Archive for the ‘Gigs’ Tag

Rock Of Ages – The Reunion Tour

“Hello The Willows!... we’re called Senakot!  And we’re gonna rock the shit out of this place!”

“Hello The Willows!… we’re called Senakot! And we’re gonna rock the shit out of this place!”

“What’s that?  My eyes a bit funny?  Been on the wacky-baccy?  Nah; just done six lines of ex-lax.”“What’s that? My eyes a bit funny? Been on the wacky-baccy?  Ounce of coke?  Nah; just done six lines of Ex-Lax.”

“It’s great to be down here among the audience again!  Now how the hell do I get back to the stage?!”

“Listen you old git… audience participation is later in the set – show up my solo again with those maracas and you won’t find your wheelchair!”

Old guy with guitar

“This one’s called Sympathy For The Devil…can’t be too careful at our age.”


care home concert1

“Alright gorgeous find your damn Zimmer Frame and meet me outside after the show – okay?!”


Old rocker2

“You’re a great audience… I think we played here about six months ago.  Well, I did… the rest of the guys have passed on I’m afraid… Though I guess that’s the same for you as well.  Did we play here six months ago?!  What’s that?!  You don’t know… Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll enjoy us again.  For those who don’t remember we’re doing the same set as last time.  Right… now why am I here again?”


Festival Gig Security

"What's that?!  Two hundred pounds a ticket and this is the view ya get?  My heart bleeds for ya..."

“What’s that?! Two hundred pounds a ticket and this is the view ya get? My heart bleeds for ya…”

“Hey son, come on … over ‘ere!  Come on – that’s it, get your spot nice’n’early eh?  Good lad.  High fives?  Come on son… give us yer hand: I don’t bite – at least when I’ve been fed and I’ve already had a couple of the audience this mornin’!  Hya! Hya!  There that didn’t hurt did it?  Gangsta!  How about tryin’ this… eh… oh shit, never could get me hand like those rapper guys.  Never did like doin’ for their audiences much either.  Naah, I’m not racist or nothin’ – most of ‘em are white middle-class kids driven to the gigs by a yummy mummy, and the music’s shit anyway – innit?  Cool.

No, don’t put that there!  Oh; and if you insist on that bottle of Jackie D we’ll have to confiscate it won’t we? Dangerous object an’ all.  You could drink someone to death with that.  Hya! Hya!  Sorry lad, it’s not me who makes the rules.  And don’t hang that over the barrier unless you want it nicked.  The crowd?!  No…security that’s who!  Bunch of bloody reprobates every one of ‘em – me included!  I’m the worst – me – so Big Dave says. Yeh; I know… ironic ain’t it!  Ironic?  Doesn’t he play on the right wing for Croatia?  That’s one of me mate Big Dave’s jokes.  Wait a minute… you a student son?  You are?  Okay: well he does play on the right wing but only for a scratch team!  D’ya get it?  I don’t.  It’s one of Dave’s interlectual jokes…

"Perks of the job mate... Perks of the job."

“Perks of the job mate… Perks of the job.”

“I did for that Alanis Morissette once you know.  Naah, not in that way – Hya! Hya!  Protected her from the riff raff, I mean – like you.   Never liked her much though – always wearin’ jeans or one of them long skirts like a bloody librarian: music’s ‘bout as interestin’ too!   I much preferred that Girls Aloud… for one there was five of ‘em, and for two; you could see right up their skirts from down ‘ere.  And for three the second made me forget the third!  Hya! Hya!  I used to tell Big Dave – he’ll be along in a minute – that I had such a good view I knew which one of ‘em was on!  Naah, not that I’m sexist or nothin’.  Ah, the legs on that Nadine – eh?  You don’t like ‘em son?  What’s that?  Manufactured shite?  Maybe… but I bet you would have done wouldn’t ya?

