So you really want to buy tickets to see King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard play live but have no pals who share your passion for wonky Australian psych jams? Well, why not just buy a ticket anyway and go alone? It’s what over half of young people have done, according to a new survey by ticketing app Dice, who’ve found that 65 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds have gone to a gig on their own, and 98 per cent wouldn’t mind doing it again. Even more interestingly, a big old 84 per cent said the music sounded better when they didn’t have to deal with chatty mates or substandard dates, and I wholeheartedly agree.
There’s something wonderful about going to a gig alone (see also: the cinema). You can turn up when you want to turn up and you can stand where you want to stand; in fact, it’s even easier to subtly manoeuvre your way to the front of the crowd when you’re flying solo. Just a few simple pleases and thank yous and suddenly you’re mere metres away from Liam Gallagher’s trousers. Most importantly, if you’re not enjoying the oppressively banging Goan trance gig you decided to take a gamble on, you can just bugger off and go home. Bliss.
A while ago I went to see The War On Drugs play at the Roundhouse on my own. I took myself out for a not-bad-for-Camden dinner first and timed it perfectly so that I arrived at the venue just before the band went onstage. Nestling down in my seat with nothing but a melty bar of Fruit & Nut in my pocket for company, I proceeded to have a transcendental couple of hours. There was nobody asking me silly questions throughout my favourite song, nobody to make me feel bad for dragging them out to see a band they were definitely not into and nobody to insist that we leave before the encore to miss the rush for the Tube.
Even if I’d gone with somebody who’d have enjoyed every second of the gig, there’s something special about taking in a sublime show alone and – forgive the slight hint of hippy bulls**t – totally becoming one with the music. It’s the closest you can get to meditating with a pint in your hand. You can close your eyes, rock back and forth – hell, maybe even dribble a bit – and not have to answer to anyone. Here’s to going it alone at gigs – one of life’s truest pleasures. @leoniemaycooper