"TELL 'EM TO STAND THE F*** UP, BEN!" Someone obviously wasn't having it. The crowd surges towards the stage and the whole room lifts, the happiness-factor (it exists!) is raised ten-fold. Ben smiles and nods like he's proud that his followers have come to join him - "The people have spoken!" he says, and starts rocking out to the fantastic 'You To Thank'. A few of the vastly-outnumbered audience members not of university age mumble about this having been advertised a 'sit down concert'. No-one cares. No-one cares because all eyes are fixed firmly on one middle-aged guy with thick-rimmed glasses breaking a piano as he hands round the Jammy Dodgers he's just been given by a fan... a roadie comes on to sort the piano, but Ben's not one for silence. Maybe he'd have told us a story if we'd been sat down, as it is, he drums out the famous riff from Nina Simone's 'Baby Don't Care' and adlibs for a good five minutes, his awesome band jamming with him in an instant. 'Looks like I f*cked up my piano', he sings, and then: ''The folks in Sheffield stand like they hate to sit down'.As someone who has in the past also stood at sit-down gigs (an especially weird demand for those in the ground floor/stalls area), I giggled at the description of the crowd being swept along with standing even though I felt for the older fans who wanted to sit down. Mind, I often think if you're gonna be seated, why not be at home? I do think that for classical music, with its softer, contemplative (and perhaps even more complex?) musical artistry, sitting down allows an appropriate attentiveness. Not that pop/rock music doesn't deserve that attentiveness, but there should be something more raw and expressive, communal even, that gets you on your feet.
We all feel a little proud.
Anyway, nice blog: I almost felt like I was there!