Saturday, November 13, 2010
The second worst gig of my life
The band was UB40, a reggae-pop band I've grown up with and loved, but have never seen live before. They were celebrating the 30 year anniversary of their first album Signing Off, relevant now more than ever with half of the public sector workforce looking set to be Signing On at some time over the next few years.
Lead singer Ali Campbell had been replaced by his brother Duncan and that was expected, so no disappointment there. He sang well, looked good. So why am I complaining?
The gig was a lot less than full so the atmosphere was lacking and the sound was appalling. I could go on, so I will. It seemed as if a big chunk of the audience had been given free tickets with their Happy Meals and just wanted a chance to try out their camera phones at their first ever gig. When one young lad put his phone up to record, I knocked his hand down. He might have been recording it for people to enjoy it later on YouTube but it meant I couldn't see.
As for the sound, it just wasn't loud enough. I couldn't feel the music in my heart, in my soul. What I could hear was other people's phone conversations as they rang their mates, I could hear other people talking to each other around me and none of it was ever, not once, drowned out by the music. After the interval, we moved within a metre of the speakers just to get some sound and noise but it didnt help a bit. And when the band struck up 'Red, Red Wine' and the bloke in front of me threw his wet, wet, beer in the air and it landed on my head, well, I was so fed up by then I really didn't care.
As I write this blog post I'm listening to Trojan ska, just to get last night's bad taste out of my head.
And so, as a gig it was crap. But it wasn't the worst gig of my life. That's another blog post for another time.