Saturday, January 17, 2009

Don't talk to me about love - FP's unlovely playlist

Apologies for an unashamedly poppy, 80s-based playlist. I tried, I really tried to get some cool and obscure indie or even some jazz in there. But these songs just elbowed their way to the front by their brilliance or resonance.

It must have been fun to be lovesick in the middle ages. You actually had someone to blame then. Cupid existed in the common psyche as a fickle little blind demi-god whose arbitrarily shot arrows could wreak havoc in the lives of us mere mortals. So if you were suffering from unrequited love or indeed if you broke up with your lover, you had a concrete focus for your wrath and railings against the injustice of it all: bloody cupid! Rosalind in 'As You Like It' calls him 'that blind rascally boy who abuses everyone's eyes because his own are out'. Much more convenient and poetic than modern psychiatry which would have us believe that, when the sh*t hits the fan, we're all just repeating the models of our parents anyway. That Freud had a lot to answer for...

And the courtly love of the Elisabethan era sounds like splendid fun. You were allowed to languish, lose weight, write godawful poetry. And no one would growl at you to "pull yourself together". You were expected to manifest your lovesickness in a manner of ways which, to modern eyes, seem totally over the top and self indulgeant. Nowadays one would take refuge in a rented DVD and a tub of Ben n' Jerrys... It's the falling in love that's making me high, it's the being in love that makes me cry cry cry...

Thanks to Shiv for this week's question and please correct me if we've done this one before. Out with it - your first ever live gig. The one your mam and dad drove you to. And picked you up again. At the door. And were waiting for you before it finished. That one. I have checked and was wondering how to reveal to you that mine was probably either Howard Jones or Kajagoogoo at Newcastle's City Hall. But a quick bit of creative mathematics reveals that in reality my first live gig was probably Japan at the City Hall. That's the official version and I'm sticking to it yer honour...



66 comments:

Abahachi said...

Wonderful playlist; yes, that all brings back memories...

First gig: Deep Purple (plus Mountain, UFO, Scorpions, Meat Loaf and quite possibly someone else), Knebworth 1985. Went with friends, driven by friend's elder brother, so doesn't quite fit the "taken there by parents" rubric. Interesting journey back afterwards. Anyone know the Fairfield Halls roundabout in Croydon? We'd parked thereabouts and taken the tube and train up to Knebworth - bad move, as we then didn't get back into London until after the tubes had stopped. So, some time around midnight - which was when I'd told my parents we'd probably be home - collected car and drove round the Fairfield Halls roundabout looking for the right road. Drove round again. Spotted road but missed it. Drove round again. Missed turning again. Drove round again. Took correct exit, but missed further turning immediately after roundabout. Drove a mile down the road to another roundabout, turned round, back to Fairfield Halls roundabout, missed turning, round again, took correct exit but missed turning again, at which point our driver has had enough and does u-turn over central reservation to skip 2-mile detour before driving round roundabout yet again. Oh, says my friend Richard, lucky there aren't any police around at this time of night. Happen to notice white car on other side of carriageway, with gentleman in blue uniform talking into walkie-talkie... Just to make life more interesting, quite apart from natural suspicion of a bunch of hairy youths in denim (plus me, and we'll draw a veil over what I looked like at this age), the police computer was having a bad night, and claimed erroneously that the car was stolen...

3 am: explain to near hysterical mother that the trains were just really full.

Frogprincess said...

@ Hach: It's actually a wonder that your parents ever let you out again after that debacle. Baptism of fire or what?? But a cool gig indeed. Street cred intact there, me thinks...

Mnemonic said...

Living in Darkest Cornwall meant that the nearest gigs were at least 100 miles away but my father worked for British Rail, so I had free first class rail travel all over the UK and some of Euurope so, in 1961, my older brother went to University in London and at half-term I went up on the night train to stay with him for four days. He shared a flat over a fruit and veg warehouse in Long Acre. Got very noisy around 4 in the morning when all the lorries were coming and going. We went to the Curry Centre in Gerrard Street for dinner and then over the road and down into a scruffy basement run by this chap called Ronnie Scott. Tubby Hayes, Stan Tracey and the visiting American, Johnny Griffin played.

Next night we did the theatre and saw Sister Marion Williams and the Stars of Faith

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xu_GW2osRVA

Madeleine Bell was one of the backing singers and she stayed on in England and moved into pop.

I can't remember whether it was the same weekend or not but there was also Pete Seeger at RFH in the mix. I bought a Bessie Smith ep in Dobell's Jazz Record shop and went home on the night train. The parent bit comes in with my mother picking me up at Penzance station with my school uniform and me changing in the back seat of the car in the five-minute journey to school.

My first gig where I bought my own tickets and went to London especially for the gig was Bob Dylan in 1964. Quite a convoy on the night train from Penzance for that one.

Mnemonic said...

You know, it might have been 1962. The years do blur into one another at this stage...

Frogprincess said...

