03

Jun

Shut the folk up!

Earlier this week I went to Bar Bloc to watch two of this country’s finest acoustic acts, Beerjacket and Reverieme, perform as part of a free night called The Glasgow Slow Club, which takes place every Tuesday. This is how the organisers describe it: “…we like to slow everything down, sit back and relax. The venue will change a bit from normal, some mood lighting, candles, carpets, cake and warmth.”

For Beerjacket aka Peter Kelly, any feelings of relaxation and warmth were swiftly sucked out of both him and the audience. He spent his entire headlining set trying to be heard above the din of chatter coming from the bar area, and every gap between songs saw him become increasingly exasperated as he appealed in vain for a little bit of quiet. There were plenty of folk there to watch the live music, but all enjoyment in hearing these wonderful songs soon evaporated underneath a combination of the rest of the pub’s ignorance and what felt like an on-stage meltdown.

In this post, both Peter Kelly and Aberdeen-based acoustic singer-songwriter Amber Wilson express their feelings on the thorny issue of talking during gigs.

PETER KELLY

“I can see there are lots of you… and I can hear there are lots of you. But I’m going to play some songs… and they’re kind of quiet… this music is called Beerjacket.”

I see my fingers move along the neck of the guitar but there’s no sound. I’m singing but I’m mute. I get frantic and my foot threatens to break the floor. Around me, beery heads are thrown back, exhaling booming laughter and primal yells. A terrace chant floats in the air. A glass shatters at my feet.

The song ends. Distant applause rests on a shelf below the noise. There is always noise.

And I am compelled to acknowledge it. The crowd noise is not the elephant in the room – it is a herd of elephants… drunken, belligerent elephants, thoughtlessly trampling my beloved words and music under their feet.

I’ve been here a hundred million times before and I’ve never found a solution to the problem or any way to simply cope with the struggle. Friends have advised various socially acceptable strategies to deal with noisy crowds’ socially acceptable ignorance, but one suggestion is especially popular: “Ignore it”.

This I just can’t accomplish. Ignore ignorance? Not me. Once the elephants enter the room, I cannot… no, I will not rest until I’ve pointed them out to everyone else there. The only ones left unaware of the elephants in the room are the elephants themselves. Before long, I’m dropping bitter asides between songs (“technically I’m not being antagonistic if they can’t hear me…”) , twisting lyrics into put-downs (“meet me at the bar that never closes… its mouth”) and eventually saying goodnight and drawing the last dagger of the evening: a sneering “thank you very much”.

So what is the answer? Maybe ‘Silence please’ signs, like in libraries. (Why do books get that respect when it eludes actual living, breathing, singing human beings?) Maybe we should have armed security guards keeping the peace. Maybe the performers should be armed. (Actually, some may already have resorted to this measure; the notoriously noise-sensitive Josh T Pearson reportedly pulled a knife on a rowdy crowd member during a show at SXSW)

Arguably, the most obvious cause of the phenomenon of ‘gignorance’ is alcohol. Without coming off as too pretentious or a killjoy, surely it’s a pretty terrible idea to sell alcohol and art in the same place? It’s long been a bugbear for me that my chosen medium of music carries with it so many assumed licenses of behaviour. If I was a painter, would I be cool with others adding their own careless strokes to my work? The only marked improvement of music-pubs in the past few years is that people can no longer smoke and shout over you at the same time indoors. (Should I count myself lucky?) Does the atmosphere at music concerts really benefit from an injection of alcohol?

But you know what I think the problem really is? Music has become a side order in the dining room of the heart. It’s always there in the background: it’s on your television while you watch Waterloo Road, it’s telling you to answer your mobile phone, it’s on the radio with a loud man talking over it (maybe that’s where pub idiots get the idea)… it’s too seldom at the forefront. Is it not enough anymore to do nothing else, but just listen to a song?

