Daily Archives: November 11, 2009

Ealing Tweetup (meet your Twitter buddies, for real!)

Do you use Twitter? Live in or around west London?
Why not meet and greet some other Twitter users from around the area over a pint or three?

I’m organising this ‘tweetup’ so all the local Twitter users get together for a pint and chat – and to meet in ‘3D’. Last time I did this we had over 25 people together for a drink, including school teachers, a local councillor, writers, web design experts, photographers… it was a random mix of west London neighbours and many have stayed in touch.

This time it’s going to be bigger and the pub is even promoting it too – as they want our beer money…! Hopefully we can get some free food or pints from Tom and his team if we get a good crowd along. We might even arrange a Twitter quiz or some other such games to try and drum up some cash for a good cause or something…

It’s a Friday night and Facebook users will be welcome to join us so please come along…

Mark Hillary

Event page on Facebook is here

Rose & Crown
Church Place, St Mary’s Road
Ealing, London
W5 4HN

020 8567 2811
roseandcrown@fullers.co.uk

The closest tube is South Ealing, on the Piccadilly line. The 65 bus (Ealing Broadway to Richmond and Kingston) runs right past the pub, so you can also come via Ealing Broadway station (District and Central line tube and fast train link to Paddington)…

Is it OK to throw bottles at artists?

In today’s edition of The Sun, Jane Moore argues that Morrissey was wrong to walk out of his concert in Liverpool last weekend. He had started the gig and was on to the second song when a bottle, thrown by an audience member, hit him in the face.

Morrissey walked off and never came back to complete the concert.

Moore claims that ‘in her day’ the Sex Pistols actively encouraged missiles, and when she once saw The Damned you could see saliva dripping from the face of Dave Vanian – and it was not his own saliva. Clearly Moore is a punk aficionado and believes that the artist should accept whatever the audience (literally) throws at them. She claims Morrissey protests too much.

But is it really acceptable anymore for an audience to behave like this?

Back in the days that Jane Moore talks about, Joe Strummer ended up with hepatitis after a fan gobbed in his face. Is that really the kind of concert atmosphere we should look on with rose-tinted glasses?

I remember once seeing Buzzcocks and witnessing a beer can narrowly missing the face of singer Pete Shelley. He stopped playing for a moment and asked everyone in the crowd who was thinking about throwing something at the band to ‘do it now so we get it over with’… hundreds, maybe thousands, of missiles suddenly rained upon the stage. Then the gig carried on… and there were no more beer cans lobbed at the band.

Because, in practical and rather obvious terms, it’s dangerous. The artist is usually facing lights and can’t see missiles as they approach. The crowd has an unfair advantage in targeting a singer on stage half-blinded by a number of spotlights. Most venues these days prevent glass from being brought inside or purchased, but a plastic beer bottle that’s mostly full weighs about half a kilo. Try getting someone to throw a half kilo weight at your face and see if it’s a laughing matter.

Add to that the fact that a concert stage is jammed full of electrical equipment and wires. It’s no fun for the roadies and engineers to try breaking up the show when all their equipment is covered in beer, water, and whatever else… and it may even be positively shocking. For a band lower down the food chain than Morrissey, that may be the only amplifier they can afford and to have someone chucking a pint of lager on it could be a financial disaster that messes up their next gig.

I understand Jane Moore’s sentiment, but I don’t think she has really thought it through. Or maybe she is commenting as someone who used to attend concerts and has not been to a gig in decades, so it would never affect her anyway.