Strange the way things work out. This piece was programmed for publication today and by some quirk of fate it’s the same day that our long-time correspondent from ‘Up North’, Steve Jenner, achieved a lifetime ambition by starting his regular Sunday morning show on Caroline Flashback. Steve’s been in radio for many years, but he’s been a fan of live music for many more and 2020 has been a bit of a shock to the system. Here are some of the things he’s missed in this year of lockdown and its variants:

 

The Five Ritual ‘Live’ Things Missing from My Life This Year

 

Anticipation.

You get your ticket and as the date nears you start to think about it. What will the line-up be? Will they play my fave tune of theirs? How’s the new stuff going to play in a live setting? Will he/she be ‘on it’ or will it be a ‘routine gig’? Has it sold out? Will there be any proper beer?

Going in.

Milling about inside  the venue, eyes getting accustomed to the dark, checking out the bar and the bogs, staking out a space, hearing the noise levels rise as the pre-event music kicks in and the punters start to flow through the doors. Getting that ‘tingly’ thing you do.

 

Tension build-up.

Main act is habitually fashionably late and there is a palpable build up of tension / expectation in the crowd. There’s a bit of good-natured jostle near the front. Torches keep flicking on and off onstage and shadowy figures flit from mike to monitor and desk. The crowd starts a ‘stomping’ routine.

Bang.

On they come, first song’s just a sighting shot but the second one’s a biggie. The crowd are singing like a Championship football crowd at a home game and the bass player cracks a smile at the drummer. We’re in!

 

 

 

Off they go, and they’ve left nothing out there.

Mad stampede noises, roadie rushes to front mike and makes an adjustment and ducks away. Lights off, crescendo, on they come again and off we go into the best new album track, a Chuck Berry/Smokey Robinson/Insert name here followed by The Greatest Hit. Thangyewg’night!  And you stand there, bathed in sweat, half-covered in somebody else’s beer, feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck. Time to go home via kebab/pizza/chipper/insert food here.

 

Here’s to 2021. Hang on in there until it happens. Big respect to everyone in the industry who have somehow found a way to survive ‘silent running’ and deepest empathy to those who have not.