What kind of gig goer are you? Just answer the questions below then check your score against the scoring system to see what kind of GG you are.

You find a good viewpoint but it’s in front of a vertically-challenged punter. Do you…

(a) suggest they move forward so you can stand behind them

(b) take the space but crouch a lot

(c) think “it’s not my fault you’re a shorty”

(d) take the space, put on a top hat and fart

It’s the most poignant, spine-tingling moment of the set. Do you…

(a) get lost in the music, almost as if caught in a trance

(b) nudge your friend to explain at length how amazing it is thus distracting others

(c) lose control of your bodily fluids

(d) shout “jobby”

During a quiet acoustic moment the people beside you start chatting. Do you…

(a) shoot a dirty look and tut under your breath

(b) secretly hope the singer snaps, dives into the crowd and smashes his guitar off the offender’s empty head

(c) watch on then applaud when the blighter’s dealt with

(d) join the chorus of shushers with a look of self-importance

It’s a small venue, it’s packed and the crowd’s in full voice yet again. Do you…

(a) glare at the idiots while wishing they’d shut the hell up so you can hear the singer

(b) complain to the promoter demanding your money back

(c) sing until your lungs explode and your skinny jeans split

(d) grab your mates, form a huddle and jump about until every ounce of liquid in a 3m radius is spilt

The band is late on stage. Do you…

(a) wonder where these Muppets are

(b) stand patiently, eagerly awaiting the magic to happen

(c) chant “here we, here we, here we fucking go!”

(d) push to the front juggling three pints while singing “here we, here we…”

The bloke in front of you hoists his girlfriend onto his shoulders blocking your view and exposing her straining thong. Do you…

(a) avert your eyes Ark of the Covenant style, say nothing and hope a steward deals with it

(b) “accidentally” bump into the bloke, thus toppling the hefty obstruction

(c) deliberately sneeze on her exposed flesh

(d) whistle a “who let the dogs out / thong song”medley

The band calls for some crowd participation. Do you…

(a) sneer and do nothing

(b) watch others oblige while secretly judging them

(c) embrace the moment and do as instructed

(d) take it upon yourself to organise the people beside you not joining in with all the “fun”

The same person continually pushes past you as he makes countless trips to the bar. Do you…

(a) politely move while cursing his continued existence

(b) close ranks so his path is blocked

(c) use your foot as an unseen but effective obstacle

(d) place an order the next time he passes

Sandi Thom comes on stage. Do you…

(a) leave

(b) tear up your ticket and leave

(c) shout “what was I thinking”, tear up your ticket and leave

(d) wake up in a cold sweat

You’re at a gig and the person beside you breaks wind while his friends laugh. Do you…

(a) stand your ground defiantly

(b) retaliate in kind

(c) light a match

(d) shout “who’s baking brownies” then aim while combining(c) and (b)

So how did you get on? Check your score below to find out what kind of gigger you are.

Mostly (a) – you’re a professional cynic, keep up the goodwork!

Mostly (b) – you have your limits, beware the dark side

Mostly (c) – alcohol makes you erratic, why not try a nice cup of tea

Mostly (d) – we’re all God’s children, except for you you twat

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Band Bios

January 13, 2009

Musical propaganda is at an all-time high. Websites, the radio, magazines and TV shows bombard us with information and well, let’s be honest, lies about one sensational new talent after another.

The seed for all these musical wrong-doings is the band or artist press release / biography. And what better way to examine just how inaccurate they are than by looking at three randomly chosen samples, and by randomly chosen of course I mean viciously pinpointed because they angry up my blood. Let us begin…

Having read hundreds of the things I most definitely buy into to the Aereogramme philosophy “No crappy press release has ever made me want to listen to a band. It’s all smoke and mirrors”.

First up is a singer / songwriter who if her press release was more truthful would state “her ability to fuse Vic Reeves-style club singing with pie-gargling is second to none” or “lyrically she uses words” and maybe even “sure to sell well to bored mums who watch Loose Women”. Yep you’ve guessed it we’re talking about Amy Burger King, sorry Miss MacDonald.

