This from here: http://www.londonears.com/Blog/2012/january.html
Shutting the fuck up at shows is a subject close to my heart. I put together and run the now annual Shhh event in London, so you’d expect that perhaps, but I’m not some kind of perfect self important gig-goer, respectfully silent in reverence at the efforts of the artist before me. I’ve been told to shut up plenty of times. Not quite as much as I have been the one doing the telling, but still. It happens to all of us I would like to think, although I’m sure there are loads of folks who have NEVER been told to STFU…
The thing is, the shows where I HAVE shut the eff up, have been those ones from which I have returned home complete, with that wanting-to-discuss-it-till-the-cows-come-home feeling of really having seen something important. I mean, how can you tell if you really liked it, if you didn’t really listen?
It doesn’t have to be a quiet show either. I definitely told a couple to have their conversation elsewhere at Glastonbury one time (and got a ripple of applause) and that was during The Arcade Fire. The couple in question were pretty loud and high and unaware of anyone else and hey I was nice about it ok? Another time, and this being an amazing example, was at an ATP, for THE MELVINS. Hardly a band tinkering about in some hushed plink plonk experimentalism. They ROCK. And it was amazing to stand in awe at what I could see and hear. (OK, so I was unable to speak as I was really high, having been FORCED to get into that state by a now unnameable record company big wig, and their unnameable record company big wig friend.)
In any case, whatever the state you’re in while watching a band it’s usually better if you listen. If they suck, then there will be a place you can go to calm down (or the opposite?!) and have a chat with your pals… There certainly is at the Shhh event on Sat 4 Feb at The Gallery Café in Bethnal Green. There are more than 3 performance spaces, including a Cinema and a little gallery of artworks inspired by the idea of shutting the fuck up… and there’s an outside space too.
– Howard Monk