Day 96: The Heckler

06.04.09:

Today I went for a walk around the city, but it was still a bit rubbish. Although now the snow has all melted, it wasn’t even covered in white fluffy stuff to make it at least a little bit more interesting. There are a few noteworthy buildings that look really awesome, but the centre consists of a nasty, nasty concrete stadium thing, and a couple of really nasty concrete shopping malls. I see the 1960s and 70s were as unfriendly to the good town of Halifax as they were to every city in the UK.

Quite why anyone still thinks it’s a good idea to make buildings out of solidified porridge, asbestos, MRSA and legionnaires disease is beyond me.

That night I headed over to the open mic night again and got to listen to some really great music. But then somebody handed me a Rubik’s Cube and I embarrassingly went into my Obsessive Puzzle Solving mode. I was a little drunk so it took me AGES to complete and once I did, anyone left to impress with my Rain-Man style qualities had left. Oh well.

Then a guy came on stage with a guitar, played a half-decent song and then proceeded to blow through a French Horn for ten minutes. It wasn’t like he knew how to play the French Horn or even bothered to operate the valves. So we were treated to a long discordant fart, which went on for longer than even a jaded Radiohead fan would find sufficient.

Me being the impatient heckler critic of doom (and being sufficiently lubricated with Halifax’s finest ales) decided that the hook should come on stage and drag this guy off. What I didn’t realise was that this was not an episode of X-Factor or even a knobbly-knees competition at Pontins. By saying anything, I incurred the ire of Aaron, a pleasant-enough guy, but one that (despite claiming to be an Anarchist) thought he would take up the Authoritarian mantle and tell me off – much in keeping with a teacher telling me off in school for shining the sun into his eyes with my watch.

In hindsight, perhaps I was I little rude and maybe there was some artistic merit in having a guy fart in my general direction for ten minutes, but as I haven’t got an artistic or musical bone in my body if you really want to annoy me the best thing to do is something artistically or musically that I could do myself without any practice and then expect me to be impressed. Same goes with architecture. I know it’s tough love, but there you go; Canada’s music scene is embarrassingly unknown outside Canada. Their roster of international break-out singers consists of Bryan Adams, Avril Latrine, Alanis Morrissette and Celine Frickin’-Dion. Put short, they need all the help (ie. friendly criticism) they can get.

Although Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire rock my world, so that’s one up on New Zealand, South Africa and France.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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  1. Padraigan

    Bryan Adams, Celine Frickin Dion, Alanis Morrissete, Avril Lavigne etc need all the help they can get ? You need to go to some AA meetings.

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