Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Art Of Noise A-Z Of Music: V

V is for …

… Van Halen – ‘Jump’ (drmigs)

So I had this week's entry sorted a while ago. I was all set to write about The Velvet Underground [Good thing you didn’t!] and how they nursed me through dropping out of uni due to illness. It was going to be easy as it's a fairly memorable period of my life. However, plans changed when I turned up at the race I did on Saturday morning. As I approached the assembly area it was chilly and raining, I was still full of last night’s takeaway, and Rioja was still boogieing through my temples. I wasn't sure I wanted to be there. Then all of a sudden, there was Darth Vader, head-banging to ‘Jump’ by Van Halen. Of course I was in the right place. (I don't know why, but oddly, this ‘Stars Wars’ out-takes scene was somehow the perfect preparation for the run to come.)

‘Jump’ just makes me laugh. Not for the song itself, but for the strange hold it has over people. Can it really be that easy to make people do all those strange things with their bodies? It seems to have an uncanny knack of pushing people’s dyspraxia buttons. As a result, every ten-bob disco – from "Dave's Wicked Disco" to "Club Jake" (ah bollocks, that's me in trouble) – must, by contract, play ‘Jump’ as part of their opening sequence of songs. It's just the rules

But this rule doesn't just apply for the amateur DJ, the same rule applies for the professionals. Step forward Edith Bowman. Nervous about her first set at Glastonbury, Colin Murray tanked her up with some vodka flavoured Dutch courage (when I say some, I mean a lot), and convinced her that ‘Jump’ was the only responsible track to play. So at two in the afternoon, with ‘Jump’ playing at full volume, there was the magical voice-over radio of Edith getting angry / paranoid at Colin, and Colin giggling his head off whilst describing the two crusties in the corner working off their chemicals and dancing for Somerset. It's just that sort of song.

Yes, it's not big, and yes it's not clever. For Christ's sake… it's called ‘Jump’! But there's a ubiquity to it that means for some reason I can't let V go by without it being mentioned. For it to permeate all walks of music events, from Glasto to wicked discos to charity runs, then damn it, it only seems natural to let it permeate The Art Of Noise. As I said before, it's just that sort of song.

… Jean Claude Vannier (James)

This criminally unknown composer should possibly be as important as Morricone, Nyman, and Barry. The principle reason for this is that he is probably best described as an arranger, and so has remained in background, while the stars – Serge Gainsbourg, Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin, Jonny Holliday – have basked in the glory.

Take L’Histoire De Melody Nelson, for instance. This is, without doubt, Serge Gainsbourg’s finest hour (amongst many fine hours, let it be said), but it is Vannier who gave the LP the weird, cool charm that has caused such veneration. Those strings, which seem to pour in from another planet: Vannier. The eerie chorus on ‘Cargo Culte’ that captures perfectly the peculiarity of Melody’s demise: Vannier. Listen, in case you think I deride the genius of Gainsbourg: he is a musical saint in my eyes; but it is Vannier that catapults this work into the stratosphere.

Or check out Gainsbourg’s work on soundtracks: ‘Cannabis’, for instance. Each track is lovingly constructed out of rock’s remnant parts, creating a decadent, murky world. For all the joy of Gainsbourg’s melodies and listening to Jane Birkin moan – as she did so well – again it is Vannier who brings the work to life. Strings, early keyboards, guitars; each take turns to push the mood higher. Listen to ‘Avant De Mourir’ and you will hear every trick that Air ever knew. It predates some of the best elements of prog rock without whispering “pomposity”.

Even Jane Birkin’s solo work, which can be slight and a little too lighter-than-light, is given a greater range of textures thanks to Vannier’s input. Birkin was always Gainsbourg’s muse, and so many of his conceits are on full display. But here again, notice the slightly-too-insistent strings on ‘C’est La Vie Qui Vent Ca’, the slightly inappropriate drum, the guitar work. This is Vannier’s influence.

The real jewel, however, is the recently re-released CD of his only LP (to my knowledge) L’Enfant Assassin Des Mouches on the genius Finders Keepers label. It is nearly impossible how good this CD is – and it was released in 1972! It has pretty much everything that is good about rock music in the 70s. It is funky, scary, melodic, discordant, silly, terrifying with a palette as broad as China. It has heavy riffage with glockenspiel backing, choirs that pour through the cracks in the music like hands pushing through the walls in Polanski’s repulsions, atmospheric sounds (cigarettes being lit, footsteps, water pouring through drains, pool tables etc) that give the LP a cinematic feel. It has Gainsbourg reading the story, industrial shrieks, and some kid who apparently is the child assassin of the flies jabbering away in French. It has gorgeous strings and pianos that effortlessly glide into truly frightening soundscapes that could form the soundtrack to some lost Jodorowsky masterpiece, which in turn make way for some jaunty tunes that could have been the theme tune for some Polish kids cartoon circa 1967. I could go on.

If you do nothing else with the rest of your lives, go and buy this CD.

… vantage points (Jez)

How many times have you been to a gig and been unhappy with your view? I suppose a lot depends on how tall you are. I’ve never really had a problem with that but I now see things through different eyes. I’m about 6’2” but my girlfriend isn’t, anything but in fact. She reliably informs me she is 5’2”, oh, and a half. How come there’s always a half when people aren’t happy about something? She won’t read this so I can inform you she has a Lilliputian passport. So now my gig going experience involves finding vantage points.

No longer can I just turn up with two pints of “lager” in my fists and enjoy the gig. I now have to reconnoitre the venue imagining I’m Ronnie Corbett. Balconies have taken the place of the middle of the room and the hustle and bustle of other people tall enough to see. We have to get to the venue early, see the end of the supporting set and wait until people leave their vantage points, then pounce. Then we hang on like limpets. It’s all so undignified. I’m now expert in watching roadies set up. At least she gets to see the gig though.

I heard a new twist on this dilemma the other day. Swiss Toni, who’s a good 3” taller than me, says he actually feels guilty for blocking people’s views at gigs. Not only is he taller, but he also has a much higher moral standing. Suddenly I feel I need that extra half of something.

… The Velvet Underground (Swiss Toni)

What can I tell you about The Velvet Underground? Has there been any other band that has been anywhere near as influential as The VU and sold as few records? The Velvet Underground & Nico (the album with the famous Warhol banana artwork) is frequently acclaimed as one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Suspend your scorn of polls and lists for a minute; in 1998, the readers of Q magazine voted it the 71st greatest album of all time. In 2003, VH1 ranked it at 19th. Rolling Stone placed it at 13th. I know these polls are nonsense and were probably all topped by Radiohead, but I think we can probably at least all agree that The Velvet Underground & Nico was pretty cutting-edge for 1966.

It must have been; in spite of the patronage of David Bowie (who apparently loved the record so much that he stood on the street handing out copies to passers-by) it only charted at 171 in the Billboard chart, and took some 25 years to go gold. That’s quite some achievement. Mind you, the subject matter of some of those songs would still raise eyebrows today. Can you imagine the tabloid apoplexy if Pete Doherty released a song like ‘Heroin’ or ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’ (assuming anyone could recover from the shock that his meagre talent had managed to produce a song so good)? What about the, er, “alternative lifestyle” described in ‘Venus In Furs’? Surely it’s the great Conservative party anthem that never was…

Actually, good though that album is, I don’t think this is their best – I prefer 1968s The Velvet Underground. But look. I’m not going to go on about the history of the VU. You can go check that out for yourself at Wikipaedia. Let me tell you instead about my experience of the band…

Of course, The VU acrimoniously broke up long before I was born, but I was lucky enough to be at Glastonbury in 1993 when the reformed band with the classic line-up (Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker) was headlining the Pyramid stage.

Who could pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity like that? The festival had already been good to me – I had seen the myriad delights of acts like The Kinks, Van Morrison, Verve (back in the days before they had a definite article), Orbital, Lenny Kravitz, Dodgy… Some of the greats. This would be the icing on the cake.

So what did I do? I went to go and watch Suede instead – then in the middle of that heady period around the release of their debut album. Suede were actually OK, and it remains the only time that I ever saw them play live… But with the best will in the world, they’re hardly likely to make it into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame any time soon, are they?

I did see The VU finishing off their set with a barnstorming version of ‘Venus in Furs’ as I trudged up the hill towards the farmhouse and my tent, so I suppose that TECHNICALLY I saw them playing live… But… Let’s just say that it wasn’t the best piece of festival decision-making I’ve ever made.

Whenever I think back to that night, I can’t help but kick myself. Hard.

Oh. And don’t think that seeing Lou Reed solo will be any kind of adequate substitute for passing up the opportunity of seeing one of the greatest ever bands. Let’s just say that it’s two hours of my life I will never get back…

… The Velvet Underground – ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’ (Del)

Sex. Drugs. Rock. Roll. We know the roll call. Now, we all know that there's nothing more boring than listen to other people's drug stories, especially if, like me, you stubbornly decide not to indulge yourself. But for some reason, I can't get enough of artists wailing about their own personal addictions on record.

The very term “cool” was partially derived from jazz singers numbed by heroin addiction, and so it is. The dead eyes of The Velvet Underground are just about as iconic as rock gets. And this is wonderful itchy fidgety edgy anxious drug rock. One shot and you're hooked. So do I support the abuse of drugs in the pursuit of artistic endeavour? Of course. They take the drugs so I don't have to. It's all in the small print of that deal with the devil. Please stay just sane enough to actually produce some good music. Lovely. My conscience is clear, how's yours?

One time I was stood waiting for a lift. The doors opened and inside was Lou Reed. He looked completely fucked. But he was still Lou Reed.

… verdicts (Ben)

What is being a critic all about – apart from being pompous enough to label yourself as such and studiously trying to avoid cliché? Verdicts.

Making value judgements about music: everyone’s at it, from print journalists and fanzine writers to web magazine contributors, Amazon reviewers and bloggers like us.

The specialised use of the word “verdict” in a legal context is significant. Just as a judge or jury assesses the evidence and deliberates before reaching a conclusion, so do we gradually form an impression of an album that, once crystallised, can be delivered as a verdict. (Of course, in some cases it’s a shame, of course, that that verdict can’t be followed by a lengthy jail term for the perpetrators. Cue whimsical thoughts of Jamiroquai getting buggered in the showers...)

But the key question is: how long should one deliberate for? How long should an album be given to reveal its charms? How long should be allowed for its initial seductive gloss to tarnish? It seems to me, at least, that there’s a curious but unignorable psychological imperative to come to some kind of considered view as quickly as possible – which can result in verdicts that, with hindsight, are too gushing or too dismissive. In other words, there can be – and frequently are – miscarriages of justice.

The biggest danger, then, is the “first impressions” verdict. I’m sure Swiss Toni won’t mind me mentioning this, but he recently committed to the web his initial disappointment with Scott Walker's new album The Drift. Of course that verdict is contingent and subject to change – but the fact remains that first impressions, once spelt out, are difficult to overlook or surmount.

Pronouncing a premature verdict, then, can ultimately pervert the course of justice – as I know from personal experience. The one judgement that sticks in my mind is that of Sonic Youth’s last LP Sonic Nurse. Initially my enjoyment was tempered by the disappointment that it suggested – for the first time in their career – a certain stagnancy and creative inertia. And I committed myself to that verdict sufficiently to put it on my blog. A few weeks later, and I was rather sheepishly hailing it as brilliant, my favourite Sonic Youth album since Dirty.

Sometimes the process of re-evaluation – of earning a reprieve – can take place over a much longer period of time. My lukewarm verdict of The Icarus Line’s Penance Soiree upon release in 2004 has gradually been superseded by a passionate and enthusiastic attachment, one only cemented by January’s A-Z contribution on them.

Of course, miscarriages of justice can work both ways. There are some verdicts that I look back on and cringe. Sparta’s Wiretap Scars, for instance: a record I loved unreservedly in the year of its release, but one which – while still sounding impressive four years on – it was rather hyperbolic to hail as my Album Of The Year for 2002.

I guess that, if I’m honest, this whole contribution has been inspired by my current struggles to get to grips with Ten Silver Drops, the latest Secret Machines LP. Despite repeated listens I still can’t fathom it – or why I’m continuing to grant it more time. I may already have come to a kind of verdict – though that was a cowardly act of fence-sitting. How much longer will I give it? What will be my final verdict (if there is such a thing as a “final” set-in-stone verdict)? Who knows.

Of course, one response to all this is that I should try and escape this impulse to sit in judgement on everything and just enjoy it. But then reaching a verdict is half the fun, don’t you think?

… videos (Pete)

Music videos that is. There’s nothing more memorable than a good music video that’s witty or has some other redeeming feature, so it’s disappointing to still see so much guff out there on The Amp, MTV, E4 Music and the rest of them. Yes, by this I mean every boy-band ballad video, as well as most R ‘n’ B videos. After all, when you’ve seen one baggy-clothed muppet cavorting with skimpily-clad lasses on or in a high-end sports car, you’ve seen ‘em all.

