In the second of the ‘Live Music 101’ series of blog posts detailing the themes and ideas that developed over the course of the initial live music project, Simon Frith examines the political economy of live music, and defines two basic models of performance as a starting point with which to examine the economic transactions between artist, venue, audience, and promoter.
This is a video from the Live Music Exchange, Leeds event that featured a panel of academics and representatives from Leeds and beyond. The theme of the conference was ‘Interesting Times for Live Music’ and the panel discussed the threats and opportunities to local live music in the current economic downturn. Chaired by Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow), the panel featured, Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh / Mercury Prize), Whiskas (Live at Leeds Unconference / Honour Before Glory / ¡Forward Russia!), Nick Simcock (Dead Young Records/Oporto), Ben Kirby (Manager of The Subways).
Now that The Games are almost afoot, naysaying is an increasingly unfashionable position. They’re here now – enjoy. Not the most consistent of arguments – it’s like saying, “I’ve been threatening to crash your house and hold a party for weeks, but now that it’s in full drunken flow, you’re as well grabbing a beer and getting into the swing of things”. I ponder here on a couple of the issues arising from later curfews for Olympic gigs in public parks than others that have taken place this year.
To mark the recent fiftieth anniversary of The Rolling Stones’ first gig we revisit Martin Cloonan’s candid examination of his experiences of them live through the years, his motivations set against a wide ranging account of how their career has been intertwined with his own life alongside the popular culture and society of the UK.
The first in a series of posts that detail the themes and ideas developed over the course of research into the history of live music in the UK. Here, Simon Frith takes a materialist approach to live music, examining the factors necessary for a live music event. Simon also offers an initial typology of performance spaces and examines how the venues in which live music events take place have affected the evolution of live music promotion.