Soundcheck #4: “Sssh!”

Hello folks! I’m whispering, although you can’t tell, there no opposite of caps lock. As some of you might know, I write a column for chronicling some of my musical adventures and suchlike. This week, I’ve been talking (quietly and politely) on the subject of talking during gigs. Here’s the article, enjoy!

I’ve been at gigs where I’ve talked during part of a band’s set; we’ve all done it at some time or another. When I’m onstage, I don’t really mind people chatting now and then. I wouldn’t expect them to stand or sit in complete silence until I’m finished; after all, that would seem like an awfully strange atmosphere. However, I’ve played or attended a few shows recently where certain members of the audience have absolutely infuriated me.

At a recent Kitty The Lion gig in Glasgow’s CCA, for example, I was trying in earnest to listen to support act Matt Norris and The Moon, but found my enjoyment hampered by a group of people behind me talking loudly throughout the entire set. There were two other bars in the building in which they could have drank while they waited for the headliners, but instead they blethered and guffawed their way through a fine, fine set by a very good band.

It’s a phenomenon I’ve experienced from the other side of the mic, too: at The Liquid Ship recently, an acquaintance came along and spent the whole of my set talking VERY LOUDLY to his two friends. At another show, the same gentleman spent my set loudly chatting up two young ladies who had come along to see my good friend (and SK colleague) Andrew Lindsay. Roasting the locquacious punter from the stage almost made it worthwhile, but it played on my mind a little bit.

Fair enough, if you’re in a bar and I’m playing music, you’re within your rights to talk. But if you’ve come to a venue specifically to see live music, why would you then talk so loudly that the act hears it in front of the monitors? Personally, I’m loud enough that you can talk without me hearing you, though not so loud that you need to shout. If you’ve paid to get into a gig, but would rather blether your way through the support bands, what’s the point? Are you so inconsiderate that you think your conversation is more important than everyone else’s enjoyment? That’s just bad manners.

So, I refer to a quote. A quote I’m convinced I didn’t come up with, but for which I cannot find a source. At a gig, “if you want to talk loudly, go somewhere else.” Now if only I could remember where I got that from…

(This article was originally published on on 23rd June 2010. You can read the original article in full here)

Thanks for reading folks! Comments as always, are very welcome.

love Shambles x


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