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When was the last time you went to a gig?

Saw a great band last night. Not sure what their name was, or whether they even had a name. Might have just been a bunch guys who jam together a lot and do the occasional gig for beer money and the hell of it. They were a five-piece jazz combo, kicking out the jams at the Greenmount Surf Club and I almost missed them because I had the kids with me and it was getting on for bedtime when they kicked off.

But what the hell. We're supposed to be on holidays this week and although modern children are raised in a cloud of music, with most of them being able to work an iPod like champions by the age of five, other than the occasional Wiggles concert I'm guessing that for the most part their exposure to live music is pretty thin.

A pity. Because live music rocks.

Sure, last night's unexpected show wasn't akin to catching a guerilla gig by Death Cab for Cutie, but damn those old dudes played some tight little numbers. Made me wish I'd had a coupla buckets before heading out for my burger 'n' chips.

The kids loved it. The room was jumping. And it all put me in mind of some awesome gigs I've rolled into over the years, often by accident, and strangely enough most often in Tasmania. Don't know what it is about the apple isle but they do turn out some great pub bands down there.

Made me wonder how it is we come to lose contact with music as we get older. It's not that we fall out of love with music. Nowadays we carry it with us at all times. But of course there comes a day when you realise it's been a year since you made the effort to get out and see a band or, er, whatever it is the kids these days see.

And that's a bummer. Because no matter the style. The era. Whatever. There are some great musicians out there every night, doing their thing for us. If only we had the time to listen.

41 comments so far

  • Brisbane Jazz Club - doing it every week!

    Date and time
    December 09, 2010, 7:09AM
    • Live music is one of the true joys of life.

      I'm lucky to be involved with the live music scene and get to see a plethora of talent perform on stage and now 30 something years since I saw my first ever rock show I still get a buzz from catching a great band in full flight.

      "There are some great musicians out there every night, doing their thing for us. If only we had the time to listen." too true JB and many of those acts that continually deliver live don't get the accolades they deserve as the commercial music world tends to focus on the banal and bland rather than talent. Unfortunately it's easier for the record companies to promote the manufactured reality show idols than to nurture and develop the talent of acts that take the time to hone their skills playing in small pubs and bars around the nation.

      Anyone with an interest in music should get off their backside, enjoy a few beverages of their choice and head out to a pub and check out some local talent.

      The Shadow
      Plato's Retreat
      Date and time
      December 09, 2010, 7:14AM
      • The night before last. Blondie and the Pretenders at the Enmore Theatre. Fantastic show, both bands kicked arse and in particular it was a drumming masterclass from Clem Burke of Blondie, he's a weapon of mass destruction.

        Continuing the re-enactment of my youth, managed to catch Concrete Blonde and Weddings Parties Anything in October...same venue. Another two awesome shows and the Weddoes in particular brought a tear to the eye.

        But if the point is about seeing new/small bands in pubs, have to confess I haven't done so in ages. I did spend about 20 years from mid teens to mid 30s doing it, as well as playing in small bands in pubs for a long while, so I don't feel like I've completely let the scene down.

        I think you Brisbane folk are lucky though in having 4ZZZ - Sydney had no equivalent ever since the Js went regional/national, and you need a local radio station to give new bands the exposure that might tempt people through the doors. That's how I got started on seeing indie bands in Sydney - I loved the fact you could hear a song that afternoon and go see the band that night. I know FBi is out there now but have to confess as a 41-year old fart I don't get to hear it very often.

        Oh, I guess there's that internet thing now isn't there.

        Cumberland Oval
        Date and time
        December 09, 2010, 8:06AM
        • Last gig - Groovin the Moo. Good vibe, good sound, good friends. Soundwave before that, and loved seeing "Faith No More" looking older, but tight and ripping it up. The crowd invitation to 'chat roulette' was funny as well.

          Date and time
          December 09, 2010, 8:43AM
          • "The room was jumping"?

            Stick to defending Assange.

            Date and time
            December 09, 2010, 8:45AM
            • Last gig - Shihad, Carisbrook, Dunedin, about a year and a half ago. Epic, epic live show those lads put on, then as always. Open air stadium set after a Super 14 rugby game (possibly the dourest ever played, Highlanders 6 Crusaders 3 in persistent drizzle.) Helped of course that we were all well-lubricated after eleventy billion Speights, but watching a solid rock act playing to a crowd that loved their stuff (self included) is always an awesome experience.

              Used to go to loads of gigs - everything from mates' covers bands at regional pubs and bowlos to Homebakes, Livids and Big Days Out. Reason why no longer is the obvious one - kids - but also, as Dr Evil pointed out, there's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster. Unless it's a desperate interweb troll pleading for some shard of attention, of course.

              Dr Yobbo
              Date and time
              December 09, 2010, 9:08AM
              • Jesus Horratio stick to being a sad little internet troll or ghet a column and shut up.

                One of the sad, sad things about Brisbane is that despite a great amount of artists, the state government and their gestapo of a liquor licensing department hate live music. No Alley, The Rev, The Troubador left.

                The Alley left me with a bucket full of great little music moments. A band called Glockenspiel, like an Aussie version of the "good" chilli peppers, playing to five people, in costumes and all, ripping out a set like they were playing to a full house.

                Or the lead singer of people under The Stairs at The Rev, deciding that he wanted to sing to the upper levels and scaling the wall so he could.

                You just can't get that stuff on an ipod.

                Date and time
                December 09, 2010, 9:36AM
                • F***ing Wiggles concert a couple of years ago. If there's a more grossly overpaid group of people in the cosmos, I'd like to know about it.

                  Exorbitant ticket price, couldn't get a beer anywhere, Dorothy was tired and flat-footed, Feathersword's best years are well behind him, Wags had no rhythm whatever. The fellow in the blue skivvy had rank underarm sweat stains. Henry the Octopus? Learn to type, my friend. It's over.

                  Big Willie Style
                  Date and time
                  December 09, 2010, 9:43AM
                  • One of the main reasons I got into music photography was because I suddenly found myself not going to gigs anymore. I've always loved live music, but in a new city, with a wife who doesn't, I just stopped.

                    Now, some weeks I might go to 2 or 3 gigs. Most recent was That 1 Guy at The Globe last weekend.

                    that area between you and the stage
                    Date and time
                    December 09, 2010, 9:55AM
                    • There are indeed some truly awesome bands out there - the problem is with the good old signal-to-noise ratio; in this case, the good bands are increasingly difficult to find amidst a plethora of utter friggin' garbage. At least 80% of local bands are crap - hell, if they were any good in the first place they wouldn't be constantly begging punters for 'support' when they put on a show, and Brisbane's live music venues wouldn't be folding like a deck of cards.

                      Uncle Caine
                      The Shady Brain Farm
                      Date and time
                      December 09, 2010, 10:00AM

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