Has it always been the case that people see a quiet song in a band’s set as an opportunity to have a chat? It probably has, and maybe it’s just that as I’ve got older my preferred position at gigs has slowly moved further towards the back of the room, so I notice more. I’m not right at the back, mind. You know, I’m still standing with people who have expressly moved forwards in order to get closer to the stage.
Either way, people these days do seem to like to speak to each other at gigs. And with that pesky band playing they have to shout to be heard. What an inconvenience. I wouldn’t mind so much, perhaps, if people were talking about the music on offer, but more often than not I seem to get stuck next to someone who wants to explain at length every minute detail of their tedious life. Someone who, if you ask them to be quiet, will look at you like you just asked them if it was okay for you to be sick in their drink.
And I’m sure this problem is worse than it used to be. I went to a gig earlier this year where a member of the band actually had to shush an audience during a particularly quiet song. For some reason – despite the fact this gig wasn’t cheap to get into, and we all knew it was being recorded for a live album – half the audience thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up on some chatting. I’ve not heard the resulting live album, but if it went any way to capturing the actual ambience of the evening, it will be a very annoying thing to listen to.
I don’t think anything I’ve ever written has made me feel quite so old as this has, so it would be great if you could indulge me and hear my plea: If you’re at a gig, please, shut the fuck up.
Next week in the ‘gig rant’ slot: If I move out of the way for you, I’m expecting to move back into that space. So, don’t stand in it, you arse.