Assault With A Deadly Potato

9 02 2008

Last night I was at Brixton attending the 2008 Kerrang Tour. For those of you not familiar with the area, Brixton has long been a significant place in music, both as a venue for live performances, and as a cultural hotbed. Paul Simonen of the Clash was born in Brixton and I’m sure any of you with any sort of musical taste will have heard their song “Guns of Brixton”, which is by no means the only song to feature Brixton. It also has a long history of riots, but none were sparked by a potato. Last night came close to changing that.

Before I get into how a potato managed to almost create a riot, let me begin by saying I booked the tickers, in large part, to see Fightstar, and to a slightly lesser extent, Coheed & Cambria. It was really only once I booked tickets that I actually gave Circa Survive and Madina Lake a chance and actually rather liked Circa Survive, to the point where I possibly, as heretical as this may sound, wanted to see them almost as much as Coheed & Cambria. Even Madina Lake had some good album tracks, I thought.

Last night changed my view on that but let me begin at the most appropriate place. That would be the beginning. It might seem obvious but then I’m talking to Textual Relations readers and nothing is too obvious for your feeble minds. We left a little later than we’d planned to, but according to my calendar entry for the gig we were still likely to be pretty early. Doors were opening at 7:30pm, right? Wrong. For some reason I had entered 7:30pm on the calendar but the tickets said 7:00pm, and I only noticed this when we were 10 minutes from Brixton, at around 6:00pm.

Anyone who’s ever stood in a gig at Brixton will know that arriving in the last hour before doors open is to be avoided wherever possible, you’re likely to be queuing up around the building (we’ve had to do this before) and, because it can get very warm inside, you tend not to dress too heavily, which leaves you freezing in the queue. Oh well, no point panicking, we were going to be late and just had to hope for the best. Being at the back wasn’t the end of the world, so long as we actually got in on time and didn’t miss the first band, which can happen if you’re late to a place like Brixton.

Thankfully, whether it was because people were coming late in order to intentionally miss the opening bands, or whether it was because we always tend to leave super-early to make sure we’re close to the front, when we actually got to Brixon we found the queue was actually shorter than times when we’ve arrived a good two hours before doors open. Hurrah! So now, onto the gig, and the first band up were Circa Survive.

They were excellent and Anthony was really vibrant on stage. Not once have I seen a lead singer from a support band move around that much and go that crazy, it was like he was having a religious experience on stage. I wondered if he knew was supporting the Kerrang Tour at Brixton, not headlining his own gig at Wembley Stadium but it’s great to see a lead singer just go all out and enjoy themselves, big venue or small, supporting or headlining. Sometimes I think professional musicians lose sight of the fun side of music that, in many cases, brought them to it in the first place.

Next up were Fightstar and I was expecting Charlie would get abuse from the crowd because of his background. He always does and we overheard some Madina Lake fans (clearly in denial of their favourite band’s own lack of credibility) in front of us say they were going to give him hell. Surprisingly it didn’t come, those who planned to do it were probably scared of potential backlash.Whether this played a part or not, I don’t know, but the set was really good, tightly put together and the performance was better than the last time I saw them. Palahniuk’s Laughter was the highlight of my evening.

Madina Lake, as I’ve already said, have spawned a following of little kids and try-hards who seem to hail them as the second coming, despite the fact that my sister rather aptly titled them the blond version of Good Charlotte. Granted, their album has some tracks that show potential for some musical maturity, and it has been widely reported by some of the media that for a band that young they display maturity as human beings too. On the evidence of last night I disagree. Their tantrum has put me off them for good.

Their set started off ok, not helped by their idiotic fans who went out of their way to hurt people. Yes, moshing is violent, yes people get accidentally hurt, but intentionally hurting people, as so many of the new try-hards seem to do, is simply not acceptible moshpit etiquette. There is a code, you’re supposed to take care of each other, someone falls, you pick them up, you’re supposed to be moshing together not against each other. Not only did people not pick people up but there was one guy behind me who kept dropping down and ramming his shoulder up into my back from below.

People were throwing elbows, three times I had my larynx nearly crushed by someone’s upper arm being squeezed into my throat, and that was before potatogate. Having made you read through over 900 words I’m now going to tell you how a potato managed to almost start a riot. Someone, probably a Coheed & Cambria fan, or maybe just someone who hates Madina Lake, decided to throw a potato on stage, aiming to hit one of the band members. Admittedly when I heard I did laugh, it was kind of funny.

