Last weekend, we headlined The Star concert hall for the first time. We have played this Guildford venue before (in fact, the first time we played there, we almost had a fight with another band) but never as the headlining act.
There is no feeling quite like getting up onto a good-sized stage and blasting out songs with experienced musicians through a decent PA – suddenly, all the long hours of practice and song-writing make sense: the crowd’s presence causes something secret and hidden within the music to awaken, unfurl its wings and take flight.
The audience’s reaction serves to fuel this process, leading to a state which most musicians describe as the “extra member” syndrome: adrenaline causes the interplay between instruments to become so instant and intuitive, it literally sounds as if there is an extra person on stage playing along with the band, filling out its sound and adding muscle to each song’s dynamics.
The Star gig was the first at which very few of the band’s friends attended – meaning the crowd was composed of strangers who were genuinely interested in the music – and I realised how well social media complements playing live: when people see our name on a live line-up, they can Google us, see really professional videos of songs that are really professionally recorded, and make an informed decision as to whether they like our music or not.
It certainly seemed to have worked last Friday: one gentleman had driven up all the way from Cornwall solely to see us perform.
Much kudos to him, and I hope he thought the trip worthwhile . . .