Today Billy Sloan on his show page for BBC Radio Scotland was asking which gig that you’ve been to in the past would you want to go back and experience again.
Not sure I would want to go to any specific ones, really. Probably just any Simple Minds one.
But…oh, the chance to see them in the past with gigs I have never been to in the first place? PLLLEEEEAAAAASSSSSSEEE! ALL OF 5X5 LIVE! Every single gig it is possible to go to – just to start.
1982 Jim – there’s MY Alasdair Gray follow-up to Lanark – 1982 JIM – sod Janine! Lol
Just…from this distance and passage of time, looking back at him at that time, I am transfixed. I can only imagine what I’d be like IN FRONT OF HIM at that time.
Yes, I am feeling it bad today because…I am very down on myself. Very disappointed and upset with myself. As a consequence it is just…I’m just seeking comfort in the things that…yeah.
ANY gig from 1982. Anywhere in Europe in the spring and early summer. Cologne. Anything while they were in Oz in 1982. The Friars, Aylesbury – then off to Oz. Oh, imagine it! New Gold Dream has only just come out and Jim looks fucking breathtaking. I don’t even care. I’m not even gonna apologise! Don’t believe me? Check that Sheila Rock pic from the other day. Someone said to me from me sharing it on my FB feed a few days back (a few comments had been left by that point) “oh, you ladies aren’t talking about his ‘package’ – you’ve disappointed me.” I replied saying “I covet his tits more than his junk.” Lol
Such brazen objectification. But it is true! I know the topic comes up for discussion, but honestly…I don’t feel I’m obsessed with his…”appendage”. There is sssoooo much more about Sir Kerr I am into than…that! His brain…just for a start. Not the other thing most men think with! Lol
ANYWAY! Gigs! Dream gigs. I don’t want to go back to a gig I’ve already experienced. Been there, done that…right? So! I want time travel. I want a gig I never got to experience by actually being there.
I watch some of the things from 1982…I watch him and think about how I feel when I am at gigs now – standing in front of him, watching him…thinking “Oh, you intoxicating, delicious…just…ggrrrr” then put that to how I’d be feeling being there in 1982. I think I’d end up catatonic. Lol. I’m sure. Probably end up in hospital or something. Lol
This is why I am so stunned that I am not finding my wall of Kerrnessnessnessness a distraction at the kit. But I genuinely am motivated by those pictures. Thank god I am! I need to be. Because so much else is bringing me down right now. Me! In every other way. I am a fucking c***, basically. I really, really hate myself right now.
I’m going to leave you with Jim. Well…Simple Minds actually. But…Jim.
Please note that Warm Digits have rescheduled their dates for the end of April/early May.
So far, there are two new dates rescheduled for Newcastle and Manchester. News on the Stag And Dagger date in Edinburgh and the London date for the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre will follow.
New dates for The Cluny in Newcastle is Sept.11th and Yes in Manchester is Sept. 12th. Keep your eyes peeled on the band’s social media for the remaining date changes. See you out there in Sept. hopefully!
The boys hit the road at the end of April and into early May to headline a tour showcasing the forthcoming album, Flight Of Ideas. I had already mentioned the album launch and signing happening at Rough Trade East in London on April 4th – beyond that are dates as listed below.
I would DEARLY LOVE to go to the Purcell Room in London but now I’m here living in Glasgow, I can’t really justify it. I looked into going, seeing how much it would be logistically but couldn’t really do it.
But I have already planned my logistics to see them in Newcastle and Manchester. Tickets for Newcastle went on sale this morning and Manchester tickets will be on sale tomorrow. And…Steve did say to me there will be an Edinburgh date too, so I will definitely be going to that one as well.
This band is ssooo stellar live (well, not just live). And they will be sure to have some special guests playing with them. If you can, go see them! Only Simple Minds and The Stranglers do I hold in as much esteem as these guys.
If you love your motorik beat “kraut rock” with a blend of electronica, you’ll LOVE Warm Digits! Check them out and go see them!
WARM DIGITS TOUR:
Sat April 4th 2020 – London, Rough Trade East
Thu April 30th 2020 – Newcastle, The Cluny
Fri May 1st – Manchester, Soup Kitchen
Sat May 9th 2020 – London, Purcell Room (South Bank)
It was a bit of a palaver getting in to the venue. People had lined up promptly. I arrived there about 9.25am for the 9.30am start. The queue hardly moved in 30 mins. There was an appearance by Matt Garstka on the main stage due for 10am and many people who had paid to see it were still queued up outside at 9.55am. They were being filtered through by this point but they probably weren’t going to make it in. I hope Matt delayed things so people got in.
I had booked to have a free drum lesson at the Trinity College booth for 10.15 and I just about made it in there. It was my first experience of an electronic kit. We were on Roland kits (can’t remember the model – lovely kit though) and had just a bit of basic tuition. We played along to Queen’s We Will Rock You and then to James Brown’s Hot Pants before going on to Blur’s Song 2 which did me in. Lol. It seems like it would be really straight forward, Song 2, but heck, there’s a whole lot of patting your head whilst rubbing your tummy stuff going on with that. Lol
I walked about a bit checking things out. Then I saw Emily Dolan-Davies and had a great chat with her and another man whose name I didn’t catch, but he was one of Nathan Shingler’s tutors. We had a good talk and he offered me some great pearls of wisdom in terms of how I get on with my own learning and stuff. I briefly met Nathan’s parents too.
I went out for a bite to eat and then met up with fellow Minds fan Dave Kelly. We had a good chinwag and then went in to see Cherisse’s masterclass.
A fab masterclass it was too. We learned about Cherisse’s career. How she started out, who she’s drummed for professionally, as well as her performing demonstration medleys showcasing music from the acts she’s worked with.
Below are some vid from the masterclass of her talking about working with Mika and then talking about her time with Bryan Ferry and Paloma Faith and now her time with SM and showcasing a medley of Minds stuff (the observant amongst you will hear a little bit more of LITCoA ahead of its October 4th release).
She put on a great show and a really strong showcase of her immense talent. Jim’s tag of referring to her as “a little dynamo” is WHOLLY justified. For someone so petite, she has such power behind her! But also the subtlety when required.
She was doing a signing after the masterclass and I queued up just to say hi and to badger her for more lessons. Lol. Hopefully I’ll get to have a few in the weeks ahead.
As for kit that took my eye? Well, it needs to be about the sound and feel, but I was far too scared to test anything out. I have no real knowledge of what I want or need and a show like this isn’t really much of a buying experience for a complete beginner. Well, I don’t think anyway. So I was just looking at the aesthetics if kits. There was a beautiful looking Natal kit. The bass drums on the Natal’s are HUGE! I love the look of Rusty drums and there was a beautiful bass skin on display on their stall.
But for looks and affordability, there was a lovely looking Gretsch there for £625. I know Dave Ruffy of Ruts DC plays on Gretsch kits and he always sounds awesome.
But Cherisse’s Tama kit looks and sounds amazing too. And I have been having most of my lessons on Pearl kits, so…how will I ever make my mind up?! Lol
After the brief chat with Cherisse and goodbyes with Dave, there was just time enough for another scoot about and a coffee over the road at the Costa before getting the coach back to London and onwards to home.
Well, Saturday’s Trevor Horn gig is almost upon us – and I have amazing news…which I assume I am allowed to share publicly, seeing as he did tell me publicly on my Facebook timeline – Mick MacNeil will be at the show!!! Performing! Only for Brothers In Arms…but, still. For me this is monumental! I have never seen Mick perform in any capacity before. And even if it is only for one song, I cannot tell you how much I am bubbling with excitement about this!
After this gig, August is still quiet. There’ll be things to sort out on the home front in August.
In September things get going. On the 12th, a bit of home music with You Am I at The Garage in London. A newly added gig now – Kelly Jones in Oxford on the 18th. I missed the first lot of dates, so when Cherisse revealed through her social media that there was a smattering of new dates I went and had a look to see what was nearest (geographically) and Oxford was it. And just a few days before the drum show in Manchester. Cherisse will be sick of the sight of me! Lol
A few weeks break again…and then a little spell of gigs in October. Alice Cooper (with The Stranglers!) at the O2 London on the 10th. Then a trip down to Bristol for a new gig on the list – Toyah at The Fleece on the 20th. A gig with Birdy. Our time at The Stranglers gig in March was…erm…something and there hasn’t been much of a chance for us to have been out gigging together since. I dragged her along to John Grant (not TOTALLY unwillingly, mind…but she’s not as much of a fan of Love Is Magic – which he was showcasing on the tour – than previous material), so it is only fair I make amends. I’ve never seen Toyah. Can’t say I am a big fan…not because I don’t like her…just, she hasn’t been much on my music radar, that’s all. But I am looking forward to it.
We complete October by me going to see Belgian band Whispering Sons at The Moth Club in Hackney on the 25th.
The final extra gig is yet ANOTHER Stranglers gig. Ruth and I are making a little German holiday of it. First port of call is Hamburg on Dec 6th, then on we go to BERLIN!! (A many, MANY years “bucket list” destination for me…some reasons will be rather obvious…and we may just try and take in a tour of Hansa Studios, if we can…there’s a major clue as to why Berlin has been on the bucket list for so long) for the next gig on the 8th. Speaking of people getting sick of the sight of me. Lol. I think JJ and Baz may end up like that too!
This will make the number of times I have seen The Stranglers only surpassed by the number I’ve seen Simple Minds. I’m trying to get a quick tally in my head…I think by Berlin it’ll be 8 times.
So, that’s it, for now.
July 27th Trevor Horn – Glasgow
Sept. 12th You Am I – London
Sept. 18th Kelly Jones – Oxford
Sept. 21st UK Drum Show – Manchester
Oct. 10th Alice Cooper – London
Oct. 20th Toyah – Bristol
Oct. 25th Whispering Sons – London
Dec. 6th The Stranglers – Hamburg
Dec. 8th The Stranglers – Berlin
Things have been pretty quiet gigwise since The Stranglers and Stewart Copeland gigs at the end of March.
I had wanted to see Michael Rother in London, but it was too soon after the previous two gigs mentioned for me to go. Too skint too. Had to knock trying to get to Mott The Hoople on the head. I tried selling my Barras ticket on to get to Shepherds Bush Empire, but it didn’t happen and gave the Barras ticket away.
Could have gone to a free gig last week at The Lexington but again was just too skint to afford to fare into London.
But tomorrow night, I’m in Greenwich to see Ruts DC again. This time they are doing one of their little acoustic affairs, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Babylon’s Burning. Should be a goodun.
After that will be the next BIGGY! Up to Glasgow to see Trevor Horn (and GUESTS – she dreams!) on July 27th.
August will be pretty quiet. No big old music festival in the Brecon Beacons to go to this year.
September is my first ever drum show in Manchester. Cherisse is taking part, so I thought I might as well pop along and see what’s what. That’s on September 21st. Before that is a bit of a special homegrown treat. You Am I are coming over for a short tour of Europe and hit London on September 12th. Last time I saw them was when they were over here in 2016, so I am looking forward to that.
The next one after that will be another BIGGY. Alice Cooper at the O2 in London on October 10th. NEVER seen him before. Not been to the O2, either. Obviously should have gone to see Simple Minds there in November, 2015, but ended up out in Oz instead. And well…who is on the guest bill for Alice? The band I SHOULD have been seeing at the Simple Minds gig. The same band I didn’t see much of back at the end of March. The Stranglers.
I then get to see the band recommended to me by Olivier Gerard when they return to London. Whispering Sons are heading back across the pond and play The Moth Club in Hackney on October 25th. A slightly early birthday present. The ticket was £11! I mean, can’t argue with that, can I?! I couldn’t see them when they were here last, their gig was on the same night as the Stewart Copeland gig. Nothing clashing this time (as far as I know at this point), so I grabbed a ticket this evening.
Finally…I am MEANT to be going to Hamburg in early December to see The Stranglers yet again. But with things as they currently stand…I really don’t see much of a chance of it happening right now. I can’t see myself having the funds to renew my passport until, well…until such time as it is either essential that I travel and I borrow funds or…the miracle occurs.
In the meantime, there’s a bit of live music there to keep me occupied. Not exactly as it was last year…but the way things is going…thank FUCK Simple Minds are having touring down time this year. I would be frigging crying my eyes out if they were touring and I couldn’t go to gigs. It was how 2014 and 2015 were. When I first became uber fan, I didn’t see them. I couldn’t afford a gig. My first gig was Cambridge in April, 2015. I wanted to go to more. I eyed off De Montfort Hall in Leicester, The Hexagon in Reading, whatever the venue was in Oxford (can’t remember it off hand) and whatever London was? But I couldn’t stretch to any of them. Boomerang at Hickstead was the only other thing I could book…and I didn’t book it until after Cambridge because I just wanted to see them again so, SSSOOOO much!
I have been very, VERY lucky to have gone to as many SM gigs as I have since then…and to some of the places I’ve been too…travelling to Dublin, Paris and Aix-Les-Bains – and being at the absolute holy of holies and being at Barrowland. So, yep…I am very thankful this downtime is happening while I am skint to absolute buggery.
But there’s the odd gig to enjoy in the interim. Keeps the juices flowing, eh?
I have never seen so much live music in a single year. In fact, I saw more live music in 2018 than I have seen previously in all my adult life.
The year started with a album launch “all ages” show by Franz Ferdinand in Kingston-upon-Thames in early February, and was quickly followed by FOUR Simple Minds Walk Between Worlds showcase gigs, and continued on through the year, traversing the length and breadth of the UK and hopping across the English Channel into mainland europe and ending in Northampton seeing Blancmange. From Glasgow and Newcastle, to Leeds, Manchester and westwards to the Brecon Beacons, back over to Bristol, and many trips to London. A trip to Paris and the French Alps via Switzerland. I even managed a local gig! Luton isn’t usually known for its amazing live music scene, it has to be said.
I have no idea how many miles I’ve covered in all this crisscrossing of countries and continents. Thousands, I’m sure! And…I don’t want to think about what it did to the purse strings…but budgeting and shoestring travel makes it doable – trust me! You don’t have to be lavish to do this. Winning free weekend tickets for a festival also helps! 😁
And all absolutely worth it for some of the best live music the UK and the world has to offer.
