THE Machine Head gig at the Ulster Hall represents something of a watershed for this blog. All involved have been touched and pleased by the response from readers contributing their thoughts, views and reviews.
But it leaves tbe question, as posed in the coda of Sweet Child O' Mine, where do we go from here?
Certainly the idea of readers posting reviews seems to be popular. It would be presumptious of me to say that my reviews were more worthy than those of readers. Equally it is clear that I cannot go to all the gigs I want to. With way too many years of professional writing I have the awards etc to prove I can waffle with the best of them, but I also have the experience to sub-edit appropriately the same said reviews.
Would readers be willing to submit reviews via email that I would sub-edit? And would they be willing to review gigs that I, or one of the contributors, could not attend? And, should their reviews prove consistently coherent, would they want to be able to post directly?
Since this blog started I have wanted to develop it to further the cause of 'eavy fuggin' metal. As such the community has meant more to me than the statistics on the visitor charts.
But what if it was to be taken further?
What if it was to become more than a source of information?
Could it be a vehicle that local bands use to sell merch and CDs?
Could it be a vehicle for fans of hard rock and metal to show off their talents in other ways such as graphic design, or web design - a sort of hard rockin; marketplace.
I really don't know - but I do know I think that it could be a resource for local fans and bands - as well as being a place to reflect and rumminate over gigs.
For example what if bands were to sell merch via the site? Or even run a competition, via the site, to design a t-shirt or album cover, with the winner getting a cut of the eventual sales?
I want to be very clear here that I do NOT want to tread on the toes of existing sites such as the wonderful Metal Ireland: indeed if other sites want to develop these ideas and it benefits the metal community I'll not be shedding any tears.
But I believe that readers of this site can forge ahead to come up with ideas to develop the rock and metal scene using this medium. For example: If someone has web design skills could they develop a site with a shop that they get a cut of sales from t-shirts shifted? Could a t-shirt designer and band get a cut from sales on the site?
Even, should there be any money generated from what is essentially a fan site (yes I am a sad 42-year-old metal fanatic, who with two kids - one shortly off to uni - that should know better!) that was created by a fan - that would be me - for fans.
Ultimately, this blog will go on no matter what (well if there is a nuclear attack on Belfast we may have to shorten the posts!) but I want to make sure that I hear your views on development.
Until then, thanks to y'all for reading, thanks for commenting and reviewing, but most of all thanks for your faith in all things loud and feckin' proud!
Now, gotta think of questions for Winger and Airbourne interviews....