Last night I went to an "open mike" session - where musicians meet at a pub or a club and play their songs. For free. (KT Tunstall started out just like this, and many others).
There were about eight acts, gathered in a tiny pub in Scotland, with players from all over the United Kingdom and beyond; one group performed traditional Swedish Folk songs, another sang in Portuguese. Someone else did a pitch perfect a-cappella folk ballad.
The standard was astonishing. We sat there listening to act after act of committed, original performances from people who had turned up to play for the love of it. It cost me the price of a few pints of beer. There were no nightmare parking scenarios and no crushes.
I see a lot of these events and I come into contact with musicians on all levels of the business. It appalls me that there is so much talent out there and so much apathy among the general public here in Scotland. Nobody wants to take a chance on an unknown performer.
So why pay fifty quid to see a sixties has-been well past their sell-by date, when you may chance upon some stellar talent. Look around? Open your ears. They play real good for free.
And ditch the bloody television while you are at it!