And Finally Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #29: Kings Of Leon v Critical pigeons

By | Published on Saturday 31 July 2010

Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill recently told Q: “A lot of people talked bad about my songwriting at the start [of our career]”. It’s probably safe to say that no one dropped their pants and instigated some kind of ‘dirty protest’ against their music though.

It’s not clear if the band’s most recent critics did so out of a dislike of their music or the singer’s terrible grasp of the English language (“Talked bad”?). Maybe they were just doing what came naturally. Whatever, last weekend the Kings Of Leon were intimidated by the dirty pigeons*.

In the unlikely event that you’ve missed this story this week, you will most likely now be very confused, so let me summarise for you: Kings Of Leon played a gig, pigeons pooed all over them.

The band cut their headline set at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St Louis, Missouri short as pigeons in the rafters spread liberal amounts of shit over the stage below, hitting the band as they went. It seems the final straw came when bassist Jared Followill got some in his mouth as they performed ‘Taper Jean Girl’ from their second album, ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’, the third song in the set, though they initially said they were cancelling the rest of the show due to “security reasons”.

The band were not unaware of the problem before taking to the stage, support acts The Postelles and The Stills had already suffered the same fate, but struggled through their entire sets. Speaking to Toronto newspaper Eye Weekly, Stills bassist Olivier Corbeil said: “During our second song, ‘Lola [Stars & Stripes]’, I felt something like an air conditioner drop, or like little droplets of water spray on my face. The carpet onstage was black, and I noticed ten to thirteen brown spots on it and I started worrying – but I figured, if a bird had shit, it won’t happen again, so I’m fine”.

He continued: “About two to three songs later, I bent over to do, like, a shoegazer move, and I felt something very substantial on the back of my head and down my back and, for the rest of the show I was extremely paranoid and constantly looking up. I couldn’t stand in front of my monitors or in front of my bass cab. It was also 100 degrees, so I couldn’t take advantage of the stage fans. The choice was either ‘fan plus extreme amounts of bird shit’, or ‘no fan and no bird shit'”.

In a statement, issued through a mouthful of pigeon poo (possibly), Jared Followill explained: “We couldn’t believe what The Postelles and The Stills looked like after their sets. We didn’t want to cancel the show, so we went for it. We tried to play [but] it was ridiculous”.

The band’s manager Andy Mendelsohn added: “Jared was hit several times during the first two songs. On the third song, when he was hit in the cheek and some of it landed near his mouth, they couldn’t deal any longer. It’s not only disgusting, it’s a toxic health hazard. They really tried to hang in there. We want to apologise to our fans in St Louis and will come back as soon as we can”.

Perhaps the Leon boys should be sent to the Cyndi Lauper School Of Pop. Bird shit once landed on her lower lip during a gig in Boston in 2004. She just wiped it off and carried on. Though she has since denied reports that circulated at the time that she actually swallowed some of the stuff.

If you want to know what Kings Of Leon being pooed on actually looks like, someone has handily uploaded a video to YouTube (though I’m not sure that the reactions they claim are as a result of the pigeon attack are actually that):

*Oh, you may groan, but when am I going to get an opportunity like that again?

This Beef Of The Week comes from this edition of the CMU Weekly. Subscribe to the CMU Weekly here.