What Gig's Have You Been To?

Couldn't see a thread dedicated to live music.

I went to see The Specials last night at Rock City,Nottingham.  Good gig small venue (about 2500).  Decent atmosphere.  Was almost a very short concert with Mr Hall threatening to walk off after bottles were thrown.  It seems some people just can't help acting like idiots.  Some well dressed folks about too.  I'm always blown away when I see a women skinheads, a male skinhead so what?  But a woman skinhead that takes guts.

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  • This looked too good to miss, given my current read is Billy’s book about skiffle - Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World - tickets arrived today.

    Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • What's this ? I'm all for diversity - but skiffle ? Tea chest bass and washboard. Have a word with yourself.

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • I used to play music in High School, the school's symphony orchestra (led by our teacher Irina Grigoryan, mother of two of  Australia's famous guitarists, Slava and Leonard) and the school's big band. I don't regret it as it gave me an understanding and appreciation for different kinds of music.

      Most of Britain's popular and well respected musicians during the 1960s - 1970s wouldn't have a career in music if it weren't for Lonnie Donegan, including Van 'the Man' as advertised above. Look up Jimmy Page skiffle on Youtube. He was only about 15. Legends had to start somewhere... and it all started with the blues... However, according to Keith Richards in a documentary, he once stated mockingly that "[Britain] got the blues courtesy of Adolf..." Love the double entendre... ;-)

      If you don't like Donegan's 'My Old Man's A Dustman', I suggest you listen to NZ's Howard Morrison Quartet's politically incorrect song 'My Old Man's An All Black'... Very tongue in cheek and coming from the fact the band members were Maori, having rugby players in the family, describes perfectly how Maori players were treated in those days. I don't condone rascism, but love truth hurts. The late Sir Howard Morrison said in an interview once that they wrote the song on tour, composing after hearing Donegan 's song and that whenever they played it, it caused riots! :-D

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • It's about music - not race, ethnicity, religion or gender. 

      Musicians will usually say something like 'it's all music', and therefore people like what they like and don't like what they don't like. Mods were no different, and I can say with some certainty that skiffle, rockabilly, rock'n'roll was not the music they would listen to or go anywhere near. It may seem, in these more enlightened times, that those mods were exhibiting closed minds and a narrow, exclusive point of view. Well, they didn't have closed minds but it can be argued that they were following a narrow and exclusive point of view. If so, it's because they were attempting to create a different lifestyle to that followed by the mainstream. That encompassed clothes, music, style and -  most importantly - attitude. You were a mod, you didn't go out looking like you'd just come off a building site, even if that was your job. You didn't stroll about in a pair of baggy jeans with 4 inch turnups, a check shirt and a bootlace tie. You didn't hang about in the coffee bars of Old Compton Street - you weren't trad, dad, or a beatnik, or a college student (God Bless Their Pointy Little Heads).You weren't listening to Nancy Whiskey and Chas McDermott. You weren't sitting there nodding your head and tapping your hand on your knee to Tommy Steele singing the blues (if ever a song had a wrong title) or calling Elvis Presley 'The King' - all that was for the other side of the road, where the motorbikes and greasy leathers hung out, going potty to Link Wray's 'Rumble.' Lonnie Donegan was part of that. He may well have been an excellent musician, but he was part of that, where the guy with a DA and his girl with a bouffant stuck their chewing gum on the bedpost.

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • Hey, I'm a Mod and I go to college! :)

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • Thats an awfull lot of what Mods were NOT

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • I'm pretty sure mods were trying to get away from the mainstream.

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • Absolutely get what you’re saying here Ernie and would never try to argue that any self respecting Mod would have listened to Lonnie Donegan back in the day. That said, if you Google skiffle and the name of virtually any “Mod” musician of the period, Townshend, Clapton, Ray Davies, all acknowledge a debt to Lonnie and skiffle, even if it was just that it put the guitar front and centre on the stage. 

      The likes of skifflle’s Ken Colyer, Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies weren’t Mods by any stretch of the imagination but they were massively influential in facilitating the whole “blues boom” that led to the R&B scene the Mods embraced as their own. 

      I guess you could draw the same parallels with Gospel and Soul music, the latter would not exist without the former but Guy Stevens never played Mahelia Jackson’s Go Tell It on the Mountain down at The Scene. 

      For me, it’s the inherent dichotomy of Mod that makes it so interesting and enduring; the “gang of individuals”, all seeking the purist’s holy grail and finding it in so many different places. Maybe Mod is not the destination but the journey it takes you on.

