Blackout gigs - heading to the Broadway again this Sunday
Sam Potter is a talented chap. Aside from his own musical dalliances with Late of the Pier and, more recently, Swimming, he has also spent the last year or two collaborating with the Arts Council England and promoters Eat Your Own Ears to keep gig audiences in the dark on the most literal level. This Sunday he brings the Blackout concept to the Broadway for the second time, featuring unreleased material from some of the countries most cutting edge labels and... erm darkness. We recommend you attend...
So firstly, please explain the concept of a Blackout gig to LeftLion readers…
Blackout is a chance for people to experience music on a higher level, free from any other sensory distraction or preconceptions. It's also a chance for anonymous musicians to play free from expectation and with complete creative freedom not granted in ordinary gig scenarios.
Where and when did you come up with this idea?
It's generally more exciting playing to crowds who don't know anything about you as a musician because you know the reception you're getting is an honest one. Once an image of a band is made, and the front row is full of fans wanting you to play the hits the whole experience isn't as fulfilling as an artist. I wanted to create a space for musicians to skip around that. So the whole anonymous thing sprung into my head and I thought what better way than giving the audience nothing to focus on but the sound alone. That is the primary function of a musician, to make music, anything else is superfluous.
So, how do you recruit bands for these gigs? And what do you look for in them?
I make sure bands make music especially for the space, to make the most of the opportunity, so in that case I like curious bands who dare to take risks. There's also the sonic element that's important to people really getting something from the shows. Eclecticism is also important in making a bill for a show to keep the mystique and unpredictability.
What venues have you done this in before the Broadway?
The last show before Nottingham was the Barbican in London, and a few more intimate ones in Hackney. But as a Nottingham citizen I wanted to see some up here, and expect some more announcements soon.
On a personal level, you recently joined Swimming. How’s that going?
It's nice to be in a gang again, we're currently hatching some ambitious plans for the future.
So I take it a Late of the Pier reunion is not on the cards right now? Not even for a Blackout gig..?
Anything can happen.
Blackout returns to Broadway Cinema on Sunday 24th June for another night of sonic surprises.
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