Until the start of last year, I used to be a bit of an enforced big-gig goer.
When I say “enforced”, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go to them, it was more that I couldn’t find anyone to come with me more than once every couple of months (and even then, a very trusting friend) to the smaller, bit more random gigs. When I say “big-gig” I mean relatively well known bands/artists in venues from about the size of the HMV Forum, Kentish Town upwards. Even “goer” needs a bit of clarification – I would say 2-3 every couple of months.
But…my live music life has changed since discovering meetup.com last year and I’ve found a really fun, lively bunch of people who have no problem going to see unknowns, unsigneds, indies, little bit biggers in pubs, bars, clubs, record stores as well as the Imogen Heaps, Jay-Zs and Hot Chips of the world.
It’s led to the discovery of some of London’s tucked away treasures in terms of venues that run free nights alongside their regular paying events, and even venues that pride themselves in being prolific providers of free live music, no exceptions.
Aside from the not-so-hidden Rough Trade East :