Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nobody likes a hipster...

Jimmy Page's On This Day feature for 21st June 1966 is a description of the first gig he played with the Yardbirds. (OTD is only up for one day, so by the time you see this it'll  probably be gone...but here's the URL.)

It sounds like that gig, where he played bass in the band for the first time, after Paul Samwell Smith scarpered, was uneventful. However, also on the site is a description of a Yardbirds show three days earler, the implication being that this is why Paul Samwell Smith left:
In the summer of 1966, Jeff Beck had invited me to a Yardbirds show at the May Ball at Queen's College, Oxford, where the band were to perform in a giant marquee. They were really playing well that night but the audience of penguin-suited university bods were mainly unreceptive and too busy being loud drunks. During the set, Keith Relf became disenchanted with the audience and morphed into what would later be termed a punk, with colourful language and insults to what was a drunken bunch of Hoorays. Keith was wobbling but he finished the set with suitable angst. I thought he was brilliant under the circumstances, but Paul Samwell Smith left the band that evening.
Good for Keith "one lung" Relf! I like the idea that he was "disenchanted" with the audience as opposed to furious.  He reminded me of someone.

Jack White in the White Stripes chiding the audience for not dancing during the
Greenhornes set.

Of course, Jack White's "disenchantment" with drunk audiences is legendary. The video below, taken at Don Hill's during a Dead Weather invite-only show of definitive hipsters, is NSFW.

On the one hand, I find the oft-aired claim that a band "feeds off the audience's energy" to be thoroughly creepy. Get your own energy, bands.

On the other hand, not paying attention to a band ought to be a criminal offence. I once saw Pop Will Eat Itself at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. If you want to be at the barrier at the Coach House, you have to eat dinner, because the tables line the front of the stage and the dance floor is behind.  So there I was trying to eat a Bleu Cheese Burger with Fries or some such crap while Clint Poppy was yelling at us, 'Stop wielding your forks and get dancing you eaty motherfuckers!" or words to that effect. Then he jumped off the stage and strode around on our tables, so we really, really did pay attention after that.

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