Occasionally, in between making tremendously uneven life decisions and listening to crackly pop songs from the Ukraine, a question crosses my mind: what happens now to the artists who don’t want to play live gigs?
This one troubles me.
Gig tickets are more readily available than ever, and in a monumentally depressed music market, we’re encouraged – by promoters, artists and media alike – to file dutifully along and go to live shows.
And in many ways, this is fine.
But what if, say, Subaltern doesn’t want to play live?
This may be a moot point – for all I know, Subaltern is currently on a five-month tour of south-east Asia – but let’s say they don’t want to, or can’t because they have a young family, or whatever.
Does that mean they are condemned to sit out the money-earning element of musical artistry until the world changes and recorded music becomes a cultural event worth paying for again? And that their capability to put time aside to make more music is compromised?
Subaltern are probably eager to play live and spread their big, broad house racket all over the world’s fleapits, mid-sized venues and festival stages, and it’d be worth all our whiles: Ephemeral, obvious title aside, is the kind of music that would send you into big, dizzy daydreams whether in a dance tent or in your bedroom.
Wouldn’t it be nice if either option put some brass in their pockets though?