Monday, October 15The Voice of London

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly of a Free Gig

Twin Peaks took time out from their European tour to play a gig in London – for free.

Reporter: Chelsea Jobe | Sub-Editor: Alex Clement

Credit: Chelsea Jobe
Credit: Chelsea Jobe

American indie band Twin Peaks performed a free gig at Urban Outfitters in Shoreditch last night.

After playing at nightclub Scala the night before, the band decided to hold an impromptu gig. But is there a difference between a paid and a free gig? Here is a list of things I noticed at the Twin Peaks gig:

You probably don’t know the band…

Because it’s free, you go to events and gigs willy-nilly. Not even knowing who or what you will see.

The only information I knew about Twin Peaks was the crime television series. Not useful or relevant at all. But I was pleasantly surprised by them, an indie rock band from Chicago. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for their music in the future.

…and a member will stand beside you without you knowing who they are

Twin Peaks drummer, Connor Brodner, stood beside me whilst browsing Urban Outfitters, and I had no idea. It was not until he sat down behind the drum kit when I put two and two together. The drum sticks he was holding should have been a big giveaway.

Free beverages

Being handed alcohol you don’t have to pay for is always a bonus. Especially when the brand is hipster and imported, that you would end up spending a small fortune on a lukewarm can of beer.

Not being able to see except the back of someone’s head…

Credit: Chelsea Jobe
Credit: Chelsea Jobe

People were stood waiting for the band before they even showed up at the store.  Then the second they heard a guitar chord, people flocked in front of the makeshift stage. Suddenly you’re at the back of the pack, staring at the shaven buzz cut of someone’s head.

Or in my case, being somewhat short height wise, their bums.

…then being right at the front

Credit: Chelsea Jobe
Credit: Chelsea Jobe

I weaved myself through Urban Outfitters’ exposed pipe structure and clothes rails to stand near the front of the stage. After a quick tap on the arm of a fellow gig-goer, a pathway to get through was made. Stealthy, swift and clever – I was in the first row. 

No fancy lighting

The venue was still open for the public when Twin Peaks were playing their set, which meant the lights were on. Not the usual setting for an indie rock gig. If someone didn’t know a band were playing, it would look as if we were crowding over a rack of t-shirts.

Standing next to a speaker and becoming partially deaf for two minutes

Credit: Chelsea Jobe
Credit: Chelsea Jobe

Being at the front of the stage has its downsides. Like standing head height to a large speaker. The heavy bass guitar and drums boomed out to the point vibrations could be felt in my chest.

Be prepared to get up close and personal

Gigs are usually packed to the brim, and there is no doubt you will become too close for comfort with a stranger standing beside you. But this was a free gig, and the atmosphere was chilled. No mosh pits. Not even one rowdy fan.

I probably wouldn’t be able to say the same for their regular gigs.

You don’t feel physically or mentally drained when you leave

Usually I feel half dead by the time a band plays their third song and I want to go home. But Twin Peaks were able to keep the audience hyped for over an hour. 

Twin Peaks are currently on a European tour with their latest album Down In Heaven. Their next gig is in Brussels, Belgium tonight.

Follow @TwinPeaksDudes on Twitter and @twinpeaksdudes on Instagram.

Also, check out clips of Twin Peaks gig on our Facebook and Twitter page.