Sia is being sued by Israeli fans for a lack of banter but is on-stage wit a must?

Fans in Israel were unsatisfied with the Cheap Thrills singers show due to a lack of between-song chat but banter only works in the right hands

Angry fans are reportedly suing Sia for among other things providing absolutely no stage banter during a recent show in Tel Aviv. You can certainly understand their grievance. After all, the show was part of Sias Massive Banter Tour, had Richard It Was Just Banter Keys on as support and it was clearly stated on the tickets that there would be a minimum of three minutes uninterrupted top level banter in between each song.

Actually, after some rigorous, New Yorker-style fact-checking, it appears that none of this is true. There was no promise of any banter at all because … well, banter is not something necessarily guaranteed at a pop concert. Itd be a bit like me suing Kerrang! magazine because it didnt come with a free bottle of Guidalberto yes, it would have been nice, but its not something I should expect.

It seems that rather than a justifiable claim, this is just the latest example of crybaby culture, where fans feel that buying a ticket to something be it a cricket match or pop concert affords them some kind of divine right to demand a bill tailored to their own personal tastes.

To be fair, tickets are ludicrously expensive these days (these ones cost $91), but still why would you want banter from Sia? Isnt she more renowned for massive synth-pop hits rather than her extensive wit? Bangers over banter, basically.

Thats not to say banter and can we please ban this word, not least because Ive used it about 173 times in this article already is unwelcome at pop gigs. But it has to be used in the right hands.



figcaption class=”caption” caption–img caption caption–img” itemprop=”description”> We are Scientists: champs at bantz Photograph: Chris Lever/REX/Shutterstock

When Manic Street Preachers told a Glastonbury audience in 1994 that Someone should build a bypass over this shithole, it was a textbook example of a musician delivering comedy that wasnt just funny but also purposeful pricking the occasionally self-satisfied, hippy atmosphere with some punk rock attitude. It went beyond banter, and into the realm of top trolling.

Some bands, such as We Are Scientists, hold together what can only be described as a limited melodic appeal on a sturdy backbone of onstage quips that often take centre stage. Back in the year 10BB (before banter), husband and wife duo the Handsome Family used to counterbalance their dark, gothic country songs with sparky tales of domestic life.

But this does not mean we should expect top bantz from everyone. Nobody wants wisecracks from Anohni, when shes putting on a multimedia, performance art show about impending ecological doom. Epic, ethereal sets by Floating Points would probably not be improved with the occasional So how does he smell? Bloody awful! thrown into the mix. Would the Israeli audience be filing a class action against these artists too, citing their distinct lack of megalolz? It would be pretty funny if they did. Great banter, in fact.

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