If you can’t be bothered to read VOLUME (available from Amazon.co.uk), the gig list provides a summary of the horrors contained within. Just read this instead. This selective list is far from being exhaustive. Several hundred were crummy pub-rock bands which have not been listed because they were not of sufficient merit. Lots of gigs have got lost in the mists of time. For example, I know for a fact that I saw the Blue Aeroplanes at least eight times but I can’t identify a single precise date. For bands like The Time, the Outsiders and the Agency which I saw repeatedly, only a few selected shows are mentioned. Gigs by the bands I managed (Thieves Like Us and The Secret) are not listed. Festivals include only some of the bands I actually saw at them. Sudden gaps indicate managing bands, bringing up children or sojourns abroad. * indicates that I cant remember the exact date. I calculate that this list represents about 75 percent of the actual gigs I have attended. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed. Anyone spotting errors is invited to correct them.
1964 *The Hollies, Cheltenham Town Hall
Quiffs intact. Graham Nash played an unamplified acoustic guitar.
*The Sharks, Schöningen, Germany (several times)
Unfeasible trousers but great R & B.
*The Hollies, Cheltenham Town Hall
We sat on chairs positioned round the edge of the dancefloor and didn’t dare ask anyone to dance.
*TJ Tours, France
TJ, a black American organist, played in the same club every night for a month. He claimed to have written Night of a Thousand Dances.
*The Young Tradition, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Early exposure to finger-in-the-ear folk. Peter Bellamy had the longest hair I’d ever seen.
*Wynder K. Frogg, University of East Anglia, Norwich
*Mike Cotton Sound with Lucas, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Better than Geno Washington but not half as famous.
*Herbie Goins and the Night Timers, University of East Anglia, Norwich
More of the same: UK soul.
*Jimmie James and the Vagabonds, University of East Anglia, Norwich
And again, but with a white singer.
*Elmer Gantrys Velvet Opera, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Getting near to psychedelia now.
* Bonzo Dog Doo-Da Band / Roy Harper, University of East Anglia, Norwich
The original line-up. Not as funny onstage as on record.
*Third Ear Band / Ron Geesin, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Everyone sat on the floor, including the band.
*Jeff Beck Band, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Rod the Mod long before he was crap.
*The Move, University of East Anglia, Norwich
A truly great band. Even Carl Wayne acted the part.
*Savoy Brown, University of East Anglia, Norwich
They got big in the States because the Americans have such good taste.
*The Pyramids, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Innocent, up-tempo reggae.
*Spooky Tooth, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Sunshine Help Me.
29. June: Moody Blues, Royal Festival Hall, London
They did make a good album, once. Pity about the moustaches.
*Tyrannosaurus Rex, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Elfin-like, thats what they always say about Marc.
26. November: Cream Farewell Concert, Royal Albert Hall, London
Didn’t they go on. Yes and Taste were on this bill.
*Deviants, Progressive Club, Norwich
Yes, but could they play their instruments?
*Pink Floyd / Fairport Convention, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Some double bill!
*Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, University of East Anglia, Norwich
I predicted he would go solo. He did.
*Free, University of East Anglia, Norwich
One of the most perfectly-formed bands of all time.
*The Nice / The Idle Race, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Never mention Roy Wood to Jeff Lynne.
8. March: Fairport Convention, University of East Anglia, Norwich
We’d seen them at Colchester in the interim. Sandy Denny told me to fuck off.
1o. May: The Barbecue, Earlham Park, Norwich with The Hollies, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich, Soft Machine, Marmalade and others.
What did the students think of us? Er …
7. June: Blind Faith, Hyde Park, London
If I hadn’t rescued Stevie from the pond, this band would never have been formed.
7. July: The Rolling Stones, Hyde Park, London
Okay, see you in Hyde Park then.
11. July: Roland Kirk, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Or rather, Rahsaan Roland. Never did get into jazz.
*Fleetwood Mac, Industrial Club, Norwich
They almost made our ears bleed and Mick Fleetwood wore a pair of wooden testicles on a string.
*Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds, Teacher Training College, Norwich
I think Albert Lee was in the band.
*Arrival, Rolle College, Exmouth
They had just had a big hit with Friends: ”We all have friends who have friends by the river.” No we don’t.
*Mogul Thrash, Rolle College, Exmouth
A bit like the Average White Band with guitar solos. Probably the best band John Wetton was ever in.
*Osibisa, Rolle College, Exmouth
Don’t talk about my girlfriend like that, I should have said.
*Blossom Toes, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Jim Cregan, later Rod Stewart’s guitarist,was the leader of this sweetly-named combo.
*Bakerloo, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Well-smoothed Dave Clempson’s priceless trio.
*Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Too much in the way of soloing, especially the old double saxophone bit.
4. November: Spooky Tooth, Mensa am Westring, Kiel, Germany
Luckily, rugby songs are a rarity in Germany.
15. November: Ten Years After, Chicken Shack, Ernst-Merck-Halle, Hamburg
He’s fast, isn’t he? And that Chistine Perfect was a bit of all right.
12. December: Bach Weihnachtsoratorium, St-Johanniskirche, Lüneburg
The only classical concert I’ve been to in my life. I coughed all the way through and a nice old lady gave me a sweetie.
3. January: Aspidistra Flying Blues Band, Blue Note, Wilhelmshaven
Who? Well, I was there and it was bloody cold.
7. January: Hardin and York, Mensa am Westring, Kiel, Germany
The World’s Smallest Big Band.
21. January: Soft Machine, Mensa am Westring, Kiel, Germany
Robert Wyatt did his funny falsetto bit.
10. March: Steamhammer, Mensa am Westring, Kiel, Germany
Whatever did happen to Steamhammer?
10. April: Renaissance, Mensa am Westring, Kiel, Germany
Rather nice pastoral sounds from Keith Relf and his sister Jane.
15. April: The Flock, Ernst-Merck-Halle, Hamburg
The Sound of the Seventies, said the ticket. Jerry Goodman ended up in the Mahavishnu orchestra.
22. May: Hardin and York, Mensa am Westring, Kiel, Germany
The ticket price had gone up by 2 DM in four months. This can happen when you’re Big In Germany.
28. May: Deep Purple, Ostseehalle, Kiel, Germany
The support was Alex Harvey. I thought he was brilliant but the audience hated him. A sign of things to come?
21 / 22 June: Hamburg Big Gig Festival: Colosseum, Black Sabbath, Family, Rare Bird, Humble Pie, Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant
We slept under that stars and woke up covered in dew.
10. July: Free, Spektrum Club, Kiel, Germany
Paul Rodgers pinched a bottom to celebrate the band’s first hit.
25. September: Caravan / Jackson Heights, City Hall, Salisbury
An outing from the farm. The support was Lee Jackson from the Nice, but there was hardly anyone there.
21. December: Strawbs / Hardin and York / Al Stewart, Royal Albert Hall, London
A benefit for the Conservation Society. An ill-matched bill failed to create much atmosphere.
March 23: Yes, Norwich Lads Club
What was the name of that irritating acoustic solo Steve Howe used to do?
April 4: Bronco, University of East Anglia, Norwich
It may be a loo roll to you, but to me it was my introduction to Jess Roden.
April 30: Michael Chapman, Norwich Folk Festival
And he’s still on the road right now.
May 12th: Traffic, Norwich Lads Club
It looked like members of this band would soon start to die. They did.
*MC5: Edo-Osterloh-Haus, Kiel, Germany
Excuse me, what means Kick Out Ze Jemms, Muzzerfuckers?
*Man: Edo-Osterloh-Haus, Kiel, Germany
You thought the Manics were the original Welsh windbags? No, Man were.
*Alexis Korner: Pupille, Kiel, Germany
I couldn’t afford to go but I heard it through the floor.
*Frumpy, Förde-Hochhaus, Eckernförde, Germany
Inga Rumpf, Frumpy’s singer, is now a Christian evangelist.
*Brian Auger Trinity / Status Quo, Stadthalle, Neumünster
Quo were cool. No longer a pop band and not yet a joke.
15. October: Free, Colston Hall, Bristol
Heartbreaking performance to promote Heartbreaker.
31. October: Rory Gallagher: Colston Hall, Bristol
A nice line in lumberjack shirts.
*Stackridge, Victoria Rooms, Bristol
The Stanley is for you and me.
*John Entwistle’s Ox, Bristol University
However did they get all that equipment up to the first floor?
18. September: Deep Purple, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
I’m afraid I always thought that Ritchie Blackmore was over-rated.
27. October: Nektar, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
Deutsch-Rock vom Feinsten.
4. November: Gong, Post-Aula, Bremen, Germany
Featuring Steve Hillage in woolly hat mode.
12. December: Mungo Jerry, Revolution, Bremen, Germany
Fantastic! Someone in the audience kept buying the band Jägermeister and they kept drinking and playing until they could no longer stand. The next night, the club burned down.
16. December: The Sweet, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
My snobby friends refused to attend on the basis that the Sweet were a teenybop band. Nonsense! Fabulous glam rock, with the drummer having a drum battle with a back projection of himself. They beat the Flaming Lips to this concept by 25 years.
* Alice Cooper, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
This was the classic Steve Hunter / Dick Wagner line-up featuring a guitar battle that drew blood.
29. January: Soft Machine, University of Bremen, Germany
Robert Wyatt did his funny falsetto thing (again).
12. March: Country Joe and the Fish, University of Bremen, Germany
It wasn’t exactly Woodstock revisited.
9. May: Genesis, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
The Lamb Lay Down on Broadway.
18. August: Kevin Coyne, Post-Aula, Bremen, Germany
Andy Summers was in this band.
27. September: Camel, Reithalle, Cloppenburg
I put up posters in Bremen to advertise this. We had to sit on bales of hay and pick our way carefully though the horse shit.
29. October: The Who, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
Just what the doctor ordered! The main story in the local paper detailed how Moonie smashed up Bremen’s poshest hotel.
8. February: Status Quo, Stadthalle, Oldenburg, Germany
Third time lucky (?) after the previous two shows had been cancelled.
27. February: Uriah Heep, Stadthalle, Oldenburg, Germany
I had a row with Birgit’s sister-in-law after she falsely claimed that David Byron was a good singer.
14. March: Udo Lindenberg, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
What a shame this great character didn’t catch on outside Germany. At one stage, he even recorded an album in English, but to no avail.
4. May: The Rolling Stones, Stadthalle, Bremen, Germany
I recall that they had a giant penis.
2. June: Smokie, Dorfhalle, Ritterhude, Germany
Sometimes, one gets desperate.
21. June: Rolling Stones, Knebworth
I think they were there somewhere.
23. July: Heavy Metal Kids / XTC, Brunel Rooms, Swindon
I don’t remember what I was doing when JFK died, but I do remember what I was doing when Gary Holton died. XTC played All Along The Watchtower, incidentally.
August: Reading Festival 1976 with Rory Gallagher, Gong, Van Der Graaf Generator, Camel, The Enid, Black Oak Arkansas
The year the Enid took the festival by storm! No, honestly.
17. October: Jess Roden Band, Southampton University
Funky British soul. His backing band came from Southampton, you know.
29. November: Kiki Dee, Gaumont, Southampton
She was briefly able to fill theatres like this. Kiki had an appealing vulnerability.
1. December: Caravan, Southampton University
For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night.
10. December: Steeleye Span, Gaumont, Southampton
They should have kept it under their Hat.
17. December: Manfred Manns Earth Band, Gaumont, Southampton
Big In Germany.
28. January: Supercharge / Ultravox, Southampton University
This was the original Ultravox with John Foxx (better than any subsequent versions).
9. February: Jethro Tull, Gaumont, Southampton
Flamingos can stand on one leg as well.
13. February: SAHB without Alex Harvey, Top Rank, Southampton
Clever name, eh? Quite good even without the main man, because of Zal Cleminson.
5. March: Pat Travers Band / Doctors of Madness, Reading University
The doctor had a bassist called Stoner who dressed up in a skeleton suit.
9. March: Graham Parker and the Rumour, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Brinsley Schwarz is a cool name, don’t you think?
15. March: Gordon Giltrap, Southampton University
There must be better things to do with a guitar.
21. March: Bandit, Village Bowl, Bournemouth
I went because dear old James Litherland was in the band. The singer was Jim Diamond, who later had a hit with I Should Have Known Better.
13. April: Tribo, Mirandela, Portugal
Hitching though Portugal, I was befriended by this band which specialised in Camel covers! They gave a performance specially for me (which can happen if you are an Englishman abroad). The bassist Manuel is still a good friend today.
4. May: Widowmaker, Southampton University
Super-cool, motionless Luther Grosvenor had turned into crazed glam-rock axeman Ariel Bender.
7. May: Ian Gillan Band, Southampton University
I got to interview the man who has more brain that meets the eye.
11. May: Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, King Alfreds College, Winchester
I’m probably prouder to have been at this gig than at any other ever. The appeal escaped most of the assembled student teachers, however.
20. May: The Damned / The Adverts, Southampton University
Mark Eitzel of American Music Club was at this gig. Not that I knew that.
27. May: Queen, Gaumont, Southampton
The tickets cost £2. What a rip-off.
4. June: Caravan, Farnborough Recreation Centre
Never go and see a band at a recreation centre.
16. June: 10CC, Gaumont, Southampton
Apart from Eric Stewart, they just couldn’t look the part.
21. July: Weeke Jokes, Henry Beaufort School, Winchester
My band, man.
30. June: Roger Ruskin Spear, Southampton University
He had a Kinetic Wardrobe.
3. July: Bad Company, Earls Court, London
Paul Rodgers was putting on weight and wore a stetson.
6. July: Crawler / Boxer / Moon, Guildhall, Portsmouth
What they call a package show. Roll on recycling.
21. July: Roogalator, Winchester Art School
Chunky R & B from Danny Adler.
12 August: Freshly Layed Band, Queen Inn, Burley
Literally changed my life.
August: Reading Festival 1977 with Thin Lizzy, Graham Parker, Nazareth, Ultravox, Electric Chairs, Racing Cars, The Enid, The Motors
The Motors had some of the most expensive promotion any band has ever received. It didn’t help them much.
25. September: The BA, Riverside Inn, Winchester
Bus Garage Café, well its okay.
29. September: Camel, Southampton Gaumont
Well, I honestly thought the Snow Goose was good.
30. September: Kursaal Flyers, Southampton University
Not very exciting pub rock promoted above its station.
1. October: The BA, King Alfred’s Boys Club, Winchester
First and last gig at this youth club. (There was a minor riot.)
2. October: The Pirates, Glen Eyre Hall, Southampton
Who’d have thought dear old Mick Green would end up at the Cavern with Macca? Good choice, though.
4. October: Ian Gillan Band, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Their bassist appeared to be a heavyweight wrestler.
8. October: Freshly Layed Band, The White Buck, Burley
First of many trips into a forest hippie enclave.
11. October: Throbbing Gristle, Winchester Art School
I remember it well. Not many tunes, but Cosey Fanni Tutti looked a picture.
12. October: Phil Manzaneras 801, Southampton University
Good album but he never followed it up properly.
18. October: Dr Feelgood, Portsmouth Guildhall
Got to interview Lee Brilleaux, now in the Great Travelodge In The Sky.
19. October: Racing Cars, Southampton University
They had some kind of hit.
26. October: Caravan, Southampton University
Still out to pasture. Do you know that Pye Hastings is now a sales rep?
27. October: Wishbone Ash / The Motors, Gaumont, Southampton
We got in on account of the aforementioned massive promotional push being given to the Motors. (Push the Motors, geddit?)
15. November: Status Quo, Gaumont, Southampton
At the end of the show, their leads were all tied up in a knot in the middle of the stage.
26. November: The Ba, Winchester Art College
Someone took a great photo of this.
28. November: Wilco Johnson, Village Bowl, Bournemouth
Worth the journey?
6. December: Freshly Layed Band, Riverside Inn, Winchester
Watch those floorboards.
7. December: Thin Lizzy, Gaumont, Southampton
On the ticket, it said Thin Lizzie.
6. January: The Enid, Basingstoke Technical College
At the time, they seemed revolutionary. They actually played Land of Hope and Glory and (blush) I actually enjoyed it!
22. January: Rich Kids, Glen Eyre Hall, Southampton
If only Midge Ure had got frozen in this state. Mind you, they were furious at people gobbing at them, and quite right too.
25. January: Talking Heads / Dire Straits, Southampton University
That is not a misprint. The tickets cost £1 each.
3. February: Tyla Gang, King Alfreds College, Winchester
That’s Sean Tyla, not Liv Tyla.
6. February: Split Enz, Southampton University
Before they wuz Crowded House. Better, too.
11. February: Colosseum II, South Stoneham Hall, Southampton
Gary Moore was in this band.
18. February: Krazy Kat, King Alfreds College, Winchester
In perfect harmony (but not with the Ents Officer).
19. February: The Enid, Victoria Palace, London
Did we really do this?
24. February: The Soft Boys, Winchester Art School
Wading through a ventilator.
27. February: Rush, Gaumont, Southampton
What about the voice of Geddy Lee, how does he sing so high?
11. March: Freshly Layed Band, Riverside Inn, Winchester
15. March: Eddie and the Hot Rods, Top Rank, Southampton
Barrie Masters did some good acrobatics on the lighting rig.
17. March: David Coverdale Band, Basingstoke Technical College
This is definitely a misprint.
22. March: John Miles, Village Bowl, Bournemouth
Music is my first love, and it will be my last.
30. March: Freshly Layed Band, White Buck, Burley
For the sake of the rainforests, an editorial decision has been taken at this stage not to mention the rest of the Freshly Layed gigs we attended (17 in all).
2. April: The Soft Boys, Nashville, London
Robyn Hitchcock didn’t recognise me.
17. April: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Still big in Germany.
25. April: Graham Parker and the Rumour, Mecca Ballroom, Portsmouth
Hold back the night.
26. April: Rory Gallagher, Gaumont, Southampton
Not a lot different from last time.
29. April: UK, Southampton University
That Bill Bruford, he can play a bit.
5. May: The Tubes, Gaumont, Southampton
A novelty band which can really play, that’s rare.
12. May: Lesser Known Tunisians, The Saints, Southampton
First encounter with Wickham’s answer to North Africa.
18. May: Steve Hillage, Poole Arts Centre
Surely it wasn’t the same woolly hat?
19. May: Lesser Known Tunisians, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
We promoted this one.
3. June: Black Sabbath, Gaumont, Southampton
4. June: Sham 69 / Stratejacket, Top Rank, Southampton
Like Madness later, Sham 69 did’t deserve their awful fans.
17. June: The Blades, Riverside Inn, Winchester
Previously the Amazorblades.
29. June: Lesser Known Tunisians, Old Mill, Holbury
The night of the Sounds review.
30. June: Artemis, Cricklade College, Andover
Greg Watkins was still playing Camel covers.
15. July: The Picnic, Blackbushe Airport, with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading.
First ever laminate on a string!
16. July: Whirlwind, Jumpers Tavern, Christchurch
Got a rather nice free T-shirt from this rockabilly band, one of whom eventually ended up backing Morrissey..
26 28 August: Reading Festival 1978 with Spirit, The Motors, Status Quo, Sham 69, The Jam, Patti Smith Group
A rather unpleasant atmosphere reigned, as the line-up might lead one to anticipate.
16. September: Staa Marx, Winchester Rugby Club
The sons of Mrs Aardvark. They were great.
20 September: The Polar Bears, The Cricketers, Winchester
Support came from the Erections, one of whose members was called Dr. R. Slicker.
21. September: 10CC, Gaumont, Southampton
I decided that Dreadlock Holiday was a dodgy piece of racism. I’m not in Love with 10CC any more.
