Sunday, September 02, 2007

Rockin' aftermath...

As I said, East Park did rock and I hope it does again - and, indeed, that the Rocks event becomes a regular and prominent fixture on Hull's triflingly small music calendar. I enjoyed myself, I think the majority of the gathered throng did too. But modern-day Woodstock lovefest it wasn't. There was no mistaking that this was an event taking place in a city 40 years behind the pace set by yer Leeds and yer Madchesters et al. It was as if a good 50 per cent of the crowd had never been out of the house before, never mind witnessed live music at close quarters, such was their incapacity to have a good time that didn't revolve around having a fight with someone who'd looked at 'em a bit strange. Yeah, alcohol and sunshine is always going to result in casualties of some kind but must it always disengage brains quite so drastically as it does in Hull? There was an undercurrent of something-or-other by mid-afternoon, as a couple of gents started kicking a rugby ball indiscriminately at all and sundry (not, in itself, a crime, granted), managing to seriously upset the parents of very young children who'd almost caught the ball face first. That undercurrent remained. I witnessed a few incidents but, heck, I'm not a law enforcement officer, I don't begrudge anyone fun and we were in our own little coccoon of loveliness. Yet I'd also have expected the police presence, which, although not massive, was certainly prominent, to have had the odd quiet word in the necessary ears. Before things got nasty. But they didn't.

So there was the inevitable fight, which resembled something from the glorious, gory Altamont. People sure can kick when they're in a mob, can't they? And only after that incident did the uniformed classes decide to take matters seriously. Yet they, too, appear to have never been out of the house, never mind to a gig, resorting to the level of haphazard, clueless gig security not seen since the Angels looked after Mick and Keef at the aformentioned and very final end to the Sixties. Signalled to the odd moshing incident by some gents handling security at the front of the stage, the police would head in en-masse, never once finding their suspects but, from where I was standing, pissing off some people and amusing others by their ineptness. It was a big relief when The Paddingtons rounded off the night with Panic Attack that myself and eldest son hadn't been stabbed for pushing over a copper's hog. Gimme shelter in mind, we left the second lanky fashion guru Josh Hubbard placed his feedbacking guitar on the floor. Although I witnessed nothing myself and have neither heard, seen nor read any reports in the local meedja, I have it on good authority, from two police officers I spoke to this morning, that the evening really kicked off at the gig's close with a choice selection of fighting in the streets surrounding the park.
Wonderful. I'm sure the organisers will have no trouble getting a license to stage the event next year. Looking forward to Hull Flood Aid next week, a city centre open-air gig that may well be attended by the same bunch of immature bastards keen to spoil something that had "bloody good" written all over it.

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