One of the real positives of this relocation has been my ability to re-start my enjoyment of getting out to see live music. My recent post, Jam Today, starts to capture some of my enthusiasm for live music. Back in days of yore, my best year was 1980 when I managed 24 gigs, mainly punk and post-punk bands whilst based at an RAF station within easy striking distance of London.
The best run I had was actually the following year when I managed 3 bands in 4 days (the joys of working shifts and being able to sleep in), taking in New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen and Pauline Murray. Thinking about it, these were possibly 3 of the best gigs I’ve attended – and that’s not just a sad old man reminiscing (much).
New Order were very much in their early days and it was fascinating to witness the fragility of the band at that point in their career. In truth, the sound was pretty indifferent and due to a lack of material it was a case of 45 mins and we’re off. Who would get away with that now?
The Bunnymen were still around a year from really breaking in to the mainstream and the tour was to promote their second album Heaven Up Here. To me this was a great point in their career, the music was developing and I loved the driving, bass driven, guitar licked, obscure lyric sound.
Pauline Murray was on a solo tour (following the demise of Penetration) and provided the real highlight of the week. Her energy on stage was absolutely electrifying and the songs from her ‘And the Invisible Girls’ album were delivered so very well, a great sound mix, really clear and a entrancing show.
Back to reality. Has music really changed over the last 28-30 years? I’m not too sure that there’s been any significant advance. Yes, trends come and go, but all 3 of these artists are still around – okay, in Penetration’s case there was a 20+ year gap before re-forming, but the reality is when I take in current bands, the influences from yesterday are there. One of the sad truths about age is that when listening to music there’s a tendency to murmur to oneself, “sounds a bit like…..”
Next month it’s British Sea Power.