Last night I went to see a really exciting event at Howden Park Centre in Livingston. There were four live bands/ acts performing their own material for a local audience. At the end of the evening the organiser did not know if he was going to break even and I'm certain that none of the acts were paid a fee.
As I listened to the acts they were playing familiar music but it was all orginal. Lyrically some of it was beautiful, some fun and the rest would fit perfectly into any chart minus the odd expletive. If you closed your eyes you would be forgiven for thinking one of the bands was singing an unheard Oasis album track or even their latest release, musically it was actually more complex. However, Oasis are now worshipped by hundreds of thousands and each sitting comfortably on their retirement fund yet this group are doing unpaid gigs on a Sunday evening for their friends and family.
The vocalist even said it himself 'just fifteen years too late'. This is true. There have been hundreds of replica Oasis groups, some more talented than the original but once Oasis had stormed the scene none of them stood a chance, the void was filled. But why Oasis? Why not one of the others?
This made me think about the dance sector. There are many artists out there producing similar work yet why are some funded and celebrated where others are ignored? What is the defining factor in making your work a success?
I think originality helps. If you can be marked for being the first of a genre no matter how many similar acts follow, you will have been a pioneer but this only works if you are publicised well and known for your original work. It is feasible for your idea to be replicated by another with a better publicist and they will take the credit for your revolution.
However, not everyone wants to change the world. Is this wrong? I think not, there are many enjoyable genres of dance out there that audiences want to see so there is nothing wrong with fulfilling their expectations. Financially it is usually a better way to go, bums on seats and all.
How do you become the person that is in the right place at the right time? Answers on a postcard please.