Television Times – Ashes to Ashes (an introduction).

Or, why I love Gene Hunt.

So. The great debate. Should this spin-off from Life On Mars ever have been allowed to occur – does it taint its marvellous predecessor – or, does it overshadow and outrun Life On Mars, and viewers are very happy that there are many more hours of Gene Hunt to be enjoyed?

As much as I liked Life On Mars, I think I have to hand it to Ashes. This is a hugely controversial point, but I find Keeley Hawes (DI Alex Drake) gives a much more convincing performance than the lead in Life On Mars, John Simm, who plays Sam Tyler. This may be slightly down to the characters themselves, as Alex Drake knows where she is, she has already read about the characters, and she seems, therefore, less insane than Sam Tyler. The viewer is able to relax more in this series, and enjoy the plot lines, the acting, the script – everything really – as, in Life On Mars, you’re not constantly thinking “Oh GOD he’s GOING TO DIE” or “Just shut up and enjoy the 70s maybe?”, and you’re not living in fear that Alex Drake is going to cease to exist because of everything that has happened before. So it is a more relaxing and enjoyable series as a whole, I prefer the performance and character of Alex Drake, and aside from all of that, you still get all the goodness that was first created in Life On Mars, but in the 80s with (potentially) better music. What’s not to like?!

Criticisms have ranged from Keeley Hawes not delivering a believable enough performance (despite being nominated for various awards), to the idea that the writers were just doing what they did with Life On Mars, but more of it, and with a woman. Now I’m not a feminist, but Keeley Hawes does make a decent police officer, and even if you don’t like that, surely the hilarious tension between Alex Drake and Gene Hunt makes for very entertaining viewing? Much more so than the love-hate relationship between Gene Hunt and Sam Tyler anyway.

Now despite the character of Gene Hunt having reformed slightly, he stills retains what makes him him:

“I am just trying to get this man arrested for murder, if that makes me a fascist, then Heil bloody Hitler!”

And despite having written this with only two out of the three original writers, I feel the script is still just as good, if not better than Life On Mars. Ashes also includes one of my favourites ‘romances’ (what a hideous word in this context), between DC Chris Skelton and WPC Sharon Granger (‘Shaz’), which is SO ADORABLE YOU JUST WANT THEM TO RUN OFF INTO A SUNSET. That paralleled with the somewhat explosive relationship between Alex Drake and Gene Hunt is particularly well done.

Basically, Ashes is just as good, if not miles better than, Life On Mars, and since I have now caught up with all available series (within about 2 weeks), I shall be reviewing each new episode of series 3, shown on Fridays, BBC 1, at 9pm. Watch it bitches. Or bastards.

(And I’d like to point out I chose the series 2 trailer due to the awesome driving and genius music, not for the violence)


Mezzo Forte Monday – dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip.

Gig time!

Saturday evening (the 27th to be exact) saw myself and Mr Thomas J Bench Esq. returning to the place of our first meeting, the Academy (not exactly romantic but “so us”) in Bristol, this time to see hip hop/rap/spoken word duo dan le sac Vs. Scroobius Pip, supported by Sound Of Rum and B. Dolan. The headliners I had first seen at Glastonbury last year – and a marvellous performance it was too – but I hadn’t even looked into the two other acts. An unusual choice of gig, one may be allowed to think, considering my usual tastes, but this was one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve been to in a long time, and it was rather rejuvenating (to my musical views) to attend something so completely different but still have an excellent time anyway.

The Academy is an odd venue I find – not exactly soulless but has the potential to be, being a chain and having a small range of drinks with big price tags – but the different levels (three or four to be exact) make for a dynamic space, and it’s actually quite nice to be able to choose your view, instead of having to stand behind huge people and act like sardines for the whole evening. I’m not a huge fan of sticking to floors, which is what happened as soon as we entered the building, or of finding vomit in the bathroom so early in the night (it was about 9pm!), but other than that, The Academy in Bristol is one of my prefered venues I think. That week it had also hosted Paloma Faith and Trivium, which, I assume, no one would want to go to (I’m only assuming this as I would like to assume whoever is reading this has taste as good as myself), but it is also good to find a venue that isn’t pretentious and appeals to a range of demographics. That said, they could have chosen slightly better musicians…

