Video Saturday – Manfred Mann

Ah, 1976, Manfred Mann actually playing instruments and actually singing (watch and learn kids) to a Bruce Springsteen song assisted by special effects such as turning the lights on very bright or turning them off very dim and setting three small fireworks off at the end, but mainly just playing and singing in a very excellent way, if a little 1970s camp.

I must admit though, the pre-occupation with musicians to get members of the audience to clap their hands and join in is one that annoys me profusely, if I am in an audience I came to watch them to perform not to help them perform, I didn’t appear on the original record and I don’t expect to appear in their live appearances, if they point at me and shout “Hey come on, clap your hands” they’ll get a swift “YOU clap your hands, I don’t see me getting paid for this gig”.

Likewise when people stand up and bounce around clapping their hands, it spoils everyone’s enjoyment of the music that they paid with their own money to come and see, when people stand up to bounce around and clap their hands in front of me I’m the one still sitting down with his coat on his lap and shouting “Sit down you pillock, you’re spoiling it for everyone else”.

I was once dining with the owner of a hotel in Barbados, yes, this was when I was wealthy and paid myself to go to the Caribbean to conduct my business, unbelievable but true, we were sitting on the balcony overlooking the patio area of his open air bar where a reggae group were performing to his guests.

They were going down well with the crowd, getting lots of applause and stuff and then at one point the singer asked the holidaymakers to stand up and form a conga chain and dance around the swimming pool with her while singing Bob Marleys “Three little Birds”, so they did, and they seemed to be enjoying the conga, and all was well in the world.

Just as they had finished the hotel’s entertainment manager happened to walk by our table and the hotel owner beckoned him over, “When they’ve finished this session tell them to pack their things and leave the hotel” he said.

“But they love them, I thought they were going down really well” countered the entertainment manager.

“I’m not having musicians coming into my hotel making the guests do the entertainment” the owner explained, “I pay them to entertain the guests, not the other way around, get rid of them”

And do you know what – I couldn’t find fault in his argument, I think thats where I realised that I’d finally turned into a grumpy old man.

And yes, the owner of the hotel was also a Yorkshireman.


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