23. September: Camel, Gaumont, Southampton
The Breathless tour, first sticky Backstage Pass!
26. September: The Stranglers, Gaumont, Southampton
Now that’s what I call a band.
29. September: The Warm Jets, Riverside Inn, Winchester
Nothing to do with Brian Eno and nothing to do with the Nineties Warm Jets either. There you go.
6. October: Thieves Like Us, Riverside Inn, Winchester
Literally (another) life-altering experience.
11. October: Climax Blues Band / Fabulous Poodles, Southampton University
This was the sort of strangely mis-matched double bill which was around in those days. I am certain that the other support was Elvis Costello’s Flip City, but I can’t prove it.
20. October: Press-Ups, Riverside Inn, Winchester
One of our less wildly successful promotions.
21. October: Identical Strangers, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
They begged me to review the gig and then moaned when they didn’t like what it said.
27. October: Staa Marx, Riverside Inn, Winchester
28. October: Boomtown Rats, Gaumont, Southampton
It must be said, he didn’t look like a future knight of the realm.
3. November: The Enid, Basingstoke Technical College
Oh, come on.
25. November: The Aliens / Hazzard, Theatre Royal, Winchester
The first show for a decade at this un-renovated theatre. When people danced, they stirred up so much dust that you couldn’t see the stage.
6. December: Ian Gillan, Southampton University
The all-in wrestler was still there.
23. December: Tours, Brewers Arms, Poole
Something stirs in Poole. Tourist Information, please.
10. February: Supercharge, South Stoneham Hall, Southampton
There was a bloke with a beard who played sax.
14. February: Gruppo Sportivo, Southampton University
They didn’t sound Dutch, but they were.
3. March: Fischer-Z, Southampton University
Big In Germany, but this time deservedly so.
4. March: Van Morrison, Portsmouth Guildhall
Peter Bardens was playing with Van this time around.
16. March: Screeens, Salisbury Technical College
Yes, thats three es. Thieves Like Us supported.
21. March: The Hollies, Portsmouth Guildhall
There is a place for nostalgia.
22. March: Graham Parker and the Rumour, Southampton Guildhall
My friend Volker called him a little weasel. A tad unfair, I thought. Possibly a stoat.
23. March: Freshly Layed Band, Bournemouth Town Hall
This was their last ever gig. Come and get the rest of the Ploughmans!
24. March: Identical Srangers, Crown Hotel, Eastleigh
They wanted me to re-assess them. There were only two other people in the audience.
4. May: Mark Andrews and the Gents / The Lens, Top Rank, Southampton
Charity show. The Lens became IQ, a quite well-known prog-rock band.
5. May: The Enid, South Stoneham Hall, Southampton
Backstage was fun for a change, because they were breaking up and yelling at each other in a most ungentlemanly way.
11. May: XTC, Glen Eyre Hall, Southampton
I could see that Andy Partridge had stage fright. No, really. It takes one phobic to know another.
15. May: Mark Andrews and the Gents, Portsmouth Polytechnic
Although the personnel kept changing, this band was always great.
19. May: Piranhas, John Peel, Gosport
First of many sightings of these dangerous creatures.
30. May: The Tubes, Gaumont, Southampton
Still good musicians. Still high heels.
7. June: 64 Spoons, Old Mill, Holbury
I think they had a famous guitarist.
8. June: Writz, Bishop Otter College, Chichester
We went to check out the venue for a forthcoming Thieves gig. It turned out to be a formal ball, so we stood out a bit!
9. June: Mungo Jerry, King Alfred’s College, Winchester
They were sober. How disappointing.
23 June: Eric Bell Band, Theatre Royal, Winchester
Grand re-opening of the venue. After The Fire cancelled and this was a poor substitute.
5. July: Joe Jackson, Locarno, Portsmouth
A meteoric rise from the John Peel, Gosport
13. July: The Stranglers, Gaumont, Southampton
They didn’t exactly have a charismatic stage show.
26. July: Lip Moves, Knights, Eastleigh
Local band which might have made good.
12. August: Nightshift, Jumpers Tavern, Christchurch
The new band of Roger ”Fatman” Hunt from Freshly Layed.
27. August: Last Orders, Magnums, Basingstoke
Around this time I reviewed lots of shows for Musicians Only.
August: Reading Festival 1979 with The Cure, Motörhead, The Police, Cheap Trick, Peter Gabriel, The Ramones
These were the Readings we liked.
1. September: The Outsiders, Pinecliff, Bournemouth
This time it was Tim Holt from Freshly Layed who had a new band.
10. September: Patrik Fitzgerald, Melkweg, Amsterdam
The Thieves sent me and Birgit to Amsterdam to recover from the strain. We sat behind Bob Geldof and Paula Yates in the tram.
27. September: Leo Sayer, Gaumont, Southampton
Merely in the line of duty.
28. September: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Gaumont, Southampton
This must have been shortly before the split.
29. September: The Outsiders, Pinecliff, Bournemouth
They wrote songs then that the Agency still play today.
5. October: Camel, Poole Arts Centre
Autographed backstage pass! Unfortunately there were hardly any original members left.
17. October: Camel, Gaumont, Southampton
And it isn’t shome mishtake.
31. October: Caravan, Southampton University
A sales rep. Honest!
2. November: Tours / Martian Schoolgirls, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Fateful show. We promoted this one and some of the audience abused the venue. My relationship with the venue’s director hasn’t recovered to this day.
18. November: The Jam / The Vapors, Poole Arts Centre
Not that long before, the Vapors had been at the Old Mill, Holbury.
25. November: The Enid, Bournemouth Winter Gardens
They had turned into a parody of a parody.
6. December: The Piranhas, Crown Hotel, Eastleigh
I don’t want my body (’cos its so bloody shoddy).
13. December: Last Orders, Crown Hotel, Eastleigh
Definitely reviewed this one for Musicians Only.
16. December: The Police, Gaumont, Southampton
Of course it was me they were screaming at.
26. December: Blondie, Stateside Center, Bournemouth
One of the most joyful gigs ever.
1. February: Merger, Basingstoke Technical College
Thieves supported. There were gigantic day-glo posters, but not a gigantic day-glo audience.
3. February: Tom Robinsons Sector 27, Poole Arts Centre
A lunchtime gig!
8. February: Renaissance, Southampton University
One of those bands of imposters.
10. February: The Clash, Poole Arts Centre
The backstage pass was quite useful because it was a battlefield out front.
28. February: Joe Jackson, Gaumont, Southampton
I disapproved of the acapella Is She Really Going Out With Him? but now I realise it was quite good.
3. March: Gillan, Southampton University
Another interview. Whatever did we talk about?
13. February: The Clash, Top Rank, Southampton
No backstage pass, but a safe spot on the balcony. Below, it looked like the pitch at Twickenham.
14. February: Bobby Henry and the Risk, Knights, Eastleigh
They could have gone far. They didn’t.
27. February: The Tourists, Gaumont, Southampton
I couldn’t understand why such a crummy band had such a high profile.
15. March: The Limos, The Saints, Southampton
This was an ambitious local musician called Mark Easton. He later joined Mark Andrews and the Gents.
19. March: The HGBs, Railway Inn, Winchester
Chris Willey from Attic Theatre put together this R & B band.
10. May: Inside Story, Jumpers Tavern, Christchurch
Roger Hunt had already moved on from Nightshift.
22. May: Da Biz, Brewers Arms, Poole
Ronnie Mayor from Tours with a new but very similar band.
31. May: Mark Andrews and the Gents, Portsmouth Polytechnic
They were so professional they made me jealous.
3. June: Whitesnake / Gary Moores G-Force, Gaumont, Southampton
I can’t really explain this.
27. June: John Otway / Wild Willy Barrett, The Griffin, Southampton
You needed to take out personal insurance to be in this audience.
22-24 July: Reading Festival 1980 with Samson, Iron Maiden, Slade, Whitesnake, Def Leppard
Reviewed it for Musicians Only! Favourite occupation: Dodge the Piss Bottles.
8. August: The Blazers, The Saints, Southampton
Good name. Can’t remember the band.
20. August: The Time, Plough, Durrington
The beginning of a long and happy relationship.
22. September: Ebony Rockers, Top Rank, Southampton
Charity show with good local reggae band.
26. October: Joe Jackson, Bournemouth Winter Gardens
I’d forgiven him by then. Shouldn’t have doubted him in the first place.
4. November: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Gaumont, Southampton
They were boring and lightweight. Synth-pop, nein danke.
13. November: Sad Café, Gaumont, Southampton
They had a singer called Paul Young. How confusing.
18. October: The Time, Waterlooville Football Club Big venue.
Were they going to break through?
29. October: Exploding Seagulls / Bitter Lemmings: Solent Suite, Southampton
One of many gigs I attended (lost the details of the others) promoted by an enterprising label called Stick It In Your Ear.
13. November: The League of Gentlemen, Royal Exeter Hotel, Bournemouth
Robert Fripp on home ground. Very intense, naturally.
15. November: The Enid, Town Hall, Eastleigh
Down and very nearly out.
24. November: The Damned, Gaumont, Southampton
Yes Yes Yes! Neat Neat Neat!
30. November: The Planets, John Peel, Gosport
Super band which I assume was messed up by the indusrty.
6. December: The Time, Sussex Hotel, Bognor
This one was recorded live.
12. December: The Kinks, Gaumont, Southampton
Eye contact, thats what makes Ray Davies such a great live performer.
8. January: The Outsiders, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of our promotions. A new venue, still going strong today.
15. January: The Time, Railway Inn, Winchester
This is where Richard Williams was inspired to enter the world of rock and roll.
30. January: The Piranhas, King Alfreds College, Winchester
They’d had a gigantic hit with Tom Hark, which did’t represent them at all. To show their annoyance, they played a brilliant set of heavy dub reggae, which upset the audience (but not me).
14. February: The Troggs, Rock Garden, London
Valentine’s Day with Reg.
15. February: The Time, Royal Hotel, Guildford
There was a terrible fight.
26. February: The Time, Cumberland Tavern, Portsmouth
Kevin sang one song from the gents’ toilet.
28. February: Camel, Poole Arts Centre
The Nude tour this time. Rapidly losing patience!
6. March: The Time, John Peel, Gosport
I stayed the night and got a Chinese takeaway. Interesting stuff, isn’t it?
7. March: Dr Feelgood, Southampton University
This line-up featured John ”Gypie” Mayo.
11. March: The Skavengers, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of ours. Good sub-Police white reggae.
16. March: The Who, Poole Arts Centre
With Kenney Jones, the band just didn’t feel right any more.
18. March: Games To Avoid, Railway Inn, Winchester
A serious-minded and really good band from Southampton.
21. March: The Time, Joiners Arms, Southampton.
According to the diary, I proposed to Birgit after this gig. It was obviously an inspirational show.
25. March: The Time, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of our promotions.
1. April: Exploding Seagulls, Railway Inn, Winchester
Nick Jacobs, later of the Blue Aeroplanes, was in this band.
3. April: The Press, New Queens Head, Winchester
Local band which pestered me to review them in this horrible pub.
5. April: Zip Code, The Victory, Southampton
A new venue. This was a new Winchester band.
21 April: Xena Xerox, Gilbeys, Southampton
They were furious because I didn’t think they were as good as they thought they were.
4. May: Cosmetics, Royal Exeter Hotel, Bournemouth
More like it. Richard Mazda, ex of Tours, had a great band here.
11. May: The Time / The Secret, The Victory, Southampton.
We caused a sensation by getting Tony Oxley (or was it Kevin Robinson?) to announce that we were getting married the following day.
12. May: Duballup / The Secret: Floaters, Southampton
Oh Lord, forgive me. I went to a gig on my wedding night.
25. May: The Time / The Secret: South Parade Pier, Southsea
Not many people in a very large room.
30. May: The Time, Railway Inn, Winchester
This was Baz Mort’s mate’s birthday party but it ended in chaos when somebody tried to attack me.
3. June: Status Quo, Gaumont, Southampton
Again and Again and Again.
23. June: The Jam / The Time, Guildhall, Portsmouth
On this tour, the Jam selected local bands to support them. In Portsmouth, The Time were the obvious choice.
1. July: Zip Code, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of ours.
8. July: Headless Horsemen / The Secret, Railway Inn, Winchester
First sighting of John Parish’s first post-TLU venture.
15. July: The Skavengers, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of ours.
22. July: The Time, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of ours.
31. July: The Time, The John Peel, Gosport
28-30 July: Reading Festival 1981 with Girlschool, Gillan, Nine Below Zero, The Kinks
I had been relegated to the Hants Chronicle, Musicians Only having closed in November 1980.
1. September: Joe Jacksons Jumpin Jive / The Time, Locarno, Portsmouth
The critics didn’t like this good-time band, but I thought they were fun. Brilliant rhythm section: Graham Maby and Larry Tolfree.
23. September: Cosmetics, Railway Inn, Winchester
A last-minute booking. Richard Furter from Freshly Layed was in Cosmetics by now, making them seriously funky.
2. October: The Bomb, Stowaways, Southampton
What a strange night. This was an unrehabilitated Peter Green, three-inch fingernails and all, playing with local Southampton musicians.
9. October: Cosmetics,Bournemouth Town Hall (with Alternative TV)
ATV were hilariously incompetent.
22. October: The Time, Joiners Arms, Southampton
The venue was completely laid waste by Portsmouth football thugs.
29. October: Exploding Seagulls, Winchester Art School
They were on the Fried Egg label, you know.
30 October: Biz Internationale, Jokers, Bournemouth
First encounter with a storming seven-piece band consisting of Dabiz plus a brass section.
3. November: Madness, Gaumont, Southampton
The ANL leaflets said Support Madness, Not Racism. Well said.
13. November: Bad Manners, Gaumont, Southampton
Only because Magnet Records gave me free tickets.
22. November: IQ, Park Hotel, Southampton
I had given a bad review to a heavy metal band called Berlin. Someone pointed me out to their leather-clad supporters, so I did a bunk.
27. November: Rick Wakeman, Gaumont, Southampton
I was very, very rude about this in Record Mirror.
16. December: Squeeze, Top Rank, Southampton
Now this really was a band with everything going for it.
19. December: Four People I Have Known, Railway Inn, Winchester
Ex-members of Zip code, including Paul Bringloe, were in this interesting band.
24. December: Tom Robinson Band, Marquee, London
Sweaty end-of-year show, backed by Cosmetics.
31. December: Outsiders, Pinecliff, Bournemouth
Birgit didn’t like the fact that complete strangers insisted on kissing her. I didn’t like that fact either.
1. January: The Time, Cumberland Tavern, Portsmouth
Or maybe this was the one where Kevin sang from the bog.
8. January: Sadista Sisters, Quartier Latin, Berlin, Germany
They were scary on stage but I got to chat to them afterwards and found them charming.
24. February: Four People I Have Known, The Victory, Southampton
This band was beginning to catch on.
13. March: Budgie, Winchester Recreation Centre
Some naive promoters lost their shirts on this one. The curse of the Recreation Centre struck again.
21. March: Haircut 100, Poole Arts Centre
Love Plus One is still one of my all-time favourite singles.
28. March: XTC, Gaumont, Southampton
Terrible sound problems and far too loud.
6. April: Headless Horsemen, Cathedral Hotel, Salisbury
The début of John Parish’s Spiderman pullover.
8. April: Graham Parker, Gaumont, Southampton
He had a new backing band and had lost all his sparkle.
11. April: Four People I Have Known, Folly Market, Petersfield
We flogged a lot of cassettes.
16. April: Headless Horsemen, Crispin Hall, Street
A Sheep Worrying Showcase. Apart from us, there were two paying customers. What is more, Street, being a Quaker town, has no pubs.
17. April: Biz Internationale, Midnight Express, Bournemouth
A cool new club with a cool new band.
24. April: Cosmetics, Midnight Express, Bournemouth
A cool new club with a cool not-so-new band.
28. April: Headless Horsemen, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Getting around a bit.
5. May: Four People I Have Known, Saddle Bars, Bransgore
Nice venue in a New Forest barn.
21. May: The Time, Pinecliff, Bournemouth
They didn’t go down so well in Bournemouth for some reason.
22. May: Camel, Poole Arts Centre
That was it. I’d had enough.
26. May: Biz Internationale, The Waterfront, Southampton
The single was forthcoming.
1. June: Rory Gallagher, Gaumont, Southampton
Much the same as last time.
25. June: Rolling Stones, Wembley Stadium I nearly got piles.
26. June: Burnt Offerings Showcase with Four People I Have Known, Headless Horsemen and The Time, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
I’ve got a live tape of this. It was bloody good.
30. June: Ideal, The Venue, London
The best representatives of the Neue Deutsche Welle. I tried to start a roll in Musicians Weekly, but it didn’t catch on.
7. July: High Risk, John Peel, Gosport
Heavy rock with its just about acceptable face on.
6. August: Biz Internationale, The Waterfront, Southampton
Now the single was out.
7. August: Tiger Tiger, Ad Lib Club, Kensington, London
Some stunning girls from Alresford. One of them went out with that blonde curly-haired drummer who was in Status Quo and we went to tea with them.
12. August: Joe Jackson, Gaumont, Southampton
All eyes were on his superb percussionist Sue Hadjopoulos.
11. September: Chinatown, Theatre Royal, Winchester
An absolutely terrible show-off heavy rock band.
25. September: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, John Peel, Gosport
The latest incarnation of The Time, playing hilarious Sixties covers to pay off some debts. Quite priceless.
2. October: The Beat, Poole Arts Centre
Margaret didn’t Stand Down, but they gave it their best shot.
4. October: Wishbone Ash, Guildhall, Southampton
Never! But here it is in black and white.
5. October: The Damned, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Rat Scabies, now that really is a good name.
5. November: Look Back In Anger, Havant Arts Centre
A Goth character called Jim Newby kept pestering me about his band. They briefly looked as if they might go somewhere.
13. November: Two Finger Zen, West End Centre, Aldershot
Performance art from Fred Bolton and other ex-Exploding Seagulls.
18. November: Talk Talk, Gaumont, Southampton
This mincing load of ninnies was later to throw off music biz conventions and turn into one of the greatest British bands of all time.
24. November: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Gaumont, Southampton
They had a brilliant light show.
3. December: Gillan, Poole Arts Centre
Bathing In Safe Water, said the headline. I thought Gillan might one day do something interesting, but now he’s back in Deep Purple.
10. December: Whitesnake, Gaumont, Southampton
A Bite To Sicken, said the headline. It’s rare for me to walk out of a gig, but I walked out of this one.
19. December: The Kinks, Bournemouth Winter Gardens
We were in the front row and by the end I felt as if Ray Davies was my best friend. Low Budget was a bit of a classic rock song.
11. January: Factory, Forum des Halles, Paris, France
On a course in France and in desperate need of a musical injection.
18. February: Games To Avoid, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Still plugging away.
25. February: Biz Internationale, Midnight Express, Bournemouth
Still plugging away.
3. March: Thin Lizzy, Gaumont, Southampton
It was great the way Phil Lynott reflected the spotlight off the scratchplate of his guitar back onto the audience. Well, I thought so anyway.
6. March: U2, Guildhall, Portsmouth
I thought they were pompous then and I still think they’re pompous now. Bono scaled the balcony and planted a flag. Why?
9. March: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, The Waterfront, Southampton
The Fareham Creek beat.
11. March: Fun Boy Three, Poole Arts Centre
Someone in the foyer said, What’s that old bloke doing here? I turned round and discovered she was talking about me.
12. March: 10CC, Gaumont, Southampton
Hardly recognised a soul.
15. March: Van Morrison, Bournemouth Winter Gardens
What everybody should experience at least once: a terrible performance from a genius who has off days.
