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We asked Australian guitarist, promoter and band manager, Darren Bridge to answer the following question...

Darren Bridge

January 2010

The Question:
Just How Important Is It To Support Live Music?

Response by Darren Bridge share this - email, favourites, social bookmarks and more

This question, while being a 'no brainer' for any performing musician or music fan, surely needs to be asked. I mean, we can get all the music we need (new and old) with the click of a mouse, right ?

We can tune in to rage on Saturday night and sit around in the comfort of our lounge chair, imbibing or ingesting any substance we want, with no bouncers to tell us when to go home, without anyone trying to pick a fight (hopefully), and when itís time for shut eye just lean back and sleep, no cab fares, no jostling in queues, right?

We can get up and go and turn the pc on and surf YouTube till our eyes look like roadmaps, and on demand! I mean, you can pause it while you go to the loo!! Try doing that at the entertainment centre, right?

Are these some of the reasons itís so hard to get punters out to gigs these days? If so, then why do we have live sporting events? Surely we could just film two soccer teams in a controlled environment, with a director, maybe even a script and just air all the games pay per view, on demand with prerecorded cheering! No mess no fuss no soccer hooligans, yay! Something tells me half of the known world would be up in arms. Ha! Sure soccer is a great game but whatís more important in history than music? Fans sing songs at soccer games donít they? I donít think Iíve witnessed anyone playing a soccer match to a live band!

Supporting live music, by getting out there and experiencing it can be life changing, one concert or performance can stick in your mind forever. And these moments create a culture and an identity that filters out into the community and creates something solid, real, authentic. Something that can be seen, felt and heard by visitors to your town.

Pianist, Bill Risby had this to sayÖÖ
"All I can add is what matters to me in regard to live music, and that is that musical instruments all create their own sound acoustically, and as soon as you listen to a recording of music (or even a very amplified loud concert), you forgo the acoustic experience. Most kids these days haven't heard a bold raspberry on a trombone, or put their hand up to the belly of a double bass and felt joy from the vibrations.

They only hear music through a pair of little speakers or headphones in their ears. They don't hear the music mingling with nature in the air.

I remember hearing the SSO playing Beethoven once and the experience was so overwhelming that I was brought to tears. I had heard the same piece hundreds of times on a recording without the same feeling.
Likewise hearing an orchestra from in the pit being surrounded by players is a real other worldly experience.

I think it is most important that we never lose the acoustic experience, and it is almost gone...."
This obviously translates to all genres of live music, I can say that when I first heard a 60ís telecaster played through a vintage fender twin I could not get that tone out of my head for years and I still crave to hear it live.
Ultimately I think live performance is what inspires songwriters, bands and live performers to strive to push their art and without the live audience, without their muse as it were, things would take a different tack.

Also something I have discussed recently with band mates and fellow local players is the absolute need for a musical community. As a promoter in my local area I have taken active steps to build a community and fuse like-minded musicians together with this common goal, and this is paying dividends which translate to increased attendance. Of course, without the live scene there would be no catalyst Ö.and no community.

The math is pretty simple, without live performance a band is just an enigma, take away the smells, the sounds, the experience, and the atmosphere of a live show and you are left with only the blue print and not the working model!
And the fuel, the essential ingredient, the thing that it all runs on is the live music fan.

Darren Bridge

© 2010 Darren Bridge

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