16 August 2011

Where's your favourite band from?

Last week I dealt with a question on my favourite albums of all time – something that comes up now and again when people find out I write about (or just have an obsession bordering on unhealthy with) music.  

I also get asked a bit about my favourite local band.  I’m not going to go into who that band might or might not be, or if I even have one – at least not this week.  What I’d rather focus on is the fact that people ask this question in this way, or at all.  It’s never who’s you’re favourite up and coming band/s; it’s usually phrased as a local vs national or international thing – us vs them.

If a band is good and you like their music, does it really matter (should it matter) where they’re from? When I think about the bands that I really like I don’t tend to separate them out into local or international, it’s just a list.

Sure, there are bands that I prefer over others, and my all-time favourites tend to be international, but I think that’s probably more to do with the fact that if they’ve got big enough to get exposure around the world, they’ve had more experience and with that comes a more polished and professional sound.
Local bands tend to still be local bands because they don’t have that experience and therefore don’t have the exposure.  It doesn’t mean I value their music any less and I’d put them into the “up and coming” category, rather than label them as “local”.

Being local, I also get the opportunity to see them more often that some of the bigger national and international bands that I’m into; with that familiarity sometimes comes a form of apathy toward the bands- whereas, when an international band tours it’s a novelty.

So, what can we do to change this way of thinking?  If someone asks about your favourite local bands, tell them who your favourite bands are – local or not; get in the habit of thinking about local bands as up and coming bands, rather than just local.  And most of all, get out there and support bands in your town, city, area.

What do you think about the way bands are labelled?  Is it fair to treat local bands as less important than bigger bands?  If you’re in a band, how does this impact on you?  Leave a comment below…

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