GarbagebannerFirst off, if I find that the official Garbage twitter account was hacked tonight, I will retract this. But, as it stands here’s what happened.

I have loved Garbage for a hell of a long time. I have every album of theirs and being honest, I’ve always said if I had a band, I’d want them to sound like Garbage. I love their music and they would usually be a first port of call on my iPod.

What happened tonight was definitely one of the weirdest things ever to happen to me on Twitter. I saw Conor Furlong, a fellow Garbage fan reply to the official Garbage account on twitter. He had replied to this tweet.

Now, to me as to Conor, this tweet was extremely strange and disrespectful to fans who had paid their money. Going to gigs and buying merchandise is an expensive business. This was a sold out show and it seems the crowd weren’t entirely into the set for whatever reasons. Shirley signs off the tweet with an ‘x’ and saying that the band still love their fans but I find really hard to understand why anyone would alienate or criticize their fans, especially when saying something about a gig they’ve just played. Conor replied:

I replied to both with the word ‘sad’. Sad for a couple of reasons. Sad that despite a sell out gig and having the opportunity to play in front of people for a living, adoration seems to be something that Shirley (as it was her tweeting), still wants. Reason number two, just because Twitter is online, in a virtual world, doesn’t mean that your words have no consequences. They do, unless you have a protected account, every word is there for the whole world to see.

Of course, I replied with ‘Darling, you’re not my type’ and presumed that it would end like that. Naturally as soon as that tirade of abuse starting coming in my direction, I thought, sure, this has to go on the blog or maybe chat about it on the radio. So called ‘celebs’ having off days on Twitter seems to be the norm at the moment as Jenny Johnson felt the wrath of Chris Brown this weekend. He subsequently deleted his Twitter account.

Then Conor received this:

At this point, I genuinely started wondering if the person behind these words was OK, friends on twitter, yes, including people I do actually know in real life, who happen to know myself and Conor could see what was happening and they too were told where to go.. Yes, I’m putting it mildly. Here’s one example.

Conor asked for an apology and he more abuse.

When you get verified on Twitter, you get a little tick beside your name, so that account does belong to Garbage and the ‘S x’ indicates that this was Shirley Manson. I’ve been following their tour on Twitter and Facebook and have been disappointed that I didn’t get to see the band this year. They haven’t played in Ireland and just being finished college and looking for a job, means I haven’t had the money to go see them in Europe. This outburst has genuinely made me question/think about a couple of things. Why do record or PR companies not give musicians online media training, or do they? If not they definitely should.

The second is the reason why we all fell in love with music in the first place and retain some sort of an emotional connection with a particular artist, band or even song. We spend our money going to see them live or buying their records. It was this emotional connection with Garbage that spearheaded the annoyance I felt when I read Shirley’s first tweet. While trying to say you still loved your fans, in less than 140 characters, you alienated and possibly lost fans. With this my estimation of my favourite band, didn’t drop, it just died.