Saturday, 22 August 2015

Down in Front!

Anyone who's been to a gig in the last 15 years will be familiar with the irritation/anger/fury caused by fellow audience members who attempt to record all or part of the event on their mobile phones. Over time, I've grown reluctantly accustomed to bobbing and weaving my way through an evening, in an effort to catch a clear view of the stage through the sea of up-stretched arms. In one tiny venue a couple of years ago, I actually watched a long stretch of Courtney Barnett's set through an iPad (an iPad!) that was being held aloft by someone standing directly in front of me!

In another lifetime, I'm afraid I too was briefly guilty of straying into other people's sightlines, as I did my best to capture live snapshots for a fanzine my pal and I were busy dreaming up. All this was back at the dawn of the 1980's. Nothing ever came of the fanzine, or the photos. Until now.


Gang of Four in 1981, photographed by Yours Truly






9 comments:

Walter said...

You're totally right Swede, it's an absurdity shooting a concert by a mobile phone. I wonder if they watch this any more. Back in the old days some people taped a concert with a hidden recorder to copy to their friends. Strange times indeed. Btw. 'To Hell With Poverty' is one of my all time favorites.

Singing Bear said...

It's like living at one remove: rather than enjoy the event, they record it and thus remove themselves from what's actually going on. I really don't understand it and loathe it as much as you do. Never mind that they don't seem to care how much they are spoiling other people's pleasure as well. A modern disease that needs to be stamped on - hard! Nice shots you got there of Gang of Four.

Don't get me started on those idiots who text and even chat during a gig. Pricks.

TheRobster said...

Completely agree with you all. If a gig is memorable, you'll remember it without mementos. Singing Bear - I recently had to tell a woman to shut up at a Young Marble Giants show in Cardiff. There were plenty of people going "Shhh" but she only took the hint when I confronted her! As you say - pricks!

charity chic said...

Excellent photos and excellent stuff.I once took some folk to task in Austin informing them that I hadn't! Flown thousands of miles to hear them wittering on

Brian said...

This is a problem that is way out of hand. Audience members in general have ruined so many shows for me in recent years that I have just about given up. I feel like the old man who yells "get off my lawn," but I have just about had it with everybody, you know? When I'm taken away in handcuffs, this is the comment the authorities will point to and say "there were signs this guy was unstable."

Swede, those photos are fabulous. That's a smile. Now get off my lawn!

George said...

Swede, there's no problem getting drunk on cheap wine here, you can get a litre for 79 cents. To Hell With Poverty! As for audience berating, this one did not involve CC but at Ronnie Scott's the god-awful venue in Birmingham, someone was so fed up with the incessant loud talking by a group at the front that they yelled so loudly even Laura Cantrell (whose gig it was) stopped playing for a few seconds. And the talkers did indeed "shut the fuck up", as requested.

C said...

Great track of course - and brilliant photos. A quick snap or two is pretty unobtrusive, it's the filming thing that pisses me off. I think SB has summed it up with "it's like living at one remove" and that seems to be how it's getting in almost every aspect of life, as if it's not enough just to experience something, live in the moment and accept it as transient, but that it becomes the primary focus to record something as if the only motive for doing it at all is to "share" with others. The "sharing" idea sounds simplistically altruistic, but there can be something a distasteful about it, when it becomes "look what I have done, look where I have been," and you really start to wonder if the person recording it actually prefers the adulation and envy from those they share it with, or even some kind of self-gratification for having recorded it at all, to the original experience itself.
Phew, need a lie down now.

The Swede said...

Oops, I touched a raw nerve there! I thought that might be the case. And another thing - selfies...with the band onstage in the background...what's all that about?

Old Pa's Corner said...

Pretty good pics too....get off my lawn!

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