Why Mid-week Live Music Is the Perfect Revitalisation For Any Busy Punter. / by Laura Kebby

Photo by Solomon Wilks @soltookthis

Photo by Solomon Wilks @soltookthis

Ok yes, I get it. It’s that time of year where everything just seems to be going by in a blur and all you’re looking at is your wallet emptying and your schedule filling as you race to get everything done by the holiday season. I was speaking to someone the other day who told me, “I really want to support live music, I just don’t have the time”. I really kind of stewed on this a little bit, something that has really stuck in the back of my mind throughout the weekend especially. I know that not everyone has time to do, as I most often do, go to the gig early, see the supports, stay for the headliner and party on afterwards. Honestly these days, I don’t even have time for that, that and I work in retail and it will literally suck the soul right out of you! On Thursdays I work a ridiculously long day. One job from 8:30-11:30 and then another from 12:30-9. It’s a bloody long day, that I know for sure. Especially at this time of year when you’re watching everyone else go by, enjoying their Christmas shopping and their lives, blissfully unaware that you’re about to lose your biscuits over the very next customer who asks you to clarify the alphabet. But, even though I finished at 9, I still decided to head in and catch a glimpse of the Mirage/Cambridge Hotel event that has really become a staple in my weekly schedule, known as Thursday night live. I knew I was tired, exhausted actually, but I made the effort to go and catch a few bands do their stuff, because this is my release. I love nothing more than to be lost in the crowd of a whole bunch of people, anonymous as the band plays tunes. 

I arrived at about 9:30, walked in, got a beer, and stood, my feet cemented as my eyes were glued to the stage. I just saw Alta finish up their incredible set and there was just an energy in the room that’s so infectious and a huge part of the reason why I love to do what I do. It still baffles me that part of my job is to watch live music and then write how I feel. I’m an angsty teen trapped in a music journalists body. Anyway, back to the case on point. With Newcastle being Newcastle, I of course ran into several people I know most notably Amos from Amos and Emily who is in fact playing his own Thursday Night Live Gig very shortly, this week in fact (stay tuned for more words on this one). This experience alone, made me feel a whole lot better about my day, and was definitely a whole lot better for my mental health than simply going home and tuning in to an incredibly sad album - which definitely also has its place believe me. But I like to surround myself with people, especially in an environment where it’s more about presence than it is with actual engagement. The introverted extroverts amongst us will get where I’m coming from here. 

Thinking I’d stay for just one more song, I ended up sticking around and catching all home grown kids, Landmarks, and their incredible set. At one point I was so mesmerised I literally got goosebumps. Keep it up with those delicious synth sounds kids, more of this please. Ryan Williams was incredibly suave on stage, with just the right amount of awkward to make him the most relatable man in the room. If you have not seen this band as of yet, change this immediately. Completely cruise and the perfect remedy for me personally after an awfully long day. Regrettably I didn’t stay for the whole show though. I’m a massive advocate for listening to your mind when it’s time to go, and 10:15, I definitely felt like it was time to go. Because see, supporting live music isn’t about slogging it out for the long haul, sometimes it’s really about going, and just showing your support. That’s exactly what I did.

So back to my original point. There is always time to support live music, regardless of your schedule. Because supporting live music and getting involved in the live music scene, doesn't necessarily always have to mean you head out to get blotto, take your shirt off and demand that the band sing horses, or the Mariah Carey classic (I mean cmon guys it’s Christmas - get into the spirit kids). Sometimes it just means popping in, getting your fix of live tunes, and still finding your head hitting the pillow at a reasonable hour. So peer into that schedule of yours, find an hour or so, and enjoy the sweet sounds of local tunes filling your eardrums. Bliss.