“ Please include explanations for your choices. Remember to state where the gig was, when it was and try to include as much information as possible: set lists, best songs, band members present, etc. Simple lists will not be accepted. „
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Watching live music at gigs and festivals of my favourite artists is an ultimate way for me to spend my free time (when not being mummy to my 2 year old!) and spend my spare money! I have been to quite a few although there are still loads more I would love to see (and some on this list I'd want to see again!) so here's a brief run down of my favourite so far! 1. Eminem I absolutely love Eminem, so when I heard he was headlining V Festival last year I knew I just had to be there!! I quickly booked my ticket for me and my friend for the Staffordshire event and was totally excited to go! We paid an extortionate amount as we were not fortunate to get them at first release so probably paid around £150 a ticket (yikes!) and I have to say he was TOTALLY WORTH IT. He did a set for almost 2 hours, doing all his classics like Real Slim Shady, Stan and more of his recent music like Love The Way You Lie with Rihanna. He was vibrant, upbeat and engaging with the audience and I had a sore throat afterwards as I have all his albums so was rapping along with him to practically every tune! He ended with Lose Yourself which was epic and I never wanted it to end. In total, travelling to Staffordshire, accomodation, food etc going to see him probably cost me about £500 when all added up but I would do it all over again as he was amazing and still is my favourite artist of all time! ---- The rest of this list is in no particular order, just my other 9 favourite gigs I have been to! ---- 2. P!nk I remember seeing Pink when I was about 18 and was such a die hard fan I even dyed my hair pink just for the event! I saw her at Brixton academy in London with my best friend at the time and paid probably £30 or so to see her. She was also amazing, and so HOT! I never realised how beautiful she was until I saw her live. She has a really amazing voice and her songs like Family Portrait and Like a pill were so moving. She also did great up tempo with her tracks like Get the party started which had the whole arena completely buzzing. It was so long ago sadly I can't remember who her supporting acts were, but I know I would love to see her again! 3. Example I saw Example at Brixton Academy in London last december and it was like an indoor festival! He does great dance tracks and me and my friend were literally jumping and fist pumping for an hour and a half trying not to spill my cider! He is still relatively new so didn't have too many songs I actually knew but when he ended with Changed the way you kissed me, me and my friend were sweating through our clothes as he knows how to put on a truly amazing set and keep the crowd engaged and excited! We weren't bothered to arrive early as we knew he wasn't on until 9.30 and the support act was some french dude we had never heard of lol! 4. The Wanted I saw The Wanted at V Festival last year and have to say these 4 guys amazed me! I know all their songs from listening to the radio, but hearing them live they were amazing and were the second best act at V Festival! Was a bit disappointed their set was only 30 minutes but in that time they did all their popular songs like Heart Vacancy, All Time Low and Glad You Came (my favourite!) and they definitely left the crowd wanting more! 5. Rihanna I saw Rihanna at V Festival last year and was so excited to see her, as she was headlining along with Eminem. One thing I will say is that Rihanna does a very sexy and provocative stage show! She did all her songs from Umbrella to S&M and Unfaithful. I honestly didn't realise how many good songs she has until she was on stage for an hour! She has a lot of vibrant and saucy dance routines and is quite eccentric on stage but I was impressed at her vocals (as I'd heard before she was terrible live) and she did a great performance. 6. Gnarls Barkley I saw this group when I was 18 at Brixton Academy in London and I absolutely LOVED the whole show! I think tickets were dirt cheap, probably £20 or so. They only ever had one album, their most famous song being Crazy. The singer Cee Lo green (of Forget You) was the lead singer in this group and they were amazing at putting on a creepy and spooky stage show with songs like The Boogie Monster and Smily Faces. They were great musicians and I appreciated the art behind the music although I am sure some listening to their albums now may find them a bit weird! This is the only concert my friend and I were able to be right at the front at the railings so I swooned when he touched my hand! 7. Drake I saw Drake earlier this year at London's 02 arena with my sister and we each paid £45 to see him. It was his first solo arena tour bless him and he was pretty good! He did quite a few songs from his first album like Best Thing I Ever Had and Up All Night and a lot of his current album like The Motto and Headlines. He was actually quite funny in between songs, engaging with the audience and being very charismatic! He also proved he can sing and rap as he sung a lot of slow melodies, of course to make all the ladies swoon! His support act was Labrinth who to be quite honest I was quite disappointed with as his set didn't seem in tune and I could barely hear him it all sounded like noise! However, when it came to Drake he was top form. 8. Miguel Miguel is originally from Mexico but is an american latin, r &b singer. I saw him last november at HMV apollo and paid about £20 for a ticket. He had about a dozen support acts (I've no idea why! They all seemed to be X factor or BGT rejects from previous years if I am quite honest!) who were quite boring and the music they played between the acts was much more entertaining. However when Miguel came on stage he brought life to the venue and was extreeeeemely seductive and explicit, in fact much more than I expected! His most popular song is All I Want Is You which is a lovely soulful track I could listen to on repeat all day, and I was happy he performed it twice, once in the middle of the concert, and again at the closing of the show which all us ladies were happy to sing a long with him to! 9. Glee I'll be quite honest, this gig was not my idea, but my friend's and when she asked me to come with her I said yes although I do not really watch the show! We each paid £60 for tickets at the 02 Arena in London and had quite decent seats on the floor near the rear stage. They did all their popular songs from the shows and were all in character as if it was an episode! The set was about an hour and a half and they sang as a collective, and did songs as solo's also to show off their individual singing and dancing skills. I was a bit hurt at the hole in my purse for a show I didn't really want to see, but I actually quite enjoyed it and was glad I went. 10. Alicia Keys I saw Alicia Keys about 4 years ago at the 02 arena in London and she was really good! She does a lot of slow, ballad songs at her piano so it really isn't for anyone wanting a very fast paced show with lots of dance routines although she did get up and do a few of her faster tracks but I definitely think this was more of a lovey dovey couple gig, as me and my 2 girl friends didn't know what to do when she sang such love songs like No-one! I have seen a few other R & B artists like Keri Hilson and Destiny's Child and also some rock/Indie shows like Wednesday 13 and All Time Low who sadly didn't make the list! I like a wide range of music and I have got more tickets for upcoming gigs to Maverick Sabre and B.O.B I can't wait to go to, and so I am sure in the near future this list will change but Eminem will still be number 1!
I love live music! My first gig was at the age of 13/14 and it was seeing Fallout Boy in Bournemouth at the BIC in 2007 which is a medium sized venue and most chart artists visit on at least their first big tour and sometimes return for another if they do not move onto arena type tours. I'd never been so excited for anything in my life as music had just really started to become a big interest of mine and I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved jumping and singing along to all the songs and as soon it was over I started looking for more gigs to attend, most of them being pop bands in the first years like Good Charlotte or Panic! At The Disco. I have since been to a variety of different concerts, small venues, one festival (only a day so it wasn't the full experience) and often travelling to London to see smaller American bands play or attending gigs at the O2 there as well. My music taste ranges from pop/rock to a bit of heavy and some fun pop. It was extremely hard to narrow my favourite concerts down to 10 and this is what I have come out with. Alexisonfire -London HMV Forum 11.12.10 This is most definitely one of the best as me and my friend (who has a tattoo of one of the album covers on her arm) managed to get vip and so met the whole band before they played, we got picture and signature and fangirled so bad! We had met one of the members (city and colour singer dallas green) before too. This band live is insane, we managed to get right to barrier in the middle for the entire show and I've never seen so many crowd surfers before! They were incredible and this gig will forever be one of my favourites. About 2 months later they announced they would be splitting up and this turned out to be one of the last gigs they played in the uk! Luckily they are doing a farewell tour sometime next year! A Day To Remember -London HMV Forum 18.12.11 Another insane concert, I love this band and wasn't sure what to expect. It was a very jumpy gig and the lead singer actually got in a zorbing ball and ran across the top of the crowd! They threw beach balls and toilet rolls and all sorts over the crowd near the end too which was different and a lot of fun! The setlist was amazing and there was a great two piece acoustic set near the end. Enter Shikari - O2 Academy Bournemouth 11.02.10 This is one of my favourite bands and try to see them everytime they come southwards, only three times so far! This venue was the second time seeing them and me and my friends were at the front in the middle with an amazing view. Their gigs are famous for lights and the amazing energy they create in the crowd, the lead singer often gets in the crowd and sings, and this time he got dragged back on stage over us! I'm not as huge a fan of their newer music but will always be happy to see them as their gigs are just so fun! Lower Than Atlantis - Bournemouth Ibar July/August 2011 This band filled in last minute as this local bar was being closed down, the venue is downstairs and the smallest I've been to, it's not much bigger than my living room and there was no barrier! Me and my friend were at the front and it so hot, I kept getting pushed into the guitar players amp and my friend into the lead singer! It was mental but amazing and the band hung out in the bar afterwards which was fun. Blink 182 -Bournemouth International Centre 07.07.12 This is the most recent gig I've been to and probably one of the most anticipated because they are one of the first bands that introduced me to the music scene I like. I was going to see them at the O2 but then they delayed it by a year and then added Bournemouth so we decided to save money and just go here. This gig was fun and jumpy and the Blink boys were great to watch. It was so nostalgic! The only thing bad was it was over too quick as their songs are so short! City and Colour - Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms 03.07.11 Me and my friend have seen this singer (Dallas Green from Alexisonfire) four times in total, each time special for different reasons. We've seen him play at the Albert Hall Roundhouse and HMV Forum and this small venue in Portsmouth where we a queued for three hours and met him before the show! We got our (almost usual haha) spot on the barrier right infront of him. He is a very unique concert as it mainly him and his acoustic guitar with help from his band on half the songs. I also managed to get a setlist at the end of this gig! Katy Perry - Bournemouth International Centre 31.03.11 Katy Perry is my ladycrush. I love her look, music and just her in general, she's so colourful and fun! As soon as we went in the place smelt like candyfloss, the set was amazing, all sweet themed and she had many amazing outfit changes, all so colourful, my favourite was the end one which was a skirt made of cupcakes! She sung much better than I was expecting and when people were pulled onstage I grabbed a place on the barrier yet again. Katy was amazing to watch live and she cried at the end as Firework had just gone to number one in America! Four Year Strong -Portsmouth Pyramids Centre 31.01.12 This is another of my favourite bands and the atmosphere they created at this gig was insane, I am seriously looking forward to hopefully seeing them again sometime. It was another jumpy gig and the setlist was perfect but again over too quick! Someone at the front in a moshpit filmed some of the gig on their iPad which was crazy haha. Lady Gaga - London O2 Arena 27.02.10 This was a huge gig that me and my friend had been counting down for several months. We left at 6 in the morning to start queuing at 10! We waited 9 hours and managed to be the first 100 in and got (guess what...) a place at the front! This is the most dramatic and theatrical show I have ever seen. Gaga had a story which although a little cringe worthy in one or two places was amazing, the outfits were as crazy as ever and her voice was perfect. The £60 that I thought was expensive was definitely worth it. I am extremely happy to have seen her at the Monster Ball as I have gone off her now since she released Born This Way. Kasabian -Bournemouth International Centre 25.11.09 I went to this gig liking many of their songs but not expecting anything really amazing however Kasabian put on a great show! The venue was full of all ages, a lot of people from my year at school too haha but the crowd was one of the best I've been in, literally everyone was jumping and singing and when the concert ended people were still singing together, even out onto the streets! I have managed to see the majority of the bands I like although there are still some on my list like Biffy Clyro, Muse and I need to live out my 13 year old selfs dream of seeing Green Day and many smaller bands! I will be attending gigs for as long as I can stand ...and then I'll just have to make sure there are seats haha!
