How a Band Influenced My Change of Path in Life

Anyone who knows me will know what a big fan of the Kaiser Chiefs I am but what they might not realise is how much they’ve influenced my change of direction in life.

Three years ago I met the band for the first time at an album signing at HMV Oxford Street (RIP) and it was the start of something. Now I am almost a month into my second degree in as many years and of course it is Music Technology. Why are these two events linked?

I’ve always loved music, in fact love doesn’t feel like a strong enough word. I am so passionate about it. I spend my life with headphones in listening to track after track after track and I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember. I used to love long journeys (I still do) just because it was an excuse to just zone out and fall into a lull of great music and a sense of comfort.

However, the live music scene is a different story. I went to my first concert aged 16. It was in Hyde Park (I mean talk about a venue) and Taylor Swift was headlining with the likes of Ellie Goulding and John Newman as support. My best mate is a huge Taylor Swift fan so took me with her and as first concerts go it was decent. Maybe not my favourite music genre but it was unforgettable.

My point is I started going to gigs late. I think this was down to both lack of opportunity and anxiety. Anxiety plays a huge part in not just my gig life where I still struggle but also everyday. Something changed though. A want to do something different.

In May 2016 (almost a year after Taylor Swift) I went to MTV Crashes Coventry at the Ricoh Arena. I bought tickets because Kaiser Chiefs – a band who I had loved and listened to since I was six – were on the lineup. I was sat bloody miles away and their set was only short (40 minutes if memory serves me right) but I was completely blown away. It was something else. I couldn’t stop smiling and all thoughts of anxiety slipped away.

It was a turning point. I had to see them again. Which I did so three years ago today at that album signing where they played a short set. I was terrified about meeting them because it meant so much to me but – even though I was a nervous wreck who couldn’t speak (apart from to Vijay) – it was amazing. Then the gigging began.

The beginning of 2017 I went to three gigs in the space of five week:

  • The first was a free show at Asylum in Birmingham for Absolute Radio and it was my first gig at barrier. It was mega exciting.
  • The second was seated at Arena Birmingham for their UK Tour.
  • The third was standing at Leeds Arena (also UK Tour) which was difficult for me but I did it.

These were stepping stones and after that I started this blog on March 15th 2017. After that, the gigging ramped up to regular local gigs which led to me discovering so many awesome artists. Many I still write about on this blog.

That live music bug and the interaction with the industry through this blog made my love grow to an impossible level. And now? I study Music Technology. Today, I’ve spent my day playing with microphones in a studio and I feel like I belong for once in my life.

It isn’t easy. There are people who are better than me and have more confidence but the fact I’m doing what I’m passionate about rather than a Computer Science degree I hated is quite something.

I’m a different person to who I was three years ago and there will be many different reasons for that. A big reason is this wonderful band from Leeds. If it weren’t for them then I wouldn’t have found this and all the people I’ve met along the way – many I would call very close friends.

Besides from their influence, the KCs are some of the loveliest blokes you could ever have the fortune of meeting. I mean that. Some of them – you could say – have had a bigger influence on me than others although I think you would be surprised about which members.

I could go into more detail but some things I guess should stay personal. However, thank you to them and also to any of their fans who have shown time for me or have looked after me at gigs. It has been a bumpy but exciting ride leading to me getting stronger everyday. I cannot wait to see what the future brings, as a KC fan but more importantly as a person in the industry.

Don’t be afraid to show your passion. Don’t be afraid to go for it. First things first, look after yourself and then the rest will hopefully follow.

Thank you everyone for reading. Stayed tuned for a busy month of blogging and gig reviews.

M x

Coming soon…

Sugarthief, The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, 12th October

Far Caspian, The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, 18th October

Boudica Festival, The Herbert, Coventry, 19th October

The Future Sound of Coventry Weekend, The Tin, Coventry, 25th-26th October

The Monkey Butlers, The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham, 31st October

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