A bit of shush

Tuesday 4 March 2008

Before I was interrupted, I was going to say something about the Elliott Sharp/Christian Marclay gig at the Luminaire a few weeks back. (Condensed review: it taught me that I don’t like Elliott Sharp.) Also a few weeks back, Jodru at ANABlog offered some sure-fire ways to build a healthy, regular audience for your new music gigs. A brief discussion ensued in the comments until I started thinking about VJs and the Red Mist descended; then the real world intervened and by the time I got back into the argument the thread had gone cold:

Really, what’s needed is a range of different experiences on offer, as you suggest. Noisy gigs where you can chat with your mates at the same time, “rigorous” listening-intense concerts, six-hour meditative events…

I hadn’t been to the Luminaire before, so when I came in I saw your typical “noisy gig” venue, complete with a packed bar along the back wall of the band room serving strong drink in plastic cups. Yet dotted around the walls were signs telling the punters to shut up and pay attention to the music. I don’t know if these are permanent fixtures, or if they were put up at the talent’s behest just for the night. Either way it was an incongruous sight; or rather it would have been if anybody paid any attention to the signs at all.

Personally, I neither minded that the crowd carried on, nor did I expect them to behave otherwise. This was simply the wrong sort of room for a “rigorous” gig, and the printed signs trying to impose a concert-hall atmosphere seemed like a misbegotten, foolhardy gesture.