As we approach BalconyTVs 10th anniversary, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of the first artists that performed on the show and find out what has happened to them in the time since.
Eleanor McEvoy performed September 29th, 2006. Here is our catch up....
Stephen - Eleanor, you were one of the first artists to perform on BalconyTV. What, if anything do you remember about the performance?
Eleanor - I remember it was very fast! In and out - one take. Just one microphone I think. Live music at it's best.
Stephen - What was the song about?
Eleanor - If memory serves me correctly I did 2 songs 'The Fields of Dublin 4' about the insanity of Celtic Tiger Ireland and 'The Way You Wear Your Troubles' which is about telling someone that they don't have to cope with life's troubles on their own.
Stephen - How long had you been playing before that point?
Eleanor - Ooooh, since I was about 3 years of age. I'll let you do the math.
Stephen - What were your ambitions then, compared to what they are now?
Eleanor - My ambitions are broadly the same, although they are probably more holistic now than they were back then. Peace of mind, good health, true friends and a good night's sleep would all now be high on the agenda for my definition of "being successful". That wasn't the case 10 years ago.
Stephen - The internet has completely transformed music in the last 10 years. When we started out, YouTube was just starting and MySpace was the thing. How have you found dealing with the digital revolution?
Eleanor - Some of it's fun. Traveling as much as I do, it's wonderful to have so much music available on my phone etc. It's great to be able to book tickets at the drop of a hat on line, but financially, it's been a cataclysmic disaster for songwriters and musicians. Income has been decimated. I don't know how the newer bands survive financially. Many of them don't. I often see fantastically talented musicians giving up or having to work at 2 and 3 jobs just to survive. The income is not going to the creators of the music anymore, it's going to other sources that exploit that content. "But you get exposure" they say. You can die of exposure.......
Stephen - What do you make of the Irish music scene?
Eleanor - I think we have a ridiculous amount of talent and creativity, but not much in the way of support. I think the young country scene in Ireland is incredibly vibrant at the minute. Lots of talent there that doesn't seem to get national exposure.
Stephen - If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, 10 years on, what would it be?
Eleanor - Two pieces of advice: 1. Not to be in a hurry about getting better at what you do. 2. To not get rid of your turntable......I didn't ;-)
Stephen - What has been the best thing to happen to you in music and life in the last 10 years?
Eleanor - In music - Balcony TV of course! ;-) In life - Freedom from the impatience of youth.
Stephen - What is the one song of yours your most proud of that people should check out?
Eleanor My song "Sophie" is used in treatment centers throughout the world to treat patients with anorexia. I've always been a big believer in the healing power of music. I never thought that one of my own songs would play such a direct roll in healing. I'm very moved by the messages and letters I receive by sufferers and their families.
Stephen - Who has been your favorite Irish artist of the last 10 years, and your favorite international or mainstream artist?
Eleanor - In the mainstream world........Hard not to admire Ed Sheeran - One man on his own getting up and singing great songs really well. There's an integrity to that.
Eleanor - Irish acts.....honestly can't say I have one particular favourite, I have many, but Wallis Byrd from Wexford is certainly up there.
Stephen - Final question. What would your words of wisdom be for anyone starting out? Be as brutal as you like.
Eleanor - Get into it because you LOVE music as opposed to love the idea of being a musician. They are two different things.......and keep your living costs low.
Stephen - Thanks Eleanor!
- Stephen O'Regan