’s scene at the moment. We generally have a load of micro-scenes with people kinda buzzing between them, so it’s nice to try and have a place where fans of multiple genres, or people in search of something new can go to get what they want. We’re both experienced promoters/bloggers, etc., but there’s definitely that feeling of starting again.”

Midweek Mixer also has a somewhat different admission price, where you are encouraged to pay what you can, there is a few lines of thinking behind that policy which Niamh expanded, “at the first night we had some really generous donations at the door and it proved a point. I think the free entry model is not always the best example. Maybe people tend put less value on the show, in theory the idea is of course if you can’t afford to see the show, you can still go but it doesn’t always encourage more numbers. This way people won’t feel under pressure to pay if they don’t have but if they’re enjoying the show, the donation is something we can pass on to the bands to cover their costs.”

“Setting a set entry fee, while obviously a bit more reliable in terms of doing the maths at the end of the night, might not necessarily appeal to a whole bunch of people who are maybe just curious about the bands or the venue. There’ll always be gig-goers who’ll throw a few quid in, but if someone comes along casually and is genuinely impressed by the band, they chip in on the way out, or buy pints during/after the show, etc. It’s more flexible. Money isn’t a priority for us with this, we just wanted to try something new with running DIY gigs in town, so as long as donations etc. cover the bands’ costs, we’re happy!”

Mike also wants to point out that they want to hear from people who want to get involved, “anyone with something to express, with music, visual art, slam poetry, etc. is more than welcome to get in touch with us at zenarcadian@gmail.com.”

Midweek Mixer #2 will feature hardcore band Horse, who recently released their debut EP, plus 3 other acts at Mr. Bradley’s, Barrack St on Wednesday 20 May at 9pm. All proceeds to YESEquality Cork

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