So. Sound Of Rum. Who are they? Where are they going? What are they… about? To begin with, it looked like some bird who hadn’t exactly dressed for the occasion with a guitarist who needed a haircut and a drummer who was a little out of sight. And then she started some spoken word piece, to introduce everything, and this is when you think “Oh god no.” HOWEVER, it was a very good performance. Rapper Kate Tempest started off a little apprehensive (it is a deceptively large venue methinks), but soon got into the evening and they had good tunes with some — things to say. I was particularly impressed by Ms Tempest, as usually females in bands can either be really good or really hideous (potentially a naive and sexist view but I’d much rather see a guitar played by Yan than by Abi, for a Sea Power example), but the front lady was most definitely the former. The only bad thing about it could be the speed of the lyric deliver and the level of volume of the sound meant the words couldn’t always be heard – and this, one surmises, is quite a large part of the whole rap thing – but aside from that there was stacks of energy, lots of enthusiasm, a well-together band and good feedback from the crowd. A success I feel!

Now. B Dolan is an interesting character. Another one of those “oh god no” moments occurred when some guy in a boiler suit, wearing a George Bush mask, strolled onto the stage, played a backing track and started rapping. But Mr Dolan does not seem to take himself to seriously, which is a blessing when it comes to music (or any art form really. Actually maybe life in general), so when he started a somewhat controversial number about his intense hate of Justin Timberlake (lyrics were absolutely genius here), and how he hoped “JT” caught Aids and died (he’s as abrasive as Nicky Wire! Although it seemed like he meant it more than Wire boy), the crowd was in stitches – not aghast or shocked – but laughing ridiculously large amounts. It was hilarious. (If anyone is interested, it can be found here: He, too, had stacks of confidence and looked like he was having a good time – another popular act methinks.

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip, in all their prophetic glory, were awesome. Such entertainers, and with such chemistry between each other and with the crowd, everyone seemed to enjoy their performance. Scroobius Pip made a special mention to local music “legend” Jeff – if you’ve been to a few gigs in Bristol, he’s the chap who is always at the front with masses of curly blonde hair, not caring about potential brain, ear or neck damage. He is good for the Bristol music scene, as, even if you are the most unpopular of bands, Jeff will always be there having a good time at the front. Mr Pip even mentioned that if Jeff were to run for the local elections, he would be voted in. dan and Pip started with one of my favourites of theirs ‘The Beat That my Heart Skipped’, and played an excellent mix of things from their first album with things from their second. I find their second possibly a little more commercial (for once this is not a criticism), and I also think they are better in concert than on cd. Their personas are needed to bring the life into the music and lyrics, and this was so well done the crowd were loving it. I haven’t seen a crowd that good in years. They also played a track from their new album called ‘The Beat’, which I saw performed at Glastonbury, in which Mr Pip encouraged the entire crowd to “get moving”, and he found the Bristol crowd the most responsive to that track on the tour. This was potentially due to a couple becoming engaged just before, as one of them had asked the front man to ask the question. Again, not exactly romantic, but I would assume it’s very “them”, and there was a genuine sense of joy in the evening.

As usual, public transport cut short out evening of music, but I think we only missed a few songs. At a mere £12.50 per ticket, it was definitely worth it, and how often is it that someone enjoys a whole evening of a genre they barely know about, with three bands, two of whom they’ve never heard of? This is a rarity for me. Good job rappers and rapperess!

Television Times – ‘Life On Mars’

Although I may be somewhat “late to the game” on this count, this doesn’t make the programme any less amazing.

Me and an associate began watching (she insisted) the first series on Sunday evening. It is now Thursday and we have four episodes left to go of the second series. I LOVE THIS PROGRAMME. Despite not being accustomed to cop shows, and even less cop shows from the 70s, this is one of the best things I’ve seen in ages. I won’t bother with a long description as I’m sure the majority of people know the basic idea behind it, but cop in 2006 (or thereabouts) gets hit by car, falls into a coma, wakes up in 1973. “If I can work out the reason [as to why it’s now 1973], maybe I can get back [to 2006]”, so he tells us repeatedly. He is confused and frustrated, his sanity is frequently doubted and no one really likes him, apart from a female officer called Annie. Sounds odd and possibly very bad, but everything goes back in time, and it’s brilliant.

That’s not to say it is without its demerits. I am not a fan of John Simm (the main actor), and his character (Sam Tyler) is more than a little irritating at times. But maybe this is because GENE HUNT RULES EVERY SCENE HE IS IN.

