top 10 concerts I’ve been to:
1: Mumford & Sons, John Peel Stage, Glastonbury Festival 2010.
They’d become huge whilst doing a tour of sold out small gigs, so by the time they played Glastonbury they were way too big to be in the John Peel tent. But the magic of it was that, as this was their first huge gig, they didn’t know how popular they were and were in tears of joy as the 7000+ crowd sang all the words to all the songs. A “had to be there” moment. And the peak for the band…all went downhill after this.
2: Peter Gabriel/Thompson Twins/The Undertones, Selhurst Park, 1983
The Undertones farewell gig! Thompson Twins surprising us by being great live and then a monster set from PG with guest appearance by Phil Collins at the end. Biko was sung by the audience for a good 15 minutes after they’d gone off. Beautiful summer’s evening.
3: Frank Zappa, NEC Birmingham 2008
Probably the worst time to see FZ, but still an incredible show. Your brain never quite knows whether to be laughing or stunned.
4: Barachois, Cambridge Festival 1999
They blew the pants off Cambridge that year (if I got the year right). Fun, entertainment, tap dancing and high musical competence. Not taking themselves too seriously won them a lot of friends.
5: Supertramp/Chris De Burgh/Joe Cocker, Olympia Stadion, München, 1983
Supertramp’s farewell gig. Joe Cocker was under average, but Chris De Burgh surprised everyone with a knock-out solo set. Then, as the warm summer sun went down Supertramp did a best-of show that was the icing on the cake of my best teenage summer.
6: Chumbawumba, Wolverhampton Uni, 1988
I’d never seen anything like this before. Folk music with fiddles, rock guitars and rappers all jumping on and off the stage with an energy from another dimension and an unswaying belief in their message of truth, fairness and anarchy.
7: Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Vig festival, 2015
Best light show I’ve ever seen – and at a festival! I assumed they would be Tim Christensen’s backing band, but the whole band were great, the sound was stunning and the material as good as I remembered it.
8: Bellowhead, Pontedawe, 2011
In the days before Jon became a pop star and Sam took centre stage. Back then it was Spiers and Boden with a huge, overtalented and happy backing band who all looked like they were having the time of their life. Add to that the venue, which was an old style theatre with plenty of room and a old time atmosphere. And good friends as company.
9: Genesis, Birmingham NEC 1981
My brother took me to a few great concerts when I was young – Genesis were my favourite band and I knew all the songs inside out. The light show was amazing (for the time) and the musicianship inspirational. Phil Collins was a great front man and all was good. Except that they had just released Abacab, and played most of the album. A lot of it was pretty awful. But the stuff from Duke and the couple of oldies were amazing.
10: All About Eve, Cropredy Festival 1988.
One of the few bands to bring tears to my eyes – during “Every angel must die”. A fabulous performance at one of my favourite festivals.
Bruce Springsteen with Seeger Sessions Band in Copenhagen around 2004 should, performance wise, be on the list, but our seats were in a terrible position and the sound at Parken as awful as ever. But maaaaan! that guy can rock an audience! Really want to have Flaming Lips at Glastonbury 2010 too…