Accompanied by an air-hoovered photo, the first line of her biography, and I promise I’m not making this up states quite clearly “It’s all Pete Doherty’s fault. No, it’s down to Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Or do we finger Fran Healy of Travis?” I know what you’re thinking, “Sounds great, I’m off to iTunes to download Big Mac’s debut before it sells out.” But wait, what does it mean?

Let’s get it out of the way and deal with the final part of that statement first “do we finger Fran Healy of Travis?” The answer is no, we most definitely don’t. One McNugget fan did try but the Travis bassist blocked the advance with his nose.

Sure taken out of context it sounds like an open invitation to participate in some deviant behaviour. The image is overpowering – the thought of those two chinny crooners harmonising as a group of people – it did say “we” – perpetrate the deed is one that, let’s face it, none of us want to have to deal with. So we’ll move on, backwards to the beginning.

“It’s all Pete Doherty’s fault”. “Fault” seems a strange choice of word when you’re trying to be positive about someone, but laying the blame at Pete Doherty’s vomit-strewn door actually makes sense, after all most post-Libertine Doherty-inspired bands and singers have been woeful. Personally I’d like to blame Kate Nash for no other reason than she has a vocal style that makes me want to invent, own and sell cement earplugs.

As for the rest of Fillet O Fish’s bio it’s as illuminating as a Top Shop teens fading glow stick at a Klaxons’ gig. I got as far as “Instead of buying a tenner’s worth of ice-cream she bought a CD: The Man Who by Travis”, then lost the will to live.

When you go to countless gigs it’s fair to say you have to wade through a lot of shit to find the odd golden peanut. For every The National or Twilight Sad I’ve had to endure a Dykeenies, Paddingtons, Joe Lean or I Was a Cub Scout. But November 2007 I discovered possibly the most irksome group ever to step foot on stage – The Hoosiers. While the idiots around me danced, laughed and cheered as if possessed, I was left to wonder why, why and oh my God why?

According to their bio “what The Hoosiers have created is a shiny great dollop of what the band like to call Odd-Pop”. Again I partially agree with what’s being said. The “great dollop” is apt but “Odd-Pop”? Surely “plagiarised pop-pap” would be a better fit. What they should have said was “what The Hoosiers have created is a steaming dollop of what the band like to call Odd-Pop but what others, who can hear, are more likely to call Diet ELO”.

Moving on, who do you think the writer is talking about here? “They have delivered a record that is resiliently upbeat in sound, and yet delves deep into the soul – posing questions and answering them in one swooping, rushing, head-spinning melody.”
Yes you guessed right, it’s chart-topping Elvis-denial monkeys Scouting For Girls, a band so insipid they make Keane look positively edgy. Exactly what questions does their album pose though? The only ones I can think of are “who the hell is buying this crap?” and “how easily can you sneak a firearm into one of their gigs?” As for “delves deep into the soul”, well that’s just plain silly.

2008: A Musical Odyssey

January 13, 2009

Who cares about the ramblings of this particular writer?

Certainly not the Donny Tourette look-a-like who saw my note-taking as enough provocation to unleash a monosyllabic torrent of abuse during a White Lies’ set – “so you’ve got a pen and a beard, that makes you a writer?” “No” I said, “I’ve got a pad too”

It’s unlikely the Sergeant fan who took a swipe at me when I attempted to leave Tut’s will care for my musical musings either but that’s fine.

One of my proudest journalistic moments of the last twelve months was having two Hedrons’ fans posting less than flattering reviews of me. One Hedron-ite cleverly turned my own words against me. I had said The Hedrons were more concerned with “hair flicks than guitar licks”. Now I know what you’re thinking, not only does that rhyme but it also insults the loathsome Hedrons – it’s brilliant on two levels. Well it’s nothing compared to the zinger that Ken the karate enthusiast from Kilmarnock came up with – “He probably doesn’t have any hair to flick the prick”. Pow, right inthe kisser! A triple-rhyming insult which sadly, given my follicle deficiency, is two-thirds true, the third part well that’s a matter of opinion.

Anyways with the disclaimer out of the way let’s get down to the business of looking back at 2008 with both rose- and brown-tinted glasses. I’ve seen some truly memorable gigs this year. Some like The Twilight Sad, Fleet Foxes and Frightened Rabbit will be eternally etched in my memory.

