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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, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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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)
The gig last night was alright.
(, Thu 1 Aug 2013, 7:38, 4 replies)
Insane in the Membrane
It was 1993 and my mate and I had tickets to Cypress Hill at The Metro in Melbourne. We only had a few hours to race home from work, get as stoned as humanly possible, and get back into town for the gig. Eventually we get to the venue an hour or so late, but as baked as required. Standing in the queue- we began to think that the crowd was kind of unusual- we were the only ones in beanies and hoodies. Get to the door and the bouncer takes one look at us, laughs, and says " Sorry guys, Cypress Hill is next Thursday." Turned out we were a few hours late but a week early- and nearly ended up at a classic FM radio station Desperate and Dateless Ball.
(, Thu 1 Aug 2013, 3:13, 3 replies)
Ooh I'm having a catharsis
Transvision Vamp. Awful.

I was seeing a girl in Brighton who dragged me along to this crass exhibition of utter pop stupidity. Possibly 200-250 people made the same mistake, and rocked up to the 2000 capacity Top Rank on a wet and windy weekday night full of hope.

I don’t usually mind under attended gigs, perhaps paradoxically, it seems bands tend to work harder, as if the intimacy encourages a kinship the band subconsciously needs to maintain. This wasn’t one of those gigs.

The lead singer, foxy – I’d reluctantly agree, got off to a flying start by introducing the first song, their hit, with “I like this song because I first met the band when we shot the video” Manufactured band anyone?
A desperate request that the ‘crowd’ bunch up closer to the stage followed an abusive assessment of the few hapless souls at the bar, apparently “they think they’re too fucking cool to enjoy themselves with the rest of us”
FFS they paid 5 quid for this, why can’t they stand by the bar if they want to? They only want a reason to carry on living!
All this against a soundtrack of the blandest pop I’d winced along to since Smokie, and I spent the rest of the set glaring at my watch or my girlfriend. From the bar.

I once saw a bunch of friends playing in a band that had the man on the sound desk watching the entire set with his fingers in his ears, so I’ve been to some shit gigs, but none so shit they made me that angry.
(, Thu 1 Aug 2013, 0:59, 5 replies)
Never been to a shite gig;
I just wanted to be the 200th post.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 22:26, 3 replies)
Gil Scott Heron
Sorry to say. The majority of the gig was dull and performed in the style of a former-star reminiscing on better times (it was about a year before he died, so perhaps that was true), and just ruined by the cunt on bongo drums who erupted into a shit 15-minute solo, whooped and egged on every step of the way by the cretinous crowd whilst GSH and his saxophonist looked on and had a chat at the rear of the stage.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 22:09, Reply)
Not really a gig, but YOU WEREN'T THERE, MAN
Back in the 1980s, The Tube was the purveyor of all things cool and hip when it came to music. So when Jules Holland promised a major event in next week's show, us yoof were all agog. All through that week, on the trailers for the show he built it up: this band were the latest thing, the very apotheosis of cool. We would, apparently, be telling our grandchildren where we were when this band first appeared on the mighty Tube. So on the Friday night, we gathered around the screen like families watching the coronation in 1953. Finally, the moment arrived: cool was about to be redefined. The name of this mighty musical behemoth? Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

Christ they were shit. Vacuous corporate muzak, a marketing executive's idea of hip. Haircuts that were stupid even by the standards of the 1980s, which was going some. Lyrics that would have embarassed Aqua. Costumes like a fight in Anne Summers.

When the song finally finished, we cut back to Jules, who looked somewhat rattled. As far as I remember, in contrast to the week's build-up, he never mentioned the band ever again. They disappeared back into obscurity, to everyone's relief.

Still, we should not forget their one important achievement: as the timescale of fame shortened steadily over the years, they were the first band who managed to be fashionable for less time than it took to actually play their record.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 16:42, 18 replies)
Very Bad Manners
Way, way back in the day, Bad Manners came to my university to perform a live show. I went to see them with my mate Clive. Neither of us had heard the term 'ska', but Bad Manners had been reelly cool on Top of the Pops when we were young scamps in shorts, so tickets were purchased and we duly turned up on the night.

The hall was perhaps only half full, but once Buster started doing his sweaty, bald headed best on stage, the front half of the crowd transformed into a vigorous, pogo-ing tumult of jumping, barging and shoving, the like of which, thanks to my sheltered upbringing, I had never seen before (except perhaps that one infamous time at the Women's Institute Afternoon Tea when an insufficient number of scones were delivered). Clive and I exchanged an eyebrow raised glance and, both being robust six footers, threw ourselves into the throng and engaged with gusto in the boisterous procedings. We were immediately separated...

An hour and a half later, once Mr Bloodvessel had left for his ECG and cup of Horlicks, I emerged from the hall and found Clive once more.
"That was great" says I.
"Indeed!" rejoindered Clive "But how is your chin?"
"My chin?" says I, "Whatever do you mean?"
"Well, it was me!" quoth he.
"What was you?" I replied, a little confused.
"Every time I came across you in the mosh, I punched you in the face. I can't believe you didn't get me back, some of them were really hard, especilly the one that knocked you over. I think I have bruised my knuckles" said he, and proffered his fist for my inspection.
"Alas, Clive" I said, "My face is unsullied, not even once did anyone deliver a bunch of fives to my fizog." And it was true, for I am sure I would have noticed if a hail of blows had indeed been delivered upon my noggin.
"Oh" said Clive, somewhat crestfallen.*

tldr: I had a great night. Clive had a good time too, notwithstanding some slight skin trauma in the general hand area. But some poor student who just happened to look a bit like me in the dark spent the whole gig being repeatedly punched in the face by a six foot stranger.

*may not be an exact account of the actual words spoken
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 16:01, 4 replies)
I saw Bucks Fizz once in Newcastle.
Well... not really 'saw'.
They were playing in the background while I was waiting for my sister to have a piss.
Ah, fun times, great days.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 15:09, 3 replies)
I went to the Barbican to see Herbie Hancock playing with the original Headhunters lineup - WOW!!!!!
It was on a Sunday night and, completely out of character, I had smashed the shit out of it the night before and managed about an hour's sweaty kip before I had to go to this gig. It was about £30 in the days when gigs were £15.

When I got there my pal was already there, along with some prick Scottish jazzer mates, all ready for some 'really amaaaazing jaaazzz'. I was so dishevelled that they fell about laughing at my plight. But not for long.

What followed was by far and away the most tedious, awful, interminable night of my life. Imagine being locked in a room with Ringo, Username cockend, Chirpy Phantom and the rest of their ghastly band, all wired up to their gills on speed, for hours. But even more boring. Hancock's endless noodling was made all the worse by his choice of instrument, some bollocks Casio fucking keyboard that meant every tune sounded like a terrible, cheap-ass cover version. Total shit.

Being a 'serious jazz' show, we were of course seated. Inevitably I started to do that thing where you nod off and jolt back upright - these jocko jazzers found this highly amusing. OF COURSE, I HAD THE LAST LAUGH though because in the end I went fully to sleep and woke up a full 40mins later - to find the same shit tune being murdered by Herbert and his chums that was playing when I nodded off.

Christ that was bad.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 14:23, 13 replies)
Nirvana - 1991 - Edinburgh
Bleach was a cracking album, a real grunge classic, so when I heard Nirvana were touring their new album, I thought "I'm so going to that!"
Then they released "Smells like teen spirit", which set the alarm bells ringing, but I thought it may just be one dodgy track.

Walking to the gig, all along the road people were begging for tickets, but it was firm in my grubby hand, as I really wanted to see them.

Imagine my disappointment when Nirvana played an utterly turgid set, the new songs utter wank, the old songs with no power to them. Hell, the support acts Shonen Knife and Captain America both blew them off the stage. It's almost like Kurt was smacked up and tired of playing to his fans, he needed to have a good hard think about what he was doing with his life, and take remedial action.

Anyway, the gig wasn't ruined, the venue (Calton Studios, fact fans) had a few arcade machines which were free, so spent the rest of the gig playing Outrun.

A close second is M.I.A. I've walked out of her gigs twice as she really shows the true meaning of "emperor's new clothes". Can't sing, can't dance, looks awful. Yup, she went far.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 12:58, 4 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..."


We did.

Edit. Who cares about the bad gigs?
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 12:06, 2 replies)
Young punk spilling beer on my shoes :(

(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 10:20, 12 replies)
Did I ever tell you about the Treworgey Tree Fayre of July 1989?

(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 9:02, 14 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)
As a chronically under-rehearsed band
Our guitarist booked us to play a gig at a friend's birthday party out in some field. I was nervous, so I got drunk beforehand, fell off the stage after the first song, and broke my nose. The rest of the evening was spent sitting on a hay bale, bleeding. A shit time was had by all.
(, Wed 31 Jul 2013, 2:30, 3 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)
Pokey Lafarge
Went to see these guys for the second time in a year, only this time some minger who couldnt clap in time ruined my minidisc recording of the great band, except Pokey didnt use a kazoo this time round, and practically shouted his way through the songs.
His support act were better
Whose name escapes me.
actually I just remembered
Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra. thanks guys you made the night!
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 23:12, Reply)
Green Day
The Mrs Strump loves Green Day. I will happily go along to the gig and listen for the early stuff. But I draw the line at the recent gig at the Emirates.

We had booked very early, but I had recently popped my Achilles Tendon. After ringing them, the people at the concert had swapped our standing tickets to seated due to my accident and the cast on my ankle. The people around me saw my cast, and crutches, "how did you do that?", "does it hurt?" etc

To be honest, the 1st warm up band spent 30 minutes sucking up to "Landan". They performed some music. That is all.

