Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I read a letter in Word Magazine written by my mate Planet Mondo about a gig he went to in Cambridge featuring the wonderful John Martyn. All through the gig someone sitting behind him sang at the top of his voice out of tune and with no regard to people actually trying to enjoy the gig.

As a regular gig goer I am becoming more and more frustrated at this kind of thing. My gripe is not with singing however but people who go to gigs and then talk all the way through it. It is known by my mates and me as Londonitus and it is becoming worse and worse. It usually happens at a gig featuring a band that is being talked about and is therefore just the type of gig to be seen at. It is quite evident that some people do not really have any interest in the bands they have gone to see. Whether these are guestlisters who work in PR or the 'industry' I have no idea but I don't think they can be fans of the band.

One case in point took place a while ago now at the ICA in London when I went to see Mogwai. If you are unfamiliar with their work, Mogwai have very loud parts to their tracks and some quiet bits too. The chatter during the quiet bits of this gig (which was in a much smaller venue than Mogwai usually play in thus upping the trendiness quota) was unbelievable. What was more unbelievable was that when the band cranked the volume up the people talking raised their voices so they could be heard!! The arrogance of this is astounding. It was if the band were interrupting their conversation with their music. This isn't an isolated incident either. I have actually heard someone talking at a gig and say "I love this track" and then continue to talk all the way through it!

To attend a gig now and not here chatting all the way through is now so rare my mates and I comment on it. It shouldn't be like this of course and I really wish venues would police things better. The Luminaire in London tells punters to be quiet and as a result your enjoyment of the music is not spoilt by selfish poseurs.

I would therefore appreciate anyone who wishes to have a chit-chat during a gig to do one of two things. Either don't bother coming or, if you really must been 'seen', go and talk in the bar. I'm off to see Amusement Parks On Fire next week in ultra-trendy Hoxton and I fear the worst. I only hope the place will be full of real fans who want to hear them play.



Blogger seahorse said...

God if it were me I'd just turn round and tell them to shut up. Which where I'm from would no doubt have led to a fight in the days when I was going to gigs...which wouldn't have helped much, so probably not the best advice. Can't imagine the prats you're talking about being capable of a punch-up though, so perhaps a gentle "Please stop talking," with a sunny smile would suffice. Then move slightly away from them, just in case they tut or something.

3:22 pm

Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Oo, oo: might this be the perfect opprtunity to repeat my anecdote - the one which hardly anybody has ever heard before - about the time I threw three old ladies out of the theatre I was working in because they wouldn't Shut The Feck Up?

12:18 pm

Blogger Piley said...

and howabout those fkwits photographing and 'videoing' it on their mobile phones? Look around you and the audience is awash with anoying little rays of light.

My real bugbear is those idiots who phone someone during a song, shount something incomprehensible down it then hold it up for the listener to hear the song... like your tredies who wanna be seen, this is an extension of that. They want their mates to know where they are, and what they are doing.

I will point out that NOBODY has ever phoned me and done this and i've never done it - what great friends i have!

7:45 pm

Blogger ally. said...

see i think gigs are different to theatre and cimema and stuff and shouldn't be hallowed polite things but sociable noisy boozy affairs done in the back rooms of pubs or old wrecks like the astoria with shouting and ddancing and jumping about and all sorts. i'm off to see edwyn on monday and despite my affected ramblings damning dingwalls would be much happier if it wasn't in a theatre with theatrey behavior.
but that's just me.

5:25 pm

Anonymous Cocktails said...

Oh I so agree with you. Even though it is clearly moronic behaviour to talk and photograph your way through a gig, I was beginning to feel as though I was the only one. In fact, to try and make myself feel better I have recently written my own rant about this on my site

12:58 pm

Anonymous Cocktails said...

So just wanted to say thank you for your post.

My friends think that I am overreacting but your post proves that I am not alone!

1:01 pm

Blogger marmiteboy said...

Oh indeed. I hate the bastards who phone their mates up so they can 'listen' to the gig too.

4:35 pm


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