> pub in the hood, but aren't in any wise used to anything like acoustic music
> (hanging mikes not withstanding) and so just don't get the idea of shut-up-
> and-listen.

That's not just college kids.  It's pretty general, at least in the US.
Unless an event is billed as a "concert," people are going to treat music
as background filler to be talked over.  Blame that one on the ubiquity
of radio, I suppose.  Same thing happens here in Athens, and the crowd
varies from an even mix to mostly townies.  Noise levels follow crowd
size rather than make up, unless there's a birthday/thesis defense/going
away celebration...  It doesn't help that the pub is an extremely live
room--brick walls and a peaked, paneled roof.

Except on nights when it's nigh impossible to hear each other, I
prefer that people just keep going about their usual bar business.
It's a session, not a gig.

Hmm, now that I think about it, didn't the whole "be quiet and respect
the music" thing just make the rounds a couple of months ago?