Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Bands Have Got To Choose
Posted by John Lamb
I recently went to see The Sunshine Underground at a gig in Bristol. This was something I couldn't wait for, they hadn't been to Bristol for four years and on that occasion I couldn't make it, so it had been a long wait. I'd previously set myself the task of hearing as many of my top 25 most played tracks live as possible. Number four in that playlist is Commercial Breakdown an absolute corker of a song that I would play time and time again, often as my psych up song before football. You might guess where this is going but they didn't play it. I was gutted. It dragged the whole gig down for me, not left wanting more but left empty and unfulfilled.
Now I understand the bands point of view, this is a track off their first album (they're about to release their third) and they must have played this track hundreds of times, with practising, touring and video takes they must have it heard it so many times they may, understandably want to play something else. The thing is they did play something else, the crowd were treated to quite a lot of new tracks off the new album but this is one of their 'big hits' we're talking about here.
When I mentioned it to +John J Sills who occasionally writes for this blog he said he'd had the same thing at The Killers gig. They played loads of new stuff and then a different version of Mr Brightside. I'm sure there were a lot of fans at that gig paying a premium as they were seeing THE Killers, the band with all the hits. You can't charge an established band ticket price and then play like a new band. I asked another friend who is in a band and he said you've got to tell them so I tweeted them but I've had no response.
When it comes down to it The Sunshine Underground have fallen to the levels of PledgeMusic where the band requires the fans to back them in the production of their album. You've got to give the fans what they want and what they've paid for. I hope the albums comes up with the goods more than the gig did, it's a lot easier to get your set list right...