I’ve always been a fan of Spandau Ballet. Ever since they hit the top of the pops I was in love with Tony Hadley. Sorry, Martin & Gary, but he will always be The Voice of the band. In 1983 my little brother, knowing how much I loved the band, gave me two tickets to see them, I think it was Bournemouth. ‘Though the Barricades Tour’ I was 25 years old and it was my first pop concert. I was still so innocent even then and I got so excited about going to see my heroes. I couldn’t thank Chris enough and I remember the date and it will be in my head forever, October 6th. I didn’t know what I should do at a pop concert, should I scream? Should I sing along? I didn’t have any money to buy a t-shirt, but I think we may have purchased a programme, which has been thrown away.
After lockdown many musicians are talking of how they will get back to live concerts and when they can start again. Accepting that safety is the most important issue and ensuring that their fans can be in safe hands is the first challenge, however, lobbying government to do more is not the only way to get audiences. Thinking outside the box and possibly outside venues, some of the best concerts I have attended have been open air. I’ve seen Billy Joel and Lionel Ritchie in cricket ground venues, Elton John in the grounds of a stately home and the Rolling Stones at Southampton Football Club ground. Another option might be a Drive In concert with the crowd sitting on their car bonnets eating hotdogs. The performer can still rake in money from profits of fast food stalls and open air bars, etc. A way of attracting people back to concerts ought to be reductions in ticket prices, merchandise and programmes. We’re not all in the earnings brackets of the artistes who we are paying handsomely to watch. If people like Sir Paul McCartney, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran really want to ‘make a difference’ they need to think about the people who have been furloughed and made redundant. Perhaps a few free concerts would help.
Maybe it would be a good idea for cosseted musicians to put a proposal together and present it to a Select Committee who would then present it to our government minister of entertainment (there must be one) in which they use their accumulated knowledge in order to resolve their unfortunate concerns (Forgive me Sir Humphrey if I sound a little government speak) I think they could sort it out between them all.
Now all we have to do is get Martin and Gary taking to Tony, please.