Dear music acts I want to see live,
When planning your upcoming concerts, you should always include an element of surprise. Of course the big stuff is important; venue, playlist, lighting, sound… but years later, when everyone has forgotten about the length of the queues to the restrooms, they will remember that surprise. Think obscure support acts, unexpected collaborations and metal covers of great classics or cheesy pop songs. If you’re performing in a desert climate (Abu Dhabi), water misters are a good call. In any climate, free stuff for your fans is a good call. Talk to the crowd- tell us an embarrassing story. Get old-school and crowd-surf. Consider industrial-sized bubble machines. I love those things. Get creative.
Last month, we went to Sea Sessions- an annual surfing and music festival here in Ireland (that’s me with my bro). Kaiser Chiefs and The Coronas were headlining- they were great, but about as great as I had imagined they would be. No surprises.
The surprises, for me, came in the form of a couple of acts I had never heard of before. I discovered some unbelievable talent- and isn’t that what music festivals are all about anyway?
The Hot 8 Brass Band
The Hot 8 Brass Band are a bona-fide marching band from New Orleans. Headed by Bennie Pete (I swear I would have guessed his name before I was told), they became famous in the States after some unplanned uplifting gigs they played to Hurricane Katrina sufferers in the aftermath of their hometown disaster. Their sound is something I’d describe as a mix of Jazz, Reggae and Rap- but like all music, you have to listen (here) to appreciate it.
(I have a talent crush on the saxophone player, Clarence ‘Trixzey’ Slaughter. Major.)
Gary Doherty, Lead Guitarist for Stonefree
Stonefree were one of the local bands performing and judging by the crowd that showed up to see them, are still relatively unheard of. The smaller stage made for a more intimate gig and meant that the band could hear (and respond to) hollers from their audience. I didn’t hold it against them when they politely ignored the
requests screams for RAGE (Against a Machine) from our crowd. Much less when they threw out free CDs at the end. Respect.
Monkeys at The Surfer’s Village
€5 has been donated to Barnardos for the completion of this ‘thing’. Click here if you would like to donate online.