10 gig-goers we all recognise
1. The Rock Veteran
There’s a quiet sadness about the greying gent in the bifocals and Bad Company T-shirt.
Placing a paternal hand on your shoulder, he rambles wistfully about his long-defunct band Jamboree, who “opened for Sham 69” and “could have been contenders” if “those bastards at Decca had pushed our album”. He swallows down a sob: “It’s a shit business, boys...”
2. The Rivals
Every night, motionless at the mixing desk, you’ll clock the boys from Clegnut: your local arch-rivals and sworn enemies since the singer took a dump on your drum riser last year.
While the rest of the venue goes apeshit, they’ll spend your set inspecting their fingernails and yawning theatrically, while mentally scribbling down all your song ideas to steal for themselves.
3. The Drunk Maniac
Shirtless, liberally tatted and around 10 pints down, he never stops thrash-dancing, even when you’re covering Lego House.
While you’re packing up, you’ll see him picking a fight with a wheelie bin.
4. Mr Do-You-Do-Requests
Every time you finish an original song, cutting through the cheers, you hear cat-calls from the bloke who can’t grasp the concept that you’re a band, not a jukebox.
“Play Freebird!” he bellows. “Play Wonderwall! Play Enter Sandman!”
5. The Smartphone Cameraman
There’s one on every front row.
With his idiot face illuminated by the glow of a Samsung Galaxy, he films every second of the show, before slapping the blurry mess up on YouTube for strangers to say how bad the mix sounds.
6. The Poacher
He casts himself as the band’s confidant, shouting you all Jägerbombs and helping you untangle the leads.
On the sly, he’s a Machiavellian headhunter from a bigger band, dripping poison into the ears of your rhythm section and promising them a major-label deal if they drop you like a hot bollock.
7. The Chatterboxes
It’s Friday night, and nobody expects a monastic silence, but would it kill the blokes at the bar to shut their traps for just one second?
It’s hard to sing about lost love during a heartfelt acoustic section when you’re competing with a high-volume conversation about loft insulation.
8. The Critic
Bounding up after the gig to introduce himself as the music editor of The Runcorn Bugle, The Critic flips open his notebook, then goes on to rip into your stagecraft, musicianship, haircuts and body odour.
He’ll then outline his six-point plan for world domination, offer to manage you - and be told to piss off.
9. The Fanboy
At early gigs, you were delighted to spot the haunted-looking teenager who “lives for your music”.
But by the time they’ve trailed you from Dundee to Brighton, taken a lock of your hair, got your band logo tattooed in a slightly worrying location, turned up at your mum’s house, and hyperventilated at the idea you may someday break up, you’ll wish your punters were a bit more ambivalent.
10. The Gear Nerd
Cometh the soundcheck, cometh The Gear Nerd, poking around your backline with a Maglite, tutting like a mechanic inspecting a write-off, and badgering you about the fasel inductor in your Cry Baby.
Everyone in the band will breathe a sigh of relief when he electrocutes himself after opening up your Whammy pedal with the mini-screwdriver on his belt loop.
[Fun fact: recent Whammy pedals actually use Allen bolts, not screws, to hold the enclosure together. – Gear Nerd Ed]