dedicated blogsite to Dave Wood's participatory poetry project in Northern Ireland. Started late August and finishing September 2004, it does a compare and contrast with previous visits 1988 - 1998. Also see

14 Dec 2004

Interview at the Nerve centre, Magazine Street, Derry (transcribed after interview).

Interview at the Nerve Centre, Magazine Street, Derry.

What follows is a summary of a conversation with one member of the musicians' collective based at the centre. References to questions posed by myself have been reduced to sub-headings. There were a few words or phrases that were too muffled to transcribe. Brackets [ ] hopefully clarify some of the dialogue. Please feel free to add comments to the post if you are unsure.

General information

[The Nerve Centre is] a multi-media centre started fourteen, fifteen years ago. The musicians' collective came first and then the building. There were originally two set ups - the Irish Film Festival [and the collective]. Then the two came together. This is the first musicians' collective in Derry.


The Nerve Centre put on loads of bands in the 1980's when there was not a lot happening. It was definitely successful…There never used to be anything interesting. It was always Irish Country music. Otherwise you had to go to Dublin or Belfast.

Now Derry has a programme of live music. The bands are coming here, not just going to Dublin Belfast or Cork.

All the gigs are based here.


Local bands are [now] well supported. We've had all major Irish bands played here…pretty much established on the Irish circuit and we do get bands from England and Scotland and we have international acts as well.

[We have] local bands not just from Derry but from all over Northern Ireland and they're well supported.

Derry's attitude since the ceasefire

In terms of ceasfire, [there's a process of] normalisation. [Derry is] obviously getting a lot of investment from outside - people [now] have confidence to cone here. Now getting more outside influences than what you would previously…than I would see - I grew up in the 1980's here. [There's] definitely a change in that respect. People are coming here because they want to, not because they've been dragged…really hounded 'this is not what you've seen in the newspapers and seen on t.v'. They're [now] well informed people.

Educational courses

Everything is housed [with]in the building. In the summer we have kids' cinema and during the week there's three recording studios. There's diplomas in media techniques and multi media. [There's a] recording course here [set up] eight years ago.

Some will come along and have a go and have some fun [on the courses]. Some will get jobs as roadies and through that get work, then come back here and get other work.

The course[s] is practically based, hands on experience. More that than on academic heavy duty exams.

If you want to make film, here's your camera, here's how to edit…and it does give you the knowledge…

Self sustaining?

It still does rely heavily on [funding] though I wouldn't know the specifics.

Future - self supporting?

I would say so. The climate - socially and politically in northern Ireland is changing. You may have noticed major and international companies investing here. I suppose it does go side by side.

The reaction [to the above]

[I] think it's been really good and there is that word normalisation - same here - same as U.K.

Think people are pretty going for it. They're fed up of the past so things are kind of going that way. Just my own personal opinion.