My Favourite Gig – Derrick Johnston

This is the eleventh in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig.

The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos  

 Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Derrick Johnston, head honcho of make that a take records

Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V

Dundee in 2011

 

To answer a question about a favourite gig is pretty difficult; do I pick one that I’ve attended, one that I’ve played or one that we’ve put on?

 

There are loads that spring to mind; seeing At The Drive In back in 2000, Beastie Boys at T In The Park ’98, Against Me in King Tuts years ago, so many shows jump out at me; Kula Shaker at The Caird Hall in Dundee was my first “big” show way back in 1997 and I remember that I lost a shoe trying to crowd surf. That was when I figured out that hardcore and indie rock crowds didn’t necessarily mix!

Of equal importance was the gig at the now non-existent Westport Bar in Dundee on my 16th birthday when my band (Humus Kife) played with Mercury Tilt Switch, Tenesee Kait and Agent Orange (now Kaddish). That show was seminal and of great importance to me.

I’ve played some incredible shows with my various bands across the years too; from playing with some of my favourites (Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, RVIVR; a sold out show in Edinburgh that was Uniforms’ first ever gig) to playing our first ever show in America at Pre-Fest 10 in Gainesville, Florida.

 

However, I think the greatest set I’ve ever seen with my own eyes was watching the mighty Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V at Kage Nightclub, Dundee in 2011. I will never forget the feeling of being absolutely exhausted after playing earlier that day and running the show, which was our first three-day BYAF. I had lost my phone the previous evening and was running around demented all day. I was so nervous when Leatherface arrived as they’ve long been one of my favourite bands and to see them up “on stage” in our club at a sold-out festival was a surreal experience. We’re usually razor-sharp when it comes to timekeeping but nobody gave a shit that Leatherface were running over their set time. I mean, come on, would you go and tell Frankie Stubbs that time was up?

 

I’ll never forget that night. I believe pride can be a dangerous emotion but there are few times when I’ve felt more proud of being involved in punk rock than standing at the back watching a few hundred punks lose their minds while Leatherface blasted out classic after classic. A truly humbling and educational experience for which I shall be eternally grateful.

 

My Favourite Gig – Karen Amsden, Hagar The Womb

This is the eigth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Karen Amsden from hagar The Womb whose new album  is now available

 

The Mekons

London 1981

 

I have seen 1000s of band so this was hard.  I was very surprised by my choice having been lucky enough to see the Clash, Nirvana, Johnny Cash and most of the bands that I have ever wanted to see. Although cross that I have never seen the Smiths, Xray Spex, the Slits and Magazine, I thought I would choose a gig like Pulp at Glastonbury in 1995 which is famous for how great it was (still taunt my partner for going to see Tricky instead).

 

The gig I have chosen though is seeing the Mekons in 1981 for the first time at an unknown venue in London. My boyfriend of the time, as well as repeated plays by John Peel, meant I was in love with their single ‘Where were you?’ and desperate to see them play it in front of me. All I remember is dancing furiously in the front row and developing a bit of a crush on the floppy haired singer Tom. I was so thrilled by the gig, didn’t even mind the two hour wait for the night bus home. Rather drunk and over excited, not helped by my parents leaving me alone at home for the fortnight, I passed out in my front garden clutching the set list given to me by the band. Next morning about 6am I sheepishly let myself in my home and then spent the next decade going to see the Mekons and Three Johns as much as I could.

Still wish I had that set list….

 

Karen Amsden

 

 

My Favourite Gig – Craig Wedren

This is the fourth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

 

craig

Craig Wedren – Shudder To Think –

X + The Replacements,

Cleveland 1980

 

Here’s one of many ‘favourite show’ memories.. I was 14, and my favourite band was X. Matt Fields’ mom (the ‘cool’ mom with the monstrous vinyl collection) took us all in a van to see them on the ‘More Fun In The New World’ tour. I think it was me, Matt, maybe David Wain, and Scott Harbert, the guitar player for my 8th grade band ‘Immoral Minority’. We were living in Cleveland, sitting in the back trembling with excitement, holding hands and singing every X song.

 

The show was in an old theatre with built-in seating. The audience was sitting down -very polite and adult- during the opening act. I saw John and Exene standing behind the bass rig and immediately got out of my seat and walked to the very front of the stage to try and be as close as possible to my heroes, and maybe get they’re attention. The lead singer of the opening band, who were all sitting on stools, stopped mid-song, looked down at me, and shouted ‘HEY KID, WADDAYA THINK THIS IS, A ROCK AND ROLL SHOW?!!’

