To Gig Or Not To Gig…
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
We were at a gig in North London last week and I was thinking about how gigging has changed for me in the last few years. I made the move from Glasgow to London a little over ten years ago. Before I moved down, I would be at a gig at least three to four times a week. Gigs and socialising seemed so accessible since everything in Glasgow is a short walk or a very cheap cab ride away.
Although there are brilliant bands passing through London all the time, it almost feels like a military operation to get to a gig these days. We live and work in South London so we need to get ready, get on an overground train then a tube and then there’s a short walk to the venue from there. Everything is around 45-minutes distance door-to-door, which is actually decent by London standards but in that time, in Glasgow, I could’ve travelled to Edinburgh!
Despite the distance, we still push ourselves to get to shows if we can what because seeing a band live is important – music changes when it’s played live, it can even change your perception of a band. Plus, despite my grumbling, I do enjoy being out once I’m standing in front of a band rocking out. So maybe it’s not the distance of the shows but more so that I’m getting older and I’m just pre-empting what the night will be like, the people that may be there etc.
Yes, getting older means I give less of a shit what people think if I don’t turn up and I don’t even lie anymore; if I’ve been busy and someone wants me to come to a (non work) gig, I’m just honest now – “sorry, I really want a night in”. Plus in between meetings, work, seeing friends, seeing friends’ kids (!) and other “grown-up commitments”, it’s hard squeezing random shows in too. I’ve seen some brilliant bands down here but the older I am, the more I just know what I want and what I want to see. Mostly, I want to be in the house watching TV in my PJs, reading comics and if I do venture out, I want to see bands rock with their balls our, play with all their heart and really “bring it” live – I want to be amazed. Unfortunately, you need to weed through a lot of shit to get to those wee gems and perhaps I’m just getting tired of weeding.
Sorry – this blog has turned into an old lady grumble but life is busy, I don’t have time to see every single crappy band that lands in my inbox so I reserve my time and energy for the good ‘uns and the bands I need to see for work. The rest can bugger off, sorry, but a cold trek up to a sticky venue somewhere that smells like last week’s underwear doesn’t appeal. Plus I have lower back issues. I like sitting down.
When I was first practicing with Manga Studio months ago, I knocked up a wee webcomic about the matter, which I think says it best so I’ll leave on that.