With a speculative & highly ambiguous NME article dangling the prospect of a re-staged Morrissey concert at the Echo Arena (http://www.nme.com/news/morrissey/48330 ), which has already been given the cold water treatment by Simon's excellent No Rock And Roll Fun blog (http://xrrf.blogspot.com/2009/11/morrissey-stop-me-if-youve-heard-this.html ), it's unsurprising to see that Oldham Hall Street has sent out what it considers to be a couple of its attack-dog columnists in order to blame the performer rather than the lax security & stewarding at the venue bearing the Oldham Echo's name. The prosaic reality, however, is that these columnists are more like poodles than rottweilers.
Paddy Shennan (hello, Paddy, survived the cull, have you?) considers Morrissey to be a wimp for walking off (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/views/liverpool-columnists/paddy-shennan/2009/11/11/morrissey-some-boys-are-bigger-girls-blouses-than-others-100252-25138810/ ) & harks back to the days of punk when gobbing was de riguer. Ah, yes, Paddy, I, too, was at some of those gigs; consensus of opinion among many who were part of that generation on Merseyside was that such individuals needed to have their facial features rearranged. Joe Strummer once contracted hepatitis B after a Clash gig when some moron spat at his face.
However, the prize for journalistic stupidity on behalf of the Oldham Echo's attempt to blame the performer, not the venue is won hands-down by Nick Peet in a juvenile scrawl which makes me wonder about his mental age, IQ & experience of local gigs (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/views/liverpool-columnists/nick-peet/2009/11/11/nick-peet-on-the-morrissey-arena-debacle-100252-25138787/ ).
"Is it really such a big problem? Hardly.
"Plastic beer cups and the odd smuggled plastic bottle are frequent overhead projectiles when you go to rock concerts the world over."
Presumably Peet was of a mind to excuse the near torrent of missiles thrown at the Mersey Tunnel stage throughout the Matthew Street festival, despite onstage appeals for the idiots to stop.
Peet goes on to jeer in a beery sort of way at Morrissey's back catalogue, as though it's relevant to the incident at the Arena & the wider issue of security & stewarding at the venue. The Oldham Echo's very own Lester Bangs opines in jocular fashion:
"Both the Arctic Monkey's [sic] and Kasabian have concerts planned for the ECHO Arena later this week and I'd bet both bands would be somewhat insulted if a couple of beers didn't get sprayed about the place.
"The only fear for the venue is that is [sic] escalates out of control like it did towards the end of the Kings of Leon gig earlier in the summer [the concert took place late last year], as there was content far more sinister than beer in some of those plastic cups.
"But the regulation and sale of booze at the ECHO Arena is just a toothache on a sensational first 12 months of trading."
Peet's saloon-bar sloshed words reveal both his own alarming immaturity, not to mention an inability to write properly, & the Oldham Echo's desperate attempts to exonerate the management of the ECHO Arena [my capitals] from last Saturday's incident.
Hearteningly, the comments left on Peet's depressing diatribe all take issue with his management-sanctioned defence of the indefensible. One commenter asks if Oldham Hall Street's scrawlers would have penned the same, erm, thoughts if it had happened at a McCartney concert. Another refers to Peet's "toothache" quip, commenting that the venue itself has become a pain in the backside for the city (it's telling, btw, that Peet gratuitously inserts the "sensational first 12 months of trading" comment into the discussion).
However, Peet isn't quite finished. Indeed, he saves the best till last, remarking:
"And if dreary Morrissey chooses not to return then real Merseyside music fans should all stand united and buy last weekend's beer chucker a replacement pint."
Yes, there's nothing like a real Merseyside music fan, Nick. And you're nothing like one.