In 1989 I was involved in a club night in Perth, Western Australia. We got a good crowd most weekend nights, but it was a relatively new concept down under. An Aussie bloke asked what time the band was on and I explained it was a DJ. "I'm not paying Five Bucks to listen to some guy playing records, I could do that in my living room."
The same thing sort of happened this week. We're organising an anniversary dinner to celebrate 25 years of Marple Athletic Junior Football Club. I was thinking of a guest speaker from the world of football, followed by a comedian. Lots of backslapping, memories and a bit of a prize raffle. Drink will be taken.
Said one committee member at our meeting on Wednesday: "It sounds like it's going to be the most boring night ever. No-one wants to sit there listening to two blokes talking. It should be a dinner dance, get a DJ."
I reflected on this again on Thursday at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce dinner where 840 people heard speeches from this year's President, the transport minister Lord Adonis, two sponsors and some bloke who was talking for 20 minutes. He was called Michael McIntyre and for "talking" for half an hour he charged somewhere north of £25,000.