Wednesday, 4 January 2012

You Can't Beat the Real Thing

(from previous blog - 21 December 2011)

Just stumbled on a news item about the discovery of a lost David Bowie performance from 1973. Link is below, but please don't go just yet!

Despite being performed long(ish) before my formative years, I was blown away by the quality of the performance, sung and played completely live and in one take. I'm not a particularly fanatical Bowie fan (despite the similarity in our names), but it brought home to me what live music is all about and the sheer excitement that can be generated by a good performance. The rawness and power can transcend anything that is pre-recorded.

Now I know that is pretty rich coming from me - a musician who currently does not currently perform his music live, although I shall remedy that very soon. My hypocrisy only intensifies when I admit to using all the capabilities of modern recording technology to make my music sound as inch perfect as possible. But I have always played live music my whole life whether as a spotty teenager playing loud guitar rock with delusions of imminent stardom, or as a more mature adult playing ABBA and Motown hits at parties just for fun (and beer!). I have played in some really good (and some not so good) acts in my time but you know what, whether playing in the corner of a pub or playing to an audience of thousands the massive high one gets from it is just the same. And that makes you play better.

It's the same for the audience. Watching a good live act playing completely unassisted cannot be beaten by any other listening medium. It's a cliché, I know, but the best cliché's are usually true. I could now descend into a vicious diatribe about the X-Factor generation, auto tuning, miming and corporate marketing. But I won't. It just shows up my age. But you probably know what I mean.

So take a look/listen to the Bowie link below. Whether or not you are a fan or even remotely appreciate the music, I defy you to not be impressed by the performance considering its provenance. No auto tuning, no miming, no backing track, just straight to tape. That is what music is all about. So I'd better get back to putting a band this space!

Here is the link! - Lost Bowie Video.

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