Musings on gig-going and audiences

(Originally published on my MySpace blog on 2nd June 2008)
I’ve been to a few gigs recently had quite different experiences at each, largely due to the composition of the rest of the crowd there, which got me thinking…..

We Are Scientists: (Glasgow) The audience was young. Very Young. They had to rush home cos they had school the next day kind of young. Which I didn’t expect cos the band themselves are in their 30s and they have this whole smart-funny persona which most rock/pop bands aimed at kids eschew for fear of alienating them. Mostly girls and gay blokes as far as I could tell, Keith particularly being the object of their affections (poor guy) but there was no trouble and it was a good, friendly atmosphere.

Royworld: Saw them supporting WAS (Aberdeen) and they were so good that I jumped at the chance to see them in King Tut’s in their own right. Not sure if it was mostly a WAS crowd there too, but because it’s a bar there were no kids there and more of a gender balance in the audience, which I found more comfortable. It wasn’t a big crowd which was a shame cos they played a great set and both support bands (Le Reno Amps & The Rushes) were really good too.

Life of Riley / Jason Manns: Girl, girls and more girls. A few blokes had been dragged along by their girlfriends, and all except one looked miserable. His girlfriend ought to have a word with him… I had more sense and dragged along a (female) friend. As for WAS, most of the audience seemed to be there as much to throw themselves at the performers as for the music and they could only communicate in shrieks. Their response to any utterance by Riley or Jason was “Woohoo!!!” which again must be weird for the guys. I found it quite unsettling to be surrounded by so many wailing and apparently sexually-frustrated women, maybe I’m just too used to male company (that’s what taking up a martial art gets you) or maybe it’s cos I wasn’t chasing after the guys but all in all it was very strange. The music was good, however, which was the main thing. Small venue, perfect for an acoustic set.

The Rascals: I went to see them cos I’d been listening to the Last Shadow Puppets and thought that Miles Kane’s day-job band might be worth checking out. This time King Tut’s was heaving and it was 95% young drunken lads. I suppose on reflection it shouldn’t have been a surprise, and the thought of hordes of drunken lads would stop me from going to an Arctic Monkeys gig for example, but all 3 bands’ music is actually quite sophisticated lyrically and musically. I may be being unfair, but that’s probably lost on these blokes. I did enjoy the show, but it was spoiled somewhat by having rugby players jump on my feet and knock me sideways and then throw beer all over the place. I pity whoever had to clean up the floor afterwards cos it was beyond sticky with spilt beer, it was swimming. Maybe I’m just too old for that kind of thing. Too female, or not drunk enough anyway.

So not sure who I’ll be seeing next, I have tickets to the Connect Festival but that’s not till August. L



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