Top 10 now this is going be tough because I've been to over 30 in the last 8 years. Also not sure how I can put it in a fair order as I have seen new and old bands alike so here I go (information provided depends on my memory): ~ Nightwish - with support from Paradise Lost ~ Hammersmith Apollo - London - 25/09/05 ~ Set List (may not be in order): Dark Chest of Wonders Planet Hell Ever Dream The Kinslayer Phantom of the Opera (musical) The Siren Sleeping Sun High Hopes (Pink Floyd cover) Bless the Child Wishmaster Slaying the Dreamer Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan Nemo Ghost Love Score Creek Mary's Blood Wish I had an Angel ~ This is my most favourite for 2 reasons. The first of which stands for every Nightwish gig I have been to and that is that Tarjas voice cannot be fully appreciated until it is heard live and then it leaves you in total awe especially when you hear her hit the top notes in Phantom of the Opera. My other reason is because this was the first time that they brought their pyrotechnics across to the UK with them and although Nightwishs shows are brilliant without them, they just made it complete and it was like watching one of their DVDs. They did a good mix of songs from all their albums and some interesting covers. This was also the bands last UK gig before they sacked their singer on 21 October 2005 after the last show of their mammoth 15 month long Once world tour promoting their album Once. This is also one of the very few bands I have seen that sound better live that they do on CD. ~ Black Sabbath ~ Download Festival Donington 11/06/05 ~ This was the first time I had been to a festival and boy it was worth it. Just to be in a crowd of around 147, 000 people was amazing enough but then to see the Ozzy Osbourne fronted Black Sabbath strut their stuff it was out of this world. I mean to see Ozzy on the TV with his stuttering and his lack of energy you wouldnt believe its the same person because when he is on stage he has more energy than me and he is more or less 3 times my age! As for the sound I think they sound amazing even better than they do on record. A band that is well worth seeing live. Saturday at Download 2005 was Ozzfest. ~ Billy Idol un-supported ~ Barrowlands Glasgow 14/11/05 ~ Set List (right order as I got a copy of it): Super Overdrive Dancing with Myself Flesh for Fantasy Body Snatcher White Wedding Scream Eyes without a Face Sweet Sixteen To be a Lover Cherie Louisiana (Steve Stevens Solo) Rat Race LA Woman Blue Highway World Comin Down Ready, Steady, Go Rebel Yell Hot in the City Kiss Me Deadly Mony Mony ~ This was the second time I had seen Billy Idol (first time being at Download Festival 10/06/05). I have been a fan since about the age of 10 maybe before and I am so glad that I was able to see him live. Despite being 50 years old he is as fit as he was when younger not to mention just as good looking if not better! He came on with his band and ling time guitarist Steve Stevens and did nearly 2 and a half hours un-supported only getting a bit of a break when Steve did his solo. He sounded exactly as you would expect with the voice that all of his fans remember. He personalised a few of the songs like Hot in the City he sang Hot in Glasgow tonight. He also had the crowd in stitches with tales from past tours. This tour was Devils Playground Tour to promote his newest album Devils Playground. I came home with the set list and a Billy Idol plectrum. ~ Dragonforce with support from Edguy and Sabaton ~ Carling Academy Glasgow 31/01/06 ~ For people who dont know who Dragonforce are they are a multi-national power metal band based in London. They sound like Iron Maiden on speed. This was the bands only Scottish date on their Inhuman Rampage: First Strike Tour promoting their third and latest album Inhuman Rampage. This bands music features some of the fastest riffing and drumming that I have ever heard it is amazing but to see it and hear it done live is even more amazing. They sound exactly like they do on record and were great at getting the crowd going and involved. ~ Evanescence with support from Seether ~ Hallam FM Arena Sheffield 20/05/04 ~ Set List: Haunted Going Under Taking Over Me Everybodys Fool Thoughtless (Korn Cover) My Last Breath Further Away Missing Breathe No More My Immortal Bring Me to Life Tourniquet Imaginary Whisper ~ This was the second time I had seen Evanescence (first time was 04/11/03 in Glasgow) but I chose this time as it was more special to me as before the gig I got to go backstage and meet the band and give them a poem I had written for them. I think they did a good mixture of songs from their album fallen and a few B-sides as well as a cover. This was the first rock band I saw live after my pop days and I was so impressed. To see a band that performed live was awesome and to have them sound like they do on record was even better. The emotion is Amys voice is 10 times rawer live. They were great! ~ The Rasmus ~ The Garage Glasgow 27/10/05 ~ This was the second time that I had seen the band (first time being in Edinburgh on 27/10/04). I loved the gig! It was even better than the one in Edinburgh last year and thats why I chose it for my list. I got taken in early as usual and just happened to spot Lauri (the singer) going to the bar so as he passed me I said hi and he stopped and shook hands. Another reason I chose this one is because it featured an acoustic set which they didn't do in Edinburgh last year. They performed the whole of their Hide from the Sun (also the name of the tour) album apart from 2 songs - it's not often you go to a gig and they do nearly a whole album. I think they did a really good mix of songs from their other albums too and I have to say they made more than the best of the 1hr 30mins that they were on stage! ~ The Offspring with support from Send More Paramedics and The Letters Organise ~ SECC Hall 3 Glasgow 12/09/05 ~ Although I dont rate this venue very highly on quality of the view for those in wheelchairs I had to add this gig to my list. I had waited 8 years to see this band and I wasnt disappointed. They sounded just as you would expect them to after hearing their CDs. They also did a good mix of songs from the one that broke them Self Esteem right up to their more recent Hit That. This gig was part of their Greatest Hits Tour ~ Bon Scott Tribute Night featuring Full Metal Racket, Vantage Point and Firebrand Super Rock ~ The Exchange Edinburgh 08/07/06 ~ Vantage Points Set List: Gaydar Pleasure Slave Gemma Gemini Sail On Too Much Work Gripped By The Throat 24 Hour Breakdown Just When I Wasn't Lookin' Live Wire Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Touch Too Much Bad Boy Boogie ~ Firebrand Super Rock and Full Metal Racket set lists not known ~ The main reason I went along to this was because I had seen both Firebrand Super Rock and Vantage Point perform locally and really liked them. Vantage Point even won our local Battle of the Bands. Another reason is because I like AC/DC. Full Metal Racket did two sets. They started the night off with a short set of non AC/DC songs. They got the somewhat small crowd warmed up in time for the next (my favourite) band Firebrand Super Rock. They did a set featuring both their own songs (one of which they dedicated to me) and AC/DC tracks. Firebrand Super Rock play classic metal with a twist (powerful Tina Turner-esque female vocals). Next on were Vantage Point they have been compared to the likes of Judas Priest. They did a mixture of their own songs and AC/DC songs. Full Metal Racket came on to finish off the night with a full set of AC/DC songs and also at midnight we stopped and sang happy birthday to Bon Scott who wouldve been 60 had he not died. It was a great night and we caught up with Firebrand Super Rock afterwards as well so it was a must for this list. ~ HIM with support from Anathema ~ Carling Academy Glasgow 23/04/06 ~ This was the fourth time I had seen this band but I chose this one as the venue had a great sound system and you could easily hear the lead singer singing where in some other venues it has been a struggle to hear him over the music. This date was part of the Dark Light Tour in which they were promoting their latest album (yes you guessed it) Dark Light. They did a really good mix of songs spanning all 6 of their albums and for the first time I was able to fully appreciate what Villes (the singer) voice sounded like live and I was not disappointed. This gig was postponed from 19 January due to the lead guitarist breaking his wrist but it was more than worth the wait. ~ Anata with support from Callous ~ Red Rooms Hawick 21/07/06 ~ When Swedish death metallers Anata revealed that they were coming to Hawick (a town a mere 30 minutes away from where I live) I couldnt believe it and decided to go along even though its not quite my thing. They were touring with a local band (from Carlisle). I have to say Im not really a fan of songs that the singers just growl their way through but that aside their drumming is the fastest and most amazing I have ever heard and they had the crowd going mental. Thats why I had to add it to the list. Also with the Red Rooms being a very small venue (max capacity of 250 people) I got the chance to meet the bands afterwards and got pictures taken with the singers of both bands. Thats my list for now as the list may change because I am seeing these bands later in the year: Muse with support from My Chemical Romance Lacuna Coil + Devil driver + support Lordi (this years Eurovision winners) + support Iron Maiden + Trivium
So do a review about "TOP 10 GIGS" Please bare in mind this will change about 200 times in my lifetime, i will do my best to update this. This is hard to do from 10-1 1-10 so I may just throw in a random number which sounds right, but may get altered later. 10. Doves - Manchester Apollo 09.12.2002 Support: Alpine Star & Delgados What a night, my first Doves show and since they're from Manchester and it was last night of their huge tour over land and sea, it was a beauty. The album tour (Last Broadcast) had been long and extensive and finished with two night in the famous Stockport road theatre of dreams. The noise was perfect, the band was more than perfect and most of all the crowd were up for it. Setlist POUNDING RISE SEA SONG CATCH THE SUN LAST BROADCAST MAN WHO TOLD EVERYTHING WORDS CALLING NEW YORK A HOUSE CAUGHT BY THE RIVER CEDAR ROOM FEAR FIRESUITE HERE IT COMES SPACEFACE There was some serious moshing for Pounding, Catch the Sun, New York, Fear and Spaceface. It was one of those night where you didn't need alcohol, you were on pure adrenaline and because it was a homecoming show, you felt that everyone in there was your friend. 9. Moloko - Manchester University Academy 1 09.05.2003 Support: Gus Gus This was a show I had been anticipating because I loved Moloko's lead singer, she was a babe to put it lightly. Moloko were diverse and strange, which is somethig I prefer. Although I loved this night it was one of those stranger nights because I loved the support act far more than the main act. GusGus who reside in Iceland are an Electronic band led by the egocentric President Bongo of Gaybon. Yeah wierd enough, but their music was amazing to say the least. Taken from their latest album Attention were some tracks which blew me away. In particular there was David, Dance you down and Desire. I found it very strange that they were only support acts and were not massively famous. Nevertheless I loved their performance and Moloko's and now I have all their album discography. Familiar Feeling I Want You Absent Minded Friends Day For Night Come On Fun For Me Where Is The What If The What Is In Why? Cannot Contain This Pure Pleasure Seeker Time Is Now Statues 100% Forever More Sing It Back Being Is Bewildering Blow by Blow Caught In A Whisper* Indigo* 8. Peaches - Manchester Academy 2 16.04.2004 Support: Don't Know If you don't know who Peaches is then you probably don't want too either. Peaches was born in Canada and now resides in Germany, her albums are The Teaches of Peaches and Fatherf***er, yes Fatherf***er! She sings song about sex and fetish and isn't afraid to sing about it live in concert, in fact it gets quite graphic. But at the same its top notch entertainment, the music is a mixture of Electronic beats and Rock and roll and she is the only playing the guitar. The room was full of people who dressed for the occasion wearing leather and almost nothing yet it was great to be a part of it, even if I was wearing Jeans and a Tee. It was a unique experience and definately something I will watch again. Similar to watching Har Mar Superstar except he is just gross! I can't find the setlist anywhere sorry. 7. Thievery Corporation Manchester Academy 2 26.05.05 Support: No support I had been following TC for about 2 years so this gig was muchly anticipated. Now TC are from Washington DC and this was going to be the only opportunity to see them in Manchester for at least 3 years. I remember cancelling a game of football for this and on arrival I was having second thoughts, but im glad I stayed because it was truly amazing. On arrival there was no support act on stage, it's a small venue but one of the best because of it's size. There was only a couple hundred there but that added to the spice, so I made my way up front with my friend and waited till they came on stage. The lead 2 came on Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, Eric played the Bass guitar and Rob worked his magic on a keyboard synth. After the first song they both went to their stations, like mixing boards and synths where they totally controlled the sounds. On stage there was 2 percussionists, a bass player, a guitarist who also played the sitar, 2 guys who played wind instruments such as trumpets and several vocalist who took it turn to come on stage. Lou Lou is a french female vocalist who sings very delicately to songs like Le Monde and Omid (Hope), I know these words as she speaks them but I don't understand them as they are mostly French. Sista Pat is one of the more mature members of the group, she is Indian in origin and possesses a wicked voice and a friendly smile. It's funny but the crowd seem intimidated by her presence as she glides from side to side. Karina or Princess Karina, she is stunningly beautiful and looks almost niave as she does her part occasionally taking photos of the crowd. Roots/Zee two Jamaican guys who specialise in Reggae, they are divine Ras in the house and speak the gospel of TC. They even jump into the crowd and help everyone to jump around and enjoy themselves. My friend says it's the best show he has ever seen, but earlier on he had never heard of Thievery Corporation. The Cosmic Gate Le Monde - lou lou Omid - lou lou Facing East Lebonese Blonde - sista pat Shadows - lou lou So Com Voce - karina Sol Tapado - karina Liberation Front roots/zee 38.45 - roots/zee Illumination Revolution Solution - sista pat Wires and Watchtowers - sista pat Pela Janela - karina Exilio (Exile) - karina Focus on Sight - roots/zee Assault - roots/zee Warning Shots - roots/zee Encore Time We Lost - Lou Lou Richest Man in Babylon - zee/sista pat/roots Coming from the Top - roots/zee Marching The Hate Machines 7. Queens of the Stone Age Manchester Apollo 20.06.2003 Support: Can't Remember The year prior the Queens has released Songs for the Deaf, it was a massive release and thanks to a big track "No one knows" featuring Dave Grohl it recieved high recognition both sides of the pond. No One Know in fact swayed me to buy this album and what a rock album it is too. I was greatly suprised that almost all the tracks were good or excellent, so to hear to this live was the next step. They came to Manchester to play the Apollo, a wise choice in my opinion. I had hoped they play the Academy and at least there would be a sell out and a huge mosh pit, instead the Apollo proved to be a sell out and a decent size mosh pit. At some point my glasses were broken it was either at A song for the dead or No One Knows, but I didn't care because Josh Homme was making sweet noise on stage and so was Nick Olivieri, No One Knows was awesome, the whole place went mental when that came on. Feel Good Hit of the Summer came in the middle of No One Knows which was just crazy and the crowd loved it. Never to be forgotten!!! If you like Rock and you don't mind getting rough in a pit, then you have to try this out. Spiders And Vinegaroons First It Giveth Do It Again You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire If Only The Sky Is Fallin' Quick And To The Pointless Gonna Leave You Hangin' Tree In The Fade A Song For The Dead Ode To Clarissa Go With The Flow How To Handle A Rope Mexicola Better Living Through Chemistry Woke Up Screaming Leg Of Lamb Autopilot Another Love Song A Song For The Deaf No One Knows Feel Good Hit Of The Summer Tension Head The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret 6. Faithless, Belfast University 23.04.2004 If you haven't heard of Faithless then you have been living under a rock. This is the first of my Faithless gigs in the top 10 and they are without doubt my favourite band ever. I will use this review to explain who they are. In 1995 Rollo Armstrong who had owned Cheeky Records but then sold it to BMG had decided to start up a band, he took Sister Bliss (Ayalah Bentovim), an accomplished DJ and a classically trained pianist. Maxi Jazz, a buddhist rapper from London who had done pirate radio as a DJ and who also helped DJ and MC in The Soul Food Cafe's - Original Groovejuice" and with this they started to make music mixing house music with Hip Hop to create something called Trip Hop. Soon after Faithless had created Reverence with the extra help of Jamie Catto, Pauline Taylor, Dido Armstrong, David Randall, Aubrey Nunn, Mark Bates, Matt Benbrook, Paul Herman and whoever else I am missing. From the album release came Insomnia, one the greatest dance tracks of all time, and something which has been performed live at every single Faithless show since. When Faithless started touring 10 years ago it was only to promote Reverence and was supposed to last a couple months little did they know that they would be in Argentina, Macedonia, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Germany, France and everywhere else in time. SWEEP REVERENCE LOVE LIVES BLUE GRASS INSOMNIA IN THE END ALL RACES GOD IS A DJ NO ROOTS FAMILY BACK SWINGERS GUITAR MASS DESTRUCTION WHAT ABOUT LOVE WANT MORE- PART 1 WANT MORE- PART 2 WE COME ONE POST CARDS MISS U LESS SALVA MEA part 2 coming soon
Perhaps I'm jumping the gun here a bit. I mean I have yet to see all of my favourite bands live, I have many to see this year and many still to come afterwards. Yet to think like that will mean that I'll never get anything done. In the last 2 years I've seen a tonne of bands, some I regret and some I truly enjoyed. To me they are my main chance to escape and therefore I happily present my top 10 gigs of all time. 10: Reel Big Fish - V Festival 2003 For a band I was never all that fond off to come on and totally blow me away in a mid-afternoon set that lasts a mere 20 minutes would take a lot. But they managed it. Exciting the crowd whilst pretending to be foo fighters, Coldplay, the Chilli Peppers or whoever else they fancied and playing jumpy and happy tunes to a delighted V festival crowd. One of my highlight moments of the summer. 9: Lost Prophets - Brixton Accademy 2004 Again, not a band I would normally associate excellence with, yet somehow they managed it. Moving from popular, jumping tune to another the Prophets ended their tour in style. Ian Watkins' voice souring over a crowd of extatic fans and not a note missed. The superb cover of Cry Me a River ended what was in fact an excellent set! 8: New Found Glory - London Astoria 2004 It is normally seen as a bad concert when the support act surpasses the band. But not in this case. Because the support act was the band. Playing a mamonth 22 songs, playing the initial half hour support set then returning for a full hour and a half. New Found Glory fans rejoiced as the band had time to play all the songs you always wanted to. The new tracks from (at the time) yet unreleased album was as popular as the more traditional tracks. Perhaps I'd have loved it more if I was a New Found Glory fan but it was irrelevant. I loved every minute. Fantastically intense set. 7: Keane - Cambridge Corn Exchange 2004 A very different concert to what I am used to. No real big jumpers, a very "DAD" crowd and a lot of irritating talking from the singer. Nevertheless it was wonderful, moving songs played to perfection to an audience in fine voice. A different concert, but a bit of change is exactly what I needed at the time. Excellent. 6: Feeder - V Festival 2003 Yes I saw them over Coldplay and I was not dissapointed. I have seen Feeder three times with a fourth heading up later in the year but this was the highlight. The other sets didn't fit right but this one was excellent. Everyone was excited, Grant was in awe at how many came to see them over Coldplay and delighted when everyone knew they were to finish on Just a Day. A moment for everyone was enjoyed here. 5: Blink 182 - Birmingham NEC 2004 Blink had visted Britain twice this year. Their set early in the year seemed a very much work in progress but this was more refined. Large screens filled the stage, chandlers were present during I Miss You and an excellent melee of songs including a brief but Rare appearance for Man Overboard. One of my favourite bands did not dissapoint even if my phone did get messed up. Third time I had seen them and the best. Excellent. 4: Muse - London Earls Court 2004 In what turned out to be the superior second date, Muse entertained and marvelled a fully loving crowd. Their previous date had songs fitting ill and a crowd who seemed frankly uninterested. Muse fell a little dull. But they made up for it here. Giant balls, falling balloons, confetti and a truly outstanding crowd aided in a powerful, almost superhuman set. Muse were giants and they proved it here, magnificant even if it was a little muted. 3: Sum 41 - London Electric Ballroom 2004 Part of their "around the world" tour, Sum 41 launched their album in style. This venue is tiny, only a few hundred could fit here and the band are huge. Real huge. Chuck was on the verge of release but after a rather dissapointing Download festival set (which was set up by Iggy Pop of all people) I wasn't too hopeful. But what I got was immense. It may have been a small venue but the songs were large, the crowd were jumpy and responsive and Deryck and his band of merry men played as if they were playing at Download. All was forgiven. 2: Linkin Park - Download 2004 Reading 2003 featured a rather average Linkin Park set, nothing to write home about but a good solid rock concert that starred Aaron Lewis from Stained. But Linkin Park aren't headlining an average rock festival this time, they are headlining THE rock festival. And the crowd are unforgiving. Yet even those who sat down, refusing to here what the survivor of the nu metal fall had to say had to admit. This was good. The music was excellent, the band interacted far more with the crowd than last time. There was even an on stage argument between Mike and Chester. The new songs including new release "Breaking the Habit" were given extra segments for the crowd to join in and Mike brought back old favourite and B-Side "Step Up" to get everyone involved. It was safe to say the dissapointment of Sum 41 had been forgotten. The evil Download crowd left with that projectile unthrown, ready to see if they'd mess up next time. 1: Limp Bizkit - London Finsbury Park 2003 and London Brixton Academy 2004 Limp Bizkit are not my favourite band. I did not turn on them like many did but I did go off their music and what they played. But when free tickets to a massive Finsbury Park gig came around I just couldn't say know. A wonderful support line up was not present and Inme were a great dissapointment. "A" made up for it though and set up Limp Bizkit... who blew me away. I don't care if you don't like them. I'd hardly say they were my favourites. But the power, the energy, the being on TV, knowing every word, the unbelievable rendition of My Generation. A concert that would change my perception of the biggest "sell outs" ever. In fact so much so that I forked out £35 for the frankly superior Brixton gig. The atmosphere of Finsbury was lacking and the explosive lighting display wasn't there but the renditon of the songs were just as good and we recieved a good selection of their new material too. Everything was louder, closer, faster and fresher. To choose between the 2 are impossible. Limp Bizkit though are the greatest live act I have ever heard.
