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Frankly, Mr Sharkey

Stuart Bailie | 17:00 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

My second day at the SXSW event in Austin, Texas and Feargal Sharkey is in conversation with David Fricke from Rolling Stone magazine. The central part of this exchange is to let Feargal explain his position within the UK Music organisation and to plot the music industry comeback from across the pond. But Fricke, who saw The Undertones open for The Clash in NYC, 1979, its also an opportunity to roll some footage of the band lashing out Jump Boys, back in the day.
And so, before the assembled media, Fricke and Sharkey are talking about John Peel and the value of public service broadcasting, pus the importance of a few visionaries. The chat turns to independent records, and Fricke is curious about the process that birthed Teenage Kicks. He talks with enthusiasm about the DIY style of this essential EP, and the ingenious, wraparound sleeve. He knows something about Good Vibrations records and its connection to a music shop of the same name. The American supposed that this took place in Derry but Feargal is quick to point out that Terri Hooley ran his enterprise from Belfast. Its a sweet little moment.

Feargal is talking about Blind Willie Johnson, The Gorillaz and Gil Scott Heron. But he's saying little about the upcoming UK Music document, Liberating Creativity, which claims to represent the entire industry and is an agreed, seven point plan for the next 10 years. I guess well have to wait until March 29.

Sharkey does reveal some contempt for the media futurists who are filling the vacuum with their windy hypotheses. And when he is asked about just how himself and his business partner Andy Heath managed to corral a wayward industry into this single viewpoint, he says that they actually studied the Labour Partys move to have Clause 4 removed from the party constitution. Which is a long way from Teenage Kicks, but the drift isn't entirely far-fetched.


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