But why would anyone ever love Gene Hunt? The DCI is racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, bordering alcoholic, not one to think it’s bad to bring a hooker he has just “nicked” to a swinging party, a semi-bent copper who is more interested in results than the right way to get them… It looks bad for him really. However, he is one of the coolest characters ever to be invented. He does, somehow, have a very caring underlying trait to his personality, and you would never feel unprotected if he was heading your team. Indeed, to stand up to him as much as he does, I’m rather surprised Sam Tyler has not been snapped in two a great many times.

The genius behind this programme I feel lies in a lot of qualities that you don’t find in many others. Or if you do, they are very few and far between, and usually only quality is possessed, not as many as ‘Life On Mars’ has. First of all, the script is incredible.

“I’m Gene Hunt. Your DCI. It’s 1973. Nearly dinner time. I’m ‘aving hoops!”

It’s a brilliantly quotable script – a charm only found in things like ‘Black Books’ or ‘Family Guy’. Secondly, the writers have the advantage of writing retrospectively, and the added bonus of hindsight can prove hilarious. Like Sam Tyler introducing himself as “Tony Blair” at a party, and Gene Hunt as “Gordon Brown”, and being able to turn a regular pub into a sports pub for the Grand National (and Sam Tyler tipping that Red Rum would win).  Thirdly, the music is amazing, and it must be a lovely job choosing which of your favourite 70s songs to go on the soundtrack. Fourthly, the unbelievably well-researched costuming and props (etc) make for an exceptionally believable programme, from the fashions of 1973, to the authentic Party Seven can and the cuisine at the time (black forest gateaux and treacle tart etc). In fact I think the only weak thing about it IS John Simm, but he is still perfectly acceptable and probably would be quite good if he wasn’t upstaged by Philip Glenister all the time. A strong supporting cast is a charm, but an overpowering one can be bad. It’s all fine here though, due to Gene Hunt being awesome. I feel the fact there’s only 16 episodes in existence is definitely a bonus – not too many to spoil it, not too few to be frustrating, and just the right number to include the staple cop drama events (ie. bombings, murders, hostage-taking etc)

I am also very happy about the inclusion of historical and political events that occurred at the time – this can also prove to be comical, but also a good reflection on what happened. It is also likely that most of the writers lived through some of the events, so can write a believable portrayal of it based on what they experienced, not on hearing about it many years later.

Although there’s only four episodes of the second series to go, there is still three series of Ashes To Ashes, although I am dubious about this as reviews have stated it is not quite the same or as good as Life On Mars. But it can’t hurt to look, and there’s still the tying up of ends for this series too. It should be watched by everyone. And considering how little I actually like things (and recommend them), you would be missing out not to get involved.

Mezzo Forte Thursday – Broken Bells

Their album, with the same name as the artist, is the collaboration project between Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and James Mercer from The Shins, and speculation, since the announcement of the project, has been the results will be good, if not amazing. However, this is an album I cannot work out. Is it really brilliant? Really awful? Just average? It makes no sense to me.

To begin with, it’s immediately palatable to the ear. Usually this is a bad sign – there’s no need to acquire a taste, so will it get boring very quickly? Or will it be accessable to a lot of demographics and therefore a universal hit? Things you need to really listen to, to get into last for a lot longer I find, but currently that looks like it won’t happen with Broken Bells.

There seems to be a far degree of variance in the first few tracks, but the second half does generally seem to roll into one long piece with no real stand-out numbers, although it does revive itself a little at the end with ‘The Mall and Misery. On the plus side, the tracks are not hideously boring and long, with the album running for around 35 minutes. The first track, ‘The High Road’, also the first single, has an excellent vocal line (probably the best part about it), but is slightly reminiscent of generic radio/early landfill indie songs that occur in the background but you never really listen to. This isn’t help by the fact it was heard in the Co-Op when shopping. I found most of the early songs seemed to remind me of something else – ‘Vaporize’ having hints of late-90s Manics, track 4 ‘The Ghost Inside’ something like Damon Albarn might feature in a side project run by cartoon members (having said that, this was my favourite song on the album), and ‘Sailing To Nowhere’ hideously 90s-pop.

