At the CFB Reps meeting in September I was harassed by a teenager "suggesting" that tickets for Arctic Monkeys at the NIA would be a suitable birthday treat. Between sessions, with a few thrusts of the parental credit card, the deed was done. Which meant that in Friday night I had the opportunity of observe the yoof in their natural habitat for several hours. Inevitably at my age, attending any gig provokes anxiety, but I needn't have worried about this one since the age range was wide and I was far from the oldest there - probably about 10% geriatrics (not all mums or dads), 20% Gen Y and 70% Gen Meh. I couldn't actually see Gordon, so I assume he was moshing.
While the support band were inevitable, at least they gave us the opportunity to finally decide on a name for our family Spinal Tap tribute band, "The Pointless Umlauts". The rest of the gig were reet bangin (sprechen Monkeys?) and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't good enough to make it into my top 10 gigs of all time, which after interrogation (leaving out classical to make things simpler) turn out to be:
10. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Griffith Park Los Angeles, 1985. Two tribes, Thatcher and Reagan.
9. Argent, Plymouth Guildhall, 1974. Makes the list largely because it's the first gig I ever went to.
8. Eurythmics, Griffith Park Los Angeles, 1985. Sweet dreams.
7. Ian Dury and the Blockheads, City Hall Sheffield, 1979. Hit me.
6. Sensational Alex Harvey Band, club, name long forgotten, Mayflower Street Plymouth, 1975. Faithhealer.
5. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, De Montfort Hall Leicester, 1983. Shipbuilding phase.
4. Graham Parker and the Rumour, Sheffield Students Union, 1978. Heat treatment.
3. The Stranglers, dodgiest venue I've ever been to, near Moss Side Manchester, 1977. Still wiping the spit off.
2. Echo and the Bunnymen, Queens Hall Leicester, 1981. McCulloch in full Zimbo voice.
1. Focus, Plymouth Guildhall, 1974. Much yodeling.
(if you didn't make it into my top 10, don't feel bad, nether did Dylan, Paul Simon or lots of others)
And the answer to the perennial question of What do you do during the duff tracks off Humbug you knew they were going to play turns out to be:
- Gen Meh: SMS.
- Gen Y: Facebook on the Blackberry.
- Geriatrics: Fieldwork.