That’s my favourite kind of gig
I was hoping you would chime in, David. The Pumpkins really had an ethos closer to the bands I would expect you would be into but came during an era where that wasn’t as accepted or expected. I don’t know how else to say it except for maybe they were really more into playing music rather than songs.
I’ll admit I know almost nothing of their music. I heard a small amount when they started getting popular here (I think it was with the Mellon Collie album) and it didn’t really do anything for me, so I’ve ignored them ever since.
But in terms of live gigs in general: I don’t want to see a band who are playing their hit singles note-for-note. If I want that, I can stay home and listen to the album. Bands don’t have to do 15-minute jams, but they have to do something different, otherwise what’s the point?
Now I’ll counter my own argument: I’ve been to gigs where the band is playing note-for-note reading from a score, and they’ve been brilliant. The point is, the sound quality and the sound balance is different in a hall, and that’s often enough to make it worth the different experience. Also, I find it interesting to watch complex music, as it gives insights into who plays what and when that isn’t always obvious from a recording. The visual element of a concert is pretty important.
Though I don’t think you can compensate for a bad performance with good visuals. An interesting visual experience can add to a performance, but it should never take prime position. If you think it can, you should probably be at an art gallery, not a concert
Their two albums before Mellon Collie, Siamese Dreams and Gish, really gives a better picture of who they are. Both were also produced by Butch Vig who is one of my favorites. Come to think of it, they probably have more in common with prog rock than they do with most of their grunge contemporaries.
It was done out of pure spite. They didn’t engage the crowd and looked like they’re rather be anywhere else.
I’m not a play the hits guy, but it’s literally your job in a band to get on stage and put on a show.
If you don’t want to fine, don’t but don’t waist my time either.
I have seen bands like that. They seem disinterested and annoyed with the crowd.
The stupidest I ever saw was Texas very early on in their careers, they were supporting Simple Minds and only had one hit single out with ‘I don’t want a lover’. Sharleen Spiteri kept asking the crowd (which was huge, the gig was at Cardiff Arms Park so 60,000 at least) to sing along the songs and then got annoyed when they didn’t, because they didn’t know them, because they were the support band with only one hit single. Then she started moaning and got pelted with bottles.
I will be kind and say it was the stupidity of youth as every time I have seen her on TV afterwards she seems perfectly nice and grounded.
Which is what I’d expect and want, personally.
Otherwise stick a greatest hits cd on and sit in the house.
I remember my father in law going to a Neil Young gig a few years ago and the crowd turning on him, because he played the Crazy Horse stuff rather than his more commercial stuff - and the songs were going on for long past average running time.
He loved it but the experience was marred by the crowd being full of dickheads.
I saw Van Morrison a few years ago and not once during the 75 minute show did he acknowledge the audience. It was the equivalent of watching a DVD. (There was no opening act.)
As a condition of his performance, all alcohol sales had to cease 10 minutes before showtime. This was an outdoor venue and people in the seated section were told that if they left their seat for any reason during his performance, they would not be let back to it as he found the movement “distracting”.
After the show, you could hear people complaining about the experience. Fortunately, I had free tickets but after that experience, I would never go see him play live again.
Morrison’s so renowned for this type of shit.
In the main bar I play in, in the mid-late 90s he was in getting breakfast and my boss ran up to the local newspaper and got the photographer and trailed him down.
When my boss asked for a picture his only reaction was, “Can you not even let me eat a fuckin’ fry in peace??”
He hasn’t been back.
To be honest I think that’s entirely fair. I don’t think a person has to be on duty 24/7 just because he’s got a famous face. A bad attitude on stage would be wrong, he’s working then and he’s got an obligation to the people who have paid him. But on his own time, while eating breakfast? I think he’s perfectly within his rights to tell your boss where to go.
Unless your boss was giving him a free breakfast, of course. Then I can understand wanting a bit of goodwill in return.
Van Morrison hasn’t had to pay for food in Northern Ireland for 40 years. The photo was not going to be while he was eating, that’s ridiculous. That is just his type of reaction ALL of the time, it’s well known he’s an utter ballbag of the highest proportions. If you are adulated for your craft and become famous because of it why should you suddenly not have to be polite or agreeable?
I love his music, but I’ve never heard a kind word said about him.
Always sad to see a publication fold, but honestly I have no idea what market the NME had. Looking at its covers, its focus seemed to be “Random stuff that’s trendy at the moment,” which, er, isn’t really a focus. I guess it’s always been the same, but that approach doesn’t seem fill a need in today’s market as it may have 50 years ago.
I’d argue otherwise, when I was reading the NME in the early 90s its entire point was whatever was trendy. I was surprised at recent issues showing the likes of the Stone Roses and Oasis 20-25 years after they were hugely relevant and what I would consider the domain of the likes of Q Magazine or Uncut.
You can’t be current and retro and appeal to the same audience. Maybe it’s because current doesn’t want paper, they should maybe revert to that when they go exclusively online.
The NME was often annoying but its purpose when I read it was very specifically new music and trends, they weren’t writing about The Rolling Stones in 1991.
Ok, “random stuff that was trendy when the writers were kids”
It’s really the apparent randomness that seems to be a problem. Look at other magazines on the shelf, not just music magazines, and the trend seems to be towards increasing specialisation (whether that’s culturally good or bad is a whole different conversation). If I buy “Prog” magazine, I can have a pretty good idea what I will be reading about, and even if I’ve never heard of the cover stars I’ll have a fair idea whether they’ll be interesting to me or not. If I buy NME I’ll be reading about… well, I dunno, whatever the writers felt like covering that week. How’s that going to build a dedicated audience? You might pick up one when the cover attracts you, but where’s the incentive to subscribe?
Agreed. I’ve always had a real love/hate affair with it for those very reasons. It was always almost impossibly pragmatic, giving albums terrible reviews and then hailing said albums down the line (Edit: Or vice versa). I’ve posted some of the non-news stories their web version has on here for being so ludicrous - it’s practically the web version of the entertainment section of Heat magazine.
NME’s downfall came at the hands of Pitchfork and Stereogum and sites who did what NME were doing but with audio clips of what they were talking about. NME missed that boat entirely when they should have been the first to be on it - “Go listen on our website,” does not work, they should have made the print version a companion to an online clips blog.
What do I know though, they’ve never printed any of my hilarious and ingenious letters about the state of British music.
I think it’s something across the board David.
I’d argue it wasn’t ‘random’ at all but just current across the form of media. They’d write about the Sex Pistols and Abba in 1977 or The Manic Street Preachers and early Blur in 1991.
There used to be Top of the Pops, or MTV or Sky Magazine (unrelated to the TV platform but just generally about music, film and TV). Everything now is specialised. I used to watch Sky Movies in 1998, now they have a dozen genre specific offerings, one for comedy, one for kids etc.
Now you have MTV Bass or Metal Hammer or Kerrang or Mixmag. The ‘general music fan’ no longer really exists. I’d like for the NME to thrive online, if I’m honest I think it is doomed.
It’s just nice to see a band/artist play, and be surrounded by people who are as into them as you. No?
I mean, if it’s one of my absolute favourite bands/acts, where I know every note of every song - sure, I’d be fine with a b-sides and rarities gig. But most people aren’t those kinds of fans, and most gigs aren’t aimed at those kinds of people. Play the big hits, throw in a few songs from the new album, and one or two surprises - done.
This was inevitable. I’m surprised but grateful that Q is still around, I quite enjoy that one.