Polly Jean Harvey… that was another one with good legs; did her at GlastonburyBritpop era it was – dressed up like a tart she was.  There I was havin’ a bloody good look durin’ that Fifty foot Queen Bee song and she comes over and threatens to splatter me balls wiv her guitar.  Feisty?  No, it was definitely fifty foot.  Anyway she must be a bloody lesbian!  Naah, not that I’m homerphobic or anythin’ – just that it’s not right; is it?  Cool.  Hey, son better change the subject… look at that walkin’ this way… Oh; it’s your girlfriend…

“Er, yeh… should be a good gig.  I prefer the outdoor stuff, yeh, I think it’s the more liberal attitude yer know; that sort of vibe.  Big Dave said I’m too liberal for me own good – I told him I must be the most relaxed member in the whole of the BNP!  What you laughin’ for!  Did I say it was a fuckin’ joke?!  There’d be no Ironic in my bloody team let me tell you that!  Hello darlin’ he’s alright, he’s safe – he’s wiv me ain’t he?  Aah, young love eh?  I could tell you some stories… many?  Loads of ‘em… been around me… I should fuckin’ coco!  Oh, festivals!?  That’s what you was on about.  What a prick eh?  What you say?!  Don’t yer even think of fuckin’ agreein’ wiv me on that!  I’m not a psycho or anythin’ just a bit sensitive me ol’ mum says.  It’s alright love – come on, come back, I’ll let him go; I was only jokin’ – Hya! Hya!

“…Ri RiMe! MeMadge?  Got the badge!  Gaga?  Drive my car!  Adele?!  Go to fuckin’ hell!”


“There yer go, it’s only a little tear… tell yer friends you did it surfin’ to Biffy!  It’s alright love; I’ve put him down now… er, as I was sayin’, loads of ‘em: I’ve had me back to them all: Coldplay, U2, Oasis – that Liam Gallagher hit me in the back of the ‘ead once: threw his bloody tambourine when he was busy tellin’ Noel where to go!  Don’t look back in anger – eh son?  There, that’s it … you can still see the dent.  No?  Oh, must be the bright sun, eh son?  Hot son?  You wait ‘till the other sixty thousand arrive!  Don’t worry love, we’ve got plenty of water to pass out – phew, she’s a worrier ain’t she? Always spit in it first though!  Naah, don’t tell her that son she’ll do her nut.  Keep the peace like I do eh?  Only a joke anyway… I would say I predict a riot but if she passes out the first aid tent’s a bleedin’ mile away in that direction.  One bit of advice though son, Big Dave always, I mean always pisses in the buckets of water he chucks over yer.  Right? Cool.

"Kate Moss?!  They all say that porky."

“Kate Fuckin’ Moss?! They all say that porky.”

“Hey darlin’… where is she?!  Gone to get somethin’ to eat you say?  Sensible as well as gorgeous – eh son?  Yer, need somethin’ inside yer.  Unless yer a real man of course!  No really, she’s a nice lookin’ gal, you’ve done well.  Festival virgin is she?  Or just a virgin eh?  Hya! Hya!  Go on get her in the tent later, no one’s gonna hear yer we’ve got megawatts of power – drown out a nuclear explosion it would – even yours!  See that stack over there, I had to stand right there for the Motorhead set yesterday – ‘what a delight it was to see the prototype exponents of British speed metal receiving a belated welcome into the bosom of a new young audience, as a legion of festival goers greedily surfed on the contagious cacophony created by a leering Lemmy and his cohorts in aural crime’ – that’s what The Times critic said.  At least I can still read… can’t hear a fuckin’ thing though!  Big Dave’s the same.  Deaf.  I said he’s deaf!!   Sorry son: that makes two of us – mine are still ringin’ from yesterday, right?  Says he’s glad of that when that world music shit is on.  He’s smaller than me: double ironic eh?  I found it blowin’ round the toilets – not Big Dave!  The paper stupid!  I always liked The Times – plenty of arse wipe for your money.  Must be all them long words they use.  Not much use now though.  I should have written to the letters page and complained.  Give us back the broadshit – signed: caught short of GlastonburyHya! Hya!

