How do you manage an 8 member band?

It’s a question I get asked a lot. Often followed with comments like ‘You’re a brave woman’, or ‘I suppose it’s like herding cats’ etc. etc. – I can assure you there is no bravery or herding involved…(well mostly) – It is a team effort.

So how do I manage 8 members in a band?? The simple answer is I DON’T!

I joined Kíla at the beginning of 2018 as they headed into their 30th year in music.   I had worked with 2 of the Ó Snodaighs prior to that and knew Colm.  While I had experience as a promoter and manager, and a strong academic and professional background, it was my first time managing a band as big as Kíla.

So my attitude initially was watch, learn, trust my instincts. I focused on their social media presence, their fees and the types of gigs they were doing..and I concentrated on improving that presence, increasing their fees and finding decent gigs that would afford them time to record more.

It helped that I liked them enormously individually and it helped that the job was bilingual (Gaeilge agus Béarla), and it also helped that I absolutely love their music.

My instinct was to work with them and for them, and not to work without them. In truth I am part of a management team that consists of the band and of me.

Do I express my opinion? Yep I sure do.

Do I say if I think something is a good or a bad idea? Yep I sure do.

Will I really push an idea that I think could work for Kíla? Of course, all the time.

Do I tell Kíla what to do? No I don’t

‘THE WORD MANAGER IS MISLEADING. PEOPLE THINK WE’RE SOMEHOW THE BOSS OF THE ARTIST. IT’S THE OPPOSITE; THEY’RE THE BOSS.’ (Danny Goldberg)

The managers job is to guide them to get the most success out of their art. Personally I could not work with Kíla if it was any other way. I love their music and their creativity.

You can read about Danny Goldberg’s role with Nirvana below. Interesting reading.

‘The word manager is misleading. People think we’re somehow the boss of the artist. It’s the opposite; they’re the boss.’

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The Irish Language – why is it important we maintain it – Cén fáth?

I read an article this weekend in the Guardian about the global dominance of the English language. You can read this article at the end of this blog.

As a fluent Irish speaker, and someone who really wants the Irish language to survive, the article re-enforced my absolute instinct about not fighting this dominance.

While English may be the day-to-day language for many on TV, in music, and online –  as  a bilingual Irish woman , I would say don’t fight the dominance, look at it, listen to it , embrace it as a unifying voice but then look at it and critically assess if the English language really has dominated??

To answer that, I guess that depends on how you define what domination by a language actually is. For me I need language to be able to express how I am feeling, thinking, or reacting in any given moment. I speak Irish and English fluently, hold a degree in French and speak German passably.

Does the English language give me that? Nope

Does the Irish language give me that? Nope

Does the French language give me that? Nope

Does the German language give me that? Nope

Do a combination of all of the above languages give me that?? Yes, Oui, ‘Sea, ja…of course they bloody do , languages compliment each other .

We should be working to protect our older languages, not replace them, we should embrace them and enable people to speak as many languages as they possibly can.

When I was young, I was lucky to be afforded a bilingual education – I spoke English at home and Irish at school. That said bainne (milk) will always be what it is, i.e. bainne Shut the Door will always be Dún an doras..

As a family we managed to incorporate 2 languages into our lives – one for school and one for home. It is a very do-able thing.

Some words are un-translatable to other languages. A prime example of that would be the Irish verb ‘ag machnamh’ – this should directly translate to English as thinking but it doesn’t because it means so much more than that..it could translate as thinking but it could also translate as meditating, contemplating, analysing, strategising, taking a break, chilling,  and much much more…

Below you will find the article that inspired this blog. Language is as beautiful as music, as art, as poetry, as literature..it doesn’t need to be a fight  about which language dominates, it just needs to be about making sure all these beautiful languages survive xo

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/27/english-language-global-dominance?fbclid=IwAR27HAgXVl33SA9PSwEQjC9vlTKBGKMDOHFPPLTPee45wHunx835z79_2QQ/