Saturday, April 18, 2020

Don't stand so close to me

For someone used to going to an average of at least two gigs a month, the current drought is excruciating - and the prospect of live in-the-flesh concerts not returning in earnest until autumn next year is truly horrifying. It's only been a few weeks, but already the mere idea of congregating with a bunch of strangers in a darkened room - let alone barging into them as fluids (sweat, spit, beer) fly - seems unimaginable. Right now, I'd happily go and see a Toploader tribute band, or pay £100 for wankers to chat all the way through a favourite artist's set.

But what of the possibility of socially distanced gigs as a way of resuscitating the sector? As strange as it might sound, they're already a reality in Sweden, where gatherings of up to 50 people are still allowed - and NME's Derek Robertson has been along to a couple to see how they work.

Overall, his impressions were positive, and both the venue owner and the punters he spoke to saw such shows as offering a vital lifeline to enable the club to keep operating (as well, presumably, as financially benefiting the bands).

But surely having 40 people in a 350-capacity venue isn't economically viable in the long term, even if the awkward logistics could be worked out. (Table service in the Moon?!) Much as I want to believe that live music will be back with us before long, I fear we could be in for quite a wait.

No comments: