Taking Libertines

What even is going to live music? I am now of an age where I was disappointed to learn that Netflix and chill didn’t mean watching Netflix and relaxing. That is too old to be listening to gramophone records and jiving.


 

Interlude: this blog is something I started writing the day after the gig, what is wrong with my ability to complete a simple blog entry? The gig was like..when?..1988 or something so it’s taken me the best part of THIRTY YEARS to complete this. It doesn’t seem worth it if I’m being honest…ah well, back to it..


 

Even though I am getting better at remembering how annoying/boring gigs are when I see an advert occasionally one still gets drawn in – hashtag: partner’s birthday present.

Aligning with this ageing process are the reformed heroin addicts on stage. Pete Do’s tours used to consist of playing someone’s kitchen for a bag and now it’s a UK arena tour. Getting over addiction to heroin has to be seen as a good thing, unless you’re a heroin dealer. Getting over heroin and producing one of the best comeback albums a reformed band has ever put out is somewhat of an achievement.

I think it is fair to say Doherty has a reasonable response if he’s ever interviewed for a job and asked about a time he has turned a situation around.

Let alone getting over heroin – he has got over Kate Moss. The venn diagram of ‘English rock front men’ and ‘Heroin addicts Kate Moss has been romantically linked with’ is practically a single circle and yet Peter doesn’t seem to have struggled. If anyone would Miss Havisham someone it’s Kate Moss, I picture a series of not-bad-but-not-great musicians in morning suits in lofts around Camden pining for Kate M.

That said it’s Pete Doherty’s next girlfriends I feel really for, lots of people have inferiority complexes about not being as attractive as their current beau’s ex but that is the one where her friends wouldn’t be able to realistically assure her. Kate Moss: living proof that there isn’t always someone better looking no matter who you are.

Anyway, here are some of the subsections of people who go to an indie gig at one of Manchester’s arena sized shows:

The people who get very giddy early on, annoyed that others aren’t, asleep or leave early. Ok you’ve got the babysitter in and smashed down a bottle of wine of wine with your meal and now got very excited. Only it’s 8:30 and this is the state you used to be in about one in the morning. This means two things (1) Just like in your glory days and one in the morning you’re nearly ready for home and disappointing-lasts-too-long sex and (2) you’re annoying other people around you; they aren’t wasted because it’s half-past eight, they don’t want to sing and dance to this song like it’s the most meaningful song ever (they will be doing that in four or five hours, when they won’t be annoying people because everyone around them will be like-minded).

People who get annoyed that you’re not as into it as they are (they also get bored and are more obsessed with others not doing what they do). These are often the same as the previous group. If you’re not screaming the lyrics into the air as some kind of shamen call-to-arm then you’re NOT DOING IT RIGHT. No, what is life for? Enjoying? No – thank you, not for me. I will stand motionless and listen to the band play the songs, maybe occasionally doing a cheer or something. These people always get bored of this being the most important night of their lives and start talking with their mates – generally when the songs everyone wants to hear are on.

People filming large proportions of the gig on their phone. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO WATCH THESE BACK. And there’s better videos of whatever band it is live on Youtube. Of course this doesn’t apply if the person is right at the front with a nice piece of kit – because they are the ones putting the good videos on Youtube. I am talking about the people filming it on an iPhone 3 from the back of the arena while loudly singing the long lyrics over the sound of the band. NB this doesn’t include video-selfies of people hugging and singing along, they are OK.

People letting on to people in an area of the arena that isn’t the seat next to them. We’ve all done it so let’s not get all high and mighty about this but…some people get very, very excited about this. The moment when the person they’ve been waving at for nine minutes waves back…that is priceless. Admittedly the joy in watching this has become has become somewhat lessened by the mobile phone helping people zone in on each other, but what hasn’t been made worse by the mobile phone? (Telefonica profits, The will of gambling addicts etc)

People approaching their friends as though they’re the frontman of a band. Arms tend to be outstretched here. People who aren’t from Manchester, you know the stereotype about cocky arrogant bastards? TRY BEING FROM HERE! People expect adoration from inanimate objects. At an indie gig you basically factor up to about 98% of the people there who think they’re the coolest people there.  We don’t even have to take cocaine for this mentality in Manchester. But we still do, you can imagine how arrogance spirals to species ending levels.

What? The Libertines? Yeah, they were alright. Pretty good.

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