“Madchester?  Baggy?  I should say so – me trousers looked like they’d divorced me balls!”


“As I say; I’ve done ‘em all.  What’s that son…Ri RiMe! MeMadge?  Got the badge!  Gaga?  Drive my car!  Adele?!  Go to fuckin’ hell!  Robbie?  Yeh.  He put his foot on me shoulder.  Left or right?  How should I fuckin’ know!  Twat!  ‘And through it all she offers me pro…’ then he got off.  Next night I was in the same place and he did the same thing only this time he gets up to ‘protec…’  I flogged the t-shirt to some little honey that I pulled out of the front row for thirty-notes.  Perks of the job son!  Isn’t much I haven’t seen.  And done.  Best girls?  Easy; the ones who go to see Robbie.  Worst?  That’s easy too; too easy if you know what I mean – heavy metal bitches.  It’s all them devil signs – it’s the only horn I get from them: makes me feel like a chicken at Colonel Satan’s takeaway.  Naah, it isn’t just people like Robbie what gets the groupies, we do too you know!  We make ‘em feel safe – then we shag ‘em!  Count to three – fingers that is – then if it doesn’t work force entry: that’s the security code!  Hya! Hya!  What you fuckin’ laughin’ at!?  Mysogernist?  Who’s she when she’s at home?  Some woman rapper or summat?  Naah, don’t worry; I’m not a violent man.  I’m like one of them martial arts gurus me; I channel the force – I wouldn’t hit no one with this lethal weapon as it would compromise my pacifistic morality.  That’s what Big Dave says and he’s got a lethal weapon too. Yeh, we get our share of the girls… mind you that one wouldn’t let me put the t-shirt on her – bloody bitch: should have charged her fifty-notes!  Laugh again son and I’ll knock yer fuckin’ head off!  Okay?

All ready for some of Dave's special water?

“Everybody hot are we?!  All ready for some of Dave’s special water?!”

“See, I haven’t actually hit you have I?  And those red marks fade real quick – go on have a drink of this – get your breath back.  Plenty of Big Dave’s special ingredient in that.  Hya! Hya!  Yeh… you get blahsay to the job in the end.  Yeh; the stars become your friends so to speak.  They see you grapple some crowd surfin’ git off the stage so they ask for you again.  I had a Christmas card from that Chris Martin once – asked for a donation to make poverty history.  I’ll make him fuckin’ history, bloody tight wad!  I’ve got a collection of sweaty towels at home: Mick Jagger’s is me top one – he signed it for me.  Elton John’s towel’s got a silk monogram on it: E.J. it says.  Strange that.  Got one off one of them riot grrrl groups back in the nineties.  They were some harsh girls them.  Kick you in the balls as look at yer.  Or was it that Tori Amos?  Hmmm; could have been Courtney Love now I think of it.  Whatever, it’s got blood on it – not yer menstrual though otherwise it might have been worth summat.  How do I know?  Big Dave’s brother works in the lab of an STD clinic.  That’s how!  Very civilised that Chris Martin: tight but civilised.  He wouldn’t have blood on his towel.  Probably come up smellin’ of roses in any bloody case!  Moral spokesman for a generation and Gwyneth Paltrow for a shag!  Mind you their music’s dismal shite – ain’t it?

“Talkin’ about smell… you ought to be this side of the barrier facin’ you lot when the wind’s in the right direction!  Phew!  Big Dave says he can smell the excitement.  And the rest!  ‘I love the smell of excitement in the mornin’’ he says.  He’s always quotin’ that Apocalypse Now.  He plays it over and over when we’re on the road – that and ‘is Lethal Weapon too.  Says his only ambition is to do security for Napalm Death – then he gets to say – ‘I love the smell of Napalm Death in the mornin’’ The HorrorsThe Horrors?  Naah, never ‘eard of ‘em.