Mnemonic : that's the stuff of dreams, that is. An older brother in London and a free rail ticket! Fabulous. A basement run by a guy called Ronnie Scott.... I'm salivating into my keyboard as I type. Just marvelllous. It was cool that your Mam brought your uniform for you - nice complicity.

Frogprincess said...

They're blurring for me too - I had to consult Japans discography to work that one out....

Mnemonic said...

Shocking isn't it. I know the bro moved to London in September 1961 because my mother was depressed and cheered herself up by buying a wreck of a house in Newlyn and we spent the winter having it done up before we moved in in April 1962. It was a memorable week because it was the date of the Great Ash Wednesday Storm, the most destructive storm in Cornwall for four hundred years and we watched the breakers coming in from the windows of the new house.

I also know that I went to London in bro's first term at Uni, but I went several times thereafter and that's where the blurring comes in. I thnik we'll take Ronnie Scott's in 1961 at the very first and the others followed in blurred sequence. Bob Dylan in engraved in the memory (besides, I've still got the programme).

Tim (Kalyr) said...

First actual gig was new-wave one-hit wonders The Jags in 1979, in my first year at university. They were utterly, utterly shite.

So shite that I insist that my first 'proper' gig was the 1980 Reading Festival, headlined by Rory Gallagher, UFO and Whitesnake, also featuring Gillan, Iron Maiden (the last time they ever played a festival where they weren't top of the bill), Slade (who were amazingly good), Def Leppard and Whitesnake (in their bluesy hard-rock incarnation).

I was at Knebworth in 1985. I remember walking across the two and three quarter miles from Kings Cross to Paddington in 40 minutes to catch the 1:40am train, which we got with literally seconds to spare.

Frogprincess said...

Mnemonic: I start being able to put years to songs and concerts from the first year of my studies as you know which flat you lived in when you were listening to a specific song...
Tim: The Jags! Wonder where they are now.... Some good solid hard rock to follow though....And I always feel I missed out never having been to Knebworth...

ToffeeBoy said...

@ fp - I was hoping you'd done one of your wonderful 'Spill playlists and as soon as I saw the words "unashamedly poppy" and "80s-based" writ large at the top of the post, I knew two things:

1) I was going to love it (I did!)
2) I wouldn't have to do a post myself as half the stuff I would have included would be on your list - slightly disappointed that there's no sign of When Love Breaks Down but, hey, who's complaining?

First gig is a tough one - partly because I have a sieve like an elephant - but also because my earliest gig experiences were going to see friends in school bands - and then playing in school bands myself. I think my first 'proper' gig was Caravan at the Apollo Victoria but it might have been Lynyrd Skynyrd at Hammersmith. I'm sure some research would uncover the truth but to quote a certain breed of numpty over on the RR blog, I really can't be arsed...

FP said...

Hello Toffee. I nearly wrote as an addition to my little apology above "but Toffee'll love it". And so glad you did. We aim to serve so I've tucked the Sprouts up in the middle snuggled up next to Tears for Fears and Pale Shelter. 80s all the way, folks. What instrument do you play then? Just curious. I played the fiddle to County Youth orchestra standard and still get it out of its case occasionally but I'm not very good anymore.

ToffeeBoy said...

OK, I could be arsed after all. The Lynyrd Skynyrd gig it seems was in October 1975 - good God, I was only 14 - what were my parents thinking of, letting me go??!! The Caravan gig was in May 1976 and it was actually at the New Victoria Theatre not The Apollo (I do like to get these things right) so the good ol' southern boys win. Which probably affords me greater street cred but I would prefer to have been able to say that it was the more subtle sounds of Caravan that were my first real live experience.

I've got a vague memory of my older brother going to see Hawkwind in Watford (at the Town Hall I think) and also ELO (supported by Marc Bolan!) but I was too young to go to these (personally, I think that everyone who's ever lived is too young to go to a Hawkwind gig - it really shouldn't be allowed). I find it very hard to imagine bands of this sort of stature playing in Watford these days. I did (much later) see Billy Bragg and The Redskins at the Watford Trade Union Hall ca.1984/5.

I never cease to be amazed at what you can find out on the web these days:

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Caravan

Hawkwind

ELO & Marc Bolan

Billy Bragg & Redskins

Tim (Kalyr) said...

@Abahachi - the other two bands from Knebworth I remember were Bernie Marsden's Alaska (pretty forgettable) and southern rockers Blackfoot, who were really good.

@Toffeeboy - I saw Hawkwind in 1980, and Dave Brock looked old *then*. The band are still going today...

As for numpties, RR seems remarkably free of the trolls, idiots and childish name-callers that infest the rest of The Guardian Music Blog. It's definitely gone downhill in recent months; comments on some threads are descending YouTube levels.

FP said...

