Last night, my lovely girlfriend and I got the positive pleasure of heading to Newcastle’s Carling Academy to watch V.V. Brown and Ida Maria (and for free no less, thank you guestlist). The gig itself was wonderful, V.V. Brown was a fireball of soulful, poppy fun, a mix of ’50s guitar rhythms, ’70s funk and ’00s Amy Winehouse vocals. Ida Maria was her usual effervescent self, mixing the punk explosion of “Oh My God” with the husky-voiced loveliness of “Keep Me Warm” and generally making everyone who knew her there smile.
But that’s precisely the point. Half the people there didn’t know who she was. Of course, a song like “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” was always going to be a hit, but that’s not always a good thing. For example, three girls in front of us literally didn’t know a single song other than that one. And they were on the barrier. And they didn’t dance. And they didn’t fucking applaud. I mean seriously, if you’re going to pay to go to a gig, make a bloody effort to enjoy yourself, don’t just treat the performance like some kind of trial for the ultimate reward of the one song you know. And it wasn’t just them, at the very least a quarter of the crowd seemed to know one, or at best two, songs that she did. The local support band before V.V. Brown (who were excellent, and who I never caught the name of annoyingly) were subjected to football chants and general idiocy just because people were waiting for Ida. It’s a massive shame because, like I’ve said, the gig was wonderful, and I still had a lot of fun, but Cat and I both came out feeling slightly pissed off that we seemed to be the only people who went for more than just 3 minutes of dancing. Frankly, if you don’t know the headline artist of a fairly major gig, don’t take up space at the front where the real fans want to stand, especially if you don’t want to have the courtesy to at least listen to the music you don’t know. Idiots.