"You don't like 'em?  Heavy Metal too proletarian for ya...  Nevermind sonny you'll feel like Napalm Death without a shirt all day..."

“You don’t like ’em? Heavy Metal too proletarian for ya… Nevermind sonny you’ll soon feel like Napalm Death without a shirt on all day…”

“Me?  Strangely enough I chill out by goin’ to see bands.  Proper busman’s holiday eh?  Favourite?  What of all time cross me heart swear on the Bible me mother’s life look at the tits on that kind of way?  Oh that’s easy absolutely no doubt… Stone Roses or t’Happy Mondays: did you notice me slippin’ into a Manc accent there son?  Can’t help it.  Yeh, I was there then: ‘avin it large; poppin’ pills.  Madchester?  Baggy?  I should say so – me trousers looked like they’d divorced me balls!  Spike Island.  YeeurghaaaaaBez?!!!  What would I have been wearin’ one of them for!  Shaun Ryder – just like that, eh? Twat!  Students eh?  All that money and what do they know?

“Did a stint on the door of the Hacienda for that Tony Wilson once.  Naah, not long… stayin’ at the same venue all the time was like working in a factory.  I didn’t hang around.  So it goes.  No, never liked that earlier Manc stuff.  Joy DivisionIan Curtis?  Enough to make yer top yerself listenin’ to that dark shit!  Only time I concentrate that hard and jerk like an epileptic is when I’m comin’ either that or I’ve got a Tazer up me arse!  Big Dave’s got one – illegal it is.  He collects weapons – he got it off an internet site: it’s just like the ones the Met have got.  He wants to bring it along one day he says: mix work and pleasure he says.  Naah, I don’t mind New OrderBlue Monday?  Great porn flick that!  We watch that for a warm up, right.  Yeh; I like a good time… which is why Quo’s me real favourite.  What?  So I lied!  Oh, and I’m not religious.  And me mother’s dead in any case!

“I much preferred that Girls Aloud… for one there was five of ‘em, and for two; you could see right up their skirts from down ‘ere.”


“Went to see the Quo about a month ago, yeh; another one of their farewell tours.  Not so Sweet Caroline it was.  Yer see son, I forgot meself… I goes down the front hops over the barrier and starts doin’ me job of all things!  What happens?  I gets ejected… yeh, me… that’s what happens!  Ironic eh?  Broke his jaw though… case comes up in the autumn.  Cool.

“Jeez, look at that lot just arrived over there!  Twenty of ‘em; twenty’s about the oldest I’d say too!  Wall to wall crop tops and bikinis and the hormones to fill ‘em!  Yeh, as I was sayin’ son, I love the outdoor ones!  Wait for the crowd surf… I’ll be draggin’ ‘em out very slowly if you know what I mean!  Time I was movin’ on out… movin’ on up – over there!

“Nice talkin’ to yer son.  I’ve met worse.  Have a good one?  Yeh: and you; and a havin’ it large one or in my case a stiff one.  As we say in the security game: break a leg… and an arm… and a nose too if you can!  Hya! Hya!  High Fives?  NaaahOh, your arms still hurt… okay.  Coooool.”


Rock Of Ages – The Encore

"Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Good night The Willows. You've been a wonderful audience... 'til next time - keep on rockin'!!!"

“Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Good night The Willows.  You’ve been a wonderful audience… ’til next time – keep on rockin’ !!!”

care home singer

old man and guitar

“Right… Hands up if you like The Grateful Dead?”








“Me rider?  Oh; just two aspirin, an incontinence pad – and a nice cup of tea.”


“No… don’t play much no more these days… just keeps me hand in like.  What?!  Give it up altogether?!  No chance – I’d be missin’ them groupies too much!”

