When you don’t do something for a long time, you forget how good it is, don’t you? You know, like popping bubblewrap. Eating a Mars Bar out of the fridge. Sex.
Something I hadn’t done for a while was go to a live gig. Until last night, that is.
Having recently met local singer songwriter Sinead Livingston in order to book her to play at the next Sunderland REP event, I wanted to go along and support her in this event. I’d heard her stuff on her soundcloud page, but hadn’t actually seen her perform live, so I was keen to check her out.
I nearly didn’t go, as the friends I’d arranged to go with couldn’t make it at the last minute, but I’ve never been one to let lack of accompaniment stop me from doing anything (is that another reference to sex? – Ed.) so I headed on down to Bar Pure in Sunderland and settled myself down on a bar stool with a pint.
And I’m really glad I did. The night was billed as a Busker’s Night, and the atmosphere was great. A bunch of muso’s – most of who seemed to know each other from ‘the scene’ (see, I know all the lingo, me) – turned up with their guitars, hung out, chilled, and got up on stage and played. They did their own stuff, they did covers. They did serious songs, love songs, protest songs about microwaves. At one point somebody got out a flute and just improvised along with the singer on stage. Apart from one moment where a punter climbed onto the stage (literally) and crashed someone’s set by shouting Eva Cassidy’s Songbird into the microphone, the night was fantastic.
If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know I’m not a muso. My expertise is in ‘the dramatic arts’, that’s where I’m in my comfort zone. I can’t pretend to know anything about music really; it’s just a case of “I may not know much about music but I know what I like.” But, of course, Music is one of Aristotle’s key Six Elements of drama, and I know how powerful it can be. And, not wanting to sound too wanky about it, that fact was brought home to me again last night. When you’re in the room in which a person with great talent can move you with just the sound of their voice and a guitar it’s a powerful experience. (I have to say also, kudos to the sound mixer last night. So often, these type of gigs can be let down by shit equipment or a crap sound guy, but the techies in charge of last night’s gig got it absolutely spot on.)
This was the first busker’s night at Pure, but it won’t be the last. If you’re local to the area I highly recommend checking them out.