26. March: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, John Peel, Gosport
Don Your Moptops.
2. April: Spandau Ballet, The Pavilion, Bournemouth
I thought Spandau Ballet were really good. All their effete followers came down from London and there was lots of tartan in evidence.
30. April: Weapon of Peace, Portsmouth Polytechnic
If it wasn’t for the fact that I reviewed them, I wouldn’t remember a thing.
4. May: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, Railway Inn, Winchester
Birgit was more than a bit pregnant, so we held a Quick Before Its Too Late Party.
12. May: Roman Holliday, Bournemouth Academy
They wore sailor suits.
21. May: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, Sparsholt College, Winchester
Unfortunately, the students were all far too young to recognise any of the songs.
8. June: Après Ski, The Waterfront, Southampton
A variation on Biz Internationale with a new frontman. Ronnie Mayor had finally given up and emigrated to Australia.
10. June: Chris Rea, Guildhall, Southampton
Only because Magnet Records sent me free tickets. His allure evaded me.
20. June: Steve Winwood, Théâtre Municipale, Luxembourg
In my Top Ten gigs of all time. After this, he became involved in Corporate Rock and went rapidly downhill.
28. June: Eurythmics, Gaumont, Southampton
Not much better than the Tourists.
30 June: Four People I Have Known, Mash Tun, Winchester
On the way down.
8. July: Weeke Jokes II, Henry Beaufort School, Winchester
My band, man (again, but a different one featuring Mr Richard Williams.)
16. July: Steve Winwood, Gaumont, Southampton
Birgit being unavailable, I went with the girl next door. A mistake, since she spent the evening telling me about the Alan Parsons Project.
3. August: Après Ski, Waterfront, Southampton
It just wasn’t the same.
5. September: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, Cumberland Tavern, Portsmouth
I’ve got it. THIS was the one where Kevin sang from the bog.
24. October: Automatic Dlamini, Bristol Bridge Inn, Bristol
A rare opportunity for me to do a bit of mime mixing.
6. November: Gerry Hackett and the Fringes, BBC, Southampton
This was a recording of something called the Cellar Show, presented by John Sessions. He did well, didn’t he?
26. November: The Primary / Big Bear Little Bear, New Bridge Inn, Southampton
Paul Bringloe was in Big Bear Little Bear and I liked them.
3. February: The Hollies, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Tony’s flattened hamster was in good nick.
10. February: Laughter In The Garden, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A spin-off from Lip Moves.
27. March: Views From A Park Bench, Henry Beaufort School, Winchester
Students danced to my rendition of Watch It in this Dance production. It wasnt exactly Dance Hall at Louse Point but the principle was similar.
13 and 14 April: REM, Knust Club, Hamburg, Germany
I still have the poster on my wall.
15. April: UB40, CCH, Hamburg, Germany
Confirmed as the most boring band of all time.
8. May: Camel, Guildhall, Portsmouth
21 May: The Sound, Marquee, London
I shed tears when Adrian Borland died. A shocking case of unrecognised talent.
2. June: King, La Sainte Union College, Southampton
Pop-art Doc Martens were sported by this lot. Paul King became a pop TV presenter.
11. June: Tim Barron, Greyhound, London
Tim teamed up with an ex-member of Suzi Quatro’s band, but it didn’t work out.
22-24. June: Glastonbury Festival with Ian Dury, Dr John, The Smiths, Elvis Costello
I built up my biceps pushing the buggy around.
9. July: Status Quo, Gaumont, Southampton
and Again and Again and Again
28. July: Automatic Dlamini, Antelope Hotel, Sherborne
Aha! Something stirs down in Dorset.
17. November: Lords of the New Church / Wall of Voodoo, Portsmouth Polytechnic
Richard Mazda had produced an album for Wall of Voodoo. That was the connection.
4. January: Rocking Erics, Pinecliff, Bournemouth
A short-lived project by Tim Holt. Not many gigs this year? Having a baby and spending half the year on secondment in France is the explanation.
7. February: Killing Joke, Southampton Guildhall
They were supposed to be terrifying but were loud and uninteresting.
27. April: Richard Thompson, Dominion Theatre, London
This was the one where poor Richard was booed off by rampant Pogues fans. ”Richard Thompson, who the fucking hell is he?” Sad. The Boothill Foottappers were also on the bill.
22-24. June: Glastonbury Festival with Ian Dury, New Model Army, Style Council
The Year Of The Mud. We survived, although it took two days to clean up the buggy. At least it was character-building.
6. July: Alvin Stardust / Mud, South Wonston, Winchester
In the line of duty for the Hants Chronicle.
4. January: Sting, BIC, Bournemouth
In his jazzy phase. Andy Summers put in a guest appearance, of course.
1. February: The Bangles, Portsmouth Polytechnic
Now this was a privilege. They were brilliant live.
15. March: Wall of Voodoo, Marquee, London
However did they get their cactuses through customs?
16. March: The Merseybeats / Marmalade: Theatre Royal, Winchester
Rather poor Sixties package tour.
8. May: Talk Talk, Hammersmith Odeon, London
Living In Another World. They were indeed.
20-22. June: Glastonbury Festival with The Pogues, Psychedelic Furs, Robert Cray, Simply Red, Level 42
“Extract from review: Its 3 a.m. and the wind is blowing an icy gale, gusting violently at storm force speeds. High up on the hillside, a lone emaciated figure, clad only in a pair of flimsy underpants, struggles to prevent his flapping tent from disappearing over the precipice. Images of Stone Age Man are evoked as he bravely hammers at the bent tent pegs with a rough hewn flint.” Of course, my wife and one-year old baby slept through the entire thing.
26. July: The Agency, Pinecliff, Bournemouth
First appearance of the Soul Searchers, made up of various Bournemouth stalwarts. The world’s best party band.
12. October: Curtis Mayfield, Top Rank, Southampton
A fine man.
22. October: Mighty Lemon Drops / Pop Will Eat Itself, Southampton University
The support was a tad more interesting than the headline.
27. October: Tom Robinson Band, Salisbury Arts Centre
Our secret weapon to ensure that Lucy would be interested in music. Birgit was seven months pregnant. They played War Baby before it was released and I’m proud to say I predicted it would be a hit.
1. February: Robert Fripp, Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
The League of Crafty Guitarists. Fripp seemed to have lost his sense of humour.
29. March: Hollies, Guildhall, Portsmouth
They didn’t get any better, but they didn’t get any worse either.
3. April: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
The first of a great many visits to our home village.
19-21. June: Glastonbury Festival with Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, New Order, The Communards Christ!
A DOUBLE buggy! It was exhausting.
10. July: The Agency, St Johns Rooms, Winchester
Typical bloody Winchester. This Winchester Hat Fair show was ruined by beermonsters.
18. September: Kelly McGuinness Rhythm Method, Boars Head, Wickham
A new blues venue which had opened in a country and western club called the Poderosa. It felt like being in an American roadhouse.
28. October: Flik Spatula / Who’s In The Kitchen, Southampton University
Two really good Southampton bands.
2. November: Bad News, Guildhall, Portsmouth
The Comic Strip being comic. The TV joke did not transfer well.
4. November: 10,000 Maniacs, Basins, Portsmouth
A horrible venue at the top of a multi-storey car park voted Europe’s ugliest building. A loss-leading gig for a fine band from the US.
11. December: The Agency, Henry Beaufort School, Winchester
They got lost and arrived late but played a stormer for the staff do.
14. December: Automatic Dlamini / Betty Pages, Railway Inn, Winchester
Aha! One of ours. The greatness of this band was becoming apparent.
26. January: Stitch, Joiners Arms, Southampton
This was the first-ever Next Big Thing gig. Stitch had previously been Games To Avoid and had shortened their name from Stitched Back Foot Airman.
3. February: Roachford, Basins, Portsmouth
A promo for Due South. Sensibly, the band refused to play until they got paid.
9. February: Blurt, Joiners Arms, Southampton
First of three Joiners appearances from Bristol avant-garde screechers.
24. March: Automatic Dlamini: Railway Inn, Winchester
Back again and more and more exciting.
20. March: FSK, Joiners Arms, Southampton
“I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch” sang these John Peel favourites on a rare visit to Blighty.
22. June: M Walking On The Water, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Another groovy German band. I have NINE albums by M Walking On The Water, even though one of them tried to chat up my wife.
23. August: Rainbirds, Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London
This was where Chris Evans recorded TFI Friday. Yet another German band, and one that made two really good albums.
17. September: Duck Soup, Twyford Parish Hall
Portsmouth r & b band played at a 40th birthday party for me and Will Thallon.
5. October: Steve Winwood, Royal Albert Hall, London
I got vertigo in the upper balcony.
14. October: The Hollies, Poole Arts Centre
Jochen Schmidt and his girlfriend Vicky turned up out of the blue. Oliver: “Vicky, what did you think of the Hollies version of Purple Rain?” Vicky: “It was Scheisse.”
27. October: Roachford, Quartier Latin, Berlin, Germany
Cuddly Toy sounded good.
19. November: The Agency, White Buck, Burley
New Forest Frolics.
25. November: Billy Bragg / Michelle Shocked / Beatnigs, Guildhall, Portsmouth
The ultimate package tour. The Beatnigs attacked sheets of metal with electric saws, just like Einstürzende Neubauten.
12. January: Wolfhounds, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They were supported by the Mild Mannered Janitors from Portsmouth.
11. February: Throwing Muses, Portsmouth Polytechnic
A great band which opened the doors for a whole lot more great bands.
11. March: The Agency, Mean Fiddler, Harlesden, London
I took Craig Whipsnade, but he wasn’t keen on them.
19. April: REM, Portsmouth Guildhall
Wonderful double bill with the Blue Aeroplanes. Michael Stipe appeared to be wearing a straitjacket.
23. May: Big Dipper, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Good American band. Supported by Strange Fruit, later to become Trip.
16-18 June: Glastonbury Festival with Suzanne Vega, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello
Extract from the review: “I observe a curry stall for half an hour and do some sums. Veg curry and pitta costs £4. There are six people serving, on average, one customer a minute each. This means theyre making £1440 an hour. Nice work! One festival a year and the rest of the year on the Costa Brava.”
26. July: Senseless Things, River Park, Winchester
Winchester’s pathetic attempt at a festival.
6. August: The Templemeads, Mash Tun, Winchester
What a great name. A truly likeable raggle-taggle band, which made an album with the marvellous title Ate My Kitchen. Their drummer is now in Bellowhead, fact fans.
26. August: The Agency, White Buck, Burley
More stirrings down in the Forest.
9. September: Flik Spatula / Eat, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Later, Flik’s guitarist actually joined Eat.
14. October: Van Morrison, Gaumont, Southampton
Back to top form. My ribald friend Malcolm Payne pretended he thought it was Jim Morrison.
14. December: Automatic Dlamini, Railway Inn, Winchester
The first ever sighting round these parts of Polly Jean Harvey.
11. January: Automatic Dlamini, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I videoed this classic gig. Support came from ex-Chesterfields the Betty Pages.
15. February: Giant Sand, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Howe Gelb found an old upright piano and spent most of the show improvising blues on it. He could’t have hated me because we’d never met.
18. March: Kevin Coyne, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
His hair had gone white but he still had the magic.
27 March: The Brilliant Corners, Joiners Arms. Southampton
First of four Joiners appearances from these under-recognised Bristolians.
7. April: The Hollies, Mayflower, Southampton
14. June: Whisky Priests, Railway Inn, Winchester
Bloody typical Winchester again. There was a punch-up.
23-25. June: Glastonbury Festival with The Cure etc.
On the way home we crashed into exactly the same bridge outside Salisbury that the Rolling Stones had crashed into decades earlier. I promise I didn’t do it on purpose.
9. July: Spirit of the West, Railway Inn, Winchester
An American band at the Railway. Blimey!
28. August: An Emotional Fish, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Hilarious. They brought an articulated lorry full of gear and got it stuck in St Mary Street. Serve them right.
5. September: John Otway, Railway Inn, Winchester
He couldnt get far up the step ladder because the ceiling was so low.
10. October: Die Toten Hosen, Subterrania, London
Mad German punks. Dead Trousers, that’s a good name.
10. November: Van Morrison, Mayflower, Southampton
When he’s good, he’s very very good.
15. November: The Becketts, Joiners Arms, Southampton
John Parish produced this Bristol band which specialised in controversial posters.
24. November: Happy End, Hope Centre, Bristol
Improvised jazz in the mould of Loose Tubes. This was interesting. It was the first evidence that John Parish was a star in Bristol. Every two minutes, people came up to shake his hand.
11. January: The Agency, Bournemouth Pavilion
It was a trifle chilly on the seafront.
2. February: Return to the Forbidden Planet, Cambridge Theatre, London
The return of Tim Barron, starring in this blockbuster musical.
14. February: Trip, West Indian Club, Southampton
They’d just been signed and everything was set fair.
23. March: Maria McKee, Academy, Manchester
Maria can knock Spots off all the Alanis Morrisettes of this wirld.
25. May: BAP / Bob Geldofs Vegetarians of Love, Hamburg, Germany
A sort of festival. Dave Stewart’s band played as well. All the music was lamentable and I froze half to death.
31. May: Joe Jackson, CCH, Hamburg
The Laughter and Lust tour. Not much of either, unfortunately.
5. August: John Otway / Attilla the Stockbroker, Guildhall, Winchester
Hat Fair Cabaret, compèred by Arthur Smith.
22. August: Trip, West Indian Club, Southampton
Never was a band more up for it.
29. August: Thin White Rope, Joiners Arms, Southampton
This was the 200th Next Big Thing gig.
8. September: The Blues Band, City Hall, Salisbury
Chilling. In the audience was the Languages Adviser who for years ensured that I didn’t get promotion. If she was a Blues Band fan, I couldn’t be.
26. October: Runrig, Modernes, Bremen
Christmas in Germany makes you desperate. One good thing: The roof of the venue swung open to reveal the stars.
21. December: PJ Harvey, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Hadn’t we seen this girl somewhere before?
29. December: Cropdusters / Trip, East Point Centre, Southampton
A horrible old school hall.
17. January: Robyn Hitchcock / PJ Harvey: ULU, London
Poor Robyn was upstaged and the press was out in force. I had a nasty experience in the bar. A bloke called Jon Driscoll from Waltham Chase, who years before had successfully hassled me to plug his fanzine Teenage Kicks, had become a music media darling by the name of Jon Fat Beast. I spotted him and went over to congratulate him on his success. He blanked me.
15. February: Gallon Drunk, Joiners Arms, Southampton
The support band was Asphalt Ribbons, later to become Tindersticks.
12. March: John Campbell, Boars Head, Wickham
In my Top Ten gigs of all time.
13. March: Birdland / Trip, Southampton University
I cycled there and left after my boys.
28. March: The Hamsters / The Producers, Boars Head, Wickham
The Hamsters did annoyingly pointless Hendrix covers.
24. April: The Fall, Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg
I nearly died. See the book.
5. May: Dr Feelgood, Boars Head, Wickham
Farewell, Sir Lee. We shall not hear his like again.
27. May: PJ Harvey, Pyramids, Portsmouth
This was shattering. Got to go again tomorrow.
28. May: PJ Harvey / Automatic Dlamini, Bierkeller, Bristol
So I did. John Parish nearly fell off the stage when he saw me leering out of the audience.
3. June: Automatic Dlamini, The Gardens, Yeovil
A night club complete with palm trees. I scattered flyers to the winds.
26-28 June: Glastonbury Festival with Van Morrison, Lou Reed, PJ Harvey, Shakespears Sister
Watching PJH, my children had their first view of crowd surfing.
14. July: Rolling Stones, Wembley Stadium
Actually it was Wilco Johnson. Some idiot lost the Stones tickets.
24. July: K-Passa, Gosport Festival
”Bollocks”, they shouted.
3. August: The Fall, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Less eventful than Hamburg.
25. August: Eugenius / Urge Overkill, Joiners Arms, Southampton
There was little sign that the American support band would end up in the charts.
7. September: Throwing Muses, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Good birthday present.
9. October: Joe Ely / Coal Porters, Boar’s Head, Wickham
Right, I must go to Austin, Texas. Immediately.
28. October: Guitar Orchestra / Passing Clouds, BID, Berlin, Germany
I attended this in an effort to promote the Dlamini album, and bumped into ex-pupil Adam Green as well.
26. November: That Petrol Emotion, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Another band which deserved to do far better than it did.
8. December: The Sundays, Pyramids, Portsmouth
It was hard to see what made this band at all special.
15. December: Automatic Dlamini, The Cricketers, Oval, London
This was their last ever gig. I was the only paying customer.
12. January: Otis Grand, Boars Head, Wickham
He did a guitar walkabout and nearly trampled me to death.
13. January: The Wishplants, Powerhaus, Islington, London
After the band had gone off, they pulled a curtain across the stage and started up a disco.
2. February: Stereo MCs, Pyramids, Portsmouth
They took ten years to make a second album.
23. February: Belly, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Belly had a gorgeous heavy metal bassist.
24. February: Suede, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Concave stomachs a go-go.
3. March: The Auteurs, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They thought they were pretty wonderful. Last time they had played at the Joiners, they had been supporting Suede.
9. March: Birdland, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Funniest Joiners gig ever. They asked Mint to turn out the lights so they could make a spectacular entrance. Unfortunately, they forgot to ask him to turn them on again and thus played their first two numbers in complete darkness.
22. April: The Heartthrobs, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A great band built around the Carlotti sisters. Should have been a lot better known.
22. May: PJ Harvey, Guildhall, Southampton
Support gang Gallon Drunk were destroyed by the soundman. PJH were inspiring.
12. June: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
The support band, Moosehead, featured Mark Meredith and his brother Guy.
24. June: Arthur Brown, Joiners Arms, Southampton
No flaming headdress. A poor advertisement for the rock & roll lifestyle.
25-27 June: Glastonbury Festival with Donovan, Barenaked Ladies, Midnight Oil and The Kinks
I have a video of this weekend.
20. July: Underground Lovers / ILA, Joiners Arms, Southampton
ILA was a school band I was looking after.
24. July: Richard Thompson, Gosport Festival
He annoyingly didn’t bring a band with him.
26. July: The Blues Band, Gosport Festival
Phew! No sign of the Languages Adviser.
24. August: U2, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork, Ireland
This involved a lengthy journey though the night. Was it worth it? Was it heck.
18. September: Richard Sinclairs Caravan, The Gantry, Southampton
They were all in an awful state. Andy Ward, Camel’s original drummer, was unrecognisable.
24. September: Smokin’ Joe Kubek / The Hoax, Boars Head, Wickham
Sometimes, a band is just a revelation. The Hoax was such a band.
4. October: Clive Gregson, Railway Inn, Winchester
Some folk is good.
7. October: The Breeders, Pyramids, Portsmouth
The Deal sisters looked like they’d done a few too many Deals.
28. October: The Wedding Present, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Indie cult favourites. Not with me.
21. November: Robyn Hitchcock, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Not many people present. He will never be more than a cult, admit it.
2. November: World Party, Portsmouth Poly
Actually I do Wanna Sail In This Ship of Fools.
15. January: The Soft Boys, Astoria, London
How sweet: a reunion. It sold out, too.
27. January: Cornershop, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I loved their wilful non-commerciality. What a thrill when they finally got a hit, much later. On this occasion, there can’t have been more than 30 people there.
7. February: The Blue Aeroplanes, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
It looked as if they were finally going to achieve a breakthrough. The place was packed. Almost exactly six years later in the same venue, you couldn’t give tickets away.
9. March: Trans-Global Underground, Southampton University
Everybody appeared to have been taking Ecstasy or something.
11. March: Paul Weller, Guildhall, Portsmouth
He had that bloke from Ocean Colour Scene with him.
18. March: Silver Rattles, Twyford Parish Hall
A Beatles tribute? Why? Because Phil Campbell, from The Time was on bass. I very nearly electrocuted myself.
21. April: Walter Trout Band, Pyramids, Portsmouth
A horrible over-the-top guitar show-off.
2. May: Oasis, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
”Marginally less interesting than a slumbering lugworm”. I dont feel ashamed of this verdict. It just took everyone else a few years to catch up with the truth.
8. June: Peter Perrett and the One, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Having never seen the Only Ones, this was the next best thing. But he was a bad advert for heroin.
24-26. June: Glastonbury Festival with Nick Cave, The Levellers, Paul Weller, James
Not one of the most memorable festivals.
19. July: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
16. September: The Steamkings, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Good local band which kept plugging away for years.
27. September: Pretenders, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Nobody can wear leather trousers like Chrissie can.
4. October: Radiohead, Pyramids, Portsmouth
I don’t remember whether they were any good. But they were sniffy about playing Creep. Shouldn’t have bloody written it then.
13. October: Sugar, Pyramids, Portsmouth
The trouble with Bob Mould is that after a while it all begins to sound the same.
22. November: Electrafixion, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Effectively it was Echo and the Bunnymen. And it wasn’t very good.
25. November: Tom Robinson, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Now completely solo. Support was TV Smith from the Adverts.
21. December: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
6. January: The Surfing Brides, Boars Head, Wickham
They came highly recommended, but they weren’t that good.
20. January: Joe Jackson, Guildhall, Portsmouth
The Night Moves tour. It began brilliantly with Home Town starting to coincide with the chiming of the Guildhall clock.
9. February: Supergrass / Bluetones, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A typically inspired Mint double bill. I preferred the Bluetones.
14. February: Richard Thompson, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Why doesn’t he ever bring a band? How can you prromote an electric album with an acoustic set?
6. March: Sleeper, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They did several Joiners shows, including a free one in 1993.
11. March: PJ Harvey, Shephards Bush Empire
Tricky was the support act. He didn’t get on with Island Records either.
17. March: John Otway, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Not exactly the most responsive audience.
19. March: David Thomas and Two Pale Boys, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Almost like having Pere Ubu in your living room.
4. April: Elastica, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Hard to believe that we’d have to wait five years before a chance to see them again.
11. May: PJ Harvey, The Forum, London
We went there via Swindon. Unintentionally.
22. May: Kirsty McColl, Pyramids, Portsmouth
A little Twyford charabanc outing, culminating with fish and chips.
15. June: Bettie Serveert, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Really good band from Holland, who turned out to have a surprisingly large UK following.
24-26. June: Glastonbury Festival with Oasis, PJ Harvey, Portishead, Pulp
This was the year of the pink catsuit.
6. July: Elastica / Gene, The Forum, London
An NME Brat show. They purposely positioned the lights to highlight Justine Frischmann’s breasts.
18. July: Black Grape, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
This was one of their first ever shows. A good moment to catch them, as they were still bursting with enthusiasm and something approaching good health.
19 July: Duffy, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Yes, Steven Tin Tin Duffy. An artist who deserved more recognition. The audience kept calling out for Duran Duran numbers! Drummer James Powell (Georgie Fame’s son) had played with, guess who, Automatic Dlamini.
24. July: Tom Robinson, Gosport Festival
He brought a band with him but they weren’t much good.
5. August: The Feile Festival, Cork, Ireland, with M People, Sleeper, The Boo Radleys and Blur
What a shame! There was hardly anyone there, so the girls got to be on Irish TV just by dancing around in front of the stage. In a Guinness-fuelled frenzy, I finally got my ear pierced.
10. August: Kinky Machine, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Later to become Rialto, they played at the Joiners four times.
11. October: Sleeper, Pyramids, Portsmouth
I took my friend Trevor but he wasn’t impressed: “She can’t sing!”
19. October: Echobelly, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Drummer Andy Henderson had been in Automatic Dlamini. Me, I tried to square the apparent picture of innocence that was Sonja Aurora Madan with a lascivious interview with her which I had read in that week’s NME.
17. January: Perfume, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They had five different styles of promotional postcard. Five!
22. January: Björk, BIC, Bournemouth
We first had to sit through the Brodski Quartet caterwauling for an hour.
24. January: Placebo, Joiners Arms, Southampton
My idea of a truly terrible band.
25. January: Catatonia, Joiners Arms, Southampton
First sight of Cerys in action and one thing was obvious: This is a star.
5. February: Northern Uproar, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A lot of fuss about nothing.
11. February: Number One Cup, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Is this a bra size?
22. February: Alan Price and the Electric Blues Company, Bridport Arts Centre
Awful to behold. Here were musicians who had once been worthy of respect.
23. February: The Producers, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
First taste of something very rare: A Brit blues band with taste and flair.
26. February: Echobelly, Pyramids, Portsmouth
They had a fantastic soppy slow song at the end.
3. March: Audioweb / Mansun, Joiners Arms, Southampton
One of those ”whoo” moments. Mansun are absolutely my kind of band. ”We are destined to be stars and nothing will stop us.” Well …
4. March: Screeper / Velcro, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Screepers manager Tony Rollinson reminded me so much of me in Thieves days that I suspected I’d died and been reincarnated.
12. March: The Bluetones, Pyramids, Portsmouth
They found the transition to a big stage problematic.
2. April: Tiny Monroe, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Four piece in the style of Echobelly / Sleeper. Great stage presence.
14. April: Catatonia / Space, The Brook, Southampton
Some Welsh double bill. Unfortunately, this super venue is now used almost exclusively by bloody tribute bands.
17. April: Aimee Mann, Shepherds Bush Empire, London
In the audience was Tony Banks, a future government minister. A good reason to vote Labour, then.
27. April: Pete Harris Blues Band/ XL5, Twyford Parish Hall
An unpromising name for actually a quite swinging dance band. Dear old Mark Andrews fronted XL5.
17. May: Bottomless Pit Orchestra, The Eagle, Winchester
This was Chris Willey back again, playing in a fleapit.
26. May: Essential Festival, Brighton with Audioweb, Bis, Drugstore, Echobelly, Baby Bird, Whipping Boy
I went with Lucy and it pissed all day. Whipping Boy were brilliant, whatever became of them?
6. June: Sleeper, Southampton Guildhall
They failed, like every other band here, to overcome the acoustics.
16. June: Freakpower, Portsmouth Polytechnic
This time I went with Annabel and the bouncers were awkward. We had a backstage pass, however, courtesy of the bassist Jesse, who had been in a musical with Tim Barron. Norman Cook is a better rhythm guitarist than a DJ, he was great.
17. June: Mansun, Joiners Arms, Southampton
5. July: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
More soul searching.
17. July: Tiger / Linoleum, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I put my name on Linoleum’s mailing list and for the next few years, I kept receiving bits of lino through the post. I nearly accumulated enough to finish the kitchen floor.
20 21 July: Womad Festival, Reading
Lots of good people whose names I can’t spell.
26. July: Bottomless Pit Orchestra, The Eagle, Winchester
4. September: Sneaker Pimps / Screeper, Joiners Arms, Southampton
One of the Sneaker Pimps took a call on his mobile phone on stage. Cool or what?
7. September: Howe Gelb, The Pit, Farnham
My birthday treat. As he was a friend of John Parish’s, we offered to help Howe get to the nearest railway station, but he refused. He doesn’t like me.
9. September: Robyn Hitchcock / Homer, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Someone wrote an incomprehensible letter to the Chronicle about Homer.
18. September: Linoleum, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I spotted a brilliant guitarist in this band, and lo and behold, he later joined Elastica.
24. September: Longpigs, Pyramids, Portsmouth
A Crispin and a Crispian within a fortnight. What’s rock & roll coming to?
27. September: XL5, The Bridge, Shawford
Not even Mark Andrews could awaken the audience in this “Ignore the band” pub.
1. October: Kula Shaker: Pyramids, Portsmouth
When I went to the bar, I looked to the left and saw Richard Branson (record company boss). Then I looked to the right and saw Sir John Mills (Crispian’s grandfather).
2. October: Nils Lofgren, The Brook, Southampton
Quite nice to drive ten minutes down the road and see a legend in a pub.
5. October: John Parish and PJ Harvey, The Cavity, Bridport
The best night of my life.
6. October: The Hoax, The Brook, Southampton
Would they break through? They’d already been on Later With Jools Holland.
8. October: John Parish and PJ Harvey, Fleece and Firkin, Bristol
We stayed at a guest house in Whitchurch called Revilo. It wasnt very good.
12. October: The Producers, The Brook, Southampton
They kept playing until they more or less had to be carried offstage.
13. October: Nut, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A girl singer briefly touted by some record company. The name wasn’t too promising.
16. October: Audioweb, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The press hated this band but I thought the combination of soulful vocals and chunky guitars was quite clever.
4. November: Drugstore, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The crowd was small but the amount of red wine consumed on stage was large.
5. November: Catatonia, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The buzz was growing fast now.
16. November: Edward II, RKL Club, Gosport
The most danceable band on the planet, it said. Unfortunately, the audience was clinically dead.
18. November: Scheer, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Good band from Northern Ireland. Head from Yeovil was doing the sound.
30. November: La Cucina, RKL Club, Gosport / K-Passa, The Brook, Southampton
A trawl for a danceable band to play in Twyford.
12. December: Peter Green Splinter Group, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Cozy Powell was on drums!
20. December: The Hoax, Salisbury Arts Centre
Also in my top ten gigs ever.
21. December: The Producers / XL5, Twyford Parish Hall
Paul Dominy got me drunk and I couldnt remember if I’d locked up the hall. Had to go back in the middle of the night to check.
11. January: The Producers, The Brook, Southampton
More of the same.
21. January: Super Furry Animals, Kenickie, Astoria, London
This was an NME Brat show. Kenickie were just beginning to attract attention.
2. February: Screeper, North Pole, Winchester
Their manager, Tony Rollinson, wrote a book about music in Portsmouth, not by any means as short a volume as you might think.
5. February: Candyskins, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Oxford band on the way down.
6. February: John Parish and PJ Harvey, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Sumptuous surroundings for the Louse Point dance show.
12. February: Silver Sun, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Spunky harmony pop.
26. February: Gene, Guildhall, Southampton
The Supernaturals supported and were better than Gene.
28. February: The Agency, The Producers, Winter Gardens, Bournemouth
A fund-raiser for Bournemouth Football club!
6. March: Rosa Mota, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Certainly the loudest band ever to play the Joiners.
12. March: Pavement, Pyramids, Portsmouth
My favourite US band at the time. Check out the mad drummer.
20. March: Symposium, Joiners Arms, Southampton
25. March: Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, The Brook, Southampton
Gorkys on top form before record company tomfoolery.
28. March: T-Rextasy, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Ugh! A tribute band. Paul made me go.
3. April: K-Passa, The Brook, Southampton
15. April: Goldblade, Joiners Arms, Southampton
My pet goths Gretschen Hofner supported and were more interesting than Goldblade.
20. April: Billy Bragg, Salisbury Arts Centre
Very special Bragg show: It was two nights before the General Election!
21. April: Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
An upward trajectory.
23. April: Catatonia, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
25. April: La Cucina, Twyford Parish Hall
The conga went right the way round the hall. One of those bands where it’s impossible to believe that such thrilling music can’t make a living for itself.
1. May: Mansun, Pyramids, Portsmouth
The perfect rock & roll attitude.
13. May: Ian Hunter, The Brook, Southampton
Not nearly as good as his past had led one to believe.
14. May: Feil Garvie, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Adam Green’s latest effort. Even less likely to succeed than the previous ones.
17. May: Jackie Leven, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
I really wanted to be positive about Jackie. He was good but still a sour-faced old git.
20. May: Kenickie, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
At their best. It would’t last long.
21. June: Pete Harris Blues Band, Twyford Parish Hall
This was Birgit’s 40th birthday party. Support was the first (and sadly not the last) performance by Revilo and Ricardo. I demonstrated my love by forcing myself to go on stage and sing Stay, The One I Love and Don’t Ask Me. We got an encore.
23. June: Ash, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Glastonbury warmup bedlam.
24. June: Primal Scream, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Every Sister is a Star. What a brilliant, brilliant band.
27-29 June: Glastonbury Festival with Sting, Radiohead, The Prodigy, Primal Scream
I fail to see the charm of Radiohead. It seems I am not in the majority.
4. July: World Party, Guildhall, Portsmouth
10. July: Vex, North Pole, Winchester
They got Indie Album Of The Month in MOJO.
12. July: La Cucina, The Brook, Southampton
All their families were there.
19. July: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
They brought the hall down as usual.
26 27 July: Womad Festival, Reading
We had a go at a drum workshop.
6. September: Paul Jones and Dave Kelly, The Pit, Farnham
My birthday present again. The food was awful.
13. September: The Cage, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
The grand debut of Richard’s band. I was in a furious mood because of having been refused admission to see Eric Bibb the previous night on account of arriving five minutes late. My ceaseless unremunerated plugging of the Tower had never been acknowledged and that was the last straw.
24. September: Tanya Donnelly, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Considerably less confrontational music than last time round.
2. October: Stereolab, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I love a band that sets up its own gear.
8. October: Spiritualized, Pyramids, Portsmouth
I hated it. Dunno why. Within a couple of months I’d decided they were brilliant.
9. October: Strangelove, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth Fantastic.
Patrick Duff was a complete natural. Fail to understand why he’s so unpopular with the press. Maybe because he’s got a brain?
28. October: Seventeen Reasons Why, Hotel Utah, San Francisco
A visit to the home of American Music Club. We ate salsa and corn chips.
13. November: Flaming Stars, Joiners Arms, Southampton
The natural successors to Gallon Drunk. Nice seedy skinny blokes in dark baggy Oxfam suits.
14. November: The Hoax, Salisbury Arts Centre
Birgit’s brother Harald flew in from Germany specially to see them. It was worth it.
2. December: Echobelly, Pyramids, Portsmouth
They had really sweet twinkly lights on their backdrop but all their albums sounded the same.
3. December: Robyn Hitchcock, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Our feet nearly froze to the floor.
13. December: The Producers, Twyford Parish Hall
18. December: Chris T-T: Railway Inn, Winchester
My brave ex-pupil, striking out on his own.
29. December: The Hoax, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Videoed for posterity. I can see all my friends in it (well, not all of them).
17. January: The Agency, BIC, Bournemouth
Gulp! A Harley Davidson convention!
20. January: Spiritualized, Salisbury Arts Centre
So this is what its like to take drugs!
22. January: Richard Thompson, Salisbury City Hall
He didn’t bring a band, only his son Teddy.
29. January: Catatonia, Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth
You could hardly get in there.
5. February: User / Screeper, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Showcase recording for a TV show called SFX.
18. February: Colin John, The Cavity, Bridport
I met a couple I’d last seen on the Rochdale canal. We unforgivably chatted in loud voices all the way through the performance. Nowadays I chuck people out for that.
23. February: Sleeper / Rialto, Pyramids, Portsmouth
But she can’t sing!
21. March: The Hollies, Mayflower, Southampton
Please don’t tell me I look as old as this audience.
27. March: Asian Dub Foundation, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
What sprung dance floors were invented for.
28. March: La Cucina, Twyford Parish Hall
They broke up soon afterwards. No connection.
30. March: Bobby Mack and Night Train, The Brook, Southampton
He said the competition in Austin, Texas is so fierce that he can’t get a gig there. We gotta go to Austin!
31. March: Drugstore, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They have an album out and even the prospect of a hit single with Thom Yorke. Success for Drugstore? That would ruin everything.
18. April: Preacher Boy, The Brook, Southampton
From Tenderloin, San Francisco.
25. April: Catatonia, Southampton University
We took Annabel. She was amazed by the crowd surfers. This band was about to go ballistic.
28. April: Jesus and Mary Chain, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They seemed a bit bad tempered.
2. May: Creamfields Festival, Winchester with Beth Orton, Finley Quaye, Primal Scream
Surrounded by wild-eyed maniacs shouting “Ello Mr Gray! What’re you on then?”
6. May: Heather Nova, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
She was marvellous and had a really good band as well.
31. May: Kenickie, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They were terrible and obviously about to break up.
2. June: Embrace, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I wouldn’t want to cuddle them.
5. June: Billy Bragg, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The crowd was unconvinced by the Woody Guthrie stuff. Dont worry, you’ll get used to it eventually.
14. June: Eric Bibb, The Brook, Southampton
Got to see him at last but he was a bit too Mr Perfect for me.
16. June: The Cage, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
The plan was to sell lots of CDs. The plan failed.
26 28. June: Glastonbury Festival with Blur, Catatonia, Pulp, Robbie Williams
I covered it for the Independent on Sunday! Journalistic fame at long, long last!
1. July: Spleen, The Thekla, Bristol
A fantastic noise from Rob Ellis and co. On a ship, as well.
4. July: Preacher Boy, Red Eye Club, London
I don’t recommend wandering round King’s Cross late at night, unless youre getting paid for it.
5. July: Party In The Park, Hyde Park, London, with Tom Jones, All Saints, Boyzone
Compulsory attendance to cover it of the IOS. I got to stand in a queue with Sir David Frost. Lucy got David Duchovny’s autograph and then spoke to Prince Charles. The music was shite.
11. July: The Hoax, Twyford Parish Hall
The summit of my village promoting career. People said they were too loud and I just didn’t care.
18. July: Noel Redding Band, Tower Arts Centre,
Winchester Probably the most depressing gig of my life. How could a rock legend demean himself so?
25 26 July: Womad Festival, Reading
I remember dancing to White Lines at 2 am.
3. August: PJ Harvey, Bridport Arts Centre
An intimate warm-up for the Is This Desire? tour. Great support band too: White Hotel.
10. August: Ian Dury, Dingwalls, London
On great form despite ill health.
11. August: Lodger, Dingwalls, London
Island records showcase for a new signing featuring Pearl Lowe. Just for once, I looked around at all the journalists and thought, I’m one of you!
15. August: The Producers, The Brook, Southampton
You’d think one would get bored. One wouldnt.
5. September: Thieves Like Us, The Agency, Trip, The Cage, Z.inc, Twyford Parish Hall
Or maybe this was the best day of my life. My 50th birthday party.
19. September: Bop Brothers, Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham
Checking out a Brit Blues outfit for a possible booking. The venue was a school hall. Shudder!
27. September: Jackie Leven, The Brook, Southampton
He told a lot of rude stories.
28. September: Daheebiejeebies, Lucy’s Retired Surfers, Austin, Texas, USA
Jet lagged and in heaven.
29. September: Maceo Parker, Antones, Austin, Texas
Funk Overload! The Real Thing! And we met someone who had been at Glastonbury.
30. September: Monte Montgomery, Saxon Bar, Austin, Texas
Tequila overdose! The next day, I bought his album.
3. October: R.L. Burnside, House of Blues, New Orleans
Genuine toothless blues.
4. October: John Carey, Tipicino’s, New Orleans
Kill that digital sound system.
8. October: Hurricane No. 1, Joiners Arms, Southampton
One of these ended up in Oasis.
12. October: Rialto / Lodger, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Overblown and over-hyped.
14. October: Ash, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Ash have one of the wildest audiences ever, but the songs were great and Charlotte Hatherley had transformed the band.
19. October: Grandaddy, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The lowest-fi imaginable. A quiet electric band, how refreshing.
20. October: Mansun, Guildhall, Southampton
Annabel fell asleep.
