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Just for a gig(gle)



I’m not going to talk about HR today. HR can take a break, a long and well needed one.  I’m going to talk about music.  Music has a very important part in my life, it always has had.  Those of you who hang out here on a regular basis will know that before my holidays I asked you for recommendations for my iPod.  The response was diverse and interesting and I found some really good artists that way.  Unfortunately my iPod was a victim of a late night drinking, early morning plane debacle in Berlin and never made it back into the country.

I’ve tried to instill a love of music in my kids too.  They both fall asleep to Classic FM, as they have since they were babies, but not only that they listen to a wide range of music and both play instruments.  A little while ago I took my son to his first gig.  We went to see Otis Gibbs.  If you don’t know Otis, check him out.  He’s not only a talented musician, agitator, environmentalist but also an all round nice guy.  He even managed to get the population of a sleepy middle-class, middle-England venue to shout, “FUCK ERIC CLAPTON!” as one. My 10-year-old especially loved that bit. 

This is a long way away from my first gig, which was Yazz and the Plastic Population at Portsmouth Guildhall! I was young and foolish and I didn’t come from an area of the world that was high on the list of cultural hotspots. To this day I remember the sensation of, “what the fuck am I doing here?” and fortunately after that, the only way WAS up and the rest of my life has been a musical reaction to that moment. 

One of the great things about going off topic, is that I get the chance to hear from people who read this blog who maybe don’t want to put themselves out there (understandably) on some of the other topics.  And it allows me to find out a little more about you lot, which believe it or not I kind of like. 

So, over to you guys, old, new, regulars and Johnnie come latelys….your first gigs, who, what, when and why…… and be honest now, they can’t be any worse than Yazz!

51 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/29/2010 08:09

    Kylie at Birmingham NEC – with my Dad who was wearing an anorak and a flat cap and remained seated throughout the entire show!

  2. 09/29/2010 08:11

    If you count ‘Parties in the Park’, then I would have been a young teenager in the mid-90s and remember seeing Mark ‘Return of the Mac’ Morrison perform in Brighton Park. Wow.

    I went to see Macy Gray at the Brighton Centre back in around 1998 I think? I would have been 16 at the time. Black Eyed Peas were supporting her at the time – they were an INCREDIBLE, authentic, underground hip hop act – so fresh. Needless to say they recruited Fergie a few years later and sold their soul to the commercial devil. Shame.

  3. 09/29/2010 08:12

    Quite proud of mine, went to see ‘The Cult’ at Rock City in Northampton, I was about 15 so it was a big deal. First time I came face to face (Kinda face to face on floor) with someone off the planet on smack, needle still attached which was nice!
    Gig was excellent. My all time favourite is probably Big Audio Dynamite, my friend gets on stage and is having a little dance next to Mick Jones, Mick Jones stops playing and just looks him up an down, hilarious. Said friend quickly dived back in to audience, still makes me laugh.

    Music – love it

  4. 09/29/2010 08:13

    Hawkwind at the Glasgow Apollo, 1981.

  5. 09/29/2010 08:15

    My very first gig was Nik Kershaw, supported by T’Pau, at a venue in Southend. I was 14 and had the BIGGEST crush on Nik ever, infact I do still have a soft spot for him and can still remember all the words to The Riddle (dont tell anyone 😉 ). The tickets were a birthday present from my parents, I was over the moon. Makes me smile just thinking about it…..

    • 09/29/2010 08:31

      My ex wife used to run a rock night at the Zero 6 in Southend in the early eighties. She was also in a band with Nik Kershaw before he became famous.

  6. Kitty permalink
    09/29/2010 08:18

    Placebo… Dr Martin boot in the head during the opening song. Didn’t see the rest of the gig!

  7. 09/29/2010 08:18

    Exodus supported by Acid Reign at the Pitz (aka the basketball court-cum-theatre room at Milton Keynes Woughton Centre) on 10 February 1989.

  8. 09/29/2010 08:19

    Mine was a band called Coal Chamber at Manchester Academy – if you’re never heard of them look them up on Spotify and let me know what you think!

  9. 09/29/2010 08:29

    First proper gig was The Stranglers and Wire at Crawley Leisure Centre in 1977. I did, however, manage a local band which played a variety of venues around the South East, including The original Marquee in Wardour Street.

  10. 09/29/2010 08:35

    Gawd, back to the days when I had to persuade people with slightly more chin-fluff to buy me bottles of Newcastle Brown… yeesh. Not certain who was first, but it was certainly at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth (still one of the best venues around for authenticity, imho). I’m gonna guess Stiff Little Fingers. If you want something angry and political, go find Tin Soldier as a starting track. Or just get the Hanx live album. As with so many others, John Peel was the catalyst.

    • 09/29/2010 08:54

      Loved SLF, saw them at The Town & Country club in Kentish Town, Bruce Foxton from the Jam on Bass. May have to play it this morning now, good shout

      • 09/29/2010 09:03

        Foxton played with them for about 15 years I think. Saw them again earlier this year – still well worth the price of admission.

      • 09/29/2010 09:20

        brilliant live, nearly as good as Spear of Destiny

  11. Lou permalink
    09/29/2010 08:35

    I went to see Bruce Springsteen at Athletic Park (I think it was there) in Wellington NZ, and boy did he rock! I had a massive teenager crush on the guy back then..I had saved up all my pocket money from doing a paper round, working in a shop and washing Dads car. I really don’t think my parents thought I would be able to scrape the cash together, but I did. I would have been about 13 or 14. Oh the memories….hilarious….Born in the USA, Glory Days and I’m goin down would still be some of my favs!

  12. 09/29/2010 08:37

    Buzzcocks supported by The Slits, Hemel Hempsted Pavillion, 1977.

  13. 09/29/2010 08:38

    My memory of my first gig is very vague, but it was Radiohead in Reading I think. Or maybe it was Oxford, actually. Radiohead, nonetheless. Ironically I wasn’t that big of a fan at the time.

    My most memorable gig, however, was one at the MK bowl though (REM, I think) when a biker dude peed down my leg. I was all of 16 and was mortified.

  14. garethmjones permalink
    09/29/2010 08:54

    The legendary Motorhead at the legendary Demontfort Hall, Leicester, late 70’s. Says it all really! I distinctly remember putting my beer glass down next to the speaker stack and watching it erupt instantly. I couldn’t hear a thing for days. I have been through many genre’s in the years since and now like a massive spectrum of stuff but rock has a line in my DNA somewhere.

    Sweet memories…

  15. 09/29/2010 09:02

    The Jam at the Marquee on Wardour Street. They were bloody awful. Weller insisted on playing an encore despite boos and booze being hurled at him in equal proportions.

  16. 09/29/2010 09:12

    Mixed bag from me on first gig(s). Some cool (still!) one SO NOT cool. Most were early 80’s it’s fair to say…

    The Clash – Derby Assembly Rooms (they gobbed on us quite a lot, which was apparently the done thing at the time..)
    Boomtown Rats -Nottingham University (not long after their groundbreaking “tonic for the troops album and Johnnie Fingers really did wear his pyjamas on stage!)
    Orange Juice – Nottingham Rock City (loved them at the time)
    Gary Glitter – Ritzy in Nottingham (Christmas piss up in my late teens)
    Cliff Richard – somewhere in Carlise (I’ve clearly tried to block it out! – bizarrely a school trip!)

    I think it’s the intimacy of the venues that I enjoyed, beats the stadium route many go down now…

    • 09/29/2010 09:19

      certainly an eclectic mix there! Loved Orange Juice, Rip it Up was No 286 on the juke box in O’Malleys in Rugby when I was (ahem) 18 (nearly). 24 years ago, still remember as I played it so bloody often

  17. Ailsa permalink
    09/29/2010 09:15

    U2 in Glasgow when they were still touring small venues – it was Nightmoves on Sauchiehall Street – it was a good gig even though I wasn’t really into them.

  18. 09/29/2010 09:29

    Don’t think the Radio 1 roadshow in Swansea Leisure centre carpark counts, so it would be:

    Genesis – Invisible Touch Tour – Wembley.


    • Sara Headworth permalink
      09/30/2010 11:30

      Alex – was that the tour that had Paul Young as the support act – if it was …. I was there too !!

      • 09/30/2010 12:24

        certainly was – and I thought he was rather (surprisingly) good too. Great soulful voice that I didn’t expect. Remember it was a baking June / July day. 🙂

  19. 09/29/2010 09:41

    Bon Jovi, 11 November 1988 at the Hallenstadion in Zurich.
    Lita Ford was the supporting act and used a 2-necked guitar. Later on Sambora used a 3-necked one for a while. Guess that was their version of a peeing contest 😉

    And Theo, to get back to serious matters…
    I’m not opposed to reading the occasional off-topic post. But just don’t let it get out of hand. After all, whether you want it or not, this blog is perceived as an HR blog and should stick to the usual appropriate topics. Our profession certainly doesn’t get the respect it deserves and such (admittedly fun but) not very professional posts don’t help at all.

