Sunday, 29 May 2011

Six Inches of Mosh in your Face

And no, that title is not a euphemism.

The majority of girls take a lot longer to get ready to go on a night out than the average man. I am open, however, to the possibility that there are some high maintenance lads out there. After commenting on my surprise that a male friend of mine possessed a hairdryer (which was worryingly better than mine) his response was, "Yeah, I'm not a barbarian." Isn't the world full of little surprises....

So, on that night out heels are normally the footwear of choice. And why not? They elongate the legs, force you to stand up straight, encourage you to stick your rear out and adds a couple of extra inches to your height for good measure. What's not to like about them? Apart from the fact that walking in them involves some serious concentration. It's like balancing on a tight rope, except with a little less further to fall. Still the same cold hard ground coming to meet you though.

I'm so beautiful, yet so dangerous.

Here's some handy advice that you should take from your Auntie Amy. Never, never, ever EVER wear 6 inch heels to a gig. Any gig. More importantly a metal gig.

It's asking for trouble. It's like walking up to the toughest, burliest guy in a tough, burly bar, slapping him round the face with a dead, wet fish whilst screaming his mother is a ninny, and instead of legging it out the door, you stand there and take it as he pulverises you into mush faster than a blender on a crack.

Graphic mental images aside, you see my point.

First, there's the issue of stairs. Every venue will have stairs at some point. Walking up and down steps easily is not easy to do in heels. Thankfully health and safety laws have become insane over the past few years so at least there's a rail to cling on to. If you're in one of those dingy, grotty, underground clubs in south - east London, then chances are the owner wouldn't have read the safety manual, let alone understood what it meant. Clinging to a wall for support is never classy. Especially if you've had several tequilas. Running to the loo in heels when you're absoloutely desperate is never a good option either.

Secondly, there's other people. Unlike in a club where the music is all sorted from behind a DJ booth and everyone is dancing in some fashion or another, gigs have stages. Stages involve equipment. This usually involves several guys (and gals) running around screaming about lost leads, stolen plectrums and perferated kick drums. There is no where to hide from these organised maniacs.

Although in this case, it's not so much the equipment they've lost, rather the band itself...

Once the stage is all set up, there is then the problem of the crowd. There will be a mosh pit. Or a wall of death. Either way there is no escape. These happen on any form of night, not just metal. I was at a pop, funk electro night a few weeks ago (in 6 inch wedges, tut tut) and there was moshing happening there. So yeah, a load of angry, sweaty, hormonal teenagers pushing and shoving, and there's you trying to perfectly balance on those six inches? Not happening. What is happening, is you falling over on your behind, and inflicting several nasty brusies.

Thirdly, you're halfway through the night and you think, oh my feet are beginning to ache, i'll just take them off for a few minutes to rest. Okay, stop right there you absoloute nutter. If you have ever seen a gig floor you'll understand that it is not the most pleasant place to introduce bare feet. It is about the same as walking on a shit load of used hyperdermic needles. There will be spilled drinks. And other forms of bodily fluid. And potentailly broken glass. It's not a nice place. Trying to manoevre on that in heels involves more falling bum over tit. Even thinking about doing it in bare feet makes me want to hug my feet in protection, and then giving myself a tetnus shot.

Solution: wear flats. Or perhaps kitten heels. Chances are everyone else will be wearing either skate shoes or DMs. These are significantly more brutal than a pair of stilletos. If you insist on wearing heels all the time (as I do) then invest in a pair of Doc Martens which have a sensible three inch heel, contrary to what they say, size does matter. They're also insanely comfortable and go with everything.

Do not say I didn't forewarn you.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Last Resort

Sex sells. Fact.

In fact it sells so well that women have been using their bodies to get what they want since the dawn of time. On the other hand, they have also been exploited, abused, harassed, and more often than not, treated lower than dogs not fit to lick a mans boot (here I’m referring to history prior to the Suffrage movement, although given the increase rate in trafficking women rising in Europe, my point still stands).

Enter the music industry.

A beautiful world sugar coated in diamonds and fairy dust, where albums like ‘Aladdin Zane’, songs like ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and artists such as Kurt Cobain are born. A world where music can make your soul glow and bring a smile to your face. When a record label resorts to using sex in order to sell a product, they’ve clearly run out of any other ideas.

Clearly you shouldn’t have to take off your clothes to get a record deal, but obviously this is what the public wants. What the public wants, it gets.

Okay, I’m not na├»ve. Singing, dancing and sex have been intravenously linked since a girl could kick her leg in the air whilst singing a gaudy ballad. It’s funny how things have progressed, from showing the ankles, to the wrist, to our current present day situation which leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.
It's surprising they don't fall over, what with the weight of those feathers on their head.

So does the music industry feed off the sex industry?

In a way. The difference being with sex you know where you stand; it sells and you get paid. Simple.

With record labels it’s far worse. They’re devious and cunning, and more often than not, you’ll be hard pressed to find the money in your hands which they owe you after. How many women, or even men (Elvis was a sex object too you know - although long gone are the days where CNN had to shoot him from the waist up just so girls wouldn't get ‘too hot under the collar.’), reading this are thinking, blast, what more can one possibly do? One has literally done everything to get the industry’s attention: bombarded executives with countless emails, sent demo after demo, performed crappy gigs at crappy venues usually to an empty room (though some of the best bands have played to a non - existent crowd *ahemTheBeatlesahem*) just to get the experience.

Elvis and his infamous pelvis.

Short of setting their trousers on fire (which I don’t think would go down all that well) where do your options lie?

Well you could start by taking off your trousers. What? It’s true. We’ve just established that pretty girls parading around in sparkly hot pants and a corset, wearing enough lipstick to keep Superdrug in business for life is what the public wants.

Oh, what’s that you say?

Too degrading?

You’ve got standards?

Well good for you.

Artists make music for the passion of making music. At least that’s what I’ve always been led to believe. In ye good ol’ days before MTV reared it’s pornographic head, the only way you could listen to music was over the wireless. Or down the local concert hall/opera house. Chances are you couldn’t afford the latter, so large crowds would gather in houses eagerly listening to Vera Lynn belt out tunes that can still bring a tear to your grandmother’s eye. Classy.

Anyway my point, which we may have got to in an incredibly crass way, but it’s thus: if you’re a great musician, then that’s just a fact. You’ll create whatever dream you want to for yourself because it always comes down to raw, unadulterated talent. Girls who wear sparkly hot pants are short lived, one hit wonders riding the wave of commercialism at its best. Girls who can hit a top C and only have to wear a pair of jeans a t - shirt to do it, well, you’re survival rate is higher.

Men too of course. I’m not sexist.