Stop it: you’re only encouraging him
Has the fabled Glasgow mob lost its bite? Words: Fraser Jenkins
ood people of Glasgow. it's time for some soul searching. Do we want to keep our reputation of never hiding behind polite applause“? We are. of course. familiar with the popular conception of the Glasgow audience. Put on a good show and we‘ll respond with whoopin'. hollerin‘ and genuine appreciation. Fail to deliver and we’ll give you a rough ride. But the
time has come to get up off our complacent Glaswegian arses before our
proud reputation becomes extinct.
Last year on a Barrowland excursion to see French electro-pop duo Air. the support act could not have been more dodgy. Ambling on stage armed only with an acoustic guitar. Sebastian Tellier gave the impression of a vagrant with bohemian pretensions. This inauspicious arrival was greeted with little more than a smattering of applause by a half empty. student-heavy Barrowland. Sebastian then subjected us to several minutes of semi-audible ramblings with little melody or indeed any recognisable song structure. Without warning. he was joined by a female theremin player. What followed was unadulterated tripe. a vile concoction of French drivel masquerading as avant garde an.
I stood deathly silent. paralysed with astonishment. my stupelied state compounded by the inappropriately polite reaction from the Glasgow audience: ironic
laughter and applause padded out with tlme has intermittent whooping and whistling. 'I‘his come to
is Glasgow. you losers. What the hell is
going on'.’ More recently at the Arches I witnessed similarlv ina) rtnriat ‘ b ‘haviour wh ‘n th‘ ' ' ”’ l L “ L “ Glaswegian
Cinematic Orchestra polluted an otherwise sound performance with a self-indulgent arses and truly repugnant horn solo. But judging by the wild crowd reaction you would have
thought we had just witnessed the reincarnation ol'John (‘oltrane . A couple of
weeks later the Herbaliser managed to work the crowd into near apoplexy by doing nothing more than walking on stage and goading the audience with a few terrace style ‘come on‘ shouts and some air punching.
I can remember a time when Glasgow audiences would simply not have tolerated this type of horseshite. Why not now‘.’ These people might plod on for years with delusions of adequacy if we don‘t act. We are. by our polite encouragement. allowing the proliferation of mediocrity to spread like a cancer. What other explanation is there for the charts being overpopulated with pubescent. karaoke-singing. soft drink hawking corporate shills and the canonisation of Robbie Williams into pop behemoth while talented musicians performing at the height of their powers are left alienated on the peripheries'.’
We need to establish a more meaningful meritocracy. Resist the temptation to clap. unless of course it‘s a slow one. and revel in the awkward silences between songs. Start with some gentle booing and build from there. Discerning Glasgow punters. we must all join together and defend our once proud reputation. Act now. Your city needs you.
10 THE LIST fi‘. Out ‘:-1 No. 7902*
1 Rabbit Proof Fence
Film Voted by the audience as the best film in this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, Phillip Noyce‘s mesmerising recreation of the journey across Australia undertaken by three Aboriginal girls is both moving and incendiary. See feature, page 12 and review, page 27. Selected release.
2 Peter Kay
Comedy The genial northerner and recent List cover star capitalises on the acclaim he‘s attracted for Phoenix Nights with a stand-up tour. We saw him in August and he was hilarious. See preview. page 73. Pavilion, Glasgow.
3 The Osbournes
Television You thought the Simpsons were dysfunctional, but they were just cartoons. This lot are for real. A compelling vision of domestic life post rock’n’roll debauchery. See preview. page 109. Channel 4.
Music Take it from us, they‘re the best live dance act in the world. Ever. Still going strong despite the loss of hip DJ Darren Emerson. See preview, page 49. Barrow/and, Glasgow.
5 UBUNG [Practice]
Theatre Six children, aged approximately ten to fourteen. lip-sync their way through a black and white film of a country house-party gone sour. Sounds weird? It’s another disturbing performance from Belgian’s brilliant Victoria. See preview, page 65. Tramway, Glasgow.
Music Edinburgh’s pop ironists have charmed artist David Shrigley and actor Kevin Spacey. Their second album and attendant live dates will confirm their promise. See feature, page 16. King Tut’s, Glasgow.
7 Julia Morris
Comedy The fast-talking. dirt-dishing comic was a major star in her native Australia but has opted to rebuild her career in the UK. See her before she’s massive. See preview, page 73. The Stand, Glasgow.
8 Richard Wilson
Art He’s filled whole rooms with sump oil, removed windows from art galleries and turned swimming pools upside down. Here’s a chance to see the sketches. drawings and models behind his extraordinary work. See preview. page 93. Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.
Gay Whether it's Annie Sprinkle recounting her life in the porn industry or Sean Tuan John dancing in a rabbit suit. Glasgow’s celebration of gay culture makes a welcome return. See preview. page 77 & 78. Various venues. Glasgow.
10 Hanif Kureishi
Books Loneliness, isolation and a big grin. A new collection of short stories from the controversial writer - plus a public appearance. See feature. page 14. Faber; Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh.