Butlerism: How to Review a Gig

By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)

Everyone who reads my live reviews always asks me the same thing; “Why do you still write these inane live reviews? Are you some kind of fucking moron?”. And well, whilst my mother asks a good question, I can’t hold onto these secrets any longer, so I’m going to tell you just how I go about reviewing a live gig, how you can, and how you can better enjoy your live experience. Or you can just tell me to fuck off. I’m pretty used to that.

Pre Gig

Gig day… it’s gig day. You’ve been thinking about this gig for months, days, weeks, seconds or not at all if you’ve totally forgotten about it. Why are we talking about this? This bares no impact on my review, apart from that time I went to see Royal Blood, forgot my ticket, had to run back, despite having the worst hangover ever. Got called handsome by a drunk woman, got handed a beer by a drunk woman, on the stipulation she could go on my shoulders, upon taking that beer, I smiled, said “Sure” and slipped into the moshpit.

The main takeaways from here are; do not forget your ticket, make empty promises to strangers, have a few beers, but not too many, to get you into a warm and cosy mood for the evening.

Pre Gig, But This Time, You’re in the Venue

I’m 24, 25 in two months. I still get very, very bored, very, very quickly and cannot stand around waiting, because that’s boring. At this point, it’s a good time to start playing up, loudly shitpost people and remind yourself of funny memes. Also best to enjoy this with another beer. Seriously, the standing around waiting between bands is the worst thing ever. Time moves much, much slower but you don’t want to sacrifice your spot in the crowd. Unless your friend, who is me, is 6’4″ and is the size of a household appliance, you can get through crowds pretty quickly. Sorry to everyone who’s stood behind me.

Support Band

Depending on who the support band is, I’ll either give them a shout out or not. Every band was a support band once, so it’s always a good place to find new bands to listen to, or even, for bigger marquee gigs, see a few of your favourite bands in once place. Like that time I saw Nothing But Thieves support Muse. That was great. The takeaway here? Everyone will break your fucking heart eventually. Sometimes however, I either miss the support bands because I’m in traffic, exceedingly lazy or drinking a beer. It’s just the way things work when you’re an adult.

The Actual Fucking Gig!

My favourite part! There’s nothing more exciting than the music cutting, the lights dimming and the scream as hundreds, maybe thousands of people all welcome their heroes for a thousand different reasons. If you’re reviewing a gig, it’s good to read the room; what’s the atmosphere like? Is the air heavy and full of anticipation, are the crowd really into it, or just a bunch of pretenders? If you’re into it too, the moshpit is always the best place to enjoy a gig.

Not when everyone tries their hand at it though, so you’re having to struggle to get an obese 50 year old named Keith up off the floor, despite the fact he’s made letcherous comments to all the girls in the venue, but the pit rules are the rules; no body down. Then he gets angry you creased his Ralph Lauren shirt. Keith sweetie, you’re at a hard rock gig, why are you dressed like you’re presenting the accounts to the board of directors? You dick. Stop it.

With that, if you see sexual harrasment at gigs, please alert your nearest security member, scary looking front man or take matters into your own hands and chin the bastard. Gigs should always be for love and peace, but performing an impromptu tooth extraction on a creep is always on the money.

Also, if you get chance, read the band’s mood. Are they having a good time, or are they wishing they’d never come to Birmingham? Birmingham crowds are really good actually, London crowds are a bit wanky, but so is everyone in London, so I guess the two go hand in hand. Manchester are a good laugh too, same with Liverpool. Basically if you go to a gig past the Watford gap you’re going to be mugged or unappreciated.

Don’t just list out a load of songs, list out your favourites, the new ones, where the passion was, what the crowd absolutely went bananas for and be critical if you have to. But the most important thing to remember is to let go, report live from the pit, use all five senses to enjoy the gig. Arcane Roots played their gig in the pitch black, but their ethereal, strobe based attack made them one of the best bands I’ve seen live.


Drink a lot of beer, see people you fucking hate, because who doesn’t love a hate fuck? I guess the same applies from the above. Let go, get a bit drunk, experience everything around you. The crowd can turn a bad gig into an amazing one, and vice versa. Comment on what else you did during the day or the week, how hungover you were, some of the weird and wacky folk you see around festivals.

Really though, you’ve just wasted your time, yet again reading another one of my articles. Sorry.

Dr Sleepdeprived: How I Learned To Start Worrying and Love Nothing

If you remember my blog post yesterday (chances are you probably don’t) then you’ll remember how it was called “everything is shite and it’s all Jeremy Clarkson’s fault”. Although I may not be able to put Clarkson behind bars before he does it himself, I can still say one thing: everything is shite.


