Thursday, October 06, 2005

Keep right on... there is something about the colour blue that gets my back up.

I was there – Gigs that changed the world

That’s the title of a book just released by Mark Paytress. Well, I can’t claim these changed the world, but they made a bloody big dent in me.

Van Morrison and The Caledonian Soul Orchestra, Birmingham Town Hall
(about 1970) - I had never heard anything like this before. Sulky old Van, out of his moody blues and into Californian gypsy soul music.

Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band, Old Traffic Cricket Ground, 2003 – I had seen Bruce before, over 20 years before, but for his sheer energy and entertainment value made this one stick out.

Pink Floyd, Mothers Club, Erdington, 1969 - Recorded for part of the live Ummagumma set. Introduced by Peel, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Careful With That axe, Eugene. Sheer magic… it was another 20 years before Floyd recorded another live album.

Bob Dylan, Liverpool Odeon, 1966 - THAT tour.

Youssou N’Dour, Essaouira, Morrocco, 2005 - Not the greatest concert ever, but I will always remember it for that fantastic festival and that's the point. The experience is often more memorable than the music.

Jimi Hendrix, Some club in North London, 1967 – I was dossing around in London and someone at the hostel mentioned this bloke who had just come over from the States and could really play the guitar. I got there early and stood near the front (a mistake). Jimi was magnificent, and my ears were whistling for three days afterwards.

The Beatles, The Odeon, Birmingham 1964 - We queued up all night for tickets and with all the screaming I barely heard a word… but I could say I had seen them.

The Spencer Davis Group, The Alley outside Mothers, Erdington - We were queuing up outside to get in and Stevie Winwood was doing the soundcheck solo. He played a heartachingly good 'Georgia on my Mind' which he never played in the set but prompted spontaneous applause outside in the rain.