Davie Kirkwood talks about the local music scene and the return of the Magnificent Seven
The Dumfries and Galloway metal scene is clearly thriving with local bands like Turbyne and Bloodthread having a dedicated following and playing to packed out venues. Small Town Sounds tracked down Davie Kirkwood, who is well known in the town as a music promoter and band manager, to ask him what he thinks of the music scene generally and to tell us all about the Return of the Magnificent Seven gig which takes place at The Venue in Dumfries on Saturday 30th of July 2016.
Small Town Sounds: Hello! Thanks for taking the time to talk to Small Town Sounds. How are you?
Davie Kirkwood: Hi Melissa, I am great thank you. Busy with work, music and my wedding on 12th August.
STS: Can you explain what your role is in the Dumfries & Galloway music scene?
DK: My role in the Dumfries and Galloway music scene is to give the little bands the best start that they can get. For more than 2 decades I have managed local bands and bands throughout the uk. I have put on gigs, promotion nights and designed posters and merchandise with the help of a very small group of friends and music lovers. I must add that I do all my music related stuff free of charge.
I manage local band Turbyne, and have done for many years. They are a band that makes me proud. Not only are they are talented musicians and songwriters, but they are the nicest bunch of guys you could meet. I love their music and them too.
STS: You have a particularly important gig coming up soon – do you want to tell us all about that?
DK: On July 30th I have The Return of the Magnificent Seven. 7 bands for £7. It is great value and brings talented bands to play Dumfries that would normally not get the chance. Some big bands in the making and all great at what they do. Once the sound guy has been paid all the remaining ticket money gets split evenly between the 7 bands. Whether you are on first or last, the money is the same. It’s great to see all these bands jump at the chance to play. They develop great friendships and it leads to bands travelling to other towns and cities and increases their popularity. I try to have 4 new bands each time and 3 local.
STS: This won’t be the first Magnificent Seven event there’s been – what’s the history behind it?
DK: It all started many years ago, and this is the 10th one I think. I came up with the name mainly as there were 7 bands and the are always magnificent in their own genre. Many of the bands playing this time reached the final of the Bloodstock National Competition, so watch out for their names!
STS: You’ve been involved in the local music scene for a number of years now – do you think it has changed? If so, how?
DK: Dumfries can be a strange place for getting a crowd. I make the gigs as cheap as I can. 7 bands for the price of a packet of cigarettes, enough said! The future in Dumfries for local bands can be good, there are a few good people to guide them. I mainly deal with rock and metal bands but there is an audience for all genres.
STS: You manage local metal band Turbyne – what are they up to now?
DK: Turbyne have a few gigs coming up in Glasgow, Dumfries and Whitehaven to name a few. Their full length CD “Origins & Endings” has had amazing reviews, but please catch them live at a gig soon. They will rock your socks and the rest of your clothes off.
STS: Do you have any advice for any musicians just breaking into the local music scene?
DK: Let’s get the rest of the UK to stand up and salute our local talent, it is here in abundance.
If any local bands are wanting to put on any gigs in the area and are unsure what to do, or are a bit nervous to organise anything, please let them contact me via Facebook as that is an easy way and quick way for contact. I have many talented musicians from the length and breadth of the UK playing at my wedding on August 12, but it is invite only and all the 250 places are booked!
STS: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us!
DK: Thanks for the interview, yours in rock, Davie.
Tickets for the Return of the Magnificent Seven are on sale now for £7 from Barnstorm Records in Dumfries, Davie or members of the bands playing. They will be £8 on the door. You can keep up to date by joining the Return of the Magnificent Seven Facebook Event.