Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: “Thank you, you’ve been a lovely audience”

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  • philipmatthews,

    There was some good banter when Dimmer played AL's in Christchurch a few weeks back. Shayne introduced his cover of The Gordons' "Machine Song" like this:

    "A song by a Christchurch band. No, might be from Ashburton actually. Bit of an Ashburton classic, this."

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    But back to Ry and Nick Lowe: when people started to yell that it was too loud (I didn’t think it was

    It emphatically wasn't. I was incredulous at that.

    I could have done with a bit more Lowe, m'self. But it was a very good show.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I've noticed a slight but significant deterioration in the manners of theatre audiences over the last decade or so. There seems to be less recognition that the people on the stage are people, that they can hear you, and see your cellphone and your camera flash, that they need to concentrate on what they're doing and perhaps it might be nice to not behave as if you're in your lounge at home.

    Sometimes, though, it's well amusing. Last year the Big Gay Musical at the Court was La Cage aux Folles. As we were waiting for curtain up, the people in the seats next to our group were leafing through the program and discovering that this show they'd paid to see was about *gasp* Teh Gayz. They sat in stony silence through the first half, and left at half time - squeezing past the gay couple in our group they'd been sitting next to for the last hour.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OTOH, I think I had a right to be pissed off with the sound at the MGMT show I went to this year -- it was loud and nasty.

    And I vented here after a certain soundman mixed the Bird Nest Roys' reunion gig as if they were the Skeptics.

    I'm actually hoping against hope that the same chap (who's lovely, but I can only presume, deaf) doesn't do the same to the Dimmer/Shayne retrospective at the Stroke launch this week ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, then there was the Lucinda Williams audience with their bums glued to their seats at the Town Hall this year. It was, for goodness sake, barroom rock 'n' roll.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    a concert isn't like the CD at home which you turn down to talk over, and the sound is never going to be as pristine as that shiny disc

    But there's a certain point on the gig spectrum these days, where there's enough money for decent PA gear but the venue is small enough for some intimacy, where the two are getting pretty close. Sonic Youth's ATP gig on the shore a year or two ago was like that - we sat in comfy seats, listening to crystal-clear sound at a comfortable level, watching four middle-aged people playing a 70-minute album from start to finish. It was more than a bit unnerving, but SY are energetic enough and Daydream Nation sufficiently noisy and chaotic that it never quite got boring.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    (Although I was told frequently the Eagles were "exactly like the record" which might put them in Britneyworld, huh?).

    Hey, you don't mess with the Eagles, right?

    Anyway, their live album gave the lie to that one (unless they deliberately made that slightly different or something.)

    Me, my wife, my sister & her hubby (all of us in our 30s at the time) and my mum (somewhat older) went to see EMF at Vic University in the day, because my cousin from the Old Country was their roadie & got us tickets. My mum called me up to tell me "IBM are playing at the university tonight and we have tickets!". She lasted 6 songs or so, me & the missus the whole show, although all the songs sounded the same to me, except their one hit.

    And they were too loud. But I didn't tell them so.

    Anyway.... that's my anecdote....

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    the people in the seats next to our group were leafing through the program and discovering that this show they'd paid to see was about *gasp* Teh Gayz. They sat in stony silence through the first half, and left at half time - squeezing past the gay couple in our group they'd been sitting next to for the last hour.

    Hee... the prim older couple sitting next to me at a screening of the Last Waltz... waiting patiently for the ballroom to kick in.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Another phenomenon is the ironic most-inappropriate-request. On the plus side, it's a way of expressing great fan-ness, I suppose, by knowing just which request is the most inappropriate; unfortunately the artists, naturally, seem to hate it, so it shouldn't be done.

    Someone at Ray Davies (at the Civic) yelled out for Groovy Movies, one of the Kinks' most obscure, and easily one of their worst ever, but also one of the few not written or sung by Ray but by brother Dave. He shot back with some quip or other, but not before his shoulders momentarily sank.

    In a similar vein, I joked of requesting Sweet Jane of John Cale, and then mused that it had probably happened to him for real.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Many years ago (<sigh> here he goes again) when I was a kid doing a bit of sound engineering with the NYT we got a one hour mandatory session at the beginning about volume. And what it did to your ears. Too much makes you deaf...

