The 5 Worst Things About Covering a Gig
“You go to free concerts and meet all the stars …” They say, “You get your drinks free and you are invited to the after-show party… you wear a fancy laminate and you get to go back-stage … yadda yadda yadda …”
Yes, we get it. Being a rock music journalist at a show is very **Seriously** Cool
But here are five things that are less cool about doing the ‘job’ at gigs —
- Dealing with the security — Some ‘crowd safety’ officers are great, others are less so. The worst are evil beyond words
- Damage to equipment — Yeah! Guitars get smashed on stage. Microphone stands topple over. So who cares about our new camera, lens or recorder?
Once an envious wankerdickknob [aged about fifty] poured a whole pint of beer on me and my camera, because he “hates the paparazzi.”
A few minutes later an inverted monitor fell off the stage and landed on my camera bag crushing the contents. Not my lucky night
- First to arrive, last to leave — What time do you get to a concert? When they open the doors? When your bezzie mates arrive? When the bar starts to serve?
Well journalists often get to a place about 2-3 hours in advance… Why? To complete interviews. Maybe to set up equipment. Meet people. Hang around.
Just last week I was asked to arrive at a place for a 3:30 pm interview. The musician came on stage at nine.
- Personal Injury —Yes we all get pissed and fall over occassionaly. Some of us more often than others.
But when we are reporting live music for a living, the dangers increase exponentially.
Getting a “New Rock” boot-heel in the gob is a regular occurence for me. When punters are hauled over the barriers, the best I can hope for is a knee in my knackers. Then there are bruises from falling mike stands, crushing injuries, thrown missiles etc.
The worst I had to contend with was when a raging tit-muffin chucked a bottle at me [or the musician?] Any case — I left the venue in an ambulance.
- Being On Our Jack. Do you go to shows on your own? I bet you don’t. But journalists do! I imagine you meet your friends at the bar … Or near the ticket booth.
The best we can hope for is a nod from the semi-polite musician who thinks he might somehow remember us [even though we just completed a 40 minute in-depth interview with him.]
Or we might earn a playful back-slap from another journalist [working with a rival organisation] who is actually checking-out our equipment.
If we did manage to get a +1 ticket guess what? Our ‘companion’ for the evening [he or she was a bosom buddie when they initially begged to come along] suddenly becomes hard to find. Why? Because they got bored ‘waiting around’ for us to do ‘our thing.’ So they went off to find other playmates.
Yup! It looks like we are going home on our own again…
Still, we have a 500 word report that needs to be filed by morning. So we won’t have time for action anyhow …
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Words & Images @neilmach 2016 ©
Neil Mach is editor of RAW RAMP MAGAZINE
Member of the European News Agency, Music Industry Forum, Music Industry Network and regular blogger and contributor to several sites