I made a brief reference recently to Mr Greedy’s enquiry about Barrance Whitfield – would people turn out to see him? It led me to think more generally about going out to live gigs which I must confess I hardly ever do these days. The main exception is when I’m playing but there’s a clue there, in that the last half-dozen gigs I’ve done have all been lunchtimes or afternoons.
At my great age I must confess it needs to be something a bit special to drag me out of the house, especially at this time of year in the dark. It’s partly that my life has been so full of gigging for 50 years that there is little magical or mysterious about it now.
Generally speaking, by something ‘special’ I might simply mean an event where I expect to see some pals (eg Joe Jackson last year), or more probably something that has a real impact on me musically – which these days is very rare. There are some top players out there, often doing gigs in pretty small venues but how often do they offer something that changes ideas about music? Again, at my great age, I struggle to find much live stuff that I expect to have that kind of impact.
I don’t drink these days, so it’s sometimes a bit odd to devote 4/5 hours to a licensed premises with nothing to do but wait for the band to come on and I’m certainly happy to go home by 11pm, whereas many gigs (eg this Saturday at the Wedgewood Rooms) are advertised as running until 2am. Once upon a time I’d have loved that and the bar, but now I fancy neither, which is why I’m not much use to a promoter like Mr Greedy. The final issue for me is the travelling. Since I don’t drink, I could drive but parking around Albert Road (or the RMA/Cellars) ain’t straightforward to say the least.
For about 40 years, none of those issues bothered me at all but increasingly I don’t make the effort and I don’t feel I’m missing anything I haven’t experienced before. But that’s all about me, and one less punter doesn’t matter in the slightest so I wonder how typical any or all of that is?