Monday, 5 October 2009

I hate gigs that run late

Oh god, hate gigs that run late so much. It ruins the gig-going experience for me, has me leaving the venue fuming.

Either I leave without seeing all the acts I've paid to see or I leave at stupid o'clock and I've to to get up the next morning.

Okay if the gig is a spectacular, something like AC/DC or Leonard Cohen or even the mighty Just Joans, then I don't mind it running late, its a once in a life time show, but on the whole gigs running late pisses me off mightily.

I've been to more concerts than most people, whether this makes me an authority on gigs very much depends on your definition of 'authority' and also on 'makes me', maybe 'gigs' too. Anyhoo I know when a show has pissed me off and I know the usual cause.

Its up to the promoter or the sound guy or the stage manager, they've got to know when to tell bands to hurry up, when to cut their set short, when to get off stage. It takes someone to write up a sheet of stage times, and somehow stick to it.

Sure the bands on stage don't give much of a shit, they're to play their songs and get paid, how long it takes don't figure much in their experience.

Some acts are prima donnas who assume that cos the first band over ran and instead of a brisk three-song set they played five songs extended long play versions with player introductions and solos, dedications, and a brief poetry interval, this means that all the bands are entitled to overrun.


It just pisses off the folk in the crowd who've stumped up the money and come along, the paying customers, the fans, the faithful. It makes us hate you and your music. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth so next time we see your name in the gig listings we don't think oh I love those guys and their interesting choice of cover versions that made up question our prejudices about the type of music, but makes us think oh for fucks sake, those fucks made us miss our favourite band, fall asleep whilst driving home and again whilst driving home from work the next day.

It shows contempt to the crowd and contempt to the other bands on the bill.

Look the music and the songs are about 50% of the gig experience, the other 50% is the price to get in, the folk talking over the music, the price of drinks and how disorganised it is. Look if you mix a bucket of ice cream with a bucket of dog shit, the result is going to taste mostly of dog shit.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the gist of this post, but I would add that an even worse thing is gigs that don't just 'run late' but are scheduled to be late in the first place. This is all very well in Norwich or even Glasgow where you can generally walk home, but London is too big for such travel: thus we have a public transport system. The rail components of this generally stop around midnight. So what a fantastic idea to start a set around midnight, when the punters naturally live miles away. Travel without rail in the dark is liable to be dangerous and unreliable; the alternative is a cab which even if it's not also dangerous, is obscenely expensive. So what kind of tosser puts on a gig that is bound to end long after the means of safely getting away from it are unavailable?

    btw I liked your 50% equation at the end: you're quite right that these other bad things are a big part of the live experience and you could have extended that list of bad things considerably.