01 December 2011

Jack Jones and Band watching 101

On Friday night I made the trip to my hometown of Albury to see my childhood rockstar hero play. Jack Jones from Southern Sons. I became a fan of him when I was about nine. I'd seen him play in She Said Yes with Tania Doko and Karl Lewis supporting Darren Hayes in 2007. I'd never seen him live playing Southern Sons songs, but had dreamed about the day for 20 years. Jack Jones is now known by his real name Irwin Thomas.

He had two support acts - acoustic Robert Sedky and Neon City, a local Albury based band. Liam Dalby fronts Neon City, and knows my Mum through her work. I sat down to talk to him for a while and he is one of the loveliest people, so appreciative of music, and so humbled to play with Jack Jones. Neon City play original pop-rock songs - great lyrics with an energetic sound. They received a lot of local support with friends coming out to see them play.

Jack Jones played several classic Southern Sons hits - all beautiful acoustic versions - Always and Ever, You Were There, Hold Me in Your Arms and Heart in Danger. He also played the Beatles' Blackbird and the Bee Jees' I Started a Joke. His vocals are still very John Farnham-esque, but he has such a broad range - tender and roaring. And he is such a fine skilled guitarist. It was a short setlist - I definitely wanted more, especially Southern Sons songs.

Before the show he said hi - my Mum showed him my Southern Sons tshirt that was once down to my ankles, now down to my knees. Remember I showed you all a picture of me wearing the Southern Sons tee last year.
And I assured him his autograph is still on the back of my toilet door with Savage Garden and Silverchair. He said he'd chat to me after the show. And he kept his promise, posing for several photos, and putting my card in his wallet - I took a photo to prove it!
Kiss was playing by the DJ, and I said 'let's stick out our tongues' and so we did!!
Seeing him live was a bit of a dream come true - I am glad I could see him in such a small setting and meet him too.

One of the things that really annoyed me about the night was the disruptive and unappreciative audience (or lack of). Maybe it's a country thing - not many bands go to Albury so audiences don't know how to behave? And my observations of this poor audience directed me to draw up this guide. Band watching 101.

If you're there to see the band, show some respect and appreciation. If you're not there to see the band, do the same.

Don't block the view of the audience by walking between them and the band and holding your hands up for a 'look at me' moment, or by your bad dancing or god forbid, dirty dancing with strangers (I saw you kiss that other drunk girl before). If you must dance, dance to the side of or behind the audience.

Don't talk with your friends. The band playing means you raise your voice, and I don't want to hear about your boring day when I am watching a singer I've waited 20 years for. This is not your living room.

Don't request to sing or dance with the singer on stage. You have probably not sold as many albums as the singer, and I am sure if you can sing or dance well, I would have had the chance to see you on one of those talent shows that compromises peoples' integrity. This isn't the time to be known as the random drunk woman who attempted to do a duet with a big time rock star. And when that big time rock star refuses your company on stage, don't get pouty or get shouty.

Don't get more excited at hearing Jesse's Girl/Moves Like Jagger spun by the DJ than the band who is actually in the room, playing real live music. This isn't your second cousin's wedding.

Don't tell the singer he's boring the shit out of you. Really. Don't. If you don't want to be there, leave. Don't spoil it for the singer and the audience. Show some respect.

That really happened, and so did the other things I listed. Irwin Thomas handled the rude woman really well, suggesting she might want to get a vibrator - the final song was OhMiBod I'm in love with you - one he made for a vibrator.

What are your Band watching 101 rules?


  1. Hi Carly

    I really dislike mobile phones at gigs. People hold them up to take photos and block other people's view of the band.

    Also, singing along to the band is irritating. I've come to hear THEM not you.


  2. So agree with your rules and the comment on mobile phones (although I may have been guilty of that one myself).

    If you are going to see a band, you may want to remember the experience - so don't attempt to drink your body weight in alcohol at the same time. I was at the Eagles last year and a guy 2 people along from me practically had to be carried out at the end, he was so drunk.

    And if you are going to see a band - don't yell out requests for songs that aren't theirs!!

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  4. Ha! We talk about our pet hates of gig attending crowd too.
    - Talking - STFU! Or just go to the pub to chat! I will never understand why people pay the entry fee, and then friggen talk all night.
    - I hate people taking photos of themselves, self portraits, with the stage behind. Yeah yeah, you went to a gig....maybe stop thinking about your next FB profile pic, and remember why you are there! And then the use of a flash here, when the band is playing - please stop!
    - People taking pics with a flash always astound me - have they not learnt their lesson about this? Crap photos, people! Ha!
    - I also dislike tall people who move around a lot, mainly cos I am a shortie! I don't pay to see some big lug's head all night, but if said large person is predictable, I can find a spot between shoulders for a view. Ha! This one is one I can sort of forgive, cos I am the defect here!
    - I also hate hecklers of the band. See first point. Ha.

  5. I definitely agree with the bits about being rude - you don't need to tell someone they are shit! Just leave if you don't like them.
    Also I always pay preference to a person performing live than a DJ. One of the things that annoys me about some festivals is their insistence on paying homage to people who play records or CD's rather than live musicians who are payed 10-20 percent of people pedalling around CD's on a mixer. For that, I agree, show some respect!
    Good article once again Carly. I enjoy reading of your experiences :)

  6. My biggest pet peeve would have to be the girl who sits on her boyfriend's shoulders to get a better view thus blocking about 15 other people's! Always wondered what happened to Southern Sons, my sister was a massive fan.


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