Special Report

How long must we sing this song?

Why some bands dread hearing the same hit song title being called out to them at gigs


Songwriters and bands may sense that a song of theirs will be a hit, but they never truly know. It’s the luck of the draw as to whether one song, a few songs or no song at all hits a nerve with an audience.

For some songwriters and bands, one hit song is enough to keep them in royalties for the rest of their lives, but is that song – the song that people always want to hear, shout for, sing along to – a blessing or a curse? While we’re certain all music acts have no problem counting the royalties that accrue with each play/stream, some must surely dread hearing the song title being thrown at them at gigs as they play tunes from their  new album.

At Iveagh Gardens, there will be some of this malarkey going on. Future Islands (Thursday, July 6th) can say goodbye to Ireland if they don’t deliver Seasons (Waiting on You). Aslan (Friday, July 7th) will be hung drawn and quartered if they don’t perform Crazy World. Fleet Foxes (Thursday, July 13th) will be hunted down if they dare to leave out Tiger Mountain Peasant Song from the show. Nathan Carter (Saturday, July 15th) won’t be allowed off stage until he rolls out Wagon Wheel. And Passenger (Sunday, July 23th) will surely have his visa denied if he refuses to sing Let her Go.

The simple fact is that one music act plus one loved song equals a happy audience. We’re not for a second implying that any of the mentioned acts don’t thoroughly enjoy singing their best known song for the 1,000th time, but give a thought to the music act that does.

If you really care, that is. And you don’t, do you? We know this because we have seen Big Train’s Ralph McTell sketch.