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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 10, 2009 @ 9:34 am

    Bell X Wha?

    Fiona McCann

    Vicar Street, Holy Thursday. Bell X1 played a blinder, but you could hardly hear them over the din. Maybe it’s coz I’m getting a little bit older (SWIDT?) but last night’s crowd brought out the curmudgeon in me. Facing into a dry Good Friday, the Vicar Street punters were clearly maximising till midnight, and the result was a cacophony that almost drowned out the band. Almost. But then the brass came out and with Paul on piano and the trombone tooting, everyone finally shut up. Magic. Any of y’all catch the gig?

    • Quint says:

      I’m not a Bell X1 fan but talking at gigs drives me absolutely mad. I think it’s one of the great mysteries of our time. Why are they there if they just talk all the time? Why have they bought a ticket if they are not interested in listening to the music? Baffling. You get the same problem at the cinema..at ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ a fortysomething couple beside me spent the whole film catching up on their day and making plans for the weekend. WHY are they there if they have no interest in the movie?

    • Fiona says:

      Quint: Dear Lord it’s even WORSE when they do it in the cinema. What is that about? It’s incredibly distracting – ditto the people who bring rustly bags into the cinema. Gnnnrrrrrrrrrr. Rent a DVD!

    • Seán C says:

      You’ve touched one of my serious pet hates. And of course confronting the guilty party is never a successful solution. I remember once at a sold out Wilco gig in Vicar St I asked two people in front of me (who had been conversing for the entire show) to be quiet only for one of them to tell me that if I didn’t like their talking I should stand somewhere else (the place was wedged). Another one is people screaming along with songs. Although many would understandably regard this as acceptable I recall the last Bonnie Prince Billy gig (again at Vicar St) where a guy behind me utterly ruined ‘I See a Darkness’ for me – a song I’d spent my music-listening career waiting to hear live. Maybe a ‘concert etiquette’ leaflet should be sent out with tickets…

    • Jim Carroll says:

      Could not believe the fecking noise of them last night – you’re right, it really was a Good Friday crowd, all there to just get pissed and talk to their mates. Still, if they want to pay €30 a skull to do that, the band won’t be complaining.

    • Ciara says:

      I remember being at Slane one year where someone beside me drank too much, fell asleep for the entire main act, woke up during the encore and once the entire thing was over, pronounced loudly that it was “utter crap” and a few less polite things.

      Might’ve helped if she’d actually stayed awake for it.

    • I’d rather listen to a random conversation thansong lyrics like “you are the chocolate at the end of my cornetto” or “why is my arse the perfect height for kicking”. Sorry to be cynical, sure it’s all personal taste in the end.

    • Teddy says:

      Saw Jeff Buckely in 94 or 95… remember that it was one of those “gigs of the month” as there was a bit of buzz about the young Buckley jnr — End result was two packed bars on either side of the stage with people who had no interest in actually listening to the singer and his band, skulling pints and shouting at each other all night. There was one drunken dickhead screaming out things like “Where’s your daddy now?” to try wind up Buckley, too.

      Later on during a quiet rendition of a song — Hallelujah or Lilac Wine? — Buckley mumbled sardonically before the climax “this is for everyone at the bar” — the attentive crowd, who were listening roared, screamed and sneered at the gobshite drinkers…

      Despite this brief “two fingered salute” to the guilty parties it was at times embarrassing to see an Irish crowd — or sections of an Irish crowd — act so obnoxiously.

    • Sinéad says:

      Bell X1 playing in the same week as David Byrne? Oh the irony!

      Worst gig for chatter was the recent Animal Collective gig at Tripod. I was very near the front where two people who were chatting about haircuts for about 15 minutes were asked to ssshh or move to the back.

    • alan mcpartland says:

      This is typical of Irish crowds.Despite what we like to believe about oursleves, we have little love of good music and no respect for the people who play it and work so hard at it. Most gigs seem to be attended by a significant number of boorish, drunken. loud mouthed juveniles who have little or no interest in the music. A good 10 years of recession might put some manners of some of these brats. It might also help if the decent members of such audiences took matters into their own hands and dealt out summary remedies. My own experience is that the security people don’t want to know.

    • Maeve says:

      I was there on Thursday, and I thought it was because I had a dose of a cold that I couldnt hear it very well. That and the bird beside me who screamed lyrics randomly throughout the songs, maybe that’s why Im deaf on the LHS? There were a lot of chatters, and it struck me as odd (or foolish?) at 35/ticket, to come in for a chat.

      Great gig otherwise, clever melding of Into My Arms & I’ll see your heart. Vicar St was a bit small for them, would like to see them open air….

    • Lottie says:

      I’ve seen BellX1 a few times but always as part of some bigger gig. I’d love to see a their own show. Gutted I missed this one too.

    • Dave says:

      Was at the wednesday night gig in vicar st and i have the exact same complaint. Its the 2nd time i’ve been to see bellx1 in the past few years and at both gigs there were loads of people talking. I haven’t ever experienced it at any other gigs than bellx1 so it must be the type of crowd they pull. The girl beside me was talking about the care bears at one stage during the gig!!!

    • Shane says:

      This is a pet hate of mine too (gigs/cinema talking) and as I moved to London last year I can confirm its an Irish problem (I’m ashamed to say).
      Back home I’ve nearly had to square up to a couple of gobshites in the cinema and at gigs to make my point.
      Yet another thing about Ireland I don’t miss…

    • Iskra says:

      Go watch the Frames if it annoys you that much.

    • Fiona says:

      The gig was great but even in the front row the talking was irritating. But so was the shushing that attempted to silence it.

      The band was fantastic but the volume of the output didnt seem to be very high. In the front row we were still able to have a conversation.

      Such a pity!

    • David says:

      I’m glad to hear that i’m not the only one who thinks that talking at Irish concerts is completely out of hand, Vicar street is the worst place and I heard the o2 is as bad as the point was, i really think people have had too much money for the past few years and the price of a concert ticket means nothing to them, it has a lot to do with the amount of bars in the venue, Vicar st has 3 or 4, at the end of the day a lot of irish concert goers are plain ignorant, I say this from going to London and new York where there was complete respect for the artist performing

    • Gus says:

      Above posters are right, it is just an Irish problem. Boozing and shouting at gigs. Leaving mobiles on – and answering them – in the cinema seems to be considered acceptable behaviour. The only time I saw that happen in Germany in all my years there, it was an Irish eejit who did it. He also got bored and tried to start fights on random people, apparently because it turned out Crouching Tiger wasn’t a Bruce Lee style film. The poor oul Germans didnt know what to make of him.


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