Golly Toffee - well researched! I'm whizzing off to see if I can find some photos of Japan's City Hall concert. It was the one where masami tsuchiya played geetar with them. He was a revelaion. But I also remember my parents' face at the concert programme. For some reason best known to himself, David Sylvian had chosen to drape a silk scarf tastefully round his neck. Only he ended up looking more like Hyacinth Bucket than his usual sexy image. My father did a real Dr. Evil "riiiiiight" when he saw it....

AAAARRRGH Toffeee! Monet in the attic time. It's a NEW MIX of the Sprouts song I've posted by accident!!! Do tell me what you think!!!!

ToffeeBoy said...

Gee fp! Thanks for adding the Sprouts. I love this version - it's taken from the bonus CD that came with the re-release of Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good (depending on which side of the Atlantic you happen to be living on) and, since the tracks were recorded in the summer of 2006, they represent the most recent Sprout recordings (although really it's a Paddy solo effort). The full track listing is:

Appetite
Bonny
Desire As
When Love Breaks Down
Goodbye Lucille #1
Moving The River
Faron Young
When The Angels

FP said...

Nice one. That's on deezer too so I shall enjoy that through the speakers tomorrow. No photos of japan but a website that is selling a ticket stub from THAT concert for 13$. Fancy! And the date was 28.10.82 so I was all of 16 in my velvet kung fu pumps. Time flies...

ToffeeBoy said...

... sorry fp, nearly missed your question regarding my musical prowess (well, something like that). I have been known to turn my hand to guitar and saxophone but mainly it's the old joanna for me. Sometime I may even be brave enough to post some samples of my work ...

Blimpy said...

FP- your always end your posts with the best questions - it's no wonder you are queen of 'spill comments!

B-Mac's first gig:

Manic Street Preachers, Portsmouth Guildhall, 13th July 1993.

Me, just having turned 16, seeing my all time favourite band in the world ever. I had my cool auntie taking me, with her cool pals (they vanished off into the bar leaving me and my two pals to watch the gig).

Support was from political bands du jour Blaggers ITA, and Credit To The Nation (a british rapper famous for using a nirvana sample in his hit song).

We were too scared to go into the bar to try and buy a beer, and were amazed by all the (slightly older) kids with their long hair and band t-shirts that had swear words on them.

I'd never seen a moshpit before in my life (or even heard about one) and was amazed by the sheer raw, loud, visceral nature of the gig. Stunning stuff for one so young.

They played:

Sleepflower
From Despair To Where
La Tristesse Durera
Slash N' Burn
Yourself
We Her Majestys Prisoners
Motorcycle Emptiness
Drug Drug Druggy
Life Becoming A Landslide
Repeat
Stay Beautiful
Little Baby Nothing
Motown Junk
Roses In The Hospital
Wrote For Luck
You Love Us

and then fucked off with glitter falling from the ceiling, and my ears ringing.

Needless to say, that was the start of something that has become a lifelong obsession.

steenbeck said...

The Cure. Maybe 1986? I think it was Madison Square Garden, NYC. We all walked to the train station and were in the city in a flash. I remember on the train home, I think there was a depeche mode concert somewhere in the area the same night... and I was with a big gaggle of friends, but there was one lone boy looking through a depeche mode--well it couldn't have been a program, could it? but in my memory it was, and I felt a like he might be lonely and misunderstood. We had a blast, though.

DarceysDad said...

Evening all. Just woken up having dozed off downstairs waiting for MotD to start!! Too cold to not go to bed, but I'll 'Spill my guts over that first gig before I head upstairs . . .

UFO - Liverpool Empire, Jan 14th 1979.

Having failed to get permission for 1978 gigs by AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and, er, Wishbone Ash, my mam succumbed to UFO because (i) they were a band she knew I already had records by, and (ii) I shamelessly bought the ticket without permission using money given to me at my recent 14th birthday.

Gigs by Rush (last time they played places as small as the Empire), Scorpions, Whitesnake, AC/DC (with Bon Scott three months before he died, and with Def Leppard supporting), and Motorhead followed later that year, but the majot one I missed was Zep at Knebworth.

That was my mam's revenge: I had the ticket in my hand (courtesy of a batch unexpectedly turning up at musical eqpt store Laskys in Chester, on the day I was looking at a microphone for my short-lived stint as vocalist for a rock covers band - Dragonfly - but I digress!), but unlike Abahachi, I couldn't persuade MY parents that trogging 150 miles each way and sleeping in a knackered old Cortina belonging to a school 6th form brother of a mate was a good idea. My mam's words "They're bound to tour again next year, and closer too" are acid-burned onto my memory banks in John Bonham's vomit!!!!

I vowed never to miss a concert again, and in 1980 went to 26 major concerts - where the hell did my 15yo self get that money from, because I always had to pay for everything out of my own money?!?!? Broke my festival duck at the first Donington Monsters Of Rock in Aug 1980 (Rainbow, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Saxon, Riot, Touch) and nearly got decapitated on the way back - sitting front of top deck of a massively-overcrowded 14ft tall bus that attacked a 10'6" four-track railway bridge at 40mph. The last piece of glass worked its way back out of my greasy scalp about 18 months later. I thus narrowly avoided fulfilling the prophecy of our school's Alternative Awards: I had been voted "Most Likely To Be Killed On The Roads Before The Age Of 16" by my peers a couple of years previously.

