Thursday, 19 May 2011

Playing live - some doubts

Okay, let's get it right before I start - these are going to be personal views andnothing to do with anyone else. Also, I am seriously looking forward to the Bungay Bash on the 4th June at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay. A great line-up with some great music thoughout the day and I can't wait to get up on the stage and do my thing in three of the four acts as well as meet those that will attend who like what we do - that's the best part :-)

So, the title of the blog has the words " some doubts". And I've got them, I have to say. But my doubts are more to do with the return from so much time expenditure preparing for these events when looking at the falling numbers of people attending. Now, at this stage, I have no idea of how many tickets have been sold for the Bungay Bash, so what I'm saying really stems from the things I read from fellow electronic/electronica musos across the spectrum. I read today of an electronica event up North that offered some quality music (I know because I've heard some of the stuff live first hand), a decent venue and plenty of advertising and media exposure, yet very few people turned up and there is a question as to whether or not the event will be held again. The Hampshire Jam has finished and numbers for the European events are not good. And that's just a few from the many that I have read about.

So my doubts about playing live electronic/electronica music are to do with the question: is it worth bothering with? Don't get me wrong, I love playing live, it's a buzz and when you get a good audience, it's very rewarding from the artisitc point of view. But, a lot of time is put into preparing a set, practicing and sorting out venues etc, but if people don't come, there seems little point. I've noticed more and more that musicians are starting to question the validity of the live performance these days and I find it hard to believe that I am now one of them. Is it becoming a waste of time? Should I be looking at other ways of presenting the music?

The second question is the more valid one for me and I'm considering moving away from wanting to do gigs here there and everywhere, but perhaps dabble with the notion of the Internet concert. Now some will say, "oh, doing it from your living room, not really professional and not the same as actually being there, so what's the point" - fair comment, but where is the fairness and what is the point of any musician investing time and money for a couple of dozen people and whole load that don't turn up?

Times are changing fast and whilst it's fair to say that the musician has to move with the times, so does the listener. Lack of support for live events is seeing an accelerating decline in those events being held now, so much so that soon, there may be none left for the fans not to attend.

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