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This is a question Bad gigs

Been to see some talentless gits on stage recently? Had your enjoyment spoiled by a twat with an iPad filming the whole thing? Been bottled off? Tell us all

(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 14:00)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Eldritch Doppler Effect
Being a classical wonk, I never really go to non-classical gigs - I've been to two of them in my life (Indochine at the Zenith in Lille and Lenny Kravitz at the Brixton Academy) and both of them were excellent. I've done a largish number of classical gigs over the years, though, mostly as a performer, and some of them did not go according to plan.

Top marks for crapness so far go to the miniature concert my university college choir gave before an important dinner. The rich and dusty guests had all filed in and taken their places like wax gargoyles contemplating their steaming bread rolls and crystal port glasses. We, the choir, were standing on the balcony, in the manner of minstrels and virginal spinet players. Rather than singing in rows as we usually did, however, we were all arranged in a single line from one end of the balcony to the other, in order to provide the unplugged version of a wall of sound. Maybe a net curtain of sound.

Whenever a choir sings a cappella*, the conductor will usually fish a tuning fork or pitch pipe out of his pocket and quietly hum the starting note before the music starts. Our conductor, stood at the far right-hand edge of the balcony, duly hummed the tonic note for the piece we were about to sing and made hand signals to the effect that the note was to be passed down the line. Some people instantly worked out their own starting note in the chord, different from the base note, and sang that instead to get a confident start. By the time the note got from the right-hand side of the balcony to the left-hand side, it had shifted an entire major third in pitch, with the result that, when the conductor gave the signal, the choir started singing in two different keys at the same time.

Instant unease broke over us, as if we'd been carrying a carton of juice upstairs to the bedroom for breakfast in bed and had discovered halfway up the stairs that the juice was leaking, so we didn't know whether to keep going and put it down on the tray on the bed, or turn round and go back to the kitchen to clean up first. Since neither side knew which note was the right one, we sang the entire piece in two different keys. Below us, fogey eyebrows twitched. Bowels churned and expressions curdled. Our conductor looked at us with an expression halfway between horror and hilarity, and gamely led us to the end of the piece.

Grace was said, dinner was eaten and the pub was retired to, at which point the conductor went into full-on John Sitton mode for about ten minutes. We didn't do any more concerts in that formation.

* With pasta
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 10:38, 16 replies)
I had a brief stint, fronting a band.
Unfortunately, I'm agoraphobic, so our one and only gig featured me sobbing whilst clutching the microphone stand. On the plus side, the reviews were excellent.

Sorry, no, that's the finale from the first series of Game On. I was offered the role of singer in a band, whilst at uni, but turned it down owing to my terrible fear of public speaking. I think this might be my only regret in life.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 9:59, 5 replies)
omg bonio from u2 once said 'every time i clap a child in africa dies' an someone from my country/school/gang/town shouted 'well stop clapping then!'
it was so lol
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 8:39, 2 replies)
When I were a lad -
a gig was where you went to listen to a group of musicians play live renditions of songs they had written (& often previously recorded - which you had bought and enjoyed listening to enough to want to go and see them perform live).
Often if the music was energetic then some boisterous dancing might be involved.
Frequently the venue was filled with as much cigarette smoke as smoke from the dry-ice machine. It often smelt of sweat, urine and spilt beer. All of this sometimes added to the ambience of the performance.

Even if the performer was "just" doing electronic music they would often have something to make the gig more lively. Jean Michel Jarre has used his laser harp to great effect. Single Gun Theory used belly dancers on stage to accentuate the sensuousness of their music. Many other electronic 'bands' choose to use video synced to the music to provide a visual element to their performance.

These days a gig seems to consist of the band up on stage performing to a digital audio track, whilst software modulates their voices and a grown-up midi system makes sure that any instruments played are in precise and absolute co-ordination.

Whilst all this gadgetry is being used by the band it seems the onus is on the audience to stand there quietly, smart-phones held aloft whilst recording and streaming the video straight to youtube (for posterity).