    • 09/29/2010 09:45

      Hear hear Etienne, fun such is this does not belong in the HR space. Theo’s letting the side down and drew me in. How dastardly!

      • 09/29/2010 19:41

        He is so wicked like – just when you get to know him he throws a curve at you. now you see him , now you dont – oh and guess what? He is real and likes music – who’d have thought.

        Or is he?

    • 09/29/2010 09:55

      I can’t work out whether you’re being straight or not Etienne.

      I’m gonna think the best and go with you making a very tongue in cheek comment that was delivered with stunning dead pan. Might I suggest more liberal use of smiley’s to prevent the danger of being perceived as a particularly dull and straight laced/up yourself individual.

      But if that was a genuine comment then perhaps this is the first blog of @theHRD’s that you’ve read – in which case here’s a friendly suggestion: avert your eyes now – There be beasty’s here. And beasty’s that certainly don’t take themselves quite so seriously as you may do.


      • 09/29/2010 10:18

        Hi Alex

        I appreciate your frankness. But why would somebody think that I’m dull just because I’m convinced that it’s important to bring back some order and respectability into the world of HR blogging?

        After all, although it may feel like we’re having a good time amongst ourselves, the world is watching. And we’re being judged by the trails we leave behind during our journey on the Interwebs.

        But now that I had my fun, the previous comment was actually my way of reacting to yesterday’s post 😉

  20. Ginger Gill permalink
    09/29/2010 09:49

    Etienne – are you being serious or am I missing a blatant tongue in cheek moment?

    However, on that unprofessional note my first gig was Big Country at the Playhouse in Edinburgh c. 1986 – pure class with bagpipes and aw thing! The fight I witnessed on the train back to deepest darkest Fife is however my true lasting memory of the night and a very fitting welcome to the gigging scene in Scotland!

  21. 09/29/2010 10:19

    Probably Dr and the Medics at a uni freshers ball.

    Always regretted not taking up the opportunity to see Nirvana while at uni.

  22. 09/29/2010 12:19

    Black Sabbath at Albert Hall…I remember little about it other than it was effing loud!

    Other notables from this old rocker were seeing Queen as a support band and Sex Pistols a few days before they swore on TV and got banned…highlight there was using the urinal next to Johnny R just before they went on stage

  23. Corporate Daycare permalink
    09/29/2010 12:28

    Although no longer the type of music I follow, I am ridiculously proud that my first gig was Cyndi Lauper on my 13th birthday (1984). The Bangles were the opening act.

    Loved it.

  24. Lena permalink
    09/29/2010 13:30

    Oh my… First gig… I was 12 or so… Some obscure free jazz group in Poland…
    What can you expect from someone whose idea of playing hooky was going to museums and piano contests???

  25. 09/29/2010 13:53

    Once again, genuinely enjoying what you post. My first show was 1985, in Sioux City, Iowa…I saw Bon Jovi (who I had not really heard of) open up for Ratt (who I was a huge fan of). I was kind of clueless about music then, but it was a good time.

  26. 09/29/2010 13:54

    Is it not cool to like Eric Clapton? Because we paid serious money (as in, 20 beer units or one pair of decent shoes on sale per ticket) to see him at Summerfest in June.

    I must admit, however, that Roger Daltrey, his opening act, put on a better show. (Steve Winwood, whom we saw a few days later with tickets my husband won, was crummy. Steve, we want more than seven songs in one hour and yes, we want to hear the hits, even if you’re tired of playing them.)

    I’m not big on live music, but if Dire Straits ever tours, I will pay whatever it takes.

    My first concert was Tom Petty my freshman year in college when he came to Houston. I had no idea who he was. A sophomore who lived down the hall from me told me he had an extra ticket and asked if I wanted to go.

    Sure, I said. After all, I had never been to a rock concert before.

    I thought he just had an extra ticket to get rid of, but I realized in the middle of the concert that this was actually supposed to be a date, another concept that I had heard of but had not really experienced much personally. Every time he tried to put his arm around me, I would lean forward and exclaim enthusiastically about some feature of the venue.

