Sonic Stereotypes – 'At every gig' man (rucksack optional)

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rucksack.jpgWhilst DJing at a gig this weekend, I became aware of a Sonic Stereotype that I’d not encountered for a while. Whilst waiting to DJ (get me), I was constantly impeded by a man with a rucksack. The man with the rucksack knew every single person in the venue but no-one seemed to like him.
He talked almost constantly. He hugged people who clearly weren’t up for being hugged. His rucksack swung around into people and he exhibited the funk. When I say ‘funk’, I mean the smell, not the soul. This was clearly one of those people who is in a constant state of going to gigs. He obsesses over bands. He likes to be seen at the live performance. He recognises many faces thanks to the sheer volume of gigs attended. He is insanely irritating to everyone he meets.

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Sonic Stereotypes – 80s metal fans

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metal fans.jpgThere’s two things that I find almost universally true about 80s metalheads. Firstly, they’re a lot nicer than you think. Secondly, they like things that aren’t 80s metal. As prejudices go, my metal one matches Mugabe’s for, well, all humans. I’ve scoffed at their daft hair, sniggered at their skin tight levy 501′s and tittered at their penchant for capped sleeved vest things. However, years ago, a fan of all things guitar solo and hairspray pates, changed my head as I found he loved gardening, BMXing and generally chatting rubbish whilst getting plastered. However, there are some poodle-rockers that live up to everything your prejudged.

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Sonic Stereotypes – 'Looking for advice'

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peanuts.gifSome people don’t go into record shops very often, but when they do, it’s not simply to buy records. Hell no. What is this? HMV? No. Sometimes, people go in wanting answers. Now, most people’s questions are along the lines of “I’ve heard this record on the telly and it goes…” but some people go in with their problems. On one occasion, I recall a lady coming in to buy a hooded top for her son… but she had reservations.

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Sonic Stereotypes: Sneering Record Shop Man

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recordshop.jpgWhen I was about 15, I went into Vinyl Exchange in Manchester. It was the first time I’d gone record shopping in a city after cutting my teeth in my local (and brilliant) X Records. Unaided and green, after a fruitless search amongst the racks, I went up to the counter and asked “Excuse me, do you have The Palace of Gilded Sin by The Burritos?” I was quickly met with “The Gilded Palace of Sin – The Flying Burrito Brothers. Classic. I can’t believe you don’t own it already.” And so, my 15 year-old self met Sneering Record Shop Man for the first time.
Despite my anger (I mean, I was 15 and asking for a great record that should have been met with ‘Jeez! That’s an excellent choice… lemme fish it out for you and give you some more tips like this… you’re only young and buying stuff like this? There’s hope for us yet!’) I didn’t let it put me off going into the belly of muso-ville (although in fairness, I’ve never stepped foot in Vinyl Exchange since) and I soon found out that Sneering Record Shop Man wasn’t the property of one place.

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Sonic Stereotypes: Too drunk… Too Early

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epint.jpgMost people who go to a gig like to have a couple of pints. I mean, it takes the edge off any embarrassment you might have about your dancing. Beer and rock ‘n’ roll are great bedfellows. However, at a gig, there’s always someone who treats it like a sesh down the boozer. Yep, there he is, down the front, spilling his pint/guts all over some 16 year-old…
These people can’t possibly remember the gigs they go to. I’ve seen blokes so twisted that they’ve accidentally created their own wreckin’ ring because they’ve thrown up over themselves. Of course, people can do what they like, but I always scratch my head because, well, just go to the pub instead surely? They don’t charge you

Sonic Stereotypes: The Tall Man blocking your view

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tall_man.jpgNow, I’m a pretty tall bloke. 6 foot and 4 inches to be precise. However, I’ve developed this slump, so when I go to gigs people can still watch the band. However, not all lankies are that considerate. Some of them are evil enough to grow big hair or wear big hats.
Of course, anyone of average or below average height is guaranteed to see nothing but silhouette, which is a bit rubbish if you’ve paid a tenner upwards to watch your fave band. Now, being a long streak of urine meself, I don’t understand why more tall people don’t have a bit of consideration. Stand down the flanks or crouch a bit. Fair enough, you’re a tall strapping lad… but one of these days, someone will tilt you at a gig and you’ll have further to fall than everyone else.

