Tours, tickets and overpriced Heineken

04 February 2013 Under: Clash Memories, Clash News, Other Bands

Hello, welcome back and where have you been? I feel like I’ve been glued to this computer for the better part of 96 hours and that’s probably because I essentially have. If I wasn’t so knackered I’d take the dog for a long walk just to break things up but perhaps we’ll do that in the morning. I hope your week was decent and the weekend offers some decent options. I hope everyone in Minneapolis tonight and New York earlier in the week enjoyed the local Joe Strummer events, they both sounded like they would be brilliant. If you attended and want to write in or share photos/videos or battle scars please write in.

Before getting stuck in I wanted to thank you all for your continued reading of the blog, I managed to get more updates posted in January than in any month last year and you rewarded me with traffic that increased 20% over December and the most total readers in a single month since last May. Cheers for that.

There are some live gigs that I hope some of you will be interested in so let’s crack on with that. Viv Albertine has four live dates coming up later this month so if you’re in Newbury, London or Laugharne Wales please get along to see her. She’ll be playing tracks from her new album ‘The Vermillion Border’ which came out in November. Full details here and you might just Mick Jones at the London gig which is on Feb 23 at Nambucca which just happens to be right near Arsenal.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently from bands who’d like me to share their songs via the blog. Is this something you’d be interested in? I’d always meant to write more about the other music I like too but never really have the time. I might try it anyway and if you like it or hate it just let me know, I’m all for young bands who are inspired by The Clash getting down to writing songs and recording them. In fact this is arguably the easiest time in modern music history to get your work recorded and potentially shared around the web, so why not have a Clash corner for new bands. What do you think?

Speaking of tours I’d be neglecting my duty if I didn’t mention that The Specials and Billy Bragg (not together mind you) are touring shortly so make sure you check the links above to see if they are coming to a town near you. I’d like to go to see both but we’ll see how the piggy bank is looking nearer the time. I find it hard to justify spending a large sum on one concert when I could see 3 or 4 different acts for the price of one of these.

I don’t recall how much I paid to see concerts including The Clash back in my long ago youth but I’m sure that the thought of paying more than £6 to see anyone was never a  consideration until round about 1987 at a guess, unless you’re looking at large arena gigs. I think the last decade has seen the largest inflation in ticket prices which I apportion mostly to the fact that artists rely on concert ticket sales as the primary source of revenue in these file sharing and file stealing times. I might be wrong but I could see 90% of the acts that I like for somewhere between $8-$16 a decade back whereas today $15 is a cheap concert and $20 is the going rate for acts even in the smallest venues. Ultimately though it’s not the ticket prices I object to so much as the extortionate booking/convenience fees and the dreaded $12 bottle of Heineken. I wouldn’t have Heineken as a first choice at the best of times but when it’s the only reasonable beer at the venue at least don’t charge me the same amount I could get twelve bottles of the stuff for. I don’t like having to pick and choose which concerts to attend but $40-$50 per ticket makes it tricky.

Right back to work for me, just wondering who are the best live band you’ve seen in the last twelve months and the most you’ve paid to see an act?