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Audience lack of respect for bands


KevB

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This has been coming up in conversation with a mate for a while when we've gone to see live acts. Is it just me or are people generally less respectful of the fact they have a live band in front of them and not some giant TV screen? People yapping away constantly through songs, shouting at each other rather than getting close to speak in their ear at a sensible volume. I've had 2 gigs (as a punter) severely compromised by this in th elast few weeks. I don't recall it being this bad 10 yrs ago and definitely not longer ago than that. I don't know if its just that people dont give a toss any more or its a carry over of them having big TVs at home and they just treat it the same when they go see a band. I assume classical and jazz audiences are still OK but the behaviour at pop/rock type gigs seems to have taken a real downturn in recent years.

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It does seem to be the more popular type music attracts this - don`t get much of it on the punk/Oi scene but whenever I`ve been to the bigger venues you do wonder why many of the audience have bothered to go. Pretty much happens at football too, when I`ve been many of those in the expensive seats seem to spend equal amounts of time in the bar as watching the match.

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Yeah, I've had this a few times. First case was as early as 2001/2 - my sister and I went to see Mercury Rev and agreed it was a great show but the audience was an absolute pain in the proverbial. There was a bloke a few rows ahead of us who just put his feet up on the chairs in front and spent the night texting people. I guess this was still the era before cameras were so ubiquitous on phones, and approximately 50% of audiences felt compelled to film the entire gig on the damned things, so at that point the little backlight on a monochrome phone screen was still quite distracting!

Ian Siegal was probably the first person I saw who challenged an audience. I think it was the Charlotte St Blues club, somewhere they had a sort of VIP area up on a balcony. It just seemed to be stuffed with people intent on talking over the band. "Sorry if the music's a bit loud for you, back there," he sniped in between songs, "you know, you come to a live music event, you expect a bit of peace and quiet, naturally..."

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All fair enough, but ultimately it's our job to entertain them.

If I'm being ignored by the punters then it might be because they're all self-obsessed, selfish Mr and Mrs Silly Billy who should have been drowned at birth.

Or it might be because I'm not doing enough to entertain them.

Just saying ...

 

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23 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

All fair enough, but ultimately it's our job to entertain them.

If I'm being ignored by the punters then it might be because they're all self-obsessed, selfish Mr and Mrs Silly Billy who should have been drowned at birth.

Or it might be because I'm not doing enough to entertain them.

Just saying ...

 

It's definitely a strong possibility, and I know I've been in that position more than once myself! But then in the settings where I've played, it's typically been in a pub where people haven't paid anything to see the band, or one of those six-bands-in-four-hours nights on the Camden toilet circuit, where most of the crowd are there for the better-known headline act anyway.

What I find harder to relate to is those gigs where people have paid money in advance to go and see a particular artist, who they (presumably) already know and like...maybe I'm just being my usual, tight-fisted self but if I've forked out for the ticket I like to get my money's worth!

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I went to see Roachford a couple of years ago at the Sturminster Exchange, just a small venue.  Sit anywhere and the support act had started when I got there so sat in a row above 3 thick-set guys, crew-cuts (possibly armed forces) 2 of whom talked all the way through the rest of the support act. 

During the interval the 2 went off for drinks and  I tackled (in a friendly way) the remaining one of the 3 and asked if his mates were actually Roachford fans and were  they liable to be  listening during his set? I said if they were going to continue to be chatting I 'd go elsewhere in the hall. He said they were fans, and he'd been a bit annoyed by them too but felt sure they would listen for Roachford.

I didn't enjoy the rest of the gig as I  wondered if the'd be waiting for me outside the venue at the end...!

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1 hour ago, Happy Jack said:

All fair enough, but ultimately it's our job to entertain them.

If I'm being ignored by the punters then it might be because they're all self-obsessed, selfish Mr and Mrs Silly Billy who should have been drowned at birth.

Or it might be because I'm not doing enough to entertain them.

Just saying ...

 

Some bars have live bands and fail to realize their clientele has no interest in live bands.

Blue

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I went to see Ian McCulloch do an acoustic gig in Manchester a few years ago backed by Ian Broudie. A few people kept chatting loudly over the songs including some pillock who never shut up. During one song McCullough stopped and asked him to shut up, restarted then stopped again and McCulloch threatened to kick his teeth in if he did it again! 

