I have watched in some awe this week as the spokesperson for the Robin 2 in Bilston, Laura Smart, began the wholly ficticious story about “the heartless, unscrupulous touts who are looking to have “disappointed” fans “bow down” to these touts and be exploited!! Really? This of course has been picked up by the BBC news today and a wholly nebulous story has been concocted to actually make this sound like fact, as if it really is true. Safeconcerts of course, keen to run another “Let’s Burn the Touts at the Stake” story has also picked this up. I am not surprised at the BBC because the stuff they are starting to print as ‘fact’ and ‘news’ even has my cat looking at me quizzically. Safeconcerts though really should know better, they purport to know and understand the concert industry, finger on the pulse as it were. Shame on you, I am disappointed. Let us look at the facts, because they have, certainly in this instance, been sacrificed for the want of “Tout Bashing” (do you think we could make a complaint to the equalities commission in that the Secondary Market brokers are in the minority and we are being discriminated against by the Majority, the Primary Market? – just a thought). I have, for many years now, sprang to the defence of the Secondary Market when cries of “foul” “How could they” BUT! I cry, the facts, the facts! Always ignored because it is a convenient soap box – look at this instance: Legendary artist performs last tour for True Fans as he is dying. Just too much for someone with an Axe to Grind to ignore. Well let me tell you all, it is just odious in the extreme that the Primary Market, Promoters and Venues have taken this opportunity, the terminal illness of one of the greatest artists of our time, to jump onto the Tout Bashing bandwagon. TRUE FANS, TRUE FANS says Mz Laura Smart. You met any Mz Smart? Mr Chris Sharp? I happen to know one. And I would bet the farm he knows a damn sight more about Wilco johnson, his career, life and achievements than any three of you put together. You are wholly without clue. How you DARE take this opportunity to make allegations, wholly made up, against “touts” it is just peurile beyond words. You even have him playing a Gig in “Huddersfield” – No he is not. It is in Holmfirth. “Touts snap up dying star Wilco Johnson tickets” – no they didn’t. You made that up. You do not need to be an Astro Physisist to work out what went on here. Promoter gets SMALL venues to book a few nights for old fogey (with the greatest respect Wilco) guitarist to go around a small tour of the country for a final time because, in Wilco’s own words, he feels ALIVE again. Makes massive under estimate of just how many fans Wilco really has – God knows, I actually got to see “Game of Thrones” because he played the Executioner in it – and then they create an opportunity out of their own cock up to nail a few Touts to the Cross. You are sick. Not one member of this Association bought a ticket for this tour, not one member is holding a ticket. How do I know? Because I called them all up and asked them – so I won’t be going. Because there is no way would I buy a ticket from anyone who is not an ASTA member. I shall instead get one of my vinyl records from my carefully indexed collection, place it on my turntable and let the sounds of Dr Feelgood shatter the tranquility of the countryside around. Not for the last time either.