It’s said opinions are like assholes – everybody’s got one. These are my opinions about the many gigs I go to all year round. I started going to gigs around the age of 15. I was born in 1963 and I’m still going to see bands play live, so these are the thoughts of someone who supports live music. I live in Brighton (B-Town) on the South Coast of England and most of the gigs I go to are either in my home town or at various venues in London.
Whether I’m on my own, with a bunch of sweaty mates in “mosh pit heaven”, or in the company of my good lady Georgie, I’ll be reporting on the ups and downs, the high notes and low notes of musicians I’m interested in seeing play live. My reviews tend to be largely favourable, mainly because I pay to see bands I’m really into and are already a huge fan of. Luckily, most of the time they don’t disappoint. When they do disappoint, I weep like a little schoolgirl until the next gig picks me up again.
When it comes to reading reviews by music critics, I’m a huge fan of Nelson George and Greg Tate. While I don’t profess to have their journalistic chops they’re a decent benchmark to try and aspire to.
As a music fan I want to know the answers to questions like:
- Who can really play their instrument?
- Who couldn’t carry a tune in a rusty bucket?
- How do you sing live when all the vocals on your album were recorded using autotune (have you got a harmonica stuck in your throat?)
The One Native Sun.
Claude McKay, If We Must Die (1918)
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!