What can you do when you fancy seeing some live music but don’t have either the inclination or the funds to leave your flat? YouTube is a great resource and the average quality of live videos uploaded to the site has improved with every smartphone generation, but the majority of them still suffer from washed out sound and poor views of the act on stage. Here are three channels that represent a wide range of different genres and allow you to access some absolutely fantastic gigs without needing to leave the safety and comfort of your bed.
This channel was set up last year by LoveLive as a way of making the footage of live performances that the company had recorded available on demand. Featuring some truly massive acts including Plan B and Madonna, LoveLive TV provides a DVD quality live experience for free. My favourite video out of their current collection is Muse’s gig in support of War Child. Playing in a stripped down and relatively small Shepherd’s Bush Empire the band prove that they don’t need their gargantuan stage show to put on a fantastic gig. That’s not to say that the concert is without any visual flair – keep an eye out for the glasses that guitarist Matt Bellamy dons for ‘Madness’.
A Seattle based radio station, KEXP have expanded their reach around the world by uploading videos of the intimate live sessions that they host. While their output does include established artists such as The xx and Florence and the Machine, they have also uploaded thousands of videos that feature a wide variety of underground artists. As a result of the sheer number of videos, it can be hard to browse through the channel’s uploads. Despite this, if you pick bands at random from the archive on KEXP’s website you’re likely to end up with a handful of obscure names with great music attached to them that you can use to impress even the most jaded of Hackney’s hipsters. There are worse places to start on your journey of discovery than this twenty minute set from Cold Specks, a singer-songwriter who marries her rich, mournful voice with delicate and beautiful guitar work.
So, you’d like something a little bit heavier? No problem at all! Unlike the other channels mentioned here Fufux usually only has one static camera and doesn’t have access to the band’s mixing desk, so there’s definitely more of an amateurish bootleg feel to his videos than the others mentioned here. Even so, the video and sound quality are both usually excellent and he has collected a bunch of full sets from some of the best upcoming metal bands around. One of the finest examples of this is his recording of Shattered Skies’ gig at Euroblast 2012: eight string guitar wizardry, some great stage banter and a cheeky ‘Gangnam Style’ cover make this a show that you’ll wish you were at.