Sometimes the phrase ‘going to see’ live music is rather misleading. It always troubles me when I say I’m going to ‘see’ a band. Realistically, I’m not actually that bothered what sight reaches my eyes (unless I can travel back in time and appreciate the aesthetic pleasures of 1980s Bruce Springsteen’s arms). Gratuitous picture alert:
In fact, the majority of the shows I go to, I’m not able to see the acts anyway, such is the curse of being slight in stature. Nonetheless, I have grown to be quite adept at peeking through moving gaps in a crowd to catch flashes of a guitar or a brief glimpse of a haircut. I’m quite happy with that; it’s all about the atmosphere and music, man. If I want to watch an act in perfect vision, I can pull up YouTube in the comfort of my own home. Live music is all about the bits that you don’t ‘see’.
This week I didn’t go somewhere with a massive crowd that I had to peek through, but my vision was impaired just as much. A Saturday night at The Platform Tavern in Southampton is always a good place for live music. http://www.platformtavern.com
Saturday evening, my friend Jemma and I wandered in on a random whim. The place was busy and we snuck through to the bar area to order our blackcurrant cordials (yes, that’s how we roll at the weekend). We had no idea who the band playing were, nor did it matter. We knew that we could be assured of some quality music, no matter who was playing.
We found ourselves two tiny stools to perch on set back from the stage. We could hear the wail of the blues harmonica accompanying the requisite guitars, drums and gravelly voice. All was good in the world.
Despite our positioning towards the performance area, we couldn’t see any of the musicians. Occasionally the dancing woman in front would lean towards her partner and I’d catch a glimpse of a blazer-clad body behind the mic stand. But it really didn’t matter. We chatted, we sung along, we tapped our toes. It was familiar, warm and comforting, much like the Platform in general. The ethnic décor, the red walls, the glowing candles all combine to give me a feeling of being in a warm cocoon. With drink. And blues music.
By the time we swapped our stools for the recently vacated red Chesterfield sofa, the music and atmosphere was starting to hypnotise us. We sunk deeper into the upholstery and could see even less of the musicians. But still, the familiar blues and rock riffs kept coming.
Sometimes, it really doesn’t matter if you can see the music, only that you hear it.
So, this week, I didn’t actually see any music (only when the band passed us on the way to the bar during the break), but I heard some bloody good songs being played by some very talented musicians in a place that has atmosphere seeping out of the walls.
Who did you ‘see’ this week?