Ibibio Sound Machine – Trinity Centre, Bristol

Saturday 9th March, 2019

I think I am falling out of love with writing. And with going to gigs. I used to be in a terrible rush to write, words tumbling out of me as soon as I got home from a gig that I had almost always enjoyed. Not so much lately. The words have been a struggle and the gaps between attending and writing getting bigger. It has felt like a chore I have to complete rather than something I love. I’ve also been deriving less enjoyment from going.

I’d seen Ibibio as part of the Downs Festival line up in 2016 and vowed to see them again, on their own and in a small venue, as they were such fun. Energetic, vibrant and with a great front woman. When the opportunity came up for this gig at Trinity, a venue that seemed to suit them perfectly, I was excited.

Come the day and I almost didn’t even go. And when I did, I didn’t want to be at the front. We found a spot on the side where we thought it wouldn’t get too crowded. Wrong. A bloke stood on my foot during the support act and a row almost ensued when I stood up for myself. Thankfully he moved. There was also a lot of talking among the crowd and everyone seemed to need to move to the bar/toilet/outside for a fag every 3 minutes. I wasn’t feeling very comfortable so moved to the back, where I could only just about see Eni on the stage and none of the rest of the band at all.

Given how lively the rest of the crowd were and how infectious Ibibio’s music is, I was surprised to find myself unmoved and stood stock still.  I was even checking bus times and planning what time I could escape.

Mostly I’m sorry that me being at this sold out gig denied someone else the chance to be there, someone who may well have had the time of their life. Plenty of people in the crowd were smiling and sweaty from dancing. Even Tom shook his booty. So it was very clearly me and not the band.

If I hadn’t another 47 million gigs already booked I think I would take a break from gigging. Perhaps I’ve just been to too many. I’m gig jaded and that’s about the last thing I ever want to be.



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