Jun 09 2008

Being Pissed On At The Radiohead Gig

Published by at 10:21 am under Blog,Music,Night Out

Sadly, the weather was incredible and the title of this post does not refer to raindrops on my noggin. Instead, it relates to the middle-aged weirdo who was high on god-only-knows-what at the Radiohead gig on Saturday night. He will thus forth be known to us as Pissy Guy.

Maybe I’m wrong (I’m notoriously naive when it comes to these matters) but it definitely seemed that there was far more than alcohol coursing through Pissy Guy’s system to make him dance in a disturbingly writhing manner, to make him profess his hatred and then his unending love for Andrew, to make him wear his dark sunglasses well into the night (maybe he was being cool – it was hard to tell) and lastly, to make him relieve himself in the middle of the field outside Malahide Castle, surrounded by other concert-goers. Why are drugs such a significant part of Irish culture (and world culture) today? Are our lives so miserable and uninteresting that we need to fill our systems with a variety of life threatening chemicals. It is here that my own hypocrisy shines through – I’m a big drinker and while I could attempt to explain and excuse my drinking habits, all explanations and excuses would fall flat on their face – I am aware, like many Irish people, I drink too much. But I digress, this post is about my ire for the ever-expanding drug culture in Ireland.

In addition to Pissy Guy, there were a number of other strung-out oddballs at the gig. Bug-eyed Boy who repeatedly asked me if I was enjoying the gig was particularly bothersome as the gig hadn’t started at that point. My trek to the bathroom passed two separate blokes who had passed out (and received swift medical attention, to the credit of the gig organisers) while surrounded by their equally high-as-kites friends.

I have lost one of my best friends to drug use. No, he is not dead, but he is most definitely lost. In recent times, he has apparently got his life in some semblance of order – he doesn’t do as much drugs as he used to – but this guy had so much potential, was loved by so many around him and could have done so much with his life. Instead, he wasted the potential and is now wasting his life. It’s very sad that whenever he comes up in conversation these days, the best anyone can manage to say about him is “he’s not looking too bad” or “well, he’s looking better than he used to“. I referred to my naivety earlier: this best friend of mine was well known on Wicklow’s druggy scene and yet, I knew nothing about it. I can’t even look back and retrospectively pretend I was in denial. I truly didn’t know, didn’t imagine and didn’t see that my always-hyper best mate was taking any illicit substances. That’s more than naivety – it’s stupidity.

Drug use in Ireland today, is on the increase and this will not change. Even someone as blind to it all as me can see it in every bar, at every gig, on every street corner. If I decided right now that I wanted to get high, I’m fairly confident I could ‘score a hit’ fairly easily. Is it the economic downturn that is making people turn to drugs to ease the pain? Unlikely, as the upsurge began in more prosperous times. So, is it the ready money of Celtic Tiger Ireland that explains the increase? Possibly – Justine Delaney Wilson‘s book, The High Society: Drugs and the Irish Middle Class, controversial and over-reaching as it may be, does educate the reader to Ireland’s drug culture and it definitely shows the connection between wealth and drug use, but it doesn’t sufficiently explain it, as drug abuse is still a predominantly ‘lower-class’ (perhaps ‘poverty stricken’ may be a better choice of words) problem. Or is it simply the worldwide drug culture filtering into the lives of the Irish. Regardless the reasons for it, it’s sad, it’s scary and it’s here to stay.

Incidentally, the gig itself was excellent. It’s the first Radiohead gig I’ve been to and I’d love to see them again (perhaps at a different, smaller venue though). Andrew gives his review of the gig here, with a little more emphasis on the actual music. 🙂

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Being Pissed On At The Radiohead Gig”

  1. Andrewon 09 Jun 2008 at 11:02 am

    I miss pissy guy.

  2. Lottieon 09 Jun 2008 at 12:41 pm

    So….I see that you are opting for “shorter” posts.

  3. B'dum B'dumon 09 Jun 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I hardly drink at gigs at all, whiskey is the only drink I can really stomach anymore for some reason and it’s available at nearly nothing.

    I remember there was a fella pissing beside us at radioheads show in marley park, is it a thing radiohead hire people to do?

  4. Lottieon 09 Jun 2008 at 1:09 pm

    It was fairly disgusting. And it looked like he had thrown up on himself. It was a much more enjoyable gig once he finally moved away.

  5. Andrewon 09 Jun 2008 at 1:29 pm

    that was just the style of his jacket Lottie. I thought it was sexy.

  6. Darren.. tooon 09 Jun 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I would equate higher drug use with higher stress levels. We live in a society where more and more life is about optimisation and doing things faster and better. Stress creeps into everyones lives, and I believe it is the people who deal with stress the worst, that are the most likely to turn to drugs.

  7. Darraghon 09 Jun 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I drink too much

    What is this too much of which you speak?

    Drinking only on days ending with Y Darren does not mean you drink too much.

    Does it?

  8. Suzyon 24 Jun 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I’m off to see Radiohead tomorrow night in London- have been waiting 7 months since I bought my ticket so pretty excited…
    will no doubt drink something although to be fair their music gets you high in itself, so drugs etc is pointless…
    Sad to hear that theyre so rampant in Ireland at present- cant say I noticed it particularly when I was over there, but then maybe thats coz London is alive with it…
    Hope your mate’s doing a bit better Darren 🙂

  9. Darrenon 24 Jun 2008 at 2:48 pm

    @Suzy Thank you so much for the comment. Sadly, I have no contact with him anymore, but apparently he’s doing well. I hope you enjoy the gig – have fun.

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