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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Lottery Winners know something most bands refuse to learn

Watching The Lottery Winners, the self-described "mediocre indie pop band" from Leigh, Lancs at the Water Rats last night, it struck me that people who climb on stage have one of two motivations.

They're either looking for attention or they're looking for validation.

If they're looking for attention they understand that the most precious prize is an engaged audience and this is something that can't be commanded. It must be won. People who are keen for attention will be attuned to the mood of the room and will pull back the audience's attention if they feel it wandering.

On the other hand people who are keen for validation think they've done the job just by securing the gig. They won't talk to the audience any more than they have to and if they do it will be just to tell them what the next song is. If the audience aren't paying attention they don't really mind because they're quite happy playing their music. They're not prepared to change that in any way just to win the audience's favour. If people don't happen to like it that's because they're wrong.

It goes without saying that the Lottery Winners belong in the first category. As does anybody whose career last more than a couple of years.

2 comments:

  1. I don't know about seeking validation, but in terms of his behaviour, Clapton belongs in the second category. I saw him a couple of times about 10 years ago and he barely spoke to his adoring audience, assumed (probably correctly) that everyone knew all the numbers, and gave every impression of just going through the motions. My thought was that the people he was playing to had made him a very rich man over a period of 40 years or so and he couldn't be bothered to say "good evening".

    What an arse.

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  2. Fully agree. When an audience has paid specifically to see a performer, how difficult is it for said performer to at least pretend that they’re “pleased to be there”. Beyond difficult for too many.

    Much as I like Roy Orbison and still listen to his records, he went down several notches years ago when I saw him in “cabaret;” His “fallow” period. He came on very late, did 50 minutes of the one hour slot and filled the remaining 10 minutes with manufactured curtain calls and concluded to a reprise of “Oh Pretty Woman”.

    About 10 minutes into the show ignoring the applause, he turned away from the mike, picked up a towel from an amplifier and muttered “Sure is hot tonight”. And that was it for the spoken word. He never spoke to or even once acknowledged the audience. The band were a bunch of snotty nose arseoles who mocked all the audience when more than several delivered a well deserved slow handclap.

    This is the worst example of ignorance/indifference that I’ve ever come across, but sadly it’s so very common.

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