Luckily, these videos never hang around for long, but nevertheless it still saddens me to see Channel 4 viewers vote ‘Thriller’ as the greatest pop video ever. People, it’s just Jacko with a group of dancing zombies in a sixteen- minute-long video. Seeing as so many of the great British public have chosen their favourite pop promo, it’s only fair that I mention a few of mine. Call it self-indulgent, but I can’t think of anything else for the letter V.

Electric Six - ‘Gay Bar’: You have to love the unabashed and tongue-in-cheek imagery of Abe Lincoln, leather and hamsters.

Aphex Twin - ‘Windowlicker’: The faces of two lasses morph into Richard James’ grinning visage. Brilliant, if not unforgettably disturbing, like most Aphex videos.

Doves - ‘Caught By The River’: Until I saw the video I didn’t really appreciate the song. Jimi and the boys play what is really quite a simple tune in a quite simple video, but somehow setting it in some mansion somewhere gives it some class and poignancy.

Basement Jaxx - ‘Where's Your Head At?’: Monkeys with faces of the DJs go mental in a lab and trash the place. Classic.

Blur - ‘Coffee & TV’: Great video of the little milk carton’s adventures while searching for a missing Graham Coxon.

Massive Attack - ‘Unfinished Sympathy’: The best of any “walking through a town” video including ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’. The song is beautiful and is happily matched by the single take of Shara Nelson wandering through LA.

… Violator – Depeche Mode (Caskared)

I love this Depeche Mode album to bits! I love its mix of clinical electronica humanised by velvety vocals, I love its melodies and its delicious harmonies. I love its intelligence its spareness and building textures. I love its wry sampled noises. I love its pure moments and its sleazy ones too. I love its artwork. And I love even more what the band have done with the songs when I have seen them play live.

After a pure pop early 1980s the band descended into darkness with albums such as Black Celebration dealing with the sounds and subject matter of a guilty soul, songwriter Martin Gore. He’s the one with the platinum ‘fro and penchant for outlandish stage outfits. At the vanguard of electronic experimentation (and winners of the first Innovation award from Q magazine) playing the same sound twice was verboten for several albums, sampling anything and everything including the car engine in ‘Stripped’. By the time they recorded Violator in Milan, London, New York and Denmark, they had already conquered America and been at the top of their game for half a decade. They produced it with Daniel Miller and Flood, which undoubtedly brought a claustrophobic freshness to the mix.

Violator begins with the cover. A single red rose stands against a black abyss with the sweetly handwritten word “Violator”. Anton Corbijn created this iconic image to neatly show the veneer of beauty, the thorny suffering, and the fusion of nature and artifice that make the Mode great. I love a bit of pretension in my pop.

‘World In My Eyes’ opens with one line of synthesiser jauntily making its way to be joined with another synth line, soon clicking complex rhythms begin and Dave Gahan enters. Artificial strings swell, more layers, warm backing vocals from Gore, and more interlacing rhythms showing listeners the world of Violator.

There are so many treats in this album I’ll try to be brief. ‘Sweetest Perfection’ is one of the songs with Martin Gore on lead. His heartfelt croon is backed by samples of bird chirrups and marble runs in a play with stereo as the sounds veer from one speaker to the next. Gore also takes lead on ‘Blue Dress’, which has a viral intimacy.

‘Personal Jesus’, inspired by ‘Elvis And Me’ by Priscilla Presley, is anthemic and brilliant, even carrying off a breathy bridge. The band had vetoed traditional instruments and used to have a drum machine standing centre-stage in their early gigs. Violator saw them relaxing this law and ‘Personal Jesus’ actually using a real guitar.

‘Halo’ and vice-ridden ‘Policy Of Truth’ are of a similar vein to ‘World In My Eyes’ and ‘Waiting For The Night’ and the closing ‘Clean’ are with the ‘Sweetest Perfection’ thread of rolling, veiled, moody Mode.

But the absolute highlight is ‘Enjoy The Silence’. I adore it! (I can’t stand the remix, but never mind.) The opening bars are a joy, it has a samba momentum that loftily carries the song along to make it the most perfect piece of pop that I think I will sing along with into my dotage accompanied by the vision of Dave Gahan dressed as a king carrying a deckchair.