I didn’t find this album as wonderful as everyone has been saying it is. It bored me a little, which was disappointing, but perhaps it’ll age well. It sounds pretty good, in that it’s not noise rock, it’s not heavy metal – it’s pretty easy-going really, but it’s just not that interesting. It feels like it could be a good ‘party album’, in that you’d say to a friend “Oh I know this track, who is it though?”, someone might mention it’s Broken Bells, but you would not then start discussing the band and their musical merits. I feel there could be a second album, but I don’t think I shall be listening to it.

Playing/Performance/Sound – 8.5/10

Originality – 5/10

As a collection – 6/10

Overall – 6.5/10

The Tuesday Muse – The Classroom.

(It’s only Wednesday and computer access has been sparse so I’m still Tuesday-Musing! Anyway..)

When delving into a book entitled ‘Introductions To Shakespeare’ (a collection written by lots of well-known people, nearly all (if  not all) who have acted in a play or two by said playwright), I came across this marvellous piece by Ralph Richardson written in 1957 and talking about ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ :

“My own first meeting with ‘The Dream’ was when I studied it with my schoolmaster in the manner prescribed for the examination. Everything about the play was anatomised – the internal and external evidence, the strong and weak endings, the sources of the plot – a dry-as-bones examination with never one word to let in the idea that the work had been written first and foremost as a work of entertainment, of delight and laughter. All that was a strict taboo, something quite unheard of, but as far as I was concerned, this attempted desecration was completely unsuccessful.”

Now despite talking about Shakespeare and all that, what he has said does rather relate to everything else I’ve ever been taught. What is the point in learning something if you don’t know how to use it? Or if you’re never taught the practical uses? Would people not be more inclined to learn things if they knew how they related to their own lives? Added to that, it would be so much more interactive and engaging. I would prefer to be taught a great lot of stuff, then see what I know after, not be made to learn a huge amount of things that I don’t care about by the ‘syllabus’ says we need it for the exam (which will be out of date pretty soon anyway). What’s the point in exams if nothing is really learnt in the process? Things are learnt for examination, not for life – which is a huge shame – and what is the point in learning things if they are not going to be for life?

Going back to the original quote, Shakespeare is a playwright. His work is intended to be performed and observed, not studied with a fine comb in a classroom. Why not run English and Drama together?

“Divorced from regular physical performances his plays would die – or at best be translated into something quite different from their basic nature.” (John Clements, 1971)

The Great Film Debate Mk 3 – Historical Inaccuracies

This is always a controversial point, and a huge thing of contempt for myself, so let us delve into some of the most blatantly inaccurate films ever made…

First off –

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (2008)

It’s a goldmine! An enjoyable film, yes, and very readable book, but to get properly ‘in’ to it, it would have been a lot more believable has it followed what really happened. According to at least one of my contemporaries, the idea behind the film was to show the innocence of the youth of the nation, and how ridiculous this made Nazi Germany and the policies of the Third Reich. But surely you can do that in other ways than re-writing history and offending a lot of people along the way? The main character, Bruno (pictured), although being 8, would have known what a Jew was. And Shmuel, the friend he makes in Auschwitz, would, I am very much afraid to say, have been culled on first arrival. He was 8! Nearly all children and those under 15 years of age went straight to be exterminated. Fact of life. (Also, in the film, the actor playing Shmuel did not look like he belonged in a concentration camp, and was a weak actor – bad casting maybe?) Aside from these first two foibles, the film also made a huge mistake in that Bruno would not have been so close to such a place. If, indeed, the camp was Auschwitz (it is never really stated, just assumed), security would have been higher, no? The language John Boyne (author of the book) uses is infuriating sometimes – surely the ‘nicknames’ of ‘Out-With’ (instead, one presumes, of Auschwitz), and ‘the Fury’ (The Führer) only work if the characters are speaking English. But they wouldn’t have been, as they would have been speaking German! That, surely, is one of the most obvious downfalls.  I found the most believable parts of this film was when it was suggested that Bruno’s mother has an affair with Lieutenant Kurt Kotler, and the arguments the situation causes. Not the politics, never the history. I do not see the point in using such a huge event in history and then changing it to tell the story. I believe the Holocaust does not need to be changed to emphasise the horror and atrocities and contradictions behind it. Enough.

Gladiator (2000)

This film I enjoy greatly, but I am led to believe it might have something to do with the fact that I know less about the Roman Empire, and therefore am just happy to enjoy the story. However, twisted history does not do well for good teaching. A great deal of history is, confusingly to me, based on opinion, but there are still facts there. Yes really.

