where popular musicians play


  • Dave Laing University of Liverpool



mapping, Moretti, music performance, performance studies, scenes


Using an approach pioneered by the literary scholar Franco Moretti, this article maps popular music performance sites in order to understand the links between performers and their audiences and between music and its geographical, social, economic and cultural environments. Three case studies are provided. The first compares three genre-scenes in the Manchester region in the 1960s—dance bands, beat music and folk clubs. The second case study examines the itineraries of four national tours of Great Britain in 2008. The final example is the international touring career of Elton John between 1970 and 2006.

Author Biography

Dave Laing, University of Liverpool

Dave Laing is a writer, researcher and editor. His books include The Sound of Our Time (1970), One Chord Wonders (1985) and, most recently, Buddy Holly in the series Icons of Pop Music, published by Equinox, of which he is co-editor. He is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool.


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How to Cite

Laing, D. (2010). Gigographies: where popular musicians play. Popular Music History, 4(2), 196–219.