… Vivian Stanshall (Skif)

I’m a sucker for an eccentric, and they don’t come much more rainbow-coloured of mind than Vivian Stanshall. He hated the “eccentric” tag himself, saying that it suggested he was putting on an act. Whatever title you want to use though, Viv Stanshall was the real deal, a genuine one-off.

I guess the first “tune” of his I ever heard was his ‘Mr Cadbury’s Parrot’ jingle for the chocolate company’s Mini-Egg strand. When I went on the factory tour there, I noticed, in the section where they show a reel of Cadbury commercials over the decades, that it wasn’t present. A shame really as for all the others, aside from maybe the Flake one, I did require a memory jog. ‘Mr Cadbury’s Parrot’ has stayed in my head ever since my nipperhood, sat just alongside the Shake ‘N’ Vac and the medieval Ruddles ads. After reading reading his biography ‘Ginger Geezer’ many years later, it came as no surprise to me that Stanshall was also involved in the creation of the latter.

Both sets of adverts were heavily inspired by two of his most celebrated incarnations, the Mini-Eggs being a rework of The Bonzo Dog Band’s ‘Mr Slater’s Parrot’, while the Ruddles story-boards were heavily influenced by Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, his surreal stories of upper class family life that were recorded as session vignettes for John Peel’s show in the 1970s and eventually ended up both in LP and film form.

Now I’ve have spent a lot of time talking about his involvements in commercials, and I should say this was merely a later by-product of his output, but it was the posthumous use of another of his tunes, ‘Canyons Of Your Mind’, on a cider ad that finally pushed me into investigating the Bonzos and Stanshall’s solo work. The Bonzo LPs Tadpoles and Keynsham filled in the gaps between the seemingly unrelated adverts that had lodged in my head like few others have been able.

That was Stanshall’s skill though; however far-fetched an idea, he could sell it with his deep leathery vocal tones that were as powerful as an orang-utang, and just as playful and comforting. One of the nation’s finest racontuers, he went about his story-telling in a richly witty manner, being as much about traditonal comedy, music hall and vaudeville as he was Monty Python-like intellectual surrealism. In short, he was the psychedelic Noel Coward.

As is often the case with keen minds such as his, he was prone to self-destruction, depression and alcohol addiction (he was big chums with Keith Moon) being present in several episodes of his vivid life. While living on a boat in the 1980s he had twice set himself alight and in the end it was another fire, recorded dubiously as “accidental death”, that took his life in 1995. John Peel said after Vivian’s death that he was “one of the few people I actually wanted to be”, while he could also count Stephen Fry, Paul Merton and Jarvis Cocker amongst his devotees.

Vivian Stanshall was a fascinating character who could embraced Dadaism as well as the culture of elder generations. He brought his own colours to British culture, and we really should treasure his memory.

Because he was totally hatstand of course, and not despite it.

… VW Camper Van (the strangest thing I’ve ever seen at a gig) (Paul)

It's summer 1999, and Glastonbury Festival is in full swing. The weather (for once) is holding firm. On the Other Stage, the Super Furry Animals’ fantastic set is drawing to a close, and whilst they've been onstage night has fallen. Traditional curtain call ‘The Man Don't Give A Fuck’ is just starting up, and the crowd are winding up for one last mass pogo.

Out of the corner of my eye, something grabs my attention.

Someone appears to be driving their VW Camper Van into the mosh.

Slowly, the van inches its way through the crowd before coming to a stop in line with the middle of the stage. Festival goers cling on to its side, illuminated against the dark night sky by the spot lights from the stage. Then, one person climbs out of the crowd and onto the van. Then another, then another. They start to dance - bouncing up and down on the roof (which starts to buckle under their weight).

People are now swarming onto the van, with many more clinging to it like drowning sailors to a piece of driftwood. I recognise my friend's afro hair silhouetted in the lights, as he desperately tries to climb onto the by-now swamped and badly buckled roof.

From inside the van, a large man climbs out of the cab and up onto the roof. Seemingly aggrieved at the horde of festival goers who have the audacity to climb onto his vehicle he pushes them back into the crowd. Defending his territory like a psychotic only child he finally launches the last overenthusiastic person back into the crowd, and stands defiant, daring anyone else to take him on.

