Carni-value My Eardrums

I got to enjoy another carnival from work today.

I’ve lived in Huddersfield for over ten years and have avoided all carnivals like the plague, and then I have to suffer through two this year. So far. There will probably be more before the year is out.

Today’s carnival rubbed me up the wrong way from the outset when I set off for work far earlier than I needed to so I could avoid the start of any nonsense and it took nearly an hour to make a twenty minute journey. I’d have set off even earlier if I’d known.

And then town was chaos as there were people who don’t normally enter the town centre just meandering round absolutely bewildered and a pub at the top of town blaring out music to get everyone in the carnival mood.

I’m not sure what other people’s carnival mood was, but mine was not a good one.

Some four hours later the carnival went past work. Well, now, more accurately it stopped outside work for ages as cars kept appearing on a road that was closed and blocked off by police, which was just weird.

Now, when it was the Irish Parade or whatever it was called, I commented that it was made up of a series of vans following each other, with each one playing louder music than the one in front. But at least it was live music. Today, it was lorry after lorry loaded with amps and massive speakers upon which a series of people were DJing. And each one was louder than that which went before because, you know, reasons.

So what it actually amounted to was a constant low frequency bass rumble that lasted for about half an hour until it went out of earshot. It was, to put it lightly, fucking awful. Absolutely fucking awful. I had to send a message to the people in one of our rooms to say that I couldn’t hear a single thing they were doing. They couldn’t hear each other. It was ridiculously loud, and just awful as each truck blended with the next.

It’s the sort of sound you’d see (hear) on a movie and an evil genius had discovered he could liquify human organs with it. It was that. I could feel everything vibrating.

It was like our neighbours on a Sunday afternoon, just slightly louder. I could stay home to listen to that bollocks through the wall. I don’t need it dawdling down the streets as well.

I’m not sure what enjoyment you can actually get from it. The sound was just so off-putting. If it had just been one truck and the front and one at the back, then maybe you’d have got away with it. Or, you know, if anyone had any idea how sound worked or interference patterns and all that shit maybe they could have planned out the spacing a bit better. Or if people knew that turning up the volume doesn’t always maintain sound quality. There were a number of factors. All of which made it awful.

Sure, there’s costumes and it brings communities together and all that crap – I’m not a complete curmudgeon – but there are surely better ways to do it than a thumping bass track and the feeling of everything inside you running out of every orifice.

Do you remember when carnivals used to be fun? And there’d be dancers and floats and steel drums and stuff like that? Now it’s all DJs with stupid names and shit music.

Maybe I am a complete curmudgeon.

I’m sure, when Monday’s Huddersfield Examiner comes out, they’ll say it was marvellous. The best yet. Amazing. Biggest turn out. Best day for it. All that jazz.

But honestly, it was fucking awful.