So! What’s wrong with Gladiator? Well, mainly, most of it’s quite wrong. But again, an enjoyable watch. Mild amounts more of respect than that for Striped PJs, although obviously you can’t even really begin to compare except on a very rudimentary and crude level. Historical advisors were even hired for this film, one taking a step back from the project, and one withdrawing his name from the credits altogether, after such huge changes were made. In short, and very briefly:

– Marcus Aurelius died of plague, and was not murdered by Commodus.

– Commodus had his sister, Lucilla, murdered.

– Commodus is reportedly killed in the bath (strangled), by a wrestler. Not Maximus, and not at the Colosseum.

– A Roman usurper called Maximus did exist, but 230 years post-Commodus.

And this is just a selection of the huge inaccuracies that basically means Mr R Scott completely wasted his time trying to make the film accurate. Others include idiosyncracies of the characters (Commodus’ thumb up/thumb down routine is myth), costuming, which is never accurate, and the fact that Rome is founded as a monarchy. Possible my personal favourite… However, it still makes for a good story (or so I think). Perhaps because I first saw it so long ago means the historical inaccuracies do not mean a huge amount to me.

Amadeus (1984)

Another example of exacerbating a story to make apparently more engaging and watchable material. Some directors seem to be terrified that history alone will not make for a good story. The two major flaws with this very enjoyable film is that a/ Mozart was most definitely not American (it still baffles me he is allowed, or even as an actor, uses, his regular accent) and b/ there may have been mild rivalry between Mozart and Salieri, but there is no evidence to state that the latter was the catalyst of the demise of the former. They were even on good enough terms to write pieces together. At one point in the film, Mozart is commissioned to write an opera by the king, and it is stated it should be written in Italian. But Amadeus protests and insists on German – and if his language is German, why are the characters not speaking German? Or Italian? Indeed it is an American made film, but there is no reason, other than the ‘common tongue’ currently appears to be English, for it not to be in the language they would have been speaking. This also goes for Striped PJs and Gladiator, incidentally. Actually any film that is set in a county that doesn’t speak the language they are using in the film. Although there are some blindingly obvious ones in this, it is a very enjoyable watch. Especially once you get past Mozart’s accent and laugh. Perhaps the director wished to make it as melodramatic as one of Mozart’s operas.

Pocahontas (1995)

This one is my personal favourite as the Disney version plays on the separation of Pocahontas and John Smith as the saddest part. It would seem that Pocahontas was actually about ten when John Smith (who, I assume, would not have been a 6 foot buff blue-wearing ponce with blonde flowing locks) rocked over on the boat, settled, and then needed to be saved by her. As history goes, there is only his story to support what happened, and not a huge amount suggested they were ever in love or to get married. Said native American does, however, marry John Rolfe, travels to England with him (in a bid to show two communities can get on), and then dies just before the return to England. It would appear her immune system was not hardened enough against the many, many diseases that our shores had to offer her. She was around 21/22, although seemed to have some form of influence so it was not a total loss I suppose. But really Disney, what were you thinking? I am mortified to learn that Christian Bale lent his name to the Disney version. What were YOU thinking, Bale?

The questions being:

– Is it morally correct to be historically inaccurate when telling a historical tale?

– Which is more important, the tale and the meaning, or the accuracy?

– Is it ok to bend the truth for a better story, even if it shows lack of respect for some things, maybe even the dead?

– Do you not then just fall under the category of The Sun Trash?

Why use actual events but fictional stories? It makes no sense to me. I am adamant that stories do not need to be twisted to emphasise a point. Life can be as devastating or as exciting as it is, like it is. Artistic license not needed!

Mezzo Forte Wednesday – SeeTickets and Others Ticketing Agenices

SeeTickets are scum. It’s official. It has been stated so. They are thieving bastards who can make any amount of money they want to on any ticket they want because, much like Sainsburys or Tesco, people KNOW them. They appear to be reliable and safe. They have stacks of people working for them and are putting the smaller places (like Bristol Ticket Shop, for example), wildly out of business.