My advice to all you internet, autism shut-ins to avoid this tautological AV/social nightmare - download it to your smart-tv and watch it in your home theatre room at your leisure.
Just think - you can save heaps on bar costs alone!
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 8:14, 30 replies)

I once sang "I want to break free" with a band whilst i was dressed as Brain May. (White shirt and a curly wig)
I forgot the lyrics half way through and practically shouted my way through the song out of blind terror.
Still it was a heck of a birthday even if i wasn't wearing any clogs.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 1:31, 3 replies)
First and only live gig - 1997. I talked my girlfriend into going to London to see it on HER birthday, knowing it really wasn't her thing. Spent the day wandering around the city, then went to the venue.

Only to discover that because some woman I'd never met had been in a car accident a few days before the whole country was meant to be in mourning, and the gig was cancelled (well postponed, but I'd had to take time off work, and travel to London and all, so for me - cancelled).

I was gutted, and now my wife gets to remind me every year of how she went ON HER BIRTHDAY to see a band that didn't even play.

Maybe just as well, she'd have hated it.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 0:20, 4 replies)
oh... dear
Julian Cope at Birmingham Odeon - supported by The Woodentops. Who spent 7 minutes tuning up, then the lead singer spent the rest of the night inside a wardrobe which had been placed onstage for that specific purpose, only emerging to say 'You think we're shit, don't you?'. Cue me engaging him in Samaritan style conversation [the other 38 audience members shuffling embarrassedly] for 10 minutes. Apologies to all who were there for persuading them to carry on playing.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 21:51, 2 replies)
Joan Fucking Baez.
Summer festival towards the end of the 20th century. Perfect summer weather. Just the right level of afternoon stoned. Let's listen to some old hippy bird, we think. That'll be just the ticket to snooze off this mucky cider, we agree.

"Hi. I'm Joan Baez. This first song is dedicated to the victims of childhood sexual abuse."

Fucking hell.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 19:37, 11 replies)
Unfortunately the only country songs we knew were Stand By Your Man and the theme from Rawhide.
Star Wars.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 17:57, 15 replies)
Aussie Floyd... just a few short months ago
Might have been March this year? I've tried to forget it to be honest.

I was never a Pink Floyd fan or listened to Dark Side of the Moon *awaits flaming and the usual 'best album ever' comments by the people who pretend to like them* but my mate had 2 tickets, said he'd seen them last year at a mini festival and they were great. Always up for something free, don't get out much in my advancing years.

2 pints outside Newcastle City Hall and a smoke too for old times sake.

If anyone on here reads this and was at that gig - It was me snoring 25mins in, right hand side, half way towards the front - isle seat. I fell asleep. It was horrendous. Some tramp on stage playing keyboards in a cowboy hat, no-one in the audience seemed interested, all sat down in cramped, seats with zero atmosphere as they rambled thru self indulgent track after another. It was torture. And then, an massive inflatable mouse appeared at the end - possibly Kangaroo being Aussie's - for no reason.

Maybe i'm not a floyd fan. or a sitting down for gigs fan. Either way, it sucked hard - and i saw the Pet Shop Boys do the alternative soundtrack for Battleship Potemkin at Swan Hunters Yard.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 17:47, 17 replies)
Some inter-song banter at a Hard-Fi (i don't know what i was thinking) gig a few years back : "How many of you out there are having a good time?!" shouted Gordon/whatever lead singer's name is. Something about the way he said it made every one cringe. Should you ever ask that?
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 17:13, 1 reply)
My favourite was either Barry Manilow
or The Black And White Minstrel Show.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 16:29, 6 replies)
"We're doing a gig" they said.
"It'll be great" they said.

"It's at Mole's in Bath" they said.

The collective sweat constantly dripping off the ceiling into your pint is perhaps the best thing about that gig.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 14:23, 2 replies)
Not me, but my uncle
Back in the 60s/70s/80s he used to do much of the lighting and set design type stuff for Pink Floyd. For one of their tours somebody had the idea of flying a Lancaster bomber over the stadium and releasing a bomb bay load of ping pong balls over the crowd. After much planning and wrangling to get everything ready, the night of the gig arrived and the Lancaster appeared right on queue. The ping pong balls were released, but thanks to a strong wind and unpredicted air currents in the stadium, the entire load was dumped on a small section of the crowd at the back, leaving them knee deep in little white balls. Oops.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 14:18, Reply)
They say "Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."
Well not with the kit they gave me, I won't.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 13:32, 11 replies)
The Hunter Gracchus
Grinderman's support act in Manchester in 2010 was a group called The Hunter Gracchus. The lights went down, and collectively we in the audience gave them a polite welcome as they took to the stage.

