Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.05.08Sad Captains

Imagine, your favourite band is coming to town, it’s £50 a ticket plus booking fee. Steep, but you’re not going to miss it for the world. You’ve got all the albums, all the singles. You’ve got vinyl, CD, tape, minidisc, the lot and so many memories.

That first lad’s holiday, the girl you met, she loved them too. She’s your wife now; you’ve got kids together and guess what? You guessed it, they also love the band. They sing the songs as you hurtle along in the car.

This band is still creating memories for you even today. You smile as you imagine looking back on these times as you reach old age, as the soundtrack to your life with even more precious memories shaped around their songs.

You LOVE this band. They are actually like family. If you met them, you’d fall in like old mates reminiscing about old times. Beer bottles would clink until the small hours when the first grey light of morning signals the dawn. There’d be man hugs and you’d shuffle off to bed brimming with content.

So, you WhatsApp the lads. Who can make the show? Everyone can make the show! Of course they can. Whoop! You’ve all been living parallel lives; they’ve lived this band with you. Their memories are your memories.

You arrive at the gig. You all walk in reservoir dog’s style, in slow motion, cool and self-satisfied. The ballroom smell hits you like a harpoon to the senses, the polished sprung floor, the grime and smell of economy burgers cooking in their own fat and seeping up the stairs. The smells cling to you like old relatives, it’s been a while but they’ve not forgotten you. You breathe it all in through your nose and exhale.

This is the gig of a lifetime; you’ve got butterflies in your belly. The lads arrive with pints of snake bite, CHEERS! Glasses crash and the sweet and sticky mixture runs over your hands and it feels good to be alive.

There’s tumult as the gods take the stage. There’s a rush forward, everyone sways but you lot stay.

You reach deep into your pocket and get out your phone. You raise it aloft in triumph, with sideways smirking glances you all raise your cameras and start filming. You stop and watch back what you’ve just filmed, it’s good, more memories. All your mates gather round they’re uploading their videos on Facebook, twitter and to other mates on WhatsApp. The song plays on but you’re watching back the first verse, who has got the best angle? You’re all watching and laughing as the song plays on. Who’s got the best memories?

The song plays on.

You’re king of the dicks!


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  1. Seen lots of people film at gigs – don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone actually review their footage after they’ve filmed it on a phone during the gig. But hey, if it fits your story to justify calling people dicks, you can pretend it happens all the time.

  2. Gigs are so expensive it’s great to film a piece of the action. When it’s posted it’s free advertising for the band too. I’m all for filming a couple of tunes

  3. I take photos of bands to help promote them. With no or.little money.around for promo anymore then a quick snap mindful of others is of benefit to the band. To old to be worried about whether really ‘cool people think I’m a sick.

  4. I spend a large part of my free time watching someone’s shakily videoed concert from the 80s or 90s.

    I couldn’t do that if it weren’t for people you call dicks.

    I’m happy to count myself a dick, too!

  5. I get the point that too many people filming gigs is annoying but sometimes, for example it’s a joy to see that someone had filmed a bit of the Confidence Man show at Glastonbury this year – What I fail to understand is why people film stuff that’s being filmed by the BBC simultaneously though . . . but then again I’ve found myself guilty of breaking that rule as well.

  6. Nail on head, sadly – the comments above me miss the point too.
    Not only are you not watching the gig, your phone is blocking peoples view behind you. Stop it, watch the band, have a great time.

  7. What a load of crap most of these comments are. You are RUINING enjoyment for so many people! And as for the “advertisement” bum water, do you really think bands like Cabbage, Catfish and the Wankermen, Arcade Fire and many many others need your shaky, out of focus crap recording for publicity?!? You’re kidding yourselves as you’re the ones he’s calling dicks and you’re embarrassed.

  8. The phone thing has taken over people’s lives completely. It’s the same in the pub, couples sitting opposite each other staring at their screens. I find it annoying at gigs, but it doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of the evening. Uploaded footage from a phone always sounds shit so I never watch it. It would be nice if people could leave their phones in their pockets for an hour or two, but yeah, the world don’t work that way no more…

  9. “You’re king of the dicks!”

    No, you are. This fucking article is worse than any gimp recording footage at a gig.

