I haven’t written or posted much about the C-word, social distancing or quarantining at home. So much has already been said, I don’t feel there is much for me to add. But I think we all can agree that music has again shown its amazing capability of lifting our spirits during tough times. And just like everyone else who loves a good live show, I’m looking forward to the time when it will be possible to head out to concerts again.
A moment that will never be back again
Nothing beats the feeling of being at a concert. The energy exploding from the stage, spreading to the audience. The feeling of everyone being at the same place, at the same time, for the same thing. And the realisation that what you’re witnessing is something unique, a moment that will never be back again. Luckily there is the technique of live recordings. Of course I don’t mean the bumpy, grainy, inaudible videos shot by almost everybody in the audience (please stop doing that people!). I mean professional recordings. They are no comparison to actually being there, but they offer solace in times like these. And they give us the possibility to enjoy performances of artists who are no longer with us.
A rabbit hole within a rabbit hole
I’m sure you have found yourself in the rabbit hole that is called YouTube at some point in the last few weeks. Watching a video on how to repair your leaky tap – only to surface hours later, in the dark, hungry and with a tap that’s still leaking. Anyway, while going down that rabbit hole myself, I came across Belgian concert venue Ancienne Belgique. And to my surprise they have loads of videos posted of performances at their venue. Clips of some of the best artists around and even full live shows! From Sinead O’Connor to Sam Smith and from Cypress Hill to King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: It’s a rabbit hole within a rabbit hole. I’ve listed 11 of my favourites below (in no particular order), but check out Ancienne Belgique’s YouTube channel for more. I’m sure you will find something you love in there. Turn the volume up to 11 and enjoy!
Charles Bradley, 2013
Suzanne Vega, 2017
The Scene, 2014
K’s Choice, 2015
Norah Jones, 2009
Iggy Pop, 1999
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, 2014
Tenacious D, 2015
Ancienne Belgique is one the most prominent rock temples in Europe. Based in the historic heart of Brussels, Belgium, its history dates back to the 16th century. It could have ended up as a supermarket or parking in the 1970s – it stood empty after the variety venue renowned for French chansons that was there went bankrupt – but luckily it was saved. On the 21st of September 1979 it officially opened. The venue struggled with complaints about noise for years, and lots of money was spent on soundproofing the building. In 1996 it was reopened after a complete overhaul, and now is seen as one of the best music venues in the world. Ancienne Belgique has been hosting an incredible line-up, bringing iconic artists and new talent to Brussels. Check out their agenda and please support them – and your local music venues, where you can!