Archive for the 'drunk women' Category

Gig Goer of the Week part 8: The Wedding Present, George Best Anniversary Tour

Last night we took ourselves down to see the Wedding Present on their George Best 20th Anniversary tour. Now, I have a funny relationship with the Weddoes. I have seen them live repeatedly and always enjoy the shows, but I never listen to them on CD. So I’m an anomaly in the crowd in that I do genuinely love them, but I don’t know the song titles (with a few obvious exceptions) and I don’t know the words. Not that this has anything to do with anything though.

I tend to like Wedding Present crowds in that they’re all about 10-15 years older than me, they are rabid fans and even though the mosh pit is pretty intense, it’s also pretty friendly. Last night, when my friend and I decided to risk the barrier, we were taking this fact as a given. As always, however, there’s always one (or 2) idiots…. The girl stood to the left of my friend was so drunk before the first of two opening bands even finished that she could barely stand up and was slopping her pint all over herself. Nonetheless she demanded more and off to the bar her suffering boyfriend went. When she demanded another, while clinging onto him for her life, however, swaying and banging into my friend, he finally refused. A fight ensued and she stormed off. He let her go and we ended up getting eased into where she was standing by the crowd. Her boyfriend didn’t make a move to stop it. When she came back about 20 minutes later, still angry and with another drink (how she got served is beyond me), the poor guy ended up having to move back, from his really great spot, to appease her. Frankly, he should have told her to piss off, as there is no excuse for that level of inebriation that early in the night, and there is no excuse for letting your inability to know your limits ruin other people’s night. I can’t imagine she lasted more than 2 songs into the main event.

Naturally, the moment they moved a group of big guys replaced her. We were a bit worried, although I figured they weren’t jostling, so they’d probably be fine, just enthusiastic. And then their single female friend turned up with a bag slung across her front that I swear must have contained a small child it was so large. On top of this monstrosity she’d put her jacket because gosh she couldn’t affect her outfit by tying it around her waist. As The Ledge had abandoned us to chat to some other friends who were a bit farther back, we had no protection between our backs and heads and the world’s largest handbag. The thing is, moshing bodies aren’t so bad. People on the whole don’t want to batter you in a pit and most of the pushing is down to people landing funny and the dancing, not deliberate attempts to injure or remove you. But when you wear a bag while jumping up and down the bag flies upwards and outwards and pretty much batters anyone nearby in a way you falling against them slightly does not. So there we were as the band came on being beaten with a handbag that actually weighed more than I do. Luckily for us, the other physics rule governing handbags in a mosh pit was in our favour – bag on string gets caught between moving bodies and inevitably it goes in one direction while you go in another. So she didn’t last long.

This is where the fun really started though as the band launched into the start-to-finish delivery of George Best: we were suddenly swamped by men, much bigger than us, about as enthusiastic as a crowd gets, and all jumping up and down with gusto. Now, there’s nothing quite like the experience of being in a friendly pit and this was no exception. Hands came round us at the barrier as people tried to stay afloat, apologies and promises to make sure we didn’t fall, giants tapping me on the head to tell me how “hot” the bassist is, blokes screaming the words and punching the air. It hurt like hell but the number of people around me (and it was changing rapidly as everyone fell about) who kept trying to keep me on my feet is one of the things that makes the bad people and idiots at gigs stand out so much. The press during “Kennedy” at the end was possibly the most physically painful thing I’ve ever experienced at a gig (and I can feel it today as I type this, it feels like I’ve been kicked in the chest), but someone had hold of me the whole time, and after the show everybody around us was apologising for pushing and asking if we were ok, which makes a huge difference in the atmosphere and the quality of the whole night. When you’re in a crush by the barrier watching something that unites everybody in the room, why would you be a selfish fucktard when you can spread the good atmosphere by being friendly, aware of others, and part of what’s going on around you, rather than being there in spite of it?

It only takes a little consideration, some kindness to your gig neighbours and the realisation that everybody is there for the same thing to make the difference between a good gig and a bad one, and sets a really good fanbase apart from, well, a fanbase that no band deserves.