I came across a story in the entertainment section of the BBC website which I felt echoed the sentiments of an earlier blog post of mine. The subject of which we have all been a victim of at some point, maybe even been the perpetrator ourselves on occasion…
As if worrying about finding a half decent spot at a gig which allows you to actually see the band isn’t hard enough, we now have to contend with an array of smartphone wielding, vision obscuring pests. In these instances you have few options; either knock the phone out their hand and risk getting punched , grit your teeth and bear it or if you are feeling especially brave and confident you can compete with the noise, ask (yell at) them politely to stop. But what if we could skip all this and more performers followed Indy band, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s example, who recently appealed to the audience at their New York gig to refrain from filming their set. This was reminiscent of Stone Roses frontman, Ian Brown’s announcement to a crowd last year that, “If you put your cameras down you might be able to live in the moment. You have a memory there of something you’ve never lived.”
I applaud the likes of Ian Brown and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs – not only for lead singer, Karen O’s amazing style – but for taking into consideration their NYC fan’s visual enjoyment and being concerned with preserving the artistic integrity of their performance. After all, what really is the point of seeing a band live if you are just going to watch the show through a lens? This is where the parallels between my previous blog entry ‘Is social media stopping us from living in the moment?’ and this recent report became apparent. In it I talked about the time I pretty much ruined a short trip to New York by concentrating more on taking as many pictures as possible as opposed to actually looking around and drinking in such an amazing city with my own two eyes.
After the Yeah Yeah Yeahs aforementioned plea hit the headlines, a discussion ensued on BBC Breakfast asking for comedian, Marcus Brigstocke and musician, Graham Lambert’s views on whether or not spectators of every artistic discipline should no longer be allowed to film live performances. Lambert, a member of the band, Inspiral Carpets was quick to point out that his group welcomes it and are thankful for the free publicity it brings, as it has now become an indispensable way of lesser known acts gaining more recognition. looking at it that way, am I maybe wrong to condemn it?