Memorable gigs attended
September 18, 2014 Leave a comment
For no particular reason, here’s a few standout gigs I’ve been to down the years. The first big rock gig was The Who at Charlton Athletic F.C. in 1976. It was pouring with rain but The Who were brilliant and very loud. The great keyboard loop at the beginning of Won’t Get Fooled Again seemed to go on forever and drummer Keith Moon lived up to his wild reputation. I saw a lot of great live bands in the late 70s from Pink Floyd to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Peter Frampton. Queen and Steve Hillage at Hyde Park was a corker in 1976 too.
By 1982 I was living up in London and making regular visits to the famous Marquee Club to see an unsigned progressive rock band called Marillion. There was a truly electric and magical atmosphere at those early Fish Marquee gigs which increased in intensity as the band got closer to signing with EMI. Great times and a further inspiration for my own music during the 80s.
U2 at Wembley Stadium in 1993 remains one of the most extraordinary gigs I’ve ever been to although they aren’t one of my favourite bands. The Zooropa tour broke completely new ground with an astonishing multimedia spectacular. The big screens flashed up “Everything You Know Is Wrong”, “Believe Everything” and “Taste Is The Enemy Of Art” and other assorted nonsense, or is that wisdom? Huge, mind-blowing, completely bonkers and brilliant.
By the 90s I was more interested in dancing (if my jumping up and down or whirling round and round in Brighton clubs could be called dancing) and later Britpop. There was a real energy to the early raves and the dance music that came out of that scene – Orbital, Massive Attack, Underworld were all great live. The positivity seemed to gradually die out after a few years so it was an unexpected joy to experience the consciousness-raising Chemical Brothers on my birthday in May 2005, a fantastic night. Without any drugs I might add – the music has always been enough maaaan.
More recently, having missed 70s Genesis with Peter Gabriel the first time round, Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited tour in 2013 was a chance to put that right. Great performance, great band, Hackett has continued to inspire at many gigs since I first saw him in 1979.
Just a few snapshots.