I went to a concert of the band Guillemots at the Brixton Academy on Friday. The concert itself was a bit strange – Guillemots are very professional, but they are hard to relate to as a live band. The main man – Fyfe Dangerfield – hides himself behind 2 enormous keyboards so it’s hard to really see what’s going on.
I would instead like to focus on the audience at the concert. There’s nowhere as multi-cultural as Brixton in London; the area is known for this. Yet the concert audience must have been 99% white. I wonder why this is? Is experimental pop music just not something that anyone from an ethnic minority wants to listen to? While anyone living in London comes across all kinds of people (from all kinds of backgrounds) on an everyday basis, it seems to be that when it comes to leisure activities things are quite segregated.
I know what you mean but in some ways Brixton is a lot more ‘mixed’ in terms of leisure activities than Hackney, where I used to live. About a year ago I went out in Brixton for a friend’s birthday. We started in a pub which might have been the Effra (although I’m not sure) and then went to a dub night at the Brixton Rec. In the first place the black/white ratio was probably about 50/50, in the second about 70/30. In Hackney even the pubs are almost all one or the other, a phenomenon largely reproduced in housing where all-white trendy loft conversions rub up against delapidated almost all-black local authority properties. Probably the only place you can ‘force’ people together is schools. Which is why more ‘choice’ is potentially so divisive.
As for the Academy, I think it had more atmosphere before it became the ‘Carling’ Academy. But no doubt that’s very subjective.
Totally agree… the band put on a great gig, but the crowd really didn’t seem to be into it. All seemed a bit distant from the music – I wonder whether this was was because they were more bothered about seeing an experimental, fashionable band, rather than just shaking their arses and having a good time? Either way, the music was great.