Sonic Stereotypes: Trustafarians

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trustafarian.jpgOh man. Nothing gets my goat quite like a Trustafarian. Trustafarians, usually seen at reggae club nights, or watching some live drum n’bass, can easily be identified by the fact that they have dreadlocks, are white and possibly wear trousers made from hemp. What sets them apart from other kinds of ‘farians is the fact that they’re from very middle class homes and are going on an eco-war with the help of daddy’s trust fund.
As wealthy as these Trustafarians are, they can oft be seen hovering around someone making a roll-up, and then, with like, totally groovy vibes, asking for one. You should ALWAYS say no to these spoiled bozos. They can afford a plantation of tobacco plants, so a small pouch of Drum (the yellow one of course) shouldn’t set them back too much. These little trust-funders might be skanking to some socially conscious world music / hip-hop now… but they’ll be working in insurance before they’re 30. Avoid these charlatans like the plague.

Sonic Stereotypes: Bad dancers

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bad_dancer.jpgEver seen someone on a dancefloor gettin’ their rocks off with all the co-ordination of an ostrich on a see-saw? Did you laugh at their bad dancing skills? Did you chuckle at their complete lack of shame? Well, you shouldn’t be laughing at these people… you should applaud them with thunderous rapture.
The bad dancer may not be able to jive, may not know what lindy-hopping is, hell, they might have never even have heard what BPM means. It doesn’t matter. No-one likes someone who can really dance. They’re annoying. They take it too seriously. They should move outta the way and let the bad dancers take up the floor. Without inhibitions and rhythm, the bad dancer loves to git down and don’t care ’bout watchu think. And that’s the way it should be. It’s not about posing and posturing. It’s about having fun with wild abandon.

Sonic Stereotypes: The Lad

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onthepiss.JPGBritpop brought us two things. Firstly, it made us, as a nation, proud of our pop again. For a brief moment in ’95, it seemed like we’d inherited the earth. Then Menswear and Strangelove happened. The second thing, and probably the longest lasting of Britpop’s legacies, is The Lad. Even though Britain has grown up a fair bit (read: desperate to appear caring with recycling and bragging about tiny carbon footprints), in amongst all the yoghurt-weavers is a hardcore bunch still swilling Stella and shouting “‘Aaaave iiiiiiitt!”
Go to almost any gig and you’ll see some dunderhead in a laddy tee. Usually, these are Stone Roses or Oasis shirts. Hell, you might even catch an Ocean Colour Scene top! Yep. There are lads who are still locked in plastic Manc-dom, trying to ape Liam Gallagher and swaggering around like they’re simultaneously carrying two rolled up carpets and have shat their jeans. If you’ve seen Hollyoaks and you know who the Rhys character is, you’ll know the sort. Spot them in almost every pub, student union and gig… ‘aving it. For more Sonic Stereotypes, click here

Sonic Stereotypes – The bloke dragged by his mates

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ker-rowd.jpgEvery time you go to a gig, or even a club, chances are there’ll be one bloke there, having a pint and smiling politely. He’s not hating the experience… it’s just not really his thing. Whilst everyone else gets their rocks off, he usually ends up minding the coats. Of course, these people aren’t always sat around politely grinning. Sometimes they join in. Sometimes they provide comedy gold.
I’ve DJ’d for years, and quite often ‘Bloke Dragged Along By Mates’ sits getting pissed, then when the beer has kicked in, he dances with wild abandon. In fact, he dances with such abandon that you think that someone has reprogrammed him but forgotten to put the coordination bit back in. Then, hammered, he comes up to you, foaming at the mouth yelling “I’m not rreally incho this (hic) shtuff… but av had a rreaally good… night… ch… (does sicky burp)…eers man.” And with that, he’s off into the night searching a kebab and a lamp post to dance with.