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Looking For Pat and Greg 2009/01/09

Posted by Daddy Dave in Music, Reviews.
Tags: , ,

We are really looking forward to the Hue and Cry gig on 21st February, but good grief, has it really been over a year since Tommy Emmanuel  and Andy McKee at City Hall and Beverley Knight at the ABC (or ABC1 as there is now an ABC2)? We certainly don’t go out much!

I guess being careful in a credit crunch makes that much of a difference… er, wait, maybe that’s not really true because, when I think about it, I must have seen hundreds of acts live over the years — heck, I’ve travelled hundreds of miles to see a gig in my heyday. Ruth’s the same. Yet we were kids with no money back then.

We could only afford it because we didn’t buy albums.  The money went on the gigs and blank cassettes!

We used to find out about bands through a network of pals of pals and word of mouth. Then we’d go see them. Very occasionally we’d discover a band or performer through TV or radio — stuff like The Old Grey Whistle test, or The Tube.

  • I guess the problem now is that the pal-network is so different; I know lots of guys my age who get genned up on bands through their teenage kids (which is scary and wrong). Others seem stuck in the past, still following bands from back in those days — bands that are still going or who have reformed.

I get quite a lot of new leads from MP3 players and phones from guys at work (the nearest thing to schoolpals and taping LPs), it has to be said.

The TV still has some input; Ruth was so blow away with Beverley Knight’s performance on Loose Women that she made a point of hunting down the clip on YouTube. So when I saw a fly poster about her ABC gig, I knew that tickets would be a perfect birthday present.

On the other hand, TV adverts for a band are off-putting. Jools Holland is probably the only serious thing on TV these days, so we are kinda forced to mess about on the internet.  YouTube is great because it’s there when you need it, and one thing leads off to another — you search for something and the related links get you surfing off in directions you never dreamed of.

That’s how we saw what-was-our-last night out last year, Tommy Emmanuel and Andy McKee.  Without YouTube and MP3 transfers, we’d never have even heard of these guys!

Hue and Cry seem to have reformed as independents — self-employed guys who realise that people are file-sharing and posting stuff on Youtube. They are actively encouranging all this (going against the grain, somewhat like Prince did last year).

In exactly the same spot as I saw the poster for Beverley Knight back in 2007, I saw the poster for Al Green — supported by Hue and Cry (October 2008) — and I thought it would be another perfect birthday gift for Ruth.  However, she couldn’t make it.

Mind you, I mentioned the Al Green/ Hue and Cry gig to one of my clients — and they went!  I got the new album Open Soul from them on MP3 format. What a fantastic album! This led us to look up the web — and that is how we found out about the upcoming gig on 21st February.

Yes, I know it looks like we’re stuck in the 1980s, stuck in our ways or something, but rest assured it’s not like that. If the new album was mince, or if the gigs were just nostalgia, we’d run a mile in the opposite direction.

Fact is that we’d proably go see Hue and Cry if we’d just discovered them, purely on the strength of the new material. I was actually amazed that Ruth knew all the words from the 1980s stuff — we discovered something in common — and that we’d somehow managed not to see them live back then, so it’s something we’ll cherish together.

Looking at their website, it’s clear that they think they have some kind of alternative business plan.  I am not so sure (hence this long post). It seems to me that they (and Prince too) are only able to work like this are because they have had hits in the past.  A brand new unsigned act couldn’t sell an album to a newspaper to give away for free, a new band with no hits couldn’t do what the Kane brothers are doing on their website.

Hue and Cry (and Prince too) have an audience already. All they have to figure out is how to tap into their pockets.  I only wish Pat Kane could come up with a new business plan for bands kicking off from scratch!


1. Hue and Cry at The ABC « devine - 2009/02/25

[…] nights out. Tags: Glasgow, Hue and Cry, Open Soul, Pat Kane trackback We’d both been really looking forward to the Hue and Cry gig we went to last night, not merely because we don’t get out together […]

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