Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Let’s Not Talk About Stuff, Let’s Just Play Music

Last night I attended my first online gig: The Divine Comedy live from the Barbican. I bought a ticket and logged in for the 8pm livestream (you could watch up to three days after the release, but I wanted to have an experience as close to the live concert as possible).

In a prerecorded segment screened before the start, Neil Hannon promised a set of 'comforting, cosy, nice, all the ones you know' songs. Then the band opened with 'Absent Friends', poignant for obvious reasons.

There was a small live audience at the Barbican (I was too slow to get a ticket for this). They were thanked for attending, as were we out in 'virtual land'.

The performers stood apart from each other. Masked stagehands exchanged guitars. "I'm not match fit!" Neil exclaimed, out of breath after one number. "I'd better talk for a bit."

The Divine Comedy don't feature on my top ten list of bands yet somehow I seem to own almost all their smart, whimsical albums full of literary and historical references. It was lovely to hear the familiar back catalogue: National Express, Your Daddy's Car (either my favourite or second favourite) and Songs of Love, which non-fans will recognise as the theme from Father Ted.

The performance lasted for an hour - short for a gig, but as long as you want to spend looking at a screen after a day of Skype meetings - and ended with a socially-distanced bow.

It was nice to attend a gig wearing my pyjamas ("OLD!" said my flatmate when I revealed my plans), and not to annoy anyone (except possibly my flatmate) by singing along to "SHE SAID! THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE WOODSHED!"

But I very much hope this is not the future of live music.

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 20.26.00
Tags: gigs
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We loved them when they played at Cropredy. My niece, small then and sitting on my knee, was completely hysterical singing along to 'arse the size of a small country' :)
I am 43 and still snigger at that! They're lovely live; Hannon is so personable.
With you on the "not the future of music" thing. There's only so much an online concert can manage, and the energy a live audience feeds back is so often missing. I've been catching a few rather smaller-scale online events without the spacious venues even a small live audience needs at present, and they're just not the same. Here's to a time when gigs and concerts can be live and in-person again.
Yes! Outdoor gigs! Seated gigs! Gigs where you have to stand and push your way to the front! Live music in pubs! All of it!
Most of the live music I hear is at conventions, and the last one I went to was in February. I think it was pretty much the last one this year that's been able to run as planned. Since then all the conventions have turned into online affairs, including the ones in Germany we would have gone to in May and September. It does mean we've been able to look in on a number of online conventions over in North America, and so heard a few performers who've never made it over this side of the ocean, but even given that, it's not the same...
You were lucky to get in in February! I've not got involved in online cons much (except ConFuzzled) but maybe I should get used to it.


1 week ago

'there's a jolly hostess
Selling crisps and tea ...'
I love it. I don't suppose they played any Duckworth Lewis Method? Slightly different band, I think.
They didn't - I guess they wanted to go for the big crowd-pleasers. But I love those songs despite knowing almost nothing about cricket.
Boo, wish I'd known about this - I think we might also have attended in our pyjamas!
Ah, damn, I wish I had alerted you! I seem to be on their mailing-list.
I will sign up to it, just in case he feels inclined to do it again some day!
Apparently they're doing all their albums live, two a night, next year (should have been this year). I am tempted!
This sounds like fun. I had not heard of that band before.


October 19 2020, 17:39:27 UTC 1 week ago Edited:  October 19 2020, 17:39:53 UTC

They are...very British. Possible war poetry interest: 'Sunrise', about the Troubles (much more serious than their usual songs about e.g. having a nice bath).
An excellent song; thank you. I see what you mean about 'very British'.