26. October: Bob Mould / Mercury Rev, Reading University
Just a minute, who’s that support band? The candelabra gave them away. I made the fatal mistake of going to the front during Bob Mould’s set and couldnt hear for a week.
27. October: Silver Sun, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Well, I like harmony vocals.
11. November: Morcheeba, Pyramids, Portsmouth
Quite pleasant to listen to but not much of a live spectacle.
16. November: Roddy Frame, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Quite a revelation. Just as lively and inspired as in Aztec Camera days.
26. November: Edward II, The Brook, Southampton
Could we afford to book them? No.
28. November: John Cooper-Clarke, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Bernard Manning lives.
2. December: Drugstore, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Yes, well, by now it had all gone horribly wrong, of course.
11. December: PJ Harvey, Colston Hall, Bristol
We all went down in a gang. We walked out of the car park and someone threw a bottle at us from a bus window. Thanks a bunch.
12. December: The Producers, Twyford Parish Hall
They stayed over and played a lunchtime gig at the Bugle the next day, despite having consumed the best part of a bottle of whisky before going to bed. Hard livin’ bluesmen.
18. December: PJ Harvey, Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
I stayed in Swords, where Boyzone come from. Howe Gelb (support) still doesn’t like me.
8. January: Orko, Railway Inn, Winchester
Briefly managed by Mint. Probably a mistake.
9. January: Reconsider, Talking Heads, Southampton
A young blues band. So bad that I decided not to review it for fear of being too offensive.
19. January: Mercury Rev, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Putting in a bid to be my favourite band of all time.
25. January: John Parish, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
A live version of his Rosie film sountrack. It really worked.
8. February: Heather Nova, Salisbury Arts Centre
Twyford village outing. Heather is a suitable role model for any teenage girl.
13. February: Miller Anderson, Vintage Inn, Shedfield
And this was the man who wrote all the Keef Harley albums.
20. February: Colosseum,The Brook, Southampton
Oh God! Dave Clempson was half bald and wore glasses. They had’t progressed at all in 25 years. No need to insult the audience like this.
24. February: Los Pacaminos, The Brook, Southampton
Paul Young’s hobby Tex-Mex band.
26. February: The Creatures, Salisbury Arts Centre
The audience seemed to have taken a wrong turning from the Rocky Horror Show.
5. March: Wilco Johnson, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Not really a suitable venue.
9. March: Rumdum, Joiners Arms, Southampton
The grand re-opening of the Joiners after re-furbishment. They put the stage against the only wall which hadn’t been tried before.
16. March: Glenn Tilbrook, The Brook, Southampton
You can’t half singalong to those old Squeeze songs.
20. March: Bop Brothers, Twyford Parish Hall
Undemanding blues evening.
1. April: PJ Harvey and John Parish, Improv. Theatre, London
They were sensational. It was supposed to be John Peel’s birthday party but turned out to be the first of many. Echo and the Bunnymen were so bad that Birgit was yelling ”Boo, get off” like the guys in the Muppet Show.
9. April: K-Passa, Talking Heads, Southampton
Should I book them?
12. April: Rosita, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Kenickie spin-off, hardly worth the bother.
13. April: Bobby Mack and Night Train, The Brook, Southampton
Southampton, Texas, what’s the difference?
16. April: The Hoax, The Brook, Southampton
Recording their farewell live album.
19. April: Ultrasound, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Fat people being not very good. My unerring antennae for a band about to break up proved reliable again.
27. April: Howe Gelb, The Cumberland, Bristol
He STILL doesnt like me.
9. May: Handsome Family, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Murder in the woods. Sylvia Sims is a big fan (You’ll have to read the book).
10. May: John Cale, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The fact that it was billed as a Spoken Word event didn’t put people off calling out for Velvet Underground songs.
12. May: dEUS, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Belgium’s finest. Theyd gone a bit alt-country but none the worse for that.
15. May: Colin Blunstone, The Brook, Southampton
The Zombies Odessy and Oracle is one of my favourite albums. Colin was encouragingly elegant and unravaged.
29. May: Homelands Festival, Winchester, with Dot Allison, Asian Dub Foundation, Black Star Liner
More pop-eyed maniacs.
30 31 May: Bishopstock Festival, Exeter, with Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Magic Slim
It rained and there was hardly anyone there, but it did’t matter because this weird event was bankrolled by rich people for their own entertainment. There are certainly worse things to spend your money on.
3. June: The Producers, Tower Arts Centre
They’d just been voted British Blues Band of the Year.
6. June: A, Joiners Arms, Southampton
It was very rumbustuous but not much else.
17. June: Scott 4, Joiners Arms, Southampton
An unsuccessful attempt to appear cool in stetsons.
20. June: Tom Robinson, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
He downloaded some of his own lyrics on the internet in the interval.
22. June: Wilco, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Jeff Tweedy wins my vote for seediest rocker of the century. He also hurled himself backwards through the drumkit during the encore.
25 -27. June: Glastonbury Festival with Hole, Blondie, REM, Manic Street Preachers
But more importantly, Marianne Faithfull.
10. July: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
Probably their best ever performance. They wanted to make up for being pissed on my birthday.
23 25 July: WOMAD Festival
We handed out 2000 Robyn Hitchcock flyers.
14. August: Chris T-T, Railway Inn, Winchester
Still brave. If I didn’t know better, I’d have offered to manage him.
26. August: Ten Benson, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Loony local support, Rumdum, were better.
27. August: Robbie McIntosh, The Brook Southampton
Desperately disappointing solo effort from Macca’s sideman.
1. September: Death In Vegas, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
One of those wild nights, full of excitement. Spiritualized revisited.
4. September: Willard Grant Conspiracy, Melkweg, Amsterdam
Robert Fisher assured me: ”When we come to England, we’ll be visiting some small towns like Manchester, Birmingham and Winchester.” They did.
5. September: Luscious Jackson, Melkweg, Amsterdam
6. September: Sparklehorse, The Garage, London
John Parish wangled me in. People annoyingly talked in the quiet bits.
9. September: Edward II, The Brook, Southampton
We definitely couldn’t afford to book them. And then they split up.
10. September: Llama Farmers, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Trevor’s stag night! Forever to be known as a Llama Night.
11. September: Trevor’s wedding, Oxford
A live performance by me of a re-written version of Clever Trevor. All because I was too scared to make a speech.
13. September: Arab Strap, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I didn’t care at all about that ugly Scottish bloke’s troubled love life.
18. September: The Hoax, South Parade Pier, Portsmouth
Nearly the end.
24. September: Robyn Hitchcock, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
All the elements were there: Guest appearance by Kimberley Rew, nearly a fight in the audience and Robyn Hitchcock still didn’t recognise me.
30. September: Chris T-T, Railway Inn, Winchester
No, no, I won’t be tempted.
6. October: Campag Velocet, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Objectively, not a promising format. Subjectively, hugely enjoyable because the attitude was so good.
13. October: The Hoax, Astoria, London
The absolute end. The autograph session continued afterwards in Tottenham Court Road.
16. October: Sonny Black and the Dukes, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Anaemic Brit blues in a cabaret style.
18. October: Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Quelle scoop! The old boys and their Do Right Women done good.
3. November: Reg Presley, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
He said he knew where to mine for gold. But since Four Weddings and a Funeral, he doesn’t need to bother.
8. November: David Gray, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Good name, good bloke.
12. November: Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Hideaway? Good idea.
16. November: The Flaming Lips, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Brilliant performance art. In my Top Three ever.
25. November: Paddy Casey, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A bit like Marc Bolan. Are we coming full circle?
11. December: John Otway / K-Passa, Twyford Parish Hall
26. December: The Agency, Liquids, Bournemouth
Finishing the Millennium in traditional style.
23. January: Bellatrix, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Good point: what happened to Bellatrix?
26. January: Blue Aeroplanes, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They were even better than ever, if that’s possible. But their following had dwindled.
28. January: Rachel Stamp, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Good point: what happened to Rachel Stamp?
30. January: Freedy Johnson, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
I have fond memories of our cat, Freedy, who was run over by a lorry. But of Freedy Johnson I have no memory at all.
31. January: Elastica, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
This was the period when they were all allegedly on drugs and the press thought they were crap. I though they were fantastic. That Justine was still a bit of all right.
7. February: Savoy Brown, Bottom Line, New York.
How embarrassing. Arriving at what, to a UK punter, would have seemed a reasonable time, I found I had missed not only the support act but all but the last ten minutes of the headliners as well. The doorman took pity on me and let me stay for the second house. Kim Simmonds was still impeccably smoothed but poor old Dave Peverett had died.
26. February: Peter Bruntnell, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Early exposure to a musician destined to become one of my favourites.
5. March: Day One, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Good point: whatever happened …? (Oh, shut up!)
10 March: Eels, The Pyramids, Portsmouth
The funniest gig of all time. The magnificent Mr E insisted that we should all sit down in silence for the duration of the show. Scuffles broke out in the audience when some people refused to comply.
15. March: The Wannadies, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Not bad for Scandinavians.
18. March: The Producers, Twyford Parish Hall
They played a blinder. Voted UK blues band of the year three years running.
20. March: Cay / Crashland, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Cay were kinda krusty.
2. April: Terris / Coldplay, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Aha! It was obvious to all the thirty or so people present that Coldplay were going to be gigantic.
4. April: The The, The Pyramids, Portsmouth
Matt Johnson had gone grunge and it was neither a pretty sight nor sound.
11. April: Hefner, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Sorry, I thought they were twee and over self-conscious. The singer was unbearable.
23. April: The Dandy Warhols, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Nice to see them in the charts about 18 months later.
4. May: Cousteau / Chris TT, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
The first time you see Cousteau they really impress you with their suaveness. Unfortunately, they never seem to learn any new songs.
5. May: Chicken Shack, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
I shook Stan’s hand and it was all limp. You wouldn’t think that of a gnarled bluesman, would you?
12. May: The Flaming Lips / Built To Spill / Wheat, Royal Festival Hall, London
The RFH is an absolutely terrible place to see a band. That’s all I’m prepared to say.
20. May: Neal Casal / Peter Bruntnell, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Guess who blew whom offstage?
27. May: Bishopstock Festival, Exeter
It clashed with Homelands, it pissed with rain and the signs were there that all was not well in the state of Bishopstock. But Steve Earle was a revelation.
3. June: The Agency, Holdenhurst Village Hall
Tim Holt’s birthday. Here I met Tom Oldham, who reviewed the first edition of this book and started a bit of a roll for it. Respect!
8. June: Chris Hillman, The Brook, Southampton
Disappointingly wholesome. In the audience was Sid Griffin from the Long Ryders, who was drunk.
22 25 June: Glastonbury Festival
There was a problem with overcrowding and I was caught up in it. Having just seen the Flaming Lips on the New Band (!!) stage, my only thought was, at least I’ll die happy.
8. July: John Otway / The Nightporters, Twyford Parish Hall
Oh heck, another of those. Not even the brilliantly entertaining Nightporters could follow Otway.
13. July: Pat McDonald, Abaixadors Deu, Barcelona
Talk about mañana. John Parish was here, producing Sparklehorse, and did this show with Pat McDonald which didn’t get started until so late at night that I only heard half the first song before having to leave to catch a train.
16. July: Eels, Southampton Guildhall
Thankfully a less rowdy audience. Here, we learnt that you must never leave an Eels show until you are absolutely sure it’s over. And I got a crush on Lisa Germano.
17. August: Mansun, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Check out a silver-haired Tommy Winstone doing the tour managing. But Mansun seemed to have come to a bit of a full stop.
24. August: Asian Dub Foundation, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
My idea of a truly great band.
25. August: Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Gosport Festival.
They don’t come any more dismal than this. Mind you, I got hate mail for saying so.
29. August: Omar and The Howlers, The Brook, Southampton
We missed them in Austin so they came to us.
2. September: The Agency, Ferndown Community Centre
Launching their new album which I daringly helped to finance. It sold so fast that I got the money back in about a week.
7. September: Drugstore, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Who on earth finances them?
17. September: PJ Harvey, The Hope and Anchor, Bridport
This crazy lunchtime gig was the world début of the Stories From The City songs. Too weird to describe, really, but it got me back in the Independent on Sunday. The Hope should be an English Heritage site.
18. September: PJ Harvey, Bridport Arts Centre
The official début, featuring the psychedelic mini-skirt which turned out to be about the most restrained garment Polly wore all year.
28. September: Alan Clayson, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
It was a lecture about the Beatles. Does this count as a gig?
30. September: Naughty Rhythms Tour, Perins School, Alresford / The Gliders, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
We checked out Otway and co in a school hall before catching half the Gliders show. Sean Lyons, ex-Soft Boy, was in this very good band.
5. October: Elliot Smith, The Forum, London
I was on a total high, having just been on the Johnny Walker Show on Radio Two. I danced round Portland Place, which wasn’t very dignified.
12. October: The Delgados, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They had the seediest chain-smoking string section imaginable.
19. October: Wishbone Ash, The Brook, Southampton
Paul made me go. (A different Paul, this time).
21. October: Vigilantes of Love, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A pretty good cult band from the States but there were only twelve people there.
9. November: Chris TT, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Chris was getting better and better. His second album contained a great song called Dreaming Of Injured Popstars.
25. November: Black Blue Fish Very Beautiful, Railway Inn, Winchester
The return of Rumdum. Possibly the weirdest band I’ve ever seen, and charming because they aren’t all clever-clever, just mad.
27. November: Grand Drive, The Borderline, London.
My first exposure to the godlike Hawksley Workman. And Grand Drive were wonderful too.
29. November: Willard Grant Conspiracy, Joiners Arms, Southampton
That Robert Fisher is a bit of a character, but you wouldn’t want to spend too much time with him on a tourbus.
3. December: Hardin and York, Café Hahn, Koblenz
The ultimate nostalgia trip. The whole family flew there just for the gig and yes, it was worth it.
9. December: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
It wouldn’t be Christmas without them, would it?
10. December: Nine Below Zero / Amor, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The new band of Jon Amor from the Hoax. We arrived just as he was saying ”Thank you, goodnight”, stayed for two songs from the headliners (interestingly featuring the ex-Rory Gallagher rhythm section), then went home again.
13. December: Vacant / Inner Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester
Vacant were a college indie band who backed Annabel, Hannah and Sara. Yes, my daughter is in a band. Whoopee! The two styles didn’t exactly gel, but the audience didn’t seem to notice.
13. January: Kent Duchaine, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester.
A bit too slick.
31. January: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead / The Strokes, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I’m proud to have been at this one, because it was almost the Strokes’ first UK show. The audience was flattened by their refreshingly casual brilliance. The much-vaunted headliners turned out to be a bunch of pussycats in comparison to their fearsome reputation.
3. February: Grandaddy / Lowgold, Southampton University
Such tunes, such beards, such surreal back-projections.
9. February: Amor, Mr Smiths, Bournemouth
Still not the right place to see Jon. The sound was awful and his mike stand kept falling over.
10. February: Thirst / Cooper Temple Clause, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Cooper Temple Clause turned up in a gigantic tourbus, to support a local band. Lots of money going into the CTC and I fervently hoped it would all be wasted.
11. February: PJ Harvey, Shepherds Bush Empire
Richard and Sharon, whose views I hold in great respect, walked out and went to the pub. The reason? Those two irritating grunge guitarists ruining the band. It started on a tremendous high with a solo Polly and then went downhill.
12. February: John Elliott, Royal Seven Stars, Totnes
Yes, John Elliott from the Lesser Known Tunisians. He hadn’t changed, I’m pleased to say.
16. February: Inner Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester
17. February: Joe Jackson, Royal Festival Hall
Before the show, he was interviewed by Barbara Ellen. I was pissed off because I didn’t see why we should pay to experience this, but the actual show was so fantastic that I forgave him completely. What a sublime musician.
1. March: Inner Sense, The White Swan, WInchester
We just about made it out of there alive.
6. March: Drugstore, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I only attend Drugstore gigs to demonstrate solidarity with their plight.
8. March: Ray Davies, The Anvil, Basingstoke
I’d seen him die a death doing this show at Glastonbury, but it went down much better here.
13. March: Terris, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Poor old Terris. Coldplay had gone ballistic and they hadn’t.
29. March: Sixteen Horsepower / John Parish, Dingwalls, London
A spooky band. Apparently they’re religious, but I found them frightening. JP’s huge new guitar band (thirteen members, I think) supported and Hugh Coltman from the Hoax had travelled from Paris specially to see 16 Horsepower.
30. March: Paul Lamb and the King Snakes, The Brook, Southampton
Their reputation was good but they were absolutely terrible.
2. April: Mo Solid Gold, Joiners Arms, Southampton
These Animal Men, to be exact. One album and goodbye, as usual.
11. April: Spencer Davis Group, Ronnie Scotts, Birmingham
Roy Wood was in the audience. Roy Wood!
12. April: Inner Sense, The White Swan, Winchester
There was a dispute about payment.
14. April: Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, The Brook, Southampton
There was an unnecessary lead guitarist who spurted all over every song, including, heaven help us, She’s Not There. Poor Colin had to bellow (which of course he can’t do) and Rod Argent insisted on making smug speeches.
16. April: Tom Ovans / The Good Sons, Joiners Arms, Southampton
The smallest audience the Joiners has ever seen. Four people, of whom only one paid.
18. April: Cosmic Rough Riders, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Tuneful but boring. I always thought Alan McGee was a loser, and this proved it.
20. April: Tony Benn, Winchester Guildhall
I do realise that this is cheating and could render the entire gig list invalid, but it was as big a thrill as any rock show. Even the Tories present treated him as a hero.
25. April: Ash, The Pyramids, Portsmouth
Heavy metal for people who don’t like heavy metal. I’d vote for Charlotte Hatherley over Courtney Love as feistiest woman in rock.
29. April: The Soft Boys, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Pretty surreal, huh? But despite the greyness of their locks, they were better than ever and even had some new songs.
4. May: Errol Linton’s Blues Vibe, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Only once have I seen a band more stoned than this. It was on December 7th 2001.
17. May: The Handsome Family, The Brook, Southampton
Who’s that support act? Why, it’s the godlike Hawksley Workman again.
26. May: BVI Music Festival with Maxi Priest, Cane Carden Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The fact that it looks so impressive doesn’t make it any less true.
3. June: Regular Fries, The Brook, Southampton
Whoops! I told a lie on 4. May.
7. June: J. Mascis and the Fog, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Hector was in paradise, but I had to drive. We had a burger on Portsdown Hill.
11. June: Proud Mary, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They were as dire as any review you may have read. And the rest.
22. June: John Otway, Twyford Parish Hall
Someone else was promoting the show, which made a change. Otway did his birthday set.
4. July: Inner Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester
I could have been the audience’s great grandfather.
5. July: Larmer Tree Festival with Van Morrison and The Agency
And guess who blew whom offstage?
7. July: Radiohead / Supergrass, South Park, Oxford
It was chucking it down when they finished but Lucy wanted to stay for the encore in case they played Creep. I assured her there was no way they would play that particular song and got into awful trouble when we heard its strains wafting over the fence five minutes later.
11. July: Thirst, Railway Inn , Winchester
I want to like them a lot but an indefinable something holds me back.
14. July: Ed Harcourt, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Sorry, but this smelt of hype.
16. July: Haven, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Managed by the Smiths’ manager, apparently. I quite liked them but the music press was doubtful.
19. July: The Blockheads, Bullington Arms, Oxford
An eventful evening. Phill Jupitus took Ian Dury’s place brilliantly. Then (Clever) Trevor got so drunk I had to carry him home. A passing cyclist called out ”Fucking faggots!”
24. August: Reading Festival 2001 with PJ Harvey, Eels, The Strokes and others.
We were there to see PJ Harvey and Eels. It felt really strange, because I wasn’t reviewing it but then, all of a sudden, I was, because of unexpectedly linking up with a super American music magazine called Amplifier.
