Thursday, September 18, 2003

WHO WANTS TO DIE FOR ROCK AND ROLL?: We've been at gigs where suicide has seemed a rosy option ourselves - (not another bloody Travis encore, please...) - but as far as we know there haven't been any recorded instances of preplanned suicides onstage before. That's about to change, as Hell On Earth plan to use an unfortunate fan as a stooge in a publicity stunt ("are to invite a terminally ill fan to die on stage at one of their gigs.")

One of their fans happens to be terminally ill and so Hell on Earth are going to allow him to "die with dignity" in the middle of their set in St Petersburg. The fan's name hasn't been revealed and apparently the suicide method is still being kicked about - the favourite option is a plastic bag over the head, apparently. So, that's dying in front of a bunch of heavy metal freaks by slow suffocation, before the band kick into 'Raped by the Virgin Mary.' Thank god he's chosen to die with dignity rather than going out as some sort of freakshow exhibit.

Leaving aside the certainty that this is going to put back the cause of euthanasia campaigners by about three hundred years, have the band actually thought through the implications? Costume and set changes are bad enough, but have they considered quite how much having a suicide is going to slow the show down? What if he doesn't go quickly? And there's going to be mess to tidy up. If it's midset, how are they going to work round a body on the stage? If it comes at the end, would that be before or after the encores? And what are the crowd meant to do - does one cheer a suicide? A slow handclap if the death is drawn out? Modern life is so confusing.

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