Saturday, 8 April 2006


The best gigs stay with you for years -- the best ones make all the other lesser ones worthwhile, and all the ignominy worth it. And since I've been making musical lists on recent weekends, here's a list of my top ten most memorable gigs from my own pre-history that still stick with me. Dates are approximate (I'm not a damned encyclopaedia here):
  1. Manic Street Preachers, London Astoria, 1993. Richey's last show (pun sadly intentional). Rock experiences don't come better than this.
  2. Green Day's first London gig, 1995 (where spitball volleyball got played between crowd and band) - also at London's Astoria. These guys thought they could take on the word and win. I think they did.
  3. Velvet Underground, Forum, London. 1993. It was over before we realised what we'd all just seen...
  4. The Members, at Auckland's Mainstreet, November 5, 1978. The first time one of those nasty English punk bands -- the real thing! -- came to li'l old NZ. So naturally a friendly, local skinhead had to try and set fire to the place. Well, it was bonfire night. And the place was already on fire.
  5. Toy Love, Albert Park. 1979. An afternoon show just as The Enemy came to Auckland and changed their name; back when they were at their savage, snarling, dangerous best.
  6. Wilko Johnson, somewhere in Wellington, 1986, with a tight band and a machine-gun guitar sound. What a show.
  7. Christy Moore, Hammersmith Odeon, 1991. A man at the top of his powers, who could hold an audience of thousands in the palm of his hand with just his own voice and the sound of a bodhran. Pure genius.
  8. The Ramones, Logan Concrete Centre, 1978. Newspapers next day had headlines declaring 'Ramones Rock Riot.' It was that good.
  9. John Cale, Gluepot, 1983. Camouflage-era Cale showing he always did have the necessaries.
  10. Bob Dylan, Perth, 1985. I went to see Tom Petty. Realised pretty quickly that on his night, Bob was the real thing. And this was Bob's night.
I could add performances of Parsifal and by Wynton Marsalis to the list, but I might save those for a different list at another time. :-) So how about you? What were your ten best? (Careful now: Anyone suggesting Robbie Williams gets banned for a month - and that means you, Sus.)

TAGS: Music, Events


  1. My top 3 -

    Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Wellington Town Hall, 2005. I was quite stunned as to just what a showman Nick Cave is. And he smoked on stage too!

    Sly and Robbie, Wellington Town Hall, 2003. The riddim twins could teach all NZ reggae/ska/dub acts a thing or fifty. In about 3 hours on stage the music only stopped 3 times and there was no mucking around with "encores". Everyone knew when this show was over.

    Bjork, Wellington Events Centre, 1996. The woman has the most amazing voice in world music, bar none. You cannot appreciate her until you see her live.

    The one I most want to see - Wilco, live in NZ.

  2. Not sure If I can make 10, but here goes - in order of BEST over favourite artist.

    1 Hunters and collectors at a pub in Tauranga
    The pub was small, and the band was BIG - the best live sound I think I ever heard. Those guys were seriously good - all the brass and everything.

    2. Patti Smith at Wembley arena about 1980
    I was standing in the line to purchase tickets - some guy in a leather jacket walked up to me and gave me 2 REE tickets, and walked off! I followed him around the side, and we were admitted to the SPECIAL ENCLOSURE ( like the royal box) - free beer, seats, and within spitting distance of the stage. What an experience. I took some great photos which I had enlarged and have on my studio wall.

    3. Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson at Hammersmith Odeon - 1980. Also featured Ellen Foley. Mick and Ian are legends in my musical catalogue.

    4. Thin Lizzy - Hammersmith Odeon 1979

    5. Wilko Johnson in a small pub in Putney in 1998 - Hot, loud and electric - this guy still goes off.

    6. Dr Feelgood - Tauranga and hamilton (post Wilko!) Lee Brilleaux called me up on stage on both occasions, and I Jammed with my heroes.

    7. Pink Flloyd - the Wall at Wembley Arena - what a spectacle

    8. Paul Jones (The singer from Manfred Man) and The Blues Band - Guildford Town hall. This man sure can play the harp, and I love his voice. Added bonus was his band included McGuinnes and Flint, and the support act was The Yardbirds, whos guitarist of the day was Johnny Guitar - ex Dr Feelgood.

    9. Citizen Band, and Alistair Riddel and Space Waltz at the Tauranga Town Hall

    10. Bowie - station to station tour, Stones Voodoo Lounge, 10cc in London, Clapton at the Wooden Bridge in Guildford, Slade, Black Sabbath and Lindisfarne at Ngaruawahia, hamilton in the 70s, Neil Young at Western Springs, Hudoo Gurus in Hamilton

  3. Top ten.
    Ramones,powerstation akl nz
    Nirvana,Logan Campbell centre akl nz
    Wilko Johnson,Gluepot Akl Nz
    Stevie Ray Vaughan,LCC Akl Nz
    Mick Jagger Solo Band,Gluepot Akl Nz
    Pearl Jam,Mt smart stadium akl nz
    The Black Keys,Nightclub Melbourne Australia
    Cairo Knife Fight,Brewers bar Tauranga
    Shihad,Live Aotea Square Akl Nz
    Jakob,Albert park Akl Nz...
    There have been many more,including the Stones,Roger Waters,The Who,Split Enz,Cold Chisel,Jimmy Barnes,Nick Cave,Grinderman,Beasts of Bourbon,Devo,The Police,ZZ Top,Creedence,David Byrne,Jon Spencer,The Misfits,The Buzzcocks,Citizen Band,The Dudes,Hello Sailor,and many many more...A great time had by all.


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