At which point, the set ends (possibly cut slightly short due to safety concerns), and the crowd and van go their separate ways; festival goers with a story to tell, in some cases with a few new bruises to add to the collection; and the van, I suspect, requiring major repairs.

* * * * *

Thanks to drmigs, James, Jez, Swiss Toni, Del, Pete, Caskared, Skif and Paul for their contributions this week.

6 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

Jez: I do feel a tinge of guilt sometimes. But it doesn't usually last for very long...

James: You've sold me that album!

Del: "He looked completely fucked. But he was still Lou Reed". Isn't looking completely fucked a prerequisite for being Lou Reed?

Pete: I haven't seen the Doves video, but the others are all great. I think the bit during 'Gay Bar' with the hamster and the riff starting up again could just be the finest moment in the history of the music video.

Paul: Wish I'd been there to witness that. Curse my decision not to get a ticket that year.

'Jump' and 'Personal Jesus' - superb songs!

12:00 am  
Blogger SwissToni said...

Jez - my guilt is only compounded by the fact that I am regularly accompanied to gigs by someone --- Lord Bargain --- who is fractionally taller than me (he's about 6'6" I think). At every concert we go to, we tend to get used as beacons by people wanting to meet their friends, and a kind of "neutral zone" forms in a "v" shape (appropriately enough) behind us; an umbra where it is impossible to see the stage.

Mind you, unless I end up standing behind Lord B, at least I can *always* see the band. Sometimes I crouch down just to reassure myself of the excellence of my view.

Ben - I still haven't had the courage to give "The Drift" a second listen.

oh, and "Jump" is brilliant isn't it?

ST

7:04 am  
Blogger skif said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:15 am  
Blogger skif said...

Swiss Toni: I'm loving the Drift personally, but was most amused by your response to it. Hopefully it won't disappoint you in the long term anyway. :-)

Jez: Count me as another of the long-shanks worrying community. A mere 6ft 4in, but I feel duty bound to prop against a side wall or peer from the back. This works quite well unless I go to a gig with my lady friend Jenny, she's only in the mid 5ft range and gets very excitable and HAS to be down the front. Gawd bless her.

Mind you I get freaked out myself when I can't see through people. When you are used to being usually the tallest, anyone bigger makes me very ill at ease. So I'd better not hook up with Swiss Toni and Lord Bargain for a gig then, I guess.

At the Cardiacs annual gig last November, there were two guys stood together near the front who, give them a single shouldered black leotard and call them 'Andre', must have both been nearer 8ft than 7. I made my way to the other side of the stage to avoid total mental collapse.

Ben: It's just a matter of natural selection. Evolution has dealt us a trump card. Should we feel guilty? However it's in my nature to.

Perhaps then we should help our impish brethren. They have 'all ages' shows, maybe we could put on gigs where anyone over 5'10" is banished at the door, and we then organise the attendees like a school photograph.

We could have a innacurately proportioned cardboard cut out of Lemmy at the point of entry, with his lower facial wart as the 'marker' and a speech bubble that reads "You must be this short to rock. Girls. World War II. Girls. Shagging. I'm 61 y'know. Girls."

Or something.

8:19 am  
Blogger Lord Bargain said...

I remember standing near the front of the Manchester Apollo one night (admittedly it was at Kylie's "Light Years" tour) and being tapped on the shoulder by a couple of irate bods behind me who couldn't see very well. It's a bit like being on an aeroplane when someone in front of me decides to recline their seat and can't without breaking both my kneecaps. "What exactly do you want me to do about it?" is my normal response.

I appreciate that it must be a bit frustrating if you are standing right behind me, but there isn't an awful lot I can do. And, I often find myself self-consciously standing at the side/back of gigs so as to avoid being the person who people get stuck behind.

My ex was five foot one. She had no fun at the Liverpool Royal Court for a standing gig....

9:41 am  
Anonymous Caskared said...

Gigs from a short (5' 2") perspective - When I was a bit younger I always want to be at the front otherwise I spent my time crushed with someones elbow or shoulderblade in my eyesocket while I protectively clutched my glasses to my chest.

If I was at the front then my head and shoulders become an arm rest for tall people behind me.

Now my favourite point is perched on an amp or on a slope (Brixton Academy) or step (Ncl Riverside), although i still go in for a bit of a jump around from time to time.

I'm not really that short but gigs seem to push the disparity in my face.

11:13 am  

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