Beerjacket – Cave (live)taken from The Peenko Sessions #5

June 14, Oran Mor, Glasgow (tickets)
June 19, Brel, Glasgow (free)
July 14, Stereo, Glasgow (tickets)

Beerjacket photo © Fiona McKinlay

AMBER WILSON

I get panic attacks before every gig because I am so terrified I won’t deliver and the crowd will think I’m shit and not listen. When they are loud and don’t pay attention, it’s really difficult not to take it to heart. I die inside and just want the ground to swallow me up.

After putting your heart and soul into writing your music and spending hours practising for a performance, only to have to compete with a wall of noise… it leaves you feeling like it was all for nothing.

It also pisses off the people who really have paid to listen. I went to see Iron And Wine in Edinburgh in March and I was stuck in front of a group of noisy drunkards who paid no attention whatsoever. I’d waited years to see him and they ruined it for me.

I don’t understand why people would pay to come to a gig then chat through all of the songs. I mean, you don’t buy a ticket to a movie just to talk through it, do you?

Last weekend I played the Kintyre Songwriters Festival and the organisers really had it sussed. The sounds from the stage was fed through to the bar (which was in a separate room) meaning that the drinkers could stay there if they wanted to and still be able to listen. It was a fantastic gig with a great atmosphere. The Captain’s Rest in Glasgow and Duke’s Corner in Dundee have also been personal highlights for me.

If it wasn’t for my mum, boyfriend and friends egging me on and believing in me, I probably would have given up gigging a long time ago.

June 19, Albert Hotel, Kirkwall (St Magnus Festival)

Amber Wilson – Detlef Schrempf (Band Of Horses cover)

Amber Wilson photo © Ashley Penny

31 Responses to “Shut the folk up!”

  1. Dave Hughes Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 12:50

    The best method I’ve found to deal with chatter in crowds is to fight it with silence.

    Find a part of a song that needs quiet and mute yourself, those paying attention will go along with it until the awkwardness feeds to the chatters.

    Theres nothing quite like hearing an independent voice somewhere out there saying “oi mate shut the fuck up”, and then you can continue with a new sense of control.


  2. Mike Ritchie Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:00

    It is the biggest downside of live gigs.

    I attend to listen to the artiste, to enjoy the experience and savour the music, not to be bombarded with inane chatter or people yelling out requests. As Walter Trout said in a show at The Ferry once to a loud mouth: “Hey, I don’t come and shout at you at your work.”

    But the words on this post have made a huge impact as this is the first time I have heard the complaints from the performers themselves – and my heart goes out to them.

    I’m not a musician but writing, practising, performing can’t be easy, and not made any easier by thoughtless, (often) drink-fuelled audience members determined to talk and talk ever louder. And don’t get me started on those who blether on their mobiles during shows.

    Obviously, artistes don’t want to confront or be seen as precious so I don’t know what effectively can be done. You’ve either got good manners and act with respect or it’s something the noise brigade need to learn. Certainly, I’m never slow to ask someone to “keep it down” if they are spoiling my enjoyment.

    I sincerely hope that Peter and Amber get the respectful audiences they deserve in the future.

    Good luck with the music, too.


  3. Anonymous Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:06

    if you don’t like it, don’t play in bars!

    if you can’t shut them up then maybe you’re not as great as your friends tell you you are!?


  4. Anonymous Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:14

    PETER KELLY

    Yes you are sounding like a pretentious knut. Maybe folks enjoy their own chat and banter rather than your pretentious and in my opinion boring music.

    End of the day, it’s a busy bar. Maybe the organiser should move elsewhere, maybe you should have realised that not everyone if going to give you their full attention.

    Maybe you should pick your shows more carefully!

    Obv this ain’t an isolated incident. I’ve been at accoustic gigs in the past and people have chatted, a few dirty looks put em in their place. As for the artist, yeh, choose your venue and gigs wisely.


  5. Josey Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:16

    I have to say, Amber Wilson has it bang on the money and Peter Kelly has missed the mark by a country mile.

