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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

Back Where I Belong - How I found my way back to live music

I recently went to see the rather wonderful Gary Numan in Glasgow after a good few years of avoiding concerts. It was amazing. What a show! I'm usually a clock watcher but the gig went by so quickly I wasn't ready for it to end.

I used to go to a lot of gigs in my university years before I realised that actually, I was very uncomfortable in that situation. Standing crammed together with people jostling you and the heat was intolerable for my undiagnosed self. It was a recipe for anxiety and overwhelm. I would spend the whole gig waiting for the end, even if it was someone I had been excited to see.

Fast forward to now and I have a much clearer understanding of who I am and what I can tolerate or what I want to tolerate. Standing gigs are not for me and I am not sorry to see them go. No matter how much I want to see the band, I will get no enjoyment from it.

So why did I make an exception for Gary Numan? Well it was held in the O2 Academy which is a venue I know quite well. I've been going there since it was known as the Carling Academy. There was also a seated option up in the balcony. One of my closest friends would also be accompanying me, so we could stick together should all else have failed.

I'm so glad I did. Choosing seating meant I could settle into my own little space with my friend and get acclimatised. The balcony meant that I had an excellent view. I could also take my bag off and not worry about losing things on the floor, never to be seen again, or trampled underfoot. My friend helped me not get panicky navigating queues and it is always better to share these things with someone you love. My prior knowledge meant I had an idea about where things were and navigating the place was easier.

These small changes made such a difference to me. I could actually relax and enjoy the music for once. I adore all of Mr Numan's work so it was wonderful to see it live, and not only hear it but feel it too. There's nothing quite like being surrounded by a blanket of sound, it was fantastic. Live music is a completely different animal and I love it.

It was also great for me to realise that I don't have to give up on the things I love entirely. With planning and preparation I can do things I may have previously written off. Sure, it's frustrating that I can't just show up to things but I will take it over not being able to do them at all.

Adjustments can be made to pretty much anything with enough effort and cooperation. You no longer have to miss out. Sometimes that means having the courage to ask for help, or to do the research on the venue beforehand, but where there's a will there's a way. If the world isn't made for you, as it so often isn't, make it fit.

It is with a renewed determination and no small amount of euphoria that I set off into the inky black Glasgow night after the gig. As the man himself said ," You see, this means everything to me." Thank you for the show Mr Numan. I eagerly await your return to Glasgow.

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