Monday, July 30, 2007

The sound of silence

Went to see the fabulous Keren Ann at the Arts Theatre in Soho tonight. It's difficult for a performer like her, who is essentially a quiet, un-piercing singer in the tradition of someone like Antonio Carlos Jobim, to get the volume right. Electric instruments always seem to be on the verge of some unseemly blurt.
Anyway, we were sitting next to an old colleague. The other side of him were a couple who went to the bar during the encores, leaving their bags behind. She was just tuning up prior to another song when the phone in this bag erupted into a polyphonic ring tone. She didn't hear it but most of the audience did. The innocent guys next to the guilty bag extracted the phone and tried in vain to silence it. Eventually, in the gig-goers' equivalent of flinging yourself on the grenade, one of them got up and took it out, still pumping out its sig tune.
Anyway, you pick your words carefully when enthusing about another female to the GLW.
She's got lovely hair, I offered as we were going down the escalator to the Piccadilly Line. I was swiftly corrected. She's beautiful, apparently. I'd barely noticed.


  1. I went to a prom the other night, the most striking thing apart from the excellent choral singing, was that the whole audience sat/stood and listened and didn't take pictures or talk. The only annoying audience members were the 2 teenagers in front of us who had just invented necking and insisted on giggling all the way through, until someone got them to shut up. I don't want rock gigs to quite as formal (we'll allow some snogging)but a bit more attentivness wouldn't go a miss.

  2. Anonymous1:22 pm

    i think since civilians have discovered going to gigs that the whole thing has changed. Few years back most civvies wouldn't dream of going to see a gig, in the same way that you'd not find lasses and blokes in suits at football matches. I was stood by a gang of lads at The arctic Monkeys a few months back and all they did was compere mobile phones. They were there because it was somewhere to be seen, not as fans. At Midlake at the Sage, Gateshead three lads who were obviously fans were talkinmg/shouting at the top of thier voices, getting the beers in. They were hard looking or else I would've kicked their sorry asses.

  3. Anonymous2:59 pm

    The cinema's as bad these days. I was sat a few seats from someone making a series of calls the other week. I had to continually remind myself that snatching the phone away and lobbing it across the room would technically be aggravated assault/robbery so as to avoid doing it. As it was dark I couldn't see if they were with anyone hard-looking...

  4. Anonymous9:13 pm

    Best cinema put down was from a large Glaswegian rugby playing acquaintance of mine to persistent, irritating (and by comparison minute) chatterer in the row behind:

    "Eh - are you making enough noise yet, or would you like a set of drums as well?"

  5. The whole video thing has past me by having never lived in a house with Sky at the time when they were at there peak. I like many other people didn't see that many of them. People talk about the power of MTV but in Britain a part from TOTP and the odd kids programme videos where rare if you were one the majority of homes not to have cable (It took 10-15 years to reach 25% of the population after all). I have taken to some of BBC4 rock concert films lately but this may have more to the with artists (Bruce, Yusif, the who etc) than format.