• Natalie Merchant performing at a gig in London in 2010

    Lessons in Love

    As we squelch through the final weeks to our first lockdown anniversary*, what have we learned? Will ‘year one’ of the peculiar deprivations triggered by the pandemic result in any surprising revelations about our innermost dreams, any deeper self-knowledge or a new profound understanding of the universe? No? That’s fine, let’s move swiftly on to the one thing that any ‘lack’ consistently inspires: appreciation. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then…

  • Michael Franti performing from the crowd at his gig in London in 2016
    Gigs,  Tickets

    The Future is Unwritten

    Joe Strummer’s famous quotation, ‘The future is unwritten’, could now be followed by the clarification ‘and, during a pandemic, frequently postponed’. Last week, two musical things happened, which triggered this thought. When I say ‘happened’ I mean, of course, the opposite: two things were announced to be ‘not happening’, but these retractions are the closest thing to gig news I’ve had all year. Firstly, Glastonbury, the UK’s largest music and performing arts…

  • Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performing in 2013
    Gigs,  Tickets

    Rock of Ages

    I’ve found a new reason why it might rock to be older. Gig-goers, of course, already experience revered appreciation for their age when their concert-attending prowess is suddenly revealed. These revelatory moments of show-specific recognition by younger gig-lovers begin like this: you find yourself in a conversation about a band that no longer exists. Perhaps one with a sadly departed singer or an act that broke up after one album, but are…