I have been to some amazing concerts and I feel that I must relate my experiences with you the good people in cyberspace. I love live music whether it is some busker playing a truly tortuous version of 'Wonderwall' in the city centre or the venting fury of a heavy metal concert. I play guitar, bass and the electric organ for fun in a university band (only for fun I have no desire to be a professional musician but I find playing music is a good pastime to have). So ladies and Gentlemen tonight I give to you Hunting Bears Top Ten Gigs of my 24 years in existence. In descending order, so that there is a build up. 10. 'Green Day' at Manchester Apollo, 1995 I remember when I was just knee high to a Grasshopper, fifteen to be exact and my friend and I got tickets to out first concert. 'Green Day' a punk band that sing anthems like 'Basketcase' and 'Time of Your Life' were my favourite band. I can hardly describe my state of being. I was almost euphoric in anticipation. The lights dimmed, the crowd went fucking crazy and the first notes of 'Welcome to Paradise' crunched out of Billie-Joe Armstrong's famous blue Fender copy. When you first see your heroes on performing live on stage for the first few minutes it is unbelievable, it really is, almost dreamlike. Not to mention that Billie-Joe Armstrong is a great frontman and made the audience laugh out loud on several occasions. It was one of the greatest nights of my teenage life. 9. Ozzy Osbourne at Monsters of Rock, Donnington Park, East Midlands, 1996 You may realise that when I was a kid I was a bit of a rock dude. Totally true and I have fond memories of seeing Ozzy Osbourne before he became some kind of strange media whore and a man who seems to suffering from trauma. Hearing classics such as 'Paranoid', 'War Pigs' and 'Perry Mason' (okay the last one isn't classic but it rocks) was a great day, the sun was shining, the beer was following and there was many people rockin'. 8. John Cale, Manchester, 2003 When you see one of your all-time favourite musicians (John was in the Velvet Underground) there is something special in the air. I was about one foot away from him as he played 'Things', 'Pablo Picasso' but the ultimate highlight is hearing John Cale playing his viola and singing 'Venus in Furs', five minutes of musical heaven that I shall never ever forget. 7. Moby, Manchester M.E.N. 2002 I am not a big fan of Moby, I got the tickets for free but anybody who has seen him live will testify that the bald-headed Vegan gives fucking great big rockin' concerts. The use of cello's, violins, fuzzy guitar, synths and a big black lady singing gospel and southern music is fucking brilliant. I remember leaving that concert and not only being incredibly deaf but full of admiration for a man I had previously thought was a wanker. 6. Bob Dylan, Manchester M.E.N. 2002 Do I really have to explain while seeing Bob Dylan live was amazing? Do I? 5. Goldfrapp, Manchester, 2003 I am a big fan of this very eccentric lady and her beautiful voice. The first album 'Felt Mountain' was a soft, beautiful soundscape filled with odd instruments and strange lyrics. The second album 'Black Cherry' was a sleazy disco album with bizarre lyrics and some cool stomping tunes. When I saw her live I was over-blown with how cool the lady Alison Goldfrapp is. She wore ruby red slippers, black and white stockings and an army uniform. She was very perverse and I loved it. The only problem with this gig was she needed to get the order of songs right. She would get the crowd rocking and then play a slow ponderous song but still I loved this gig. 4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs I know this band have been hyped beyond believe and I had doubts when I got the tickets having only previously heard one song but the concert was bloody awesome. Karen O is truly barking mad, shoving a microphone down her mouth and screaming, pouring beer all over head and then falling over revealing to the audience her underwear. The songs were punk tinged but melodic and 'Maps' and 'Machine' are great songs. A cool concert experience. 3. Rage Against the Machine, Manchester Apollo Once in your life a band comes along that is a force of nature. This band was not afraid to dis the American Government and their political stance is admirable. The songs were hard and gritty and Tom Morello's guitar-playing is comparable to Jimmy Page. One of the highlights of the gig was booing off the support band 'James Hall' it was so funny. Two songs in everybody sat down and started to clap slowly. Going to a concert to see R.A.T.M we really didn't need a band trying to copy Rage. They didn't last and I got really stoned and remember the gig through hazy eyes, what a great night. The house was rocking when 'Killing in the Name of' was played, everybody now 'Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!' 2. The Smashing Pumpkins, M.E.N. Manchester Holy shit was this a special gig. Billy Corgan is a fucking god, a great musician and a brilliant lyricist. I had a really emotional time at this gig because they were at the time my favourite band and it was their farewell tour. They still are one of my favourite band, but hearing songs like 'Tonight, Tonight' and 'Today' was a spiritual experience. A fucking awesome gig! 1. Lou Reed, Bridgewater Hall 'The Velvet Underground' and Lou Reed are my favourite musical influences, Lou Reed is probably better than the John Lennon. Everybody loves Lennon but Reed is a man who you have to really understand. Songs like 'Waiting for the Man', 'Sister Ray' and 'Heroin' are some of the greatest songs ever written. When I saw reed live for the first thirty minutes I was in a dream world. I could not understand that I was watching my all-time musical hero. The only time I had a similar non-drug experience was when I met Michael Palin. Reed covered most of his career and he sung 'All Tomorrow's Parties', 'Sweet Jane', 'Venus in Furs', 'Perfect Day', 'Men of Good Fortune', 'Candy Says' and a lot of beautiful songs. My favourite moment was when Lou Reed recited Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' against a barrage of cello, violin and bass. You could not hear a pin drop. Lou Reed was a funny guy in a good mood and thanked the audience after every song. A beautiful night. These are a few bands that I need to see before I die: Weezer Kraftwerk New Order and here's a question for fellow dooyooer's. Do you prefer cavenous arena's that hold 15,000 people or small club gigs?
10: Babes In Toyland + Some local band Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms 2001 Atmosphere 14 performance ? entertainment 25 circumstances 22 Total 61% OK, this first one only just made it in and is included purely on the basis of craziness and novelty value. I had arrived in Portsmouth early to meet my then girlfriend and venture to the promenade where we were to sit with her ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend and drink until the venue opened. Some vodka-based concoction lay in wait and some Don Pavral wine was purchased. Finding no corkscrews for sale in the convenience stores we had to open the bottles by shoving the corks in very hard. I could not do this but my then girlfriend’s ex had no trouble at all. The drinks were consumed and gradually the tension withdrew into the hazy drunken atmosphere that ensued. When we got to the venue – an average one, reasonably convenient to get to – I was just about feeling hammered and so I bought further drinks, thinking I could handle it. They could, I couldn’t. I recall sitting down on the floor throughout the support band. I have no idea who they were or what they sounded like. At some point during the interval I was sick everywhere and then either left or was thrown out by security guards, I can’t remember which. This was pretty much the end of the experience. So I have still only heard one song by Babes in Toyland, it’s called ‘Hello’ and it is absolutely fantastic, however I am strangely not regretful of having missed out on them due to the fact that I had fun in an odd sort of way and they are riot grrls after all and would no doubt have got my goat. So, what are the chances of that happening eh? 9: Lapsus Linguae Barn Stage, Truck Festival, Nr Oxford 2002 Atmosphere 19 performance 14 entertainment 20 circumstances 13 Total 64% I was stewarding with a friend of mine and the night before the festival began we wer e wandering around the site looking for things to do because we felt a bit lazy. All we did that night was help push Lapsus Linguae’s van which had broken down. They seemed nice enough, but a bit quiet. The next day as we waited in the barn stage it became apparent that they were actually mean mothers who had a problem with the sound guy and kept getting annoyed with him for not turning up the piano and the drums, even though they sounded fine to me. They were four skinny, rough looking Scotsmen clad in leather trousers and black vests bearing the band logo. They all looked pissed off and were sharing a large bottle of White Lightning (the foulest cider known to humanity). They played an extremely interesting and talented, yet very shambolic set. The piano/keyboard and bass were swapped between the two frontment with each alternate song. The guitarist looked like Bernard from Black Books and the drummer wore a comedy blonde wig. Someone shouted some taunt at him and he looked murderously unamused. As unamused, that is, as a murderer who takes his work, and his wig, very seriously indeed. The piano playing was beautiful and the guitar work could have been Shellac covering Rammstein, in a barn. The music was decidedly as anti-pop as possible and had moments of great beauty amongst a general sound of planned chaos. It was loud and violent yet occasionally faltering and vulnerable. At the end of the second track, vocalist/bassist #1 sneered “hey let’s have three cheers for the audience” and the band glared straight ahead, clapping slowly and dribbling. They occasionally spat huge mouthfuls of cider into each other’s faces and when the sound guy came onstage to stop a mic from being trodden on they pushed him off again. When the last song began, vocalist/bassist #2 launched into the usual unintelligible screaming and simultaneously launched himself into the nearest member of the audience, knocked him down and shouted in his face for ab out 30 seconds. The band were very good, but their crazy antics, entertaining as they were, made it difficult for them to fulfil the potential suggested by their unorthodox music. Nobody these days can be pigeonholed, but Lapsus Linguae can’t even be put in the hole that’s empty of pigeons because they’re busy breaking the wings of any free birds. 8: Chilly Gonzales Trash Club, London 2001 Atmosphere 12 performance 23 entertainment 21 circumstances 12 Total 68% Trash is an indie club and its full of indie people who come to dance to The Smiths. If people tell you anything else about it – how cool and unique it is cos its in London, don’t believe them. All indie clubs are essentially the same, just like all normal clubs. Consequently, Trash isn’t the best place for Chilly to be and he probably knows that and knows he has to really perform to win the crowd over. That’s what any good rapper should be able to do, and what most rappers can’t and don’t do. Personality is probably of equal importance to vocal ability in rap music. Now I know very little rap and it’s generally not my thing anyway, but that much seems obvious. Chilly Gonzales filled the tiny excuse for a stage. He was a huge, looming figure of a man dressed in a full pink suit with a white shirt and hairy chest complete with gold chain shining through. His hands held the mic like it was a tiny injured bird and he spat out his rhymes like hot coffee all over that injured bird. (OK I’ll stop with the metaphors). HE glared down at the crowd through his bushy dark eyebrows. Down, not because of the stage he was on but because of how enormous the man is. He’s a Canadian Jew who moved to Germany few years back, partly as a publicity stunt which he boasts about in the fantastic song ‘Higher than you’ from his 2nd album. The thing that makes Chilly so entertaining is d efinitely his personality. He is a great rapper too and his lyrics are fantastically clever, witty and often very dirty (eg. The song ‘Cum on you’) But it his whole persona that really works for him. He is one of those people that you just feel like you should listen to. You’d feel like that if he just walked into a room, but in that room he was on a tiny stage in a packed room in an indie club, wearing a pink suit, holding a microphone. It’s hard to explain how good he was but he had me, and virtually the whole crowd, hooked for his entire set. Very few people have done that to me, even fewer rappers. Shame there were still some people saying “I don’t like rap anyway.” They really missed out. 7: New Model Army Double anniversary gig, London Astoria 2000 Atmosphere 23 performance 22 entertainment 14 circumstances 10 Total 71% Travelling to the big city with just one other person to a huge event like this was always going to be daunting. But if you’ve seen New Model Army fans then you’ll understand why this gig in particular was one hell of a prospect. The Astoria is quite a big, decent venue and to get out alone you would have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to guide you through the labyrinth passageways. Thankfully you just follow the herd at a gig this packed. Both nights were similar in everything but the songs played and the quality was consistently high over both nights. The crowd absolutely loved it – I was the only one not singing along to every word of every B side. Which made me rather nervous. The crowd filled in for the lack of violinist available to play the beautiful intro to ‘Vagabonds’ and several thousand voices sang loud and proud. You can’t help but enjoy seeing a crowd show such love for a band. And seeing a band working none stop for 2 hours, 2 nights in a row. The amount of stuff they played was incredible, they played 9 of my 10 fa vourites (I didn’t expect Chinese Whispers anyway) and the finale of ‘Green and Grey’ on the second night was really breathtaking. Have you ever seen someone sitting on someone’s shoulders at a gig? I always find that pretty impressive. Well on the second night of this gig, not only were about four huge tattooed men STANDING on the shoulders of the crowd below, but they, in turn, were supporting another huge tattooed man who was standing on their shoulders. It was an amazing sight to behold and made me very glad indeed that I was a bit further back. New Model Army’s songs are perfect for live performance. There are countless epic, rousing anthems that sound even more powerful with so many voices backing them up. (Vagabonds, Eleven Years, Vengeance, White Coats etc.) And then there are the slow songs, not so many of them but they break up the set beautifully and they are some of the finest things NMA have to offer as well. (Marrakesh, You Weren’t There, Nothing Touches.) If it was so amazing for me to see them there and then, what the hell must it have been like for those who have been following them for those twenty years? 6: The Proclaimers Main stage, Fleadh Festival London 2002 Atmosphere 25 performance 21 entertainment 16 circumstances 10 Total 72% The Proclaimers, like several of the older acts in this top 10, I never thought I would see live. I was really pleased when I found out they were playing at the festival, but not nearly as pleased as I should have been. I simply had no idea they could be so good. It was another one of those times when I felt really out of place. Stood at the front of a huge crowd that had assembled behind me and my friend within a matter of minutes, wearing three lions on my shirt amidst a sea of people waving Irish and Scottish flags. The Proclaimers began their set by joking about how they had beaten up their English bus driver on account of h is smugness after an England world cup match victory yesterday. So, singing along to Cap in Hand (a song about English mistreatment of Scotland) and surrounded by some tough looking Scots I didn’t feel too comfortable. Fortunately they didn’t show any negativity, one of them even took a photo of us, I can only assume this was through sheer bemusement. The Proclaimers are another of those bands with songs that really benefit from the live experience. I mean, I knew 500 Miles would deafen us all but the really, really amazing moment was an acoustic version of Letter From America. It is a truly beautiful song anyway – but hearing every last person in the crowd singing along with them brought a tear to my eye. People held aloft mobile phones for relatives at home to hear but how could you ever really appreciate what it felt like to be among all those voices? It was truly magical. And not only that, but after such a long break from recording and performing, to hear just how bloody brilliant “There’s a Touch”, the comeback song sounded – I couldn’t believe it. It was a short set but pretty much faultless and so, so appreciated by everyone there. It was really moving. 5: Idlewild + Ikara Colt + Aereogramme Exeter University Lemongrove 2002 Atmosphere 21 performance 21 entertainment 17 circumstances 20 Total 79% I wasn’t even going to bother going to see Idlewild live until I found out who was supporting them. I loved 100 Broken Windows and liked what I had heard of the earlier stuff but I didn’t really consider myself a fan. Anyway, I went because it was just ten minutes walk up the hill and a lot of people I knew were going and how glad am I that I did go? Well, very glad as it happens. Aereogramme – never heard of them before but some big hairy scottish men rocking like bastards over some Grandaddy style noises can never be a bad thing. They were a really great and v ery passionate band and deserved more enthusiasm from the audience. Ikara Colt – I’ll come to them later but needless to say they were absolutely fantastic and can not be equalled by any other band I’ve seen live. Finally, Idlewild. Well they were great too. I never realised before just how many good songs they have written. The live take on “idea track”, my favourite song by the band, was unrecognisable to me at first but absolutely brilliant none the less. The whole crowd was moving like one big ocean of Idlewild fans and the band gave it their all for the whole set. Several bonuses to be noted as well. The drummer from Aereogramme lent us 5p to get some water AND I found out I had been on the guest-list for some reason so we got in free to the Bristol gig the next night, which was at least as good. 4: Billy Bragg + Western Electric Some awful place in London 2001 Atmosphere 20 performance 25 entertainment 19 circumstances 16 Total 80% Now Billy Bragg is my favourite solo artist and this was the first time I saw him live so I was bound to enjoy myself. Bragg is a fantastic songwriter – I love his voice, I love the raw power of his guitar work, I love his clever, witty, touching lyrics and I even quite like his politics, and politics is well renowned for being boring as hell and that’s a fact. This was one of those very personal gigs, like the opposite of the Proclaimers experience – the set was amazing and it really felt like he was playing every song just for me. Not only that, but he played so many songs too! It was one of the longest sets I’ve ever seen I think and it was nice to see people start dancing in the aisles to ‘Greetings to the new brunette’. However my highlight had to be the solo performance of ‘The Saturday boy’ – definitely one of my favourite songs ever and beautiful live where Billy filled in for the absent trump et by whistling the solo. 3: Ikara Colt + Parkinsons + Eighties Matchbox Beeline Disaster ‘tour with no name’ Exeter Cavern club 2002 Atmosphere 19 performance 23 entertainment 20 circumstances 25 Total 87% Well, Ikara Colt are quite simply the best live band I’ve ever seen and I have seen them 6 times now and each time they get better and better. This was the only time I’ve seen them headlining and overall, this was the best gig. The three bands were all brilliant and the tour has subsequently achieved some sort of cult status due to praise in the NME that was well deserved. By this time the band vaguely recognised me so I didn’t feel to stupid getting them to sign my football before the gig (would you?). I didn’t see the first band, regretfully, but they sounded bloody good anyway so I made sure I didn’t miss the Parkinsons and I’m glad of that now. Most of the band hail from Portugal and they got together in London to perfect (for want of a better word) their own brand of proper punk music performance. I have never seen a band that so closely resemble actual real punk music – hence the band are absolutely brilliant live and quite good on CD. They have a tendency to get rather naked too which is always fun. Sporadic stage invasions by drunken youths kind of added to the effect as well. Ikara Colt’s music is the most energetic, raw, stylish musical assault on the senses that it is possible to experience live. They are pretty much perfect. Jon’s moody aloofness and rapid fire bass-lines, Claire’s designer cool barbed wire guitar playing, Dom’s psycho sweaty duracel-bunny-on-speed drumming and Paul’s snarling, stylish, unashamedly English vocals. They are one of the few bands that make me talk like a bad journalist. (No honestly). I don’t know if this is because I have read so much about them or because they are so damn extreme that word s can not fully describe the experience of seeing and hearing them live. There is only one way to move to their music – up and down at a rate of knots. You really can’t help it. Their most explosive, definitive track is ‘Escalate’ and they often play this first live. It’s about a minute long and by the end of it I had a stitch and was already soaking with sweat. Again, this resulted in a free gig in Bristol too, which I went to alone and danced to alone. There aren’t many bands I would do that for. 2: Pogues + Dodgy Reunion tour, Birmingham 2001 Atmosphere 24 performance 23 entertainment 22 circumstances 22 Total 91% Ok so we’ve had my favourite songwriter and my favourite live band. But above them both – here are the Pogues – my all time favourite band. I didn’t believe it when I heard that they were going to play live again. I assumed I was just born too late and unlucky. In fact I didn’t believe it when we got to Birmingham, or even when Dodgy started playing their support slot. I really couldn’t believe it until they got onstage and launched into a blistering, raucous rendition of ‘Streams of Whiskey’ – Shane MacGowan’s tribute to Irish poet Brendan Behan – and to the general theme of alcoholism. The set was amazing. There isn’t a single song by the Pogues that I don’t like really – and they certainly know how to please a crowd. There was the sheer love and admiration of the NMA gig here, as well as the amazing crowd participation I saw at the Fleadh – here with old favourites like ‘Dirty old town’ and ‘A rainy night in Soho’. The atmosphere was truly magical for the whole gig. Hearing “White City” live just didn’t seem like real life at all. I knew almost every word to every song that they sung – which is something I didn’t even realis e before seeing them live. Something that really astonished me was how much they put into it and how good it sounded. I never even dared imagine they would still be this good live. Shane’s voice was perfect! James Fearnley was jumping right off the bass drum while still playing his accordion. And it goes without saying I suppose that Shane seemed to have a different glass/bottle in his hand for every song. Why do I like the Pogues so much? I suppose it’s the fusion of styles in their music. The beauty of Irish folk, the energy and excitement of punk and the honest cool of rock ‘n’ roll. (The ‘n’ bit is very important there cos it shows the whole “don’t give a damn” attitude. You know, I can’t even be arsed to write AND that’s how much I don’t care.) It was a shame I didn’t manage to force more people into it cos I know they would have enjoyed it as much as my mother and I and many hundreds of others did. The one single tiny drawback for me was the fact that they didn’t play my all time favourite song ever – ‘Sayonara’. But it’s not that little thing that puts this in second place. I will try, and probably fail to explain to you, and myself just why the next gig was even better than this. 1: The Handsome Family + Hawksley Workman The Brook, Southampton, 2001 Atmosphere 23 performance 25 entertainment 25 circumstances 22 Total 95% I love that venue for a start. Only been there once. Maybe it disappeared into the mists of time after we left? Probably not. It’s a small place, sort of square shape with a tall roof and a balcony above the bar area, looking down on the narrow stage which stands about a metre and a half above the floor where the lovely round wooden tables are spread out. There’s a strong, but not suffocating smell of all sorts of smoke in there. Pipe smoke, cigar smoke and ciga rette smoke. You can’t help smoking in a place like that it seems the natural thing to do. The Guiness tasted lovely too and it’s not often I drink it. I had somehow managed, after assuming I was to make the trip alone, to persuade 5 other people to accompany me to see The Handsome Family that night. It’s always nice to be in that position. Kind of nervous I suppose when most of them had no idea what the hell was going on and only one or two had even heard any THF before. The support slot would presumably be some sort of arduous dull 2nd rate folk/country music so we’d clap politely and look at our watches. Hawksley Workman was sent by God to entertain us I swear. What is it with Canadians? Him and Chilly are pretty much the two most entertaining people I have ever seen. Hawksley workman looked amazing. That was obviously the first thing we noticed. He really had fantastic dress sense (I have probably only ever said that about four male people, bear in mind) and brilliant stubble + gold earring + messy dark hair pirate thing going on. From his first few words it became obvious that this was not going to be dull and nobody would be looking at their watches. He was a very witty, extremely charismatic individual. Born to exist under a spotlight. Arrogant I suppose, but you couldn’t dislike him even if you wanted to. And when he started singing… Hawksley Workman also has the best voice I have ever heard live. Maybe simply the best voice I’ve heard but I would have to do some arduous thinking and memory searching to commit myself to such a statement. So powerful and so emotional. Jeff Buckley can f*** off with his overblown rubbish. HW is “where it is at.” And his songs were beautiful too. Never before have I so quickly fallen in love with music. Never before has there been a man who could so quickly win over his audience. He played guitar masterfully too and was accompanied by just one man on piano – ; one Todd Lumley (I think). Todd said one word throughout the entire set and that was “cream” when Hawksley asked him what was one thing that he liked. At several points Hawksley just got distracted in the middle of a song and wandered off to talk to the audience while Todd carried on, unfazed until he returned. For the last track, Hawksley got out two large poles with dolls heads impaled on the tops and danced about madly banging the floor with rhythm that any drummer would envy. Seriously I can not praise this man enough. We had got so much more than our money’s worth by the time he bade us goodbye and we were speechless for the first half of the interval. So, beat that THF. I should begin with a brief introduction to the Handsome Family. They were by no means an unlikely prospect and I knew before the gig that this would be something pretty special. I had only got into them about a couple of weeks before so I was pretty smug when I found out they were playing Southampton very soon. I had heard the compilation album “down in the valley” and the new one “in the air” both of which immediately enchanted me with the ethereal beauty of the music and the dark humour and words of wisdom in Rennie Spark’s lyrics. They were the sort of lyrics I had always been trying to write – and still am! Here’s a few choice cuts to give you the feel of them. “Sometimes I can’t wait to come down with cancer, at least then I’ll get to watch TV all day” – Drunk By Noon “Evel Knievel shot up from dead grass, I loved him better each time he crashed.” – Tin Foil “I wanted to tell you all the ways that I loved you – but instead I got sick on the train. But darling don’t you know it’s only human to want to kill a beautiful thing.” – A Beautiful Thing. They tell brilliant stories with their lyrics. That’s part of their spell. They̵ 7;re not just great lines you can quote – they exist as whole little tiny universes on their own. Brett brings them to life with his beautiful guitar work and harmonica and whatever else happens to be lying around. Rennie plays bass, Autoharp and some keyboard thing you blow into that has no right to sound like one of the greatest instruments ever made. They came on stage, Brett muttering to himself and Rennie arguing with him about something and that’s pretty much the way it stayed. Their only accompaniment was a minidisk player which contained the drums. “A tiny little man with a drum kit” Rennie assured us. The little man frequently started the wrong songs which caused Brett to mutter and spill beer all the more. Meanwhile Rennie kept us entertained with tales of her (imaginary?) disturbed childhood and warned us not to look into the eyes of the racoons on her T-shirt after the last person who had done it went mad and killed lots of people. The songs were pretty close to how they sounded on CD but all the more real for being heard live. And their songs are some of the best ever. They aren’t just a good band they are well up there with the Pogues anyway and on the basis of this faultless performance along with the unexpected luxury of Hawksley Workman in support and a great atmosphere – this was quite easily the best gig I have ever been to. OK if anyone made it this far thanks a lot for reading, hope you didn’t get bored and if you get the chance go see any of these people live. They are great.
1. Millencolin Manchester Academy Millencolin just happen to be my favourite band, so it will be no surprise to anybody that this is at number 1 in my top ten concerts. By far the greatest band to come out of Sweden, they tower over the particularly average The Hives, and from what I’ve heard are much better live too. The concert was extremely fast paced and lively, as expected from a ska/punk concert. The band were excellent, as Nikola led them through songs from all 6 albums, and a great cover of the great Knowledge. The crowd got into the music right from the word go, jumping and skanking througout, and the band seemed to thrive on the energy of the crowd. The set was long, including 3 songs during an encore. A must see band live and well worthy of first place in my league. 2. Green Day @ Manchester Evening News Arena Green Day also happen to be my joint favourite band, and this concert, although not as good as the Millencolin concert was amazing. I was slightly disappointed that I hadn’t managed to get standing, and so I made numerous attempts to jump over into standing throughout the support band, The Bouncing Souls, set. Unfortunately each attempt failed, and a decided to stop trying after witnessing a guy getting rugby tackled and beaten by security guards, for doing just that. Green Day remain to this day the best band I’ve ever seen for crowd participation. They involved the crowd throughout, starting chants, and even getting fans up on stage to play the instruments. An amazing live band, and a must see for anyone. 3. Nonpoint @ The Hop & Grape. Manchester I doubt anyone who reads this opinion will know anything about Nonpoint, as they are relatively unheard of, especially in Britain. This showed at the embarrassingly poor turn out at the concert, I would estimate at most 60 people. I was worried that this would downhearten the band, and lead to a poor performance, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The band came out onto the tiny tiny stage and from start to finish were amazing. Elias was amazing on vocals, and as there were so little people, he chatted very intimately to everyone in the crowd. Robb K was particularly good on Drums, and showed just how talented he was on songs such as Mindtrip. Having only one album, and a second one in the works, the concert was made up of mainly songs of Statement, but a few new songs were thrown in and I was very impressed. After the concert the band came out into the foyer area, and chatted to everyone and signed anything and everything, this is one reason why I respect the band so much, they treat their fans better than any other band I’ve ever seen. Three days after this concert Nonpoint played the huge festival of Ozzfest, and from reviews I’ve read, and people I’ve spoken too, were just as amazing there too. Any fan of metal must check out Nonpoint, their new album Development is out on June 25th. 4. Alkaline trio @ Manchester Uni Again this was a small venue, with a smallish crowd. I was relatively new to Alkaline Trio, having at the time only their most recent album ‘From Here To Infirmary’, but this didn’t stop me having an amazing time, even though the majority of the set was from earlier albums. During the songs that I new, and even those I didn’t I jumped around right at the front, getting squashed into the barriers numerous times. This concert was so good that it left me with no choice but to get the rest of Alkaline’s albums, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed, each album, especially Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, are great. I also decided that there was no way that I could miss them in concert, when they returned 2 months later. This time it was at a larger venue, but still an amazing concert. A must see for any fan of punk/emo, or any music fan. 5. Oasis @ The Reebok Stadium I arrived about 7 hours b efore Oasis actually came on stage. During which time I loitered outside for a while, loitered some more, and watched an extremely good set from both Johnny Mars Healers and The Happy Mondays, the latter particularly good. By the time Oasis came on I had been stood up for the best part of 6 hours and I was extremely tired. But it was definitely worth it, it was a concert with everything. It had breasts, Pee throwing, great music and a crazy guy climbing to the top of the speakers, to whom Liam and Noel let out a torrent of abuse. The set was very long and included old favourites like Wonderwall and at the time new songs from Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants. 6. Incubus @ The Apollo Although at the time I wasn’t a very big fan of Incubus, the concert changed my whole view on them, they were technically the best band I’ve ever seen live. Brandon Boyd was amazing on vocals throughout, and the rest of the band were just as amazing. The set list included songs from every album, the best in my opinion being A Certain Shade Of Green which sent the crowd into a frenzy. Hoobastank supported, and seemed to me to be a ‘mini’ Incubus. They too were extremely good from what I heard, as I was a little wait. If you are not a fan of Incubus a urge you to go and see them live, you will be amazed at just how good they are. 7. System Of A Down @ The Academy I was extremely excited about this concert, and despite it not being as good as I had hoped, it still was a great concert. The support band, The Dillinger Escape Plan, were good at what they did, which was little more than scream. System on the other hand incorporated a mixture of melodies and shouting and delivered it at a very very high standard. Serge was in fine form as he interacted with the crowd between a variety of songs from their Self Titled album and Toxicity. The crowd were extremely energetic and the ‘mosh pits’ were particularly large and ruth less, although all in good spirits. Although the concert was good, I left a little disappointed that it was some what short in length. 8. [Spunge] @ Manchester Uni Before this concert I was extremely lucky to meet possibly the coolest guy in the world, Chris from Bowling For Soup the support band. He is an extremely fat and small guy but is unbelievably cool in every way. Now back to the concert. [spunge] are one of my favourite ska bands, and delivered an excellent concert. Each song was delivered faultlessly, and invited the crowd to skank their hearts out, to which everyone obliged. [spunge] gave a big ‘f**k You’ to the well known ‘Rock’ magazine, Kerrang, who have been noted to say that there isn’t a real punk scene in England. How wrong they are. The stand out songs in the concert, were by far my favourite song Idols and [spunge]’s most known song Kicking Pigeons. Also thrown into the mix, were a cover of No Woman No Cry and Oliver’s Army. At the end of this concert I was knackered and hardly had enough energy to stay standing, such was the energy of the crowd, and the energy you needed to be a part of it. 9. Jimmy Eat World @ Manchester Academy The support band The Promise Ring were very poor, and didn’t start the concert off on a good note. But Jimmy Eat World definitely made up for this. Jim Adkins has an amazing voice and was in fine form for the concert, delivering songs from throughout the bands career. The crowd, to my dismay, seemed to be littered with kids who had only heard one song. These ‘fans’ continued to crowd surf annoyingly throughout the set, kicking everyone in the head. They also seemed insistent on starting ‘mosh pits’ even through the most mellow love songs. This was extremely annoying to say the least, and I felt like slapping each and everyone one of them. This was the only bad point to Jimmy Eat Worlds set, it was of a decent set , and Jim even stopped to say how he felt slightly embarrassed to be playing in a city of such musical creativity. A must see for any music fan at all, but please refrain from starting ‘pits’. 10. Papa Roach @ The Apollo Mny people stuff Papa Roach into the nu metal genre, and in doing so the majority of people straight away right them off as crap. However I am not one of these. Papa Roach are not only great on CD but also are great live. Although Coby’s voice could be slightly improved, the rawness of it is something that I like, and he more than makes up for it in the energy he puts in. This energy inevitably rubbed of in the crowd which became a mass of synchronised jumpers. Dave was extremely excellent on drums, as were Tobin on Bass and Jerry on Guitar. They played a long set consisting of songs from Infest, and songs from the long overdue new album. A must see, before you write them off as crap. A special mention must go to Muse and 311, the two worst bands I have ever seen live.
1. Green Day @ Leeds Festival By far one of my favourite summers so far, next to the summer I discovered hairs in places I didn’t know hairs grew. After missing out on Green Day when they came to Manchester the previous year going to Leeds especially to see them was a necessity. Green Day co-headlined the Saturday evening with Travis and both sounded extremely impressive, of course Green Day more so. The band played a mainly mainstream and somewhat disappointingly short set but every second was fantastic. My only real gripe was that the majority of the crowd got a little carried away with the ol’ moshing. I know I should have expected it, when you see Marilyn Manson fans out in the daylight expect moshpit mayhem. There were close to 20,000 people watching the band and nearly everyone singing along. Green Day have been my favourite band for a while now and that experience was truly unforgettable. After waiting for PJ Harvey on the main stage and watching her whole set just to get a good view of Green Day I was as eager as anyone there, if not more so. Anyways, about 7.30 5 blue sirens started wailing and a rather short guy wearing a green day shirt and three quarter length shorts walks onto the stage, with the rest of the band following. They talked to the crowd and predictably got people on stage to play guitar… it’s going to be me next time. 2. Oasis @ Manchester Apollo The gig just for the fans and me and a friend managed to get tickets, for free might I add and what a night it was! If you’ve ever been to the Apollo in Manchester you’ll know that wherever you sit or wherever you stand you can see the stage pretty clearly. The highlights of the night were definitely hearing Noel Gallagher salute Manchester and it’s people and then breaking into an electro acoustic version of ‘Whatever’. Liam Gallagher was quite impressive and despite not liking him at all I thought he did his job e xtremely well, that being a rock n roll star, oozing arrogance and knowing the crowd were hanging on his every word you could tell he loved it. The night was filled with surprises, not forgetting seeing Johnny Marr (ex smiths guitarist) join the band on stage to play slide guitar on the rendition of the Beatles classic, I Am The Walrus. The night finished with two separate encores and a wailing ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’ that put Oasis back in my mind as a band worth listening to. 3. Jimmy Eat World @ Manchester Academy This was the last gig I went to so the reason it rates so highly is that it’s fresh in my mind, that and the fact that it was an amazing gig despite the younger fans not being able to appreciate electric guitar without slamming into one and other which became a little tiresome, especially during the love songs. At first I was a little weary of buying my ticket in the beginning, I hadn’t really heard anything but one song, Salt Sweat Sugar but I went ahead and got it anyway after being talked into it by a friend. I knew the band were supporting Blink 182 and that didn’t give me much confidence but after getting a hold of the album Bleed American I was counting down the days till the show. The support act, The Promise Ring, were terrible. They could barely play their instruments and the singing atrocious. Jimmy Eat World towered over them in terms of musical ability and sheer talent. The band were confident in their ability and added more depth and emotion into punk music than what Blink 182 could ever dream of doing. 4. Alkaline Trio @ Manchester University Again, like Jimmy Eat World it was a little bit of an impulse buy getting this ticket but a wise one at that. Like most of the bands I go and see I’ve only usually heard one song. This time it was ‘Stupid Kid’ but I liked it a lot so I got the ticket. Unfortunately most of the set material was from the old er albums but it inspired to get a hold of them… and I did, what’s more I love it. The gig was really intimate with the audience being able to talk to the band. In fact two guys in front of me tried requesting a song but the band refused to play it due to the reason they had just acquired a new drummer – and he didn’t know it! They promised they’d play it next time though. Another great thing about this gig was the support act, Crackout. They’ve just released I Am The One which is getting quite a lot of airtime on MTV2 and look really promising. 5. Reel Big Fish @ Manchester Apollo Reel Big Fish were actually the support act when Sum 41 headlined but they contradicted the idea of ‘support’. They didn’t support… they carried. The south Californian ska outfit, which followed in the mainstream success of fellow ska bands No Doubt and Sublime were incredible and did nothing less than shame the teeny boppers, Sum 41. Reel Big Fish showed them how to be quality entertainers and fantastic musicians. Reel Big Fish were funny – a quality I appreciate and could – at the same time – play their instruments. They weren’t trying to compensate and that came through in their cover of A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’. Reaching even the highest of notes and bringing the crowd to a skanking frenzy the singer, Aaron Barret proved himself and his band to rank up highly as one of the coolest bands in punk rock. Just to re-iterate… Sum 41 are terrible. Don’t go and see them, don’t buy their records. 6. The Strokes @ Manchester Apollo The Strokes took to the stage about ten o’clock on a rainy Manchester Monday night and predictably played for about 45 minutes, with only having released one album its was understandable and a band with such arrogance are hardly likely to play covers. Playing pretty much the entire album ‘Is This ItR 17; the sound was fantastic and Casablanca’s vocals were superb if not a little rough, but it worked to his advantage. Rough guitars, rough voice a combination made in heaven. They had a definite ‘coolness’ about them; occasionally talking to the crowd and crediting Manchester with having some of the best bands ever, they won over the crowd standing and sitting as soon as opening their mouths. Fabrizio Moretti, drummer of the Strokes was amazing and challenged Casablanca as the most memorable member. Sitting behind his drums on a small stage some 5 ft above the rest of the band he introduced such songs as Last Nite with only a drum beat and he was rock n roll at its finest. 7. Happy Mondays @ Bolton Reebok Stadium Again another support band that stuck in my mind, the band were supporting Oasis and even though they only performed about 4 songs they were legendary living up to the expectations I had of them when I found out that they’d open. Mr Ryder spent the majority of his time just stood in front of 30,000 people smoking and drinking a pint whereas Bez went crazy with his maracas. They got the crowd going performing Step On and Kinky Afro but then the gap between them and Oasis was about 2 hours so it all just died down. Still fantastic though. 8. Millencolin @ Manchester Academy Name 0 Music 10 The Swedes may not have a great reputation when it comes to Punk… just look at The Hives (urgh) but Millencolin set the record straight in that Scandinavians can actually strum a power chord. It was a great gig that was heightened when the band finished their set with the sometimes Green Day favourite Knowledge and their chant to countryman Sven. The gig was fast paced, clear from the excitement within the mosh pit but friendly all the same. I even managed to catch a sticker that I’ve stuck quite appropriately on my guitar. They are definitely a band I’d recommend someone to go and see. Microsoft spell checker may not agree with them, and playing a metal orientated Ozz Fest is a little strange but they are a top-quality outfit that deserve recognition. 9. Spunge @ Manchester University Saw my first encounter with a ticket tout due to the show being sold out. Originally the tickets cost about £10 and when I enquired, the tout wanted £20. “No way”, I said and I managed to get him to £15 that I was quite happy with especially taking into account me meeting the guitarist from support act Bowling For Soup. Spunge, a Kerrang favourite were very impressive despite another gig where I only knew two songs. One of which they didn’t even play. Despite that I had a great time. I skanked, I jumped up and down, I bust my nose on someone’s head but it wasn’t too bad. It only bled for about ten minutes. 10. Pulp @ Manchester Evening News Arena Was the first concert I ever went to back in 1996 at the height of Britpop and just weeks after the Michael Jackson / Jarvis Cocker incident at the Brit awards. Needless to say we were all on Jarvis’ side and although only twelve I joined in the “Jackson Is A Wan**r” that echoed throughout the arena. The band played material from their album of the same year Different Class along with earlier stuff but being a fan I knew my stuff. Pity the band took a turn for the worse when they released their follow up album This Is Hardcore some years later. Anyway, I’ll be seeing them at Leeds later this year. I might even try and get the chant going again.
