This is a long post I know, if you’ve ever been to a gig in your life, I would love it if you took some time out of your day to give it a read. Maybe share it. A little disclaimer. This post may or may not contain a substantial amount of swear words.
So it’s a shame that I should have to explain etiquette, something that people are usually raised with or something that just seems to be common sense. Etiquette is what divides us humans from the chimps (although I think that the PG tips chimps are a lot politer than most people i’ve encountered).
Etiquette (3 times i’ve said that now) is a term that can describe a person’s mannerisms and behaviour in a society and a popular antonym for etiquette is cunt, correct me if i’m wrong there. As George Costanza from Seinfeld famously repeats throughout the show’s run “We’re living in a society you know”, we (as humans) have to co-exist with each other on this small little marble that we call earth.
Now to narrow it down. Gig etiquette. Tonight I had an awesome opportunity to go see Frank Turner at Birmingham’s O2 Academy, despite missing the first two support acts due to flyering commitments, I still had the pleasure of apologetically weaving through an attentive crowd of fans to get to a position where I could see the stage fine. For the first few songs, I was stuck behind a bunch of (to sugar coat it) cunts.
The first couple of songs, I didn’t mind. I get that people have their own ways of expressing excitement but the back of the room is reserved for people who would rather stand and watch the acts and couples
It was when Frank went into a new, quieter song (‘Anymore’), where I became slightly agitated. I understand that he had a recent album that only came out a couple of days ago. There’s no time to learn the lyrics and you’re there for the hits. Don’t ruin it for other people by talking over it, this is your opening to possibly get a drink or just shut up and listen. You’re going to listen back to that song and go “oh man, I talked over that because i’m ignorant”.
Second off, I was stood next to a guy who kept screaming expletives such as “FUCK YOU FRANK TURNER YOU FUCKING CUNT” as well as “PLAY SOME FUCKING BAD RELIGION YOU SHIT”…I really hoped that I wouldn’t have to explain this one. You’re at a gig with a very dedicated following, I understand you may have your witty ways of attempting to get Frank Turner’s attention from about 25 feet away with over 3000 other people who are enjoying the show. Show some discretion, there are children about.
Throwing plastic cups. Another I thought I wouldn’t have to explain. Don’t throw your cups at people who are trying to enjoy the show. When your pint is finished either leave it on a nearby surface or just drop it on the floor. As an ex-barman and human being, from my experience, I can confirm that no one enjoys being hit in the head with a plastic cup which contains a portion of your backwash.
Because I stood at the entrance of the gig for the first two support acts. I can confirm that a wide margin of Frank’s fans are above a certain age. Now this is where the etiquette part plays in, instead of constantly bashing into someone who is on the verge of a hip replacement. How about you give them a little space? How about you move up to the front? Don’t discomfort an elderly couple’s enjoyment just because you think you’re fucking awesome.
In the end, the gig was great after I moved away from the idiots. One of them got told by everyone surrounding them to just fuck off after he made some harsh remarks about the recent death of Thatcher (again, Frank can’t hear you. Shut the fuck up. This is a gig, not the fucking house of commons). I’m not usually such a boring person and i’ve got friends who can confirm that if there’s one place i’d be, i’d be right at the front or in the pit. I know Frank turner is a showman and tonight has only confirmed that fact again. Hope that everyone else had a great time because I know that even though people like that exist (and should be outed) I still had a good time.