The End of the World Playlist reminded me of Metallica @Glasto, a gig that changed my “life”.
Which led me to reminisce of gigs that I will never forget or gave me a moment or did change my life.
So the idea is remember a gig, where it was and of course what was special.
In Influencer speak, what Gift did it give you, why was it special?
This should be a story thread not an I was there thread. (Not a Frank Turner was a bit better than normal thread).
We have some time tell the story
The End of the World Playlist reminded me of Metallica @Glasto, a gig that changed my “life”.
I have plenty, but I need to use the laptop to tell stories, not the phone & right now it’s streaming!
But a simple starter & cheating a bit.
The Skorpions Dubai Country Club about 2003.
I didn’t go.
But the Friday night was my 45th birthday. We were on the leash. Rock Bottom & Bullfrogs. In those days the Downtown RB held about 600 people it was always rammed on Friday for Karaoke & we always went because the gang who sang there gave us THE widest range & quality of music you could hear.
2 XFactor semi finalists, 4 guys went full time & 2 lads formed a great EDM Band who are huge across Asia.
We used to go to watch, but knew our limitations - in front of 600 people? Us? No, just no.
Anyway Bullfrogs & JaegerBombs DJ announces up next…
None other than? The Skorpions. They were staying in the hotel after the gig, having dinner in the bar.
Lead Singer does Winds of Change.
House is brought down.
DJ. Next up is a good friend who has his Birthday today. He will refuse to come on stage but Security wont let him leave. All Alcohol sales are suspended until he comes on stage.
So yeah, security frog march me on stage.
I turn to DJ FFS make it a simple Sinatra number.
He turned, smiled & said, no chance, you’re fvcked.
And the opening bars of The Buggles burst out the sound system. Oh Fuck.
Then in a moment of clarity, through the Bullfrogs, a voice from above screamed in my brain…
About 30 minutes later I was called back on stage to be presented with the £100 1st prize drink voucher by the lead singer of The Skorions, who came 2and.
That 1 song gig by him changed everything. I learnt that if you are almost in key & sing a tune everyone loves, they will want to listen to you.
I took that a step further, when on stage presenting, even IF it was bollocks (or today spin) people will love it IF you engage/entertain them.
And damn that extra £100 of booze meant an unforgettable hangover.
Tomorrow after some proper music moments
I suppose I’ve got to start near to the beginning. It was almost thirty years ago, I was fifteen and this was my first ever big gig. Monsters of Rock at Castle Donington. It wasn’t a full on multi-day even like Download was. A few of us planned the trip together at school. We did the coach trip thing on account of not being able to drive.
One of my mates really wasn’t allowed to go, despite having paid for everything. He snuck out of his house at 5am, leaving a note for his mother which said “Just popped out to post a letter”.
Apparently, when he returned his old dear said “How was Donington”?
Well, it was mostly brilliant. I didn’t enjoy Aerosmith as much as I thought I might, and Whitesnake were never really my cup of tea, but the overall experience was awesome.
There were people passed out when we arrived, before any of the bands had played; something I still don’t understand today. We also returned with a fuckload of rock cred - there weren’t many kids in our year that did the same.
Probably not my favourite gig, but it cemented a love for a sort of music I’d been into for a couple of years.
I went to that one - my first “festival”
There was a wooden wall to the right of the stage that everyone was pissing against, a river of piss running down to the stage
Then from the crowd staggers this biker chap, three sheets to the wind, he careered over to the wall, tripped and passed out, no doubt soothed by the gallons of warm piss washing around his inert form.
TBF I was surprised there was enough piss left to do this given how much was airborne at any one time
I also seem to recall them serving snakebite
No-one throws gallon bottles of spinning piss about at Download.
It’s very sad.
For many of us who went to gigs in the 60s and early 70s under the influence of various mind altering substances, its not so much gigs I’ll never forget, more like gigs I’ll never remember. As the old adage says, if you can remember it, you weren’t there!
A few spring to mind…
Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (also Bobs backing band), with guests Roger Mcguinn (of Byrds fame), and George Harrison popping by - 1987
Not my ticket but it was this gig… £15!!!
REM 1989 - Green World Tour with Throwing Muses in support (Wembley arena as well)
Glastonbury 1990 - first time… was 20, with girlfriend, tent of love
Reading '92 - 'pumpkins and Nirvana… nuff said
Oh and ‘Buffalo Hyde’ at the Glasgow Queen Margaet Union - my band’s first ‘big gig’ back in 1991 (4th on bill… no one gave a shit, but was cool playing through a decent 20kW Rig and with monitors and we got some good photos)
I couldn’t (can’t be bothered to think about it) tell you my favourite gig. I’ve enjoyed most and remember some. I do remember the one that disappointed me the most. Leeds town and country circa 1992, The Kinks. Started off badly when the power went but Ray came out and did a good solo acoustic set. Then the power was fixed and the rest of them came out and it was shit. The lesson I learned that day was never meet your heroes, or at least the old ones.
Phil just spotted one of my posts on FB, one of those where you’ve been tagged and have to post LP cover, nothing else each day. BUT, I refuse to be a sheep and add my own twist by not only not nominating somebody else, but also giving a little anecdote about the LP, in which today I mentioned Phil.
Todays was about my 1st ever Live Gig, BJH at Salisbury, mid 70’s, and The BJH Live LP was basically the set list. By a bizarre coincidence whilst chatting about music 40 odd years later with Phil in Dubai, we discover that this was also his !st ever Live Gig!! Small World eh!!?
Fuck Facebook chain plagues.
Especially those that say things like “share if you love your daughter”.
I assume nearly everyone loves their daughters. This is not news to me.
Let me know about the exceptions, e.g. you hate your daughter and keep her locked in the attic with only Pot Noodle for sustenance.
FFS I am supposed to feed her?
Back in late 1985 I was bumbling around in my Ford Cortina 2000GL roaming Hampshire, Dorset & IoW seling Electronic stuff.
It was one of those grey suicidal damp dank days, not raining just bone aching damp. I was somewhere over the arse end of Cranbourne Chase, heading to maybe Shaftesbury from Wimborne? It was about midday, I( was listening to Ooh Gary Davis who had been going on about annouoncing a BIG GIG and how to get tickets. As luck had it I was stuck behind a tractor or sheep or something when he gave details. Send a Self addressed envelope & cheque (maybe for about 12.50 per ticket) to somewhere to see the gig at Wembley Arena.
It was a PO Box Number so was easy to remember.
At that moment I was outside a Village Post Office.Why not I thought.
After all the Bands were worth it
And that was it.
Time went on and Ooh Gazza updated about the musical co-ordinator being Midge Ure and there was talk of "Surprise Guests.
So me and Ex Mrs UK_Phil rocked up, nice seats just behind the Royal Box. Headed to the Bar (and met George (the Beatles Fame) Martin who told us “We were in for some surprises.” Then I fell in love with a Blonde
So Each of the listed bands played 3 songs - we were WOWED! It was BRILLIANT. Then back to the Bar for a beer & a pee before Ooh Gazza walked on the stage and simply said.
Ladies & Gentlemen. Mr Phil Collins.
On the Piano. In the Air Tonight. with us lot doing the cupboard door closing sound effects. Spine tingleing
Phil stands up, moves to the drum kit. and says
Ladies & Gentlemen
Mr Elton John who sings Your Song and I’m still standing.
He then introduces THE BAND. Midge Ure, Howard Jones, ERIC FUCKING CLAPTON. MARK KNOPFLER. BRYAN ADAMS - (in true forum style there may have been a little bit of wee about this time)
And Elton said
Ladies & Gentlemen
Miss TINA TURNER
Who sings Better be Good to me & a duet Tearing us apart with ERIC FUCKING CLAPTION!
And so it continued Howard Jones did Noone is to blame
Midge Ure Call of the Wild
Status Quo joined the ensemble and sang something
Sting walked on stage to sing the intro to money for nothing with Dire Straits.
Rod Stewart, Paul Young, George Michael came out & sang
BRYAN ADAMS belted out Summer of 69
(I can now even see Charlie is up dancing down in front of us FFS
Then OMG OMG MG
Ladies & Gentlemen will you please welcome
Mr Paul McArtney. - I saw her standing there, Long tall sally & Get Back
The place is DONE! Holy Shit in 1986 that is like EVERYONE.
But it wasn’t.
Macca "there are a couple of old guys out the back who are upset at missing out and have asked if we could try and fit them in for a song (who the hell is left thinks everyone)
And they band strikes up Dancing in the Street and we have Bowie & Jagger.
People were literally in shock on the underground back into town afterwards. We expected 6 bands and Midge And we had seen EVERYONE.
I will never forget that gig.
It taught me a lesson as well. WHEN you hear about something, ACT. Do it. It is FAR better to try to get to something and fail than to sit there and say “oh bugger wish I had gone to that”
More gigs have been memorable, but that one. Holy Shit
I was in 6th form. Catching the bus home, copy of The Echo. There was a tiny ad in the classifieds xxxxxxx at Village Bowl Bournemouth Tickets on sale tonight 7pm & phone number.
Got home, got through, yep but you had to go to the box office that evening.
Borrowed Mums car, queued, got 4 tickets.
A week later we were there.
It was Blondie, doing a warm up gig before their 1st UK tour. Parallel lines had just taken off. She was AMAZING, and less than 1000 people in the venue.
Saw her in Dubai ( when she could still sing but…) and at Glasto when sadly her voice had gone.
But that night? Wow.
I made the mistake of seeing Lou Reed at Hammersmith about 10 years ago. Forked out a fortune on tickets for me and three nephews.
He was awful. Really dreadful, it was an exercise in rambling senility and should never have been staged. He died a year or so later. When I walked into the Apollo he was an iconic rock legend, three hours later he was a shambling old cunt that should have retired a decade ago.
As fatso says, never meet your heroes.
I saw Lou Reed at the IOW festival. He was my hero too. He had a strange set, it too many unknown ones for the majority, which bands are well within their right to do, but it’s always an odd choice for a festival. A monk then came out and did some yoga and then he played a butchered version of white light. One of my biggest disappointments in music.
The Duke Spirit at the Paradiso Club in Amsterdam
I reckon it must have been 15 years ago and I was sitting listening to Cuts Across the Land by Duke Spirit with a mate when we said we should go to see them.
We found that we’d just missed their UK tour and they’d moved on to Europe. On a whim, we booked tickets to see them in Amsterdam.
Flew out of Eastleigh early morning, checked into the hotel and then hit the streets in search of the pleasures of Amsterdam. Spent lots of time in coffee shops, uncontrollably laughing our heads off in one particular fast-food restaurant and lying on our backs looking at clouds.
We got ‘take-away’ supplies for the gig and got to the Paradiso (which is one of my favourite venues - I used to travel to Holland once a week for many years through work). My mate is slightly incoherent as we order a beer and sit smoking in the ante-room bar. Eventually, we get called to go into the stage area (it was the upstairs, smaller room). Just as the band is about to come on, my mate has a whiteout and collapses on the floor.
I’m quite worried, in a giggly sort of way but as you might imagine, this is not the first time the Paradiso bouncers have seen such a thing. They lift and drag him behind the stage area and tell me to follow. My mate is unconscious by this time but revives just enough to be sick on the floor. The bouncer aggressively asks me what he’s taken. When I insist (many times) that it’s ‘just’ many different joints, he relaxes and says that my mate will be ok once he’s had some water.
At this point, the band walks past us, making “yuk” noises, out onto the stage and the female lead singer greets the crowd with “If any other fuckers wants to be sick, go outside!”.
And that was all I saw or heard of The Duke Spirit that night - or since for that matter.
We’re led outside to the bin area while my mate comes round, my Duke Spirit T-Shirt that I’d just bought gets lent to my mate to replace his sick-covered one. It would later be returned to me smelling of sick.
It also turns out that my mate had chipped his tooth when he collapsed. We went back to the hotel, and slept the sleep of the stoned.
None of this story is known to my mate’s wife. So he’ll remain anonymous.
Nearly forgot… on the scale of ‘secret gigs’ - A little known outfit called ‘Bingo Hand Job’ at the Borderline club in 91… turns out was I was seeing them again a few months later … Intimate setting for REM
Have a dodgy live bootleg on vinyl of that gig as well… sound quality is awful as is teh shit pressing, but its still reasonable momento…
Nearly forgot, one for @saintbletch as I do remember Bill Bragg joining them for a few numbers
I believe that Bragg was a ‘member’ of Bingo Handjob.
I have heard a number of they songs too.
I always found some form of warped justification for my musical tastes that two artists that I liked independently, joined in a collaboration. Go me.
Yeah, was about the time Peter buck appeared on Lets wake up teh neighbourhood as well… fuck, teh early 90s was so good musically…