Kaiser Chiefs next. It seemed most of the audience acknowledged them. They did their "Greatest hits". Pretty good, especially as he climbed the rigging.

As soon as Green Day came on, the 2 people next to me decided to dance, and one of them stood on my foot. 2 blokes, trying to be Alpha males, dancing and singing in the seats.

Twice they landed on my ankle, before deciding that after every song one of them needed either a piss, a beer or some food. I stood up about 60 times to let them by, in about 4 hours.

I think Green Day were good, but after the second stamp I spent the rest of the evening munching on pain killers that were prescribed for me. I would just like to say that seats, especially in the in the elevated areas are for sitting.

TL;DR - Old man breaks ankle, watches bands, annoyed at standing up.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 23:06, 2 replies)
If by 'bad' you mean 'name dropping'....
...my missus was once introduced to Michael Stipe backstage of the White Room.

"Look!" She said to him whilst pointing excitedly across the room, "That's Iggy fucking Pop!"
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 18:59, 5 replies)
My guilty pleasure is

Oh, god. I just can't be arsed.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 16:43, 6 replies)
Gig for Bean.

(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 15:28, Reply)
Gary Glitter at Wembley
Mid late 90's, before the pedo scandal, but after he got fat.

At one point he unzipped his silver suit, and his big fat belly flopped out. The whole crowd gave a disgusted 'Eeurghh!' in Unison.

He picks up the mike and says '20 years ago if I did that, you'd have all been screaming'.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 15:26, 11 replies)
THen there's always the fact that the band before you is a full-on, flat-out metal band.
They all play at 11 and have a HUGE crowd in to see them.

Then you go on afterwards, and play to both your mates and the sound engineer.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 15:09, 1 reply)
I'm sorry that I've not been around.
My hard drive failed.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 15:00, 1 reply)
Got invited backstage for some coke with the band
...turned out to be coca cola.

Young people today. Tsk!
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 14:34, Reply)
I used to have a horse drawn cart with the driver's seat sitting higher than the level of the shafts.
But the axle snapped.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 14:24, 6 replies)
One other story
I'm lucky enough to have a mate in the industry who through a couple of borrowed passes, some nail varnish remover and a sharpie pen meant I could alter the dates and bands on a production pass and sit in the dressing room area at the Sonisphere festival in 2010. This entailed watching the best of the bands, then sitting in the dressing room area afterwards and 'hanging out' (terrible expression) in their company post-gig.

Managed to get a photo and some chat time with some interesting folk (some of whom I have been fans of for donkeys years) including Kerry King, Ian Astbury, Nicko McBrain and Jerry Cantrell amongst others.

And then...there he was. Iggy Pop. Fuck. Iggy Fucking Pop. Punk godfather, legend, creator of some of my favourite music, giver of great interviews. I was on a roll. I was less than 10 feet from what could be described as a hero.

He was a lot smaller than I thought he would be, but that platinum hair was unmistakable.

He was talking to someone, and as I got closer I could hear that Detroit drawl. I was slightly shaking but armed with the knowledge in about 5 minutes I would be uploading a picture of me and Iggy on Facebook as my profile photo I steadied myself and walked within two feet of him.

Just as I was about to open my mouth and ask for a photo a hand came within 2 inches of my face followed by "CAN I HELP YOU??!"

Dazed I replied "erm yeah I was just going to see if I could get a photo with Iggy". The reply was "NO! YOU HAVE TO BACK AWAY...GO!"

Felling slightly dejected I wandered off and found somewhere to hide (didn't really want any questions as to which band I was with and why was I not loading a van) and grabbed a (free) beer.

As showtime approached Iggy got out of his dressing room, staggered about looking very much worse for wear, took a swig of water and threw it up. He then got on the golf cart thing and got taken to the stage. I watched the Stooges show from the crowd. He was bloody magnificent but I just couldn't enjoy it. I kept thinking...'Stupid car insurance salesman...won't even acknowledge your fans...YOU HAVE TO STEP AWAY!'

This could be my worst gig experience, not the worst gig (see my other post for those).
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 14:15, 5 replies)
1996 Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle
in those days it was $10 a day for as many bands as you wanted to see (except Elvis Costello which was extra for some reason). Had a brilliant four days but also managed to catch the worst act I have ever seen live - The Spin Doctors. Started on Two Princes (a bold step) then there was a 20 minute bass solo. I went and got a coffee, came back and the same solo was being played. I drank my coffee and left.

Worst UK show was The Monkees at Wembley Arena. Four very bored men going through the motions, padding out a two hour show with 30mins of good material at best.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 13:52, 3 replies)
Saw The Breeders in Koko about five years ago.
Midway through someone dropped a diabolical fart in the middle of the crowd which seemed to hang around forever. It's quite odd to stand in a group of people communally retching.
(, Tue 30 Jul 2013, 12:47, 5 replies)

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