    Peter’s thoughts on this subject are caked in self-importance and an assumption that his music is worth stopping everyone elses social catch up. It’s a free gig in a pub, people will drink and talk because they probably planned to go to their local despite his performance in the corner.

    Amber raises the point that it is totally out of order at an actual gig (ie. tickets sold to see someone in particular). The same behaviour at these events is akin to talking through a film. It’s unacceptable and it is an obvious faux pas.

    I find both Amber and Peter’s music great but i’d be annoyed as fuck if someone tried to stop me talking/drinking in my pub so they could force their music on me.

    Moral of the story – Man up and pick your battles.


  6. Murray Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:17

    Talking at gigs is incredibly annoying. Slowclub at Bloc is a great night and they have done very well with it, but perhaps they should take it somewhere else – downstairs at the Black Sparrow for example, where the audience would be there specifically for the acts playing and respect them as such. Bloc is a busy and lively bar – not really suitable for this kind of music.

    I’ve had a few arguments with people talking at gigs – notably almost coming to blows with two total wankers at The Shins at QMU some years back. Some real tossers at an Elbow Academy gig as well.

    What can you do? These people are paying their money. Even at Roddy Hart at Oran Mor last week large sections of the audience were having to say SSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH several times.


  7. Anonymous Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:25

    @Anonymous. I no longer play in Bars as it’s to be expected that you wont be everyones cup of tea in that environment – I’m talking about actual gigs where people have paid to apparently come and see the artists. x


  8. Jef Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:29

    (Dear ‘Anonymous’)

    Bars, pubs and venues (all of which serve alcohol) are the only places we can play live music, aside from the streets. Perhaps you think the only place for music is festivals? It doesn’t seem to matter how good you are, or how hard you’re trying, there will always be some arseholes in the crowd not willing to give you the time of day, even if you’re at a gig/concert in a large venue and specifically there for the band.

    I was at this gig. The music was not so loud on the other side of the room that people were refrained from talking at a normal level. Instead, I could hear one booming voice after another. It is rude and disrespectful to continue shouting over someone’s performance.

    I, for one, thought music was defined by personal taste, so I’m not sure what you mean by ‘not as great as your friends tell you you are’. After all, people still pay lots of money to see Coldplay. Not only that, but I’d expect my friends to be my biggest critics, if it were me playing. In MY opinion, Peter played the best he possibly could under the circumstances. Those being that he couldn’t hear anything from the monitors, couldn’t hear what it was the audience were hearing and could barely think over the background noise. Now, Bloc is a nice pub. Unfortunately I’ve had a similar experience there, though luckily I wasn’t a solo acoustic player. I couldn’t hear a thing from the monitors over the noise around me, nor did I feel confident enough in myself to ask people to shut up – though I did ask them to shut up at Peter’s gig.

    Then again, perhaps it’s all about what kind of person you are. For example, even if I didn’t enjoy someone’s music, it doesn’t mean I’d sit there and talk loudly over them when they are the entertainment for the evening. I’d talk in a lowered tone, go outside, or choose a different place to be. Perhaps other people could choose one of these tactics.

    It’s no indication of how good an artist is to base it on how many people in one crowded pub are paying attention. I think Louise and Peter did a fine job trying to fight it and it pained me to see Peter taking it to heart and to see him struggling, but I enjoyed the music nonetheless.

    Yours,

    A fan of music.


  9. Mark McKeown Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:30

    There is no easy solution to this. I tend to encourage people to laugh and shout and have a good time when I’m playing. That’s why I have amplification, though I could probably drown most people out just by battering my acoustic and shouting.*

    Some artists it really bothers, though musician reaction tends to swing between total apathy to crowd noise and a level of preciousness not normally found outside Noh theatre. It would be a little insensitive of me to suggest that the latter group just need to develop thicker skins, the issue is obviously more complex than that, it just seems to be a matter of guaging when and where it is appropriate to talk loudly to your friends. And even on the bus some people don’t seem to possess the manners to do this.

