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Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Eagles : Mobile phone ban is good for you

The Eagles. They're my favourite band of the moment.

Not because of their music, excellent as it may have been over the years.

Not because of the humour and dry wit of their History Of The Eagles tour, which I caught at Birmingham`s LG Arena a few weeks back.

And not because of that Hotel California guitar solo.

No, the reason I have a newfound love of the band is simple.

It's because they BAN mobile phones.

Take a photo, shoot a video, make a call, send a text and odds are a steward will pounce to confiscate your mobile.

That's dreadful, that's outrageous, phone addicts will cry.

No it's not. It's a long overdue breath of fresh air.

Now it may well be a paranoid band of control freaks wary of bootleggers. 

I don`t really care. I just want to say thank you.

I`m sick to the back teeth of craning my neck to get a sightline to the stage through a forest of mobiles held aloft.

I want to punch the bloke standing behind me yelling down his phone: "Can you hear that? They're playing such and such a song."

Consider this. You shell out eighty quid to see your favourite band. You get there early to get down the front if it`s a standing gig.

The band you've waited months to see hit the stage, and what d'you do?

You fiddle with your phone, trying to catch the moment on a blurry, shaky video.

You've missed that moment.

They play your favourite song. You can't clap, yell or dance because it'll spoil the video.

You've missed that moment, too.

Because the moment you get out your phone you're putting distance between yourself and the moment, just like war photographers will tell you.

You're sacrificing emotion, excitement and the sheer bloody joy of being alive.

And for what?

A few minutes of lousy footage to put up on YouTube. For nothing more than bragging rights.

When I started reviewing gigs for a living many years ago I used to take a notebook and copiously detail every song, every moment.

I soon got rid of that notebook, preferring to live the gig. I think the reviews were better for it too.

So that's why I love The Eagles just now.

Well done guys. Take it easy.

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