Sunday, September 13, 2009

The small warbly man does have a point, though

Chris de Burgh was mightily pissed off by the Irish Times review of his recent show at the Gaiety. Oh yes he was. You might say he was high on emotion, even. Or, punning at a slight remove, "Chris de Burgh sees red".
Now, look, I dislike the pompous creep as much as the next man (while acknowledging that I did like most of the Spanish Train album), but in his assault on Peter Crawley he does make one point worth examining: "To have gone to the Gaiety with your mind made up is unprofessional of course, but to totally ignore what actually happened and launch a personal attack is so transparent that any reader can see that it was pointless even writing it, as you were the only person who attended the show that night who didn’t ACTUALLY WANT TO BE THERE!!" Yes, in caps, but only 2 exclamation marks.
I'm inclined to agree with ol' Chris on this one. Crawley's review was funny, and certainly matches my conception of what a Chris de Burgh concert would be like, but it does raise the quesion of how dismissive of a performer a critic can be without also being dismissive of the intended audience. At that point, the critic becomes just some person with an opinion. It seems OK to do this with "low art". I can't imagine the Irish Times publishing a review of, say, Beckett's Endgame by someone who thinks 20th-century theatre is shit. I'd love to see one, though. Think of the vigorous debate that would ensue!
Or, as Chris de Burgh so eloquently put it, "La, la la la, la la la, la la la".

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