Friday 8 January 2016

Top 4 gig wankers

Drunk shouting men
They go to the venue straight from work and by 10pm with their neckties loosened and their tongues even looser, they're indistinguishable from the blokes you must avoid at the office Christmas do.

Yes, I'm talking about the two men at Withered Hand last night who were shouting rather than talking. I politely asked you to be quiet. You declined. I asked you again. You started whispering in each other's ears. See? It can be done.

Between songs, you raised your voices again. "He's a cunt," one said. The other, so close to me that our shoulders were touching, turned to me and then confirmed to his friend: "Yeah, he looks like a dick."

If you spoke to people like that in other situations, you'd very likely end up in a physical confrontation (translation: you'd get punched into next week).

Yet you were obviously some sort of Withered Hand fans because you were singing along to some songs. Not big fans, of course, because you were talking through most of the gig and you both left early. Which was a shame, because I was genuinely interested in finding out why you thought it was acceptable to call me a cunt for politely asking you to stop shouting.

Doesn't like music
During a Pernice Brothers gig at The Borderline, one woman was talking very loudly. A man next to me asked her to quieten. I gave him the thumbs up. She carried on. He asked again, explaining that people had thanked him for his earlier intervention. She carried on.

This was over 10 years ago and I was less diplomatic then, but far more pragmatic. "Will you put a fucking sock in it?" I suggested. She was quite affronted: "I've come here to talk to my friends not watch a band."

You really have to question why someone would pay £10 to shout at their friends while drinking overpriced cans of Red Stripe over loud music. Or if that wasn't the case, why the promoter thought it a good idea to put someone who wasn't a fan on the guest list of a sold-out gig.

I pointed out there was a room in the back that was quiet and she could talk there. With no little ceremony the loudmouth retired there and we could enjoy the rest of the gig.

Gig newbies
King Creosote was a popular chap in 2006. He'd gone from pub back rooms to selling out the 800-capacity Scala. You get a different crowd when an act gets bigger. I was at the back with my mate Tim and when a couple of people left, we inched forwards.

The two ladies came back 10 minutes later armed with fresh drinks and asked us to move because we "were in their place". Tim pointed out that it doesn't really work like that. They then spent a lot of the gig pointing at us and telling anyone who'd listen that we'd "stolen their place".

Crowds move during all-standing gigs. Many had move to let the two women pass to get their drinks and return. Don't expect a square foot of floorspace to remain empty for 10 minutes at a sold-out gig.

There are types of gigs where moshing is expected. I don't go to them. The very large bloke at the front of a Heavenly gig who started moshing backwards clearly enjoyed throwing himself into people. Sadly for him, no one enjoyed his attention. Several shoves later and a word from his embarrassed girlfriend, he stopped.

I can't fault the enthusiams of the gang of kids who started a moshpit at Playlounge's Powerlunches gig a couple of years ago, but they looked like they thought 'this is what you do at gigs'. Sorry, kids, wrong place, wrong time. There just wasn't room enough or any support from other attendees for you to use the venue as a druken adventure playground.

So well done to Trev OddBox - not the smallest statured gentleman - for heaving himself into the middle and letting them bounce off him until they realised they were being stupid little pricks.


  1. At Chvrches at Alexandra Palace, a group of girls tried to force their way past us. This was about three quarters of the way through the set. "We saw them about four years ago in Melbourne, and there was hardly anyone there but us..." they yelled at us, as if that meant we should step aside and let them through because of this. I did feel like saying that if it worked like that, I'd be able to sit on the drummer's lap at some gigs; or asking why, if they were such huge fans, they didn't think to turn up earlier in the set. But didn't. Because they were trying to have this conversation while Lauren was in the middle of an anecdote.

    1. Ah, Top 5 gig wankers, then: Self-entitlement fan.
      I expect we could easily get to a Top 10.

  2. I really did that? :-) I am sure I have a memory of it somewhere.


    1. You really did. Perhaps you were emboldened by beer, which impaired your memory.