John Cahill / Why I Still Love Music

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Music has been a major passion for the last 28 years and for me what really started that passion was going to see bands play live. I still remember that feeling of my very first concert; how the hairs stood on the back of my head and just being taken away by the energy of the music, band and audience.

It was such a powerful experience one that I felt deeply in my body. For the next 20 years I used to average about two concerts a week; mostly at small clubs like the Marquee. All my spare money went on either going to concerts or purchasing the latest album. I started to make friends who shared my passion and who were just as obsessive as me. So in many ways music became a way of finding myself!

Like a lot of my friends I was a struggling musician; unfortunately I never had the talent to match my passion I did not even understand why someone would want a decent HI-FI system. Getting the best sound out of your musical equipment is not a easy task e.g. for instance as a guitarist you need to think about the type of guitar you buying, the pick-up arrangement and make of pick-ups, if you need a tremolo system fitted, the amplification you need and effect units to get the sounds you want (all of this can cost serious money). So it easy for me to understand why a musician may not worry as much about having a decent HI-FI system.

I rather see in a band in a small pokey club than a big hall (the old Marquee in Wardour Street compared to Earls Court) I like the immediacy of a seeing the band give it there all. For instance I rarely enjoy going to festivals as the atmosphere is totally different than watching a band in small concert venue.

Yes sometimes I can become frustrated by the sound I hear at concerts but when the sound is right it is such a powerful experience I tend to see live music and HI-FI as different mediums. For me listening to music at home is about turning off from my job; relaxing and being taken away by what I hear. It is often solitary for me; while going to a concert is a lot more of social event I get to see my friends I get to watch the band; sometimes it’s the silly things that make watching a concert so much fun.

The other factor that I feel it is important to remember is that often bands do not make a lot of money when touring and sometimes even a loss; often a band tours to promote the latest album and even for the pure joy of playing life. I have no idea of what it must be like to be a talented musician and play a good concert; but it must be one of the most powerful feelings around.

Here are some of my favourite concerts over the last few years Diamond Head Woolwich Odeon Hardly anyone turned up for this concert due to there being riots the night before in Woolwich. A great concert with lots of humour! Although I went to of concerts before this is the one that I really kicked it off!

Larry Carlton at the Royal festival Hall. Larry has always been one of my favourite players he combines taste with great technical ability. He was supporting Stanley Jordan and for me totally blew him off.

Dream Theatre the Marquee The band played two nights and there was a really great Vibe; not sure how many times I seen this band (perhaps 30). They are really great musicians and helped me get back my love for music with a heavier feel.

Shawn Lane and Jonas Hellborg Pizza Express. Musicianship of the highest standards

Zero Hour Headway Festival Really talented musicians that really go out of there way to make fans feel welcome. If music was rewarded on talent and the right attitude this band would be huge

So if you love music; go to a live concert and most of enjoy the experience!!!

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If you want to contact me, then please feel free to do so. I am always happy to communicate with other music lovers.

john@hilt.org.uk

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