They picked up their instruments and began a free-form noise piece.

Fair enough, seemed to be the response from the crowd. It's a risky opening gambit for a first number, but we're all terribly open to new musical experiences: let's see how this goes.

The free-form noise continued. There were screeches, hoots, bashings, and the occasional caterwaul.

Hmmmm, we began to think. Maybe it's about time they began to do something else. We all like a good blast of white noise now and again, but five minutes into the set, that's all we've had.

The free-form noise continued. More screeches, hoots, bashings, and caterwauling.

And so it went on, for half a hour without any pause. Constant screeching, hooting, bashing and caterwauling. Oh, for sure, there was variety. Sometimes it was loud, and sometimes quite quiet. Sometimes one of the people in the band would put down the instrument to which they'd been doing something unspeakable for the last few minutes, pick up another, and begin to do something unspeakable to that instead.

They looked very serious about what they were doing for the whole time. If they'd looked like they were enjoying themselves, that would (probably) have been OK; but they didn't. They looked like they were working.

And then they stopped, and left the stage.

There was applause. It was half hearted at best, and I don't think that we really knew why we were applauding... except that I have a theory. Explorers in the 17th and 18th centuries would tell of exotic people who would make as much noise as possible during an eclipse in an attempt to drive away whatever demon had tried to steal the sun. I can only assume that the primitivism we'd just witnessed had driven us into a similar kind of state, and we had been reduced to making as much noise as possible in an attempt to ensure that the three ear-splitting demons were chased from the stage for good. Years of socialisation in a disenchanted, rational, and scientific world meant that we didn't quite believe it ourselves, and that was why the applause was half-hearted. And yet we couldn't quite stop ourselves either.

Meanwhile, the three members of The Hunter Gracchus must have been backstage in the bar, thinking about the money they'd get, and trying to come to terms with the fact that they'd got away with it. Again.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:41, 2 replies)
Not a gig exactly, but
I did a variety show once where, after a particular song, the music was supposed to stop and the director come on stage to do some speech or another. The music stopped and the director walked on. The musical director however had forgotten about the speech and launched straight into the next song, leaving the director no choice but to walk straight back off the stage again.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:35, Reply)
Went to a music festival in 1994. Waiting to see Ministry, who still remain (as a portly boring middle-aged fan) all kinds of awesome.

While I was waiting to see them, Hole were on stage, and I was right up the front.

During one of the many songs that Hole play that sound like Courtney Love's trying to impersonate a tomcat wanting a shag, she puts one leg up on the foldback speakers. With a short dress, sans underwear.

The best way to describe it: looked like someone had peeled a rat in half lengthways.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:16, 20 replies)
Some generic suburban Battle of the Bands
I'm led to believe that anywhere called Croydon is shit, and the one in Australia is no exception.

So kids could go and see live bands in the 1990's without the evil temptation of spiritous liquors, many all-ages gigs were started. The one in Croydon was called EV's (I forget what EV stands for, possibly Everything's Vile).

Anyhow, many local crap Battle of the Bands were held there and as it was the only interesting thing on in Croydon aside from stealing cars, animal raping and methadone abuse, it had crowds. One time I did go and see some woeful act, someone decided to stagedive feet-first into the crowd.

Which makes contact with my ribs and head.

Ended up in hospital with a couple of cracked ribs and concussion. Still probably more entertaining than whatever was playing.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:05, 1 reply)
Bob Dylan
He may have been relevant and indeed a top songwriter in the 60s. When I saw him at wembley arena in 2005, something had shifted somewhat.

His voice, whilst never the most classic of sounds when in his prime at least fitted his tunage, now aged 426 years old, he sounded like an arthritic hoover half full of gravel.

He had chosen to rearrage the vast majority of his songs, that in itself is the artists right and one I applaud...if it makes the songs better. If it makes them all 20 minutes long with a self indulgent whiney mouth organ solo, it should be banned.

The audience interaction was pointless, no-one could work out what he was saying anyway.

His "performance" involved sitting on a chair whilst about 20 people on stage carried him.