    *Dave’s suggestion of being deliberately quiet and awkward until people self-consciously shut up also works, and is a good way to get folk in the crowd on your side.


  10. Amber Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:33

    Well said Jef x


  11. Andy Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:40

    With regards to Joshua T Pearson, he certainly never pulled a knife in Stereo a few months back when he played and he managed to get perfect silence for the majority of his set. Okay, this was playing to people who had bought a ticket to see him but it was also Glasgow on a Friday night.

    The example outlined above is very difficult because its a very small venue with no discernable cut-off between stage and bar….and if its free entry and operating as a normal bar as well, it’s difficult to get a balance.

    Not that I don’t have sympathy with Peter Kelly but I really don’t think he handled it well. In acting sneeringly and angrily, he was letting down the people who had actually bothered to come to see him. If they’re genuine fans, they’ll have sympathy and come see him again but floating fans who take the opportunity to see acts for free may find him ratehr ungracious and not bother coming again.

    It’s a difficult one – Pearson used some great tactics like starting off a great story but then lowering his voice as the story continued and the audience hushed in line with him. I know the nature of the event above wouldnt really have allowed for that as the folk at the bar couldnt have cared less about the artist…but given taht was the nature of the event, it couldnt have come as a major surprise.


  12. Donald Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:50

    Talking through songs/music is rude and annoying to the artist and the audience. To me it is irrelevant whether it’s free or ticketed , if you want to yak and you are at a free bar , show some consideration and go elsewhere , there is no shortage of bars and you have not lost any money as you didn’t pay to get in. I love Acoustic Edinburgh not just because they usually have great musicians but because most of the time the audience LISTENS , and on the few occasions where there has been an issue the audience or the host deals with the miscreants rapidly.
    I know a well known performer who used to play standing venues (they suited his music) , now he only plays seated ones , I asked him why , “because at standing venues people talk through the quiet songs” , I had to agree but it’s still a damm shame he no longer plays standing venues due to the selfishness of a small sector of the audience.
    Sadly the situation does not seem to be improving and I don’t know what the answer is.


  13. Mark McKeown Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:57

    I think we’re going about it all wrong thinking that talking while a band is playing is the issue.

    Sometimes it is perfectly appropriate to talk and laugh with your friends while a band is playing (As an artist I enjoy and encourage it.) though probably not while a delicate-voiced acoustic performer is gently plucking his/her guitar.

    It’s about manners, and having the sense to discern whether or not your actions are appropriate and, in a much broader sense, mass pockets of humanity have a problem achieving this.


  14. Me Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 15:09

    Why on Earth is people trying to disrespect Beerjacket AKA Peter Kelly, he is a wonderful talent, his words are poetic heaven, he is an outstanding musician and super talented… the comment from the edjit “maybe your not as good as your friends say” what a complete arse…. not only do his friends agree that he is super good, he is a legend in the making, if you tore your arse away from the current shit culture of Scots which is drinking yourself into oblivion and actually read some feedback written about Beerjacket almost daily, then you would find that a huge majority of well respected music journalists and music people speak highly of him,,, he is awesome. so get a grip you plep all you have doen is insult yourself and prove you have the IQ of a dead dung beetle, moron.

    it would be heart breaking having to sing and play through that disrespect, and moron dung beetle, what about the respect for the people who came to watch this Scottish musical GEM…and all they got was your dulcit untalented tones… away and play with your own instrament the one hanging from your head.


  15. Mark McKeown Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 15:19

    I understand that people get their backs up very easily about this on both sides of the debate, but maybe we should stick to being productive rather than mud-slinging.


  16. Hamish Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 20:12

    The Liquid Ship’s also great for avoiding this. The Free Candy Sessions are free acoustic nights, but also secluded so it’s only filled with people who genuinely want to see the music.

    Also, what Mark said^^, this has nothing to do with the quality of whatever music.


  17. Anonymous Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 21:53

    Dear “jef”

    No, I do not think the only place for live music is a festival.

    I was merely suggesting that those moaning about people not listening to them should choose their venues more carefully. It’s not hard to avoid playing in shitty places like bloc!