 

I was mortified and fled back to my seat. I remember thinking the band was pretty good, even though I was there for one reason, and one reason ONLY. A year or so later the album ‘Let It Be’ came out and changed all of our lives (and music), at which point I realized the guy that had shouted me down was Paul Westerberg, the opening band The Replacements. In subsequent years I would get to work with John and Exene from X, and had a friendly acquaintance with Tommy Stinson (who can’t have been much older than me playing bass at that magnificent show), but I’ve never met Paul, and would probably be as awed/terrified now as I was then. That was a damn good show.

craig wedren

My Favourite Gig by Beki Bondage

beki1This is the third in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

Beki Bondage, Vice Squad –
Altavoz Festival
Colombia 2012

I don’t actually have a favourite gig of all time but one of the most memorable ones I played was the Altavoz Festival in Medellin, Colombia.

Our guitarist Lumpy doesn’t like flying so he got some Diazepam from the doctor to calm his nerves but the doctor didn’t warn him that you’re not supposed to mix alcohol with Diazepam. On the day of the flight we got to the airport about 7am and Lumpy was in the bar having a drink by 8am. We boarded a couple of hours later for a 7 hour flight to Miami where we were to get a connecting flight to Medellin. By the time the plane was ready to land in Miami there were 13 small empty red wine bottles in the pouch in front of Lumpy’s seat, and he was most insistent that he didn’t need to fill in an immigration form to pass through US customs.

The bassist, drummer and me all filled in customs forms and after queueing for about 40 minutes passed through US immigration and got ready to catch our connecting flight. Of course, after queuing for some time Lumpy had been turned away by a Customs Officer and told to fill in the form but was confounded by the fact that it was written in Spanish and being off his head he didn’t think to turn the page over to the English side! We were panicking as there was no sign of him and we had to catch our connecting flight so we went through security and asked the flight attendant on the Medellin flight to delay the plane because one of the band members was missing.

At this point we didn’t even know if Lumpy was still in the airport as he was in such a state we expected US Customs to refuse him entry and send him back to the UK. I thought we’d be doing the gig as a 3 piece and that I’d be practising very heavily for the next few days as I’d be playing lead guitar!

Eventually a staggering Lumpy appeared and he boarded the plane, berating the rest of us for not bringing his bag through security (you can’t bring someone else’s bag through airport security but try explaining that to a Yorkshireman who’s mixed a large quantity of wine, lager and spirits with Diazepam at high altitude). The flight to Medellin lasted about 3 hours and when we landed we were filmed coming through the gates by Colombian TV.

We were taken to a 5 star hotel and for the next four days we were wined , dined and expected to promote the show, which was fine except for the fact that Lumpy’s bag hadn’t turned up so he was wearing the same clothes for 5 days!!!! A local tattoo artist took pity on him and gave him a t-shirt, but apart from that everything he wore was 5 days old and Medellin is very humid so he was somewhat ‘ripe’.

We did various interviews for TV which was quite weird as we were used to being ignored in the UK so found the Colombians’ interest in us rather strange but very flattering.  We did a secret press conference and were escorted by police with hand guns into the theatre and we were amazed that it was packed full of people wanting to see us. It was like a surreal version of a chat show with the audience made up of Punks. There were more people at the press conference than at some of the gigs we played in England.

The people we met were awesome and it was very,very humbling to learn that our first album had inspired so many of them to get into Punk, some had even built their own guitars, now that’s DIY!!!! There is a lot of poverty in Colombia so Punk is a lifeline for many people, you couldn’t over estimate its importance. Every day a great guy called Roman would collect us from the hotel and take us out for lunch followed by promo. Roman had won the Colombian version of ‘Big Brother’ so he was a bit of a celebrity and a real character.

We looked round a toy shop in a shopping centre and all the staff knew who we were because we’d been on TV, so we had to pose for photos. We also did the ’sightseeing tour’, you have to do it because the mayor arranges it specially for the visiting bands, so there we were at the back of the bus with a Polish metal band  like naughty school kids.. We visited the university and met some of the students and the whole day was filmed and televised, we were even filmed when we were eating. We’d never done so much promo before and were relieved to get back to the hotel thinking we would get a break from the cameras, but there was another TV presenter with cameras waiting for us in reception!!!

Like I said before, we’re accustomed to being ignored so all the attention and media interest was quite overwhelming. The gig itself was amazing, we played in a stadium to an audience of 30,000 people and the show was televised live.

