A few days ago I was reminded of something about gigging in London that really annoys me. Early blooming gigs for fudging club nights! A lot of venues in London have them every Friday and Saturday night after a gig. I kind of understand why they do it, they want to make more money, but it makes it unfair on the thousands of people who gig in London but don't actually live there.
London, being the capital city of England, is the centre of all things gigs in the country. It's not just people from London who travel to the city to see their favourite bands. People from Essex, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Kent, Brighton, Berkshire and many other areas around London also do. Folk from most of these places will have to travel at least an hour to get to London. I also assume that the majority of these people also work and probably work to at least 5pm. Using me as an example (as I know my own routine) I finish work at 5pm, go home, get changed and get everything I need for the night and head to the station. I usually get there in time to get the 18.03 train to Liverpool Street and arrive in London just before 7. Then I jump on the Underground. Most tube journeys to gigs I attend take 15-20 minutes. So the earliest I can really get to a gig is about 7.30pm. On most days this is perfect timing. But what about on early gig nights?
For an early gig the venue would normally open its doors at 6pm with the first band starting 30 minutes later. So from the start out-of-town gig-goers are missing something they've paid good money to see and the opening bands crowd will not have the same amount of people as they would have an hour later, making early gigs unfair on both the bands and the fans. I'm always quite put off by early gigs, knowing I'm either going to have to pay knowing that I'll miss part of the night or if I want to make sure I see the whole gig I have to book time off of work. Booking time off work is a feasible option but it just seems like a waste of yearly holiday allowance for the sake of an extra hour.
To be honest, this isn't so much of a column as it is a rant about something that is quite frustrating and seems fairly needless. Basically London venues should stop doing early shows for club nights and I and many other people will be happy.