Everyone’s gone to a good gig. Which they have loved. For some reason or another you must have a favourite. Well here are my top ten gigs: 10)Occupational hazard: This is the first band I ever saw live. My mate is the drummer for them so I thought I would go along and give them some support. I really didn’t do much at this concert I just stood at the back and watched. I liked this concert so much because it was my first, I had never seen or heard of moshing in till that day and I found it quite amusing watch all these people go wild. This band are metal and they really are quite good. They are becoming quite big now so watch out for them at your local concert hall. 9)The offspring: I went with a friend to this concert. Again I just stood at the back doing not much at all. I really enjoyed the loudness of the music and it was only my second ever concert. So I was still coming to grips with the idea of crowd surfing. The offspring live were good. You won’t believe the roar the crowd gave when they played pretty fly. This was a good concert but I don’t think I would go to see them again. 8)Boy hits car: I saw this band at the beginning of there UK tour. If I said I liked the music I would b lying. It is really heavy metal. But the reason I liked this concert so much is because its the first time I ever went in the mosh pit. I spent the entire concert crowd surfing around. This band really do try hard to include the crowd in the concert regularly calling people up onto the stage. Personally I wouldn’t go see them live again. 7)Fear factory: saw this lot at the reading music festival. It just started raining as they came on. However they managed to keep the crowds spirit alive. They done an awesome set. However towards the end of the set I started to feel ill so I had to leave the mosh pit and lie down. Suprisingly enough I got to sleep for half an hour. I woke up to not the music, But the voice of my mate telling me that system of a down were on. So feeling better I got back up and ran towards a somewhat small mosh pit. 6)Alien ant farm: The kids went wild for this nu-metel band. All the kids started crowd surfing but I just stood at the back and watched I couldn’t believe how packed the mosh pit was. I had trouble getting into the tent(I arrived late) it was that packed. I must admit though the lead singer from this band is a bit of a freak. Something else I thought of whilst watching this set is why do all American rock bands wear tennis shoes and white socks? Personally I wouldn’t see this band live again because there were to many kids in the mosh pit meaning that I couldn’t go in. 5)Stained: I had heard the stained album and loved it so I thought why not go and see this lot? There were some pretty hard-core rockers in the mosh pit. Which was quite amusing. Who would of thought that you could mosh and go wild when they are playing outside?. Any way I particularly liked this band because you could feel there music tremoring through the ground. I would love to go and see this lot again some day. 4)Cooper temple clause: I didn’t do any moshing of any sort when I saw this lot live at are local concert hall. I just sat at the back and listened. I really liked it. This band had a real urge to rock (shame that the crowd didn’t).I probably wouldn’t go to see this lot live again. The music was really good don’t get me wrong. But I just wouldn’t. 3)The cult: Now I have heard my dad rumble on about this band for ages. It was a bit of a surprise when I saw them on a list for the reading music festival the day I was there. But I decide to watch this set with an open mind, As I really wasn’t sure. The set was amazing. The crowd loved them. But for some reason the lead singer took the mick out of every thing. From the lack of British bands on stage that day to Clark shoes. The lea d singer also freely admitted that he was mental and that he quite simply didn’t want to be normal any way. They played half a set of new stuff and the rest of the set old school. I really did love all of there songs I liked them much more then I expected that I would. They really were incredible. 2)Queens of the stoneage: I saw this band at reading at reading as well. I already new I liked there stuff a lot. But I was some what taken back when there base guitarist came on butt naked(this is how he stayed for the entire set.).The music was very good and so was the moshing. Their set was dedicated to the girl who got them there ecstasy pills. To finish off there set they smashed up there bass guitar and lobbed it into the crowd and they also set the keyboard on fire which was very amusing. 1)Papa roach: As far as I’m concerned they are the kings of nu-metel. I managed to squeeze myself into a packed mosh pit. We had to wait for what seemed ages for them to come on . but we managed to amuse are self by throwing plastic bottles around .Then all the lights went out and the intro to infest started when the lights came back on they were all on stage and they began an awesome set. Coby Dick couldn’t stop praising us telling us how cool we were and how we were the best crowd that they had played to in ages. They kept on insighting us to go wild. Coby was encouraging us to sing and crowd surf. Sing I did but I wasn’t gonna be crowd surfing anywhere I was in a excellent position. It was one hell of a job to stay on your feet. They finished there set as I had guessed by playing there most famous song last resort.
Hello again, I seem to be drawn to these top ten thingys. I have done films, romantic comedies, books and singles. Go and read them too because there will be a quiz. Those who show geniune skill in remembering my inane waffling shall be given a little certificate of Pepperanness and be told to get out more! NO seriously. I was going to do this in sections, but alas I think that this was a bad idea on my part.. 1. Radiohead, date irrelevent, no concept of time etc.. at Manchester NYNEX. I am not a religious person, but that night I got as close to heaven as I could possibly get in this lifetime. If I had to choose three words to describe the night. Perfection. Crystal. Greatness. I have been a fan of Radiohead for years. (They are now banned from my flat, however because they reduce me to a snot ridden bafoon). When my mates told me we had managed to get tickets, I couldn't believe it. OK Computer had just been released that summer and become deeply rooted in my soul. When the day arrived , I was jangling with anticipation. Not even Jarvis could compete with the feeling. (Sorry Mr. JB Cocker, 'tis true) Anyway, the bend came on stage and I just burst into tears. Dear God, I should have sued them for ageing me, because I cried for the whole gig. Not because I was unhappy, but because I was witnessing something so beautiful. I'm sorry if that may seem a little OTT but that's what happened. They played most of OK Computer and The Bends with a few Pablo Honey thrown in, just to delight us even more, well it delighted me. I was quite anxious about the live version of Paranoid Android, as the song meld together so many aspects, but they pulled it off effortlessly. Tom was a surprisingly jovial little imp and the band were obviously energised by the whole vibe of the gig. Perhaps my most memorable experience of the whole thing, was Tom dedicating Street Spirit to a fan w ho had died unexpectedly. You could have wrapped the atmosphere in clingfilm and put it in your fridge. The NMEX isn't a small venue by any means, but Radiohead made it feel like they were playing in your livingroom at your request. Amazing. 2. The Divine Comedy, L2, Liverpool on Saturday 26th September 1998. Price £10 Those of you who know me, know that I'll use ANY excuse to go to a gig in the L2, because it is a friendly intimate venue that attracts some decent bands. The Divine Comedy are no exception. I leapt at the chance to see the sublimely laconic Neil Hannon. When we arrived, the place was packed and in good form. I did not see the support act, as we had been in the pub, so when Neil Hannon burst forth with just a handful of the expected musicians. I was surprised, pleasantly. The Divine Comedy had just released Fin de Siecle, but nothing was lost in this bare, joyous presentation. For a man of such fragile stature, Neil Hannon has a voice as smooth and warm as the best whiskey you can possibly imagine. The power and charisma of this charming elf was boundless. Supported by an eclectic brood, Hannon et al gave me one of the most glorious evenings that I have ever spent fully clothed. They also played songs from Promenade and Cassanova as well as the ubiquitous and strangely enchanting My Lovely Horse (Father Ted's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest) Highly recommended. Sense of humour essential. Rakish wit in abundance 3. Gomez , L2, Liverpool, 23 June 1999. Price £10 This was rather a journey of discovery for me. Before this I had not heard of Gomez or the supporting band Ooberman, shake your head in disgust. I'm disgusted with myself too. What I learnt was that Ooberman were a delightfully kooky electro indie band, I also met the keyboard player Sophie and the lead singer Danny after saving her from a rather ardent fan. I still see them around from time to time and would definitely go and see them again... Gomez on the other hand came on stage looking like a bunch of geography students.. oh how misleading. They were in fact a group of young and accomplished musicians, who got a thousand melodies in my head and made them stay there. Forever. It was easy to see why the CD 'Bring it On' was a touted by the music critics. Do yourself a favour and listen to it until your head hurts. I would sell my own Mother to see them again. PULP, Birmingham Academy, Birmingham, 31 October 2001, As the frayed tapestry of the patchwork quilt of houses knotted past the train window, I sat down, exhausted, thinking about what happened the night before. It was an epiphany. It may have only been a gig to the other thousand people, but to me, it was a torch to the future. Sounds dramatic hey? But Pulp’s new CD isn’t called We Love Life for no reason…and do you know what I think I may someday. Soon. The support act were nameless faceless individuals of with a surprising ability to make every song drone more than a nest full of wasps. In fact when they announced their last song, the whole crowd cheered with approval, sounds cruel I know. Cruel but necessary believe me. May I never stumble upon these no marks again in my life. In fact when Jarvis made his entrance he said the band ‘went down as well as thrush and a pair of tights on Saturday night’. What a metaphor. Or is it a simile? Anyway it summed up the atmosphere nicely. Having only purchased the CD in hindsight, it was like being a child opening an unexpected Christmas present, honestly, my face was glowing, my body tingled and it wasn’t because of Mr. Cocker and his wanton ways. This was the third time I have seen PULP and it is the first time I have looked past the towering personality of Jarvis and witnessed the PULPNESS in action. I mean really looked. This was thanks to the fantastic disabled section in the Academy, which although not the largest venue I have had the pleasure of frequenting, gets ten thousand brownie points for the view. The enclosure (does that make us sound like cattle?) is directly above the stage. In fact Mark Webber, the tiny guitarist/keyboard player was about a foot from me all night, whereas Jarvis preferred to tart it up with the front row. Are we never going to meet? Or is he just trying to be elusive? Answers on a postcard to… Anyhow, Here is the set they played last night. I actually have Jarvis’ copy of it on my livingroom wall with his shoe print on it. Sad groupie thing to do I know but I couldn’t resist. The Songs: 1. Weeds 2. Origin of the species (Weeds 2) 3. Fear 4. Birds in your garden 5. Trees 6. The Night Minnie Timperley Died 7. I Love Life 8. This is Hardcore 9. Roadkill 10. Sunrise 11. Party Hard (Encore) 12. Common People (Encore) 5. The Charlatans,Royal Court, Liverpool, Friday 5th October, 2001 Price:£17.50 This was my second liason with the indie chaps. I guess I liked it better than the other gig (Empress Ballroom, Blackpool) because I really like The Royal Court. Yes, once again the band blew me away with their general coolness. Once again I missed the support act due to my sheer lack of any organisational skills... ah well at least I nabbed great box seats and managed to have a few vodkas while wondering why the hell Tim Burgess was wearing a hat that wouldn't have looked out of place in a Dickensian novel. But they delivered some of the classics such as 'Weirdo'alongside 'Impossible'. Also I got a glipse of the new material. Tim sings surprisingly girlified, but it is mellow and pensive stuff. The Charlatans just seem to be getting better with age. Did I me ntion I got to meet Tim Burgess? Ah. Let me think about that while you go and make yourself a cup of tea or something. 6. PULP, Royal Court, Liverpool.Saturday 14th October 1995 Price: FREE (Andy knew someone in the biz) YES , YES They are like my favourite band, but I hate to say it : I have enjoyed other bands more. I am going to see them this Wednesday and HOORAH the Super Furry Animals are there too, so I am going to leave a space in this top ten , just in case. Anyway, back to PULP. Yes, they opened with Lipgloss then my head went a bit light, from the sudden surge of hormones once Jarvis burst forth in all his sordid splendour. The cad , the bounder, doesn't he realise he's my soulmate? Musically they weren't the best band I have ever heard in my life, but I was surprised to note that Jarvis can do those highpitched screeching noises in 'Acrylic Afternoons'. I never scream at gigs, but when Jarvis got dirty, I leapt out of my chair and screamed like a teenager. Oops my credibility is dropping. Anyways, thankfully they played such golden greatness as 'Razzamattaz' ( I can never spell that sorry!) as well as a few corking additions from His N Hers, but as A Different Class had just come out,it dominated the majority of the set. I can't stand 'Common People' but the atmosphere rocked. Before you leave a comment at this incredulous statement. I dislike 'Common People ' because it got stupid , gimp like sheep to suddenly become different yet not. PULP are well worth seeing and Jarvis is beautifully witty.. but as they always seem to choose scary support acts (Eels, Minty)just be warned. The Songs: 1. Lipgloss 2. Razzamattaz 3. Have you seen her lately? 4. Disco 2000 5. Sorted For E's and Whizz 6. Common People 7. Monday Mornings 8. Babies 9. Acrylic Afternoons 10. Do you remember the first time? 11. Pencil Skirt 12. Live Bed Show 7. Coldplay, Glastobury Festival June 2000 Price: FREE ( I jumped the fence) Coldplay. In a field. I really didn't know that much of their stuff, the sound quality was dodgy and to be honest I was more interested in my icecream until that Chris bloke opened his mouth. The voice of an angel. Having just sat through the travesty of Toploader, I was not in the most tolerant of moods. Oh but they soothed me and coaxed me into happiness. They played most of the 'Parachutes' CD, but it was 'Shiver' that left me with a tear in my eye. I had previously seen them on MTV, but I wasn't that fussed, I mean from a shallow female view point they just seemed like a bunch of pleasant looking, middle class indie scamps. But now I would walk around naked in the city centre selling boiled onions for a chance to see them again, in a place with a roof and a soundcheck. Glorious though. 8. Travis, Royal Court, Liverpool Thursday 21st of October 1999. Price £11 Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep. Aren't they a bunch of rapscallions those Travis lads or are they morbid little souls who make music for bank clerks who like to potter around Ikea with their lovers? I don't really know. I liked all the earlier stuff such as 'Tied to The 90's' and 'Happy', but although I did go through a phase of listening to The Man Who CD, I grew very weary of it very quickly. Am I fickle or are Travis a one note wonder? Discuss. The gig itself was very enjoyable and oh how we smiled at Fran's little boy lost looks. The ginger guitarist, however stole the show by being as mad as a mad thing and leaping about the stage like a man with frogs in his boots. They did play the early stuff (Praise the lord) and Fran sang like a adorable cocateel, the band were full of energy and foot tapping tunes, but I still left the gig thinking... They are as nice as chocolate cake but do I want a cheese sandwich? If you're into the whole ambience of the band, you will think all your best days have come at once. They are tuneful and much better than The Supernaturals. But still. I am sorry this is only a top eight at the moment but let's just say my standards are very high: Those who did not make it into the top ten : The Supernaturals Toploader David Gray Minty Eels Bros A-HA I kid you not about the last two, I was twelve or something..... what are you looking at me like that for?
