Since this week’s mag is a nebulous “touring special”, we were inspired to start chuntering over our fondest live music memories. Here are a few of ours. Post a comment below to let us know the shows that left you reeling with delight/quivering with emotion/vomiting with joy.
Hamish MacBain: Oasis at Sheffield Arena, April 1995. One of those gigs. Their first ever arena show, ‘Some Might Say’ about to become their first Number One single, the world at their feet. Small enough so it was just fans, big enough to give a taster of the ludicrous times that lay ahead. Liam disgusted at the sight of people in seats, commanding everyone to barge their way past security and get down the front (which they ALL did, me included). Richard Ashcroft dancing on the mixing desk. Noel debuting an acoustic song that he “only wrote on Tuesday” entitled ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. Everyone leaving, knowing “our” band had arrived. A phenomenal feeling.
Luke Lewis: Rammstein at a velodrome in East Berlin. Flame-spewing guitars, lederhosen, Segway scooters, 20,000 air-punching Germans, and a bizarre interlude in which singer Til Lindemann chased the keyboard player at knifepoint into a cooking pot, before blasting him with a flamethrower. You don’t get that with The xx.
James McMahon: Jonathan Richman at Newcastle Opera House in 1999. I went with some friends in the Futureheads, but the audience was pretty much a who’s who of the North East indie-pop scene at that time. I think the Modern Lovers first record was a huge influence on the likes of Maximo Park, Field Music, all that lot, so it was a huge buzz to get to see our hero in the flesh.
Nathaniel Cramp: J Mascis at the Underworld, Camden in ’95. Hilarious storytelling, amazing songs (including a Smiths cover). So good, in fact, it made being in the hellhole that is the underworld actually enjoyable.
Ben Patashnik: Strike Anywhere, Norwich Ferryboat, I think 2003. About a million people crammed into the back room of a tiny pub for the most intense, thrilling and exuberant hardcore show I’ve ever had the privilege to witness. Staggering. Almost died, though.
Alan Woodhouse: Brian Wilson, London Royal Festival Hall, 2002. I’ve chosen this one because he is my all-time hero, and I never thought I’d ever get the chance to see him play. The fact that I did, and he then preceded to play the whole of ‘Pet Sounds’ so flawlessly, means it can’t really be topped. I don’t mind admitting I cried.