28. August: Eels, The Forum, London
I’m afraid that E is a genius.
29. August: Heather Nova / Cousteau, Shepherds Bush Empire
This was a bit silly (see 21. October). What’s more, Cousteau still hadn’t learnt any new songs.
7. September: Ben Waters / Rock Bottom, The Pit, Farnham
Annual birthday outing. Something awful happened a week later: Rock Bottom dropped down dead.
9. September: Harry Skinner and Dave Saunders, our garden
Inner Sense supported. It was bloody cold, but it worked.
21. September: Amor, The Brook, Southampton
Finally got to experience a full set and booked him for December 15th.
23. September: Elliott Murphy / Iain Matthews, The Botanique, Brussels
I genuinely thought I was booking to see Elliott Smith! But actually, these two old stagers were good, if not exactly new millenium cutting edge. I would have reflected on seeing Iain Matthews back in 1968, but unfortunately the Belgian beer had already taken its toll.
27. September: Trip, Railway Inn , Winchester
A Trip reunion after all this time. They only played three songs, but the old fire blazed.
30. September: The Music, Joiners Arms, Southampton
7. October: Spiritualized, The Pyramids, Portsmouth
I’d gone off them again.
10. October: Inner Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester
Magic but unmanageable.
21. October: Heather Nova, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I had been to see Heather and her band in London, not knowing that they’d be touring. The London show was okay (with special mention for the grungy female German guitarist) but this stripped-down acoustic version was sensational.
25. October: Eels, Brixton Academy
I finally got to meet Butch and Mr E. Do you know he recorded the definitive version of the Hollies’ Jennifer Eccles?
28. October: Thea Gilmore, The Brook, Southampton
She was unmemorable and then there was a fight.
31. October: Mercury Rev, Anson Rooms, Bristol
If they didn’t come to me, I’d have to go to them. There have been few better bands in history.
7. November: David Kitt, Joiners Arms, Southampton
See Ed Harcourt. Nick Drake’s already been done, David.
9. November: Handsome Family, Tower Arts Centre, WInchester
The joke was wearing a bit thin.
14. November: Inner Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester
They should be signed for a million quid. They won’t be.
20. November: Lift To Experience, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
A Texan cross between Mogwai and Pavement.
6. December: The Producers, The Brook, Southampton
Farewell, then, guys.
7. December: Peter Bruntnell, Railway Inn, Winchester
15. December: The Agency / Amor, Twyford Parish Hall
We had actually planned to stop doing these shows, but temptation is a difficult thing to resist.
17. December: Naughty Rhythms Tour, Winchester Guildhall
Canned Heat didn’t appear because Fito de la Parra had tennis elbow!
10. January: User, Hope and Anchor, Islington
Strange to be back here after so many years. It’s gone a bit up-market but I preferred it when the stage was made of beer crates.
17. January: Pete Yorn, The Water Rats, Kings Cross
Strange to be back here after … hang on, just said that. There was a long and complicated story to this gig, but the main question is: Why do record companies put so much into music which, while enjoyable, is such old hat?
1. February: Bap Kennedy / Mark Nevin, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
There was a funny atmosphere and the show didn’t take off.
5. February: Ee-blee / The Sense, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A slightly mismatched bill but a chance for the Gurlz (complete with name change) to get their live set recorded at last.
15. February: Goldrush / Buffseeds, Joiners Arms, Southampton
More post-Radiohead bands. Thank goodness the Strokes and other Americans are riding to the rescue with some different music.
6. March: Electric Soft Parade, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They have the same gimmick as Trail of Dead, in that the drummer and guitarist swap instruments and lead vocals.
7. March: Spiritualized, Southampton Guildhall
Having hated them, loved them and hated them again, this time I found them sort of okay. Probably not a band you ought to see too often.
10. March: Spencer Davis Group, The Troggs, the Yardbirds, The Anvil, Basingstoke
By no means as dreadful as it sounds. All three bands had a couple of original members and were on good form. Afterwards, we hob-nobbed with them in the Basingstoke Hilton. Very Alan Partridge, I’m sure.
13. March: Billy Bragg, Salisbury City Hall
A sublime evening of real warmth and pleasure for all concerned. Watching and hearing Sir Ian McLagan in action was like a dream. If you’re lucky, you can sometimes catch him and Billy jamming in the Three Horseshoes, Burton Bradstock.
14. March: Bill Sheffield, The Brook, Southampton
First visit to these shores by Georgia bluesman, accompanied by ex-Producer Dave Saunders.
16. March: Amor / The Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester.
One of ours, and bloody gratifying. Amor simply ripped the place apart. This was definitely going to be their year.
29. March: Uninvited Guest, Fishbonz, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Definitively the worst band I’ve ever seen. I could describe it to you but it would make you ill.
30. March: Shaking Tree, Fishbones, Tulsa
I felt so sorry that the audience ignored them that I bought two of their CDs (but have never actually listened to them).
11. April: Dem Brooklyn Bums, Fibbers, York
NYC ska-punk. Don’t ask, but drunkenness and cigars were involved.
17. April: Ken Hensley and Free Spirit, The Brook, Southampton
Proud Words, but the shelf had got dustier.
22. April: Mercury Rev, The Event, Brighton
This was a garish disco but not even that could spoil the magic.
30. April: Durango 75, Railway, Winchester
I remember that Richard Williams got cuddled a lot.
1. May: Lambchop, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
A bit quiet for me. I got sshed at for creaking the door and allowing my mobile phone to go off.
7. May: Doves, Portsmouth Pyramids
I don’t care what anyone says, they DO sound like Camel.
7. June: The Manfreds, Portsmouth Guildhall
A sort of package show. Not much cop.
11. June: The Somatics, Railway, Winchester
Quite a retro band. I liked them but they don’t seem to have much of a future.
13. June: Stag / The Sense, Railway, Winchester
Supposed to be a showcase for some music industry people. Unfortunately, they turned up after The Sense had finished, much like Wilson Pickett did in the Commitments.
18. June: Black Blue Fish Very Beautiful: Railway, Winchester
Endearingly bonkers as usual.
20. June: The Bees, Joiners Arms, Southampton
The first band to come out of the Isle of Wight since Level 42. Really, really enjoyable, too.
27 30 June: Glastonbury Festival with The White Stripes, The Vines, Faithless, etc., etc.
Oh, and Roger Waters. I got into trouble for being non-complimentary about him.
6. July: The Sense, The Broadway, Winchester
Open-air show. The pinnacle of their career (so far).
14. July: Little Dixie / Billy Bragg, Bridport Arts Centre
Amazingly, this was Mutter Slater (from Stackridge) and his blues band. They backed Billy on I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.
18. July: Larmer Tree Festival with Jools Holland and The Agency
Jools Holland’s orchestra were not on form, so guess who blew whom offstage?
20. August: The Sense, Railway, Winchester
They supported themselves, as it were.
30. August: Amor, Mr Smith’s Bournemouth
They’d unexpectedly turned into a 4-piece.
6. September: Goatboy, Railway, Winchester
They were barking mad but really exciting (and very different).
12. September: Goatboy / Black-Blue Fish, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A double helping of lunacy.
24. September: Joe Jackson Band, Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth
Quite a night. Astonishingly, they were even better than in their heyday.
25. September: Derrin Nauendorf, The Brook, Southampton
Shows how low expectations are in this area. He was flagged up as sensational but was anything but.
3. October: Amor, The Brook, Southampton
I can’t actually remember anything about this, so they can’t have been on top form.
10. October: The Jeevas, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I was never much of a Kula Shaker fan, but Crispian’s new band rocked like hell.
12. October: The Sense, Cherry Jam, Notting Hill
The night the girls were discovered by the manager of All Saints and the Sugababes. Unfortunately, he promptly forgot he’d discovered them.
16. October: The Soft Boys / Mark Andrews, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of ours and probably the most stressful night of my life, as Robyn Hitchcock (who didn’t recognise me) got himself lost in Winchester and nearly missed his own gig.
17. October: The Soft Boys, Mean Fiddler, London
I’d been in too much of a state to appreciate them the night before.
22. October: The Arlenes, Railway Inn, Winchester
23. October: Serpico, Railway Inn, Winchester
This was the other band of The Sense’s drummer Pete, later to join The Vaccines.
28. October: British Sea Power, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Probably among the worst five bands I’ve ever seen. Leave them trees alone!
30. October: Nizlopi, Railway Inn, Winchester
I think that’s how you spell them. They’d be famous a couple of years later.
14. November: John Parish, Columbiafritz, Berlin
A long way to travel, but worth it.
19. November: Bill Mallonee, Railway Inn, Winchester
27. November: Amor, The Borderline, London
Their big album launch.
30. November: Peter Bruntnell, Railway Inn, Winchester
Plenty of new songs here. Will the public catch on to Peter?
1. December: The Sense, Rock Garden, London
Their finest gig to date.
14. December: Amor / Little Dixie: Twyford Parish Hall
Jon Amor climbed a step ladder and was consumed by vertigo.
21. December: Rufus Stone, Guildhall, Winchester
This was actually a friend’s wedding. Terrible to relate, the marriage lasted three months.
8. January: The Dawn Parade, Talking Heads, Southampton
18. January: The Sense, Cherry Jam, Notting Hill
A good one, but no moguls present.
21. January: Jesse Malin, The Borderline, London
Just fantastic and unforgettable.
27. January: The Soft Boys, Zodiac, Oxford
They broke up again shortly afterwards
1. February: Amor / Samo, Railway Inn, Winchester
We packed ‘em in until it was practically impossible to breathe.
5. February: Dave Sharp
He used to be in the Alarm, you know. But the Harvey Brothers blew him away.
7. February: The Thrills / The Polyphonic Spree / Interpol / The Datsuns: Portsmouth Pyramids.
They were all crap apart from the Polys.
9. February: The Warlocks, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They were so pompous they needed a good slapping.
19. February: Echoboy, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I think this was Richard Warren.
22. February: Tom McRae, QMU, Glasgow
Such a great atmosphere that I forgot to notice whether he was any good or not.
12. March: Maserati / Kinski / Jungle Brothers / And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, SXSW, Austin, Texas
13. March: Peter Bruntnell / Voyager 1 / The Features / Blur / Kathleen Edwards / Sonny Landreth, SXSW, Austin, Texas
14. March: Peter Bruntnell / Trachtenberg Family / Grandaddy / Grand Drive / Peter Bruntnell again / The Frames, SXSW, Austin, Texas
15. March: Joe Jackson Band / Polyphonic Spree / Pineforest Crunch / Rye Coalition / Camper van Beethoven: SXSW, Austin, Texas
16. March: Guy Forsyth, Antones, Austin,Texas
Got him at last!
17. March: Bob Schneider, Saxon Pub, Austin, Texas
A slacker but fun.
1. April: The Star Spangles, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Over-hyped Americans, an emerging pattern for 2003.
2. April: The 22-20s, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I got into a fury, because this absolutely shit band was being praised in the music press as the big new stars of the year. Is tenth rate pub-blues the Next Big Thing?
6. April: Billy Bragg / Amor, Bridport Arts Centre
What a nice day out. Billy and Jon encored with I Fought The Law but we missed it.
9. April: Burning Brides, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A nice exception in the form of a really hot new US band.
11. April: The Coral, Portsmouith Pyramids
Pretty good, but not as good as people say they are.
12. April: Amor, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Not the right venue for them.
14. April: The Bandits, Joiners Arms, Southampton
I stupidly chose this gig rather than the Rapture at the Wedgie. Can’t remember anything about the Bandits at all.
28. April: I Am Kloot, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Super little band from Manchester who I would love to see succeed.
30. April: Soledad Brothers, Joiners Arms, Southampton
See April 1st.
1. May: Peter Bruntnell / Horse Stories, Railway Inn, Winchester
Richard and I put on this excellent Loose Records package, but we lost money on it.
7. May: Kathleen Edwards, Borderline, London
She’s good. Great night, because Peter Bruntnell, completely bladdered, blagged me and Birgit backstage.
10. May: The Sense, Cherry Jam, London
11. May: The Raveonettes / Stellastarr*, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Raveonettes: See April 1st. Stellastarr*: Magnificent.
19. May: The Sleepy Jackson, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Barking but fun.
7. June: Amor, Archway Tavern, London
Only about five people there but I had a nice curry round the corner.
9. June: Mark Gardner and Goldrush: Joiners Arms, Southampton
Now balding ex-Ride person. Enjoyable but undemanding evening.
10. June: Peter Bruntnell / Vera Cruise, 100 Club, London
Loose Records birthday party which was marred by people largely ignoring the bands.
12. June: The Kills, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Down with duos … er, but not this one. They show the Raveonettes what they are doing wrong (everything).
20. June: Spencer Davis Group, Kiel, Germany
Does this look mad? It was, but remind me to tell you about Miller Anderson’s Woodstock story some time.
24. June: Sarah Sharp / Rachael Dadd / Kate Stables / The Sense, Railway Inn, Winchester
Our most successful promotion so far. Sarah, whom I had met in Austin, was absolutely brilliant.
27-29. June: Glastonbury Festival with Radiohead, Moby, Manic Street Preachers
None of whom I saw, but I DID see The Damned, Yes, Grandaddy, The Rapture and Richard Thompson, all of whom were wonderful in their different ways.
12. July: Sparklehorse / Beth Gibbons, Somerset House, London
Sparklehorse re-established themselves as one of my favourite bands, and the setting was incomparable.
19. July: The Holmes Brothers, Titchfield Abbey
These old-stagers could still cook.
20. July: The Barbs, Railway Inn, Winchester
A really enjoyable punky three-piece.
23. July: Steve Winwood, Shepherds Bush Empire, London
This was quite a hot ticket and the Hammond man was on top form with a brilliant band.
25. July: Gilbert French, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Lovely night with re-formed Winchester punks being melodic and good, complete with their extended families.
14. August: Pernice Brothers, The Borderline, London
Featuring James Walbourne from Peter Bruntnell’s band.
15. August: PJ Harvey / Elbow, Eden Project, Cornwall
The best gig of the year, in the best setting imaginable.
21. August: Stellastarr*, The Garage, London
I modestly guess I kinda discovered this band in the UK. Pity the Garage is such a shitty dump.
22. August: Amor, Joiners Arms
This went better but still not the sort of crowd they deserve.
12. September: Amor / The Semi-Automatics, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
The Tower had upgraded all its gear, making it a much better gig experience.
13. September: Amor / The Sense / Trip /The Usual / The Social Club, Twyford Parish Hall
Was I crazy to book five bands for my birthday? Yes.
1. October: The Davey Brothers, The Brook, Southampton
Can’t say what I thought, in case they should happen to look at this list.
3. October: Six By Seven, Joiners Arms
I had to leave on account of not being able to cope with the strobes.
8. October: Lowgold, Wedgewood Rooms
9. October: Buddy Guy / Amor, Shephards Bush Empire
We handed out hundreds of Amor flyers.
11. October: Frank Black and the Catholics, Wedgewood Rooms
19. October: Jim Bob / Harvey Brothers, Railway Inn, Winchester
Some Railway nights really work, and this was one of them.
21. October: Damien Rice, Wedgewood Rooms
Very good, but far too much like David Gray for my liking.
24. October: Flaming Lips, BIC, Bournemouth
Being smashed in the face by giant rubber balls and showered with fake blood, fun? You bet!
26. October: The Sense, Rock Garden, London
Hmm. They were hung-over.
30. October: Clearlake, Wedgewood Rooms
They were supporting Electric Soft Parade, but I didn’t hang around for the headliners.
1. November: Nina Nastasia / Brothers and Sisters, The Venue, Edinburgh
Nina was depressing and the support band were fantastic, but I don’t think they liked me.
2. November: Chris TT, Railway Inn, Winchester
Andy Burrows’ Stag were supposed to support, but had split up.
7. October: Amor, Railway Inn, Winchester
Completely riotous evening.
15. October: The Blockheads, Zodiac, Oxford
Funky as hell, but we remained relatively sober.
20. October: Jay Farrar / Peter Bruntnell, Dingwalls, London
You know who upstaged whom.
23. October: Ben Weaver, Railway Inn, Winchester
From Minnesota. I think we gave him the best show of his tour, which he described as shit. Apparently, the highlight of the tour was having his sleeping bag pissed in by a sleepwalker in Manchester.
24. October: Bruce Katz, Black Boy, Winchester
A load of blues musos cosying up to each other.
27. November: Ikara Colt, Railway Inn, Winchester
Big band in a little venue, few things are more fun.
2. December: Grandaddy / Electric Soft Parade, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
Two fantastic bands, both on tip-top form.
13. December: John Otway / The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
At last, a band that could follow Otway! A convivial, Pots Ale-sodden evening.
13. January: Fleeing New York, Joiners Arms, Southampton
An alleged A & R feeding frenzy. Yeah, well. What did I know? They turned into Band Of Skulls eventually.
18. January: Black Keys, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Brillliant start to the year with magnificently noisy blues duo.
21. January: Primal Scream, Southampton Guildhall
Mani: ”Good evening Portsmouth!” Cue mayhem.
4. February: Spiritualized, Southampton University
Not much of a crowd but they were better than ever.
6. February: NME tour with Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture, The Von Bondies and Funeral For A Friend, Portsmouth Pyramids
Brilliant night out with three of the four bands being outstandingly good. (Work out who wasn’t.)
7. February: The Hollies, Mayflower, Southampton
Nothing wrong with catholic tastes. Quite a lot wrong with Carl Wayne, but I got to meet Bobby Elliott after 39 years and he was a delight.
12. February: Amor, South Parade Pier, Southsea
I took a friend whose marriage was breaking up. He loved all their most miserable songs.
18. February: Battle of the Bands, Theatre Royal, Winchester
This was sweet, because we’d known most of them since they were in nappies.
28. February: The Sense, Neighbourhood, Notting Hill.
One of those endless daytime showcase events where the audience is the other bands.
29. February: The Usual / The Vaults, Railway, Winchester
The Usual is fronted by my GP’s son. Plenty of good reviews for them, then.
6. March: The Phil Beer Band, Arts Centre, Totnes
Against expectations, they were absolutely excellent and defied all my preconceptions.
7. March: Stellastarr*, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Oooooh, I just love ’em.
17 20. March: South By South West Festival, Austin, Texas, with a cast of thousands including Franz Ferdinand, Clearlake, The Sleepy Jackson, etc., etc.
23. March: Gene Parsons / Julian Dawson, South Parade Pier, Southsea
We had hoped to put Gene on at the Railway but it fell through. I went with Andy Burrows, soon to join Razorlight.
24. March: Jimmy Smith, Jazz Café, London
During the interval, Jimmy’s minder selected a girl from the audience to visit him backstage. The interval was quite long.
28. March: Billy Bragg, Southampton Guildhall
A thousand sitting ducks for Wreckless Eric flyers and I forgot to take them.
31. March: NME tour, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The idea was to re-assess the 22-20s, but they were still crap.
6. April: The Rutles, The Brook, Southampton
Fun to see them at last, but they did seem to be doing it a bit half-heartedly.
8. April: The Creekdippers / Ben Weaver, The Borderline, London
Ben was great as usual but I could only stomach a couple of whingeing Creekdippers songs.
21. April: Wreckless Eric, The Railway, Winchster
Could I possibly be forgiven for going to a gig on the evening of my mother’s funeral? That’s just the way I am. And there was almost a fight.
30. April: Ian McLagan, The Brook, Southampton
Featuring the magnificent Scrappy Jud Newcombe. I regretted not being able to afford to book the Resentments for the Railway.