Others thankfully have been all but erased. The Courteeners – anyone for another NME tip, nope didn’t think so. The Long Blondes – nothing songs, nothing band, nothing more to say. The Ting Tings – shut up and let me go… was all I could think at their Tut’s gig. Noah and the Whale – at least I couldn’t see what was going on, God bless the Cabaret Voltaire.

Another boat I missed was the Vampire Weekend ferry to mediocrity. What a surprise Edith Bowman thought they were “amazing”. It’s a little known fact, mainly because I made it up, but every time Mrs Editor says “amazing” a child dies in Africa. In the words of Woody Allen “oh what I’d do for a sock full of shit”, ok so I’m
paraphrasing but you get the gist.

While I’m on this Bowman tangent – sounds like a 1960s Michael Caine spy thriller – it’d be wrong if I neglected to mention the BBC’s festival coverage this year, and in particular their rather limited, Scotia-fied TITP highlights. Anyone for an Amy Burger King half hour special or how about seeing The Fratellis, the winners of this year’s “We Got Found Out” Award, dispense Chelsea Dagger for the umpteenth time.

Added to the general dearth of watchable bands was the usual array of inane pundits and filler-pieces. Of course we mustn’t forget, try as we might, Zany Zane Low and his insightful and always objective comments. He too lives in a magical music world where every band that appears on screen is “wicked”, where never a negative word is spoken or bad thought brewed.

In reality most music is average, a small fraction warrants “amazing” status while at the other end of the spectrum there are those bands so truly awful that upon listening to them your ears start to increase wax production in an attempt to block them out.

At this point I was going to make more hilarious insights into the state of music in 2008 but frankly I can’t be arsed so in keeping with tradition I’m resorting to the tried and tested list format. So here you go.

THE GOOD….

Top 7 albums of 2008

1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

2. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight

3. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

4. The Dilettantes – 101 Tambourines

5. The Twilight Sad – Here It Never Snowed, Afterwards It Did

6. Nada Surf – Lucky

7. Dead Meadow – Old Growth

Top 5 gigs of 2008

1. Twilight Sad / Frightened Rabbit – August – Liquid Room….

2. Fleet Foxes – November – ABC1

3. Twilight Sad – June – Bongo Club

4. Spiritualized – October – ABC1

5. Frightened Rabbit – March – Barfly


THE BAD….

Top worst gigs 2008

1. Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong – January – Cabaret Voltaire

2. Sergeant – June – Tut’s

3. The Hussys – July – Tut’s

4. Hamfatter – September – Tut’s

5. CSS – October – Liquid Room

Top over-rated bands

1. Vampire Weekend

2. The Ting Tings

3. Noah and the Whale

4. Sergeant

5. Popup


THE UGLY….

Beth Ditto and that guy from the 1990s

And of course no 2008 round-up would be complete without
the obligatory ones-to-watch list.

1. Tommy Reilly

2. Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers

3. Strike the Colours

4. Haight-Ashbury

And for the first time ever the ones-to-avoid list

1. Popup

2. Sergeant

3. all bands mentioned in one-to-watch lists

4. The Hedrons

5. 1990s

6. Jo Mango

Finally the nominations are in for the Bowmans. A series of
awards that recognise the dark side of music. Here are a few of the
front runners in the main categories

Most Aptly Named Band Award

Popup – annoying like their Internet namesakes but sadly
one click doesn’t make them disappear.

The “Really, they got signed?” Award

We Were Promised Jet Packs

The Kate Nash Services to Lyricism Award

Jono – “I’m going to break the spell – I’m
going to walk on water – And I’ll be feeling swell – I’ll be like Harry
Potter” – taken from Here We Go

Best Crowd Chant Award

Sergeant Fans – “Here we, here we, here we f*cking go!”

Law Fans – “Here we, here we, here we f*cking go!”

View Fans – “Here we, here we, here we f*cking go!”

Find out who won what next year. Till then have a good Festivus and remember a Fratellis CD isn’t just for Christmas, it’s also for the bin.