I was a teenager for over 20 years. I went to several gigs, jumped up and down, punched the air in a frenzy, sang along until hoarse, sweated like mad, generally behaved foolishly and, to quote an old Faces song, had me a real good time. Here in chronological order are memories of ten nights from that cheerfully misspent youth. (Note – over the years I have played gigs with various bands tolerant enough to have me as a member. Some were happier than others, but I’ll spare you these as they hardly qualify for anyone’s Top 10. Top 10 worst gigs, I hear you mutter? A bus comes this way in five minutes – kindly be under it). LINDISFARNE, Barnstaple, Queens Hall, 7 July 1972. Riding the crest of a wave while ‘Fog On The Tyne’ sold in its thousands, and also premiering numbers from the forthcoming album ‘Dingly Dell’, I saw the original classic line-up in my last week at school (ticket price 1.20). Opening with ‘No Time To Lose’, they also played ‘Together Forever’, ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘Meet Me On The Corner’ and ‘FOTT’ to rapturous applause, as well as giving first public airings to ‘Don’t Ask Me’, ‘Oh No Not Again’ and ‘Wake Up Little Sister’. The party marathon ‘We Can Swing Together’, which turned into Ray Jackson’s harmonica medley, had us all on our feet, and the breathless encore ‘Jackhammer Blues’ kept a party atmosphere going up to the last minute. Line-up – Alan Hull (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ray Jackson (vocals, harmonica, mandolin), Simon Cowe (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo), Rod Clements (bass, violin), Ray Laidlaw (drums) MUNGO JERRY, Twickenham, St Mary’s College, 14 November 1975. Mungo’s chart days were over by this time, but they put on a mighty non-stop party from start to finish. Ray Dorset’s banter and en couraging everyone to sing along throughout made for an infectious time, with one high spot after another – ‘In The Summertime’ (which started out as “HP sauce is a mighty fine sauce” and a reminder that it was apparently a table favourite of Harold Wilson, prime minister at the time), ‘Long Legged Woman Dressed In Black’, ‘Baby Jump’, ‘Alright Alright Alright’ (featuring an extended harmonica break by Paul King, who had left the band some time previously but still came back as a guest from time to time), a rather risqué singalong ‘Little Bit Of Love’, and for an encore ‘Lady Rose’. Line-up – Ray Dorset (vocals, guitar, harmonica, kazoo), Colin Earl (piano), Paul King (harmonica), Chris Warnes (bass), Pete Sullivan (drums), Jo Rush (washboard) ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, London, New Victoria Theatre, 20 June 1976. ELO had enjoyed erratic singles chart success and at this stage were just on the verge of megastardom, halfway between the unsuccessful ‘Face The Music’ album and its successor, the platinum ‘A New World Record’. The packed, all-seated venue wasn’t that conducive to atmosphere, but the band were faultless, from then-current minor hit ‘Strange Magic’, ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Nightrider’, to the John Lennon-like ‘Can’t Get It Out Of My Head’, ‘Showdown’, the Stones-like ‘Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle’, and ‘10538 Overture’, which segued into ‘Do Ya’, and an encore of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ to make sure the evening ended on a high. Line-up – Jeff Lynne (vocals, guitar), Bev Bevan (drums), Richard Tandy (keyboards), Kelly Groucutt (bass), Mik Kaminski (violin), Hugh McDowell, Melvyn Gale (cellos) STATUS QUO, St Austell, Cornwall Coliseum, 7 March 1981. From the moment the lights went down and the group burst o n stage with ‘Caroline’, the crowd were solidly with them, for hit after hit or album favourite after album favourite, among them ‘Roll ver Lay Down’, ‘Backwater’/’Little Lady’, ‘What You’re Proposing’, ‘Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like’ (on which Francis Rossi fluffed his words, but who cares), ‘Slow Train’, the epic ‘Forty-Five Hundred Times’, ‘Big Fat Mama’, and surely their two most-loved hits, ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ and ‘Whatever You Want’. Seeing everyone go wild at the opening bars of this two, and being part of the crowd, was an experience in itself. Just when we feared it was over, they were called back for a generous encore of ‘Don’t Waste My Time’, ‘Rain’, ‘Down Down’, and a drum solo which led into ‘Johnny B. Goode’/’Bye Bye Johnny’. A good two hours 20 minutes’ worth – it was a long time since I had been so hoarse and knackered, but it was worth every second of it. Line-up – Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt (vocals, guitars), Alan Lancaster (vocals, bass), Andy Bown (keyboards), John Coughlan (drums) TREMELOES, Plaza, Exeter, 9 February 1989. Not having charted since 1970, the Trems were kings of the nostalgia circuit by this time, but it was obvious that most of us punters knew the words to each song almost as well as the band did. Again, a cavalcade of hits, starting with ‘Suddenly You Love Me’ and also including ‘Here Comes My Baby’, ‘Helule Helule’, ‘I Shall Be Released’, ‘Call Me Number One’, ‘Me And My Life’, ‘My Little Lady’, ‘Apache’, ‘Do You Love Me’ (enjoying renewed popularity through ‘Dirty Dancing’), ‘Twist And Shout’, and ‘Angel Of The Morning’ (wit h Dave Munden going into the auditorium, singing through a cordless hand mike while sitting on as many ladies’ laps as possible!). For encores they had us all yelling along to ‘Even The Bad Times Are Good’, ‘Silence Is Golden’ (with Rick West standing on one side of the stage playing guitar while the other four stood opposite, all singing accapella harmonies), and ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, for which they invited the Troggs (who had been on the same bill immediately before them) to join in. Alan Blakley’s good-humoured teasing banter was an essential part of the show, and I was saddened to learn that he had to retire soon afterwards because of ill-health, dying from cancer seven years later. Line-up – Alan Blakley (vocals, guitar), Dave Munden (vocals, drums), Dave Fryar (vocals, bass), Rick West (guitar), Joe Gillingham (keyboards) SQUEEZE, Plymouth Pavilions, 15 September 1993. Promoting the album ‘Some Fantastic Place’, the band started on a high with the classics ‘Another Nail In My Heart’ and ‘Up The Junction’, interspersing the oldies like ‘Take Me I’m Yours’, ‘Cool For Cats’, ‘Labelled With Love’, and a reggaefied ‘Goodbye Girl’ with songs from the new album, notably ‘Loving You Tonight’, ‘Third Rail’, and True Colours’. A call-and-respond routine on ‘Black Coffee In Bed’ got all of us involved, and Paul Carrack really brought the house down with a flawless ‘How Long’, from his days as the front man of Ace. Line-up – Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford (vocals, guitars), Paul Carrack (vocals, keyboards), Keith Wilkinson (bass), Pete Thomas (drums) BRIAN MAY BAND, Plymouth Pavilions, 11 December 1993. Fronting his own band on a first tour two years after Freddie Mercury’s death drew the curtain down on Queen , Brian proved that he was always the musical tour de force of the much-loved 70s and 80s act. The lighting was the best I’ve ever seen at a live gig, and as for the music – well, what can you say about a show which included ‘Back To The Light’, ‘Tie Your Mother Down’, ‘Headlong’, ‘Love Token’, a guitar instrumental ‘Last Horizon’, the poignant ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’, and ‘Love of My Life’, on which we seemed to do most of the singing. ‘Since You Been Gone’ sounded just like the Rainbow version, and the mighty ‘Resurrection’ gave Cozy Powell a chance to let loose on the drums, leading into a snatch of Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and for an encore, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Teo Toriatte’ and finally (accompanied by much waving of rubber hammers in the audience, evidently pre-planned), ‘Hammer To Fall’. Line-up – Brian May (vocals, guitar), Cozy Powell (drums), Neil Murray (bass), Spike Edney (keyboards), Jamie Moses (guitar, vocals), Shelley Preston (backing vocals – formerly of Bucks Fizz, I’d previously seen her singing behind Beverley Craven on the same stage in 1991) ROY WOOD BIG BAND, Plymouth Pavilions, 15 December 1993. The next week, back to the same venue for the Brummie’s most extensive tour since coming out of virtual retirement earlier in the decade. In spite of working on borrowed instruments after their van had been burgled a few days earlier, they put on a cracker of a gig starting with ‘California Man’, ‘Ball Park Incident’, and including four songs from what was announced as the new album ‘Electric Age’, namely the title track, ‘House Of Love’, ‘Boadicea’, and ‘Lion’s Heart’. (We’re still waiting for that album, Roy ). The rest of the show mixed old favourites – a medley of ‘Angel Fingers’/’Forever’/’Flowers In the Rain’, ‘Fire Brigade’, ‘See My Baby Jive’, ‘I Can Hear The Grass Grow’, ‘Are You Ready To Rock’, ‘Blackberry Way’, and Len Barry’s 1965 hit ‘1-2-3’. The encore – you guessed it – ‘I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday’. Roy’s banter kept us in stitches; at one stage he complained he was getting over a cold, blew his nose, examined his kleenex, and serenaded it with “I can sing a rainbow”. He also berated the house staff for going over the top with the smoke machine – “Whoever’s working it, stop it, will you? You’re not on ‘Top Of The Pops’ – now b****r off!” Later on he explained that everyone liked them doing the old songs, but he hoped we enjoyed the new stuff as well. “We liked ‘Boadicea’,” one guy called out from near the front of the audience. “Who said that?” Roy asked, stepping to the front of the stage, peering down. The guy identified himself, and Roy promptly knelt down to shake him by the hand! Line-up – Roy Wood (vocals, guitar, bagpipes), plus an 11-piece band, mainly on brass SWEET, Britannia, Plymouth, 8 April 1995. Andy Scott was the only remaining member from the glory glam rock days, but who cared? Arriving onstage to the strains (on tape) of the David Rose Orchestra’s ‘The Stripper’, it was full tilt into ‘Hellraiser’, ‘The Six Teens’, its B-side ‘Burn On The Flame’, their less familiar 80s single ‘X-Ray Spex’, and most of the hits (excluding the early bubblegum stuff), from ‘Little Willy’ and ‘Wig Wam Bam’ to the classic ‘Fox On the Run’, an extended ‘Love is Like Oxyg en’, interpolating a few bars of ‘Fanfare For the Common Man’, plus a medley of ‘All Right Now’, ‘Smoke On The Water’ and ‘Highway To Hell’, plenty of audience participation on ‘Teenage Rampage’, and for an encore, endless calls of “It’s – it’s – the ballroom blitz!” for – well – ‘Ballroom Blitz’. Another evening to roll back the years and leave us all suitably hoarse as we trooped out. Line-up – Andy Scott (vocals, guitar), Chad Brown (lead vocals), Ian Gibbons (keyboards), Jeff Brown (bass), Bruce Bisland (drums) DEEP PURPLE, Plymouth Pavilions, 15 February 1996. Down went the house lights – WHOOOOOOSH and a mighty blast on the drums leading into ‘Fireball’ was the opening number in a set mixing tracks from the new album ‘Purpendicular’ like ‘Ted The Mechanic’, ‘Cascades’ and ‘Rosa’s Cantina’ with classic Purple oldies like ‘Woman From Tokyo’, ‘Black Night’, ‘Smoke On The Water’, the slow bluesy ‘When a Blind Man Cries’, a solo from Jon Lord on keyboards, embracing mock-classical themes and a snatch of Meade Lux Lewis-style piano boogie, Ian Gillan’s promise of “a nice romantic ballad" – which turned out to be ‘Speed King’. For encores we were treated to ‘Perfect Strangers’ and a supercharged ‘Highway Star’. Line-up – Ian Gillan (vocals, maraccas, harmonica), new member Steve Morse (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums) Which was the best? Heck, they were ALL the best! I’m just glad I was there at each one.
These are my top ten gigs, oldest first before I forget them! 1. KingOfTheHill (supporting Extreme) at Sheffield City Hall 18th October 1991 The first proper gig I ever went to, I was lucky and got tickets at the front and although I'd never heard of KingOfTheHill beforehand they just blew Extreme of the stage. The singer put everything into the show, so much so I bought their album the next day. (The only time I've evr done that!) 2. Love/Hate (supported by The Wildhearts) at Rock City, Nottingham 24th March 1992 I love going to gigs at Rock City, compared to most venues it's tiny, yet most bands include it on their tour. Love/Hate were one of my favourite bands in the early nineties, which is probably by I remember the gig so well, the only thing that sticks in my mind was the accoustic version of 'She's An Angel', my favourite song which sounded brilliant. 3. Kiss (supported by Danger Danger) at Sheffield Arena 18 May 1992 In case you hadn't spotted the link yet, I loved the glam/sleaze scene of the early nineties, and what better glam band than Kiss, complete with the fire-breathing and pyro-technics - pure bliss for a sad old glammie like me!! I still have the rather tacky 'Hot in the shade' pants I bought there!! 4. Monsters Of Rock, at Donnington Park 22 August 1992 Ah the rain, the flying bottles of...well not water, the crap food...whatever happened to Donnington? This was not one of the best years for line-ups, WASP and Slayer were just awful, Iron Maiden were ok-but I'm not a fan, but The Almighty were brilliant as were Skid Row and the image of Seb Bach running on stage, slipping in puddle and landing flat on his arse....mmmmmmmmmm Seb Bach! Sorry and Thunder were amazing as Thunder always are. 5. Aerosmith (supported by Steve Vai) at Sheffield Arena 21 October 1993 < br> Steve Vai was pants, and we ended up with seats which I think were in the OAP area - everyone stayed seated and clapped nicely, except us!!! The only reason this gig sticks in my mind is again accoustic versions of two of my favourite songs, Cryin' and Janie's Got a Gun. 6. Queensryche (no Support) at Sheffield City Hall 11 February 1995 Although the tour was for an album which I don't remember the title of! The majority of the gig was from the Operation Mindcrime album, which when they toured with it in the states had an amazing stage show, and although they didn't bring the whole thing to this country what they did was wonderful. 7. Thunder (can't remember who supported) at Rock City, Nottingham 1 December 1995 I've seen Thunder numerous times, but this was the first time I'd ever seen them at their own headline gig, and well, Thunder are Thunder, brilliant at everything they do! Shame they had to split up. 8. Monkees (supported by Nancy Boy) at Sheffield Arena 14 March 1997 Yes you read that right, The Monkees as in 60's tv show/boy band!! I didn't recognise much of their new stuff, but thay played all their classics, Daydream Believer, The Monkees, I'm A Believer... How can anyone not enjoy the Monkees? 9. The Wildhearts (supported by Group DogDrill) at Cleethorpes Winter Gardens 27 July 1997 Just in the list because Cleethorpes is a small crappy seaside resort, really close to where I live and The Wildhearts played there!!! and most the town turned up to see, and have bbq on the each with the guys. 10. Bon Jovi (can't remember who supported) at RDS, Dublin 25 August 2000 If you've read my seperate reveiw of the gig you'll know exactly why it's listed here. The best gig I have EVER been to (so far) in my life. Only problem how do you topa gig so good ? Went to Huddersfield this year, what a let down.
