Don't disagree with anything there Dave.
I like the Showbands idea. A few years ago I played regular gigs in a pub in Southampton, run by a lady who was a retired touring Showband singer. A bunch of the afternoon clientele were from the touring music business, and she booked us for a bunch of Sunday afternoons. They were a tough crowd if they thought you weren't up to snuff!
I remember one gig where I happened to turn around and saw a black clad figure hunched over my amp, with his head pressed up against the speaker. He stayed there for the whole song. Afterwards, he told me he had been a roadie for Black Sabbath, and was now significantly deaf. He needed to get his ear right against the speaker to get the 'guitar punch' that he liked. Happy days.
After your recommendations, I've been listening to Laura Cox band stuff on YouTube. I'd certainly go to see them play if they were playing somewhere easy for me to get to. Not prepared to travel to Spain though, you have a lot more stamina than me Dave!
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