Saturday, June 30, 2007

So, I went along to The Folk House last night to see Lady Nade. I arrived early and was impressed to see that a very pleasant looking barbecue was being set up in the charming courtyard area, night lights were flickering pleasantly (it was a shame that I had eaten at home) my friend David turned up and everything was lovely.

Nade was on first, so David and I went into the cafe area where the gig was taking place, selected our seats and waited for gig to start. The place was pleasantly full and in the absence of any background music the gently hum of conversation filled the room. The band started, and a strange thing happened - the conversation level got louder. The music was subtle and intense or would have been if people hadn't been determined to talk over it. Why do people do it, is it impossible to stay quite for 3 or 4 minutes at a time? Nade and her colleagues soldiered on but you got the impression that they lost a little heart due to the lack of engagement from the crowd.

The thing that always amazes me when this happens is this, people talk avidly throughout a song and then clap and cheer wildly when it ends, as though it's been the best thing they've ever heard. Is that just a shallow attempt to assuage their guilt as deep down they know how charmless they are being?

When the main band took to the stage, it was disappointing to see that a couple of them had been sitting at one of the worst offending tables. It became clear that a lot of the crowd were friends of the band and they whopped and cheered as though Elvis, James Brown and David Bowie had wandered onto the stage. Brilliantly they then chatted all the way through the songs again - with slightly more enthusiastic applause between songs. I still can't work out why people pay to go and have a chat, why not just go to a pub?

Here is something I wrote a while ago on a similar theme:

“ Here we go, this is a great place.”

“Yep, can see it all from here.”

“Thank God, we got away from all those tall people, we never would have seen anything, stuck behind that lot.”

“You’d think that they would move aside, they must know that that people behind them can’t see.”

“ I love this one! It’s so gentle.”

“Yeah, I listen to it late at night, it’s almost like having a friend in the room with you”


“I know, but it is, it really is. It’s great when something really connects with you like that, not many bands can do it.”

“And have you listened to the words? I love the way the meaning can change depending on the mood that you are in. The other day I had a really bad row with Tony, and when I heard this again it said everything I wished I’d said.”

“But you didn’t?”

“No, you never do, do you. It’s only later that everything falls into place. I sometimes think that’s the reason people become writers.”

“What to make sure that they can win every argument?”

“In a way, wouldn’t it be strange if you had to argue like that. Right. stop! This is heading into a row - grab you pen and paper, go to separate rooms.”

“Could you do it via e-mail?’

“Oh no, that’s far too quick! The whole point of it, is that it gives you time to come up with brilliant, seemingly spontaneous, one-liners”

“Of course”

“Arguments could go on for days or weeks, but you wouldn’t be able to refer to them during normal daily life.”


“Yeah, so you don’t get any of that red faced, door slamming stuff”

“ I’m rubbish at that. One time the door just sort of went phhhwm. Useless! I wanted to rush back into the room and try again, loosing my big dramatic exit.”

“Sounds like you lost it anyway”

“I always do!”

“So under my new system, you could at least lose after a fair debate, not just because the other person throws more words at you.”

“That’s my other problem. I always end up using the same dumb words again and again. I know that each time I use them, they carry a little less weight, but I can’t think of anything new to say. I’m stuck in this ridiculous loop. In the end the other person doesn’t even have to say anything back, I whittle away at my own self confidence, seeing my reason and logic collapse around me.”



“Thesaurus. You’ll be able to use all those words, you’d never dream of using in a normal row.”

“Of course.”

“Wow, I’ll sound so clever, no-one will dare to challenge me again”

“Shh - I’d like to hear the band, not you two nattering about rubbish”

(Quietly) “If only he knew. We could cut him down to size”

(Quietly) “As long as he gave us enough time to compose a suitable reply. I guess we would have to get his address, we’re posting our response to him - right?”

(Less quietly) “Someone would take care of that for us, a central database would take care of everything.”

(Not quiet at all) “ Genius, not only do we solve all arguments we create thousands of jobs as well. It’s...


(Loudly) “Go and stand by the tall guys, they’ll give you all the peace and quiet you want! We’re coming up with a new way for the world to solve it’s problems.”

“Hey, not bad!”

“I’d still like to put it in writing!”


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