I’ve just done something I have never done before – and probably never thought I would do… I have joined the mosh pit at a metal gig.
Ok – let set a few things straight. Regular readers of the blog will know I am a big fan of live music – and it’s a rare month that passes without some live music somewhere on my schedule.
It’s usually folk. Or blues or pop. Maybe some good old fashioned rock and roll. But heavy metal? Not likely. Not this romantic novelist!
That’s not to say I am totally without ‘form’ in the world of heavy metal gigs. I’ve jumped up and down to Alice Cooper, Foo Fighters (are they metal?) – even Queens of the Stone Age once. But mostly those have been festival gigs when I have accidentally walked past the metal stage and been drawn in.
This week I went to a small underground venue to see a friend’s band in their first headline spot. The room was small and dark, the roof low and the sound system cobbled together from bits and pieces they’d hired at the last minute. I joined the mosh because it was the only place to be.
I was definitely the only person there wearing pale pink mohair. I was a little afraid I would feel out of place. But the band and the venue and the people in it welcomed me with open arms.
I had the best time.
Atorc were great. They describe their music as progressive folk-metal. I had no idea what to expect. It was all original – but at times I detected more than a hint of Uriah Heep – my closest brush with metal fandom when I was a university student. The mosh was small but enthusiastic and totally good natured.
This was grass roots music at its very best… when it is all about the music and has not yet been weighted down with contracts, and conditions and publicity machines and all the things that go with corporate success.
I’m sure some of the metal legends looking down at us from the posters on the wall would have recognised the gig… because they no doubt played similar venues when they were starting out.
Without the small gigs, we would never have had Lemmy, or Alice or Bowie .. or all the others. So everyone – go find a live music venue near you. You may just find yourself drawn into something unexpected and great.
And one day you might be watching the Grammy Awards and saying – I saw that band way back when…
So – thanks Atorc for a really fun night out – I’ll be back – although next time I’ll leave the pink mohair at home. I might be able to borrow a Metallica T-shirt from webmaster John.