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Top five bad gig-goers

Written by
Time Out London contributor

1. Slamdance guy

One second you're bouncing away lightly to that catchy bridge section from the new single and then BAM! - a bloke with a septum piercing and a plaid shirt tied around his waist smashes into you and sends you hurtling into your unsuspecting neighbours. Drinks go flying, brows are furrowed and for a split second you feel like you could turn into Patrick Bateman. Hey, Plaid Slamdance Guy, stop it! This isn't Washington DC circa '82; no one here is 16 any more. No one here wants to mosh. We're all just trying to watch a middle-aged, re-formed Britpop band try - and fail -to convince us that their new material really is as good as the old stuff.

2. The snoggers

They met at the merch stall when the openers were on, bonded at the bar, and now, like a terrifying live re-staging of Michael Winterbottom's racy concert flick '9 Songs', they're making every effort to consummate their burgeoning 'connection' by getting seriously freaky with each other beside the sound desk. They're so intent on eating each other's faces that you fear you may actually be in a badly soundtracked zombie film. You just don't expect this kind of thing at a Mark Knopfler gig.

3. The budding filmmaker

You know what's better than watching a band with your own eyes? Watching it through a sea of phone screens filming the spectacle in front of you! Oh wait: no it's not. It's terrible. What drives someone to film a gig on a phone? Is it to prove to all your friends that you saw Merzbow play with a dozen musically trained lobsters? Mate, Dave from your woodturning club doesn't care about Merzbow; Dave likes Ed Sheeran.

4. The chatterer

You've queued in near-arctic conditions outside the Shepherd's Bush Empire for what feels like three years. You've suffered through that fascinatingly bad jazz-metal fusion support act. Now, finally, you can stand back and bathe in the sonic glory of Singy Singer And The McKeyboards. Except you can't, because you've inadvertently stood next to Talky McTalkerson and there's no escape. You could say something - but that's talking, and then you'd be part of the problem, not the solution, man. So you just stand there, plastic glass in hand, silenty fuming amid the chattering masses.

5. The arms-aloft drunk

Surveying the audience, you see a selection of typical drunk people at gigs: the swayer, the shouter, the fighter, the facer-in-the-wrong-direction etc. But standing two feet away from you is the worst variant: the arms-alofter. As soon as the chorus hits, their upper limbs shoot triumphantly into the air, showering everyone within a mile's radius with overpriced, backwashed, warm beer. You're wet wet wet. And that's the last thing you want to be...

By Sammy Robson, who snogs Mark Knopfler at his girlfriend's gigs.

Take a look at the top five awful London daters.

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