Now, before I award my Top 3 gigs of 2018, let me recap (and try to remember!) just who and what I saw this year.
February: Franz Ferdinand and Simple Minds x4
March: Art Of Noise and Ruts DC
May: Warm Digits and Vessels, Simple Minds
June: Warm Digits x2, Manic Street Preachers and The Anchoress at Meldown Festival
July: Muilac Festival, Aix-Les-Bains. Caezar x2
August: Thumpasaurus, Green Man Festival, Simple Minds x3
September: Franz Fedinand
October: John Grant
All the acts I saw were fabulous…part of the reason I wanted to see them all. There were also a few standout support acts too.
Some worthy contenders for gig of the year, then? Manic Street Preachers…that was a real “love for the fans” gig. The guys were great and the crowd loved them. Franz Ferdinand – at both shows – just great. Make it look so effortless and Alex Kapranos is one of my favourite frontmen, currently. Ruts DC – don’t underestimate the power of ska/punk to be making an impact some 40 years down the road. These guys are great live. The Lemon Twigs – my live music find of 2018 – all thanks to winning a free weekend camping pass to the Green Man festival in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Another act very worthy of note – Caezar. Joe Donnelly and JJ Gilmour have released one of the standouts of 2018, for me. And JJ is a phenomenal singer. An amazing voice. I hope to catch them again this coming February at Oran Mor in Glasgow.
At three: Art Of Noise – British Library – March 9th
An unusual setting for a gig – inside the library entrance, on the mezzanine. It made for a great atmosphere. I’m not an uber fan of theirs, but I just really enjoyed the atmosphere of the gig – there was a great rapport between the group and the fans. The acoutics were great and, yeah…can’t really pinpoint it…I just really enjoyed it a lot.
At two: John Grant – Green Man Festival – August 18th
John was the headline act on day three (Saturday) of the festival and he was just fabulous, and brought me to tears. It was a beautiful night and a wonderful setting.
At one: (who else but!) Simple Minds – Manchester Albert Hall – February 14th
For some it’ll be other shows. It SHOULD be Barrowland Ballroom – and it would be, if my choice was based beyond sheer performance. But I have seen SM nine times this year…and I could choose others. The Leeds grandslam gig was amazing. All three of the grandslam gigs were. But for majesty and sheer performance and for the concept of it, it goes to their Manchester WbW showcase gig. Whereas I thought palpable nerves at Barrowland led to some performance…inconsistancies. The next night at Manchester, they truly had it licked and were PHENOMINAL! They were just FLAWLESS by comparison to the night before. Amazing. absolutely amazing gig. Of the February WbW gigs, it was by far my favourite. It also wins out amongst the rest of the SM gigs I saw this year, purely for that full set of the complete Walk Between Worlds album performed live. Any band wanting to do that – to showcase a complete new package like that has the absolute courage of their convictions.
Congrats to Jim, Charlie, Gordy, Ged, Sarah and Cherisse (and to Catherine AD) for executing a truly amazing showcase of new matieral and killer setlist of hits. You guys f***ing rock the world…my world…the whole world! Thank you!
I was a mess yesterday. Never really used to get this “PGD” thing…but I have rarely been exposed to it in terms of there being gigs still happening in the UK that I can’t attend.
Last year, for example, I was at the final two Acoustic shows in England…and then I flew over the Irish Sea for the final two Dublin gigs. The PGD didn’t hit so hard because of that.
The two times it has hit really hard were….the autumn arena tour of Big Music in 2015. Having a ticket for the O2 in London but being out in Oz. But at that point in time, I couldn’t be anywhere else. The other time was SMs tour of Oz in early 2017. The Hordern Pavilion gig and Jim’s description of it being “like a home gig”. But I was consoled by my nine Acoustic tickets…knowing that a few months down the line, I’d be seeing nine amazing shows.
And then there’s now. And because it ended on such a high…but there are gigs “local” and within reach – geographically anyway…but I am utterly skint to buggery – it’s just making the comdown harder.
BUT….I have 21 gigs under my belt in the space of four years – 18 of those in the past 18 months. Countless meetings with Jim and various other band members. How on earth can I complain?! I’m not! I’m definitely NOT. I know how fortunate I am…but it didn’t stop those “woe is me” feelings yesterday.
It’s a drug. It’s a buzz…and you just keep wanting it.
ANYWAYS! In an attempt to combat the PGD, I watched some of the Rockpalast gig from 1982 in Cologne. Then, through the night…sleep eluded me, so I went to YouTube and listened to the Manchester gig from November, 1982. It’s such a fab gig and the audio quality is brilliant. Like it was recoded yesterday.
Did it help combat the PGD? Not really. Did it help me sleep? Eventually…