New norm or a temporary way of life? the arts had to survive in a way or another through lockdowns and restrictions. They did with inventive ideas and by getting online. Here are our quick thoughts about some of them.

At the beginning of the year, I promised myself that, this time, I’ll get out more and that between two plays, projects, blog and work, we’d go to gigs more often in the many venues London has to offer. And then, lockdown turned to me and said: no.

So we decided that we’d simply do like everyone else: get patience and be thankful that many artists, venues, labels and organisation got on the internet. And then we got overwhelmed under the massive amount of what they had to offer. There’s a lot. Really. And then again we got to choose and had (too) many things to watch.

We started slowly with small live sessions, recorded from the artists and different living rooms, sometimes live from them, and most times let on the internet forever. We got to see this with Eosine and their song Transfusion recently.

In a similar format, we found festivals were also keen on offering live session, like the Crossroad festival back in September, where band members where together at last to play together, only without an audience.

It’s a classic format that gets them to offer an acoustic or live version that will probably also stay forever there. It works well and we got Cassia there with a pretty version of Do Right or Nenĭa Iră with Brasier.

There also are full-length gigs online, from years ago and from today, as a replay, a semi-live, or a recording, and we can get on the festival or artists links, on Culturebox that has been getting a lot of great lives for people unable to go there, SkyArts, or even on Arte Concert where we recently got a Last Train live from the Eurockéennes 2020. Loooads of choice.

But the best option for us, it’s the live concert without the possibility of a replay. The date is given, the ticket booked and it’s (almost) as if we were in the room, full of strangers, all passionate and admiring the artists on stage. And we got convinced by MelodyVR that helped make and broadcast a beautiful interactive gig on their app and website for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Impressive. And more is to come on their site too.

Live from O2 Academy Brixton, the English band has gone on stage for the first time in nine months, on the 13th of November (an important date), for a little over an hour of show. With an amazing light set, 360° cameras about everywhere, and a massive screen showing the band some selected fans watching them from home (along with their lizards, dogs and cats), they gave everything they had to offer.

They choose this set up to get the energy from the crowd. And it works despite the screen between them and us (and that’s everyone watching), it works. It’s true, it’s not exactly the same and it shouldn’t become the new normal in terms of gigs. It was still a good experience. It was unique, interactive, live and motivating. So, we’re decided, 2021 (or as soon as we can), we get back into it. And this time, it’ll be grand!

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