    He couldn’t remember where the car was parked, so it took us half an hour to leave. I knew exactly where it was, but he had us on the wrong floor of the parking garage. I kept going to the proper spot and saying, But it should be right here! And it was: one floor down.

    He never asked me out again and told everyone I didn’t know how to act on a date, which didn’t bother me because I had no interest in him. I had just wanted to see the concert.

    Don’t judge me: If he had actually asked me on a date, I would have turned him down. He tricked me.

  27. BJH permalink
    09/29/2010 15:26

    The first gig I really remember would have been Mott the Hoople headlining with Queen as their support act. I was a huge MtH fan, but for the first time thought the support act was better!

    Another memorable gig was Ian Dury and the Blockheads – which just felt like a big party.

    And for pure teenage fantasy it would have been 10CC, a year after “I’m not in love” when I sat in the front row and then me and my friend managed to talk one of the roadies into getting us into the after-show “do” at the local hotel. We were only 15 and they were all perfect gentlemen – gave us autographs and then our dad came and took us home!

    Thanks for prompting me to bring back some happy memories!

  28. 09/29/2010 18:47

    It’s late, I’m on a train, this is one of the best questions asked on a blog post for a loooong time.

    My first gig was The Damned, playing under the pseudonym The School Bullies, at The Star pub in West Croydon. “Is she really going out with him?”

    Mental night out. Life changing, seriously.

    Wind forward to 2010, went to a free gig in Lloyd Park Croydon, The Damned were playing. Maybe I’m a nostalgic fool but they gave it as much as I can recall from the heady days in the Star pub. Except this time Captain Sensible conducted the crowd in a version of “My kind of town, Croydon is”.

    Permission to swear sir? Go ahead.

    Fucking great. Neat neat neat, even.

  29. 09/29/2010 19:01

    he he, that’s great, saw them (the jam) at the greyhound in croydon, not quite “in the city”, certainly not the modern world

  30. 09/29/2010 19:36

    First Gig = Genesis at Guildford Civic Hall, March 1980. Ticket was £4 I seem to recall and bunked school to buy it, in fact i think i was late for one of my O level mock exams. Went to gig by myself all mate were into Punk so……. blown away very powerful before they went all Collins pop.

    have been a fan of their early stuff ever sinse.

  31. 09/29/2010 19:50

    I went to a flurry of gigs all around the same time so not sure which was my first. Some good and some really really bad here. Let’s start with the bad…

    Brother Beyond at the Albert Hall
    Johnny Matthis also at the Albert Hall
    Limahl at Hollywoods night club in Romford!!!!!!!

    and the good…

    David Bowie – Wembley and Milton Keynes
    George Benson – Wembley
    Stevie Wonder – Wembley
    Michael Jackon – Wembey
    Madonna – Wembley
    Spandau Ballet – Docklands Light Arena (yes, they were very good actually)

  32. Aussie HR Chick permalink
    09/30/2010 00:04

    I think this will probably mean nothing to any of you given where you all come from, but my first gig was Club Hoy supported by Things of Stone and Wood.

    Best ever gig was Tea Party at the Fringe Festival and Tea Party in a certain pub that got closed down for packing so many of us into that venue against fire regulations. U2 a close second.

    And just to make you all laugh, the first albums I ever bought were (oh god) Mel and Kim’s FLM, and Europe’s the Final Countdown. I thought I was soooooo cool.

  33. Sara Headworth permalink
    09/30/2010 11:34

    One of my first concerts was Queen at the Brighton Centre in 1979 (?),then it would be Rainbow (Brighton),Genisis (Wembley),Thin Lizzy (Brighton)Chic (Brighton)Meatloaf (Brighton) ……..

  34. 09/30/2010 11:36

    My exact recollection is hazy with thirty years of living, but my first concert must have been either Whitesnake, Marillion or Saga in Geneva or Lausanne.

  35. 09/30/2010 20:06

    Great post — in a long line of them. I’m really showing my age, but my first live concert (that’s what we called them in the 70s in the US) was a two-fer: Chicago and the Beach Boys. Wow. That was a really loooooong time ago. Thanks for making me remember that night.

  36. 10/04/2010 08:02

    Wow… many fantastic comments and memories….it makes mine look a little pathetic! So many great gigs and great performers. Thank you so much for sharing. All we need to do is maintain the same enthusiasm for HR and all things people related! 🙂

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