Dear Nick Mulvey,
It is often said that when people become famous that they seem to enter into a state of narrow-minded thinking and selfishness. Fans desperately try to imagine their favourite actors, musicians or people in general in the limelight not doing such things however they are occasionally let down.
I have been going to gigs since I was sixteen years old and lived a forty-five minute bus ride from Birmingham City Centre. This easy access to music venues such as The NEC, a glorified corrugated metal shed, The HMV Institute and The O2 Academy meant that I was on the leyline of one of the major tour routes for bands in the UK. Over the years I faced the odd rescheduled show from the likes of The Black Keys and The Naked and Famous. With The Black Keys we were told in advance that Dan Auerbach had injured his shoulder and given half of the money back for the show to be rescheduled, additionally we could still go to the new show with our old tickets which now only cost us half the price. Although the Australian band, The Naked and Famous, cancelled after the support act as they hoped that lead singer, Alisa Xayalith, would be well enough to perform up until the last minute. Again the show was rescheduled and we were all invited to seem them again a few weeks later.
Both times were genuine issues with the band members and it was understandable to the fans that were disappointed. You are still allowed to be disappointed when someone you like bails at the last minute. However singers and musicians becoming ill is not a strange and unthinkable thing. These people strain their vocal cords and really give it their all for each and every performance, night after night. If they get to your city and are ill then it was you who missed out instead of someone else.
However, the line is sort of drawn with illnesses in bands. Nick Mulvey cancelled his upcoming show in Newcastle to instead perform on Jools Holland. For those of you who don’t know, Jools Holland is a musician and presenter who hosts a range of bands in mini sessions on his show Later…with Jools Holland. The Jools Holland show is an important part of the UK music scene, to be invited is like being Mary, Queen of Scots and having been offered a place in the French court – it is a big deal. In Nick Mulvey’s Instagram apology to fans he even says that ‘there are so few spots for musical performances on TV in general’ which is true, with the demise of Top Of The Pops and MTV turning away from music for the time being and focusing more on showing us reality TV like Catfish: The TV Series and Teen Mom it is no wonder why musicians would feel like so few opportunities are presented to them to perform. The most common type of exposure nowadays for musicians is soundtracks for television shows and films.
Although personally Nick Mulvey did his fans over, he decided that his commitment to them and his show was not worth it in the long run. It is like me saying to work that I can’t be bothered with my planned shift as something ‘better’ has come up. I would be met with disapproving looks from my team members and my manager would probably have a few wounding words to say to me. Yes, Jools Holland is a big step up for musicians and an opportunity that is not always presented, yet Later…with Jools Holland does not look to be going anywhere soon. There will be more chances and more opportunities and Jools Holland, who is a musician himself, would have understood the importance of not letting his fans down. Fans weren’t happy and responded accordingly on social media as to be expected with many feeling that the time and money they had put into supporting a musician from rags to riches as it were was now being blowing them off as if it was nothing more than lending someone twenty pence for the bus.
As they say when you get famous, ‘don’t forget about the little people’, the people who helped put you there. At the end of the day these people are the ones who pay for you to keep doing what you love. The concerts and albums and the experience of your music, which is not shown on television and has to be experienced live in person are what these people are paying you for because they believe.
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