The Wembley arena only sold Carling, which everyone knows is the most fucking rank pisswater in the world ...well, apart from Carlsberg of course.

Don't bother seeing your heroes peoples; They're fucking shit.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 11:10, 20 replies)

The only bad gigs I’ve been to were the ones that were cancelled, or the electrics went pop during the warm-up. Apart from that, any gig is better than no gig at all. In my youth gigs where lively affairs. Shirt off, in the mix centre front, most of them passed by in a blur of thrashing arms and legs. A squirming mass of young male bodies lubricated by sweat, moving like maggots on a dead dog.

Gigs meant waking up the next morning, ears ringing, feeling like I’d run a marathon and got a beating at the end instead of a foil blanket. A meet up in the pub the next day would have us comparing gig injuries like Quint, Brody and Hooper.

And then I got an opportunity to go to my first big gig. The Cult where playing Wembley Arena, and I knew the promoter. He left me a couple of tickets shoved in a milk bottle on his door step (ask your parents). I expected it to be like any other gig I’d been to only with more people. The Cult were well into their set by the time we arrived. The horror of that moment when the usher showed us to our seats has never left me. What the fuck was this! And just to make sure that no fun could be had by anyone, they had bouncers patrolling the place throwing out people who stood up, let alone dance.

I stayed seated for half an hour or so, then left for the pub.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 10:58, 1 reply)
Puppetry Of The Penis
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 10:55, Reply)
James Brown - Dubai 1999
So the show starts, and first out on stage is this Las Vegas looking showgirl who does a "Best of James Brown" set, maybe 5 songs.
Then J B comes on, and does about three songs, and then it's time for a lunch break. This fucking magician comes on stage for about 20 minutes and fucks about with some hoops, and does some other stuff that we can't really see.
Then some choir comes onstage for a bit, and J B joins them for the last few songs.
He was probably on stage for half an hour.
Tickets were about £50 each as well.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 10:41, 9 replies)
The story below reminds me
I went to a goth/fetish festival in Derby where the Jim Rose circus was playing. First up was a guy who hammered six inch nails through his extremities and the first one went through his ear into a largish block of wood. As he stood up, he swung his head around to demonstrate that yes, he really did have a six inch nail through his ear. Unfortunately, while the nail was well affixed to his ear, the piece of wood wasn't quite as well attached to the nail, flying off and hitting my mate.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 10:25, Reply)
I went to see Cradle of Filth in 1998 supported by the Circus of Horrors at the Astoria.
I've really grown out of that stuff now so I'd like to say, "Yeah, what was I thinking of, going to see that shit?".

But despite being a loud, shouty, death band they actually played very competently and the both the music and vocals were mixed well and were perfectly and pleasantly audible. The show was well choreographed and done with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek for a band that regularly features naked women covered in blood and fantasy/anti-religion-based, sexually sordid symbolism.

Also, Danny Filth a fairly nice chap, despite his on-stage character.

The Circus of Horrors was weird, but also kind of entertaining.

This has all gone a bit wrong, really.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 9:30, 13 replies)
GG Allin
There's some stuff on YouTube. Jesus Christ, what a mess.
(, Sun 28 Jul 2013, 23:29, 7 replies)
My Fall Odyssey
Cardiff Globe, Wednesday 22 May 2013

The Globe is tiny but unlike other small venues it doesn’t seem small (if that makes sense). The staff are all very polite and accommodating and the owner (I think) thanked everyone personally as they left!

I went upstairs to the balcony area and sat down for the entire gig (20 years ago I’d have been right down the front).

Bobbie Peru were fantastic, they reminded me of Therapy? somewhat, in the guitar/bass interplay (though not the drumming). Most of the tunes were led by the most fantastically sinuous and sinister basslines. And the drummer’s from Wales, Barry in particular, but as the bass player said with a wide grin, “I’m not from Barry…”

The Fall came on at 2200 and played for an hour (including encores). Band on tip top form, there really is nothing better! Mark E Smith was the most relaxed and humorous I have ever seen him, has age mellowed him? He certainly seems very happy with the band! He fiddled with the keyboards as per, interfered with Pete’s guitar twice, punched a few cymbals (one of which came loose), and once adjusted the bass sound so it became horridly distorted (this was promptly re-adjusted to normal). He seemed to have a lot of trouble with microphones tonight, they often stopped working, so he had to use Eleni’s mic quite a lot, to his credit he never lost his rag. He did spend a lot of time sitting down, and off stage to the right, so for the last two encores he was heard but not seen, which was a bit odd, but never mind!

