In the last week I have been to three gigs, namely Civil Wars, The Shins and Noah & The Whale. I’ve got a few observations I would like to share with you, but heads up now, this isn’t a triple review.
The first is the issue of cameras and smartphones being used to capture the action. I don’t remember things being this bad before, maybe I’m just not going to gigs where people get chucked about so much they wouldn’t dare venture into their pockets for their camera/phone. I really don’t want to watch the gig I’ve paid £20+ for through the smeared screen you’re holding above your head. Do these people not realise that the pictures from anywhere other than the barrier are just going to be a sea of blinding lights and the backs of heads. Maybe for each of them this is their first gig and they want to capture it by taking blurred distant shots of the band, I don’t know. I really can’t understand why someone would try and record it, there is no pocket sized device in the world that can cope with the light and sound of live music, I don’t see what purpose it serves, people know what those songs sound like, you could just tell them you were there, show them your ticket, tell them the set list if you must but why would they want to watch and listen to the chino-clad morons you surround yourself with chanting along to L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N? It reminded me of when I was in Paris in 2005. I was really snap happy at the time and one of my travelling companions and very dear friends stopped me from taking a photo of a man fixing a photo booth in an underground station telling me it would be much better as a memory than as a picture. I didn’t understand what he meant at the time but now I do, it feels better in my head than it ever could look in a single frame, it’s everything that happened before and after, it’s all part of the trip, that’s what a memory is.
My second problem is people who now like the bands I like, I read somewhere recently that nothing will put you off a band like meeting other people who like that band, it’s painfully true. Last night I watched as everyone stood stock still through the wonders of Rocks & Daggers and Blue Skies but then erupted when Charlie introduced Tonight’s The Kind Of Night in a way that made me cringe for about four minutes. If I discover a band I will always delve into any back catalogue to see how they got to the conclusion that is the current album, it’s ignorant to act otherwise, nothing will develop your love of a band like working out what got them there. Shout ‘Charlie, I love you’ all you want, it doesn’t change the fact that I was listening to this band before you even started getting periods.
And that’s how I know I’m becoming a cranky old man…