    So occasionally I'm at a thing where it really is loud and nasty. You can tell if the tech has had too much of their own art when they wind up the mid / top-range: it sounds like there's some white-noise/broken-glass sound involved.

    You can't hear what is being shouted at you unless it's straight in your ear, and your ears ring when you put your hands over them. It genuinely is hurting you - and you won't notice the damage until a significant other leaves you because they've been driven wild by you constantly saying "what" and "pardon".

    You'll be the aural equivalent of those older people with long hair and ripped jeans who think they're still 25. Only when they were 25 they were just ripped, and therefore have missed out on one of the few benefits of getting older - getting wiser. Man.

    Anyway, in these situations (like when I went to see Fat Freddies Drop a few years ago... except I didn't... see below) you genuinely need to be able to defend yourself, so take some ear-plugs. It makes the world of difference, and the next morning you don't have Tinnitus.

    And yes, so maybe I'm old, but FFD billed at 8.30 (my special surprise Birthday treat, hotel in town etc.) and have to listen to some whining amateur for nearly 3 hours... that's just rude.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    “we do like his folk albums”

    JUDAS!!

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Jeff Tweedy at the Big Day Out neatly making fun of that whole "You guys have got a beautiful country" (Cue applause). In a slow and stoned drawl he said, "We went to . . . Rangitoto today. [Long pause] That's our anecdote."

    At Wilco's gig at the Bruce Mason last year, I thought Jeff Tweedy had some of the best stage banter/audience flirting I've ever seen. Very dry, very funny.

    He did have a second anecdote at that BDO, which most of the crowd seemed to think he was making up: "We met a baby yesterday who was named after our band. No, really. How cool is that?"

    I was standing in the sunshine watching, with the father of the baby in question. So I can verify that it yes, it was in fact very, very cool. Even if nobody else believed him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 265 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    JUDAS!!

    I don't believe you... you're a liar.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Me, my wife, my sister & her hubby (all of us in our 30s at the time) and my mum (somewhat older) went to see EMF at Vic University in the day, because my cousin from the Old Country was their roadie & got us tickets. My mum called me up to tell me "IBM are playing at the university tonight and we have tickets!". She lasted 6 songs or so, me & the missus the whole show, although all the songs sounded the same to me, except their one hit.

    And they were too loud. But I didn't tell them so.

    I remember seeing, at the same venue around the same time, a very, very loud Bailter Space. So loud that a big chunk of the audience couldn't stand being in the hall and listened from out in the stairwell. Don't think we could have told them they were too loud if we'd tried.

    Saw that EMF show. Very ordinary but for their one good song ("Unbelievable"). Don't remember too much loudness.

    About a decade ago, Mogwai at the Power Station were supposed to be ear-shreddingly loud but seemed strangely subdued. Maybe I missed the golden age of offensive volume: there are still people who say their hearing has never fully recovered from the Gordons.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Saw that EMF show. Very ordinary but for their one good song ("Unbelievable"). Don't remember too much loudness.

    I have always experienced pain at very loud concerts (The B52s had them ringing for days, and they probably weren't too bad compared to others). So it may well have been just me. In the early 80s, I was often barman at varsity "hops" at Vic, I'd wear earplugs & lip read ("beer" and/or "wine" were easy to spot.)

    And oh god, I saw the Gordons once... some venue in Ghuznee Street long gone. Yes, they were loud. And incomprehensible to me. Some of my mates (who are much more musically savvy than me) were big fans though.

    Oh.... that should have been "I, my wife, my sister, uncle Tom Cobley & all etc..."

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    I remember seeing, at the same venue around the same time, a very, very loud Bailter Space

    At my old apartment in Pittsburgh there was a music critic who lived in the same building. He said he saw Bailter Space at CBGBs, and they were so loud that the audience all stood outside on the pavement to listen.

    And:

    "Free Bird!"

    And, for instance, a Tom Waits concert.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    In the mid-'90s, the Hamilton City Council put on a free concert at the lake starring Bony M. Some friends of mine went along (probably for ironic reasons) and took a spot on the grass in front of the stage, along with many family groups.

    After a few songs of finest Euro disco, they suddenly found themselves with the urge to dance, dance, dance, so they moved up by the front of the stage and starting shakin' it.

