Last Saturday night I went to see Elvis Costello at Bracknell. He and the Attractions were tremendous, if far too loud for comfort and clarity.
However, we all knew he would be great and this does not warrant the effort of me sitting down and scrawling on paper. The audience does!
I am a boring old fart of 24, have been to many concerts over the last eight years or so and have never come across a crowd like it.
Normally at concerts when people are standing and dancing, it tends to be hot, crowded and vaguely uncomfortable. Furthermore, the attitude, as a rule, is one of "be nice to people and they'll be nice to you." There is a cheerful atmosphere built on camaraderie in adverse circumstances. Not this time.
The Mickey Jupp Band were support and while they were playing, those of us at the front had a good view and could dance happily if we chose to.
As soon as the band filed off, however, all the Elvis Costello fans started to push forwards and in at the side so that we barely had room to breathe and were gradually forced backwards by weight of numbers of totally selfish and inconsiderate schoolkid punks.
Then the pogoing commenced and I noticed several interesting things about it. Firstly, it seems to have nothing at all to do with dancing; it is more an expression of hipness, to use an old expression.
Due to its nature, it is a very exerting way of passing one's time. This means that at the start everyone pogos madly until they get knackered.
Then they gradually stop, have a rest and then look around them anxiously until one brave boy gives a half-hearted leap. This seems to fill them all with confidence and they all set off again. Very strange.
However, you'll be pleased to know that pogoing does have a practical use and that is getting to the front, even when you have come in late.
The theory is, I suppose, that if one takes a run up and leaps forward into the air it is easier to push a body aside and get in front of it, especially if the object body is also in mid-air at the time. If it is not, it soon steps backwards to examine its blackening toenails through its Hush Puppies when one lands on its toes.
This constant pushing and damaging of other people's bodies does not lend itself to an atmosphere of conviviality.
Anyway, both bands were great and a bargain at £1.80, so well done, Elvis, Mickey and the tour organisers. But that audience...!
— G.P. Houlden, Calder Court, Maidenhead, Berks.