Live


24th November, 2008

EXACTLY HOW much is going to a gig, mocking the audience and abusing the band worth to someone? At least £20, apparently.

The signs were there from the start. Opeth, Sweden’s prime metal export, attract a slightly more varied crowd than the average metal band, with goth boys wearing a lot and goth girls not wearing a lot, metalheads, and fans of bands such as Tool and Marillion. Quite diverse, but very friendly. Not, however, hip-hop loving, hostile, balding men decked out in denim, gold rings and a beanie.

Before the p.c. brigade pounce opportunistically, yes what’s on the outside doesn’t necessarily make what’s on the inside axiomatic, but there were other pointers. For example, the man’s “DJ” dancing like he was in some sort of club (you can’t dance to Opeth. It’s like trying to fly a brick), and assortment of “wankers!” gestures at the end of the night (and every song).

Assuming he did pay, what prompts the presumably conscious decision to cough up to go to a performance by a band you’ve probably never heard of and set about taking the piss? And on your own too; if he’d picked a DOWN or Slayer gig, he would’ve been ripped apart, his arms shoved down a toilet, his head lobbed on stage and his genitals impaled on the singer’s microphone stand. But whilst his reasons will remain a mystery, everyone who was in that room now hates him. And their reasons are quite clear.

Published in Student Direct, November 2008

Advertisements

7th November, 2008

OK, THERE’S no denying that gigs and festivals are loud, the equivalent of standing next to a pneumatic drill for an extended period of time, albeit more musical (depending on your point of view, of course). So, to protect those precious personal sound receptors, three things have been recommended. Don’t go (as if), turn the music down (yeah, right), or wear earplugs.

Now, I’m pretty sure my hearing is going down the proverbial toilet. And some gigs are just far too loud; anyone who saw Fu Manchu at Academy 3 last year can testify that. I couldn’t hear properly for a week, no exaggerations. I probably should’ve thought about my future health, my need to hear bird song when I’m 80, or to attend to the wishes of moaning children or spouses. Earplugs would be the answer. But why don’t people wear them?

Maybe people just don’t think about it during the aural pummelling. I certainly don’t.

Or maybe it’s just the general nature of humans to put having a good time way above their health and well-being in their list of priorities. If people drink to excess, risking liver and brain damage, plus anything which could happen whilst stumbling home, then how can we be expected to take care of our hearing?

Here’s a radical idea. Instead of those bland and frankly un-cool lumps of plastic you can get for free…let’s turn earplugs into a must-have fashion accessory. If people put metal studs and fleshplugs into their ears (which carry risks of blood poisoning and miniature dolphins jumping through artificial hoops), surely we wouldn’t be averse to adding a bit more weight to our lugholes, which just so happens to do us a bit of good?

Picture it; just before your dream gig, you make a beeline for the merchandise desk. But what to choose? Before your awestruck eyes you see t-shirts, hoodies, posters, bandanas…but what are these? The Arctic Monkeys official earplugs? Woah! Buy! Buy! Buy?

Published in Student Direct, September 2008