Passing your local gig venue after a gruelling, never-ending shift or a busy day shopping, have you ever noticed that small cluster of people queuing outside? Despite the chilly wind and incessant drizzle, they are huddled together, talking, laughing, and sometimes singing, but showing absolutely no sign of giving up and going home despite the hideous weather, and the fact that the doors won’t budge even a milli-second before 7pm.

I’m Siobhanne. I’m 25 and from Glasgow. I live with my mum. I like to read and I love New York. And by the way, I’m a gig junkie.

There are thousands more just like me. We’re the cluster of huddled people mentioned above. We’re always close enough to taste the sweat of the performers at a live gig. We’re the group who gather outside the venue afterwards determined to get an autograph, or even a “hello”. We love the great albums, and defend the bad. We know all the words and aren’t afraid to sing along.

David Rogers is 38, from Falkirk, and is a Recruitment Manager. Oh, and he is fanatical about US band The Killers. “I stand, camp, sit in the rain, eat junk food, question what I’m doing but at the end of the day, The Killers are in my blood, and nothing will ever change that”.

Unleashing their brand of rock/indie pop onto the world in early 2004, The Killers have gone on to sell millions of albums worldwide, play to fans all over the world, and become one of the most exciting and prominent live bands of our generation. But what is it that David simply can’t resist? “I remember listening to ‘Hot Fuss’ and I knew that The Killers were different to anyone else. I went to see them as part of their ‘Sam’s Town’ tour in 2006. I queued for 6 hours to get to the barrier. The build-up and atmosphere was electric, and Brandon Flowers, who before seemed nervous and humble, had 10,000 fans in the palm of his hand that night. It was immense.”

Extreme gigging can be a very expensive lifestyle. “This year, I’ve spent between £2,000 and £3,000, but it really depends on whether my favourite bands/artists tour or not on a particular year. I expect to spend a lot more in 2012 if The Killers tour and play America, because I plan to see them stateside”.

Thousands of pounds seems like a high price to pay for the electricity and excitement of a live gig, but what else does gigging have a negative effect on? “I’ve missed plenty of days of work because I queue all day. After a gig, I wait around outside to meet the band so I usually get home really late and I’m in no fit state to go to work the next day”.

20-something James Kelly originally hails from Las Vegas, Nevada, but has lived in Glasgow for almost a decade. James works in music PR and when it comes to live music he “just can’t get enough”. “As clichéd as it sounds, music is my life. It’s a huge part of the person I am, and plays an important role in my life, even in my everyday routine, I don’t go anywhere without my iPod!”

Unlike David, James isn’t band specific, but instead strives to be a part of as many artists’ tours as he can possibly afford. “I’m a bit of a slut when it comes to live bands. I try to see as many different ones as possible!” James laughs. “Of course, I have bands that I worship and missing them simply isn’t an option. Morrissey, Muse, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Kings Of Leon, Glasvegas…the list is endless, really. Sadly, there are a lot of bands that I didn’t get the opportunity to see. The Smiths and Joy Division are two of my favourite bands and my biggest regret is not seeing either play live.”

How did this addiction set in? “I grew up in America, where we don’t really have a live music scene, or at least not to the degree that the UK has. I used to read about Glastonbury and dream of going to it. I think that’s where it really started for me. I used to imagine what it would be like to go to festivals and when I actually did get to go, it was quite a moment for me. I was hooked! Britain don’t know how lucky they are to have such a celebrated live music scene!”

Like many other addictions, there is no rhyme or reason to the habit. Why do some women own hundreds of pairs of shoes despite having only one pair of feet? Why brave the trauma of porta-loos and weekend camping, simply to see bands play live?

“It’s all about the adventure, the journey, and breathing that ‘fire’ in my life when the curtain opens”.
“The memories I’ve made, and the friends I’ve met along the way make it worth it. It’s as addictive and sometimes as dangerous as heroin, but it sure as hell ain’t cheaper!”

Well, that’s one way of putting it.

Related posts: