Recently I had an argument with a friend. I was describing a gig I attended where the music was original, the stagecraft exceptional and the professionalism impressive.
I was bemoaning the fact that people weren’t concentrating on the music enough, that nobody except the band’s entourage and my companion and I (definitely not part of the entourage) stayed in the room long enough for the performance to have an effect on them.
My friend’s reply was along the lines of: “What do you expect, it’s not the Albert Hall, people don’t go there to listen.” What her viewpoint boiled down to was that musicians performing in venues other than concert halls should never expect audiences to pay attention to them.
Happily, there are plenty of people that do not share this opinion. The band I went to see, ‘Rent’, are one example of the creative warriors up and down the land who invest their gigs and recordings with much more than just time and money. I expect they receive a fair bit of indifference and ignorance, as well as appreciation, in return. But they still come back smiling.
There are as many reasons for people going to a gig as there are people at a gig. But let’s abandon our prejudices and give every act a chance to entertain us.