A Punter’s Perspective
Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage
#24 Q&A (John Schumann fields questions from the floor)
First published in Trad and Now magazine, March 2011
How an artist builds a rapport (or not) with their audience on stage has always fascinated me. Especially if it’s an artist whose work has become very familiar, I find the gaze wandering from the stage to the crowd. Gauging others’ reactions becomes the main game.
Not everyone makes the audience the main game. I’ve never seen Van Morrison perform live, but his self-confessed lack of focus on, or regard for, those watching is legendary. Just plug ‘”van morrison” audience disdain’ into a web search and read for yourself.
On topic, I often recall a rock gig several years ago where two headline acts could only manage one complete, barely-coherent sentence between them that was roughly aimed in the direction of the paying punters. I left early and, passing one of the band cars, left a one-line critique in the dust on the rear windshield. Continue reading