Politics Of Age + Music
I've lost count of the numerous bands I've missed because I've been too young. I've missed Clinic, Sicknote (numerous times), Leftover Crack, Mischief Brew... man, if I had a quid for every time I'd missed a gig!
It has never really bothered me, sometimes I could blag my way into clubs to see bands, but often I'd end up outside with my friends, listening to the band from the street, usually getting soaked in the rain and feeling bitter.
The first ever gig I went to was one in a social club in Sketty, near Swansea. I saw around ten bands for three quid. A brother of a mate in school took me, I must have been twelve years old and I was in my first year of high school. I arrived at five and left at midnight, the sheer madness I encountered at that El Ufo Oxjam gig out west was fantastic, only a few gigs I've been to compare to it.
The King Blues have been around for a while, a good five or so years. They were recently featured on the cover of Kerrang! magazine. I was thrilled to see such a fantastic band finally get the recognition that they deserve. They sing of street politics, in a really accessible manner, protest songs with a smile and a dash of romance thrown in and a hell of a lot of heart. They are a brilliant live band. They released a new album this year called 'Save the World Get the Girl' that brought them national acclaim. You can buy it from HMV for just £4.99!
July 4th 2009 will see one of the best punk ska bands around coming to Cardiff, but. . . of course it's too good to be true. It's over 16s. The good gigs are always over 16s or over 18s.
I don't see why clubs can't do the straight-edge thing at gigs. Upon arriving and paying at the door if the punter (hahaha, punter) is under the drinking age, their hands will be marked in permanent marker with a large X. If they go to the bar and attempt to buy an alcoholic drink, they will be turned down. It's tried and tested: it definitely works. This was pioneered by the hardcore scene in Washington DC where the movement gained momentum and popularity because teenagers were irritated that they were missing good bands over something as insignificant as their age.
They say that music has no boundaries and is inclusive of everyone. Apparently not, if you're unfortunate to be too young, chances are you'll miss your favourite bands when they play your city.