BBRRRR!! Is that a memory chill, or am I just cold? Bedtime for Bonzo ...

ToffeeBoy said...

Is there any better way to wake up than to the strains of Ms C Grogan imploring me (yes, me) not to talk to her about love? I know you don't mean it really Clare...

But seriously folks, if there's a better pop song around, I'd like to know what it is.

Alimunday said...

It was Julie Felix, c.1972 (I was 13).I still have the Programme somewhere. I have a horrible feeling I wore a maxi dress and my mum's nylon fur coat. JF was cool but she was supported by The Yetties. My dad stood outside the venue with me, very unhappily, and advised me not to accept any wooden pennies (in other words, not to get taken in by anyone). He often offered sage but embarrassing advice (in a loud voice), e.g. 'Don't put the goods on display if you don't want them messed about'. I think I went on the bus next time.

ejaydee said...

My first concert should've been Michael Jackson, but my dad didn't really want to drive outside of Paris on a school night. So a couple of years later, at the age of I think 14, I was taken by my brother and his girlfriend to the Fugees concert at the Zenith. The first shock was the bass rattling through my stomach, the second was the strange herby smell. I was a bit too scared to go into the pit, as it was looking a bit rowdy from where I was sitting at the back. In fact Lauryn Hill lost her hat when she dived in the crowd.

nilpferd said...

My parents took me to see Count Basie and his orchestra in 1979, I was ten. After the concert we went upstairs and met the band, I remember wandering around amongst loads of tall musicians asking them for their autographs. I asked the trombonist twice, he drew me a nice little cartoon so I'd remember him next time. Basie asked me if I played an instrument, at that stage I was practising to be a world famous harmonica player, he seemed pleased at that and told me to stick with it. Alas, I didn't. Looking back, that room was filled with great jazz musicians, and it was a privilege to meet them all, especially Basie, who died not long afterwards.
I didn't see any live music after that until my first University Orientation week, not sure either which band it would have been, most probably The Verlaines.

alimunday said...

Going back to Hawkwind, I saw them several times. In the mid '70s (I was about 15) my friend and I tracked down the Mountain Grill Cafe in Portobello (Hawkwind had an album out called 'Hall of the Mountain Grill'). We thought it would be really cool but it was pretty much a greasy spoon and the owner chucked us out the minute we'd finished our cups of tea. It was a trying day, she went off with someone she'd arranged to meet without mentioning it to me - long story short, she got on the wrong train home and when I got back I had to explain to her mum why she wasn't with me. We didn't speak to each other for about a month afterwards (but we're still friends now, some 35 years later). Probably nothing to do with Hawkwind, though.

gordonimmel said...

I'm not really sure about this. It's one of three.
EITHER it was UFO during their 'Wild Willing & Innocent' tour sometime in 1981 at the Apollo in Manchester
OR it was a local band called 100% Proof in some Bolton church hall. They were a christian rock group and although I was a raging atheist at the time I didn't mind going to see them (which I did a few times) 'cos I liked the AC/DC based music
OR it was in my own band called 'Meridian' at the Recreation Club in Bolton in February 1981 (I was the drummer). We were rubbish but we managed to get off the stage without having anything thrown at us.

@Abahachi & Kalyr, I was at that Knebworth gig aswell. I missed half of it but I vaguely remember seeing Meat Loaf and UFO (both way past their best). I've now got Deep Purple's bit on CD. I didn't bother trying to get home that night but 'camped out' inside my sleeping bag and bivvy bag. Cold? I've never been so.....

FP said...

