Thursday, 1 October 2009
Amusing thing over on the Irish Times website, where they’re reprinted in full a letter from Chris De Burgh complaining about a bad review.
And, much as I dislike everything Chris De Burgh has ever released, except possibly his Christmas song about the alien astronaut, he does have a point.
It’s really easy to write a negative review. It’s not the lowest form of wit but does give a writer loads of opportunities to be amusing, by exaggerating for comic effect, tossing in a few sarcastic barbs, by using a few well-crafted similes of excruciating grossness. Charlie Brooker has made a career out of it.
On the other hand, it’s incredibly difficult to be positive. No-one likes to put their head on the block and say ‘I really like this, even if people laugh at me’. Most people feel too self-conscious to gush in public.
And the reviewer of Chris De Burgh’s show clearly only went to the show so that he could give it a hatchet-job write-up, and use whatever happened on stage as a source of comedy material. To spend the whole show, arms folded at the back, sneering with derision at all the people who had paid their money for tickets and were having a really good time.
That’s what’s so awful about this review. I don’t know what criteria the critic was using, but with a concert, if the audience is having a good time, then the guy on stage is doing something right; succeeding at what they set out to do.
But then the journalist does the cheapest of cheap-shots, and takes the piss out of the audience for not being cool. For being sad and lacking taste. That’s just so contemptuous, so glib, I can see why Chris De Burgh got typing fever.