Friday, July 20, 2007

Horses neigh to filming

Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell has had enough of being filmed from 17 angles during gigs. But asking fans to stop hasn't gone down well with them: Rosemary of SDDialedIn feels she's been singled out unfairly:

At first I took a few pictures, among the many people taking pictures. There were a few songs I recorded thinking I’d stick them on YouTube and whatnot, like I have with so many other bands before. About 8 songs into the set, BoH finally played “Funeral” which all the bros from Mission Beach and PB kept calling out for.

So there I am with my tiny Sony digital camera, capturing the song, and suddenly I realize I’m getting flipped off by the singer. While playing the super emotional song, “Funeral”, he flip me off and mid song yells, “I see you recording me.” I look around and at least 5 other people are taping him and he calls me out. Fuck you. I duck out and I am fucking outta there. There’s nothing worse than a fucking whiny baby onstage. It wasn’t bad enough that earlier in the set he complained about the sound and the mix, asking his band, “Should we keep playing?” Now he’s gonna be a whiny bitch about me recording his shit. Fuck him. I was outta there.

It's interesting that Rosemary's response - which continues at some length - is hugely defensive. She says that she's taped other bands, put them up on YouTube, and even had "thank yous" from bands for the support, which is fine.

What's not fine is her response to being asked not to do it. If some people don;t mind you filming them, that doesn't mean that everyone is obliged to let you film them, and if you say you're doing it because you love the band, then surely you should respect their wishes if they ask you to stop. Rather than rush onto the internet and start calling your hero "a whiny bastard".

What's interesting is the way that, in the last decade, people have gone from trying to sneak cameras and tape recorders hidden in false penis pouches past bouncers, to viewing the recording of video and audio at gigs as something of a right.

You might suggest that, having paid for her ticket, Rosemary had every tight to tape the set if she wished. Ah:
Andrea and I scored free tickets to the show (Thank you, Owen!) and I sold off the ticket I had paid for, minus the service charges.

Bridwell has put his side:
"It was just scratching at the surface of what's happening to shows lately. Everybody's got a camera in their pocket, and they turn it on… it's become a little bit ridiculous, and it was just a bit unnerving, and [with] the situation with the show and everything, all the stars lined up and I got pissed off."

He added: "I don't know, is there no sanctity left for live performance with going to a show and seeing it with your own eyes and remembering it? Do you have to tape every second, or even just your favorite song? I understand it, but it's becoming annoying."

At the very least, you'd hope fans might exercise some discretion.


Ed said...

At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, but the more I read and having watched the Youtube vid itself, I think BOH are definitely in the right.

Ben puts his points across really well in a Pitchfork interview-


Anonymous said...

I am iof two minds here...

Could Ben have handled this in a far, far more mature fashion at the moment in question? Of course. He was indeed behaving like a spoiled artiste. Does it mean he didn't have a point? Nope.

I really, really like shooting shows. (Still photography, no flash ever. Rendering a musician blind, even for a moment, does seem a bit ungracious.) But before the show I always speak to both the artists and the venue to make sure it's okay. Generally musicians have been fine with me taking pictures, and if they aren't I don't. The ticket let's me in to see a (hopefully really good) show, but beyond that it's what the act and venue allow. I try not to forget that.

-Peter S., Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

I've never seen the attraction of filming shows on cameraphone. Maybe it's me being old and fumbly with technology, but I find that when I'm filming something, I'm not watching the actual event; I'm staring at a tiny screen, making sure everything's in shot. If I pay a day's wage to see a gig, I'd prefer to actually see it, rather than concentrate on getting footage of a fuzzy singing white blob to upload to Youtube.

Having said that, I'm glad this person whipped their phone out.

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