Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists

I went to see Billy Bragg and KT Tunstall the other night at the ABC (cinema?) on Sauchiehall Street)

It was a good show ..very civilised, with people sitting down in seats and listening in an earnest and knowledgeable way!

But I stood at the back, on the left, between the bar and the mixing desk. I was embarrassed to see this lady, who was also standing near  the bar…turn round and berate another lady for talking too loud and spoiling her enjoyment.

I must be getting mellow in my old age because I said nothing. Surely if she wanted to hear only Billy Bragg trying his hardest to sell CD’s then she only has to come in early and stand down the front. I’m getting really fed up with events where there are all these  written and unwritten rules about behaviour and etiqette.

It’s hard enough going places and not taking in any food or drink, or not taking an umbrella, or switching off all mobiles, or not reselling your ticket, or not taking in a dog, or a laser pen, or a camera, or other recording equipment. And submiting to searches, and proving your age (maybe not so hard…….!) and the best one I’ve seen yet.

When you go to a gig these days you give your express consent to the use of your actual or simulated likeness to be incuded in any film or photograph. I think the “simulated” bit is there in case you are too ugly and they need to “touch up” any crowd scenes to make them attractive and wholesome!

So I’m standing with my beer and I can’t hear, for the women in the front moaning at the blond in the back. Nevermind, the songs brought back nice memories when my Uncle Wullie used to bring LP’s up to our house and we’d sit about as kids of 13-14 listening to them. This one, Country Joe McDonald thinking of Woody Guthrie was one:-

So I found it a bit ironic that someone was at a concert to celebrate the life of Woody Guthrie, with his sentiments of compassion and tolerance and ended up bitching and moaning at other people having a good time. Maybe the other people were a bit loud…but as yet it’s still not illegal to sell alcohol and it doesn’t yet say on the back of the ticket that you can’t open your mouth while the artist is singing.

Personally, I do sometimes see a place for a term in the contract that would say…”Wan singer Wan Song” “Shut Yer Gub When the Singers Oan”…..

So off to the attic I go on a Sunday afternoon to dig out the Woody Guthrie album. Here’s a wee joke about the reverence hee is held in these days (from Saturday Night Live)



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