September 10th is Gibraltar Day and, as anyone who lives there or is a regular visitor will know, it's an opportunity for the locals to wear their red and white gladrags and reaffirm their national identity.
After a few political speeches the rest of the day is dedicated to entertainment as numerous bands take to the stage and, as anyone who loves Gib knows, there are more budding musicians per square metre in Gibraltar than anywhere in the world – and this coming from someone who was brought up in Wales! Honestly, considering that the place is the size of a gnat's bottom, the locals should give themselves a pat on the back. In fact, there are so many bands brushing up their skills every night that rehearsal space must be at a premium.
However, this year someone had the brilliant idea of turning September 10th into a fabulous commercial opportunity and booked Status Quo to perform at night in the car park in Ocean Village. While the practical side of my brain is thinking of the trade that will flow in to Gib's numerous cafes, pubs and restaurants, the hopeless old romantic part (yes, I do have one!) is thinking that this could be very bad news for local bands.
No question that The Quo is a pretty good choice - they've been around long enough to appeal to the oldies, are loud and lairy enough to appeal to the youngsters and are apparently terrific live, but is this really a good idea for Gibraltar Day? How are the Melon Diesels of the future going to reach a large live audience if a huge chunk of their one annual shot at the big time is being handed to the wrinkly rockers?
What do my friends in Gib think? Answers on a postcard, please...