We had to bail out of a gig* early last night because the volume was just too much. I’m no stranger to loud gigs, but that’s why I have tinnitus and I’m keen to avoid it getting any worse thanks. After 40 minutes we were edging further and further back, but even by the doors it was clear that the volume was increasing and the only sensible thing to do was leave or face possibly permanent consequences. Does anyone use ear protection at gigs? And is there such a thing as ear plugs which reduce the volume while still allowing you to enjoy the music?
Side topic, what’s the most punishingly and pointlessly loud gig you’ve seen and heard? AHEM! I SAID …(etc.)
* It was British Lion at Colchester Arts Centre. BL is the side project of Iron Maiden main man Steve Harris** and they were playing a warm up gig prior to some festivals around Britain and Europe. Metal was my gateway drug to music, but the only stuff I listen to now is occasional nostalgic visits to the songs I loved in my mid-teens, Maiden among them. I liked the idea of seeing an old hero who usually plays to tens or hundreds of thousands in shows he reaches in his band’s own 747 at a gig for a few hundred in a small, deconsecrated church.
The music was pretty good, and certainly heavier than I expected from the YouTube vids I’d watched beforehand. Apparently a lot of fans found BL’s first album and gigs a bit tame, and they have responded with a sound not unlike 80s Iron Maiden, albeit with only one lead guitar and no pantomime theatrics. But man, it was loud. A couple of times I was puzzled by what I thought were bits of paper falling from the roof, until I realised it was paint being shaken off the church ceiling.
** Fact of the day. Steve Harris’ middle name is Percy.