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • I think that's conflating two different things - musicians and their influences, and mod culture. Very few mods were musicians. Some musicians followed mod styles; why wouldn't they ? That teenage demographic was their audience, and potentail income. No such thing as a mod musician, really, or mod music. There was music that mods preferred to listen to, and that was mostly American influenced - blues, r'n'b, jazz - British musicians gravitated towards that music because British music at that time was, well, you can name the names. So why soul and r'n'b - in a nutshell, it was adult music dealing with how life was. It wasn't the Beatles (I Wanna Hold You Hand), it wasn't the Stones, with their interrminable covers, It was Wison Pickett, Aretha, Otis - we can all list the names; and they were talking about different stuff, that didn't come from anywhere we could recognise but something we wanted to find out about. Somehow, Lonnie singing about picking  a bale of cotton didn't quite get there.Skiffle, if anything, was an attempt to modernise British folk music and give it a bit bite, down at the church youth club.

      As for The Scene, it was Davies' R'n'B club before O'Reilly (he always spelt it O'Rahilly to , he thought, give himself a bit of a cachet) got hold of it. .It's true that Stevens never played any Mahalia Jackson records, you'd have to go to the 100 Club for that, He did manage, though, to get himself a bit of a name; along with a couple of others, Dexter and so on, who created this ludicrous idea of 'faces' so that they could primp and preen a bit. They weren't wrong, it was good PR and took off in a big way, especially among those bands who were on their way, it gave them something else to use as a connection to their fan base. Most of the people I knew tried to keep ther faces out of the picture.

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
    • Keep the posts coming. I'm up for anything sixties, a great decade, don't care if its not what I think. My post here is just an observation.
      Interesting that you picked up on the faces from The Scene. I agree with you that these original Mods gravitated towards the club and saw it as mod central. Trouble is, the modern day Google, copy and paste internet researchers and the mainstream media, have equally struggled to define its meaning, to the extent that I wonder if I was there at all!
      After all said and done, Ernie was there, just as I was there. Pinning down its origins and authenticity is about interpretation. Its about experiences. Your memories may not always be mine, but between us, our story just stax up. When you are first there, there is no before, no guidelines.
      The definitive Mods by Richard Barnes was and remains a good guide. To some extent he jumps into the action and recalls it from a first person's eyes. Later attempts by academics, sociologists and social historians, will at the end of the day, have had to come back to us for the story. I suggest that they are the guilty party in some part , elevating deejays like Jeff Dexter into positions that they did not start from.
      What loosely draws Jeff, Guy Stevens, Mickey Modern, Tony Foley and myself (not to mention those in the first photo next the MG forum banner) is that we all lived a stones throw from each other. Growing up and frequenting the dancehalls, Lyceum, Orchid, Lacarno etc., gaves us a shared working class identity which naturally spilled over in our very early teens to the clubs and bars Upwest.
      Soho itself, was a short ride on the metro, if you weren't on your scooter. Many of us, were already working there when The Scene opened its doors. It wasn't the first, but its seedy by night cobbled approach through Ham Yard, walking past the Windmill strip club completely blocked up, to the unwelcoming anonymous doors, crashing down the narrow stairs, to be crammed onto the narrow stage, confronted face to face by Eric Burdon, certainly had its moments.
      But what academic can relive this for you? By day, the bustling courtyard was a through area for Berwick Street traders to park their barrows. A casual passer-by could never imagine those hidden away doors with the tiny sign, would become the stronghold for a movement that would span the world.
      Unlike the decade before, when my older sisters had experienced full employment, albeit dead end and more of the same, the very early sixties began to open up the first of the career type opportunities. I found that my week could take in The Scene, Flamingo, in my stride, together with as many substances that would help sustain this speedy schedule. Herein lies the essence. By day I could move among my working peers, wearing Tonik mohair suits and pass without much comment. The recognition that followed though(due in part to drugs busts and busy news reporters) was unwanted by the mods.
      In some respectsErnie is right here: "Most of the people I knew tried to keep ther faces out of the picture". At first it seemed harmless, when scouts would come down to The Scene and choose dancers for RSG, or The News Of The World produced endless 'scoops'. I suppose the outside world had caught up with us.The doors finally closed at The Scene, but JD, MM, GS and many others could see that beyond this apprenticeship, there was a job, a career to be had in the music biz, better than going back to the local biscuit or jam factory that beckoned.
      We all wanted to be primus inter pares, but I would have settled for being a ticket, if I could go round all over again. I would like to hear more from Ernie, just to reassure me that I didn't dream it all. Equally I tip my bluebeat pork pie hat (from Dunn's I think in 1962, how time flies), to the contributions from Kai(Never heard of any of the groups he comes up with, but ok, The Spitfires were good), Gary'D (More records than HMV?) ,Snow Runner,Mod Goddess,Dave Davies(Yes,you), Motown, Alan Saint,Chris Cameron and the rest of the gang.

      Rock Island Line 65th Anniversary
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