Tonight I went to a gig at a local venue called The Roadmender, to see band called the Inspiral Carpets. They were originally formed in 1983, but I didn’t become familiar with them until 1990. I noticed about 3 months ago that they were touring, and I have never seen them live before – as I am sure you can imagine, after being a fan for 24 years, I was quite excited.
While it was amazing to finally see the Inspirals live, and I really enjoyed the gig, it was actually spoiled by a significant number of other people in the room, on an ongoing basis throughout the evening. As much as I was getting annoyed, I started to realise that there might be very good reasons for what was happening, and I decided that it would be a good idea for me to try and enlighten gig-goers.
For those of you that don’t get out to gigs very often, for one reason or another, please find below a few points to bear in mind when you are out at a music concert.
1) Turn Up On Time
If it says ‘Doors at 7pm.‘ on your ticket, that does not mean ‘Turn up at 8:45.‘ I understand that you have probably all had the misfortune of reproducing in the intervening 20 odd years and have probably had to pay babysitters, but there are support bands playing who are likely to be either young or local, and could really do with you showing your face since you’ve already bought the ticket. Also, stop clogging up the fucking bar just before the main show, you pricks.
2) Stop talking
This is not an episode of fucking Coronation Street. Shut the fuck up. Even if this wasn’t a band that have been around 30 years and rarely tour, this is no different to talking on your phone in the cinema; it’s just as ignorant, but more likely to get you a surreptitious elbow to the back of the head.
3) Mosh pits
I do not wish to treat you like you are completely ignorant, but I do appreciate that mosh pits may not have been A Thing back in your day. Therefore, please allow me to direct your attention to them, since they are quite relevant on a number of levels. There is an area at the front of the stage where more exuberant fans will jump around, swing their arms erratically, and generally act like boisterous teenagers. A few key points to note;
a) if you stand in, or at the edge of, a mosh pit with a pint (or frankly any beverage without a lid) you will lose it and you have no right to complain.
b) If you stand in a mosh pit, you are likely to get caught by a flying limb. Any limb, potentially. Deal with it.
c) If you wish to flail your arms around and bounce off of people, go and stand in the fucking mosh pit.
4) Beer runs
Just DON’T. The band are playing for 90 minutes, tops. This is quite possibly the first time that a lot of people in the audience have seen them (do a mental calculation – in the case of the Inspirals as an example, this could be anything up to 31 years). Stand the fuck still and enjoy the music. You can get another beer in less than two hours. What’s wrong with you?
5) Toilet runs
Seriously? How old are you? Take a piss before the set starts. If you have bladder issues, put a fucking Tena Lady pad in your pants.
P.S. as an aside to the beer and toilet run points, there are a fair amount of shorter-than-average people at gigs. While we know that it can’t be helped, if you tall bastards would stand the fuck still, it helps the rest of us to position ourselves behind you so that we can actually see the gig that we have paid the same money as you to see. We’ll also hate you a little bit less. Jus’ sayin’.
A large number of mostly empty [plastic] glasses will get dropped on the floor. Beside this deliberate discarding of containers, someone will always drop their drink; if it’s not you this time, it will be you next time, so don’t judge. Don’t wear nice shoes, and if you do, don’t complain when they get messed up.
7) Throwing beer
Throwing pint containers with beer and/or piss in the bottom was maybe considered cool at a warm sunny all-day Monsters of Rock festival in 1987. It is however totally NOT cool on a shitty December evening at the Roadmender Northampton, in 2014, an 850 person capacity venue where we can all see you. Twat. Stop it.
8) Starting Fights
What the fuck is wrong with you? Yes, the mosh pit is a place to take out aggression, but we look after each other while we are in there. If someone goes down, you help them get up. If they need help to get out, you go in and get them out if you are in a position to do so. If you accidentally belt someone, you apologise with a hearty slap to the shoulder or a shake of the hand, and then carry on about your business. If you want to fight, do us all a favour and fuck off to the town centre where the idiots have been on shots all night.
Everyone does an encore these days, it’s just a given thing. They WILL come back out. Unless they’re Mötley Crüe, that is. While it is appropriate for the audience to cheer and hoot and chant the name of the band in expectation and encouragement of their return to the stage, it is NOT appropriate to boo when they don’t come back quick enough for your liking. Nor is it appropriate to say, and I quote, “Let’s have it! Let’s have some more! You ain’t so cool! Don’t be shy!”
I hope this helps all of you 40/50/60-somethings to better understand how you are supposed to behave at a music concert, and enables you to conduct yourselves in a more appropriate fashion… Or at least one that stops the rest of us wanting to kill you.
TL:DR version – shut the fuck up, stand in the same spot, sing along, bounce up and down, applaud enthusiastically, go home. The End.