    This did not please some of the family groups, and soon disgruntled parents started yelling at them to sit down as they were blocking the view of the stage.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    "Free Bird!"

    Speaking of this, a friend of mine in Texas went to a high school with a jukebox in the cafeteria. He said that every single day of his senior year, some mysterious person had gone into the cafeteria before lunch and cued up a 30-minute live version of 'Free Bird'. Twice. So he never experienced a lunch hour that entire school year without hearing 'Free Bird' for sixty straight minutes.

    (I always feel like that story has some grand significance, but I'm not quite sure what it is.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Wignall,

    John Halvorsen watered the plants at the place I worked a couple of years ago. A colleague and I separately mentioned to him the buzzing in our ears because of The Gordons. He apologized but, quite frankly, I think it was worth it. I suspect that he gets that a lot.

    I remember seeing Elvis Costello, in Christchurch a generation or two ago, get very, very red in the face when someone thought it a good idea to moo (literally) during 'Alison'.

    The Amazing Rhythm Aces/Leon Russell gig at Auckland Town Hall (? or was it His Majesty's?) was... interesting too. Everyone left at the interval. Same thing happened when Dirty Dozen Brass Band played some shed on Queens Wharf, although in that case I believe most people thought the show actually was over.

    I do wonder though how much less tolerant I've become as I've aged. My son and I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Vector a wee while ago. I got distinctly bored and grumpy at the end when they turned into a pointlessly noodling jam band.

    Since Nov 2009 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I do wonder though how much less tolerant I've become as I've aged. My son and I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Vector a wee while ago. I got distinctly bored and grumpy at the end when they turned into a pointlessly noodling jam band.

    You're not wrong and definitely not intolerant. RHCPs are rubbish, a fraud perpetrated on popular music. There's a great Nick Cave anecdote in a Guardian review of the RHCPs' Stadium Arcadium (I mean, the title alone ...):

    Two years ago, when asked about current music, Nick Cave focused his ire on one band in particular. "I'm forever near a stereo saying, 'What the fuck is this GARBAGE?'" he fumed. "And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers."

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But back to Ry and Nick Lowe: when people started to yell that it was too loud

    Ok, that's weird because 'Cruel to be Kind' and Cooder's cover of 'Little Sister' are exactly the kind of song you should be dancing (or drunkenly shuffling) to in a dive of a bar with the jukebox cranked up to eleven.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Grey,

    But back to Ry and Nick Lowe: when people started to yell that it was too loud

    I thought her mandolin was too loud and distorted and that that was what the complaints were about. I also thought the lead guitar was too quiet. Otherwise fine.

    What did others think?

    Ry and Nick were fabulous.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2007 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Paul Kelly, Wellington, mid 1990s, with great dignity, to a heckler who kept yelling for 'Darling It Hurts' -

    "A man is not a juke box."

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Neil Young at Western Springs sometime in the 80s. Some smartass decided that he sounded like a busker during a slow number and threw a coin, hitting him on the head. Young threatened to stop the show if the stunt was repeated.

    Of course he didn't sound like a busker. It's just that there's a certain species that try to mimic Neil Young, and for some reason they always sound crap. When busking was legalised in Auckland in the late 70s a particularly vile one took up residence outside the big Woolies in Queen Street. Working upstairs across the road was rendered hideous by the doleful "My, my, quack, quack" drifting up from the street. More Foghorn Leghorn than Neil Young.

    Eventually he took to seating himself as he played on the coin-operated kiddie stagecoach in Woolies' entrance. An enterprising young chap snuck out of the store and fed a coin to the stagecoach. The sudden heaving and bucking put a quick stop to the godawful din, and the aggrieved dork stormed into Woolies seeking vengeance.

    Wouldn't it be spooky if the offending coin was the same one that hit Neil Young on the head years later.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    So he never experienced a lunch hour that entire school year without hearing 'Free Bird' for sixty straight minutes.

    (I always feel like that story has some grand significance, but I'm not quite sure what it is.)

    That's great.

    Late 1970s, Nae Nae Olympic Hotel. The jukebox was so close to the back door, you could reach around from outside & without the bar staff noticing, insert 50 cents & queue the one and only non-disco track 3 times in a row - The William Tell Overture!

    You could usually hear the staff cursing as giggling, you continued on your way.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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