I was thinking recently about what is great value in terms of attending live music gigs. Last night I attended a Martin Simpson charity gig for a local school where he was joined by Nancy Kerr for the second set. In total, the evening was two hours of the most sublime and exquisite music, from some extraordinary musicians. It was a magical evening where the sound was great and we have excellent seats. The ticket price? Just fifteen pounds.

Earlier this year I saw Bill Frissell play The Vanguard in New York on two occasions. Again the sound was fantastic and we had front row seats. It was like having his trio play in my own living room. The capacity for the venue is 125 and the etiquette is that people are there to listen to the music, not to take endless video footage with mobile phones. The ticket price was $25 .

Last month I saw The Secret Sisters play a local folk club. I blogged about this previously and they were just fantastic, smart original music at its very best. They played for two hours and the ticket price was fifteen pounds. These are all great examples of terrific entertainment and great value for money. I have stopped going to arena-sized gigs or festivals where either the setlist time is less than an episode of Eastenders, often with horrible sound as its just not in my view great value for money. 

Over the years I have seen some amazing gigs including Pink Floyd playing Dark Side of the Moon, the original Gong playing a free Hyde Park Concert, Neil Young in 1976 play Hammersmith Odeon two nights in a row, The Allman Brothers with Eric Clapton at The Beacon Theatre in New York among many others. The best concerts were almost all in sensibly sized venues where the artist could really connect with the audience. These days I am pretty picky about how I want to spend my time and who I want to see. I’m a great believer in live music and an active sponsor in making ready good live music available to a wider public.

Are you getting great value from live music gigs?

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