I just stumbled on this hugely entertaining blog series about a Londoner’s earliest gig-going memories.
Reminds me of a few of my own.
FIRST: Soul II Soul / the Sindecut / Swervedriver
Brighton Centre, 1990
I was on Third Year Camp at the time (age 14), and my mother – I’ll always love her for this – drove out to where we were camped with our school-class, and drove me and my friends all the way to Brighton for the concert. I was still wearing my green wellington boots! After the gig, she picked us up and drove us all back to where we’d left our tents, in the forest in the middle of nowhere.
I remember being annoyed by the lack of enthusiasm for Swervedriver – really nice guys; great tunes. It was a pretty odd thing to have one of the heavier “shoegazing” bands supporting Soul II Soul anyway. The jazzy Sindecut had a really great single out that I don’t think actually got anywhere. I remember liking them.
I don’t actually remember if Soul II Soul were good or not, because I had no basis for comparison. They were just exactly as I expected them to be, and extremely slick and professional. I remember thinking Jazzy B was really sexy – and, like, totally profound. I might laugh now, but I’m still tapping my toe to this, even if the kiddie chorus grates.
SECOND: Charlatans / Intastella
Brighton Event, 1990
I queued for four hours before the doors open, and even thirty minutes after we’d arrived, the queue went right around the block. We were right at the front of the queue – me and my mum. We went right to the front. Mum and I got separated, and she’s barely five feet tall. She ended up wedged between these two really big blokes, and every time they jumped up, she got pulled up into the air with them. The bouncers had a hose trained on the crowd just to keep people from passing out.