Don't be the unobservant view-blocking butterball

Don't be the unobservant view-blocking butterball

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Saturday, November 24 2012

One of the wonderful perks about my job is I get to see amazing acts all over Kent.

So imagine the fury of going to see the great John Cooper Clarke, only to not be able to see or hear him because of inconsiderate others.

Of course, as is often the case when I am a little bit cross, I exaggerate a little. The headline act at Rochester's Royal Function Rooms, who could easily be described as the five Ps - perfect punk performance poet pioneer - John Cooper Clarke was absolutely class.

I would have enjoyed hearing his unsurpassed grasp of the English language more on Friday, November 23, if my view had not been obstructed by various boozed-up, non-spacially-aware punters.

Arriving at the gig reasonably early, I managed to bag a decent table to watch JCC and his supports, Chatham poet Wolf Howard and Mancunian Mike Garry. 

Perhaps I'm uninitiated in the etiquette of poetry gigs but I couldn't help feeling narked when boozers filed out of the bar and stood directly in front of my table, without so much as a look of apology. Their rear-ends were literally touching the front end of my table and they just looked directly at the stage, as if I wasn't there.

Not wanting to cause a scene, I decided to crick my neck and look round these impetuous loafers. As one act finished, they waddled back to the bar, only to take up their concealing position when the next arrived, as oblivious as before.

Then, just as I settled into my uncomfortable posture, came the drunken cat calls of a group of women standing behind me, equidistant to my view-blocking compadres.

"Give me strength," I thought as they woooooooooooo-ed less than a foot from my right ear at the end of every poem, muttering "exactly" and "yeah" at each of JCC's comical assertions in what he called "the adverts" in between readings.

Then, imagine the emotional contradiction I felt when the oblivious lump in front of me spontaneously developed recognition of other human beings aside from the one on stage, looking round at the tipsy plonker behind me to deliver a scowl which thankfully shut her up and put the rest of us out of our misery. 

Perhaps I am being a bit of a stiff on account of being the designated driver for the night. JCC poetry readings are not debates on late-Rennaissance verse by any stretch. The night was raucous and all the better for it.

All I ask is that people don't enjoy a show at the expense of others. Don't be the unobservant view-blocking butterball or the loud, tiddly dipstick. 

Otherwise someone will end up tainting your night in the same way one day in the future.

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Categories: Books | Celebrities | Entertainment | General | Humour | Rochester

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The What's On blog, with Chris Price

Want to know what’s on in the music industry in Kent? Want to know what’s on in your local theatres? Want to know what’s really going on with the stars coming to the county who speak to the KM Group’s What’s On supplement every week? This is the place to find out. From last minute shows to views on all the entertainment stuff going on in the county, this is the place to find out the real picture with exclusive images, reviews and all the juicy bits of A-list gossip that didn’t make it into the paper. Follow Chris on Twitter: @thechrisprice.

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