  18. Craig Says:

    June 4th, 2011 at 10:35

    Even as a gig-goer, this is a problem which I hate. Too many times have I been to a gig, where perhaps the performer isn’t all that loud and I can’t hear a bloody thing because of some fanny at the back shouting and laughing. Like Mr Beerjacket said, I’m not a killjoy, but there’s definitely a time and a place for that. Let the musician play their songs, and let the audience who coughed up their money hear them play those songs.

    Another thing I’ve found is that it’s not actually the paying public who make all the noise. Two gigs that I’ve attended in the last few months, the noise has been made by members of another band! I went to see Mitchell Museum and the Scottish Enlightenment at Dexters in Dundee, and the band that opened (Dormant Figure) could be found cajoling at the bar throughout the whole Scottish Enlightenment set. So fucking frustrating that one of my favourite bands were playing and I couldn’t hear them nearly as much I’d like. So, just shut the fuck up please. Talk in between bands, or at least whisper.

    Cheers.


  19. Andrew Says:

    June 4th, 2011 at 12:42

    Hamish,

    The Liquid Ship is, indeed, a fine venue for acoustic music. Underrated out its nut.


  20. chris Says:

    June 4th, 2011 at 15:41

    I agree with Amber’s point about it being akin to the cinema, if folk have paid to see a gig then they should expect to be able to hear the performer.
    I find Bloc a difficult venue though, as it is a bar rather than a gig venue, and a large proportion of the crowd are there cause it’s a pub and not for the music.
    It’s understandable that folk will be in a pub – that has no entrance fee for music – just to be out for a bevvy rather than to listen. What I don’t understand is why if you are looking to go out for a drink and to chat to mates you would pick a pub with live music that you have no interest in listening to?
    There are shitloads of bars in glasgow, but there was only one place you could see Beerjacket play last week, so the noisy fuckers should be have been told to shut it. They could do what they were doing anywhere, those there to see peter Kelly could not.
    I personally find it rude when folk talk through a performer, and am encouraged to see signs in certain venues asking for quiet during sets now. I understand that it is a difficult issue when a gig is in a pub that is not solely a gig venue though.
    @anonymous #1 wtf are u on about? where else are they meant to play? and it certainly is not just friends telling these two that they are great. You sound like an idiot for saying that
    @anonymous #2 you can pick your shows as carefully as you want, but you can’t choose the crowd on a given night


  21. Mark Says:

    June 4th, 2011 at 19:05

    Having seen Beerjacket play live many times I consider him probably the best singer/ songwriter/ solo artist in Scotland.
    The quality of the music is not in question.
    To say otherwise would be foolish in my opinion although music is about preferences and opinions.
    No artist will win every person over as differnt people like different genres but If you appreciate good guitar, good vocals and incredible lyrics it stands to reason you will love Beerjacket.
    I do think people have the right to talk during band gigs but it makes me cringe when I see an acoustic or a quieter act having to battle against the elements of over the top chitter chatter.
    I don`t think alcohol is to blame but rather the crowd/ venue.
    Bars with free entry will bring people who are just catching up with friends and only a small percentage will go on to repect the music on show.
    these people will be the polite, true fans of real music or people who happen to really enjoy whatever music is being performed but the chances are the majority will be Lady Gaga fans or someone simply going for a pint after work.
    Making people pay at the door (even £2) is a good way of filtering the crowd although by no means completely solves the problem.
    The venue is also just as important and the fact there is no proper seperation in Bloc between bar and `stage` means you need to be a loud act to pull it off and I`ve seen some cracking gigs in Bloc that have done just that.
    For artists such as Beerjacket places such as Oran Mor, Pivo Pivo (who both have bars far away enough from the stage) are the way forward.
    The hidden lane cafe gig that Peenko ran was also a fantastic and intimate setting.
    Alcohol + Live music is a good combination in my book but my advice would be to acoustic artists to stay away from free gigs unless it`s in a proper setting where their set will be respected


  22. Colin McIntyre Says:

    June 4th, 2011 at 23:06

    Slow Club puts on great people but after i went a few times i’ll never be back. The last one I went to was to see Ajimal and I was mortified for the poor guy. It was the exact same as what Beerjacket is describing and he even went over and sat on the table of the offending group of rowdy girls and they still shouted louder to talk over / round him. Total ignorance.