Evenin moy luvvlies. You've come up with the goods as usual. Two things striking me is that you all went to COOOL first gigs. Are there really no David Essex or Donny Osmond gigs waiting to rattle, in all their grinning horror, out of the cupboards of your musical chilhood?? Come on guys, I showed you my Kajagoogoo. Now show me YOURS!!
Hee Hee
---
And I kind of suspected there would be a Knebworth or similar where we would find out you all went to but didn't know each other then. So that's nice.
-----
@ Blimpy: Too kind and I love the idea of the cool aunt who took you but then fekked off to the bar with her cronies. Excellent first gig all round there...
----
@ Steenbeck: I would love love love to see The Cure and am hoping like mad that, after the release of their utterly triumphant latest album that they will come to somewhere round our way. We now have a big f*ck off stadium just down the road which was big enough for Coldplay ner ner ner ner ner so they have no excuse really. Fingers crossed....
----
@ Darce: That Mac working out for ya? Nice one. Oh my Lord you saw all the metal greats and glad you got to see Bon Scott before he left us. Good job you survived that accident - what on airth was the driver on? Had he been to a concert too? Shudder.
---
@ Toffee: Altered Images and Orange Juice were lightweight 80s pop bands you kinda enjoyed but dismissed at the time. You listen to them now and realise just how good that sound was. LIsten to that guitar work on 'don't talk to me about love'. I was surprise how good it sounded after all these years...
----
@ Alimunday: I love hearing about the clothes too. You keep the maxidress and just lop off the sleeves off that coat and add some long boots : the total French fashionista look for autumn/ winter 08-09. I kid you not. Kind of a Sienna Miller vibe going on. Still.
----
@ Frenchy: I think the Zenith's the only one I ain't been to. I've done Bercy (Sting) and La Cigale (Erasure and Prefab Sprout) and the Elysee Montmartre (Cocteau Twins)but never the Zenith. I know it's very prestigious and I'm a total fan of Lauryn Hill. What a star...
----
@ Gordon: You were at that Knebworth gig as well! And I'm also fascinated by how many of you people played in bands! Photos and if possible sound files as well...
---
Off to stick a casserole in the oven. Nothing to write home about, Nilpferd, but when inspiration strikes I'll let you know!

Tim (Kalyr) said...

I was never in a band, but my brother was in the late 80s/early 90s

They even have a MySpace page. Not that MySpace existed back then, it's a posthumous tribute page, but the music is an old demo they recorded, produced by Richard West of Threshold.

Chris said...

I say this only to point out how things have changed in the last 41-and-a-bit-years....
The first concert I ever went to was at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, on the 26th November 1967, the day before my 15th birthday. It was a tour of (I think) EMI acts, each band playing only 3 or 4 songs.
The line up was: Eire Apparent, The Outer Limits, Amen Corner, The Move, The Nice, Pink Floyd and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
I sat on the front row of the stalls.

ToffeeBoy said...

It’s just occurred to me that our collective first gig experiences would make for a stunning festival line up. So here we go, brought to you by ToffeeBoy productions: it’s ‘Spill In The Park ’09. Here are the acts confirmed so far:

In the jazz tent we have:
Tubby Hayes, Stan Tracey and Johnny Griffin
and The Count Basie Orchestra

Holding her own on the folk stage it’s
Julie Felix

On the TB-X stage we proudly present:
The Fugees

And … on the main stage we have:

UFO
Japan
Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Manic Street Preachers
… and headlining tonight, ladeeeez and gennulmen, I give you … Deep … Purple

Errrm, I’m not really sure what to do with The Jags and Kajagoogoo. Perhaps we could put an 80s stage somewhere in a distant field…

ToffeeBoy said...

Oh my God, Chris.. Spill In The Park just got that bit more exciting. I can now confirm that the Jimi Hendrix Experience has just been added to the bill...

Blimpy said...

Toffee!! You are genius!! I love it!!

saneshane said...

my rocker of an uncle took my big brother and an 11 year old me to see Motorhead, AC/DC and Status Quo in 82... not my kind of thing then... but how good were those nights.. and I still remember the first night out in that trio was....

Status Quo!

ToffeeBoy said...

Following the addition of some blinding new acts to the line up we're proud to announce that the festival has been bought, lot, stock and barrel by a mysterious group known as Speng International. Boys and girls - we've hit the big time...

FP said...

Loving it too. Just to say I'm green with envy at Nilpferds Count Basie anecdote. A true honour indeed!!!
Tim, I'll check out that Myspace link - good one.
Chris that's a stellar line up. Jimi Hendrix and The Move? Very mixed bag there but I bet it was wonderful!
'Spill in the Park is on. I vote we stick Kajagoogoo AND the Jags in the hamburger van and free up a stage for Herr Goettsching. He'd be up for it to give us E2-E4 live!

ToffeeBoy said...

... err, that's 'lock' ...

FP said...

aaaargghh! A Marbella-based consortium??? Cash the check, Toffee!!! Cash the check11111

ToffeeBoy said...

He seemed like a very nice man to me. Brian, he said his name was. You don't think... No ... surely not!!!!

FP said...

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. What are we going to do with that job lot of hamburgers? I suppose there's always the Rare Groove Cafe...

Chris said...

FP: as it was sooo long ago, most of it is only vaguely defined in my memory but I do remember how loud Noel Redding's bass was. Shook the hall.
Whilst researching exactly when gig was earlier, I discovered that this was Syd Barrett's last tour with the Floyd. I wish I could remember his contribution more clearly.

Shoey said...

1st gigs were really pubs trying to catch the Stranglers and avoid being thrown out, did also manage to see quite a lot of Dr. Feelgood & Ian Dury & the Kilburns.

1st gig proper, was Subway Sect, Buzzcocks, Jam, Slits & The Clash at Guildford Civic. Had to walk home to avoid a beating from aggreived Rod Stewart fans at the train station - but it was well worth it.

debbym said...

