Photo Top: Glenn Rossington.
Photo Inset: Tumanmaduum Band.
The less we say about the last 14 months the better, we could go on forever about the damaging and long-term affects that the Coronavirus Pandemic has brought us as a Nation and as a Worldwide unity.
Unfortunately though, for the Music Industry, it has been devastating. Not only for bands and artists, but for the Music Venues large and small, the Staff who run these venues for our pleasure, the Touring Staff, the Sound Engineers, the Promoters, the Bookers, the Management, the Technicians… you name it. Yet it is an area of the business we take for granted when gigs are in full flow.
Charities like The Music Venue Trust and The Live Music Trust have worked harder than ever to try and save venues from disappearing, the We Make Events Campaign and The Technical Entertainment Charity amongst others have been doing all they can to raise funds for those workers who have been affected and not eligible for furlough options.
However, this week, I have spent the bulk of my spare time at BL Pro Music in Stourbridge. From the eve of Monday 17th May 2021, I have been witness to a whole host of local bands returning to the rehearsal rooms to take up their instruments again and make some noise!
It has been an absolute pleasure to not only hear live music again, but to just stand and talk to the music makers. To first of all catch up with how the Pandemic has affected them and their lack of ability to play gigs – let’s face it, not everybody is comfortable with doing online streaming from their bedrooms these days – but to then hear the feedback as an amp is turned on, the sounds of drumsticks smashing together as a count-in and then the eruption of guitars, bass, drums and vocals coming in. It was a RELIEF!
The sound of music radiating through the walls, the vocals permeating out of the room, and the clatter of drums and bass radiating through the floor is a sensation I have missed so much. Even casual passers by from the nearby buildings couldn’t help but smile as they seemed to be both shocked and delighted to hear music again.
With gigs being booked in officially from next month and a whole host of festivals planned over the Summer months ahead, it does indeed seem that live music is making it’s long overdue comeback. The successful trials for both Rave Events and full on Live Gigs in Liverpool last month have given a massive hope that we are now back on the straight and narrow. The results have been promising compared to the Intimate Trials last year before the second lockdown arrived. Things feel more real and people seem more confident this time.
I shall be back at BL Pro Music again over the coming weeks and I have also got my first few live events booked in from next Friday onwards. I honestly cannot wait. I feel like I am being spoiled at the moment, from having month upon endless month of nothing, to having the scene explode back in to action right before me fills me with so much happiness and elation that I could actually cry.
We must not however, forget the people who are putting on these events. There is still a very long way to go before we get anywhere near the “normal” of a pre-pandemic world. Wherever you can, please support your Local Venue, Recording Studio, Rehearsal Space etc… if you can’t get tickets for that huge artist in town, don’t despair, go and grab a pint and a ticket at the small venue down the road. Go and explore someone new and help out the Grassroots Venues that have been hit hard. Anything that you can do to help bring the live music scene back to life, will be appreciated by more people than you can imagine.