I’m used to having the audience up close and not having much space but the stage was huge and I had to cover a lot of ground to get to the front to commune with the crowd.
We were the most tired we’d ever been after the show, partly because of the altitude and partly from having been on the piss for 5 days, but being typical musos Lumpy, Wayne (bass) and me went out to a bar after the show rather than doing the sensible thing and going back to the hotel for a kip.
The return journey was quite arduous as the connecting flight from Miami to London was delayed so we hung round the airport bar for about 5 hours and were pretty out of it by the time we caught the London flight.

A day later we were back in the UK playing some small club gigs up north, business as usual!

Beki Bondage

My Favourite Gig – Brendan Canty

This is the second in a weekly series all taken from Hope 2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question

My Favourite Gig by Brendan Canty, Deathfix, Fugazi, Rites of Spring, One Last Wish etc

The Mummies + Thee Headcoats

Calgary, early 90’s

 

Guy and I ducked out after a Fugazi gig one night in the early nineties in Calgary, and went over to see Thee Headcoats play. The Mummies were opening up, but we had no idea who they were at the time. We were just both big Billy Childish fans.

The place was small and I think a biker bar. There were certainly mostly bikers there. Definitely not the place to be by the looks of it. Yet, as we all know, life usually runs in the converse of expectations.

When the Mummies hit the stage they hit with such force and commitment that everyone’s mind was playing catch up with what they were seeing. 4 totally disgusting looking fully costumed in filthy rag mummies were beating their instruments to death and whipping through killer garage tracks one after another. Everyone in the room got into it in one way or another. After a while one of the drunk biker women went to the bathroom and wrapped herself in toilet paper mummy-style and came out and stood in front of the stage giving the band two birds. This made them even more jacked up.

As the singer rocked his Farfisa back and forth hanging from the water pipe above the stage, the organ gave way and he came crashing down with his arm breaking between his body and the keyboard. He kept playing.

After the set Thee Headcoats couldn’t really do much. I’ve seen them and loved them, but that night they dissolved into a mess and eventually broke up on stage when the drummer took the only working microphone and used it as a drumstick. Billy Childish quit and walked out of the club. It seemed like a reasonable response. We were all wiped.

Brendan’s latest recorded output was Deathfix and his lates band is Super Silver Haze

 

Brendan Canty

My Favourite Gig – Mike Schulman

This is the first in a weekly series all taken from Hope 2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question

My Favourite Gig by Mike Schulman, Slumberland Records (also in Hard Left)

The Jesus & Mary Chain

Washington, DC in October 1985

 

“I’d have to say my favourite gig was seeing The Jesus & Mary Chain in Washington, DC in October 1985. I had been picking up the singles as they came out and had an import of the LP, as it hadn’t come out in the US yet. Those singles made a huge impression on me, to say the least. I was at university at the time and even cut classes for 3 or 4 days to just sit home and listen to “You Trip Me Up” on repeat when it came out. I had been a fan of punk, post-punk and pop music and by that point was also into no wave and noisier stuff ranging from Fire Engines to The Birthday Party. But I’d never heard anything quite those singles to blend it all into one, and I couldn’t get enough.

 

The sound was amazing, but the look was too – there were no American bands even remotely that cool.  So when they came to DC I was ready. I had been playing the singles a lot of my best mate Rob and he was a fan too. We got to the venue when the doors opened and staked out a spot stage front and centre. it seemed to take forever for the band to come on and I had little patience for the openers. I only remember one of them: noise band Peach of Immortality, who blew my left ear out that night. It’s never been the same. Finally the Mary Chain came on and it was everything I had hoped for. Not even all that loud, but driving and chaotic. They looked incredible – all black leather trousers, turtlenecks, leather jackets. I’d never seen anything like them. They were slightly older than me but infinitely cooler. The songs all sounded terrific, the Spector/VU/racket amalgam we all know so well now. The set was short and to the point, and I don’t remember any interaction with the crowd at all.

 

I went home that night changed somehow. As much as I had loved punk and it’s “have a go” ethic, I had never heard any music that I thought that I could make. And this was it. My mate Rob and I started a band the next day, which eventually grew into one of the original bands on my Slumberland label, which I still run to this day. I’ve been in a bunch of bands since, and it’s no exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t have done any of it without that one gig.”

http://www.slumberlandrecords.com/

Mike is also in Political Punk Mod band Hard Left, a hard mod band from members of Lunchbox, Fire Party, Boyracer and Black Tambourine. Hard Left wear their politics on their sleeves. Hard Left hearken back to the early days of punk to tell stories about NOW and to motivate the listeners. Hard Left is about action — lift every voice and chant, join arms and resist.