[sic] Magazine

Editors – Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall

A fucking miracle no one died tonight. Be ashamed, Folkestone.

It’s worse than Friday night chucking out time, Wolverhampton. The band have already stopped the show once, and fifteen people have been ejected by an overworked, and unprofessional, security team. For a start, to my side, I’ve already seen two fights. A girl punched a guy straight in the nose no more than a foot from me. Behind me, one man has already told me “To calm down.” when I perhaps suggest that throwing lager on me is uncool. Later on, I see him punch his girlfriend in a corridor as I’m walking past. At the end of the night, this man, and his girlfriend, are involved in a twenty-five strong fight in the venue car park, and a bottling.

Go on; have a guess, what band could inspire this fervent and rampant debauchery? Motorhead? Rammstein? Wu Tang Clan? Oh no.

Behind me, within the first four songs, I receive a drenching from at least six separate plastic beakers of alcohol. One particular human, six foot five at least, tattooed up the neck with a shaved head and the uniform of the moron – the white Polo Shirt – is determined, amongst all other things to fight. He may be punching the air and singing some of the words, but that’s not all he’s punching.


And whilst you may be 17 or 18, and there with six of your mates, and jumping up and down with excitement, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to be a jerk. When the band are on, never forget who you are. And that whilst you may think the best way to show your appreciation is by being a selfish, inconsiderate idiot, not everyone else agrees with you.

Therefore, throwing drinks over everyone – and the swift backchat when it’s noticed with the excuse “I like the band” is really just a way of saying “I’m an asshole.”

About 35 minutes in, the band stop – interrupting “Last Day” – and exit. The night has been marred by a near constant stream of fighting, crowdsurfing, shoulder standing, pint throwing, and absolute cuntishness. The security themselves are, without doubt, absolutely useless.

I’ve been to 800 gigs in dozens of countries, from 35 people to 250,000: I’ve seen riots, bands bottled off, a crowdsurfing wheelchair, a bassist knocked unconscious, bands fighting and singers falling asleep mid-song. I’ve seen it all, and I’ve never seen any show this poorly managed. The security consistently fails: they’re undermanned, undertrained, and overwhelmed. Repeat offenders – obvious to anyone in the crowd – a handful of 15 or 20 drunk assholes – are ejected, and I’m told by the venue manager, have barged their way back in three times. THREE times.

Call the fucking police. It’s a miracle that there hasn’t been a death tonight: I see people get picked up by others and thrown over the barrier whilst the security does nothing. It looks as if someone’s been knocked out cold. I’m starting to think he won’t get up, and the force with which he hit the metal barrier from six feet and landed on his spine, he may never walk again.


And it’s the same guys. Again and again. The same guys, and one, particularly coked up, white shirted blonde who gets up on the same persons shoulders time and time and time again, kicking everyone around them, and the security, limp dicked, useless monkeys they are, just tell her to get down again and again and again. Get the hint guys: get them out. With 15 or 20 people on a crusade to fuck up the night, the rest of the venue, being 1,100 people, are shit scared and bullied by the rouge element and when the band stops, some of them are ejected.

10 minutes later, and they’re back walking past me, three pints of £4 lager in their hands, ready to throw them at the stage in a moment or two. About three minutes later, the back of my trousers is sodden with more alcohol than a gin-mad incontinent granny in a distillery.

There is a band playing in this room, a great and powerful band and they exist solely as a soundtrack to a suburban fight. Outside the police have finally arrived, and are arresting people. There’s an ambulance somewhere. Last song of the night sees one of the assholes storm the stage, steal the mike, and its fortuitous that he doesn’t smack any of the band in the mouth; you can see how one of Pantera was murdered on stage with security like this.

The venue manager, who clearly doesn’t realise exactly how liable he would be under the Corporate Manslaughter Act if someone died here tonight, tells me he understands what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that no one in the venue can guarantee the safety and security of the general public. Mr Venue Manager cracks a joke: “It’ll all be Abba tribute acts in future”. Thanks. Maybe one of the cheap shot mediums scheduled to appear here could contact the spirit of the one the kids who got beaten to death at tonight’s gig?


After the show though, there’s a pitch battle lasting for 20 or 30 minutes between about 25 to 30 of the most rowdy element. Our friends are locked in, captive in their car. Meanwhile, the two of us, and a mother and her thirteen year old son going to his first gig, are trapped inside the venue as a battle and a handy bottling takes place in the car park. It’s an urban remake of “Escape From New York” set in a seaside town. We hide in the shadows as 25 blood spattered twentysomethings chase each other up the ramp, and I then escort a terrified mother and son to their car, then run to our car whilst about 10 feet away someone gets – at least it sounds like – a bottle in the jaw. We sit in the car for half an hour waiting for the crowd to come back down the ramp itching for blood.

To be honest though, nothing happens in Folkestone. According to the venue manager, Folkestone has a drug problem. That it may. But its biggest problem is that Folkestone has an asshole problem. The Leas Cliff Hall should be disgusted with the complete lack of care and professionalism shown, and the fact that last night it was bloody miracle that someone didn’t die at an Editors gig in Folkestone.

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