When I wasn’t marveling at the ferocity of the music on offer at last week’s Slipknot show in Newcastle there was something I just couldn’t escape.

It wasn’t the blokes in boiler suits. It wasn’t the women wearing very little more than a patch of leather and a couple of studs.

It wasn’t the ridiculous wedge heels, the crazy make-up, the obviously painful piercings or the mix of teenage youths and wrinkly rockers.

It wasn’t even the merchandise, the light show, the stage props or the mosh pit mayhem.

Although all of the above were worth a glance.

No, it was the apparent appetite for biting the hand that feeds you within an arena packed full of fans paying top whack for tickets in the midst of a recession.

If you were in the seats and you were trying to take pics with your mobile phone then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m referring to the heavy-handed zeal with which the Metro Radio Arena’s normally top notch security staff stopped anyone and everyone from taking souvenir snaps on their mobiles.

We all saw the notices plastered to the doors as we filtered into the venue. The powers that be weren’t that keen on amateur snappers taking illicit shots.

But since when did that extend to people taking pics on their phones?

I have been to scores of gigs and festivals in 2008 and at every one – prior to the Slipknot concert – people have been snapping away on their phones for fun.

Nobody stopped them. Nobody would. Who can possibly have a problem with the mobile phone generation making a visual record of their favourite bands?

Apart from, maybe, other fans. We’ve all been pissed off from time to time when a fellow concert goer spends more time pointing his phone at the stage than his own eyes.

But then we’ve all done it so we can hardly complain.

In fact nobody complained last Thursday before arena staff piled in time and time again to stop everyone from kids to crusties snapping Slipknot.

It could have been comical had it not been so serious. Stewards appearing from nowhere thrusting their hands in front of tiny little phones taking even tinier little pictures of tiny dots on a tiny stage.

I very much doubt this is an arena policy but I stand to be corrected. My gut feeling is that this directive came from management associated with the band.

Again I stand to be corrected. But if this is the case then it’s a very, very sad state of affairs.

Do Corey, Joey and the gang really care if a 13-year-old kid who can’t afford a programme takes a couple of poorly-pixelated shots on his mobile?

Do they really believe a few out-of-focus phone pics floating around Facebook will seriously damage their image?

And do they really feel the need to penalise the people who pay their wages by invoking such a ridiculous rule.

If the person to blame for last week’s pitiful fiasco wants to explain the reasoning behind causing so many fans so much misery then feel free to get in touch.

I doubt it’s anyone at the Metro Radio Arena and I very much doubt Corey and co. had a clue what was going on. But somebody’s big idea was a little petty. To say the least.

Simon Rushworth