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13 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

Some bars have live bands and fail to realize their clientele has no interest in live bands.

Blue

I wonder about some of the pubs we play. They do no or very little promotion, put bands on at the same time as big football (soccer) or boxing matches which they show on big screen TVs. I've no idea how they make enough money to pay us unless they get an allowance from the brewery or pub company which they have to spend.

I used to play bass backing a local singer songwriter on the Manchester music scene called John Reynolds. One evening we played a pub in Cheadle called the Queen's Arms. There were seven people in including two bar staff and a few lads playing pool. Two fellas moved their chairs and sat right in front of us which was disconcerting but at least they were into the music. Apart from when they both went outside for a cigarette every four or five songs...

I drove past the pub the other day. It's closed down and apparently it's going to make way for another block of apartments.

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Some years ago at a Poppa Chubby gig (for those who don’t know him, he’s a very large and imposing figure) he, after repeated polite requests to one loud-mouthed punter, stopped the gig mid-song, saying, and I quote, “If you don’t shut the f**k up, I’m going to come down there and beat you down like the bi*ch you are!”

Suffice as to say, we had no further interruptions from soft lad. 😏

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On one occasion I went into Ronnie Scott's with a woman who would not shut up during the act (it's a house rule).

I tried shushing her but it just turned into a full-on row. Of course, we were summarily ejected which gave the other punters something to tut about while Mr Georgie Fame ploughed on through his somewhat turgid though worthy performance.

In my defence, I was very, very drunk.

 

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18 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Ah now, the big advantage of open mics is that the audience is also the other performers.

If they make a racket during your 'turn', revenge is just around the corner.

 

not always, but I know what you're getting at, I once did an open mic where I was asked to turn down because I was making it difficult for people to talk O.o, I haven't been back since.

Another thing is that if you're last or nearly last on the other 'performers' have already left having done their spot

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2 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

All fair enough, but ultimately it's our job to entertain them.

If I'm being ignored by the punters then it might be because they're all self-obsessed, selfish Mr and Mrs Silly Billy who should have been drowned at birth.

Or it might be because I'm not doing enough to entertain them.

Just saying ...

 

I was about to post something similar. Yup, I have certainly seen bands that although played very well, have no clue about stage craft. There's a difference between playing great music and putting on a great show. (Which of course includes choosing material that actually excites your audience rather than just you)

 

*You as in musicians in general, not you specifically HJ :) 

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57 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

Some bars have live bands and fail to realize their clientele has no interest in live bands.

Blue

Very true. Or the venue doesn't know how to put on bands. They tend to be the rubbish payers too because they can't understand why no one comes to see the bands. Then blame the bands.

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Just now, Happy Jack said:

You've seen Coldplay, then?

No, I left after the first 4 bars lol lol

Joking aside, I'd probably watch them even if it wasn't my bag entirely, but you are right, it's not limited to weekend warrior down the Dog & Duck.  

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21 minutes ago, chris_b said:

The band I'm playing with at the moment have the answer.

You need to get a bus to another post code to be able to hear yourself think let alone have a conversation.

I've always thought that if a punter can have a conversation without seriously raising their voice then we're not loud enough. 

Or as a guitar player I used to play with (who also owns a very successful PA hire / installation company) would occasionally announce to the audience "tonight ladies & gentleman, we will be using volume as a tool... and if necessary as a weapon"...! 

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9 minutes ago, dood said:

Very true. Or the venue doesn't know how to put on bands. They tend to be the rubbish payers too because they can't understand why no one comes to see the bands. Then blame the bands.

Also very true... 

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I've been to 6-10 metal type gigs over the last couple of months, and it is a wide-spread problem. It's far worse for the support acts than the main bands, but it does still happen during the main bands. I may not particularly like any given support band, but I feel like it is common decency to give them my attention for the 20-30 mins they have on stage (I've even been surprised a few times by some cracking bands).

Anyone who talks through a main band should just be sat at home with their mates, with the band's album on the stereo, lol. Also, I hope there is a special circle of hell reserved for anyone who thinks recording gigs on their phones is acceptable behaviour.

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