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Guest Blog: Edel Doherty

We invited Edel Doherty to write a blog post to mark her performance at The Front Room:

When I was asked to write a blog ahead of hosting this month’s edition of The Front Room, two things sprang to my mind.

The first was my Dad’s record player which resided in our sitting room – i.e. the good room that you were only ever allowed in when there were visitors over. It was a 3-in-1, which my Dad referred to as a music centre, I have very early memories of when I was the then youngest in my family and most likely when my two other siblings were at school being let into the sitting room to listen to music. Neither of my parents laid me with a great foundation for collecting music, no disrepect but they were big fans of the showband era, it would by my brother who exposed me to a healthy interest in music introducing me to Nirvana, Talking Heads and REM. But somehow that 3-in-1 with it’s cassette deck and turntable was an exotic wonder and made me appreciate the joy of having a physical vessel from which to listen to music. It wasn’t until I was living and working in the North of England that I bought my own record player and so began the regular jaunts to local record shops rifling through the shelves of vinyl.

The second thing which I started to think about was my old myspace profile. Not an obvious correlation with vinyl, so let’s see where I’m going with this! Yet it seems such an antiquated thing now, even more so than vinyl, with the pace with which the tech sphere moves at. I tried to remember my old login to access my account, but was thwarted by bad memory and a defunkt email account. In an increasingly fleeting digital world, the tangibility of such things like vinyl provide me with a more satisfying and relaxing experience.

In that early period of social media I was one of those that listed every band I liked at the time on my profile (to a lesser extent I repeated this act when Facebook came along). I wanted to see the music I was listening to at the time; also during that period I got into podcasting and occasionally DJ’ed at friends gigs in Leeds. I retrieved that list using the Wayback Machine. Looking back at the bands and artists I listed, some are still firm favourites while others unsurprisingly reflect the trends of the time. 

Our music tastes forever change and evolve; my own taste has been shaped by the many wonderful people and experiences I have shared over the years. One of those people led me into the world of running a record label and gig promotion. As one half of Art for Blind Records, I’m proud to have had the chance to work with many talented artists and bands and helped share their music predominantly via the physical formats of vinyl and cassette. 

For my hosting of The Front Room I will be bringing a selection of my favourite records and cassettes, some of which were released on Art for Blind others through the old-fashioned DIY model of trading with other labels. I will also bring other records I’m currently listening to but I will be encouraging the selection of what I play through audience participation and have a chat along the way about our shared love of music!

Edel Doherty is Co-Director of Art for Blind Records and Co-founder of Spilt Milk Festival.

Edel Doherty takes to the turntables in The Model’s The Front Room on Thursday, 10 Oct.,8-10pm

Admission: Free, includes one welcome drink.


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