I have to confess to having been to shamefully few gigs ever; my dear old Dad used to play in a variety of jazz bands and I used to go round the local pubs or to "corporate events" with them (Talking of jazz bands, where's goneforeign got to this week?). I also used to go to the Colchester jazz club, cos I could cadge a lift with the neighbours, or to Happenings at the (relatively new back then) Arts Centre, which also housed the folk club - and I do wonder if my path there ever crossed treefrogdemon's... Pop was restricted to sixth form bands playing in town.
The first *proper* gig I can honestly remember going to was Brian Auger at the Grosse Freiheit (yes, that IS the Kaiserkeller Grosse Freiheit), long after I'd left home, soon after which an open-air festival started up in a little double-barrelled German village (James Brown, anyone?) which has since developed into the mega Scheessel you may or may not have heard of.
Hamburg has some wonderful smaller venues, but I need to drastically improve my babysitter-availability-ratio to be able take advantage of them. Last year I saw Chumbawamba (fantastig gig in my favourite community centre!), Hayseed Dixie (extremely disappointing) and the Pentangle (had to fly back to England for that one, but it was well, well worth it!)

Japanther said...

Oh..good topic FP.

Official first gig was Adam and the Ants at (I think) Brighton Dome around about 1982....not sure it really counts though as I was only 6 or 7 years old (went as my older brothers birthday present).

Despite my relative youth, my timeline is a bit confused and I can't work out if my first proper gig was The Levellers at Brighton Centre or Guns'N'Roses (with Soundgarden and Faith No More in support - FNM were incredible, Mike Patton was completely mental!) at Wembley Stadium 13 June 1992. Even more embarrassing than having your mum dropping off/picking you up for gigs. With the G'N'R concert, my mum actually went to the same gig with her friends (the neighbours)! I insisted on traveling up to London separately with my friends, but despite the fact there were 70,000 people crammed into Wembley, my mum and her friends had to go and bloody find a spot right behind us! After a full day of full on stadium rockness (they still did the camera panning the audience to get a reluctant-female-on-boyfriends-shoulders to bare her upper half to the inevitable cheers of the rest of the audience in those days) my 15 year old self was tuckered out and I grudgingly got a lift back with my mum! Ah....the frustrations of a wannabe teenage rocker!

@Blimpy - I had tickets to see MSP in 1993, me and my mates planned a whole camping trip to Torquay (Paignton?) around the gig, but a few days into a the holiday a big thunderstorm with howling wind and torrential rain destroyed our old and dilapidated tent completely. We had to cut short the trip and go home before the gig. Got pulled up by the Transport Police on the way home for travelling with Child tickets (we were only just 16), and completely shat ourselves when we were marched into a small room and told that they were going to search us for drugs (we did indeed have a cornucopia of recreational substances about our person - due to the trip being cut short!) luckily they didn't go through with their threat and the worst result was that we had to pay the difference! So gutted (even now) that I missed out on seeing Richey-era MSP, though.

Alimunday said...

FP/Toffeboy - if you should spot a plump middle-aged woman in a strange outfit, trying to pass herself off as Sienna Miller, wandering around the festival site, please be kind to her.

TatankaYotanka said...

@ Alimunday; George must have been having a bad day when you went to The Mountain Grill. Used to be my favourite place for a bacon roll before heading for the office - which is still just around the corner. They sold up three or so years ago and the place has been through a couple of chichi incarnations which haven't worked; the decorators were at work last week, painting out Re-Hab's sign so watch this space .... The Spacerock Cafe anyone?

As for first gigs, told this before I think ... King Crimson at Birmingham Town Hall, Autumn 1971 having failed to get tickets for The Who at the Odeon. Still buying and listening to Robert Fripp's work to this day.

TatankaYotanka said...

Spacerock Cafe ..... hmmmm, anybody want to buy into a franchise?

Alimunday said...

Tatanka Yotanka - to be fair, he probably didn't want scruffy kids with very limited funds hanging around his establishment ... BTW, UFO did an album called Flying / Spacerock, they might have the copyright!

TatankaYotanka said...

Well ..... if he'd already had had Hawkwind hanging around in there then I wouldn't have thought you'd cause him to bat an eylid.

Here's Tom Vagues Counter Culture Portobello Psychogeographical History if you haven't already come across it; fascinating piece of work weaving the threads of otherness, underground and outsider into place - with more rockers, punks and wailers than you could list on a triple gatefold. Hall Of The Mountain Grill is on the map.

http://www.portobellofilmfestival.com/talkpics/talk-vague01.html

Alimunday said...

TY - fascinating! Thanks - much better than working, which is what I'm supposed to be doing at the moment (albeit from home). Will concentrate now. No, really.

TracyK said...

