Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Things that Transcend Age

You will be relieved to hear that I didn’t spill down the family dinner suit, so it was resplendent on Sunday when it performed Handel’s Messiah at a packed Albion Church; and I do mean packed: they had to shoehorn extra seats in between the Fairtrade biscuit stall (I’m sure there were other Fairtrade goods too but I only had eyes for the delicious stem ginger cookies) and the bar - actually it was the tea and coffee stall but it just seems right to talk about the bar when you go to a gig.

And there lies the connundrum, for I’m sure there were a few of you that raised an eyebrow when I described a performance of Handel’s Messiah as a gig, rather than a concert; but the only difference I can discern is one of age.

We were certainly among the youngest there: the hair on the assembled heads was predominantly grey; the Albion Church was built around 1890 and The Messiah itself is over 250 years old. So when does something stop becoming a gig?

It is certainly not about the effects the music has on you - the performance on Sunday left me breathless at times, certainly more so than some of the pallid large venue performances I have seen over the years. I think it is more a perception in the collective mind that considers certain types of music not sufficiently energetic, youthful nor vigourous enough to deserve the description of ’gig’.

Be honest how many of raised the other eyebrow when you heard me say that my pulse was set racing?

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