Bristol Trinity Centre, Thursday 23 May 2013

The last time I saw The Fall at the Trinity was in 1994 in support of Middle Class Revolt, with Karl Burns on drums, that was an excellent gig and I got to speak to Steve Hanley after! 19 years ago… blimey. Then as now the pre-gig pub was the Coach and Horses, back in ’94 it was a scary shithole, but now, under new management (after being closed for 2 years), it is great, seek it out if you’re in Bristol.

A few random observations:

For some reason the guitar amp was turned off during Sir William Wray (but Pete continued to play, did he realise?) which totally ruined the song (for me), especially as I’d bigged it up as a highlight to the friends I was with. Oh well!

During Chino some bastard farted, a real beefy-eggo, a dense miasma of suffocating guff that lingered for the entirety of the song. It smelt like the aftermath of a heavy meal of red meat washed down by many pints of real ale. Every time I hear Chino from now on I will be reminded of it. What’s more, during the encore (a storming Reformation!), the cunt dropped his guts AGAIN, and it was even more potent this time. If the person responsible is reading this, THANKS A LOT you tit, oh and see a doctor, no way did that odour emanate from healthy bowels.

Also during Reformation!, whilst MES was offstage, two twats mounted the stage and began to dad-dance in the most embarrassing fashion. They obviously thought they were cool but they looked like utter dweebs, the band totally ignored them and they were soon forcibly ejected from the stage. If they are reading this, well done guys! You were “in The Fall” for 45 seconds and can now die happy!

Psykick Dancehall was a real treat, a really faithful, accurate version, the crowd went mentoe and MES knew all the words. Highlight of the evening for sure.

Falmouth Princess Pavilion, Friday 24 May 2013

Wow. Of the three nights, this was by far the best (then Cardiff, and Bristol worst – or rather least good, it wasn’t actively bad).

The Cardiff and Bristol gigs were great, but this was something special – one of the best Fall gigs I’ve ever seen in my 25+ years of following the band! Was it the sea air? Was it because it was the last nacht of the tour? There was certainly an “end of term” vibe about it. The Princess Pavilion is a lovely venue, very old school, more suited to tea dances than rock, situated in gorgeous gardens (currently being renovated). Interesting to note what other bands are due to play in the next couple of months – The Wedding Present, Ash, and, er, T’Pau.

The crowd was very welcoming, apparently it’s very rare for bands of The Fall’s stature to play Falmouth so the locals are grateful for anything they can get.

I didn’t bother with the support at all sorry to say, as 1) I was disappointed they weren’t Bobbie Peru and 2) my feet were aching from a whole day of walking around Falmouth and I wanted to save them for The Fall.

The intro tape seemed to go on forever tonight, and The Fall took to the stage at 2205 with, as before Victrola Time, then Hot Cake and then Strychnine. Mark was in very fine voice tonight, didn’t sit down or go offstage as much as Bristol or Cardiff, and engaged in much banter with the audience. Eleni however seemed miffed at times, dunno why.

No farts or dad-dancing twats tonight.

When MES handed the mic to the crowd (during Container Drivers) there was actually a good response for once, the chap knew the lyrics and sang along in a duet with MES.

Psykick Dancehall was again the highlight, especially Pete’s amazing guitar workout at the end which went on for joyous ages.

The set was a good long meaty ‘un with 2 encores: an amazing, long version of Container Drivers, then a storming (if short) Reformation!, and then White Lightning.

I dunno what it was about the night but there was a “buzz” about it which elevated it above the run of the mill into something truly great.

What a fantastic three nights! Yes I know the subject is bad gigs, but I have never been to one.
(, Sun 28 Jul 2013, 21:54, 8 replies)
Going to a gig is like making love to a beautiful woman.
A couple of drinks first. A keen but inept warm-up. Then splashing all over your own belly because the fat bloke behind you gets over excited during the encore.
(, Sun 28 Jul 2013, 19:54, 5 replies)

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