Saturday, 15 January 2011

Live and Dangerous

I was floating about different websites today, and I decided to check up on the websites of a few bands I've got into recently. Now, please, don't get me wrong. I'm terrible about keeping up to date with the folk that have wedged themselves into the charts and the bands that are 'hotly anticipated' for this year. But I've broken the trend recently. Somewhat. Maps & Atlases released my favourite album of 2010 (and aren't that well known apparently) and the Vaccines (one of those hotly tipped bands that haven't released an album yet) are a couple of my favourite bands just now. I was sceptical about the Vaccines. But their live performance was great. So much energy, and the lead singer performed without shoes, just in his socks. And I got their set list. But anyway. Maps & Atlases are yanks, and not that popular, so I thought it would be a while before they came to the UK. But lo and behold, they have a date in Scotland this month! I'm very pleased.

Let's face it, everyone paid the fee for Glastonbury
in 1995 to see Jarvis dancing like a daddy long legs
But around about this point, I've got to decide what music festival I'm going to in the summer. I only really have enough money for one. A bunch of my friends are going to Benicassim in Spain, and my usual festival, Download, has some good headliners. T in the Park, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, and the festivals a newly reformed Pulp are visiting look promising. But what is it that motivates us to go in our thousands and pay hundreds to go and camp in a mucky field in order to see a few bands drunkenly mumbling into a microphone? What is it that makes me pay an amount equal to my weekly shopping bill in order to see a band for a couple of hours? It's not just me either. Have you seen how much Led Zeppelin and The Smiths have been offered to reform, when let's face it, they are very far past their best. Morrissey's voice is still great, but his performances of tracks like 'This Charming Man' or 'A Rush and a Push' in his solo performances are extremely dull. I suppose this goes back a little to my entry I made about our love for the past and groups gone by. But I disagree with those who say live music is a waste of time. Of course, it can be a gamble, a lot of reformed (and new) bands are shit. But it's well worth that gamble to see the bands that really do put on a spectacle.

I'd never really properly listened to Rage Against the Machine's discography before seeing them live. 'Testify' began, and I didn't really expect much because AC/DC had only been okay the day before. But everyone around me surged. The crowd turned into an ocean in a particularly unforgiving storm. The mass of bodies jumping up and down. Going below would only result in injury or suffocation. And the people were only half of the experience. The bass fought with the guitar, the drums provided a primal back-beat and the vocals were delivered like an armour piercing bullet.

I could use every cliché in the book to describe my experience at my favourite gig. But really, I'm just trying to sell the idea that live shows are an experience to the poor souls that read this blog. It's a chance to see your favourite performers proving that they can meet your expectations, fail them or exceed them, compared to their studio recordings which you originally fell in love with. Try it. It's not an atmosphere you'd want to die without experiencing.

Drunk blog #3. Thanks for reading!


  1. gotta love drunk blogs, don't forget to follow mine.

  2. For a drunk post it's very coherent.

    I do find a certain adrenaline thrill at the prospect of a live performance getting a little dangerous. Course it largely depends on the gig you go to, naturally it was peaceful when I saw Travis, a little hairy when I saw the Manics but I stood my ground, Oasis? I was rather concerned of going down, I pretty much couldn't touch the ground, all I could feel were my feet to treading on shoe after shoe after shoe, rather rude but at that moment it was a matter of survival. It was a pretty fun experience.

  3. Live performances are good for those with talent. Most modern "artists" don't have any and therefore suck live.

    Don't forget to check and support often your local information hot-spot!

  4. you're a great writer for being drunk :)

  5. good post, hope you night was a gooden ;)

  6. sounds like fun, good drunken post.

  7. You so aren't drunk, if you were drunk you would write terrible like me lol good post :D

  8. great read. It really touched me.

  9. concerts are pretty exciting, nothing quite like them