When a friend offered me a spare ticket to see Kasabian, a band I don’t follow, I thought, “why not?” I always see this as a good opportunity to observe as a concert goer, rather than as a devoted fan.
The Caird Hall is a great venue, large enough to create a buzz, yet small enough to feel intimate. Dundee should be proud of it. The venue management clearly care about it as they were operating a strictly ‘no drinks in the arena’ policy – more on that later!
We managed to position ourselves right down at the front, which came as a surprise. This was my first gig as part of a Dundee audience. Kasabian attracted a mixed crowd; large groups of young, over-exuberant lads pumped with too much beer, pairs of girls resembling the ‘Peru Two’, mothers accompanying their teenage sons as well as older, seasoned giggers.
Kasabian have been on the go since the late 90’s and the lads were pounding out hit after anthemic hit. They know their audience and know the buttons to press to get the place jumping. Sergio Pizzorno wanted to see the biggest mosh-pit ever and Tom Meighan wanted as many girls up on their boyfriends shoulders as possible.
It wasn’t entirely surprising that security staff were so high in numbers and that an alcohol ban was in force. Sometimes security can be over zealous at gigs, but given the balcony dive at Kilmarnock a few days earlier, I could see why. They looked after the crowd well.
After the gig, the square outside the Caird Hall was full of fans singing in unison. One got a bit carried away and ended up in the fountain in only his boxers, the police were right on it and he was hauled out to much heckling and chanting.
A fun night, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan!
There seem to be fewer and fewer people around today with a genuine interest in music. I have a handful of old friends that share my passion for music, but I’ve met a lot of people recent years who seem bemused by my enthusiasm for albums, gigs and new music discoveries.
It’s got me thinking that maybe music as an interest, is becoming far more niche than it used to be.
I’ve come across quite a number of people at higher profile gigs who are there to tick off the experience in their bucket list rather than being genuine fans of the band. They’d be unlikely to own their Greatest Hits let alone name their seminal album!
Access to music should be easier these days due to the internet, but perhaps there is too much out there for the casual listener to begin their music education? Record shops are closing by the day, so cities and towns are losing their music focal point and with that accessibility, particularly to enthusiasts, who can guide someone new to a genre or artist towards their next purchase.
Music on television in the UK is slipping from mainstream schedules. Top of the Pops was buried years ago, Later with Jools Holland seems to get later and later, while although BBC4 has music Friday’s, the programming is aimed at older demographics.
I find it quite unusual now to meet people in my everyday life who ‘get’ music, which saddens me, as someone who has been brought up with great music from my first days on the planet. And, without my virtual Twitter music friends, I’d have no-one to discuss music with regularly.
Is it just me who feels this way, or is this the way it’s going now?
They’ve finally arrived, to much fanfare and hype, in Sydney. So, how were these formally bearded guys from Tennessee going to greet an arena full of excited new Aussie fans?
I’ve been following Kings of Leon since their first album and I’ve been amazed at how quickly they’ve moved from curious indie misfits to top selling major artists. I think they are still trying to figure this out too.
The guys rattled through their hits from all their albums, but it became fairly obvious very quickly that the vast majority of the audience were only familiar with the recent hits. Many of the best tracks from the first album went unnoticed.
KOL were seemed rather amazed at attracting so many new fans in such a short space of time, even asking the crowd at one stage, “What did we do to deserve so many fans?” – well, the answer – they’ve recorded some fantastic radio-friendly tracks coupled with Caleb’s distinctive vocals.
They don’t seem entirely comfortable with arena rock yet – it wasn’t until the final few songs that they encouraged the crowd out of their seats. Arena seating really doesn’t support their style of music. I don’t think they really hit their stride until the last few songs when they relaxed and had the crowd fully behind them.
I think they will mature into the larger venues, but they are not quite there yet and their new audience have some catching up to do – I hope they’ll get hold of the old stuff when these guys had beards!