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  • Writer's pictureKarl Walker-Finch

I went to a thing

As the sun was setting last night on the longest day of the year I managed to get out the house to a gig! I used to love going to gigs, before kids and COVID, so this was my first one in several years.

Noel Gallagher bossed the stage set against the backdrop of The Piece Hall, the old textile mill in Halifax, a more Northern venue you'll struggle to find.

It was a pleasant surprise for me and the thousands of others in the 18th century courtyard amid the cloth halls, to see him play a few Oasis songs. The comments from several people around me as Wonderwall kicked in was of how this was the song that got them into Oasis way back when, as every one of them proceeded to pull out their phone and miss the enjoyment of the live performance so they can maybe watch it back on a five inch screen with broken sound and Noel being drowned out the surly bloke next to them singing a foot away from the phone.

They weren't alone in doing this as the picture above demonstrates. I remember doing this myself when camera phones and recording became a thing.

I can find a million recordings of Wonderwall in better quality already in existence with a few taps of a screen, why would I bother going to see someone live if this is all I wanted? Why miss the very thing I've paid for, the increasingly unique experience of seeing something happening, live, right in front of you. And yes I completely acknowledge the irony of getting my phone out during the gig to take a photo of everyone with their phones out.

This doesn't stop with one gig in Halifax though, this has echoes of the rest of our lives where we seem so intent on filling every moment with something. You'll rarely see a person sat alone in a restaurant without a phone out while their accomplice is paying a visit. It seems we can no longer tolerate sitting in silence, enjoying a moment of serenity or just being completely present in any given moment.

By no means am I sitting on my high horse here, I'm often no better at being in the moment but I'm working on it.....

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