In the doghouse: more trouble for Amy Winehouse

Boozy floozy ? Image credit The Daily Mail

It’s no wonder performing musicians get such a bad name.

A video posted on YouTube of part of beehive-hair-wearing Amy Winehouse’s Serbian gig last Saturday (via today’s Guardian) shows the singer giving performers a bad name.

The frustration of the audience is clearly audible in the amateur footage, which seems to show Winehouse struggling to maintain an on-stage presence; at about two-and-a-half minutes into the video, she clearly makes an effort to adopt the hair-massaging, body-stroking movements of a sexy stage-siren, but it doesn’t work at all.

I was reading Alan Bennett’s second collection of autobiographical and critical writings, Untold Stories, over the weekend, and came across a passage where he criticises musicians for always turning up late and not being all that professional. As a performing musician myself, this naturally aroused my ire. Then I saw this footage of Amy Winehouse definitely not giving a public performance her full professionalism, and had to concede that, on this occasion, Bennett does have a point.

I feel sorry for Winehouse. But I feel more sorry for all those professional musicians who do give of their very best when performing, but who end up tarred with the same brush as Winehouse because she, as a high profile performer, behaves in a way which reflects badly on us all.

Update: 22 June: in today’s Guardian, news that Winehouse has since cancelled all her remaining tour dates.  She has also allegedly refused to collect her fee for the disastrous Serbian gig performance. Perhaps some moral flame still flickers in her: it shows a commendable moral sense, if it’s true.


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