gemsybobsy: (devy)
Live music isn't just 'a nice night out' or a bit of entertainment for some of us. For us, it's a way of life. My whole adult life has revolved around music, and my beloved favourite bands. My best memories are all tied up in music; I grew up loving music and longing to see bands and, when finally my mum let me go to my first ever gig in 1997, I've chased that feeling again and again. Soaking up every note in a state of almost-hypnosis by bands and people like Devin Townsend, Tool, Earthtone9, Deftones. Waiting all day without a single sip of water just to be at the barrier for my favourite bands at festivals. Years of horsey dancing, air guitar and group hugs with Musers, tears rolling down my face listening to Tori Amos singing Hey Jupiter to a room full of people who didn't dare drop a pin, sobbing my heart out MOAR in front of Depeche Mode, welcoming a new Millennium, for crying out loud, with the Manics, shaking my ass and laughing it off at the same time with Eagles of Death Metal, who are one of those bands who do gigs where there is such an electric atmosphere the word 'gig' doesn't do it justice - when you've experienced the absolute PARTY of one of their gigs, or a show by Gogol Bordello, Skindred, Faith No More, Death From Above 1979, Rage Against The Machine, System of a Down, Frank Turner, Scissor Sisters, Amanda Palmer, Moral Low Ground :D, or Franz Ferdinand... you'll never forget it. I repeat: for some of us, watching bands isn't just fun or 'something to do tonight', it's what our lives are actually FOR.

Everybody who dies in these terrorist attacks is worth crying for. They are all human-shaped people just doing living and that, and they die in ways which nobody deserves and I feel sad for people all over the world when I hear about these evil attacks. I'll never forget the first time I accidentally watched an autoplaying video where these ISIS pricks were shooting their own Muslim brothers in Syria. They lined them up on the floor and shot them all. Syria's far away, but I felt sick and sad for THOSE people, not because I thought, 'OMG they're going to come over here.' Normally if I'm out doing living and that and I hear news of one of these attacks, I do shut it out and carry on with my life, but I make a mental note to read about it when I get home, and I'll see if I can do anything to help (I usually can't, so I don't write massive blocks of words about it like this). It is really shit that the English speaking media doesn't cover everything, and it is really shit that we don't all put up flags on Facebook when stuff happens far away.

When I heard about Paris on Friday I was performing with my own band, for an amazing cause. I was shocked, we all said 'OMG' to each other and I instantly filed it to read about later, for now, let's get another beer! But then I heard people were killed at a gig of one of my fave live bands. I cried, got on my phone and made a Facebook post, and then I got on with it because I refused to let these dicks mess with what we were doing for Beat:Cancer. But the reason I cried has nothing to do with the closeness of the event and it's nothing to do with religion or colours of skin. It's because those people had gone to the Bataclan not to 'see a band', but to shut the world out, to get away from their phones (well, most of them), to escape stress, advertising and the media, and to let the noise from the rest of their lives fade away to make way for the music and soak up energy in a space well away from people who don't get it... and there are plenty of those people, from their local area, their own society, who will never understand why music is so important to them. Listening to the stories of the survivors is telling - so many of them thought the attack was part of the show, because they were so immersed in it. When you are a live music fan leaving a gig, it takes ages for the outside world to register again. For me this is close to home in a way I never expected - it's because they were killed at a gig. I don't feel proud of my nationality, religion, sexuality, or anything else I happen to be by chance. I wouldn't fight for my country because I don't feel I have the right to claim anything on this planet as mine. I don't feel Us vs Them about anything, as I think everyone's worth the same as everyone else. But when it comes to gigs, that is something music fans build for ourselves and for each other, because that's what we're alive for. Music culture is something I AM proud to be part of and would fight for, because that shit is OUR territory. back the FUCK off.


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June 2016

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