"Bloody hell Doris!  Why have you always got to spoil the quiet/loud bridge in Smells Like Teen Spirit?!"

“Bloody hell Doris! Why have you always got to spoil the quiet/loud bridge section in Smells Like Teen Spirit?! You know it’s my favourite!”

guitar and amp“Okay folks, we think you’ll really notice the difference from last time…  We got us a new Marshall stack that’s so loud it’ll make you shit yourselves.”

"Damn!  Since that Al Zheimer joined the band I never can remember the chords to Smack My Bitch Up."

“Damn!  Since that Al Zheimer joined the band I can’t remember the chords to Smack My Bitch Up.”

Rock Of Ages

"Winnie I said c-o-u-n-t-r-y and western..."

“Winnie I said c-o-u-n-t-r-y and western!”

"Now, unless you stop making devil horn signs at the vicar we’re going to wheel you back to your rooms!"

“Now, unless you stop making devil horn signs at the vicar we’re going to wheel you back to your rooms!”

nursing home concert

“Right folks we’ve reached our last song… and we’d like to do one of your old favourites for you – The Eagles of Death Metal’s Chase The Devil.  Feel free to clap along… “

Old folks concert

"A jumpin'-Jack-a-Flash-a-is-a-Gas-a..."

“A jumpin’ Jack-a-Flash-is-a-Gas-a…”

“I am not playing Kumbaya until you all promise to stop the circle mosh pit and the stage diving at the back!”

Phone In The Gig

gig phones 

Picture This…

Once there was the performer and the audience.  Two sides of a simple equation.  Performer came on stage… audience watched – responded; or didn’t – then both went their separate ways.  Good or bad, the gig was the hot topic of conversation next day.  Legends were refined, or destroyed; and memory was based on the sweet intangibles of the senses.  For sure… once it was all stories and glories around here.  A rich brew of modern folk tales simmered with urban myth: enhanced and ripened over the years.  It was good to bathe in the afterglow of the “I was there when…” moment in the pub or the playground.  These were times when we liked the distance between us… these were our heroes after all: larger than life; up there – on the stage doing what we couldn’t or wouldn’t dare to do.

What we could do is clap, scream, shout, dance, slash the upholstery, stand on our chair, run to the front, try to get on the stage, bop, get down, get thrown out, get punched, pogo, head bang, mosh, spit, throw something, sway from side to side, wave a scarf, put our lighters up, or a candle, or a glow stick; or put the light of our lives above our heads; or just point – excitedly.  That was the point.  That was participation.  We were a part of it.

“Like so many tuning forks to the devil’s own network… we have to suffer these pocket size connections to the (arse)soul.”


If you needed them – there were triggers to the memory: buy a poster, a t-shirt, or a programme at the merchandise stall – “a small remembrance of something more solid.”  But these were just a series of frames in which to display the greater picture.  It was our sweat that had mixed with musky humanity in a darkened hall.  It was our pores that leaked salt, desire and a mutual affirmation.  We were all in it together.  For what other reason would we get that close to someone who wasn’t lover or family in the pursuit of belonging.  And yet, we were all family: one of the many defined by our feelings for the few.  Though here lay a contradiction that was also confirmation of the open channel between audience and stage.  Each and every one of us felt implicitly that we were also one of the few.  That we were the ones who really understood; the chosen ones who truly appreciated the lyrics.  That we were eye-to-eye with destiny – the ones being contacted directly.  Oh yes, we had lived their struggle for recognition as if it were our own.  Now was time for our reward.  Oh; and how we knew that without this glorious conspiracy – our secret signature on the contract – things just wouldn’t be the same.

Now special is as special does.  Go to any gig and be swamped by mobile technology on tour.  And it’s not on the stage.  Apple, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG and their poor sweated relations turn up like spurned partners at a wedding – determined to have a good time while spoiling the party for everyone else.  It’s all one big mobile performance.  Like so many tuning forks to the devil’s own network… we have to suffer these pocket size connections to the (arse)soul.  Receivers wired up though not fired up – for how could they be – in the hands of these anal-retentives who eschew the roughage of life: constipated via the tiny windows that serve as gateways to the huge void in their heads.  A becalmed sea of arms held aloft as the storm of the gig rumbles around them.  A convention of scenes of crime officers with independent film director mobile mass of phonestendencies.  Limbs in an emotionally arid landscape: a desert of oil derricks: nodding donkeys – Hee-Haw!  Film, edit, tweet and post.  A design for life… like self-publicising millionaires.  Then phone a friend to confirm your public poverty.  Your creative deficit: a lazy inability to recreate from memory- from concrete evidence only.

Ian Brown (quoted in the NME) upon viewing a sea of cameras at The Stone Roses reunion warm-up gig in Warrington last year: “If you put down all them phones, you can be in this moment.  Otherwise you’ll just wake up tomorrow with a recording of a moment you weren’t in.”  Made of Stone.  Not feeling the electricity: just static – new and in the way.  Camera obscura: a thousand pictures that prevent everyone seeing what’s right in front of them.  Creating a generation who are only able to experience from hindsight.  Fully paid up contracts on the proxy network: so busy cataloguing; facebooking; youtubing and tweeting: their self-obsession made manifest.

There’s no genuine involvement from these rows of lightning conductors: these android wastelands with all the substance of a spark.  Appendages to the machine – theirs is the dead hand of interaction on the “democratic” technology busy sucking the lifeblood out of some of our senses.  A life half-realised and half-remembered by a blank generation of halfwits moving toward a collective Alzheimer’s.

Watch out for the sudden and annoying shift from stationary to squirrel; darting this way and that, busy storing away scenes in a fleeting archive that will never last the winter of download frenzy – let alone a lifetime.  Squirrels?  Crazy Frogs more like: deeply annoying and hopping from gig to gig.  Ring-ning-ning… Bah!

“That was the point.  That was participation.  We were a part of it.”


4G – but only one function.  Get! Get! Get!  Get the picture at all costs!  Get the video! (Even better)  Get out of my way!  Have you captured the moment?  Got the edge?  Here’s the overwhelming proof that I was there; the defining essence of me: right here; of me – right now!  Screw you!

It’s a substitute for experience for those with the attention span of gnats.  Japanese tourists in their own lives – click, snap, click, snap, click, snap: next!  Going through the (e)motions of calling someone up… “Hey, listen to this!”  But it’s not for them to hear – only for them to realise how important; how keyed in; how ubiquitous; how about town, and how bloody precious you are.  “So I talked over the top of a couple of songs so loud that no one else could avoid the distraction?  Do I care?!  It’s my life and my film.  I’m the only one really in it.  And I’m me.  So much more important than you darling.  I’m the star!  I’m top of the bill.  You?  Forget the supporting bill; you’re lucky to be one of the extras!”

It doesn’t end there… “Can you see?  It’s me with them right after the gig: they were such nice people!  There they are – right behind me.  Here I am again with them in the bar.  The best song?  The performance?  Did I dance?  How long were they on? Grade the gig?  What are you talking about?!  I got the pictures!”  It’s a one man/one woman show playing in an office, a pub, a playground, a club, a street, a factory near you.  Life through a backward lens and a permanent project(ion) of me.

But does it end there?  “Hello… yeh it’s me.  I’m in hospital.  Yeh; that’s the nurse – I’ll send one of her. What’s that noise?  It’s the heart monitor stupid?  How do I feel?  I don’t.  What am I doing?  I’m dyin’… see?”

Picture that…Mobile phone and guitarist at gig

Love your music? And your life? Then think of others who pay their ticket money and take your choice… who would be better off staying at home and watching YouTube next day.  Why not switch off your life support?  Or better still leave it at home for once.

%d bloggers like this: