In a recent survey, Deezer revealed that 30 years and six months is the average age at which we press pause on our musical discovery. While Adam Read, the UK & Ireland Music Editor for Deezer suggests that the figures are a result of being ‘overwhelmed’ by the sheer amount of new music out there, could it be that it’s actually the mark of something far sadder?
Though I don’t want to assume the worst, it’s virtually impossible, with wishes to go back to the ‘good old days’ and unfounded yells about the tragic death of guitar music from washed up middle-aged musicians far too frequent. With survey takers using demanding jobs and caring for young children as excuses for their lack of musical discovery, I can’t help but feel like the main issue is a lack of trying. Of course, it’s not easy for everyone, but with Deezer and Spotify on hand with constantly updated discovery playlists, and all manner of websites, magazines and blogs pushing new bands, it’s certainly not hard.
Another issue the survey highlights in the discovery of new music is location, with those in Wales and the North West hitting this so called ‘music paralysis’ at just 24 and 23 respectively. Though perhaps a discretion should expected – those in bigger cities perhaps find it easier to access new music – it’s no real hinderance; and if anything the saturation of larger cities should actually make it more difficult. Whatever the reason behind it, it perhaps feeds in to a bigger problem: the steady demise of grass-roots and independent venues. It’s something that’s certainly harked on about, and definitely seems to be improving with the government backing the Agent of Change principle. We can’t, however, get complacent. And what a lack of desire or time to discover new music means is a lack of support for venues that so desperately need it. In going to see new, local artists, we’re pumping revenue not only into artists but into the places that host them – and it’s incredibly important.
So sure, carrying on listening to The Beatles, but listen to them on the way to going to see a new local band; go to things you’re invited to by your friend’s friend; get to bigger gigs early. You might just discover your new favourite thing.
Below is our gig guide of top picks for June/July.
** GIG GUIDE **
Words by Melissa Svensen