This is a bit different to many of my other blog posts but it’s something I feel I need to speak about. Like many people my age, I love going to gigs and seeing all my favourite bands/singers but unlike some people my age, I prefer smaller gigs and going to see bands that most people haven’t heard of.
I have been to quite a few gigs this year alone and none have been in big arenas or gig venues but smaller venues where there may only be 50 people there. Overtime I go to a gig I get the same questions.
‘Who you going to see?’ *I answer* ‘Aw I’ve never heard of them’
I find it funny because I already know that’s what their response is going to be but it’s also a good thing because I can then tell people about the band I’m going to see and tell them how good they are (in my eyes anyway). Sometimes I feel going to bigger concerts can be a little overwhelming and too much to take in. There’s so much going on like backing singers or dancers or stage props that it can be hard to just concentrate on the music. At more intimate gigs, I feel that it’s so much easier to just sit back, relax and just listen to the band because there’s no big stage and all the special effects to draw your attention away from them.
Another thing I feel is good about smaller gigs is there’s no standing by your computer, phone or laptop at 9 in the morning fighting to get tickets at ridiculous prices. I’ve been to gigs where I don’t even need a ticket in advance, I could just buy them at the door. It’s so much less stress and they can be so cheap so you aren’t out of pocket for just one gig. In October I am taking my sister to go see Justin Bieber and I had to sit for three days trying to get her tickets which thankfully I did and they were £70 each whereas I am going to a gig on Wednesday and just bought the ticket last week and it cost me £8! Although yeah, you’d pay more for Justin Bieber but having to pay that much to see one person for what, an hour? A little mad if you ask me!
Obviously at smaller gigs the bands have less recognition than the likes of Justin Bieber due to being unsigned or just starting out with a record label so have a smaller fan base. I actually see this as a good thing as it means people get to interact with the bands and meet them at their gigs. I don’t think I have been to one gig yet where I haven’t gotten to meet the band afterwards or before and got to spend some time with them. It is just such a great feeling being able to meet people whose music you listen to like every day and admire so much. It’s the same for well known bands, it’s the best feeling in the world to get to meet them but it is so hard to get that chance and involves hours of waiting outside venues and hotels and hoping luck is on your side on that day. Last year I waited for 6 hours on two days to try to meet Olly Murs outside the SSE Hydro in Glasgow but had no luck and it happened to be the day I couldn’t go up he came out and met everyone. It is all based on your luck whereas you are almost guaranteed to meet smaller bands because they have less security telling them what to do or as many people at the gig to meet.
There’s loads of other things I prefer about smaller gigs but I still do love going to big gigs, the atmosphere is always amazing and obviously getting to see some of the best people in the industry live. I think the best thing about going to smaller gigs and seeing less recognised bands is how much you get to know them as people and they get to know you.
I was at a gig last week for a band called Club Drive and although I hadn’t seen them in a year, I kept in touch with them on twitter and they knew exactly who I was when they seen me. I then got asked to go to Subway with them and then they bought me a drink in a pub after that. I literally could say ‘I’m with the band’ and it was just such an amazing night. Been supporting the guys for around 3 years now and it’d been amazing to watch them grow as a band and start to get some more recognition. If anyone wants to go check these guys out, here’s their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.
Club Drive in Glasgow 8/4/16
I also have met so many friends all over the UK through different bands and one in particular, Lilygreen and Maguire. Although these guys are now split I spent 4 years supporting these guys and met them on several occasions. They were the first smaller band I ever really listened to and they have got to be one of my favourite bands I’ve ever like in my life and still love their music. Because of these guys, I made some close friends on Wales, where they came from, and last summer I travelled down to meet them for the first time. If it wasn’t for these guys I wouldn’t know them or have half the friends I’ve had in my time knowing them and it’s something that I’ll never forget.
Me and my Welsh girls
It is because of these guys I actually found out about another duo, friends of theirs, Into The Ark. These guys have got to be some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and their voices’ are just incredible. In the space of less than a year I’ve seen them 4 times and going to see them for the 5th time next month and I’ve been able to meet them every time. I remember seeing them at the Garage in Glasgow and I took my Polaroid camera with me to take a few pictures. I gave the guys one and they said they’d write a message on one for me if I wrote a message on another for them. They were so pleased with their picture and said that when they were having a bad day, they’d look at that picture and it would cheer them up. If you wanna check these guys out, here’s their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.
Into The Ark Polaroid
The next gig I am going to is on Wednesday to see ALXNDR. I’ve been a fan of these guys for a few years now but only ever seen them once so I can’t wait to see them again. Although I have only met them the once, like all the other guys, they talk to their fans on twitter all the time and are so down to earth. Going to be so good seeing them again and seeing how much they’ve changed since I last saw them over a year ago. These guys are currently on tour across the UK so if you’ve not already missed them, go see them! It’ll be worth it I promise! Here’s the links to their Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.
These are just a few of the bands I listen to that ‘no one has heard of’, a few others being The Ratells, The Last Carnival and Rachel Furner but to be perfectly honest, all these bands/singers are the best of all the music I listen to! There’s so many bands out there that go unnoticed that deserve so much more recognition. I feel if it wasn’t for liking all these bands, I wouldn’t know half the people I know now, I would have crap music taste and wouldn’t have ever learned guitar. So although they might not be in the charts or selling 1000s of records, they still deserve the same credit for being able to write all their own songs, produce them and then release them with little help compared to those at the top of the charts.
So yeah, support smaller bands and gig venues, for some, people like myself turning up could be their only way of getting an income or for them to keep producing music.