Waldeaux | They Hid Chris Rock!
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They Hid Chris Rock!

We can accuse the BBC of many things: some accuse them of being pinkos, others that they are the mouthpiece of the establishment. With the exception of some notable documentaries, there is little doubt that in the last ten years or so they have increasingly been watching their ‘ps and qs’. I can have some sympathy with that as long as they continue to deliver at least some quality programming.

Early this morning I read the following article about how the comedian Chris Rock has banned mobile phones form his forthcoming tour. By midday it was submerged in the Entertainment & Arts section that few people probably ever delve into, and I only did because I was trying to locate the article for this piece. So here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42851434

I went to see Julian Cope at Manchester’s Band on the Wall a few years ago and a man in the audience spent the first few numbers holding up an iPad by way of recording the whole gig, smack in the centre, right in front of Mr. Cope himself. He stopped after a volley of justified expletives from the performer himself, and there seems little doubt that had the guy truly been a Julian Cope fan he would not have been so bold. Or stupid.

Kieran and I went to see David Gilmour’s Pompeii performance at a cinema in Blackpool recently. It wasn’t until after I had watched it again on DVD that I became aware that at any one time about half the audience seemed to be holding up their devices to photograph or film part of the gig. In doing so, they missed half of the ‘live’ performance they had spent so much money getting to, in favour of being able to present a poor quality, ‘Look at me I was there!’ video on some social media platform or other.

What these people seem to fail to realise is that the device they are holding up for their own sense of smugness obscures the view of those behind them, and changes the level of lighting in the audience. It flies in the face of the atmosphere that is being created for a one-off gig like Pompeii. It also flies in my face because, as you will probably have sussed by now, it really pisses me off!!

I saw Pink Floyd several times in their heyday of Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and Animals. There is almost no footage of any quality of any of those gigs, but I remember some of the details extremely clearly and can smell the atmosphere of those fabulous events. I’m glad I didn’t have a device to be distracted by, because that way my focus was entirely on the band I was there to see. Maybe that’s why the gigs of my youth are so firmly lodged in my memory?

So I am absolutely with Chris Rock, Julian Cope, and any other artist or venue who are trying to restore the ‘Live’ to ‘Live Music’, because it isn’t live if you don’t see all of it, and it disrespects the performers that you have paid (or not) to see. #LoveLiveMusic

 

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