It’s time to celebrate the passing of another year, but I am thinking of doing it with less champagne this time around. The music industry is so bound up with booze, there are always post-concert drinks and celebration as if we had just survived some military skirmish. Playing music in front of an audience is hardly the same as going into battle; we can’t be killed by audience disapproval, although the fear of public disgrace and making a fool of yourself is a clear and present danger. (For a while, I had a recurring dream of being naked in bed and the bed rolling out of my bedroom, down the hill and ending up on a cliff edge in a dark park, with me teetering there in my nudity waiting to be laughed at.) 


Sparkling wine. Photo © Oleksandr Pidvalnyi/Pexels.

You don’t see cardiac surgeons popping corks and enjoying post-operative celebratory snacks over their patients, nor airline pilots cracking a beer after they’ve brought the plane into the gate, so why do performers reach for the bottle to mark the end of a concert? 

At the English National...