Gig-a-gig, ahhh

Off to Edinburgh to see Radiohead, with two utterly predictable results: Radiohead were great, and the experience of going to a gig sucked.

I’ve written before about the sheer arsery of live music, but it’s particularly pronounced at bigger gigs: there’s the hassle of getting the tickets in the first place, the joy of ridiculous booking fees, the pain (and cost) of getting there, the nightmare of getting home again (particularly bad last night: Scotrail decided that the combination of a 20,000-capacity stadium gig and the Edinburgh Festival didn’t require any additional train carriages until faced with thousands of pissed Glaswegians at Waverley station), the bad food, the overpriced drinks, the dodgy sound, the sore back you get from standing up for hours… but for me the real problem is the people.

I’m the first to admit that I’m a tad misanthropic, but I’ve talked to others about this and it seems I’m not the only one who thinks there’s an increasingly ned-ish element to gig audiences, especially stadium ones. I don’t subscribe to the true fans vs casual fans argument, but after several hours of being barged into and of being deafened by mindless bellowing from people who spent the entire gig shouting at their mates (either in person or into a mobile) with the occasional break to sing the three words of the chorus of the two songs they actually know, I can’t help but think I’m getting too old for this shit.

When you spend more time entertaining gleeful fantasies about stabbing your fellow punters than listening to the tunes, it’s probably a sign that stadium rock’s losing its appeal.

Pity it’s so expensive. I’ve got tickets to see Muse on Thursday at the same venue, and while I love Muse and reckon they’re probably one of the best live bands on the planet, I’d rather go to the dentist than endure a second stadium show this week. That’s another sixty quid down the drain, then.

Update

I’ve been talked into going to the Muse gig after all. But I’m taking a gun.

Update, again

Muse were great. But blimey, My Chemical Romance are possibly the worst band in the whole world (and made me think of the gag, “I wish my grass was emo. Then it’d cut itself”). I’m saying “possibly” because there’s a very remote chance there’s a worse band out there, although I very much doubt it. Put it this way: the band doing The Final Countdown (linked a few posts back) are much, much better.

19 thoughts on “Gig-a-gig, ahhh

  1. Squander Two says:

    McAlmont & Butler in Dublin: some ned kept trying to demonstrate his love of the band by whistling through his fingers. During the quieter numbers, he was louder than the band. They kept glaring at him, but he didn’t get the hint.

    I always remember Scream on the Green. Great gig, great crowd, and Primal Scream were (in my opinion) at their peak. But some wanker in the crowd thought it’d be fun to stab other people with a syringe. I mean, what the fuck?

    Vic’s work lay on a box at the Odyssey every Christmas: food and drink and no strangers. She says it’s class. Thus far, spouses have not been invited, but that may change this year, and it’s Snow Patrol. Sure, it’s 80 bloody quid, but, since hers is paid for by her work, it’s only 40 quid each. Could be grand.

  2. Gary says:

    Here’s a thing. Why, at gigs, do so many people demonstrate their connection with the lyrics by pointing towards the clouds?

  3. Gary says:

    Ronnie, if you’re going by public transport book one of the happy bus things rather than relying on the train. It’s half the price and 100% less horrific.

    > But some wanker in the crowd thought it’d be fun to stab other people with a syringe.

    That’s Primal Scream fans for you.

  4. Gary says:

    Actually, let me explain the train thing.

    We got to the station at 11.01 last night, and the next train was the 11.30. It arrived at 11.20, we all jumped aboard, and within seconds it was packed silly with loads of people stuck outside. So Scotrail cancelled that train, ordered everybody out, and sent another, much bigger train as a few thousand glaswegians did their best to trample one another in the race to the platform. But even that was way over capacity – we were among very few people that got to sit down, everybody else was jammed into one another. Made london underground at rush hour look deserted.

  5. Squander Two says:

    They do something similar on the East Coast line at the end of academic terms. Passes through four major Scottish university towns, all of which have had universities with end-of-term going-home rushes since before the invention of the train, yet it still doesn’t occur to them to provide extra capacity. The staff stand around with baffled expressions, like, “Where did all these people come from, and why do they have so much luggage?” Same three dates every year for ever. Twonks.

    And then they treat the passengers like bastards. I switched to National Express after my second year. Only slightly slower, much cheaper, and a generally decent service. Come to think of it, those train journeys were so bad that they put me off intercity train travel for life: I’ve used trains for non-local journeys maybe three times since. And regretted it every time, I might add.

  6. Stephen says:

    Guns are highly recommended, and not just for gigs. I’m so glad I brought mine from South Africa, apparently they’re quite hard to get here…

  7. Ronnie says:

    >> Ronnie, if you’re going by public transport book one of the happy bus things rather than relying on the train. It’s half the price and 100% less horrific.

    Ah-ha, I managed blag a lift there and back from a very considerate friend.

  8. Tony Kiernan says:

    >>We got to the station at 11.01 last night
    You could have jumped a cab to the Assembly rooms, caught Rich Hall, then went onto some oh-so outre cabaret thang, then a club and got the first train back in the morning. C’mon! It’s the festival!

    At least at the Muse gig you’ll be knee-deep in goth chicks.

  9. Gary says:

    Hahah :)

    The problem with your cunning plan is that on the upside, I’d get to see Rich Hall. But on the downside, I’d be spending EVEN MORE TIME IN EDINBURGH.

  10. Tony Kiernan says:

    Was ecstatic to see that Marcus Brigstocke had announced two proper stand up dates as a warm up for his tour. Completely gutted to find out that the dates are tonight (not on) and tomorrow (hey! I’m in town. Oh, he’s on at the same time as Rich Hall…grrrr…)

    Guess I’ll just have to make do with Neil & Christine Hamilton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *