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This is a question Bad gigs

Been to see some talentless gits on stage recently? Had your enjoyment spoiled by a twat with an iPad filming the whole thing? Been bottled off? Tell us all

(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 14:00)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Told this one before...
When I was young, keen and 17, I had a running joke with a not-very-famous band whereby I'd take my bra off during their gig and throw it at them. I can't throw very well, so I'd go down the front and lean on the barrier.
One particular time, I'd gone through this whole process, I was resting my spaniels' ears on the barrier, and someone decided to stage dive. In front of me. Trapping my left nipple between his boot and the barrier.
I never threw my bra again.
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 17:10, 3 replies)
Eldritch Doppler Effect
Being a classical wonk, I never really go to non-classical gigs - I've been to two of them in my life (Indochine at the Zenith in Lille and Lenny Kravitz at the Brixton Academy) and both of them were excellent. I've done a largish number of classical gigs over the years, though, mostly as a performer, and some of them did not go according to plan.

Top marks for crapness so far go to the miniature concert my university college choir gave before an important dinner. The rich and dusty guests had all filed in and taken their places like wax gargoyles contemplating their steaming bread rolls and crystal port glasses. We, the choir, were standing on the balcony, in the manner of minstrels and virginal spinet players. Rather than singing in rows as we usually did, however, we were all arranged in a single line from one end of the balcony to the other, in order to provide the unplugged version of a wall of sound. Maybe a net curtain of sound.

Whenever a choir sings a cappella*, the conductor will usually fish a tuning fork or pitch pipe out of his pocket and quietly hum the starting note before the music starts. Our conductor, stood at the far right-hand edge of the balcony, duly hummed the tonic note for the piece we were about to sing and made hand signals to the effect that the note was to be passed down the line. Some people instantly worked out their own starting note in the chord, different from the base note, and sang that instead to get a confident start. By the time the note got from the right-hand side of the balcony to the left-hand side, it had shifted an entire major third in pitch, with the result that, when the conductor gave the signal, the choir started singing in two different keys at the same time.

Instant unease broke over us, as if we'd been carrying a carton of juice upstairs to the bedroom for breakfast in bed and had discovered halfway up the stairs that the juice was leaking, so we didn't know whether to keep going and put it down on the tray on the bed, or turn round and go back to the kitchen to clean up first. Since neither side knew which note was the right one, we sang the entire piece in two different keys. Below us, fogey eyebrows twitched. Bowels churned and expressions curdled. Our conductor looked at us with an expression halfway between horror and hilarity, and gamely led us to the end of the piece.

Grace was said, dinner was eaten and the pub was retired to, at which point the conductor went into full-on John Sitton mode for about ten minutes. We didn't do any more concerts in that formation.

* With pasta
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 10:38, 16 replies)
The Chocolate Genocide
I appreciate that The Chocolate Genocide is a likely-sounding name for a band. But it isn't. I want to share with you a tale of real chocolate genocide.

When I was a teenager in the moonstruck inner city of the soulless cul-de-sac of North Lincolnshire that is Scunthorpe, there was precious little for entertainment. Fridays was a straight choice between wankers-and-tarts disco Henry Afrika's, or - directly over the road - rock nights at the Baths Hall (yes, once upon a time it was a swimming baths). A typical rock night would be in the hands of legendary local recording studio owner and outrageous stoner, Steve Bird, his twin turntables and a large collection of vinyl which he left to his hapless assistant while he went to smoke very large roll-ups. Cracking bloke.

However, once a year, the weekly record-session was interrupted by The Rock Open, Scunthorpe's premier Battle of the Bands. Many a terrible band (frequently featuring one or more of me and my friends) had taken to the Rock Open stage, purveying their local take on goth-punk-metal-prog-core, and the local crowd had come to be quite astute and discerning critics, giving a loud hooray to all who played great music (a local folk band once entered and were mildly disconcerted to find themselves through to the final) while roundly booing those who were deemed to be full of themselves.

And no-one was ever as full of themselves as Bingo.

Bingo were third on the list in - what? - about 1997 or so, by my reckoning. We had already proffered polite attention to a local band with a lead singer with waist-length hair inexpertly dyed black and revealing streaks of ginger, and ironic applause to two girls who had played without the benefit of a drummer or any coherent lyrics, but had alternately flashed their tits while the other one was playing a solo. There was an inopportune pause while some roadies adjusted the set and fiddled with a lighting rig with flashing red and green lights.

So far, not so good. Three things not beloved of your average greebo crowd are fancy light displays, long pauses in the music and roadies. ROADIES, for fuck's sake?! This was the Rock Open - most bands arrived without a guitar strap or a second pair of drumsticks. Indeed, one enterprising drummer had, the year before, been forced to resort to Def Leppard style one-armed abuse after accidentally throwing one of his sticks over his left shoulder. Oddly enough, that act failed to make the semi-finals.

One way or another, it was sufficient incentive for us all to slope off to the bar and order another round of the worst-kept, gassiest Murphy's that Humberside had to offer, such was the Baths' trademark.

Bingo therefore entered the stage to precisely no ovation. They were out-of-town, they had held up the evening and they had a fucking stupid name, so hostilities were already running pretty high. Things were going to get worse.

The lead singer, dressed in a white suite, red shirt and porkpie hat, was obviously under the impression that the band was popular. In case popularity wasn't forthcoming, he had brought bribery - a sizeable collection of Penguin-like chocolate bars, all emblazoned with a jazzy Bingo logo. He grabbed them by the handful out of a plastic bucket and scattered them among the crowds. They hit an empty dancefloor like Onan's seed hitting the fields.

Most professional rock groups avoid giving things to audience members. I wonder if you can work out why, boys and girls. Conniving glances passed between every single audience member present that wasn't tongue-deep in their girlfriend, attempting to top up their Murphy's without the barmaid noticing, or indulging in one of Steve Bird's spliffs.

Describing the music is quite incidental; in fact, I'm sure you can imagine what it was like. It wasn't as edgy as Suede, as emotional as the Manics or as politically smart as Blur, despite trying to be all three. It was a bit listening to a duet between Piers Morgan and a kangaroo with a distortion pedal, with Meg White on drums. It was completely misjudged on an audience who thriving on shredding guitar solos, grunting vocals, and performers whose hair wasn't slicked backwards.

The Baths Hall crowd knew how to voice displeasure, but Bingo had given them extra ammunition. The band perked up as several dozen leather-clad bodies moved onto the dancefloor, but were immediately downcast as arms were raised, holding twee little wanky chocolate bars.

The first shot passed disappointingly over the guitarist's head. The second, to the loudest cheer of the night, removed the singer's porkpie hat. And then, a barrage. A bucketful of chocolate bars, hurled with the accuracy and force of a Jimmy Anderson yorker, assaulted the band. A sonorous WHHOOOOOONNNNGGGG sounded as the bassist's E-string was hit dead centre. The drum kit provided a range of entertaining targets and noises, and every time the singer opened that fucking stupid mouth, he would be bombarded by a couple of ounces of sugary biscuit.

The rest of the first number was an instrumental. Then Bingo left the stage, about four minutes into what was supposed to be a twenty-minute set. The bassist's nose was bleeding. Steve Bird's DJ-monkey span up 'Rocks' by Primal Scream and we all had a good thrash. More Murphy's was consumed.

I don't know if it qualifies as a bad gig; I've rarely enjoyed myself more. When else do wankers give you chocolate and then give you the opportunity to hurt them with it?
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 20:38, 1 reply)
Fucking hell, where to start?
Some of you may remember a song called Toca's miracle. It was released by a group called Fragma who (allegedly) ripped of two artists who were completely fucked over by the whole ordeal and left without royalties.

The first, was someone called DJ Vimto, who has gotten over it, plays a lot in bars and nightclubs, collects some royalties for original work and is a thoroughly nice chap.

The second was the vocalist, someone called Coco Starr. She was booked to play an outdoor concert in Mansfield, she had a thirty minute slot, no backing band and had evidently gone mental.

The set was broken down as follows: -

5 Minutes - say hello, tell everyone about how the music industry screwed you, tell everyone how you made your own outfit (It was pretty fucking obvious to everyone in attendance to be honest.) and introduce your first song. Toca's miracle.

4 minutes: Sing Toca's miracle.

3 minutes: Rant about how the music industry screwed you again, try and convince the audience you're not bitter. Introduce next song, which happens to sound like Toca's miracle, but with different words.

4 minutes: Sing a song which happens to sound like Toca's miracle, but with different words.

5 minutes: Rant about how you were screwed by the music industry, tell the audience how your partner is really supportive and had recently proposed to her, point out partner who stands their looking smug. Proceed to tell everyone that you're not bitter about being screwed by the music business, tell everyone that you'll write a book about it one day, ask anyone if they'd buy it, then be really enthusiastic when only one person responds. Introduce a song.

5 minutes: Sing song, after requesting it be restarted a minute in because she missed her cue.

3 minutes: Remind everyone that she made her own outfit. Enquire again if anyone would consider buying a book about how badly she was treated.

1 minute: Hurl abuse at the stage manager for telling her to wind it up because she was approaching the end of her thirty minute set, insist on singing another song.

4 minutes: Sing Toca's miracle again.

3 minutes: Tell people that despite being screwed by the music business, you're not bitter. Tell people that you will be signing pictures afterwards. Leave the stage.

She was pleasant enough to talk to, although she made it clear that she was screwed by the music business, although that only extends as far as not making as much money as others from the Fragma thing, and having trouble getting a further career going.

Hooray for mental people.
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 15:19, 6 replies)
The Hunter Gracchus
Grinderman's support act in Manchester in 2010 was a group called The Hunter Gracchus. The lights went down, and collectively we in the audience gave them a polite welcome as they took to the stage.

They picked up their instruments and began a free-form noise piece.

Fair enough, seemed to be the response from the crowd. It's a risky opening gambit for a first number, but we're all terribly open to new musical experiences: let's see how this goes.

The free-form noise continued. There were screeches, hoots, bashings, and the occasional caterwaul.

Hmmmm, we began to think. Maybe it's about time they began to do something else. We all like a good blast of white noise now and again, but five minutes into the set, that's all we've had.

The free-form noise continued. More screeches, hoots, bashings, and caterwauling.

And so it went on, for half a hour without any pause. Constant screeching, hooting, bashing and caterwauling. Oh, for sure, there was variety. Sometimes it was loud, and sometimes quite quiet. Sometimes one of the people in the band would put down the instrument to which they'd been doing something unspeakable for the last few minutes, pick up another, and begin to do something unspeakable to that instead.

They looked very serious about what they were doing for the whole time. If they'd looked like they were enjoying themselves, that would (probably) have been OK; but they didn't. They looked like they were working.

And then they stopped, and left the stage.

There was applause. It was half hearted at best, and I don't think that we really knew why we were applauding... except that I have a theory. Explorers in the 17th and 18th centuries would tell of exotic people who would make as much noise as possible during an eclipse in an attempt to drive away whatever demon had tried to steal the sun. I can only assume that the primitivism we'd just witnessed had driven us into a similar kind of state, and we had been reduced to making as much noise as possible in an attempt to ensure that the three ear-splitting demons were chased from the stage for good. Years of socialisation in a disenchanted, rational, and scientific world meant that we didn't quite believe it ourselves, and that was why the applause was half-hearted. And yet we couldn't quite stop ourselves either.

Meanwhile, the three members of The Hunter Gracchus must have been backstage in the bar, thinking about the money they'd get, and trying to come to terms with the fact that they'd got away with it. Again.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:41, 2 replies)
I once saw a band called Prevention
I was hoping they'd be better than The Cure.
(, Sun 28 Jul 2013, 19:16, 1 reply)
At last, an opportunity to pearoast something...
So there the three of us were at some godforsaken student union bar in North London pissed up on warm pints of Brown Ale watching The Adverts for some reason. My mate Jule was a big fan, as I was, but our other mate Elvis (named for his thick black NHS glasses) didn't know them so well.

A few days earlier I'd recorded a C60 with the "Crossing The Red Sea" album so he'd know the band before we saw them; there was enough space at the end to stick a couple of singles on, including "Take Me I'm Yours" by Squeeze.

I can still see it now; a crowd of punks leaping around yelling for their favourite Adverts song; "Play One Chord Wonders yer bastards", "Come on, lets have Bomsite Boy" etc etc, and in the middle of this gobbing maelstrom is my mate jumping up and down yelling "Take Me, I'm Yours"...

I still have trouble with bladder control when I think about it.
(, Sun 28 Jul 2013, 10:53, 2 replies)
I saw Black Grape during one of Shaun Ryder's higher moments.
He started the gig facing the wings and singing into a disconnected microphone. When his carers herded him to the front he promptly did a slapstick mic-into-forehead manoeuvre and knocked off his sunglasses revealing eyes like a pair of blistered arseholes. Then sang the words to the wrong song.

It was fucking brilliant. What was the question again?
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 19:34, 7 replies)
Here's a list of fucking great gigs I've been to.
Jesus Jones - played at some upstairs dive off Lake St. in Northbridge. No real stage or lighting. Just a room full of people a PA, some lights jerry rigged on C-stands and the band. Things got a bit hairy when the keyboardist started chucking his instrument about.

Regurgitator - several times in big venues and small. Even when they started to get a bit jaded about the whole thing they still gave it their all. The 'Gurge passing was a sad, sad, thing.

Ricaine - For a band that plays such a tight, technical sound - live they sure as shit crap on anything they've ever done in a studio.

The Mark Of Cain - (pretty much as a band) told off a bouncer for being rough with me as I was quietly standing backstage watching their gig at the Swanbourne Hotel.
They insisted that he buy me a beer at the bar for being so rude to me just because I was standing where he felt I shouldn't be. They stopped the gig while all this was happening and didn't start playing again till I was happily ensconced behind the speaker-stack, stage left with a free beer in my hand.

Severed Heads - This 1 I'm actually quite proud of (but marks my vintage I think!) - whilst propping up the bar of the Old Melbourne prior to a Severed Heads gig I recognised Tom Ellard (lead whatever-the-fuck-you-call-that
- programmer?).
I asked if I could buy him a beer as I told him how his music had awakened something in me at a time when little else could.
He was chuffed and had a quiet drink with me as we talked about gardening and the best ways to do homebrew from scratch.
EDIT:
Single Gun Theory - good 90's dance music done with some good dancing - bonus points for getting the audience to belly dance!

May have included some roasted peas btw.
If people like cowfoot can post "alright", AB can repost a link to some-one else's story and shambolina can post his rarely on-topic drivel then this sure as fuck belongs here.
& now you guys know what music I [used to & still do] listen to. Amongst lots of other stuff.
(, Sat 27 Jul 2013, 6:53, 20 replies)
"We regret to inform you that Pop Will Eat Itself will not be able to perform, as their hard disc has crashed."

Howls of derisive laughter ensued
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 12:04, 9 replies)
who the fuck is alice?
Went to see a band for a female friend's 31st birthday in London. It was billed as 'a few people' but due to dropouts it was me, her, her newish boyfriend and one other girl (Alice). A bit like a couples' evening except that one of the 'couples' - me and Alice - had never actually met.

Still, I was happy to find that Alice was attractive, even if the pre-gig drink was a bit awkward due to my friend already being half-cut, her boyfriend being foreign and Alice being a bit shy with a particularly quiet whispery voice. We were obviously supposed to make friends, if not actually sniff each other's bottoms, but I couldn't make out half of what she was saying and she kept trying to start side conversations with the other girl - our mutual friend - rather than talk amongst the whole group. It was something a relief when we got into the gig.

The band we'd paid to see were a sort of folky indie oufit. The support act were an incongruous teenage thrash metal act and everyone did their best to ignore them. At this point the foreign boyfriend decided the whole thing was stupid and wanted to go to a normal pub. His missus staved off a mutiny by throwing beer down his neck, quickly followed by herself. They stood in the corner snogging furiously as if it was the last few minutes of the school disco. She briefly broke off, grabbed my arm and smirked at me unsteadily. "Alice ish twenty-sheven and shingle", she confided with a meaningful leer. She also attempted a wink but the effort almost caused her to fall over, so she steadied herself against the foreign boyfriend and resumed her attempt to swallow him whole.

Alice had by this point wandered off, but the support act had thinned the crowd out so it was easy to spot her. I walked over to her with a friendly grin. She looked at me like she didn't know who I was and it occurred to me that she had a point as we'd only exchanged a couple of sentences. I tried a few icebreakers but conversation was impossible as her tiny voice just didn't carry over the howling teenage metalheads. "Shall we go over to the bar for a bit?" I bellowed.

"No, I think I'll just stay now". The proper band came on soon after and the venue started to fill up. After one song Alice turned to me and actually made an unprompted remark. It was, "I'm going to go and stand over there". And she did. Didn't look back to see if I was going to follow her, just walked ten yards away to make it easier to ignore me.

The other two were still wrapped around each other oblivious, so I stood there for another hour like a prize lemon, then we all walked back to the tube station together, chatting amiably as if we'd had a convivial night out. Cracking.
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 0:53, 9 replies)
Minge
Went to a music festival in 1994. Waiting to see Ministry, who still remain (as a portly boring middle-aged fan) all kinds of awesome.

While I was waiting to see them, Hole were on stage, and I was right up the front.

During one of the many songs that Hole play that sound like Courtney Love's trying to impersonate a tomcat wanting a shag, she puts one leg up on the foldback speakers. With a short dress, sans underwear.

The best way to describe it: looked like someone had peeled a rat in half lengthways.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:16, 20 replies)
A man turned up to our local pub
He was a one man band.

He had a snare drum, a mic and a background tape.


He got my brother up to play the drum, then half way through his second song, he got up whilst still singing on his wireless mic, and went outside and sat on the wall for Matalan carpark on the otherside of the road to the pub, and proceeded to finish another 3 songs singing. Quite what the people outside thought of this random man singing was one thing... seeing my brother randomly playing a drum to a phantom singer/empty mic stand was quite another.

We never saw or heard of him again.
(, Sat 27 Jul 2013, 14:25, 1 reply)
Ka-Boom!
1984, Tunnel Club, Greenwich. First 'proper' gig. Everyone's there: y'know, my Dad. And his girlfriend. I'm raring to go. Hair freshly crimped. New strings on my Ibanez Iceman. Sneakily turned my amp up after soundcheck. Finally, the moment arrives and we take to the stage. Just about to start, and there's the most enormous BOOOOOOM!!!!!!! And a HUGE flash. Green smoke fills the air. "Fuck me!" I thought. "I didn't know we had pyros!" Then our drummer, Gary, stumbles out from behind his kit. He's green. His shoulder-length hair is standing on end and frizzed. And he's holding his right arm out in front of him, from which all the skin is hanging in strips. He'd just put his pre-gig fag out in an ashtray into which a fucking dunce from the metal band the night before had emptied the contents of a flashpot that hadn't gone off. Dad orders ANYONE to call an ambulance, then rushes Gary off to the gents to pour cold water on his maimed limb. My reaction: "Can we do the gig without Gary?" Turned out that no, we couldn't fucking do the gig without Gary.
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 17:44, 4 replies)
Nightmares On Wax, Kentish Town Forum, Late 90's?
Me and my best mate got tickets. Spent the preceding hours to the gig pre-rolling skunk spliffs and then concealing them on ourselves. We then hit the pubs before arriving at the venue and continue drinking 4-5 pints of Caffreys whilst the warm up plays their set. We get through a couple of spliffs each (pre-smoking ban this was), and get chatting to a lovely couple of french girls. Winning.

The lights go down, everyone starts cheering for NOW and then....

I wake up in the first aid area.

Apparently with the heat of the venue, the caffreys, the other alcohol consumed and the skunk racing round my system I'd collapsed head first on he floor after taking out one of the french girls. My mate had to drag me to the first aid room where they scooped me up on to the gurney thing and let me sleep.

5 mins before the end of the gig I came too, sat up and emptied the contents of my stomach over the first aider, the room and myself just as my mate and the two concerned french girls came in.

The worst bit of it all was sitting there trying to recover and watching a tiny portable TV in the corner of the room showing Tremors.

Shittest gig ever.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 6:31, 7 replies)
Not a gig exactly, but
I did a variety show once where, after a particular song, the music was supposed to stop and the director come on stage to do some speech or another. The music stopped and the director walked on. The musical director however had forgotten about the speech and launched straight into the next song, leaving the director no choice but to walk straight back off the stage again.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 12:35, Reply)

I LIKED THIS SONG BACK IN 68 AND IT STILL ROCKS, BUT IT WAS THE WHOLE PACKAGE, NOT JUST THE GUITAR LICK. BUT IN 2013, FUCK SHITPANTS NUGENT. HE IS ALL TOUGH, BUT WHEN IT WAS HIS TIME T5O HAVE BULLE4TS WIZ BY HIS HEAD, HE SHIT HIMSELF HERE AT HOME. FUCK HIM AND FUCK HIS DENIALS. EVEN IF IT ISN'T TRUE, IF YOU ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO TELL THAT STORY, NOW YOU OWN IT SHITPANTS. NO GETTING AWAY FROM IT.
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 13:01, 7 replies)
Amy McDonald
Actual gig was superb. It threatened to be rubbish though as I was sat next to a large Lambrini-fuelled troglodyte who informed me "she saved all her dole money, didn't go to the pub for TWO WHOLE MONTHS, because she cared so much for Amy".

First song came, she cracked open a bottle of Magners (which was odd, as the bar only served Bulmers) security removed her. No refunds.
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 11:48, 4 replies)
Moon Monkey's story reminded me of this:
Friday night, a couple of post-work beers with workmates. I've got the weekend to myself as Mrs V has gone on a hen-do.

A mate has joined me, and as we all chat, it transpires that one of the girls is going to "An electro gig - why don't you guys join us?"

"OK" say we, and off we head in the direction of - upsettingly - Old Street - towards Hoxton.

Oh dear fucking Christ on a brand-new bicycle.

There is a beard, with glasses over it, and - of course - a ponytail - standing at an Apple laptop.

He is making noise. I mean - just noise. Seriously. Don't get me wrong - I'm a fan of the musical arts, and experimentation. I remember when you couldn't hear the words, I've liked bands that have sung about pixies, I've done (massive) drugs and spaced out to sitars, and once danced at a cash machine.

But this really was noise. Sort of like feedback, mixed with static.

And the crowd - and there was a crowd, who were all bearded, bespectacled, and generally beponytailed - were loving it. I heard complimentary comments being passed about the quality of it. At one point, I will own, for about 30 seconds it vaguely morphed into a sort of drum n' bass-on-a-shitload-of-speed-like sound, which quickly gave way to ... more noise.

At one point, a beard walked past me who was wearing - I shit you not - a t-shirt with a line of HTML code on it. He was fucking complimented on it's wittiness by another beard.

Having paid a good five pounds to get in, and about that for a fucking beer, my friend and I were prepared to see the development. There wasn't any.

Afterwards, someone turned to me, impressed by the gig, and told me "If you liked that, my friend, then I advise you strongly to investigate 'Squarepusher'!".

I didn't.
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 17:41, 13 replies)
Would be easier to simply list bands I'll never watch again
Society One, Suicide Silence, Trivium, House Of Pain, Sum 41, Black Tide, Guns N Roses, Underoath, and Linkin Park.

All utterly fucking dire.
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 15:43, 5 replies)
Can't afford a ticket?
There's a local band whose name translates as "Iron Wolf". They are real crowd pleasers and quite a draw for our venue. We book them two or three times a year and usually sell out our 300 capacity. Their anniversary gig earlier this year was no exception. We often have to hold back the start of a gig until at least 30 people have drifted in, that night we were full less than an hour after opening our doors. The warmup band had never played live before, I don't think they expected their first ever performance to be in front of a heaving crowd of 300ish (maybe in their dreams) and they coped pretty well. Then Iron Wolf took to the stage.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a bit of a commotion at the entrance. I was a bit surprised since we were at capacity and not letting anyone else in; most of the locals know not to try it on with our doormen. 3 guys had turned up late, no tickets, and were trying to wangle their way in. Instead of the usual bullshit, however, they had brought an offering for the band. A wolf. Made of iron. Not full size, thankfully, about knee high. Must have weighed about 20 kgs. Fantastic. These guys must have spent quite a bit of time and effort putting it together. Needless to say we let them in. The iron wolf was passed up to the stage. The band were absolutely delighted. It was a fucking great gig.
The next day was a Saturday and we were out and about in the centre of town with the kids. We decided to pop in to the Culture Centre, which abuts our venue, to take a look at the Schools Marketplace where kids from the local secondary schools were selling handcrafted stuff. In the entrance lobby there was an exhibition of artwork created by local 6th form students as part of their end of year projects. This year's theme was nature and there were paintings and photographs of local beauty spots and wildlife. And some sculptures. One of the sculptures seemed to have gone missing.
(, Thu 1 Aug 2013, 8:52, 7 replies)
Gig in the Netherlands
2006. Hawkwind, Orange Goblin, a few other bands were playing, so I decided to tag along with a few people for a trip to Amsterdam, then travel to the gig. Wonderful city if you're an aspiring junkie.

We arrive. My friend is stopped at the door. Accusing fingers are pointed at the lunchbox he's carrying his hash brownies in. Several security guards loom large. "NO FOOD! NO FOOD! NO FOOD!"

"Oh, er, um, sorry, these are hash cookies, i thought..."

"HASH COOKIES? NO PROBLEM! GO IN! HAVE A GOOD TIME!"

We did.

Edit. Who cares about the bad gigs?
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 12:06, 2 replies)
I worked as stage crew, mainly in Yorkshire, '89 - '93
A few lows:
Telling the guy repacking the Happy Mondays' truck he'd have the drum riser as soon as his colleague had finished chopping out massive drugs on it. Same guy who told everyone they were "twisting his melon"... all day. No, it wasn't Shaun, but it might have been his cousuncle.
Waiting for a runner to get back from finding an oxygen cylinder for Gary Glitter - in Bradford.
Two of us repainted the dressing rooms & back wall of the stage prior to the Sisters of Mercy playing Leeds Poly in '91. Black & white throughout, obviously. Next artistes to grace that acoustically-challenging auditorium were Walthamstow's finest, East 17, who graffitied the dressing room to fuck. No-one tried to auction any of it.
Turning up knackered from last night's gig to work for Suzanne Vega. How hard can a few guitars & a stool be? 2 artics & an 8-piece band later we were wishing her cuntboils.
Level 42's crew insisting the mixing desk (the biggest we had ever seen) needed to be on the balcony of Leeds uni's refectory. When we saw that the bass-slapping twat had more instruments on the side of the stage than songs we knew why. It wouldn't go in the lift, even after we took off all the handles and the things what held the candles. So up the stairs it went. The tour manager helped, by following us up the stairs telling us how much it cost.
Unloading & reloading all of Fish's steel, post-apocalyptic back-drop, of which we used 20%, at a guess. One of the road-crew said they'd used the whole set once on the entire tour.
Jimmy Savile at Roundhay Park, about 8 am. We were due to work for Genesis, several of us wearing t-shirts from a recent gig at the uni (They're free & they're clean! Jane's Addiction, I think). The Kappa kiddy-fiddler thought our apparent uniform amusing and blethered on before peddling off.
The female fans who think they can entice you to let them back-stage. Ageing hair-metal & Hawkwind fans were the most shudderingly horrific. She had what looked like one big dreadlock in a snood.
The Chili Peppers crew complaining the stage was too wet for the band to enjoy themselves, due to the sweat dripping from the ceiling.
A few high-notes:
4 of us carrying - barely - Motorhead's bar-in-a-flight-case up a particularly tight staircase. It held 30 spirit bottles plus accompaniments.
The massive Icelandic roadie who annexed all the bootleg shirts from a couple of touts & redistributed them. My first gig.
Putting on Asylum nights around Leeds for the first couple of years.
Sunrise over Roundhay Park after Genesis, whilst taking down the speaker scaffold. Hadn't realised how high up we were until then. Last one I ever did.
TL; DR Man reminisces about wasted youth.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:12, 5 replies)
Joan Fucking Baez.
Summer festival towards the end of the 20th century. Perfect summer weather. Just the right level of afternoon stoned. Let's listen to some old hippy bird, we think. That'll be just the ticket to snooze off this mucky cider, we agree.

"Hi. I'm Joan Baez. This first song is dedicated to the victims of childhood sexual abuse."

Fucking hell.
(, Mon 29 Jul 2013, 19:37, 11 replies)
I heard that bjork once shat live on stage
I have no idea if this is true, but would imagine that would have made for the worst gig ever.

Other than that - got dragged to see chas and dave a couple of years ago. Bad enough, but a group of teenagers actuslly rushed the stage. At a chas and dave gig. In lewisham. I hope they all died of shame.

Also rihanma. Lasted about an hour, which was mostly costume changes, and just unpleasantly gratuitous. I'm not remotely prudish, but her gyrating and moaning over some backing dancer's face was just unpleasant. Madonna did it 20 years ago love, and it was shit then.
(, Sat 27 Jul 2013, 22:59, 1 reply)
Bloc Party, and another story
Mild claim to fame first of all: I was Bloc Party's first bassist. A mutual friend gave Kele (then known as Roland) my number and he asked if I'd be up for joining his band.
I rehearsed with them for a few months, and went through about four drummers in that time.
(Once, memorably, a drummer played for two minutes in the practice room before it became clear he couldn't drum - Kele faked a pathetic "I want a day off school mum" cough, apologised to the drummer and said "I'm not feeling well, maybe we will practice again next week")
Back then the guitarist, Russell, was already fucking excellent and inventive. I was alright on bass, and Kele was not a brilliant singer or a great guitarist, but was painfully shy, though clearly had all the ideas for the direction.
The songs were alright - in fact the best sign that they knew what they wanted to do was that songs that to me sounded fucking excellent were ditched in favour of songs that attempted something different, to mixed success.

Anyway, I played one gig with them. It was a disaster. Maybe twenty people were there.Kele's stutter got exponentially worse with his nerves, and the more he stuttered the nervier he got.
At one point he tripped over his guitar lead and didn't quite go arse over tit, but he got very embarrassed and lost the confidence he had - in the next song he stopped playing mid verse to tune up while the rest of us played on - he then almost hid on stage for the rest of the time.
I liked their music, and had one further rehearsal, but I found them quite awkward company, and have never been nervous about playing - I also think they weren't massively impressed with either my musical ability or rapport with them, and so I stopped going to rehearsals and they stopped phoning me.
Only problem was I'd lent Kele my guitar.
I bumped into him once while he was on the way to a rehearsal, and he clearly had my guitar in his bag, as when I asked him about it he got all shifty and couldn't get away quick enough, saying he would give me a ring and get it back.
The next time I saw him was when I realised that the band I'd been in were now pretty massive. I emailed Kele and he said he'd lost the guitar somewhere along the way.
Friends of mine still shout "where's Keef's guitar?" whenever they catch Bloc Party at a festival
(, Sat 27 Jul 2013, 10:46, 3 replies)
I once saw a tribute act called Enter Shibari
They were pretty ropey.
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 16:08, 3 replies)
I ruined someone's gig
A few weeks back I took my mum to go and see Leonard Cohen at the O2 on her birthday. It was a Friday night and I'd had a bad day at work, so upon arrival I kind of hit the bar pretty hard and by the end of the first half I was a little drunk, but within acceptable parameters. Now I fucking love Leonard Cohen as much as any man can love another man, and as the second half began I was having a whale of a time, my work problems forgotten and singing along to all the classics (even the French bits during the Partisan) with gusto. Probably aplomb as well, or at least the verbal equivalent.

Then, about halfway through the second half, the female portion of the couple sitting in front of me turned around and shouted: "Will you just shut the fuck up?" Since she had asked so nicely, I smiled and very carefully formed the words that precisely summed up my feelings at that point: "Kiss. My. Arse."

She looked at her partner, who shrugged and went back to watching the show. Then, in exasperation, she went to try and find a bouncer to throw me out for singing along at a concert. Having got short shrift there as well, she stood in the aisle for the rest of the show. Her boyfriend didn't even leave his seat.
(, Fri 26 Jul 2013, 15:17, 30 replies)
Dragonforce-another Download tale
For those unaware, Dragonforce play a ridiculously fast and complex variant of metal. It sounds, if you like that sort of thing, epic-like it was written for the ultimate fantasy warrior film. As someone once told me, "like riding on a rainbow at a million miles an hour". Maybe it sounds a bit nerdy to some, but its sheer undiluted joy always makes me cheer up.
How amazing must it be to see them live? To see the utterly mental, surely unplayable riffs being thrashed out in front of you?

...turns out they really are unplayable. They sound great on CD, but live you can see them tying fingers in knots and wondering "What the fuck were we thinking??? ARRRRGH!!!!"

So until some ludicrously gifted hillbilly inbred with 8 fingers on each hand starts a cover band, our dreams of seeing this magic carpet of music unfold in front of use remain, just dreams.
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 23:30, 4 replies)
Download this year
Sunday was pretty good-5 finger death punch, Stonesour, Rammstein headlining...great! Ivan Moody was brilliant, though I felt a bit sorry for security. At one point he spotted some kids (12-14ish at a guess) in the mosh pit. To save them from getting crushed or booted out, he got them on stage for half the gig, one of the lovliest things I've seen.

But the bad bit was 30 seconds to Mars, who were on before Rammstein. Absolute polar opposites, bland corporate rock before German Metal. Obviously most people went to 30 secs set to get a good spot before Rammstein...

First song was stopped twice, because the singer wanted us to jump more. Second time, he actually pointed at someone and said "You! You will lead us in our jumping". Like we were at primary school assembly.

It just went downhill, with most people hurling abuse or calling for Rammstein. He tried getting his fans to come on stage, and generally looked pretty desperate. The usual spiel about how much we love the festival, love england etc sounded like it came from a focus group in an office.

Eventually he confiscated someones blow up penis, told him off like a 5 year old and went off in a strop.
Still, Rammstein were absolutely fantastic
(, Thu 25 Jul 2013, 20:38, 7 replies)

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