More than 6 months between my last article and this new one!
I could say “Look guys, I’m sorry” but the thing is, I am a freaking lazy ass (unintended pun – my friends say I look like Donkey in Shrek. Must be a personality trait we share. I cannot stop talking…eer) Anyway apologizing would destroy the blog’s reputation wouldn’t it? This blog’s called ‘sloth and thoughts’, what d’you expect?
My procrastinating powers knows no limit – and I know, it’s a shame, I know it’s quite lame (still able to make rhymes though – yeeeah yeah, i’m kind of awesome like that.. NOT!). Anyway, I’ve got no transition.
Music back home is beautifully diverse and colourful. Just like the people. I like to think of my island as a little piece of the whole world concentrated in 2,040 km2. This cultural melting pot left us Mauritians with the most varied and fusional musical heritage. For the most curious amongst you (just in case you might be wondering), “no Mauritius does not have it’s local music only”. We do not live in huts, walk around with palm skirts, and I do not fish for my lunch, I’m afraid.
From the sega (mauritian local music), to the rock, from the trance, to the seggae, the classical, the fusional, the experimental – local artists bring so much diversity to the local musical scenes that there’s definitely something in for everyone. Who in the world would say no to nice live music, in a nice warm weather sipping on an ice cold beer anyway?
The only dark side of the perfect tropical picture – (because there had to be one, can’t get it all, can we?) is that by being so remote and far from the whole world, it is quite hard to physically follow your favourite international artists or bands. It is even harder if the music you like is quite un-mainstreamy. For obscure reasons or aerial monopolies, tickets to go abroad are ridiculously expensive. We do not lack the means or the crowd to welcome famous international artists but there seems to be a very large supply of mainstream clichés, stereotyped djs (button pressers as i like to call them) to probably cater for the high demands of the sheep crowd who cannot get enough of pool parties, afternoons painted in white (WINK WINK for those who get it!) and smokey clubs where you can’t get in because the bouncers do not like your face!
So if you are a 15 year old mauritian metal head, you’re probably never going to be able to see your favourite metal bands during your teenage years. Of course, you’ll save up all of your pocket money to go to all of the once underground metal/rock gigs. You’ll follow all of the local metal bands, admire them and eventually befriend them. You’ll have loads of fun with your fellow metal/rock/punk/emo/goth (whatever tag you want to inflict upon yourself) friends but nothing, I repeat NOTHING, and no feeling in the world compares to seeing one of your favorite bands play live. It is one of the things I love the most about living in the UK; the availability and variety of gigs you can go to. It might be something big city people take for granted, but it amazes me so much I cannot even start describing how surreal this all feels.
Despite being 25, you guys have to know that in my head I am still an easily amazed kid. It’s an alien wave of emotions that sweeps you off your feet when you finally get to see a band you’ve been listening to since you were around 15/16 years old. You remember the exact emotions those songs made you feel back then. The struggle, the anger, the energy, the fighting. Against them, against society, against yourself. Being different, and coming out of it all crazier and stronger.
It’s a perfect metal bubble that shakes your core, makes you smile, gives you the chills and you can only fall in love with the music all over again. All the time.
I have been studying in Manchester for less than a year and I still cannot believe all the musical adventures I have lived. I have seen SOJA (yes I also like reggae, so what?), had a chat with Chrigel Glanzmann from Eluveitie after a gig, caught the plectrum of Jared MacEachern during a 3hour Machine Head gig (BLISS), almost cried my eyes out because of all the humility oozing from Northcote during a very intimate gig at Soup Kitchen, got caught in a moshpit at a Brand New gig, discovered Everytime I Die at an Architects gig, had the best time at the Brian Fallon and the Crowes gig, got accidentally slapped by Billy McCarthy (he jumped a little too quickly on the barrier right in front of me, my eyes were shitting stars) from Augustines, was mind blown by Death Cab for Cutie and danced like there was no tomorrow at a particularly awesome psychedelic gathering in Liverpool (where I discovered some amazing psytrance wizards – yes I love psy trance as well).
For a little person from a little sunny island, all these venues, the colours, the music, the lights, the artists, the collective energy and overall experiences have been a whirlwind of emotions and magic thrown straight to my face. I loved the fusion, the jam sessions, the musical melting pot and everything about live music back home. But having had the chance to experience music in cold cold Manchester I can say that it has been one hell of a life time ride and I can’t wait to get on that rollercoaster again. And again. And again.