Now I shall add to the cheese factor and own up to Erasure at the mini NEC,spring 1887, the Circus Tour. As it's the middle of nowhere, my mum did indeed drop off and pick up myself and my mate Jane, both wearing our Breton-ish tops and berets. So very gauche! And, to emphasise my lack of cool, they were also my second ever gig, the Innocents Tour at the larger NEC venue just before Christmas 1988. It was bloody marvellous too.
After that we went to tons of indie-ish gigs all over the Midlands (Wonder Stuff, PWEI, Carter USM -where I smiled at my now-hubby, though I didn't even know him then-, Voice of the Beehive) etc etc etc. I really miss gigging now, but I just can't be arsed with all the waiting around and the sheer bloody rudeness of most poeple these days.

Fab list again FP and Ali, I had a good snigger at your dad's wise words. Mortifying at the time, I'm sure.

TracyK said...

Spring 1887! Wow, I am sooooooooo mcuh olde rthan I look...

TatankaYotanka said...

Aaah, spring 1887, ... Buffalo Bill's first London gig ...

Exodus said...

First gig was Geraint Jarman A'r Cynghanneddwyr (which explains why I push them on the blog) in LLanelli in August 1979, when I had gone to Eisteddfod in Swansea Valley. I was supposed to go home in the evening, but the chance of going to the gig came up & I phoned home & said I'd be back the next day. I was 15 at the time, so should pay tribute to my parents liberalism. I suspect however that they just assumed anything to do with the Eisteddfod was cultural, uplifting and proper, not a drunken night out. We got a bus back to the Eisteddfod site, then had to walk about 4 miles into Swansea to where we were staying. I'll be honest if any of my 15 year old nieces/nephews proposed to do this now I'd panic!

Can't be arsed to check the exact chronology but over the next 18 months saw Siouxsie (twice, once with John Cooper Clarke as support, second time with an unsigned band called Altered Images) The Fall (around the time of Grotesque/Slates) Teardrop Explodes, XTC, King Crimson (the older proggy members of the band I played in drove us all up to London "to see how it should be done") & The Buzzcocks, supported by a band I'd never heard of at the time called Joy Division.

I think there's a few to add to the 'Spillfest line-up there.

My biggest regret was having tickets to see Talking Heads (on the 'Remain In Light' tour) in London, but not being able to get there because there was a rail strike.

Also, just checked with Mr Exodus & spookily, his first gig was in the same venue as mine (Man in LLanelli in 1971)

FP said...

Evenin' all. I'll be in tomorrow evening to give all your comments the proper time and attention they deserve. In bed with a mug of hot ribena which I am sure TracyK will understand. Goes with the pyjamas. Love the fact that you've all continued the RR blog after the deadline. Nighty nite.

sourpus said...

Gotta get involved with this one...

I started very young. Since my whole life (and much of my family history) has always been about music one way or the other, it was only encouraged that I should attend gigs and get into playing them as early as I dare.

My first actual gig (as you have defined it FP - get taken by your parents, with a ticket you actually had to buy first, not just get given) was certainly The Shadows in 1976 at the DeMontfort Hall in Leicester. I was in my first ever band by then - we were only 12, so having a Shads and Ventures cover band was vaguely cool, among our contemporaries at least. The BBC had even made one little film about us..but that's a whole other story.

My primary band mate and I (as well as his parents) really went to get a close up view of Hank B Marvin's trickier licks and not because any of us weren't way over any great love for early sixties instrumentals by then - I had been collecting their albums since I was about 6, and always got one every Christmas.

In fact, my early teen taste was evolving in the direction of 'heavy' and my next gig was UFO (sans any squares with mortgages) at the same venue.

Gig going (especially at the lovely old DeMont) continued apace after this, to the point of ridiculous. As DD says, where did all the cash come from to fund it all?? (By the way, Darce, I had no idea you were on that Donnington bus - bloody hell, I remember it well...)

I have to say though, that by the time I had properly grown a pair, and being too late for punk, my first taste of finding my own taste came at 17 when the first love of my life (her name was Belinda, trivia fans) began playing me her sister's massive Dylan collection while we mined each other's tonsils every Friday night. I was soon under the spell of early Dylan and very soon after that, The Velvet Underground. Thereby, the twin roots of my personally selected listening were founded forever more. I say 'personally selected' because my older sister also got me into Motown and all of sixties pop before I was even at school, my brother got me into The Faces, TRex, Rufus, Parliament and T Connection, as well as XTC and the early Pretenders. And my mum got me into Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters, and 1930's English dance music, so all the other bases were covered for me. And all this, without even mentioning the influence of radio and TV pop shows, or friends and their record collections...marvellous!

ToffeeBoy said...

Now I'm really regretting selling the rights to 'Spill In The Park '09 to that Speng bloke. Looks like we've got enough 80s act to have a whole stage dedicated to them. Not so sure about Hank and the Shads though, sourpus...

DarceysDad said...

Really, sourpus?? Were you there too, or was it just that Leicester was in the same local TV news area?

Some months later, a similar height bus under a similar height bridge somewhere in South Wales killed six pensioners - I know JUST how lucky I was that night.