I’ve started using my phone to get my newspapers so that I can still sit about in my bed till 5 o’clock in the afternoon and not feel so guilty. Typically I’ll just get the metro since it’s impartial and , most importantly, free. Within the first few pages of today’s issue, I had already read about how the UK is trailing behind other countries in battling the most common types of cancer. Even while I was reading the piece I remembered the study that took place where somebody had developed cancer after extensive use of their mobile phone over ten years and immediately chucked my phone away. Even if you were worried about your health, it seems like wether you’re a woman or a young child you’d be better off not going to the doctors with news stories exposing the filthy crimes of doctors becoming even more of a daily occurrence.

You’d maybe think just because of that one issue why don’t you just move somewhere else like America. Well to get there you’d need to go by plane and flying at the moment is a big NO at the moment, almost like thinking that socket of yours needs a bit of a fixing and wielding your fork to fix it. Today’s plane crash in the French Alps in unsurprisingly not the first. Over the past year there’s been as many plane crashes as there has been terrible Adam Sandler films. Scientists are still trying to figure out which one is worse.

So just by checking the news briefly I’ve found out that I’m pretty much fucked if I’m diagnosed with a terminal illness and that there’s no chance of my flying without being knocked out beforehand. There’s even worse shit going on around the world that we’re all very much aware of that don’t worry us as much but are still there nestled at the back of your mind such as terrorism.

ISIS/IS/ISIL/IS Club 7 are still around and are fucking shit up like yer da playing laser quest. If they’re not fucking up historic landmarks and filling up graves with troops then they’re brainwashing teenagers from Britain with their propaganda. They’d probably save more money if they just sponsored some British vloggers, you’d have your membership tripling in no time.

I guess it’s not all so bad. David Cameron says he won’t be serving a third term, must be something to do with reptilians having a shorter lifespan, and Ed Milliband is getting called a “fucking knob” by other MPs.

If all else fails and the world does ultimately go to shit, we can all just hippy circle around that massive bomb from WW2 just found in South East London and go out while recreating Woodstock. Just don’t fly down if you’re coming from Scotland.

Day 2: The Walking Diet

Very few things genuinely terrify me. Not trying to make myself seem like a hard man, seeing as I’m the total opposite, but I can only list a few things I know would properly scare the fuck out of me. A zombie apocalypse would be one of them.

You might be thinking what this has to do with my vegetarian trial but hear me out. So I was at the hospital today for an undisclosed reason and so had to have the routine thing done I.e get blood pressure and pulse rate checked, lie back on a cold as fuck bed with a revealing coat on.

Anyone who has saw the extremely popular AMC show The Walking Dead will know of the opening scene of the pilot episode. Protagonist Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma in a run down hospital while still plugged into an IV and probably smelling like an alleyway in Glasgow.

This pretty much leads on to my point of even mentioning a zombie apocoplaypse. As I sat there, slowly freezing to death, one thing hit my mind: what if I end up like Rick Grimes? Obviously without the awful beard but faced with the same situation: totally alone in a world that’s been properly savaged by an apocalyptic epidemic.

So why does all of this have to do with being vegetarian? I dunno. Probably quite shite to not eat meat during a fight for your life kind of deal.

Day 1

Where to start…

I think anyone whose career or hobby revolves around writing has struck a period of confusion known as writer’s block: not being able to think of what to write. Recently I’d been suffering the same thing, coming up with ideas but never actually forming anything with them which lead to more frustration and lead to more half thought ideas which lead t- you get the picture. On top of this I’m recently just out of a relationship which adds to the stress but somehow out of all of this, clarity eventually occurred.

So I’m going to be vegetarian for a week.

Right there was no real context to that decision but let me explain. The idea popped into my head last week when some ironic beef occurred when a vegan compared the meat industry to the holocaust which unsurprisingly caused a huge backlash for the guy. After venting about how annoyed I was by it, the idea came to me: have I ever tried to go without the likes of bacon in my life? The short answer? No. Long answer? Fuck no. When I realised this, something clicked. With all the stress that I had experienced in the past couple of weeks with college and personal issues, I felt like I had to challenge myself which made me come to this decision plus I thought it would be quite interesting. The first day was nowhere near as difficult as I expected as I discovered a new favourite food: quorn. I’ll leave that to further entries during the week though since I’ll be going to concerts and other events during the week, meaning I can experience how difficult it can really be. I’ll make a promise now that I won’t grow a Kanye ego about it since I don’t need to scare off the few people that can actually tolerate me.

And before you think what I’m doing is odd, just remember there are people on the internet that identify as wardrobes. So yeah.