Someone once said to me that when the tram lines were taken up from our roads it was as if the tram lines that guided us in society also disappeared. There is a general consensus in the UK that we should try to be as free as possible in how we choose to live our lives without infringing on others’ right to be free, and I reckon most of us feel comfortable with that. But…
A couple of years ago I went to see Roger Waters perform at the O2 arena near London, which is a big venue. Throughout the whole performance people wandered in and out, pushing past me, falling on me, mostly in order to get to the drinks kiosk. Perhaps the size of the venue meant that people felt they weren’t really at a concert, but after that experience I felt I wouldn’t want to return to that venue and consequently missed the now legendary Leonard Cohen concerts held there.
Steve, my co-song-writer, told me that he’d once gone to see Daniel Beddingfield play and the audience was so loud during the warm up act that Daniel came out and sang with her because he was so disturbed by their rudeness. The audience wouldn’t have been able to know if she was worth listening to as they hadn’t given her the chance to be heard in the first place.
I have a video of one of my first live performances and during it I rather unprofessionally looked at a group of people who were talking so loudly I could hear them over the PA system and said “Yeah and see how you feel when I speak over your band”… a slightly embarrassing moment for all concerned. But in a way I was right, if you’re in a music venue it’s not like being somewhere where someone starts performing whether you asked for it or not.
So my point is have we got to a time when we need to re-define some social decorum again or is too restricting to do so? Is this just a phenomenon in the UK or are there other places that have it too?
I’d be interested to hear what you think?