4. May: Franz Ferdinand / Fiery Furnaces / Sons and Daughters, Portsmouth Pyramids
Renewed acquaintanceship with Sons and Daughters but I think they see me as a farty old git (which I am). FF were brilliant and Birgit and Annabel thought so too.
10. May: Explosions In The Sky, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Good but a bit too Mogwai.
12. May: Jesse Malin, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Nice to see the good old boy again, and got a nice interview too.
13. May: Mungo Jerry, The Borderline, London
A long story to this, involving Frankfurt-Hahn airport and the closing of Helter Skelter in Denmark Street. And it was lunchtime!
14. May: Minuteman, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of those “four bands in two hours” gigs. They looked tremendously unhealthy.
18. May: Charlemagne / Chris TT / Kate Stables, Railway Inn, Winchester
One of our shows and a bit of a triumph for this charming Loose act from Wisconsin. Gig Of The Week in the Independent! Afterwards, eight people stayed at our house.
21. May: American Music Club, Concorde 2, Brighton
An awayday in the sun to give Richard Williams the biggest treat of his life, as AMC played their first UK show in nine years.
23. May: Jon Amor, Joiners Arms, Southampton
A new name for the band and a very lively crowd for a Sunday night.
26. May: PJ Harvey, Zodiac, Oxford
Another awayday for half the population of Winchester. The warm-up had to take place in Oxford because the good folk of Bridport had been complaining about the noise!
27. May: Peter Bruntnell and James Walbourne, Railway Inn, Winchester
A warm and wonderful sell-out, with Peter and James on tip-top form.
1. June: Jon Amor, Borderline, London
Oh God, they just ripped the place to pieces. You’ll never find a better band anwhere.
2. June: Spencer Davis Group, The Hexagon, Reading
Quite a dismal venue, but people seemed to like Eddie Hardin’s autobiography, which I co-wrote.
4. June: The Sense / The Bluetones, Royal Holloway College, London
The girls on a big stage at last. Another of the bands was a Darkness tribute called The Dampness!
8. June: Razorlight, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Great excitement here, because our dear and much-loved friend Andy Burrows had joined this fast-rising band on drums. Never was success more deserved by anybody.
13. June: Spencer Davis Group, The Anvil, Basingstoke
Well, had to flog some books somehow. This sedate event bizarrely ended in a post-football brawl which spilled in from the street outside!
17. June: Spencer Davis Group, The Pavilion, Bournemouth
I do like them though.
20. June: PJ Harvey, Stadio Olimpico de Tennis, Rome
A blast. This involved getting lost, getting drunk and getting lost again. But it proved that she’s found the perfect band at last.
26 26. June: Glastonbury Festival with Paul McCartney, Oasis and my favourites, My Morning Jacket
26. June: The Sense, Spydafest, Portland, Dorset
Yes, two festivals in one day. Windswept but fun.
29. June: Stellastarr*, The Zodiac, Oxford
Had a nice chat with the charming Shaun Christensen in the Bullingdon afterwards.
3. July: Arthur Brown, Railway Inn, Winchester
7. July: Juliet Turner, Railway Inn, Winchester
Apparently she is a megastar in Ireland but here the audience numbered about ten.
July 25th: Truck Festival, Oxfordshire
This was a bit incoherent and also bloody cold.
July 28th: K Festival, Polzeath, Cornwall
This was amazing: The Fun Lovin’ Criminals playing in a big top in a field. And Huey got in a strop and the band stormed off. And it marked my debut as a live reviewer for Record Collector.
August 2nd: Bo Diddley, Jazz Café, London
I was completely star struck by bumping into Bobby Gillespie in the audience. Wreckless Eric was there too.
August 20th: Athlete, Shepherds Bush Empire
Little did I realise that this was a band at the height of its powers and heading for a steep decline.
August 26th: Mark Lanegan Band, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
The tattoos were better than the music.
September 4th: Jersey Live festival with The Thrills, Delays and Razorlight.
The best festival I have ever attended really. We hung with Andy from Razorlight.
September 16th: Richmond Fontaine, Railway Inn, Winchester
Jon Amor supported and the place was rammed.
September 20th: Smog, The Komedia, Brighton
At the risk of being lynched, I found Bill Callahan a pretentious twat. But I had fun getting drunk with Chris TT and his manager.
September 21st: Laura Veirs, Railway Inn, Winchester
Charming people, great music.
October 8th: Goldblade, Railway Inn, Winchester
Wild and woolly.
October 10th: Wreckless Eric, Railway Inn , Winchester
Hes really good, why can’t he draw a crowd?
October 15th: American Music Club, Islington Academy, London
And of course we had an all you can eat for £2.99 curry first.
October 20th: Richmond Fontaine, Neal Casal, Mean Fiddler, London
Part of the Spirit of Austin festival.
October 21st: Giant Sand / Scout Niblett / John Parish, Bush Hall, London
What a nice place to play!
October 23rd: Franz Ferdinand / The Kills: Portsmouth Guildhall
FF were great, but I almost enjoyed The Kills more.
November 3rd: The Subways, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Elfin-like bassists a go-go.
November 8th: Mercury Rev, Grand Drive, The Bierkeller, Bristol
Another saga. Suffice to say, I nearly got beaten to a pulp by a bouncer.
November 15th: dEUS, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Hard to see quite why they did this little tour. The atmosphere was a bit odd.
December 11th: The Wildcards, Twyford Parish Hall
After a panic over the PA, this Xmas gig went with a swing.
December 19th: Scarlet Soho, Railway Inn, Winchester
Home town band who deserve success.
December 23rd: Jon Amor, South Parade Pier, Southsea
Tears flowed at this final gig for my favourite UK band of the past decade.
January 16th: Athlete, Portsmouth Pyramids
This band had turned from a quirky and intriguing outfit into a sub-Keane bore. I smell record company interference.
January 31st: The Dears, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They’re a rum lot.
February 8th: The Bravery, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
February 9th: K.T. Tunstall, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Hype, I thought.
February 10th: Tom Vek, Railway Inn, Winchester
February 17th: Mark Morriss, Railway Inn, Winchester
Bluetone on the solo circuit.
February 23rd: Willy Mason, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Aha, worth the hype!
February 24th: Deadstring Brothers / Thee Exciters, Railway Inn, Winchester
Teetering on the edge of a riot.
February 27th: Laura Veirs / Gina Villalobos, Railway Inn, Winchester
Opened by the god-like Karl Blau.
February 29th: Laura Veirs / Gina Villalobos, Purcell Room, London
Gina really needs to buy a new guitar.
March 8th: Bright Eyes / Rilo Kiley, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Rilo Kiley are my type of pop group. They totally destroyed the whingeing, petulant Mr Oberst, anyway.
March 16th 20th: South By Southwest, Austin, Texas, with Kaiser Chiefs, Ash, Embrace, Robert Plant, etc, etc.
Bands bands bands bands bands bands bands bands bands
March 23rd: Georgie Fame, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
He played with his two sons and had some great stories.
Apil 14th: Kathleen Edwards, The Fleece, Bristol
An epic journey to see Peter Bruntnell, who supported, but Kathleen was brilliant too.
April 22nd: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express / Mark Mallmann, Railway Inn, Winchester
Let’s just say it was intense, but it worked. I decided Mark Mallman was the future of rock and roll and set out on my traditional doomed attempt to convince the music industry of this fact.
April 26th: Ben Weaver Band, Railway Inn, Winchester
Poor turnout on account of it being a torrential Tuesday, but Ben and co were on fine form.
April 29th: Sarah Sharp, Railway Inn, Winchester
Whalebone Polly supported and The Sense re-formed.
May 4th: The Futureheads, Portsmouth Pyramids
I’m not as convinced of their brilliance as everyone else is.
May 5th: Peter Bruntnell, Railway Inn, Winchester
All together now, We love Pete!
May 15th: The Resentments, Railway Inn, Winchester
We turned the Railway into the Saxon Pub for this Austin supergroup. Magic!
May 19th: Chris TT, Railway Inn, Winchester
We came from seeing Sonny Black at the Rugby Club!
May 23rd: Eels, Royal Festival Hall, London
Cool, up on the train, a quick pizza, see the show, back on the train.
May 25th: South San Gabriel, Hanbury Ballroom, Brighton
Well, the mountain wouldn’t come to Mohammed.
May 27th: Loomer, Talking Heads, Southampton
As Loomer came on so late, I was able to double up with Babyshambles at the Joiners. At one stage, I was running the Joiners door on my own!
May 30th: Joe Jackson / Todd Rundgren, Portsmouth Guildhall
Joe was great, Todd less so. What was shocking was the small size of the audience.
June 14th: The Cribs, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Support band the Chalets were better.
June 18th: Sons and Daughters, Joiners Arms, Southampton
They seemed to have issues, which upset the audience.
June 24 26th: Glastonbury Festival, with Coldplay, Keane and zzzzzzz
Mud! Thank God for Brian Wilson, and to set the record straight, I decided that Athlete were in fact the best band in the world after all.
July 14th: Richmond Fontaine, Railway Inn, Winchester
They spent most of the night wrestling on my lawn. Blame the Lidl bourbon (“Western Gold”).
August 3rd: Athlete, Somerset House, London
They were terrible. It’s not down to my mood, just that their performances vary so wildly in quality.
August 4th: Jon Amor, South Parade Pier, Southsea
The PA was useless, so unfair to comment.
August 5th: The Saw Doctors / Kosheen, Eastleigh Festival.
Well-organised event with bland music.
August 6th: The Secret Agency, Thomas Tripp, Christchurch
Everybody was extremely drunk.
August 19th: The Blockheads, The Brook, Southampton
Not on form at all.
August 23rd: sxsc Summer Party, The Railway, Winchester
Stocks and Powell played and we got through eight carrot cakes.
September 7th: The Sense, CCs Club, London
A gangsta rap showcase. Lord help us. Plus it was my birthday!
September 18th: Max Bona, Horse and Groom, Alresford
Mark Andrews is still a star.
September 22: John Parish, The Railway, Winchester
I get quite emotional thinking about this. He and his band were so good, all our friends were there and, oh sob, isn’t this the happiest you can be?
September 29th: Jools Holland Orchestra, Koh Samui Festival, Thailand
You’re just gonna have to believe it.
October 1st: UB40 / The Wailers, Koh Samui Festival, Thailand
Bet youre jealous.
October 13th: Mark Mulcahy, The Railway, Winchester
Have you noticed that I don’t go to other peoples gigs any more because I’m too busy organising my own?
October 14th: Richmond Fontaine, Bush Hall, London
I missed half of it because of having to catch the train home.
October 15th: Laura Veirs, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Too big for us now, na-ne-na.
October 20th: The Hollies, The Anvil, Basingstoke
Here’s a turn-up. Theyve got a great new singer and a new album on the way. The best Hollies show I’ve seen since the Sixties.
October 26th: Johnathan Rice, Joiners Arms, Southampton
He can’t spell his own name, he was backed by a horrible pub rock band, but support Eileen Rose was great.
November 3rd: Darden Smith, Traders, Petersfield
How sweet. A gig in a Thai restaurant.
November 5th: The Ralfe Band, Caledonian Backpackers, Edinburgh
Definitely no fireworks. A crap band in a vile venue.
November 12th: Peter Bruntnell Band, The Railway, Winchester
They were on fire.
November 15th: Centro-Matic, Engine Room, Brighton
Sad to experience such a great band, so far from home, playing to hardly anyone.
November 20th: Jon Amor, Three Horseshoes, Burton Bradstock
Jon played in front of a crackling log fire.
December 6th: Amy Rigby, The Railway, Winchester
Hey, she’s going out with Wreckless Eric! And her bassist is Kevin Coyne’s son! And support act Luke Doucet is amazing!
December 8th: Razorlight, The Railway, Winchester
Imagine how exciting this was. Now quadruple it. You’re still not there.
December 13th: John Parish, L’Aéronef, Lille
Afterwards, we all turned into Grappa-monsters.
December 16th: Sarah Sharp / Darren Black, Cecil Hut, Twyford
One of the best nights of my life. I mean it.
January 10: Green On Red, Astoria, London
And of course a pint in the Pillars of Hercules beforehand.
January 12. The Nightingales, Joiners Arms
This was to cheer up Mint, as he was ill.
January 29: Eileen Rose, Railway Inn
She had a stonking band with her.
February 3: Americana Triple Bill, Railway Inn
If I remember, this was Steve Dawson, Bill Mallonee and someone else, and no one came.
February 14: Neal Casal, Railway Inn.
This was quite a coup for Valentine’s Day.
February 18: The Boy Least Likely To, Joiners Arms.
I don’t quite remember why I took such a dislike to this lot. Probably because they were posh and being hyped.
February 20: Two Gallants, Wedgewood Rooms.
Great new US duo.
February 22: Stellastarr*, Wedgewood Rooms.
I still carry a torch for this band. For their bassist, mainly.
March 9: Nuru Kane, The Studio, Petersfield
Strangely impersonal venue for African star managed by my old friend Pete Holden.
March 9: Delays, Southampton University.
Love ‘em. Probably the peak of their popularity and supported by the ever-lovely Scarlet Soho.
March 16 19: SxSW, Austin, Texas.
Bliss and more.
March 26: Clearlake, Railway Inn.
There was a bit of a mighty fallen feel about this.
March 28: Mark Gardener, Railway Inn.
See March 26.
April 1: Kirk Brandon, Railway Inn.
See March 26.
April 7: Broken Family Band, Railway Inn.
I flew down from Manchester just for the gig, got horribly drunk and flew back at 6 am. Was it worth it? Sure was!
April 18: The Storys, Railway Inn.
A sell-out crowd for this Welsh band but we preferred opener Jason McNiff.
April 25: Deadstring Brothers, Railway Inn
The Detroit rockers came to our place for tea and table-tennis first.
April 29: John Parish, Railway Inn.
A homecoming of sorts for our friend and his lovely Franco-Italian band.
May 5: Deadstring Brothers, The Lamb, Farnham
May 12: Tom Jones, MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
It was our 25th wedding anniversary.
May 27: The Agency, BIC, Bournemouth
Big bash for the soul searchers 21st birthday but there were hardly any bar staff.
May 30: Mary Lee’s Corvette, Railway Inn
But more importantly, the godlike Luke Doucet opened.
July 1: Thieves Like Us, Nunhead, London
It was Tim Barron’s 50th, so a reunion was in order.
July 2: The Who / Razorlight, Hyde Park, London
I objected to the litter and rip-off prices. Plus Townshend having a backing guitarist, what’s that about?
July 5: Volume, Railway Inn
I pretended I was planning to sue them for breach of copyright on the name!
July 7: Chris TT, Blissfields Festival, Basingstoke
A sweet little festival that later got too big for its boots.
July 8: Scarlet Soho, Railway Inn
I did a review for Record Collector, which pleased the band.
July 14: Jon Amor, Bell By The Green, Devizes
Album launch party. I stayed in a crummy B and B and fell victim to a dodgy curry. Avebury was lovely though.
July 18: Thomas Truax, Railway Inn
He was plain silly, but Co-Pilgim opened the show in style.
July 21: Cerys Matthews, Wedgewood Rooms
She was just fantastic.
July 22: Howling Bells, Wedgewood Rooms
Antipodeans, I believe.
August 4: Wickham Festival with Richard Thomson
Who was solo but wiped the floor with everyone else.
August 8: Kate Stables, Railway Inn
August 12: Dead Dead Dead, Joiners Arms
Local band erroneously tipped for fame. Good though.
September 3: Spencer Davis Group, Regent Theatre, Deal
A tortuous train journey was undertaken in a vain attempt to sell some Eddie Hardin books.
September 15: Stewboss, The Railway
September 16 - 17: End Of The Road Festival, Blandford
Now that’s what I call a festival. Ryan Adams whoo!
October 1: Sparklehorse, Wedgewood Rooms
Astonishing that the room was only about a quarter full.
October 3: Eileen Rose, The Railway
A quick return.
October 8: Patty Hurst Shifter, The Railway
Raleigh’s finest enjoyed their tour of Twyford’s drinkeries. Bassist Jesse is Harry Enfield’s double.
October 12: Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash, Talking Heads, Southampton
I had expected them to be a whole lot better.
October 16: Patty Hurst Shifter, Borderline, London
Second Helping required.
October 20: The Heights, Railway Inn
Ephemeral indie band.
October 22: Peter Bruntnell Band / Rachelle van Zanten, Railway Inn
Two of my faves.
October 15: Killing Heidi, Melbourne, Australia
Ex-eighties stars playing in a country pub.
October 16: Teddy Thompson, Melbourne, Australia
Promotional lunchtime show in a subterranean record shop we just happened to walk past.
December 9: Charlemagne, Emily Barker, Gilbert Room, Twyford
Remember Carl Johns? Back for a Xmas show.
December 14: Rachelle van Zanten, Railway Inn
My Canadian discovery back with her ex-Goldrush band.
December 17: Jon Amor, Scarlet Soho, Joiners Arms
I had written Access One Step, the Official History Of the Joiners Arms and this was the launch party.
December 19: Mark Eitzel, Railway Inn
Omigodomigodomigod. Mood swings a go-go.
January 17: Supersuckers, Joiners Arms
Sweaty as hell.
January 21: Dear Mr Fantasy, The Roundhouse, London
Jim Capaldi tribute with Winwood, Weller and many others.
January 30: The Klaxons, Joiners Arms
A great moment to catch this brilliant band. There was a film crew doing a piece about my Joiners book too, so it was all pretty satisfying.
January 31: Rival Joustas, Railway Inn
Can’t remember anything about them.
February 3: Spencer Davis Group, 100 Club, London
The best thing about the 100 Club is the Dyson hand dryers.Very effective.
February 11: Richmond Fontaine / Endrick Brothers, Railway Inn
And now we are friends for life.
February 24: Ed Tudor Pole, Railway Inn
Washed-up old punk, Im afraid.
February 25: The Black Keys, Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
We had the privilege of seeing Black Kids open the show but the venue was horrible and the bloke next to us ran out having received a phone call to say his mum had died.
February 27: Justin Rutledge, Railway Inn
We would see more of him.
March 1: John Otway, Railway Inn.
Still a genius.
March 6: Richmond Fontaine, Brighton
I unfortunately can’t remember the venue’s name but I did a truly rock and roll thing: puked up a curry in the Travelodge.
March 14 17: SxSW, Austin, Texas
I joined a random queue and got the see the Flaming Lips in a tiny club on 6th Street. Ecstasy.
March 28: The Twang, Joiners Arms
Over-hyped bunch of bruisers.
March 31: Good Time Charlies, Railway Inn
Nish’s Pompey garage band.
April 4: Laura Veirs, 100 Club, London
They wore awful brown suits and the Dyson hand dryer was out of action.
April 13: Hummingbird, The Tower, Winchester
Girl trio destined for not much, actually.
April 21: John Parish, La Nef , Angoulême
A mad journey but worth it. Pretty much the furthest I have travelled for one gig.
April 25: Steve Winwood, Wedgewood Rooms
No idea why he played such a small venue but it made for an amazing show.
May 12: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Railway Inn
Pretty much fell in love with Jesse’s music this night.
May 15: Elliott Brood, Railway Inn
Brilliant Toronto maniacs who drank the whisky rider before going onstage and tore the place to bits (musically).
May 20: Richmond Fontaine, Talking Heads, Southampton
Plus - lock up your daughters - Bob Frank and John Murry.
May 21: Wilco, Shepherds Bush Empire
Goldhawk Road tube station at midnight is not a good place to be. Great show, though.
June 8-9: Isle of Wight Festival The Rolling Stones.
Keef was playing more wrong notes than right ones but they were still majestic. Plus we had some kind of VIP pass.
