Gigs like Bonnie Prince Billy don't pop up that often. There are plenty of bands and musicians peddling their wares around the country week in/week out but someone with the resplendent back catalogue, cultish intrigue and that real 'I will cut my arms off with a semi-blunt knife and force feed them to myself, washed down with a pint of vagrant sweat if I don't see this gig' factor are rare enough. So why is it that arseholes insist on gibbering away to their mates during not just most of the set but particularly during the quietest songs and especially during songs that you find genuinely moving? And why is it that their grating voices are always complemented by their gurning, sweaty, moronofaces? Have you ever turned around to one of these dribbling shitvessels and went 'Oh he/she actually seems quite pleasant and erudite, perhaps I've misjudged them'? No, you haven't, because invariably you are going to be faced with some cuntball in a cowboy hat with a soulpatch and a t-shirt that spells cursewords with numbers (you know the ones: fuck has a 5 for the 'f' and so on)
Typically at last night's gig in Vicar Street there were a few of these Troglodytes parked behind myself and Mrs Therewillbeblog. Why are they there - are complimentary tickets for gigs being bandied around to anyone and everyone these days? Is Bonnie Prince Billy really the kind of gig at which I should expect people to be answering their phones or having a full blown conversation about their pointless lives? The same thing happened at Explosions in the Sky last year. I was positioned in front of four twats, all with the same coloured shirts and haircuts, who whooped 'up ya boy ya' and farted repeatedly during the whole gig. They even engaged in some sort of hoe-down dance when Explosions really got into their stride..
To be honest I expect that kind of crap at big gigs where huge mixed crowds flock and pay high prices for tickets. These kind of gigs have really taken off as social events in the last few years and many people head to them for a day out rather than to appreciate the music. I've been at these kind of gigs and it's fine to a point. They are mostly outdoors and it's easy enough to cope with. But this can't be allowed to filter down to every smaller-venue gig can it? Am I going to go to the next Bon Iver gig and have some bastard's Crazy Frog ringtone shatter the silence as Mr Vernon opens his crushed heart to a mostly hypnotised, adoring audience (or as with last night, some guy announcing that he shaved his penis. Admittedly, that was pretty funny)?
I never want to be that guy who shushes people and of course there will be some sort of chatter at most gigs - no one stays absolutely silent for an hour and a half with a few beverages in them. But if you do go along to a gig that's off the beaten track and is clearly going to attract a large amount of devoted fans who desperately want to hear the songs that have guided them carefully through the traumas and joys of their lives, try and have a little respect and shut the fuck up.
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