“Why a gig is best enjoyed solo” – Radio 4

Posted on August 27, 2018

Except that’s a bit of a click-bait title. The piece is more about Charmaine Cozier talking about being out alone.

I spotted this on BBC Radio 4’s “Intelligent Time Wasting” section and found it quite familiar. I’ve been thinking more and more about my own gig going habits of late. I started going alone and am now increasingly going with people; for Cozier it’s the opposite.

link for the clip and link for the full program it’s from. Timestamps based on the clip.

She describes going out for “[her] regular life affirming blast of live music (10-20) as a solo pursuit.

Cozier eased herself in through coffee shops to cinemas “Which became easier after I questioned why I’d need company to sit in silence in the dark (2:30-2:40),” before attending concerts.Having worked in a cinema (twice) I can say going alone is normal. Lots of people do it. Staff don’t judge you as they often pop in unaccompanied themselves. But it is good to question why we need to go anywhere with other people.

I like going places alone. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I like going. If I’m going to hear a band I want to listen rather than talk through a performance. It’s fun dancing with my friends but if I only went to gigs with other people I would only go out monthly. I don’t always mention gigs to friends as often I’m too tired for socialising and often when I do mention something they aren’t interested in the band or are busy. Just the way it is.

Seems like Cozier watches people. And talks about how she must look to others. No mention of how different the experience is depending on the company. She talks of the crowd “I’m in it but not part of it (3.40-3.50)” and I wonder how she isn’t part of it. Do we not experience the same music and atmosphere when alone?

“[I] dance cautiously because the live version of a song can vary significantly from the recorded one. Theres no going back if your body is chasing frantic drum beats instead of the slower, cooler, rhythms of the bass (1.20-1.40) ” Even when dancing she doesn’t want to make a fool of herself. I’ve watched people dance at gigs. Most people are just wiggling roughly in time with the music. Few people have skill.

And how many people are watching? It might just be us loners who are people watching.

I get this is a fluff piece from our home correspondent. I get headlines don’t always describe things accurately. The lady she met in the bar was right.

You have to do what you want (3.00-3.10)