BY EMILY DUFF
Whilst working at the O2 Academy I see a lot of different people coming in, from the indie kids avoiding eye contact to the old tories making too much eye contact, so I decided to put my Psychology A-Level and array of anecdotes to use for Tits Upon Tyne.
I love to see the unconventional hacks of each individual gig-goer. I have a place in my heart for every fellow gigger who can tip me on how to be more efficient in my clothing – I always need a way to avoid bringing a bag. A recurring solution I’ve seen is those who use their bra as a replacement. This both overcomes the lack of pockets in female clothes and helps us skint students avoid paying for the cloakroom. I’m yet to try this solution; do they buy the next size up? Do the phones’ radio waves keep them warm? How much can you fit in there? Despite my questions being unanswered, I respect their creativity. My favourite style inspirations, however, are the indie kids who borrow their dad’s jackets. This is, again, cost-efficient as well as being a genuinely great look, although I struggle with those who wear their dad’s work high-vis jacket.
As it’s coming up to, or would have been, festival season, many artists go on tour in early spring. However, I don’t know how appropriate this makes wearing mesh dresses and/or a neon bikini to a 7pm gig in February – although you can probably see much worse on the Saturday streets of Newcastle. However, I am envious of the confidence and ability to defeat pneumonia these people have. One group of about-fourteen-year-olds fitting this dress code have recently made one of my shifts more interesting: one had bought a balcony ticket hoping to sneak into standing. With quick thinking, they offered the doormen a fiver each and told me that would be “like £70” – there were 8 of them. When this failed, and after complaining to me for a good 20 minutes, one decided on a more crafty plan to take two of the seven standing tickets and meet their balcony friend in the toilet. They then came to the standing area, and despite initially showing his balcony ticket, still managed to get in. Impressive. This is a very naughty, but rather successful, trick that has recently been tackled by O2 staff physically taking tickets – so don’t take any inspiration from me.
One Christmas time experience was the Macc Lads gig. Now, I don’t want to stereotype but with songs describing how he put his “hands down her jeans and..nearly lost half my arm”, it’s fair to say these were not my people. As part of my job I often give out flyers to people coming to shows at the venue, which many people seem to interpret as me flirting. During this particularly uncomfortable experience, a man came in wearing an unironic, “I read the Sun newspaper” top and took it upon himself to give me an intense hug and go in for a kiss: an unnecessary response to my free flyer ‘gift’. Thankfully the doormen are belta at their job so I didn’t actually have anything to be worried about, but when I saw that t-shirt coming towards me there was a genuine moment of panic. I know Christmas is about love and welcoming, but that can still be done with physical distance, a smile will usually do.
Finally, the best anecdote of them all. I hope you are excited. To set the scene, it was late, coming to the end of the heavy metal show and the mosh pit was at its peak. One doorman got a walkie talkie alert: an overexcited gig-goer needed to be dealt with. The man in question was removed from the main room; not for being aggressive, not for smoking, but rather this man had somehow managed to defecate himself, right in the middle of the crowd. Whilst this is a great anti-drug story, as the man then left the venue in borrowed pants, he did return the very next day to give us them back. To further this, he also attended another gig at the same venue that night. You have to respect us gig-goers, nothing can deter us from spending every possible second at a concert, even if that means showing your face in public after having to leave in different pants.