Communal Karaoke

First, dear reader, apologies for the prolonged silence, which has happened because of Reasons. I will be getting back to reminiscences of early seventies university life before too long, but in the meantime, a brief update, and a rant.

I’ve posted a few more reviews on Shiny New Books, the most recent being of Charles Lambert’s excellent novel Birthright. This is very much up to the standard of his previous work, and will entertain and intrigue. In the midst of an election campaign, it was illuminating to read Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham’s manifesto for change, particularly for the north of the country. And it was a pleasure to get my hands on Maestro Paul Phillips’s giant new edition of Anthony Burgess’s writing on music.

Speaking of music, it has long been a policy of mine not to go to concerts in arenas or stadiums. That’s meant missing out on some gigs I would have really liked to see, but bitter experience has taught me that I would inevitably be disappointed. And I have been to so many excellent small-venue gigs in recent years. As a venerable oldie, I absolutely require as a bare minimum a comfortable seat and decent sightlines. And neither are available for the average arena or stadium concert.

The last stadium gig I attended was well before the smartphone revolution and social media. Now, it appears, you can’t say you’ve been to a gig unless there’s some shaky iPhone footage taken from a standing position miles from the stage. I came across this example from Bruce Springsteen’s recent concert at Sunderland. The song is one of his best, The River. It’s a delicate, plaintive song about the loss of innocence and the possibility of redemption. But here, as soon as the crowd hear the familiar harmonica intro, they are gearing up for a singalong, bellowing tunelessly when they are not having a chat with their mates. I am really at a loss to understand why anyone would want this experience. You pay a lot of money to stand in the rain, looking mainly at the giant screen because you can barely see the stage. You don’t listen to the artist you’ve paid all that money to see. Instead, you roar the lyric out, drowning the artist’s rendition, while all the time of course, holding up your soggy phone to record the occasion, to possess footage that you will probably never look at again once you’ve uploaded it to YouTube. Not my idea of fun. If you want to sing your lungs out, go to a karaoke bar.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Communal Karaoke by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Leave a Comment

Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved. Dr Rob Spence by Flytonic.