Here in the U.K. it was commented only last week that audience attendance
to live performances, in particular music, is on a definite up.
This is hardly surprising, as far as pop and rock is concerned. Though CD
sales are down in the U.K. by between 10% to 8% compared to twelve months
ago, depending on whose report one takes notice of, the teenagers to thirty
year olds appear to be listening to more music than ever. Downloads,
Streaming, MySpace, Peer-to-Peer, YouTube, MTV, Internet Radio, Ipods,
Iphone, Ringtones, it's endless. People now walk and jog around with
hundreds, if not thousands, of tracks neatly concealed in their pockets.
Imagine the scene of someone walking into his friends living room and the
host proudly saying "So, what do you think to my music collection.
Impressive, eh?" as he points to his computer in the corner of the room.
Born in the mid fifties, I suppose I am part of the vinyl generation. The
choice of format that would be yours to collect was... vinyl. And as a kid
or teenager, if you could be bothered, there were spool tapes. Not many
bothered. The way to find out about the artists that one was hearing and
get and idea what the faces were behind their music were limited. By the
late 60s there was a thriving music press. Here, we had the all important
"Top of The Pops" which has since being woefully been axed by the BBC and in
the 70s there was the good old "Old Grey Whistle Test" also on the BBC.
There was that wonderful listening experience of hearing a record for the
first time, either on the radio or TV, or, perhaps at a friends house, which
gave an incredible sensory rush coupled with the thought of 'My God, I've
never heard anything so fantastic, what shall I do, what shall I do?' Before
anything else in life was attended to, everything, no matter how important,
had to be put on hold until the record was bought, taken back to the family
home and smuggled through parents customs "What have you been buying dear?"
And up, past the gun towers and beyond the razor wire of parental opinion
and at last to the safety of one's bedroom.
Undoubtedly the best format was the LP. What, for me, would usually be an
hours tedious bus ride from town would turn into an experience like being
gently transported to Heaven as I would sit, staring at the perfectly sized
12" x 12" cover, then the back, then the cover, then the back, then the
cover, then the back, then the cover then the back... Reading everything;
sleeve notes if any, track list, artists, instrument, engineers producers,
equipment, cover artist. Everything, even down to who the printer was. Names
and fact would be mentally stored and the discussed with friends at a later
The LP, along with it's sleeve, art, photographs and printed words was
highly visible and tangible. It was bought and it was owned. It physically
represented the band or artist. You were looking at and holding exactly what
the artist had held, excitedly, when it came off the press. You owned part
of what they had produced and there it was for you and everyone else to see.
On your shelf was part of there project.
I would like to say that the CD has carried on that tradition. Since their
inception there have been some incredible attempts to make this format do
the same as what the LP did. But it's problem is exactly what it set out to
be...compact, small and indestructible. It is its strength and weakness. As
I write this I have CD's lying around on my desk. 'Oscar Woods & Black Ace'
and my favourite band from near by Manchester 'The Fall'. I would never,
Never, NEVER leave LPs lying around. Never! Because LPs were, like the
artists, are venerable, could easily be damaged and needed looking after.
I'm not a teenager anymore. Only partly. And although I have a fourteen year
old son living with me, I don't pretend to know exactly how the download or
Mp3 thrills a kid. I think that I would be right in saying it would not
compare with the experience of hearing a record and then having to rush out
like a man possessed and buy it, as described above. In addition, the music
press is in decline and though there are the visuals on on-line mags, blogs
and YouTube, is it really the same? Certainly, many of the well known and
respected music critics here feel that they are not.
Visually, a download is no more than an icon with a title, in a file. So, I
am not surprised to hear that live music is on the up both on a local pub /
club level and on the larger, festival scale. There is no shortage of music
and the way of accessing it seems to increase by the month. But people and
in particular the younger generations, are no different now to how they have
always been in as much as they want to see their music heroes,
understandably now more than for a long time, or at least check them out
before being awarded such status.
My son and I were chatting. I think it was about an early encounter with
"girl trouble". His, not mine. My advice, gleaned from experience, seemed to
be hitting all of the right buttons and I congratulated myself on being the
wise father that I was proving myself to be. At the end of the discussion I
suggested that he might ask the girl in question if she would like to go to
the cinema or the disco. At this point he fell about laughing "Disco!!" he
said. "There's no such thing as disco these days". Being aware that my
apparent wisdom was falling into the icy waters of incredibility like the
melting ice of the north pole, I said "Well, what do the kids do then?" He
exclaimed "Gigs!!! They go and watch bands."
Document Records Ltd
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Graeme Jaye
Sent: 16 July 2007 03:44
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Urgent Message From SaveNetRadio
On 15/07/2007 Don Cox wrote;
DC> I think there are far more live concerts of all kinds today than there
DC> were 100 years ago.
Then you are obviously *totally* out of touch with the current live
music scene. Anyone who plays in a group, band, orchestra or whatever
will tell you that the number of venues, available for live
performance, has diminished rapidly over recent years.
Thirty years ago, I could (and did) work seven nights a week, Today,
I count myself fortunate to pick up one.
[log in to unmask]
Mobile Recording and Audio Restoration
Hobby Musician - find some of my stuff here
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