Skilamalink definition – is an old slang term used by Victorian Londoners, meaning secret or shady. Sometimes going to see bands play live in the basements or cellars of buildings, makes you feel like you are in a secret underworld.
My friends have encouraged me to set up this live-music blog to share my favourite bands and live-music experiences.
I attend gigs all over the UK on a regular basis, but mainly in London and Leeds. My music taste is varied and like most music fans it is extremely eclectic. I like the idea of supporting the underdog, the bands that produce and write their own material. It’s so satisfying to see some of these bands perform for the first time to a handful of people and watch them as they become more popular and climb the music ladder until they play to larger crowds in bigger capacity venues. I remember seeing The Maccabees perform at Leeds Festival in 2006 on the Carling Introducing Stage and subsequently followed the band until their peak, headlining Latitude Festival in 2016 and their farewell tour, which concluded with 3 nights at London’s Alexander Palace. Most recently, its been so rewarding to see bands like Fizzy Blood support other bands like Spring King until they progress to headline their own tour.
I prefer to see bands in smaller capacity venues, my favourite in London is The Lexington in Islington. Located on the first floor of a pub in North London, you are guaranteed a good view, great acoustics and a friendly atmosphere. The Brudenell Social Club wins my vote, hands down for favourite venue in Leeds. A Working Men’s Club (so the beer is cheap), with 3 function rooms of various sizes. All offering great sound, great views of the stage; no matter where you stand and the whole place has a very friendly atmosphere.
I usually attend these gigs with a couple of my friends who like most of my choice of music. However, there are many gigs that I attend on my own and music has given me the confidence to walk in a venue and not feel awkward. I get a few stares sometimes because I am usually the only female stood all in black on her own. Recently I have had positive comments from other females, asking me if I’ve come to the venue alone and how brave I am. I usually reply by saying the obvious, brave or mad! They usually say things like “Oh, I wish I could do that”, or “at least you get to see all the bands you want” and “good on ya”. At first, I thought I can’t do it, I’m gonna look like a right Billy no mates. But over time, it’s made me more confident and you don’t get let down by people who have other commitments, wont travel across London or wont fork out for a cheap ticket.
So, these blogs are just my experience of the gigs I attend. I want the person reading them to feel as if they were there. I try to include, the venue, the crowd, the atmosphere, the setlist, some background info on the band and anything unique to that particular gig.
My current recommendations for must-see bands are: Bad Omens, Blackwaters, The Blinders, Cane Hill, Crows, Fizzy Blood and TOY.
I support Independent Venue Week: IVW Website
I also support Girls Against Gig Groping : Girls Against Website