I’ve been enjoying my time off the road, especially the show on Friday night in Brixton at the Electric. It was great to play “England Keep My Bones” in full, to see a lot of friendly faces, and to raise a bunch of cash for CALM and the Music Venue Trust. A good night all round.
After the show, I received more than one email from women who’d been at the show who said they’d had bad experiences with harassment from guys in the crowd. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about this happening at my shows, and I wanted to just say a quick something about this issue.
Raising awareness of this kind of behaviour strikes me as important. I want my shows (and, I’d hope, others too) to be welcoming places, where everyone can relax, enjoy themselves, be part of the show, make friends. As a man, I don’t have direct experience of being on the receiving end of sexually inappropriate behaviour at shows. In fact, I find it almost impossible to conceive that it happens – I would never, ever behave like that to a woman in any context, and I like to think none of my friends would either. So I suppose the first person whose awareness needs raising is mine.
It’s actually really fucking dumb that I have to spell this out, but if you’re the kind of guy who has ever behaved like that towards a woman in any context, I’d like you to do two things: firstly, just be a fucking human, consider yourself in the other person’s shoes, ask yourself if you could defend your actions if publicly called out in front of your friends, your family, the whole crowd. And secondly, if that first part didn’t work, I’d like you to *fuck off and never come to any of my shows again*.
Seriously. The idea of this shit happening in my crowd, at my shows, makes me feel enraged. People like that are not welcome at my shows. If it happens to anyone again, please try and alert me, or one of my band or crew, or the bouncers. These fuckers need shaming. There is no possible excuse, including alcohol.