This week I got my music back: I’ve been feeling quite cheery as a result. Having a collection again has resulted in me listening to the music I don’t think to search for: my old favourites that I play on autopilot, like The Killers and Idlewild, but also music that I discovered live.
I’ve never been an avid concert-goer, but I think that whenever I have ventured out to a gig I’ve found something new and unexpected.
The very first live gig I went to was T in the park; I can’t even remember which year. I had two musical epiphanies in Balado that day - one band I’d never heard before, and one who I’d never heard in a favourable light. The unknown weren’t even meant to be there that day, and were standing in for Shed Seven. Whatever it was that caused the changed line up was a boon in my eyes, because that was the first time that I’d heard The Strokes, and that experience is as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday.
The band I grew to like were Placebo. I’d heard a whole bunch of their music, I had friends who liked them, but it never clicked until I saw their tremendous stage presence: the excitement, the momentum of it dragged me along, and now when I hear them recorded I understand so much better what that music is about.
I think this discovery aspect of gigs is great - without it I’d likely never have heard of The Sounds or Drive-by Argument. Even better, though, is when you get the opportunity to go to a festival like the aforementioned Scottish rock bonanza or even something wee like Ceol Cholasa.
A festival means some headline acts you probably know and some smaller acts around the periphery that you can discover and learn about in an environment where it isn’t even rude to just wander off to get food or some such. That kind of relaxed environment is how I first heard Breabach, Bodega and The Poozies, and these are bands I listen to on a weekly basis.
So the moral is go! Explore the live music that comes to you, and go to the live music that sounds like it might be fun. It doesn’t have to become your life, but it’s silly to pass up an opportunity.
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