I was very fortunate indeed to see the ‘Main Man”, one Mr Steve Earle, along with his band The Dukes, at the Colston Hall in Bristol recently – and what a gig it was too! Encompassing early day classics such as “Guitar Town”, “My Old Friend The Blues” and “Copperhead Road” via “Taney Town” and “The Revolution Starts Now”, to most of the new “Low Highway” album, it was a man back in the saddle and on top form relishing the opportunity that playing with a band of this calibre offers (step forward the wonderful Mastersons!).
Now at £30 a ticket (and for a two and a quarter hour show) I felt this was good value. However, £30 is not to be sniffed at, so imagine my surprise when two…what I will politely describe as….bozo’s, a few rows in front of me, kept disappearing for fresh alcoholic refills, and at one stage going AWOL for a full 20 minutes midst set! Thus missing a stomping “Copperhead Road” into the bargain!
Clearly now on the inebriated side, they talked loudly through some of the quieter numbers much to the annoyance of the people directly in front of them, and then when Steve and ensemble departed the stage prior to the first encore, started screaming “play something we know Waylon”!! I hung my head in exasperation!
This is always something that mystifies me – why do people pay good money to go to gigs and then proceed to talk loudly all night with their co-conspirators, ignoring what they’ve paid money to see in the first place?! What’s the point?!
Surely they realise that if they’re talking then not only are they spoiling the enjoyment of others around them who have paid their hard-earned readies to see and listen to the artists, but in some cases actually perturb and disturb the artists themselves?
I’ve been to many gigs where I’ve (politely at first, and then not so politely after!) asked people around me to stop being so loud as I’ve paid my money to listen to the music and NOT them! I normally follow that up with a “If you want to talk, then go outside and stop spoiling it for others”, and it normally works.
I was once called a “bald cockney” at a Saw Doctors gig for my troubles after telling a group of 4 people sitting behind me to err, shut it, after they had yelled various Irish slogans so loudly in my ear constantly for two songs that I couldn’t even hear the band! They did cease with the shouting after that, but on the way out gave me my new nickname and ran off! I did chortle at their inventiveness!
Yes we all pay our money, but does that give them the right to do what they want at the expense of other’s enjoyment? Not in my book it doesn’t! Yes, we’ve all chatted at gigs, but if I need to say something then it’s done quietly in the ear, not shouted so that it tops the music!
It’s rude, it’s discourteous, and it’s not clever….just don’t get me started on venue bar staff…….:)
Ps – feel free to stay on the website and have a look at the gigs we have coming up…:)