It’s been a mammoth month for gigs, and we’ve had some amazing captures for February’s photos of the month feature, Getintothis’ Kevin Barrett brings the best on offer.
Can we get too much of a good thing in live music?
Evidently so, as we witnessed during the recent White Demin gig at O2 Academy. As good as the band were, and believe me they were really good, I was very surprised to see a considerable portion of the crowd heading for the exit doors midway through their performance.
The only explanation for this could be down to the sheer length of the set, a mighty two hours of non-stop playing, albeit of the highest calibre. Now, the reason why I’m mentioning this here is that it raised an interesting debate afterwards, as to how long the ideal gig should last.
We’re aware that Springsteen, to name but one, is regularly known to play for three hours or more. The Stranglers are often on stage when the 120th minute ticks over.
On the other hand, there have been boss gigs recently over and done within less than an hour – Bilge Pump and Veleras being two bands playing in Liverpool recently who have got the job done in style before the 60 minute mark was up.
And in neither case did the reviewer complain about length.
The Jesus and Mary Chain used to do 20-minute sets back in the early 80s just to provoke a (usually violent) reaction – the ultimate tease in “less is more”, in which less was often considered to be not nearly enough. But then, for a while, they didn’t have any more songs anyway.
In my view, around an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes is more than ample to give an audience their money’s worth, whilst also leaving enough intrigue to want to go out and buy more of their stuff.
But, with White Denim the argument was: “if the band want to stay on stage as long as the curfew permits then why not? Even if people were tired of listening to what they’d usually love.” I suppose people are free to stay or leave as they wish – nobody is forcing them.
But, most bands will save the best until last and it could be considered unfair to make the crowd hang around for the best part of nearly two hours just to hear the one or two stompers from the last album.
Patience wears thin after a while. And not everyone has an equal degree of stamina.
Would love to hear others views on this, as no doubt it’s been raised more than a few times before now.
Anyway back to the photos, and the past month has been just sublime on the gig front, as far as memory serves has there been a better start to a year for quality of live music on offer?
As you can see, with the bar being set so so high in the artist stakes, this also peaked our gang of snappers in what could be the strongest gallery we’ve had to date.
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Other highlights included Omar Souleyman‘s magnificent culture collision at 24 Kitchen Street, shooting Dig Vinyl’s new digs, and Ben Ottewell playing in one of Liverpool’s best-kept secrets, Ullet Road’s fantastically historic Unitarian Church with all the intimacy and beauty of the venue’s Baronial Hall.
Hope you enjoy this month’s wares.