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Fisherman’s Blues…..Bladders and Bowels, Waterboys and Girls

It’s going to be a rant today.

Oh yes it is.

I attended my first ‘gig’ at the Apollo in Glasgow in 1976. All those years ago, there were certain unwritten rules and etiquette amongst the audience. There was a certain courtesy afforded to your fellow music enthusiast. For a start the Apollo didn’t have a bar. Those venues who did would stop serving pre-show.

You would proceed to your seat in those days only after having a precautionary visit to the toilet. It was not just bad form to get up during a performance to visit the loo, it was downright disrespectful and rude to the artists on stage and to the people around you. If anyone absolutely had to visit the toilet, they would wait until the end of a song and would not attempt to return to their seat until the next gap in the performance.

I have attended hundreds of gigs since that first one some 37 years ago and not once have I felt the need to get up during a performance to visit the toilet.

Over the years, the code of practice, the etiquette amongst concert goers has deteriorated. It is worst at venues who serve drinks throughout a performance but even at those who don’t serve refreshments, the behaviour of  some people is simply terrible.

Last night at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (who actually close their bars at concert time) was a case in point. I was there to see the Waterboys with my daughter and a friend of mine. After a rather good support set from Freddie Stevenson, punctuated only by having to get up for various latecomers (presumably 8:00 pm hadn’t been printed on their tickets) I nipped out to the toilet at the interval, returning to my seat in plenty time. Despite there being several announcements that The Waterboys would be beginning their performance soon, there were several stragglers who interrupted the opening number.

Then it started.

Three songs in and a woman in front needed to go. She decided this half way through a song and barged past the people in her row. During the rest of the concert I don’t think there was one further song uninterrupted by audience members around us nipping out.

And don’t start me on the ones who were on their phones tweeting for the whole bloody gig!!!

The gig was great and the Waterboys, reprising the Fisherman’s Blues album via their Fisherman’s Box set were superb. Their support act, Freddie Stevenson was pretty good too.

I could just have done without the pishermen and women….

 

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8 Responses

  1. I think most concert goers play by the (unwritten) rules. Unfortunately it’s the minority that are remembered for their startlingly bad manners. I can’t remember the last gig I attended that wasn’t spoiled slightly by people who insist on barging in front of me, only to dance wildly or just being a nuisance because they’re drunk!

  2. Maybe this is a reflection on the age of the concert goers around you Rab.

  3. I have similar problems with regards to cinemas nowadays, Rab.

    Being surrounded by people tweeting, and on Facebook, on phones or on tablets, has reduced me to a blustering rage, to such an extent that we’re rarely going, and preferring to watch films in the comfort of my home, as Maggi reckons my Victor Meldrew remonstartions are eventually gonny get my lights punched out

    The fact that I now have a huge flatscreen, and kikkass sound system, may also be a factor in my preferred home-viewing … allied with the ability to pause the movie for a pee-break, and have a spliff

    Ah … auld age, eh!!

    Starting to show

  4. Witnessed Mike Scott (“of the Waterboys” in those days) at Waterford in 2005 stop his performance mid song to have a go at folk going in and out to the bar, and probably to have a smoke as it was the early days of the smoking ban there. He spoke like quite a scary Scottish school teacher; very assertively. Nobody did it again.

  5. Can’t disagree with anyone on this
    I’m the same as Stu

  6. How could you possibly miss out on calling this one “Pishermens’ Blues”?

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