Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wednesday Whine | Live Music #2

I love live music; there's just something about seeing a live band that brings their music to life. Being surrounded by people who all share a similar passion really excites me and I'll happily watch bands in all kinds of venues from stadiums to the back room of a dingy pub.

Having said that, in the past few years the experience of seeing live music has changed massively and in the next few editions of Wednesday Whine I'm going to tell you how.

Last week I had a good old whine about people using their mobile phones at gigs, so what can I have left to whinge about today? Tall people. Oooh controversial isn't it? I must stress I don't have anything against tall people, or short people, or indeed any people for something that they can't help, but tall people at gigs really, really piss me off.

The average UK woman is 5ft 3in (that's me!) whilst the average height for men is 5ft 9in. When I go to a gig though I've found that the average height for men shoots up to about 7ft. Really, it's like the men who like the bands I like are all exceptionally tall and they all, without fail, seem to like standing in front of me.

When I arrive at a gig I position myself so that I can see and then some lumbering oaf in a plaid shirt will plonk himself right where I'm standing, as if I don't exist! Earlier this year my friend and I travelled to Manchester to see a band called Edguy (they're a German power metal band). We paid for tickets, a hotel, petrol and food so it wasn't a cheap jaunt out. I had a prime spot in a packed club and I could see the stage quite clearly. A man, who can only be described as a giant (his armpit was at eye level!) stood next to me. He looked down and asked if he was blocking my view (he had to shout, that's how tall he was...) I was so surprised at his politeness that I got into a conversation about how hard it is to be short at gigs and he said how hard it was to be tall as he didn't want to ever block people's view. We chatted a while and he promised, yes, promised he wouldn't stand in front of me. Thirty seconds in to the first song and he was directly in front of me. I spent the next ninety minutes staring at this:

Yes, this is the back of a Rammstein t-shirt and it's forever printed on my retinas. I've never hated someone so much in my life. I've never felt so let down by someone breaking their promise. He didn't acknowledge me again and in between having visions of stabbing him with a lipstick (it's all I had to hand) I began wondering what this guy's motivation was for being a great big selfish lying arsehole. I'm still no further forward. I tried to track him down on Twitter to hear his side of the story but failed to find him.

I know there are two sides to every story, so I asked a couple of tall friends (who happen to be dating) what they thought. They both laughed for quite a while before one of them said "we've paid the same price as you to see the band, why shouldn't we enjoy it from wherever we want?!" I concede; she has a valid point. I suppose it isn't their responsibility to ensure I have a good view and conversely it isn't my responsibility to ensure they do, but I still can't help feeling that tall people (who can see from anywhere in the venue) could make things a little easier by standing towards the side or glancing behind them to ensure they're not literally standing on the toes of a tiny person.

Yours selfishly (and I'll be honest, a little jealously),


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I am also 5ft 3in, and tall people tend to get in the way sometimes! I always thought I was very short and had no idea that the average UK woman is 5ft 3in, so thank you for letting me know! :) x

    1. Neither did I! I thought it was going to be about 5'5" so it makes me wonder where all of the shorties are hiding as I usually feel very small around most people, especially since I prefer to wear flat shoes!

  2. Ha ha, I don't go to gigs but if ever standing to watch something, you can bet your life someone taller and stronger than me somehow just manages to get in front. How do they do it?? I do however always seem to be able to find a nice small gap to peep through. I feel your pain. xx

  3. I hate standing at gigs. Being only 5 foot tall, it actually puts me in real danger. When I saw Rammstein (funnily enough), I was directly behind a tall guy with a BACKPACK on and when the crowd began pushing forward, my throat was compressed by this guy's bag. I started seeing stars and seriously worried I was going to die. Luckily my brother was able at that time to be there with me and he saw I was struggling to breathe and pulled me out, and we were allowed seats, where we could see backstage and everything, which almost made almost dying worth it.

  4. I chuckled and I agreed absolutely! I'm only 5ft2 and my bf about 5ft6 and we always get ourselves in a good position to see. It's very important for me to be able to see the band when we go and watch live music and some twat (for lack of a more polite word) always gets in front of us. I get all angry and start to manoeuvre ourselves to see again, no one is getting in my way when I paid good money for the tickets!

    ~ K

  5. First of all, I can't believe I missed all these posts! (I blame the upcoming festive period and being self-employed). I always end up stuck behind some random tall person, or because I'm so tall, people barge past me like I'm invisible and I end up being shunted around like a puck. Thankfully when I'm stage with Dakesis there are no tall people who can stand in front of me to block the view. Actually no that's a bit of a lie. Sometimes our guitarist stands in front of me and I can't see people, and they can't see me! Some things just aren't shorty friendly.

    Amie | Hellbentforlipstick

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