Op-Ed: Australia, It’s Time To End The Gig Shooey!

If you’ve been to an International Band’s Concert or Music Festival with International Acts in Australia anytime within the past four years or so, chances are you’ve been involved with OR been caught up in the apparent “shooey, shooey, shooey” chant that has unfortunately overtaken the experience of hearing a musician talk during the song breaks at their gigs… and it fucking sucks. Before I continue on, let’s take this back a bit…

Shooey. Photo by Holly Parker

Falls Fest Shooeys – Photo by Holly Parker

In the late 2000’s “Shooeys” became a bit of a fun, throwaway moment during shows which started in the crowd (amidst a sea of cheers) before eventually making their way onto the stage where the musicians who were there to perform for us, regretfully started taking part. At first, it was all a bit of fun, “they’re just like us” we all thought as the frontman/woman/bassist/drummer etc would smash down their drink from the shoe supplied by the crowd before getting back into their set… but something has happened in recent years which has become one of the most fucking cringe-worthy experiences I’ve seen… the chants would continue after the next song finished and the next song and the next song. The relentless punishment these bands are forced to endure when they’re trying to captivate the audience with their music is embarrassing and the idea has now become a joke.

In one of my first experiences at UNIFY 2018, I was basking in the awesomeness of watching Architects, one of my favourite bands, playing one of their most important sets of their career down under and during one of the heartfelt moments that I was personally looking forward to (the big spiel before ‘Doomsday‘), frontman Sam Carter fought hard to continuously tell the crowd “no”, that he won’t be doing a shooey, instead he was more concerned with getting his point across about the band’s struggles and motivation since losing their guitarist Tom Searle two years prior. I was raging. Here we have an international guest, pouring his heart out on stage and all you can hear is “SHOOEY, SHOOEY, SHOOEY, DO A FUCKING SHOOOEYYYY”. It was at that moment I wanted this shit to stop and luckily for me, I didn’t come across it at another show for a few months, but I heard many stories from other bands who toured our country who weren’t as lucky…

Think of it like this, you go to work, maybe you flew in from another country or you flew in from another state. You’re tired, nervous and keen to get out there and showcase the music you’ve been working on. You’re keen to see the crowd’s reactions during and after your songs and you’re met with a mob of drunken punters screaming at you to drink from a shoe that someone has been wearing for a solid 5+ hours or so… It’s demeaning! But with the attitude of the crowd, you succumb to the pressure so you can continue on with the show in the hopes that the audience won’t bring it back up again. Some bands enlist the help of a fan or roadie to do it instead, others do it themselves, but at the end of the day, the whole idea has been worn out too much, it’s legit to the point where the notion has literally become the new age “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi” chant… and we all know how fucked that is at gigs now.

So now, after hearing news of international artist country artist Kacey Musgraves (who we don’t even cover) being pestered by fans to grab a shoe and drink from it (not even the right atmosphere for something like that) I’m begging you all, to please end this phase before its get way more out of hand than it really is and go back to enjoying a concert, without the want/need to see your heroes/idols downing drinks through a shoe.

There’s more to gigs than this shit, outdated past time. Instead of buying beers to waste while drinking them from your shoe, go buy a shirt, buy some merch, do something with your time and effort so that it doesn’t leave a sour (and/or fuzzy) taste in our fav musicians’ mouths every single time they perform for us… pun absolutely intended. I may sound like an old man yelling at nothing, but I believe I speak on behalf of a whole generation of live music enthusiasts who are sick of your shit if you’re one to instigate this madness over and over again…


Words by angry old man Browny @brownypaul

Leave the Shooey in the past with legacies like Heroes for Hire’s ‘Set In Stone’ video

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About Paul 'Browny' Brown (3630 Articles)
Dad, Wall of Sound Boss Man/Editorial Manager, Moshpit Enthusiast & Professional Beard Grower!

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  3. Sam Carter Talks Disapproval Of Shooey Chants: “I’m Just Gonna Fucking Ignore It Now” – Wall Of Sound

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