Assault with a deadly potato! Anyway, the band were ushered off stage, for their safety, and told not to go back out, most likely, given the comments that followed, by Coheed & Cambria band members. What did they do? They came back out. Fair play to them, they came to play a show, their fans came to see them, they’re entitled to finish their set if they want. What they weren’t entitled to do was come out on stage and call Coheed & Cambria, a band who’ve been around, albeit under different names, for almost 15 years, and the headline act, “p*****s”. For what, trying to keep them safe?

This blatant disrespect by an upstart band who have one album to their name against a veteran act was not only immature but obviously caused a great deal of anger amongst those who’d come to see Coheed & Cambria. Don’t forget, they were the headline act, there were probably more people there to see them than anyone else. They did say “We mean no disrespect to their fans” but that’s like calling someone’s mother a whore and then saying “But no disrespect to you”. What did they think this would do?

Crowd relations, already not the best anyway, only got worse from that point, as the Coheed fans were determined not to seem less tough than the Madina Lake fans, turning the already violent moshpit into a turf war. It was Mods vs Rockers all over again. Worse yet I feel it hampered Coheed’s set as they were clearly determined to play their harder material (to the exclusion of some excellent stuff) and to show up the young kids. Not that I blame them for it, I can only imagine how galling it must be to be disrespected by a bunch of wannabe punk kids. Didn’t help that I could see either.

You see I probably should have mentioned that the idiot Madina Lake fans who’d poured to the front to see them were desperate to get out once they’d seen them (which is typical of try-hard fans. Real fans stay and watch the show, even if they came for one band who’ve already finished). Fine, fair enough, you try and help people out, even if you think they’re stupid. So I tried to help some people go over the top, which is really the only way out of a mosh when it’s that tightly packed.

Clearly this was not good enough for one guy who decided he would walk against the crowd and smash into people head-on until they let him out. In doing so he smashed my glasses with his elbow, knocking one of the lenses to the floor. I recovered it relatively unscathed at the end but it meant I couldn’t see, as I had to take them off to prevent further damage (and because you really shouldn’t wear glasses with only one lens in them). I accept that wearing them to the show is a risk, but usually any damage is accidental. This guy could see what he was doing. Having said that I did recover my lens and only hope the guy looking for his phone (which had been knocked to the floor during the gig) got it back. Whether it will still work is another matter.

I realise that the last 1500+ words have probably bored you senseless. I’d act like I care but I can’t be bothered. On a lighter note though I have to wonder, why did that guy even bring a potato into a gig in the first place? Did he bring a microwave and was hoping to make a baked potato? If so, why not just throw the microwave? I wonder if Brixton’s security staff will now be told to be on the lookout for rogue potatoes?

They should make a film, Attack Of The Killer Potatoes. Dan Quayle could star in it.



6 responses

9 02 2008

“why did that guy even bring a potato into a gig in the first place? ”

He was meeting a girl for the first time from on-line. Of course, she was being coy so she thought up something daft for him to do to show he was truly interested in her.
“Bring a potato, and I’ll know it is you.”

So the poor bloke brought the potato to the event.

The girl and her mates were there, of course, giggling because they knew that she had him wrapped around her pinky and he was going to make a complete arse of himself.

The bloke only realised this several minutes into the event, and being so pissed off at it, he wanted to leave.

However, he got a bright idea on how to be the one to get the last laugh, and he bungs the potato onto the stage.

He’s famous, the girl misses out on such a prime catch (fame is everything after all), and the rest is history…

I can’t believe you didn’t figure this one out on your own.

9 02 2008

“Ooo,ooo the spuds of Brixton”

Remember the old joke about the guy whose friend gave him advice about how to get attention from the Ladies? “Put a potato in your Pants”, the advisor said.

Later, the first guy came back around and the friend asked; “How did it go?”
“Terrible, the women all laughed at me”.
“You did put the potato in the front, didn’t you?”

9 02 2008
David Weisman

Easy, someone wanted moshed potato.

10 02 2008
Mr President

Bio: That makes a great deal of sense, in your own warped way.

Pribek: Heh. I hadn’t heard that joke before actually.

David: *cringes* You didn’t. Well, you did, and I laughed, but still…

11 02 2008
Monday Meme - Musical Mondays « Textual Relations

[…] Monday Meme – Musical Mondays 11 02 2008 A fellow Blog Ninja also seems to like the idea of a Monday meme. I’m going to assume I inspired her since, well, I inspire everyone with my sheer greatness (speaking of which, don’t forget to vote for my MTC entry). So for my first foray into the world of Musical Mondays I chose Palahniuk’s Laughter by Fightstar. It’s not only an awesome song but it was the highlight of my evening on Friday. […]

21 02 2008
Mr President

In light of the heated arguments that seem to be raging over this, as well as the idiotic remarks made, I’m closing comments on this post.

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