  23. Anonymous Says:

    June 6th, 2011 at 14:48

    Is it any wonder people talk at gigs like beer jacket and roddy hart?? The music is dreary and are only getting to play gigs due to well connected pals…


  24. John D. Says:

    June 6th, 2011 at 23:19

    Folk chatting at gigs is of course a plague – there was almsot a punch up at Gruff Rhys a few months ago because a pair of wankers wouldn’t shut up.

    Seems to me however that Peter Kelly should be choosing his gigs a lot more carefully. No disrespect to whoever the promoters are, but Bloc is a tough enough gig for a full band. There’s no stage and no control over Joe Public standing 6 feet away who in all likelihood will not give 2 hoots about your music.

    Acoustic-wise the Free Candy Sessions at Liquid Ship are the obvious top quality benchmark. Gerry Lyons acoustic night at Sleazys also used ot have a nice atmosphere, but I haven’t been in years – is it still going?

    Perhaps Mr Beerjacket should try to make his appearances a bit more of an “event” – pick a special venue, a good complimentary bill, control the ambience? Then again, I tried to apply this theory to an acoustic night at the RAFA about 5 years ago – an “all night show, in the summertime”, in the magical words of the magnificent Nick Drake – and it was just a bit dull….


  25. Squirrel Says:

    June 13th, 2011 at 11:03

    Folks hows things its Squirrel who runs the Slow Club. I know what you are all saying and I agree. Chatting at a gig is hell however silence is significantly worse.

    We used to actively put notices out in Bloc asking folk to “shut the hell up” but no one read it and then it turned into a shushing night with a terrible atmosphere which even the free cake couldnt handle.

    Do you know what the best thing about a crowd is? Its that point when you start singing and even though everyone is chatting away it slowly gets quieter and then you know that the whole room is listening to you, its called grabbing your audience. I’ve seen it happen often. I’m not saying Senior Kelly didnt btw I believe fully he can and that Bloc occasionally is fully of those who dont care enough to notice. All I’m trying to suggest is that silence in a show is horrible, silence is the absense of something and having no audience interaction would kill my sets.

    One thing I would like to say is that there would be no venues or places for live music if it wasnt for Drink. No one would ever be heard or seen. Argue this fact all you like but venues do not survive on their own. We would all like this not to be a fact but it is, people do not enjoy evening parting with £3 for music and even if it was more than that on an entry fee venues would never generate enough cash to survive either that or no musicians ever get paid and I’m not for that option. So alcohol has to say for now.

    One solution to the problem i have found is the louder acoustic acts do not have this problem. I find that a fair few acoustic acts sing and play really quietly and the PA has a fair amount of work to do. The art of projecting ones voice is lost. I have had acts on who needed very little amplification of vocals and their voices carried across the whole room, Jill leighton, Debbie Kate, Scott FB to name a few. Acts Like Mersault whos just project a wall of sound at you, i understand this is different with acoustic music but I have had poets and speaks stand there with just their voice and command a room of random drunk poeple who were poised on every word. I dont think Peter (Beer jacket) has this problem and even if he did the PA would be up louder.

    One final note would be though, if people are talking just say to yourself. Fuck em, I’m perfesional enough to deal with this shite, take your free beer and money for the 30 mins of you time and enjoy the rest of you night. hahaha


  26. Nicholas Says:

    June 13th, 2011 at 18:42

    Singers should just sing their fucking songs and ignore everything else. Also, I nearly threw up a couple of times while reading this article.


