Grumpy Old Muso Rant #2

I really don’t want this topic to become a regular feature so here are all my gripes in one go:

  1. Intrusive photographers (see Grumpy Old Muso Rant #1)
  2. Sound engineers – usually young – who turn the dynamics of perfectly good rock bands into crass drum’n’bass
  3. People who talk loudly during gigs, making you wonder if they’ve got in without paying
  4. Performers who spend more time regaling the audience with anecdotes than playing music
  5. Small venues that oversell when they get the chance, turning the evening into one long game of Sardines
  6. People who shout out, “Play something we know!”
  7. Tribute bands that churn the stuff out note for note when the originals probably never played it the same way twice
  8. Clapping along on the On Beat
  9. Perfectionists who get halfway through a number, make a mistake and then force you to listen to the whole thing all over again as if it’s your fault
  10. Performers dissatisfied with the turnout who blame the people who have turned out for not bringing their friends

There may be more but no list should ever exceed 10 items. By order. And if you’re thinking I’m rather hard to please, you could have a point. I was once thrown off an anger-management course for punching the organiser. He made the mistake of recommending we go see more live music …

Psychedelic-Lightshow

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15 thoughts on “Grumpy Old Muso Rant #2

  1. Well I’d go along with most of that but not quite all. I love hearing those anecdotes that Harper trots out. I find them as good as the music. But that’s just me. Don’t you hate when all those idiots go along to a concert prop up the bar and talk loudly through the whole thing! Why didn’t they go to a pub? Music is for listening intently. I hate background music. Tribute bands are a disgrace and I don’t care how ‘good’ they are! They all want shooting. If I could play an instrument I’d want to be creating stuff. Copying is to steal; the life out of it. The world is full of muzac! I hate clapping and singing along, lighters and arm waving and all the shit!
    I love good, loud, rock music – raw and real.

  2. Cheers, Opher! You’re right, of course, a well-told and pertinent story is as good as a song. And I like it when self-penned numbers are given personal context or a traditional number given background. No, I was thinking of those who think they’re funnier than they are or namedrop about their starry pals … no names, no packdrill … and you’re spot on with everything else. Judging by what you say, I bet you’re one of the considerate clickers …

  3. I agree with many of your points, but not all.

    I’m a music teacher in Hackney, London. And whilst you can’t liken a school music event to a professional/paid for gig it is still something you should experience. The kids here are unlike any other kids I’ve taught anywhere else in the country.

    I first saw this at a recent school’s music festival. The kids were talking and seem to not be listening through many of the performances (the kids from all schools, not just mine). At first I was shocked by their disrespect for the other kids performing. I quickly realised that it wasn’t disrespect at all, quite the opposite. As well as having their own conversations, they also clap, shout, cheer and dance along with performances (similar to an audience at the rocky horror show – but obviously child-appropriate!). And at the end of a performance (done by a rival school). The uproar and volume of the cheering and support for one another cannot be compared to anything else.

    In short, yes, people talking are annoying, but it does not necessarily mean that they arent enjoying the music.

    1. Thanks for your comment.

      If it’s a social occasion, yes, the music is just a part of it. And I imagine the kids performing would find total silence from their friends unnerving. A roomful of adult strangers is something else. At another Booker T Jones gig ( for first, see GOMR#1 ) my missus stood in the front row next to a guy trying to chat up his new girlfriend, intensifying his efforts in the quiet passages. Perhaps he bought her the CD so they could listen to it later!

    1. You sound like a free spirit, Joseph, and here’s me coming up with fascist do’s and don’ts … ironic, really, because Gripe #8 was supposed to express my preference for hot bohemian swing over stuff that storm-troopers might march to …

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