(Not everyone will agree with points made in this, but bear in mind this is just an opinion; therefore yours is welcome too)
Last Friday (the 16th December for those reading long after this is posted) I headed through to Glasgow to catch Baby Strange, WHITE, The Ninth Wave and The Cut at the O2 ABC. The show itself was incredible, with each act putting in fantastic performances, and it was easily one of the best shows I’d seen in the past few years. But there was something else that caught my attention throughout the night. Almost every time I looked around the venue, there would be a face I’d recognise that was connected to Scotland’s music scene. Promoters, artists, bloggers, and of course fans of Scottish music were all crammed in to be a part of an amazing night of music. And it wasn’t just me who had noticed; a few friends who were attending were also pointing out others that they recognised.
On the train home afterwards, and the following day, I was still thinking about how many members of the countries music scene had turned out to show their support. And then I realised that, although not always as obvious as it was at that show, this has always happened. At almost every show featuring Scottish artists that I had attended, big show or small, there would always be others connected to Scottish music there as well. And it doesn’t stop at turning up and watching; between and after sets, these people would strike up conversation with each other and get to know them better. Acts sharing event bills would have a chat that goes beyond the generic “nice set mate”/ “cheers”. Even online this amiable attitude can be seen, with twitter accounts sending support and congratulations back and forth over gigs and new releases. Personally, I try to make as many shows as I can, and attempt to speak to the performers and others who are also there. This kind of support leads to artists being exposed to new audiences, and helps to reach new areas to perform in. When I first started playing live shows this kind of support from older, established bands was invaluable, and years later it still is to those entering the Scottish music scene. Its an opportunity to learn how to get the most out of music, and what to do to make a step up.
Scotland’s music seems to be as strong as ever and still getting stronger, and part of it is down to the network between bands/promoters etc in my eyes. Need proof? Just look at Tenement Trail, King Tut’s Summer Nights and New Year Revolution, and gigs like Baby Strange and White’s. Packed venues, large audiences, and support from act to act. One can only hope all of it gets even bigger next year.