You will all know that I love my music. More often than not you will find me listening to a CD, or the radio, or music stored on my fancy all-singing-all-dancing mobile phone. The collection of CD’s in our house is extensive to say the least, ranging from Air to Paul Weller, with the odd embarrassing offering such as Dido, or Jools Holland (apparently). But what I really enjoy is a good live show. I’ve been to a few in my time, and for me, you can’t beat the experience. To hear the songs you love played before your very eyes as you stand or sit there is quite a feeling I’m sure you’ll agree.
Anyone can make a record in a studio, and make it sound good with production and studio trickery, but it takes real skill to then play those songs in front of a live audience, without the safety of constant re-takes if they get it wrong. Aside from playing the songs, they then have to engage with the audience and make it an enjoyable show for the people that have paid to see them.
Of all the gigs I’ve been to in my time, a few stand out for different reasons.
Firstly, there’s the time I saw Paul McCartney live at the docks in Liverpool. Two hours or so of some of the best music ever made performed by a member of the greatest band of all time. And I was there.
Then there’s the time I went with Marisa to see the Fleet Foxes at the Wolverhampton Civic. It was our first music gig that we went to together, and the performance was amazing as they recreated their enchanting melodies perfectly and charmed the audience in the process.
I’ve been to see Cast a total of four times, twice in their prime, and then twice more after their reformation. In fact I saw them twice in one year – April 2012 with Marisa and Dale, and then again in December 2012, this time just Dale and I. Which brings me on to my next gig memory…
In April this year, I took Marisa to Wolverhampton to see my new obsession, The Hummingbirds. I’d first seen them at the Cast gig when they were the support act, and I was blown away then, and that was just a half hour set. This time, they were playing for much longer. To hear all the songs I’ve grown to like played live pretty much as they were recorded, right down to the mind blowing vocal harmonies, was pretty damned special.
And most recently, just this week, we trekked all the way to Stockport to see the legend that is Nick Harper. I’ve seen him twice before and have been totally gobsmacked by what he can do with his guitar. He was recommended to me in the first place by my friend Doug, and boy am I (and Marisa) glad he did! Seriously folks, you have to see this guy live!