|Hands in the air! But for the love of God, why?|
It’s one thing to watch rave’s legacy - my dance-floor daughters and their mates jumping up and down on the spot, punching their arms in the air to the meta-commercial, factory-spewed , submusical studio detritus that outsells decency today. But to see men around my age dance in this manner at the 9:30 Club last night was disquieting. Even when captivated by the Norwegian band Röyksopp – who in a live setting combine the cool, electronic genius of Kraftwerk with the sprawling, untamed noise-pop of Mogwai – I can’t help but be perturbed by several new breeds of annoying concert-goer around me. And yes, I know, I should just stay-at-home, but it’s a tradition that at the start of spring Mrs. Pop lets me out of the house for a few hours.
So, here they are:
Fan Who Knows Which Song It Is Before Everyone Else. You know, the one who starts to whoop or shriek before everyone else does, just to show that they already recognise the song a mere two bars in. That would be the super-fan twat directly to my left. Of course he could be just doing it on every song, and we’d have no idea whether he really knew which song this was or not, unless the band announced at the end they’d only written it that afternoon. Which doesn’t happen often.
Fan Who Knows When The Song Ends Before Everyone Else. Same bloke to my left. Gets his cheering and clapping in first as the song winds down. Almost visibly shakes his head when fans prematurely applaud at a beat-free bridge, thinking the song’s over when it’s not. Tsk, fools.
Funny Three-Second Dance Man. It’s always a man. Looks at mate or girlfriend and does a deviant wacko-dance with a crayzee expression for a few seconds, because he suddenly needs the attention or something. That was the bloke in front of me, whose mate, commendably, ignored him every time. He then tried it on me, but only once.
Repeat Everything The Band Says In A Mock Norwegian Accent Fan. That would be the tossers behind me. Because English isn’t Röyksopp’s first language ha ha. Get it?
Right Hand In The Air Fan. Back to the annoying specimen on my left who, when he’s not raising his hands to take crappy mobile phone footage, thrusts his right arm in the air and then makes forward-pointing gestures to the beat, as though taunting football fans in the away end. As the night goes on, more and more people join him, and that’s when it all gets way too ravey-wavy for me.
Not that I ever went to a rave. An event where everyone was temporarily happy and accepting of each other only thanks to pharmaceutical innovation was never going to be my kind of thing. But this is what it looked like on TV when the news showed footage of mass Love Parades – thousands of fists pumping the air simultaneously and people happily bobbing up and down like toddlers on a trampoline.
Please understand that I’m not saying men of my generation shouldn’t dance, I’m just saying that men like me shouldn’t be there to see it. It’s not like my dancing’s any better. I generally look like a spider-legged chicken who’s just been shot in the groin. And besides, my spring night out was a huge success – wonderfully loud and chaotic electronic pop, and tons of stuff to complain about.