I’m not a massive fan of the word “scene” when it comes to music. It’s not obvious what it really means in the context of underground music in 2015. Is your scene your city? The bands you sound like? Your country? The world? Your Facebook group? The people who actually come to your shows? The ones who buy records? The ones who click like?
Who knows? Who even cares. It’s simply a semantic argument about what support matters most. In fact, all that matters is support. Which is why the likes of “launch shows” are so important.
Nobody can make every gig. Nor should they expected to. But when a band, particularity at the underground level, releases the fruit of expensive and exhausting recording sessions, and countless rehearsal session on top of that, we should make the effort to turn out if we can. Because the release of any record is a huge achievement. So let’s all celebrate it to together.
That kind of support is the kind of “scene” I’d like to be a part of.
This isn’t even a call to arms to “buy local music”, though you definitely should, and it isn’t a lecture in “supporting your local music “, though if you aren’t then fuck you. It’s just a suggestion that people being creative is awesome and we should support everyone when they are creative and if we can all do that by listening to great music with a drink in hand then all the better.
Though I should clarify, nobody should support Emmure for being creative. Ever. They are the worst.
Mountains Under Oceans just released the excellent “Man Is Not” and played the release show at the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on Saturday and it was awesome. I only managed to catch the bill from the excellently intricate Verse Metrics on-wards, but between them and the hardcore throttling of Life Lines the stage was perfectly set for Mountains Under Oceans to celebrate the release of their new latest EP.
And the show was brilliant. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Tut’s show which was so palpably buzzing with no barrier, but it’s night like these that do something to justify this venues lofty live reputation. Especially since it involved Scottish underground music and not a band making the most of their PR, booking agent and label contacts.
The band music moved from a sophisticated sense of melodic melancholy to passages as heavy and crushing as the geological features that take their name from. For the sake of tying in the rest of their remarkably scenic name, the end result was as satisfying as gazing at the tranquil seacapes they’re also named after.
For the entirety of their incredibly dynamic set the band kept the audience obviously enthralled, no mean feat for a purely instrumental band. A venue that was pretty full for a cold Saturday in September. It felt great. It kinda felt like a scene…
The excellent Halo Tora recently played a sold out album release show in Audio for their new release “Omni/One”. That was something of a novelty, to see a band play a sold-out home town show to celebrate the launch of their new record.
The turn out to that, and the turn out to Mountains Under Oceans, gives me hope that as technology enables bands to create better products, communicate with fans more and do a lot more off their own back, that the scene will come out and support them. Because scene’s still matter. It’s the fuel to the creative fire.
And if we’re not all going to burn together then what even is the point?