  10. My pet peeve at gigs? Selfies.

    People who insist on turning round to face away from the band so they can get their “look at me” mugshot with the poor band & stage consigned to a tiny background blur, whilst the rest of us have to make room for them and their bullshit.

  11. I quite often take a photo at a gig but I’ve never seen the point in filming.

    I saw a guy film a gig using a phone and camera in each hand, alternating between each song, weird as fuck.

    Watch the gig in real time, the sound is way better.

  12. As long as the person isn’t filming for ages blocking people’s view, filming a few seconds of a song or snapping a picture is fine. It’s a bit annoying but it’s understandable. I like seeing a grab of footage on Facebook from a mate in another country who saw a show I couldn’t. I like seeing people happy and excited to be present at a show. The author of this reminds me of a toff frowning down his opera glasses at the pleb who clapped between movements. Don’t be a snob. If you’re stuck behind a rude person filming too much, nudge them and say you can’t see. Plus the whole setup to this doesn’t make sense: you paint it as being a situation worth memorialing with photos and then mock the person for doing the logical thing just to make the last line pop. It makes you look like a dick. I’m sorry, bad setup. If you want people to be more aware of others and respectful and considerate, then this isn’t very persuasive. It seems like you hate middle aged people going to gigs. And also I’ve never seen anyone review footage or compare camera angles. If you need to exaggerate your argument is even more shaky. 2/10

    • Because you haven’t seen it then it doesn’t happen?

      And where are you getting the middle age bashing from? Sounds like he’s hit a nerve with you and you are making stuff up. The kind of thing you accuse the writer of…. exaggerating to suit your agenda.

      Don’t be dick…. least not the king of them.

      • That response is obvious, weak and childish, Brian Canning. The commenter, after all, is not the keyboard whinger claiming some moral high ground because they have decided that something they do not like is unacceptable at a gig.

  13. Way to be a snob! You know what’s worse than me holding my camera barely above my head at the Social Distortion show I went to last week? (Btw, got some actual great footage and pictures…. Phones have come a long way from shaky videos…). It was the people between 6’2″and 7′ (I’m 6′ even) pushing past myself, my 5’4″ wife and the under-5′ mom and her shorter daughter that were standing beside me… After we had been standing there for around three hours, making it so none of us can see the show anymore. That asshole behavior mixed with your snobbish attitude is what is running shows, not the people who love the band enough to want to capture part of it forever.

  14. Brilliant.

    Some amount of wallopers have had their cages rattled here.

    Put your phones away ya bunch of dicks. You know you’ve been rumbled.

  15. I used to go to gigs off my tits and wobbling around bumping into people. Bit older now and luckily have found the ability to not get off me tits and wobble. Get my phone out now and take the odd photo. The band’s.dont.mind on the whole, I buy their records and travel a long way to see them. My mate is 6’8″ and gets in people’s way, doesn’t like taking photos at gigs. Glad I’m not a short ads though as I would probably still be getting off my tits and wobbling into people. But I like an epileptic. Bless you all.

  16. Hi all. Thanks for all the comments. Been great to hear everyone’s opinions. You’ve made a grumpy old nobody very happy :-)

  17. If you stick your phone in front of my view of the band I will punch you in the kidneys….just like I did to the muppet who stood in front of me and stuck his backpack into my nose…why take a backpack to a gig…are you camping out later !!! Be respectful at gigs and don’t be an arsehole…

    • You’re physically violent to someone for taking their phone out or wearing a backpack? Holy shit you realise your the “asshole” not the people you assault right? Fingers crossed gaol for you soon.

  18. I interview loads of bands and I always ask them if they think that smartphones should be banned from venues, we’ve all heard about Prince doing just that at his run of London shows a few years back, others have tried and failed….

    I guess it’s up to the individual if they choose to film a song or the entire show, what I don’t understand is, how can they actually enjoy watching it back? The sound is ‘tinny’ at best, the picture shaky and it just does not do the show justice.

    I’ve said this a number of times and I’ll say it again, why not get a company together to take HD footage from shows, use multi cameras and get it professionally edited and put it out as a DVD through the band’s store, they take he lions share and everyone gets a decent recording they can treasure forever, knowing that they were there, enjoying the show instead of holding their phone aloft, blocking the view of the person behind them!

  19. No point in videoing. Your arm gets tired after a while anyway. Better to download other people’s footage from YouTube and edit it all together.


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