Round up – ‘where’s the audience?’ and other musings.

Summer is a quiet time for regular club gigs. Punters are on holiday, goes the thinking so audiences will be small, except of festivals. I’m hoping that a couple of experiences in the last week or so are more in the ’twas ever thus (occasionally)’ bracket rather than ‘sign of the times’ audience wise. Last weekend Marlborough Jazz Festival, a fixture for 25 years on the circuit of summer outings and our gig barely had an audience – we weren’t alone in this, a quiet opening night (a power cut taking out half the gigs including ours for a time) meant that the organisers must have been holding their collective breath hoping numbers were up over the weekend. Another outing for my band to a much loved and great performance space in Cardiff and again the old gag ‘I’d just like to introduce the audience to the band’ could have been deployed. It could be us of course (ouch), but I keep hearing how unpredictable, frequently small audiences are for regular and some festival gigs. It just leaves me hoping that as the hard times seem to squeezing so many players and promoters at the moment that we don’t lose too many. Or was it ever thus?

Its not all gloom. Sarah Gillespie’s gig at Marlborough with Gilad Atzmon doing a star turn as himself, was enjoyed by a capacity crowd at the Town hall.  The banter and interplay between Atzmon and the singer adding to the enjoyment of the show as well as the fabulous music. Sophisticated, political charged song writing, touching lots of stylistic reference points but consistently driven by Gillespie’s own rythmic acoustic guitar playing. A nice lift at the end of a soggy Friday night.

And there’s  a few things to look forward to: my tickets for the rare appearance of Keith Jarrett with the standards trio are booked and we’ll be there for Wynton Marsalis’ last night at Ronnie’s at the end of August.  The big hitters can still draw the crowds it seems.


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