My ideal . . . music gig


I was in my room the other day, playing, “how long can I hold my breath”?

I was doing well – not cheating and not panicking. I must have blacked out some time in the afternoon because when I came to, the light coming though the window had changed; grown weaker. Like me!

Anyway, I stopped playing the game and decided instead to imagine the ideal music gig.

The dictionary defines a gig thusly: some little people making music any way they can think of while lots of other little people gobble up that music with their greedy little ear-mouths.

That’s right, the hungry little so-and-sos snarf it into their heads where it is digested quickly by their brains before doing one of two things: sending it back out into the world in tiny burps, or funnelling it down to their hearts where it hums and beeps and works to keep them alive.

Rifling through my old papers last night in search of my medical degree specialising in angel healing (a weekend course in Trinity College, well worth doing if you’ve longed to be a doctor but don’t have the seven years to waste on boring old books), I came upon this journal entry from my teenage years that proves my point.

“Liam and Noel are so gorgeous but I prefer Noel but Liam is gorgeous but so is Noel in a different way, yah, I prefer Noel cos he does all the writing actually and in a way that’s better but the two of them are gorgeous. I knew all the words today. I wonder what a Wonderwall is?”

That was a record of my first gig and, as you see, it truly was all about the music.

Beg your pardon – did you just roll your eyes? You either just remembered the scene in The Last of The Mohicans where the young Mexican actor playing Daniel Day-Lewis’s brother first made eye contact with the wan little thing playing Madeleine Stowe’s sister and that caused you to temporarily bliss out; or you rolled your eyes out of cynicism at something I said.

You’re thinking, no need for me to go to a gig when I’ve got the record right here and can play it whenever I like, even when I’m on the john.

Well now, you’d be a dirty snake in the grass because I’ve got a big old egg for you to swallow right here: the live experience is something else altogether. Get surrounded by other people as they breathe and bicker and stink and I promise you, Princess, you’ll realise we’re all the same. I’ll let you decide what you do with that realisation – I recommend taking courage from it.

The ideal gig shimmies under the protective layers, ignores the head in the way, travels up through the soles of our feet, inveigles itself into our veins and bangs on our insides, demanding entry.

Listen! They sing or play or bleep, and so you must.

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