Brainstorm: Dundee’s Music Success on the Decline?


Snow Patrol performing in Vredenburg, Utrecht

Go to university they said. Start a band they said. Ok maybe they never said that, but it got Snow Patrol to where they are now.

Right now, Dundee is known for the waterfront development, the V&A, DC Thomson’s and Rockstar Games. But is it missing out on local born and bread musicians by focusing too much on culture?

It has been 10 years since their number one debut album, Hats off to the Buskers, but one name you hear a lot is The View. The band formed while the members were in high school and whilst they never lived up to their full potential, they can still be seen gigging across the country.

The View were probably the last music success story to make it out of the City of Discovery but if you are ever in the city, it won’t be hard to find someone who claims that at least one member of the band is their cousin.

Alternative rock band, Snow Patrol were formed in Dundee. Lead singer, Gary Lightbody met Mark McClelland during their time at university and formed the band during Freshers’ Week back in 1993.

Throughout their career, the band have received six Brit Award nominations and one Grammy nomination. Not bad for a band which originated within a wee city on the River Tay.

Once labeled one of the world’s greatest funk and R&B bands, Average White Band also formed in the city whilst the members studied at the University of Dundee and Abertay University and went on to gain massive fame in the 70’s.

Dundee has provided a number of notable music acts in past generations, including The Hazey Janes band, Model Aeroplanes and The Associates, but with the exception of 19-year-old Charlotte Brimner (Be Charlotte), who is just making her mark in the industry, it has lacked promising stars in the last 10 years.

Five years ago she played her very first open mic night at The Doghouse but is now sharing her music all over the world yet very few Dundonians know who she is.

Dundee has seen many popular live music venues close down over the years such as The Doghouse, Dexters and Yuppies with the stand out remaining venues being Buskers, Duke’s Corner and Number 57 but it isn’t enough for local artists to make their name heard.

Is it time the city stopped focusing on its culture and started pursuing its creativity again?

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