Tag Archives: gig

Gig Etiquette For The Over-40’s

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’.

6) Shoes

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.

9) Encore

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.

OUCH MY GENERATOR! The Underworld, Camden, 18th October 2014

The Underworld BannerOne of my friends has been away touring with a band for a while, and they played last night at The Underworld in Camden as part of an all day music event called “OUCH MY GENERATOR!”. It was and *cough* I quote;

An all day mash up of progressive and heavy live bands ready to blow the ampage! Playing underground genres such as Doom, Sludge, Prog-Metal, Noize and Math Rock…

I had never heard of any of the bands, but it sounded like it should be fun, and since fun, beer and music are three of my favourite things, I decided it was only right and proper that I go. Add into the mix that I love it in Underworld, and I’d be getting to catch up with someone I hadn’t seen in a while, I was anticipating a really good day. I wasn’t disappointed.

The first two bands were on at 15:00 (Meadows) and 15:45 (Mine) but I missed them since I didn’t get into Camden until just around 16:00. It’s a shame, but given my tendency to DRINK ALL THE BEER, it boded better for my chances of remembering the end of the evening. I decided to have a pint upstairs at The World’s End, which was a mistake – I forgot how busy it gets in there, and a quick pint is definitely not a thing that happens on a Saturday afternoon.

I headed down into the depths and was immediately assailed by the smell of piss. It’s astounding to me exactly how reassuring I find that these days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a formula that can very easily go wrong, but you really know where you are when the Eau de Toilette is in fact Odour of Toilet.

Speaking of toilets, this is the back of one of the doors in the Ladies. Winner.

This is what you want from your toilet experience

This is what you want from your toilet experience

There was an interesting mix of people in the audience. There was no consistency in terms of age, gender or visual metal tribe affiliation. I liked it.

The first band I actually saw were Telepathy and they blew me away. I was really impressed with them, to the point that I have just gone and pre-ordered their new album. They’re a 4 piece band who according to their Facebook page are from Rewa… and Colchester. Interesting cultural mix. I am too old to keep up with all the metal sub-genres, but they define themselves as Progressive/Post-metal/Sludge. For me, it was noisy, ethereal, expansive and had no vocals to fuck it all up. The bass was buzzing through my feet and made my shorts vibrate, and with a beer in my hand, I don’t think I could have been any happier.

The next band up were Bast. They’re a 3 piece metal band from London and for me, I felt they suffered by comparison to Telepathy. They were tight enough, and they did the whole vibratey-shorts things well enough, but they definitely weren’t covering any new ground. To be fair, I am not familiar enough with the genre to know if Telepathy were covering any new ground either… but they sounded like it. That being said, there was a big chunk of the audience singing along so Bast are clearly popular. I am never one to say that anyone else’s art is bad (the source of more than one blistering argument with my ex…) but they just didn’t touch me in any of my special places.

The drummer for Kruger simply warming up was more exciting to me than the entire previous band’s performance. There was immediately something sharper and fresher about them. Also –  I don’t know about you – but I love a good nutter, and the frontman for Kruger was just that. He was either mental, or on something the like of which I haven’t been involved with in a good 20 years. You know that when your singer is doing warm-up stretches, you are in for a treat. I think I kinda fancy him…

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“Don’t mind me, just rearranging the venue…”

There was a totally different energy about Kruger; it was way more punk and main-line crazy, as opposed to the heavier, more prog vibe from the previous two bands. They are apparently Swiss, and the singer (Renaud) fucking MEANT it. Combat rolls on and off the stage between the monitors, and if you took your eye off him for a minute, he’d appear in some random part of the audience, no doubt making someone incredibly nervous. I liked them a lot.

GAAHH!

GAAHH!

I took a chips-and-gravy break after Kruger’s set. Food of the gods, my friends, food of the gods.

When I got back, I got really excited when I saw Undersmile setting up; they had two female singers in dresses and clumpy boots, and that is always something I approve of. Sadly, that didn’t last long. I will reiterate my previous statement that I will never say that someone else’s art is bad, and I really don’t like saying this, but I did not enjoy these at all. The music felt like it was trying ever so hard to be darker than it was, overly much feedback, one chord every four beats, it just felt really dirgey. I feel awful for saying it, but I had to leave. I went upstairs to get a half until they finished their set. Yes, I bought a half. In the notes I was making on my phone, in my pitiful drunken state, I have written “Please make them stop. Someone…?”

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I am really beginning to hate my phone camera…

I am confident they are to someone’s taste, just not mine I am afraid.

Next up were Bastions, and a much needed injection of energy. They very much made me think of Enter Shikari, with an unlikely looking singer who I have a sneaking suspicion may be carrying some personal issues around in his back pocket. As with Bast, there was a genuine fanbase in attendance, loads of passion from the audience, while the singer smacked himself repeatedly in the face with the mic. I liked these, but they were by no means my favourites of the day.

The band that my friend has been touring with are Coilguns and step forward another fucking nutter. They struck me as very much like At The Drive-In, both musically and in terms of the volume of the frontman’s hair. He bodily launched himself into the audience, lassooed a group of unsuspecting punters with the mic cable, dragged them around for a bit before leaping back onto the stage and tearing shit up. There was a young lad, maybe 16 or 17, who had been right up at the front for Bastions and he quite literally fled to the back of the venue in the face of Coilguns. D’awww.

There was a genuine moment of stunned silence at the start of their set while the audience struggled to catch up with what had just happened. I’d been stood up at the top of the stairs looking down on the stage up till that point, but there was just an infectious energy that made you want to throw yourself into the middle of it all. There were some lads up at the front who were pacing back and forward in front of the stage like big cats in an enclosure. Suddenly it all exploded, and I somehow managed to stay right on the edge of the maelstrom of windmilling arms and microphone cables without getting pulled in.

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The energy off of this band is contagious and addictive

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I’m winning no prizes for my photography.

I have just noticed on their Facebook page that the singer – Louis Jucker – is credited with ‘vocals’ and ‘crowd fighting’. Excellent. Also fairly accurate. One of the funniest moments of the evening for me was when I was at the merch stand chatting to my friend, and I turned around to find Louis being carried towards us by some dude that he had leaped on, and was clinging onto for dear life. I liked Coilguns a lot.

Headlining the evening were Oathbreaker. The singer was a delicate looking lady in a floaty white gown and a forest-green shawl/cape. Obviously this is who most people were here to see, because the audience lit up again. She spent most of the set with her hair over her face like the quintessential small dead girl-child from Japanese horror films, so there’s no real way to tell whether she was enjoying herself or not. As a rule, I am not a big fan of female singers in metal, but this lady was OK actually. I tend to find with most metal, musically a band can’t really go wrong and it’s the vocals which will make or break for me. She didn’t break it, they were listenable and really commanded the stage and their audience well.

No, that's not a ghost, just the singer from Oathbreaker.

No, that’s not a ghost, just the singer from Oathbreaker.

I appreciate that as an event, it wasn’t really focussed on the kind of music that I gravitate towards, but there were some genuine wins for me; Telepathy were very very good, and I would also definitely recommend checking out Coilguns and Kruger.

Incidentally, I encountered these on the way home.

*shrug*

*shrug* Iunno. You tell me.