Stare Into Space

The rules to gig-going coolness.

Posted on | June 7, 2009 | 4 Comments

The live music experience is a complex social environment.  Forget about your years of torment at the hands of the cool kids in school – veteran gig goers will roll their eyes and nudge their mates if you fail to conform to a thin line of cool.  Scratch that, it’s actually if you do conform to a wide swathe of uncool.

No longer will others laugh and point.  Follow these simple rules and seem instantly cooler when you go see a live band.

  1. Don’t wear a T-shirt with the band’s name on it.  Wearing T-shirts with a band’s name is acceptable in some circumstances but never at that band’s gig. Just say no.
  2. While, ostensibly, the same point, it’s worth elaborating and stating that if you bought your band-name T-shirt at Next or Top Shop or a similar high-street chain and/or, if the band’s name is spelled in sparkly sequins, you shouldn’t even be in the same building as the band.
  3. Don’t dress like a member of the band. This is even more unacceptable than a T-shirt with the band’s name (unless it’s sparkly).  There’s a bloke who’s turned up to every Paul Weller gig I’ve ever attended who dresses like Weller and has hair like Weller’s (complete with bangs). He’s probably a very nice person but… you know.
  4. Never sing along with the band’s most popular song. You know, that one that all the people who were quiet up to that point are now singing their little heart’s out to.  This has fair-weather fan written all over it.
  5. Learn to clap in time.  If you’re going to clap along, hands in the air like you just don’t care, it’s important that you understand how rhythm works.  Try listening to the song, particularly the drums, and try to clap on the beats rather than at self-determined, arbitrary intervals.
  6. Don’t hold up your phone so your mate at home can hear the band.  He can’t really hear it and you look like a twat.
  7. Don’t spend the entire time texting your mates.  The lights in the audiences laps shouldn’t rival those on stage.  There’ll be time enough for texting when the dealing’s done.
  8. Shut up. Pretty much everybody around you paid to hear the band, not to hear you chat with your mate about Big Brother. Zip it!

That’s it. Easy peasy. Now you’re too cool for school.  You’re not just Kool, you’re The Gang too.  You’re so cool you’re hot.

I’m still not going to talk to you at gigs, although I may not nudge my mates so much.


Gerry Hayes

Gerry Hayes

I mostly sit around all day and drink tea. Occasionally, I write stuff and send it to strangers so they can humiliate me and deride my efforts. Other than the self-harm to dull the shame of failure, it's not a bad life. Like I say, there's tea.

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