The ‘Talk When Artists Terminate Songs’ Campaign-The Curse Of Talking At Gigs

The T.W.A.T.S. Campaign . Aka  Shut the Fuck Up!

(Click image for MASSIVE hi-res  version to print off and take to gigs ;) )


If you’re a regular gig goer I’m sure you’ve  noticed, over the last few years, the increasing  number of annoying,  imbecilic dullards in attendance  who decide to strike up a conversation at the exact point an artist/band begin their set.  I mean really, if you want to be a Facebook  staus update made flesh or have a good old chin wag why not stand at the back of the venue?  Or better still, do us all a fucking favour and stay at home where you can regale  all five of your twitter followers with the enthralling  minutiae of your tedious little life.  It’s incredibly rude, disrespectful and generally pisses everybody off . It’s not just puce faced, oak headed, knuckle dragging males that are to blame, pissed up females are just as guilty with their shrill giggling , group hugging and incessant high-fiving. At a Mary Chain gig this wouldn’t  be a problem (although in his youth Jim Reid may well have wrapped his mic stand around your neck)

Dealing With Hecklers Jesus And Mary Chain Style!

But when you get a band like Bats  for Lashes who, let’s face it, aren’t really about sonic fury, the last  person you want standing next to you is a bassoon voiced ignoramus who’s idea of  whispering makes Brian Blessed resemble Harpo Marx.  Have we really developed such a short attention span these days? So here at the VPME we say no more! We say it stops now and have produced the above T.W.A.T.S guide . We are looking to expand it to include more gig-going no-nos and irritations which you can email us or leave a message in the comments section.

For example is it really necessary to ring up a mate as soon as Laura Marling gently strums her guitar and bellow ‘I’M AT A LAURA MARLING GIG , YES, YES , IT’S WICKED… Sorry what, I CAN’T HEAR YOU?  …WHAT? WHAT?. . . Excuse me, Laura love? Can you keep it down a minute? I’m on the phone here? ’

Maybe this is the way to deal with it ?

Of course it’s not just inane chatter that may get your goat, it might be more general advice such as ‘It’s perfectly acceptable to approach the band, post gig and ask politely if they’d pose for a photo but if you do so make sure the flash is on and that you know how to work your camera  for fuck’s sake!”  I actually witnessed one fan take numerous photos with a singer who was fast developing a rictus grin. The last straw came when said fan reviewed the last photo and commented ‘Sorry, but you don’t look very nice on that at all so I’ll take some more!!’  Exasperated, she responded politely but firmly ‘sorry, I think that’s enough now, we do have to leave soon’  to which he retorted ‘Well thanks a lot!’  – I kid you not !

 So folks what are your gig going anathemas?  I realise this is not a new battle cry and has been highlighted by blogs and zines in the past but the more we draw attention to this issue  the better.


Here are some more discussions on the subject

Stop Talking At Gigs Facebook Group

Great article on the 405

Drowned In Sound Discussion

In The Telegraph

Excellent piece from Breaking More Waves from 2009


  1. Linda · May 26, 2011

    I was talking about this on a fan facebook page the other day when I complained about people chanting over a particularly quiet song – one of the few that the band does. I was told that I’d be better staying at home and listening to a CD! Totally missed the point about the listening experience for people other than themselves.

    Also I noticed that this rarely happens in other countries. I’ve been to a couple of gigs in Paris and the crowd barely reacted to songs that Scottish audiences would have been bouncing about to which I found odd and at any of the English gigs I’ve been to there’s a lot more respect shown for the quieter songs.

    • Andy Von Pip · May 26, 2011

      yeh I mean I don’t expect reverential silence but some of these dicks talk through songs and then when the songs over shut up and clap? What’s all that about !

  2. Tommy Rutter A Bit Of A Nutter · May 26, 2011

    Dicks who check in on I phones on facebook spot their mates have checked in and then shout to them half way across the fucking venue, when the bands FUCKING playing

    • Andy Von Pip · May 26, 2011

      Hello there Mr Rutter A Bit Of A Nutter…
      Have you noticed when these people check in there’s usually a group of about four and then one on his own way across the venue? And it’s the larger group that make their way over to the solitary person, thus disturbing more people if the place is busy?

  3. The Daily Growl · May 26, 2011

    All good and agreed, apart from the 6ft 3 point. I mean, no-one wants some huge bloke pushing his way in front of you just before the band comes on. That’s BAD, but as a taller gent myself, if I’ve got to the venue nice and early, watched both support bands and am in a good position for the headliners, I’m not going to take too kindly to a small fry who’s just arrived thinking they have the right to be in front of me. Those behind me – just imagine I’m a pillar or some other obstruction…

    • Andy Von Pip · May 26, 2011

      Haha, Well we don’t want to be tall-ist but maybe you could crouch down a bit and please no Top Hat….:)

      • The Daily Growl · May 26, 2011

        it’s not really an issue for me these days though. Now I rush to gigs after putting the kids to bed so always end up at the back anyway…

  4. Daver · May 26, 2011

    Girls in bands who wont go out with me

  5. Daniel · May 26, 2011

    I had to tell some blokes to shut the hell up the other day at a Yuck gig at Scala. Now Yuck should be a loud band but the venue decided to only turn them up half way.

    Anyway, these big, burly blokes obviously had no intention of listening to the band and were talking loudly IN EACHOTHER’S EARS as if it was whispering, but I could hear them clearly. They were on the beers, y’know. But I hit that point where I SNAPPED and turned around and… politely said “sorry, d’you mind keeping it down.” I wanted to say “I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford 20 quid to satnd here listening to you idiots talk shit…” but they were TWICE my size and pissed.

    Anyway, they fucked off to the bar then and my missus thought I was a hero. I was!

    I also had to tell some silly gials ro shut up during Arcade Fire – Neon Bible once. They were talking loudly as if everybody would be impressed with their ironic chatter balls.


    Great blog.

  6. Daniel · May 26, 2011

    Girls to* (sorry rage in hands made typos!)

  7. Robin · May 26, 2011

    Thanks for the heads up to my post from a year or so back. I recently witnessed an amazing way to stop this sort of behaviour at a gig. 2 pissed idiots chatting away whilst the band are playing. 2 polite listeners. Polite listeners turn round to the chatterers and inform them that if they don’t shut the f*ck up they will insert their fists up their anus. The pissed chatterers look a bit shocked but actually shut up.

    Whilst I would never approve violence / sexual harassment and this strategy is a bit risky, in this instance it actually worked. :)

    Count me in on your campaign :)

  8. Pingback: The VPME Podcast – August 2011 – This IS Music « The VPME

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