31 July 2009


en·core n.
1. A demand by an audience for an additional performance, usually expressed by applause.

It's been a while since I've had a bit of a rant, I think the last time was when I went on about cardigans. Since then I have mainly gotten caught up in the recording of/hunting out sessions, gig announcements and anything else that I hope might of interest to anyone who might visit. For a while I toyed with various things that annoyed me, then I started to think I was getting a bit too Larry David-like the older I get. Up until this point I had kept my angry old man self locked away, only venting my opinions out to anyone who's stupid enough to listen to me at the end of a drunken evening. After reading Bob's review of the Ross Clark and his 'encore', it reminded me that I had planned to write about this before, so here goes.....

October the 23rd, 1994 - My first ever gig, Stone Temple Pilots at the Barrowlands, essentially the gig that got me hooked on live music. The thing that's I remember from that night would have to be thrill of being at a gig, the purple joker smile I was sporting after drinking several pints of Diesel (Snakebite n' black), 9 folk including myself going over the first aid section to ask for scissors so we could cut up Scott Weiland's towel which we were all claiming ownership of, and lastly screaming my lungs out for the band to do an encore.

Why am I trying to convince that I wasn't always an old miserable cnut, well I'll tell you why, encores, they're not what they used to be. I'm not sure if it's always been this way, but if you look at a bands set list these day's there is always the inevitable line seperating the main set and the encore, i.e. it's pre-planned. My point is that surely an encore has to earned, pre-programming it as part of your set surely defeats the purpose of what an encore should actually be. Fair enough if a band wants to go off for a minute and chill out, but then again this should really only apply to old fart bands and junkie fucks. If you are that fucked after playing ten songs you really shouldn't be in band.

My worst experience of encores was seeing the Smashing Pumpkins back in 1996 or was it '97, actually who cares, the point I wanted to make was that they did what felt like 7 encores, by which stage most of the crowd had left through the sheer boredom of it all.
My most obscure encore would have to be Baby Chaos supporting the Wildhearts at the Garage, when there was no demand for them to come back on (apart from me, I loved the Chaos back in the day), but Ginger the 'hearts lead singer made them go back on an do an encore just for him. That was class.

The Arctic Monkey's had it right when I saw them at the ABC, play all your songs and then fuck off, none of this going off for two minutes, then sauntering back on stage to wild reception. simply play your tunes, blow everyone away, then fuck off. If only others would follow suit.

So to sum up, play all your good songs, then leave the stage. If you were that good, then folk will want more, don't plan for folk to demand that you come back.


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