Thursday, 14 May 2009

Cigarettes killed the Radio Star

I am cool, because I am in a band. I wear my guitar on my back where ever I go. I have badges on my bag. I drink whisky. I'm addicted to ribena. Once I smashed a light in a hotel room, and the fact that it was an accident makes it no less rock and roll. But there is one thing that stands between me and real rock n roll stardom. Cigarettes.

I don't smoke. I never have, and I never will. I think its disgusting, but until the smoking ban came into effect I would have defended, (perhaps) with my life, peoples right to smoke. Now the smoking ban is in effect, however, I hate all the bastards that do it. Every single one (bear with me.)

The reason is simple. Since the smoking ban, speaking as a small time (but incredibly talented) local band, crowd sizes at gigs have more that halfed because every 30minutes people go out for a fag. Not between sets, not between songs, and never alone. No, right in the middle of a song, and they take what seems like half the pub with them. If one in four people smoke, why are they all going to my gigs?!

No one watches the little band anymore. No one cares that I am pouring my heart out on stage in a way that hasnt been seen since Elton John at Diana's funeral. No, everyone is nudging there mate and trying to signal that they want a fag without spilling their pint. And then theyre gone.

I jest not. I have played empty clubs all over the sotuh west, only to come out into the car park to find over 100 people all smokin away without a care in the world. Something needs to be done, but with the government trying to reduce noise pollution (and therefore openair gigs) and patio heaters becoming more and more effective there are only two options - bring the smoking ban back with its hazy, choking odour that clings to your clothes and risks us serious lung damage, or ban smoking all together so we can breath fresh air and have full gig venues up and down the country.

Make that one option. I quote myself: "I would defend with my life peoples right to smoke."

I appear to have talked myself into a corner. I'll get my demonstation sign and meet you at number 10 ...

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