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Rock band unleashes violence tirade at UK gig

16 November 2009

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Category: Antivivisection & extremism

We aren't sure if it's because it was Friday the 13th but unlucky Flaming Lips fans were faced with an unpleasant display at a gig in Portsmouth last week.

The majority of the public stand in support of animal research and oppose animal rights extremism. Despite that fact, it seems that in some artistic circles the view that it's OK to be violent towards researchers who use animals is still fashionable.

Indeed, here at Understanding Animal Research we were disappointed to hear that left-field American rock band The Flaming Lips chose to use their UK tour to send fans an unpleasant message. They implied that abuse towards animal researchers is acceptable, in a preamble to their song ‘Evil' at the concert last Friday.

One upset fan at the gig said he was ‘shocked' at the behaviour of the band during the performance. The song from their new album, doesn't actually mention animal research, or indeed animals, in the lyrics but the reference was made in the video backdrop to the stage.

The rendition of the song was accompanied by a video montage which alternated between a clip of a distressed-looking monkey in a cage and one of a hand pressing a red button; the clear implication being that the person pressing the button was causing the monkey pain.

We took a look at the clip on YouTube and aren't sure where they got their footage from, or when it was shot, but it did remind us a bit of the crude propagandist editing techniques used by Russian filmmakers in the early 1920s. In other words, crudely cutting together two images to simplistically imply that one causes the other might well send a strong and emotive message, but is it factually accurate? Usually not.

Band front man Wayne Coyne also used the occasion to lambast those who ‘need to do evil things to animals'. We aren't sure who he was referring to, but we hope it wasn't those medical researchers who use animals responsibly in their work to push forwards the boundaries of modern medicine.