How is it fair that SeeTickets can state quite openly on their website:

British Sea Power – Komedia, Bath – Face Value – £12.50. You pay – £14.25. Transaction Fee – £1.50

(And that’s not even including Postage) Thus meaning for two dedicated souls to attend a performance by one of their favourite bands, £30 is exchanged, instead of the £25 it morally should be. I can buy tickets from the bloody venue! Or online, or over the phone – SeeTickets is not needed. They really are scum, and if they make £5 profit from two tickets, and the venue sells out for such a performance, that means SeeTickets have made thousands. On one gig. If they are not needed, then how is this possible? Also, transaction fees appear to change from gig to gig – if there is a £1.50 transaction fee on a gig in Bath, this means there will be a £4.80 fee for gigs in London. And the London tickets also cost more. How is it possible to justify that?! THAT BUYS A PINT AT THE GIG.

Why is it physically impossible to actually GET the tickets FOR the FACE VALUE? This hardly happens for anything other than contemporary music gigs, and it’s insanely not cool. And why state the face value of the ticket if it has no relevance to begin with? They might as well write “Face Value is this, but we wish for huge bonuses, so really, it’s this“. And what is a Handling Fee? I don’t understand why they need so many separate fees. It makes no sense. Why not just absorb all fees into the ticket price and then say “It’s this”, thus taking the sting out of all the fees put together.

Aside from SeeTickets and others stealing money for no apparent reason, the former are also lacking greatly in customer service and good service in general. Obviously this ranges from employee to employee, just like anything, but in a recent article read, one customer ordered SIX tickets to a gig, but SeeTickets quadrupled this, thus making an order of 24 (when the maximum amount allowed to be ordered is apparently only 6 per person anyway…), and when phoning the company to state what had gone wrong and that he only needed 6 tickets, not 24, SeeTickets promptly cancelled all orders – but the money had already been drained from his bank account. And by the time he went to, somewhat angrily, re-order tickets later, the gig had already sold out. It has also been frequently reported on that they have sent out tickets late to gigs (seriously, what the fuck is the point in doing this?) in the past (and probably in the future too), and to one irate customer stated “Put it in perspective, it’s only a band. My friend died last month.” Freaking AWESOME customer service.

How the choose to deliver their tickets is another point of contempt. They use a courier service called SMS, and so often they will send their courier thus and he/she will rock up to your house at 3pm. Who, unless you’re a student, is in at 3pm? SeeTickets appear to assume that all gig-goers are jobless, and when they are unable to deliver tickets, they don’t end up at the sorting office like EVERYONE ELSE WHO USES RECORDED DELIVER. No no, you have to rearrange the delivery, for another day that you won’t be there, and this process has to be carried out a few whole days before the event or it won’t get there on time. On one previous occasion, I had to travel to Bath at 6am, spend the whole day waiting at my house for the tickets to arrive around 4.30pm, and then zoom to Southampton for a gig. All because they just couldn’t possibly deliver to where I was actually living (during the summer holidays) at such short notice. Bastards. Similarly, if the tickets cannot be delivered in time, customers have been told to pick them up at the venue – which should be ok and all that, but why should they have to pay postage if such a thing is going to happen?

There are alternatives to SeeTickets, although some of these still offer up some controversy – WeGotTickets appears to be on a 50/50 with customers, in that some say they’ve never had any problems, some say it is as bad as SeeTickets. WGT offer “Less in the way of fees and fuss,” apparently.  Obviously the ideal is to book through the venue, and this can usually be done in person, on the phone or online – although, as recently discovered, it does not help if the venue (Bath Komedia) does not have a physical box office.

Out of everything I’ve read, I’ve found thousands (almost the amount SeeTickets make on a single concert!) of people stating their woes and anger with the company, and only a handful (which is what Bristol Ticket Shop, or Stargreen, for example, could make morally and realistically on a gig) saying they’ve had good service. So if they provide bad service and extortionate prices, why do people continue to use them? There are some cases, like Glastonbury for example, where the only place you can get tickets IS SeeTickets, and the price added on then seems to get lost in the overall fee, as it is so big. But if people would just be aware that there are alternatives, we can go straight to the venue (through person, phone, internet – whichever), or through a smaller local ticketing agency, then the fees will be minute (if in existence), everyone can afford a pint, you would feel less cheated, and, best of all, people doing an unnecessary job would not be funded to continue down that road. A great day for everyone no? People do not seem to be people to them, just a way of making money. And when it’s a huge thing like the future of music at stake, how is it morally right to make such huge profits out of a delicate industry of a wonderful art form?