  27. Neil Says:

    June 14th, 2011 at 20:53

    @Nicholas You seem to be missing the point Nicholas. It’s about respect (or lack thereof) – something you seem to know nothing about.


  28. jay Says:

    June 19th, 2011 at 04:34

    I found Peter’s description rather painful to read. Amber did put her point across better and it was simple.

    I understand the frustration of playing to a crowd that is filled with a loud bunch of people and how disheartening it can be. Usually you stop putting as much into it and by the end of it you’re left thinking ‘what was the point’. But the thing is, you have to get over it and not take it personally.

    Even if one person is listening, you owe it to them to give it your best (its really difficult to do it when you’re struggling to hear yourself) but you can’t win them all.

    People talking during a gig has no reflection on the quality of the band playing. Loads of folk flock to see the bands they love and listen intently while others go and end up chatting all the way through with their pals and still come out saying it was brilliant. I guess people do things in different ways. I think its up to the crowd to shut them up though.

    While I have seen acts and been fortunate enough myself to hush a crowd that spoke over others – I do not agree that silence is a bad thing at gigs. Silence at an acoustic gig is heavenly and intimate and to suggest otherwise is completely braindead.


  29. Amber Wilson Says:

    June 22nd, 2011 at 13:56

    I’m a bit disappointed that the bit at the end of my interview wasn’t printed, I summed up by saying “At the end of the day I realise you have to take the good gigs with the bad. If it wasn’t for the not so great gigs, the really good ones wouldn’t hold such a dear place in my memory bank.” If that had been printed it would have made my piece less of a self pitying whinge fest. x


  30. Little Fire Says:

    June 27th, 2011 at 13:42

    I think everyone has made fair comment on the situation, there are always going to be gigs where people talk yet even though you wish to batter them round the head and say shut the fuck up its not usually going to be the best idea. If plonkers want to talk all the way through a gig then it’s them who are missing out on it. It’s a shame when a performer is more on the quiet side and people are straining to hear them through the din of people talking. There are definitely some gigs where it’s more accepted for their to be audience chatter and some where it would be wholly frowned upon. As a performer I think you’ve just got to be clued up about the particular gig you’re doing and what you might be able to expect attention wise and noise wise. If it becomes unbearable you can always stop playing, turn up louder or give a pal a wink to shush the noisy soul. You can always get off stage as well. It’s up to you. Masking tape might be another idea. I agree with the sentiment that if people want to listen they will listen, if a performer really holds the attention of the room usually everyone will stop talking. There are sometimes a few people who are so drunk they wouldn’t realise if a heard of elephants were charging towards them but hey bugger it, some gigs are great some are less great and it’s all about dealing with the experience as you live it. awoooooooo


  31. Mainy Says:

    November 22nd, 2012 at 10:41

    I’ve said before, and often, that there should be some sort of etiquette that can be loosely applied to gig going.
    Basic things.
    If you don’t want to jump around and are the sort to get easily pissed off at being jostled then don’t stand at the front of the stage when Motorhead are playing.
    Equally if you want to jump about flaying your arms like a lunatic while unleashing your inner tourettes then don’t stand at the back where people are chilling out.
    It’s not that hard to take an overview of a crowd and consider where you will fit in to maximise your own enjoyment while minimizing how that enjoyment may detrimentally impact on those around you
    As for the specific issue of chatter.
    Well people are entitled to talk, but when, where and how loudly comes into it.
    Asking a mate if he wants a pint between a song when he is standing next to you is fine.
    Shouting ‘HO FANNYBAWZ, YOU FANCY A WANK WAE THAT SHANDY’ across a crowded room mid song of an acoustic set from a folk singer isn’t.
    We can distill it all down to a lack of common sense with a side order of arrogant ignorance can’t we?
    One of my personal pet hates is ‘the friends of the band.’
    The ones who turn up to a four band bill and loudly talk through three acts and shush people when their mate is on.
    That sort of attitude is one that is endemic in society though.
    When we see it displayed at a gig it’s just a microcosm of the wider world.


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