I helped to host another gig last week: two really good local bands who are getting national radioplay (Radio 6). It is something I both love and loathe: I get to listen to music, set up a venue, talk to the musicians…and at the same time agonise whether the tickets will sell, just how many times can people take random texts from me and …are people really enjoying this as much as I am?
I’d bumped into 2 members of the above band 2 or 3 years ago who were helping their friend out with some fundraising. I heard them and was taken aback: they were so good, so strange and so much better than anything I had ever heard in an open mic- I wanted to see them again with a full line up.
Have you ever had that moment, when you were suprised and taken out of your comfort zone by music that was so different to what you were expecting?
The first band was really good: tight, bittersweet and tuneful and then ‘Head of Light Entertainment’ played. A good proportion of people there were wide eyed: how could music this different and this brilliant & played so well come to a small village? A smaller proportion could not cope or appreciate with what they saw and heard and left.
I sat there almost open mouthed: what am I seeing? This is beyond amazing.
I learned something -or relearned something -that night.
It is ok to be different, to be so captivated by an alternative vision and pursue it because it lights up your and others’ lives. But also, when you do that, you have to do it as this band did, with integrity (you really do believe in what you are doing: it isn’t just for the sake of being different), openness (‘Hey- we are doing this and isn’t it different: you may get it and you may not’) and without being in any way defensive about what you are doing and why.
Would I see them again? Yes. Would I recommend others to see them? Yes; if they are ‘open’, not closed and own nothing with the title ‘greatest hits’ in. Would I book them again? If I have learned anything about being 50 it would be to take more risks and not worry too much about the consequences…. (I think I will give naked hang gliding off the Tees Bridge a bit longer though).
I am sure there is a sermon in what they did and how they did it. But hey: you do the math….