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The Tragically Hip versuses The Comfortably Square

In the past week I have had the oppotunity to see two bands live, neither of which are really aimed at my demographic. It was certainly interesting to see the differences between them.

Firstly I am 29. In the last year or so I have started to find nightclubs tedious, too loud and full of 'annoying young people'. Try and fight it as I might, the idea of going for a nice meal where a large amount of sitting down will be required is far more appealing. I am not yet at the stage where I think a trip to B & Q is fun but I am not far off.

The first band I saw was an up and coming indie band, who I shall refer to as the Tragically Hip. The average age of gig goers appeared to be about 19. The gig was loud, dark and crowded. Not long after I arrived I was stuck to the floor with stale beer. I say dark, though when the band came on stage, their lighting technician appeared to be doing his best to blind the audience, maybe this was to blind us to their performance. Whilst I can't say they were bad, the way they threw themselves about the stage, no doubt 'feeling the music', seemed a little contrived. It was all testosterone and attitude, which of course was a unresistable mix to the throngs to teenage girls jumping, giggling and fawning in the audience. Personally I found their charms very resistable and spent most of their set looking for somewhere clean to sit whilst trying not to breath in the soup of airbourne hormones lest it kicked off another puberty. It seemed to me that the aim of their performance was to make as much noise as possible, whilst pulling the most ridiculous faces possible. It was quanity of noise rather than quality of it.

The second band I saw I shall refer to as the Comfortably Square. I took my Mum to see the Comfortably Square last night, a band who first had success in the 1960s and have been touring pretty much ever since. Whilst the band aren't in the same fame league as the Rolling Stones, it's fair to say most will have heard of them. Lets just say that experience is a wonderful thing. Despite their age, 40 years of constant touring had turned the Comfortably Square into formible musicians and whilst not all members were the originals, the replacements were session musicians with just as much as experience. They played as one, each note clear, each harmony absolutely beautiful. I whilst I'm sure the Comfortably Square had just as much attitude as the Tragically Hip 40 years ago, age and experience has mellowed them. They've learnt that over time for most bands prancing around the stage spitting out attitude instead of music wears a little thin. If course, there are exceptions, like Sir Mick. But had the Rolling Stones not had the great tunes to back up the attitude, I fear their career would have been rather shorter that it has been. How long has it been now? Judging by Keith Richards' face 472 years. I digress a little, The Comfortably Square was grateful. Grateful to the fans for still paying to go and see them, still loving their music and still keeping them employed.

Rather than young vs old. I feel this is battle of attitude vs talent. Whilst attitude is all very exciting, it diminishes where as talent lasts a life time.

Of course this could all be rubbish and I enjoyed the Comfortably Square more because I'm getting older and had a nice comfy seat at their gig.....I'll let you decide.