And @ fp, apparently, they give jobs like that to bus driving newbies, so he hadn't been qualified long and it wasn't a regular route, etc., etc. He was probably closest to being killed of all of us, because half the big metalheads on that top deck were all for ripping him to pieces if they could have got to him.

sourpus said...

No mate, I wasnt actually there (either on that fateful charabang or indeed at Donnington, although most of my friends WERE there and yes, it was all over ATV news and Midlands Today).

I have virtually no memory now of the Shadows in action, except that it was a very polite affair with an air of afternoon matinee about it. UFO however, about one year later, was like having a complete spiritual epiphany - saw them 4 more times, to make sure I wasnt imagining it.

I wasn't.

Proudfoot said...

Gah. Got on this very late.This is only right as, living in North Devon, my opportunities too see gigs were somewhat limited. I think the first proper gig I went to (paid with own money, without adult supervision etc) was The Scorpions, supported by Blackfoot at the Hammersmith Odeon.
My mates bought the crap bootleg T-shirts outside the venue but mine was kosher and lasted many years. Long after I ceased to like the Scorpions in fact. We missed the last tube home and kipped at Heathrow airport.
I should have been at a gig by the Vapors before this (tickets bought for gig in Woods Centre in Plymouth)but my friend broke his ankle and we went to see a Clint Eastwood film instead. This is just as well because I can't see where the Vapors would fit in the line-up, but the Scorpions would slot in nicely supporting Deep Purple. Hmmm. I can see a teutonic clash with UFO erupting there though.

FP said...

Just popping in mid week to say a big thank you for all the additional posts which I've enjoyed reading.
@ Shoey: we saw the stranglers here not so long ago. They still rock on stage!
@ DebbyM: Just out of interest - what age were you when you moved to Germany? Just curious!
@ Japanther: Very kind and seeing Adam and the Ants at 6 or 7 must have been mind blowing. He was utterly gorgeus and I loved the percussion on their songs.
@ Tatanka - my other half a big King Crimson fan. Nice one.
@ TracyK: Erasure are cool - offishal. 4 eva. I saw them in Paris on the Wild tour and its honestly one of the best gigs I've ever seen. One big party. Chuffed you liked the list!!
@ Exodus: Love the idea of telling ma n pa you're going to the Eisteddfod to cover rock gigs. Clever.
@ Sourpus: Speechless with jealousy that you saw Hank and the Shads. Stuff of legend...
@ Darce: horrifying to think that a fledgeling bus driver can forget he has an upper deck. Yikes!!!

Tim (Kalyr) said...

@proudfoot:

Deep Purple, supported by The Scorpions, with UFO and Blackfoot on the bill. All we need to add is the rain. And the mud.

fp said...

thanks for that Proudfoot! Scorpions still going strong too - I think they're over here in Spring. You lived in a beutiful part of the world - I know N. Devon very well...

debbym said...

Pour la princesse, just to satisfy your curiosity: did the usual aupair/working on a campsite thing after A-levels, then did one term at a University north of Watford before deciding I'd be better off learning the language(-and-all-that-goes-with-it!) in the country itself. So I reckon I must've been 19. I actually never meant to stay here this long, but got caught out by the new legislation requiring the Father's* agreement to my leaving the country with the kids (*usually referred to as DER ERZEUGER, but it's been a long day and my translation bank's run dry).
I must confess to the occasional moment when I wonder how my life would've turned out had I stayed on in the Vendée... (daydream #236)

And if I may be so nosey in return: do you not mind living so far away from the sea???

FP said...

Not nosy - astute comment. I miss the sea very much!!!!

cauliflower said...

Hi FP, all...
I'm really bad at keeping up with RR and Spill but wanted to say how much I loved this thread - so many memories! My first gig was The Barron KNowghts in Aden at the age of five, but I remember precisely nothing about it. I do remember well Cat Stevens at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1973 or 4. I was so completely in love with him (rather fetching naked torso photo in the Observer Magazine - parents didn't get it, I bought it specially). He was drunk and fell off his chair a lot... but I didn't care.
Re last comment - I am trying to find a way to live where I can see the sea from chair or bed. I can't imagine ending life without it. Thinking of you in the French countryside...

FP said...

Hi Cauliflower! Glad it threw up some great memories and thank you for a genuinely cheesy first concert - The Barron Knights! Excellent! That would have put any David Essex or Donny Osmond to shame. Except that all our fellow 'Spillers seem to have gone to amazingly good first gigs! I only got my Japan one in by massaging the dates a little!!! I really fo fear that Howard jones might have been a few weeks earlier. But yes he did do 'New Song' which I still love and yes Jed Hoyle was there in his chains. I live in a lovely region but do go down to the sea again about 4 times a year. It's the fresh fish I miss most. Youcan get any kind of fish here fresh off the train from Rungis market but if you've had fish off the boat that was swimming around during the night, you know it's no substitute...