The year 2000, in my life marked the greatest line-up of gigs to hit these shores in a long time. In the space of a year I watched in awe a selection of my favourite bands ever, perform across the British Isles. As ever I have trouble deciding on bands, gigs and albums in order of preference because I love them all. So the old chronological order will be present this time. Counting Crows (16th February 2000) This was the 3rd time seeing this band after the release of 3rd album ‘This Desert Life’, and as usual they didn’t disappoint. Counting Crows’ blend of mellow laidback rock is flawless in a live environment. The venue, Glasgow’s ‘Armadillo’, although an awesome building can leave fans seated a fair old distance from the action. Luckily me and my buddy couldn’t have been closer, being literally an arm’s length from the stage and singer Adam Duritz. As if this wasn’t a fantastic experience and a fab photo opportunity enough; a greater one was to come. Outside the venue a cluster of fans had gathered at the back entrance stairs, we tagged along and lo and behold the groovy dreadlocked dude Adam Duritz appeared. Now adorned in stylish chenille hat and tweed coat (yes it was a cold February night in Scotland), he was ever the gentleman in talking to us all, signing tickets and posing for photos. As you can imagine we all went home on an absolute high. Pearl Jam 3rd June 2000 Anyone who knows me will know that the prospect of seeing Pearl Jam was a dream come true; so much so that when Eddie Vedder and his crew ran onstage I was obliterated with immense amazement at being in the same hall as my musical hero(es) to the point where I was almost bowled over by the adorning crowd, until pulled to safety by Gayle, my fellow musical obsessive friend. Words cannot describe how amazed I was at this gig. From quiet opener ‘Sometimes’ (No Code) through all m y favourites (translation: every Pjam song is my favourite ), not one moment let me down. The band were very relaxed (contrary to rumours through the years that they didn’t open up to their crowds). Vedder shared anecdotes and jokes about previous trips to Glasgow in a very friendly and amusing way. Despite the size of the hall at the SECC venue, the gig was a no-fuss but very intimate performance. Alas no band members appeared afterwards but that would just have been too much to cope with – I still can’t always believe I was at the concert in the first place. Was it all a fabulous dream??? Counting Crows 16th June 2000 Our ever obsessive appreciation of Counting Crows took us from Glasgow to London during the summer’s heatwave to catch another blast of the deadlocked Duritz at their biggest British show ever at Wembley Arena in excess of 12,000 fans. Although this time we were further away from the stage, it didn’t take away from our overall enjoyment. We were treated to all the classics, ‘Mr Jones’, a special rendition of ‘Round Here’ and a stonking ‘A Murder of One’ etc. Duritz took the opportunity to diss the state of the UK’s radio station’s poor quality of music. Nice one! After another top quality C.Crows gig, we met the guys outside the venue for the 2nd time within 4 months! Although this time we had to climb up and hang over a fence to get autographs, while Adam duly climbed his side of the fence in return. Again the band came across as caring blokes as we discussed with them in a garbled fashion, the benefits of touring Scotland!! Matchbox Twenty 18th June 2000 After the mental C.Crows London weekend, we travelled back home only to head back out 30 minutes after arrival to see Matchbox Twenty in a tiny venue called the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow. Yet another stonker of a gig. This time the dramatic change in venue size meant we had a great view of the band as they played through the majority of their 2 albums – ‘Yourself or Someone Like You’ and ‘Mad Season’. Matchbox Twenty played their hearts out and Rob Thomas blew us away with his stunning vocal live performance, from the rockin’ ‘Angry’ to the beautiful, heartfelt ‘Rest Stop’. It was a magical moment which culminated an amazing weekend of gigs. I’ll never forget it! Joe Satriani 23rd June 2000 Only 5 days later it was gig time again. This time to see the masterful rock guitarist Joe Satriani on his ‘Engines of Creation’ tour. If you feel like being blown away by sheer talent and skill, this is the gig for you. Having seen Joe 3 times previously, I always think I know what to expect – but still my mouth gapes open from start to finish as Satriani manages to tangle and disentangle his fingers in milli-seconds, all the while the rockin’ grooves and AMAZING guitar sounds throng the ears. Satch is the epitome of cool – with his permanent fixture of black sunglasses and glistening silver guitar as he grooves amongst the ever-changing stage-set and lighting effects. Satch played for a good couple of hours before disappearing for a break and appearing back to play for the same length of time again. Bassist Stuart Hamm provided a few comic moments as he tends to do, with his mad idea of dancing in polka dot shorts. Another amazing live experience, only marred briefly by the stage invasion during the encore in which some woman grabbed Satch’s sunglasses from him mid-song. How could she?? Toploader 4th October 2000 I nearly didn’t own up to this one. Toploader aren’t usually the style of music I tend to go see but after seeing them support Counting Corws in London, we decided to go try and recapture the memories of our June trip. Yet again, it was another solid performance as they got the crowd going with their hit singles ‘Achilles Heel’ and ‘Dancing In the Moonlight’. The venue, Glasgow Barrowlands is a great place to hold a gig specially when the old floor threatens to cave-in with the bouncing crowd. However, to find our car broken-into outside and the radio stolen ended the night on a low. Smashing Pumpkins 30th October 2000 Halloween time and what better band to see than Smashing Pumpkins on their farewell tour. Our flashing pumpkins badges were an ingenious way of not losing each other in the huge crowd. Despite the size of the crowd, barely anyone seemed to respond to the band. The Pumpkins opened their set in a mellow acoustic way, playing their classic songs very chilled out. After half an hour or so of this style, it began to wear a little thin. Favourite songs passed without event. Eventually Corgan left the stage to change from his white ethnic kaftan affair to appear back wearing a black leather version. This change of appearance brought with it the pulversing electric guitars and the gig hotted up. The band were on top form rockin’ out with ‘Heavy Metal machine’ but sadly no ‘Zero’. At least I got to see the band before they were no more – which is something I can’t say for Soundgarden :( . Snake River Conspiracy 16th November 2000 I hadn’t heard of this band til seeing them. Female singer Tobey torres’ blend of power and emotion met with a great crowd reaction as support for Queens of the Stone Age. Highlights were their cover of The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Now’ and their own ‘Breed’ full of electronic beats, fuzz and charging guitar riffs. Queens of the Stone Age 16th November 2000 Once again we were at the Glasgow Barrowlands minus our car, the lesson from last time having being learned. It’s a great place for a gig having a raised pillar step at each side to allow for a better view. It was from here that we watched QOTSA singer Josh Homme saunter on at the side of the stage to watch the supports. QOTSA were on top form with their diverse musical range from stoner rock, humour to catchy pop-punk melodies and huge riffs. Josh stole the show with his guitar playing abilities and thankfully Nick Oliveri refrained from his much publicised playing without the need for accompanying clothes. Superb gig! This closes out the year 2000 of gigs but I failed to come up with a 10th gig for the top ten. So I’ve moved into the early part of 2001 for the Deftones concert with Linkin Park and Taproot. But for more on this you can read my review from March 2001. All in all 2000 was a cracking year for me as an avid music fan. The only downside was that it set me back a cool £120 plus added t-shirt costs :) - but hey all in the name of music appreciation. Memories are all that remain, well that and a collection of photos documenting our musical exploits.
Ok, i love punk and metal music. I have loved it for a long while now, and there is nothing, and i mean NOTHING like a live gig to make you tired and worn out. of course living in Norfolk i have to travle to London, or at least Norwich, to see bands but it is always worth the travelling time, and money to see any of my favourite bands. I especially love the likes of the Ozzfest and tatoo the planet. And the Deconstruction tour and Extreme. All of them are great and maybe, jsut maybe they will be on my top ten list...who knows...Hahahahahahahahaha!!! 10 : The Big Day Out, saturday july 10th. Milton Keynes Bowl. Not living to far away from Milton Keynes, this one was an easy onr to get tickets for and travel to. Me and my brother went, mainly to see Metallica, the kings of metal. But of course being us, we ended up enjoying the whole day, and left wanting more. Sepultura played a blinding set with derrick Green screaming his ass off, and Pitschifter got through songs like 'Genius' with enough class to make MM look bad. Terrorvision ween't exactly to my liking but they weren't bad...Monster Magnet were pretty cool....but again they aren't exactly to my liking.....Placebo...what is there to say about them....they were one of the best bands that i liked quite a lot...The band of the day however was......that's right you guessed it...METALLICA. Even though there was 50,000 of us there and i couldn't get quite near enough to the front, the still rocked. James Hetfield put all of the usual energy into the set and Lars U was drumming like he was about to die!! Of course it would have been MUCH better with say...oh i don't know..Slayer.....Pantera....oh well, still a blinding day out...exactly what it says on the tin!! 9 : 28 days, Thursday, september 28th 2000. Camden Monarch, London. support : Sugar Coma, Beachyhead. I didn't arrive at the gig in time to see beachyhead on this particular night, but i was told the singer was playing the Mandolin and the guitar simultaneously and still made it sound good!! Sugar Coma the female band in the nights testsosterone fuelled proceedings were pretty good, playing songs like 'stained' and empty', but the real gem in the nights proceedings were most definitely 28 days. having purchased the album and loved it, i was really up for this. I was quite near the front and was moshing like hell, when they came on to 'Jump Around' by house of pain. With their 'upstyledown' album doing them jsutice and their onstage jokes they really made the night a blinder, and i wouldn't hesitate on seeing them again. 8 : Less Than Jake. 26th October 2000. Norwich Waterfront. support : ??? Even Though i can't remember the support...(i know i have a short memory and i am dumb...oh well...i don't even remember if there was any...) this was a great gig by the ska mob from Florida. Playing from their most recent album 'Borders And Boundaries' and the previous one 'Hello Rockview' while making incredibley funny jokes and sprinkling that with a couple of songs from 'losing Streak', this was a wild night, and i am going to go bakc an dsee them next time they play Norwich. )it's not very often we get any big bands in Norwich, apart from Wheatus, Terrorvision, Muse and Reel Big Fish and LTJ.) 7 : Goldfinger, friday, June 29th 2001. MDH, MAnchester. Support ; King Prwn. I didn't actually go to this one but i would have loved to if i could have got tickets.....but i couldn't so.....anyway songs like 'Superman' and 'I'm Down' really get me moving so i really wanted to be there......such a shame i couldn't....oh well.... 6 : Machine Head, sunday 14th december 1997. Norwich UEA. Support : Entombed, Misery Loves co. Machine Head...wow! They are one of the few bands that can actually scream a nd make it sound good. Rob Flynns voice is like no others....he is unique...the band pplayed an excellent set, although i found Entombed to be pretty rad, having never heard anythigng by them before....and now i am hooked on them and Machine Head. At the time of the gig i hadn't actually heard anything BY machine head, but i went anyway because my friend wanted me to. And now i am glad that i did. It is only a shame that they didn't release 'SuperCharger' 4 years ago!! If they had, then this would have been the top gig i have been to in Norwich...as it was though, it was pretty cool andi wouldn't hesitate to go back and mosh through another storming set from Rob and co. 5 Dropkick Murphys, ( i havent got time to put the info in here) This band were brilliant, and much better then Thug Murder (three japanese girls that sounded like three bouncers) and Reach the sky. The addition of hagpipes may sound weird but it worked unusually well, and i was impressed by it. 'Spicy McHaggis' was a brilliant song and made the night so much better. 4 : Papa Roach, Wednesday October 4th 2000. Charring cross LA2, London. Support : Grand Theft Audio. Grand Theft Audio are the sort of band that belong in sleazy pubs singing to the crowds....mostly rock n roll fans. They are most definetely all about the money, teh drugs and the women and they make that perfectly cear. They take up time before PR come on...and i guess thats all they are...fill ins...but i would like to see this band go really far...Papa Roach on the other hand ARE really big, as this gig showed....and i enjoyed this one because of that. Storming through their new album 'Infest' (not their first by the way), they left little to be desired, and that made the night much better. 'Last Resort', quite obviously went down a storm, and unsurprisingly this band were brilliant...they made me feel like i was in Mosh Heaven...... 3 : : Raging Speedhorn, London Orange Yard Borderline, 20th October 1999. Support : Brutal Deluxe. Brutal Deluxe are a lot like a lot of heavy bands these days. The only difference, they aren't all about the money. They play a pretty wild set tonight beofre giving way to....Raging Speedhorn, the ultimate sludgecore band, like Iron Monkey and EyeHateGod before them, they are gonna be big. I went to this gig because i thought that they sounded like a great band...and they are....'Thumper' sounds so much better live....and you have to agree with me there...and at only £4 this was a bargain gig for a band that was most definetely gonna get big. This Corby lot really got the crowd moshing, and i was right in teh middle of it!!! i would definetely go back, and i might be in september...obviously a bigger place, but just as good...hopefully. 2 : Weezertuesday July 3rd, 2001 Sheperds Bush Empire, Lodon Support : Jimmy Eat World. I didn't really go to this gig for weezer, i went for JimyEatWorld, purely because they rule.....they played a blinding set and i was really haapy that i wasted my money to see them. ALl the new stuff was brilliant, and better then the stuf from 'Static Prevails' and 'Clarity'. Quality night out, and a blinding gig. 1 : Ozzfest, May 26th 2001 Milton Keynes Bowl. What else did you expect to be number 1? Black Sabbath....Soulfly...., Amen, Disturbed.....each one played an excellent set, and made the day worth while. It was Black Sabbath in particular that made the day brilliant. They were just as good as always, and iwould definetely go next year so i couldsee them again Papa Roach and Slipknot were letdowns...bringing the trendy contingent with them, but Raging Speedhorn and The Unoon Underground were brilliant as well....great day out and worth the money ipayed, most definitely.