June 14: Roger Chapman, The Brook, Southampton
Elderly musicians often need the lyrics on a music stand in front of them. It’s the rock and roll lifestyle that’s done it.
June 19: Endrick Brothers, Railway Inn
We loved these Glaswegians but there was no audience.
June 23: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
My magnificent wife’s 50th birthday.
July 4: The Hold Steady, Wedgewood Rooms
I went with Rich and we were only people in the room who failed to get it. Would love to give them another go.
July 5: The Dodge Brothers, Talking Heads, Southampton
Southampton’s local hero Mark Kermode (of quiff and film review fame) plays double bass in this rockabilly outfit.
July 16: Silent League, Joiners Arms
Cult US band, not much cop.
July 25: Hard-Fi, Joiners Arms
Crammed warm-up show, the Joiners at its best.
August 17: Max Bona, Eastney Tavern, Portsmouth
Mark and Phil’s covers band.
August 23: Loomer, Talking Heads, Southampton
September 4: Polly Paulusma, Railway Inn
For some reason this was a tremendously emotional evening. We liked her a lot.
September 9: The Police, Twickenham Stadium
I’m sorry because this was a birthday present from Birgit, but they were piss poor. And we had to sit through Sting’s son’s crap band as well.
September 14 16: End Of The Road Festival, Blandford
September 18: Redlands Palomino Company, Railway Inn.
All I can remember is that this is the only band we’ve ever had get lairy on us. It was about them wanting to get take-outs after the bar had closed.
October 3: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, Talking Heads, Southampton
John Murry tried to strangle Jan, the tour manager.
October 7: Six Shooter Triple Barrel Tour, Railway Inn, Winchester
Namely Luke Doucet, Justin Rutledge and NQ Arbuckle, troupers all.
October 11: Richmond Fontaine, Luminaire, London
October 21: Miles Hunt, Railway Inn
A bit sad, I’m afraid.
October 29: Handsome Family, Unit 22, Southampton
They played in the window as the ocean liners steamed by.
November 6: Damo Suzuki, Railway Inn
Every bit as surreal as it sounds.
November 10: The National, Portsmouth Pyramids.
Not really the place to see a band like this.
November 11: Peter Bruntnell and the Murder of Crows / Ox
Pete’s brilliant new direction plus visitors from Canada = alcoholic mayhem.
November 16: The Bluetones, Joiners Arms
I do have a soft spot for them.
November 22: Joseph Arthur, Talking Heads, Southampton
Wow! His backing band consists of superstar models who I later had the pleasure of looking up on the internet.
November 26: The Holloways, University of Winchester
This was supposed to herald a new era for music in Winchester. It didn’t and the band was sub-Levellers.
December 3: Jesse Owen Youngs, Railway Inn
Annoying people (mainly support bands) talked all the way through.
December 9: SAS Band, The Brook, Southampton
This was actually great fun, with Toyah Willcox in full-on panto mode.
December 22: Sarah Sharp, Gilbert Room, Twyford
Her little boy Alistair was crying, so she did the encores with him in her arms. Not a dry eye in the house.
January 5: Owen Tromans and the Elders, Railway Inn
He’s good, you know.
January 17: Kill Henry Sugar, Railway Inn
Joan Baez’s backing band!
January 24: Carolyn Mark, Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham
She hadn’t worked out the exchange rate and was trying to sell her CDs for £20. Fat chance.
January 25: Steve Earle, Basingstoke Anvil
Awful sloppy stuff with his wife.
February 7: Dead Rock West, Railway Inn
There was even an audience.
February 9: Kathleen Haskard, Railway Inn
Interesting evening, dominated by Southampton newcomers The Family.
February 13: American Music Club, Dingwalls, London
This was the line-up that didn’t work and the sound was excruciating.
February 17: Deadstring Brothers, Railway Inn Motor City
Toughs back again.
February 26: Phil Campbell, The Cellars, Eastney Confusing.
I went with Phil Campbell to see Phil Campbell.
March 2: Joe Jackson Band, Shepherds Bush Empire
He truly is a genius.
March 12 15: SxSW, Austin, Texas
The most enjoyable one ever, on account of just chilling and not chasing round after hot bands.
April 17: Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel, Railway Inn
And then Texas came to us!
April 22: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express / Willy Vlautin and Paul Brainard, Railway Inn
Life could scarcely get better.
April 23: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express / Willy Vlautin and Paul Brainard, Fiddlers, Bristol
Oh, it just did!
April 24: Frank Turner, Railway Inn.
Back to earth. Everyone loves this bloke except me.
May 11: Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher, Railway Inn
They had a great barney at the sound check and the tension led to an extra fine show.
May 13: Johnny Flynn, Railway Inn
A tip for the top.
May 28: Andy Burrows, Union Chapel
Charity show by my dare I say protégé? No, I don’t dare.
June 21: Mia, Goethe-Institut, London
Not THE Mia but a German one. Have you noticed we don’t go to Glasters any more?
July 6: Hop Farm Festival in Kent, with Neil Young, My Morning Jacket, Primal Scream etc.
Cold and wet, but joyous music. Don’t mention the car park though.
July 9: Laura Veirs, Winchester Discovery Centre
A really nice new venue, who’d have thought it?
July 10: Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster, Railway Inn
Another mighty fallen scenario. Absolutely terrible.
July 13: The Blue Nile, Somerset House, London
Beautiful music from Scotland.
July 14: White Denim, Borderline, London
I should get a bloody South West Trains season ticket. A bit proggy and noodly for me, but support Micah P Hinson was better.
July 28: Peter Bruntnell, Borderline, London
Plus boozing in the Pillars of Hercules, natch.
July 29: Kylie Minogue, O2 Arena, London
To my chagrin, she didn’t even notice I was there.
August 1: Ian McLagan and the Bump Band, Railway Inn
Words can hardly convey the joy of this evening.
August 27: REM, The Rosebowl, Southampton
I just can’t accept them as a stadium band.
September 2: The Autumn Defense / Plush, Railway Inn
These Wilco members were rather upstaged by the extraordinary support.
September 7: Graystonbury Festival, Twyford Parish Hall, with Jon Amor, Chris TT, etc.
This 60th birthday celebration was supposed to be an open air event but the weather intervened.
September 12 14: End Of The Road Festival, Blandford
We chickened out of some of it because of the mud. Blush!
September 16: American Music Club, Railway Inn
We had emails from people saying this was the greatest night of their lives, and who could disagree?
September 26: Josh Cockerell, Mitzis, Toronto
A good excuse to share Jägermeister with Justin Rutledge and John Dinsmore.
October 16: Laura Veirs, Laurelthirst, Portland, Oregon
A drunken night out with the Richmond Fontaine guys. Laura was doing a Happy Hour residency with Chris Funk of the Decemberists.
October 22: Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, Railway Inn
A marriage made in heaven. Why aren’t these two huge?
October 25: Deadstring Brothers, Railway Inn
Quite a wild night.
October 28: James Yuill, Railway Inn
Load of old rubbish.
October 29: Adam Ficek, Railway Inn
Babyshambles drummer! Really entertaining too.
October 2: The Sadies, Railway Inn
Brilliant Toronto road warriors. I’ve never seen a band sweat so much.
November 7: Peter Bruntnell, Jeb Loy Nichols, Michael Weston King, Winchester Discovery Centre
This one was hysterically funny for all the wrong reasons.
November 12: Mercury Rev, Academy, Bristol
Maybe it was because I had a run-in with a meat head bouncer, but I hated one of my favourite bands this evening.
November 18: Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, Joiners Arms
An emotional evening for all, as our dear friend Mint Burston was remembered.
November 25: Selfish Cunt, Railway Inn
Well I’m sorry, thats what they are called.
November 28: Thea Gilmore, The Tower, Winchester
After you’ve seen Melissa McClelland, anyone else seems tame.
December 3: Kathleen Edwards, Bush Hall, London
Apart from Kathleen Edwards, that is.
December 6: Jon Amor, White Horse, Litton Cheney
December 7: Imelda May, Railway Inn.
Entertaining Jools Holland protégée.
December 13: Justin Rutledge, Marys Cellar,
Twyford Xmas feast of music.
December 17: Rick Wakeman, The Tower, Winchester
It was actually a talk, but he is a rock star, after all.
December 19: Ukelele Orchesta of Great Britain, The Point, Eastleigh
I don’t actually see the point.
January 8: Ben Weaver, Railway Inn, Winchester
Ben on good form, supported by Brighton’s Jane Bartholomew.
January 18: Peter Bruntnell Band, Grey Horse, Kingston
Wild grey horses.
January 31: The Only Ones, The Brook, Southampton
By a miracle, that were all alive and very good.
February 6: Gregory Isaacs, The Heptones etc, Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica
Bob Marley’s birthday celebrations. LOUD and undoubtedly proud.
February 24: The Phantom Band, Railway Inn, Winchester
Fantastic band from Glasgow. Within three months, they had become too expensive for us to book.
February 28: Neville Staple, Railway Inn, Winchester
Great, sweaty night of Specials’ songs played by a proper Special.
February 29: Elliot Brood, Railway Inn, Winchester
March 10: Peter Bruntnell Band, Emily Barker, Railway Inn, Winchester
Packed and groovy.
March 12: PJ Harvey and John Parish, Bridport Arts Centre
The traditional homely warm-up for a world tour promoting a brilliant new album.
March 17 22: South By South West Festival, Austin, Texas
PJH and JP were sensational, as were Shearwater, Primal Scream and Asteroids Galaxy Tour.
April 11: Kill Henry Sugar, Railway Inn, Winchester
Native New Yorkers.
April 14: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
They had been on much better form the month before in their home town Austin.
April 21: PJ Harvey and John Parish, Shepherds Bush Empire, London
A get-together of old friends.
May 12: Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, Railway Inn, Winchester
Celebrating Melissa’s album release.
May 14: The Beat, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Ranking Roger and his son, Ranking Junior.
May 15: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Luminaire. London
I took Andy Burrows, who claimed to be texting the managing director of Mercury Records in the middle of the set saying Sign this band! He had a good point.
May 19: Juliet Lewis, Talking Heads, Southampton
Now this really is embarrassing. I got confused and thought this was going to be Jenny Lewis! Juliet was truly atrocious.
May 28: Jason Lytle, Islington Academy, London
June 1: Counting Crows, Brixton Academy
They just werent very good.
June 3: Machetes, Railway Inn, Winchester
The fact that they were from Canada didn’t stop them being crap.
June 4: Ash, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I’d forgotten how brilliant they are.
June 16: Jason Isbell, Luminaire, London
I had to leave after two songs to catch a train!
June 18: Ella Edmonson, Railway Inn, Winchester
Daughter of Ade and Jennifer Saunders. Really quite good.
July 2: That Petrol Emotion, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
July 5: White Denim, Talking Heads, Southampton.
Noodly, but a nice atmosphere.
July 10: Eddi Reader, Eastleigh Festival
Yes, that does say Eastleigh Festival.
July 18: Willy Vlautin, The Basement, Brighton
My goodness, he’s good.
July 24: PJ Harvey, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
This was a Bestival warm-up and Polly was visibly upset by wankers talking all through her solo set.
July 28: Arbouretum, Railway Inn, Winchester
Thrilling music from Baltimore. They turned us on to The Wire.
August 9: Chuck Prophet, Miners Arms, Lydney
Chuck solo in a pub in the Forest of Dean. You couldn’t make it up.
August 21: Jeffrey Lewis and the Junkyard, Hamptons, Southampton
A strange venue and I had to miss half the set to catch a train.
September 6: sxsc Festival, Railway Inn, Winchester
Our first festival, starring Richmond Fontaine, Peter Bruntnell and a cast of thousands.
September 11 13: End Of The Road Festival, Dorset Fleet Foxes, Explosions In The Sky, etc, etc.
I like it more than Glastonbury now.
September 16: She Keeps Bees, Railway Inn, Winchester
Great new duo.
September 17: Richmond Fontaine, The Garage, London
A nostalgic day trip round old Islington haunts.
September 21: Jon Amor, Bull’s Head, Barnes
Album launch in a legendary music pub.
September 23: Charlotte Hatherley, Unit, Southampton
Why was she playing this dismal dump? Sack the agent.
October 2: Deadstring Brothers, Luminaire, London
Ryan O’Reilly supported. Deadstrings’ mojo seems on the wane.
October 6: Mark Eitzel, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
With Marc Capelle on the grand piano.
October 28: Stiff Little Fingers, The Brook, Southampton
We got free tickets from a friend who was Jake Burns’ best man.
October 29: Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo, Railway Inn, Winchester
October 30: Jim Jones, Borderline, London
Our new hero.
October 31: Owen Tromans and the Elders, Railway Inn, Winchester
Four gigs on successive days, quite like old times.
November 10: Flaming Lips, The Troxy, London
Cool venue, brilliant band. That’s it.
November 14: Mint Memorial Show, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Sadly rather a poor turnout.
November 17: Monsters of Folk, The Troxy, London
Apparently we missed the best bit, when Conor Oberst accidentally knocked the keyboards and drums off the back of the stage.
November 18: The Fall, The Brook, Southampton
I knew a lot more about Mark E. Smith, having just read a very long and boring book about him.
November 22: Charlotte Hatherley, Railway Inn, Winchester
This more than made up for the horrible Southampton gig.
November 26: Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, Prince Albert, Brighton
This was the last-ever Gilded Palace Of Sin show.
December 4: Ryan O’Reilly Band, The Lantern, Romsey
Despite being in a school hall, this was fab fun.
December 5: Dreadzone, The Brook, Southampton
A village outing. Dreadzone frighteningly reminded me of UB40.
December 6: New York Dolls, Talking Heads, Southampton
Now this IS rock and roll. Triumphant.
December 9: Chris Difford, Railway Inn, Winchester
Accompanied by a Powerpoint presentation!
December 12: Jim Jones, Mary’s Cellar, Twyford
January 20: Jon Amor, South Parade Pier, Southsea
January 27: Laura Veirs, Union Chapel, London
Would she give birth on stage?
February 9: Willy Vlautin, Roundhouse, London
The Launch of Lean On Pete.
February 13: Coal Porters, Railway Inn, Winchester
February 18: Holly Williams, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
21 February: Jon Amor / Mutter Slater /The Producers, Freshwater, Bridport
A Haiti benefit.
25 February: Billy Bragg, Harbour Lights, Southampton
The launch of the Jail Guitar Doors film.
27 February: Richmond Fontaine, Railway Inn, Winchester
The famous Double Show. In the afternoon, they played the whole of Post To Wire.
4 March: Richmond Fontaine, Bush Hall, London
16 - 20 March: South By Southwest, Austin, Texas
7 April: Abandoman, Spitalfields, London
Amazing improvisational rap.
10 April: Bad Company, Brighton Centre
April 16: Jon Amor, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
Seated gig. Probably a mistake.
April 17: The Duke and the King, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
A fantastic new band from the Catskills. What a treat.
April 18: Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, Railway Inn, Winchester
May 5: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, Railway Inn, Winchester
How come they get better each time?
May 13: Band Of Skulls, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Cool new band from Southampton. Pardon?
May 15: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, Tingewick Village Hall
May 25: Fairport Convention, Railway Inn, Winchester
Disappointingly smug. Someone I can’t name thought they were the support band.
June 2: Rachelle van Zanten, Railway Inn, Winchester
Worked out great after we found her a drummer.
June 39: Midlake, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Fantastic evening (flutes!), opened by John Grant.
July 1: Hawksley Workman, Trafalgar Square, London
July 2: Blissfields Festival, Basingstoke
July 9: Cara Dillon, Eastleigh Festival
Musically doubtful but a lovely event.
July 10: Badly Drawn Boy, Eastleigh Festival
I love Eastleigh (it must be the ley lines) but BDB was a pile of poo.
July 19: Giant Sand, Tower Arts Centre, Winchester
A privilege and a joy.
August 1: Shearwater, Railway Inn, Winchester
Controversial booking. I loved them but some of the audience foolishly considered them too proggy. Support Nils Frahm was a classical pianist!
August 6: Emily Barker, Tate Britain, London
And I also spent five minutes in Folk In A Box. Intense.
August 18: Simone Felice, Railway Inn, Winchester
August 21: Forest Sun, Railway Inn, Winchester
Californian troubador having a rotten damp summer in the UK.
August 25: The Sense, Belushis, Camden, London
August 27: The Pretty Things, South Parade Pier, Southsea
Finally catching up on those I missed in the Sixties (those that are still alive).
August 28: Caitlin Rose, The Musician, Leicester
An all-day train safari adventure to see a future star. Local support Richard Warren was excellent too.
August 31: This Is The Kit, Railway Inn, Winchester
Kate Stables by any other name.
September 5: sxsc Festival, Railway Inn, Winchester
Our second annual festival with Elliott Brood, Sam Baker, Danny and the Champions of the World and a host of others.
September 7: Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Railway Inn, Winchester
These two pretty well ruined my birthday, droning and caterwauling away for hours.
September 9: Calm Of Zero, Railway Inn, Winchester
Echobelly with a new name and acoustic direction! Pretty much spoilt by a talkative audience.
September 10 12: End Of The Road Festival, Dorset
My annual treat and even better than usual, thanks to the Low Anthem and the brilliant Wilco.
September 14: I Am Arrows, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Andy Burrows’ post-Razorlight band. Fingers crossed for success.
September 18: Les Shelleys, Swiss Cotttage, Twyford
Tom Brosseau and Angela Correa in our garden shed - mentioned on Radio 2 and 6 Music! Sublime evening.
September 19: Robin Trower, The Brook, Southampton
September 20: Sam Baker, Luminaire London
I went because I wanted to hear his stories (omitted from his short EOTR festival set). On balance, I preferred him just to get on with the songs.
September 24: Justin Rutledge and Amelia Curran, Railway Inn, Winchester
Well, I loved them but the turnout was woeful.
September 26: I Am Kloot, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
I didn’t enjoy them quite as much as everyone else did.
September 28: Wreckless Eric,Railway Inn, Winchester
Now teamed with Amy Rigby.
October 1: Deadstring Brothers, Talking Heads, Southampton
Dismal evening. Bad performance from Kurt with a poor pick-up band, plus a knobhead audience.
October 2: Eilen Jewell Band, Railway Inn, Winchester
Good band slightly tempered by being favourites of David Cameron! Its EE-LIN, by the way.
October 9: James Lusby, Beach and Barnicott, Bridport
In the corner of a wine bar.
October 15: Delays, Southampton University
Completely destroyed by the sound man. We had to leave.
October 17: Austin Lucas, The Windmill, Brixton
Not the most salubrious venue, but atmospheric.
October 19: Luke Doucet, Railway Inn, Winchester
Luke with a band - brilliant. Also enjoyed Richard Warren, who came down from Leicester.
October 20: Crooked Still / Emily Barker, St Peter’s Church, Petersfield
Let us pray.
October 27: The Duke And The King, Electric Ballroom, London
October 29: Peter Bruntnell, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Did it get drunken? Yes, it did.
November 3: Chesney Hawkes, Railway Inn, Winchester
The one, and indeed, the only.
November 10: Buddy Whittington, Railway Inn, Winchester
Fantastic blues from ex John Mayall sideman.
November 12: Dr Feelgood, Railway Inn, Winchester
No original members but not bad.
November 29: The Sadies, Railway Inn, Winchester
My goodness, they rock.
December 12: Stephanie Finch and Chuck Prophet, Railway Inn, Winchester
Plus the magnificent Kelley Stoltz. The visit lasted longer than expected as they got snowed in!
October 19: Ryan O’Reilly, Mary’s Cellar, Twyford
January 14: The Beat, Railway Inn, Winchester
Skanking with Ranking Roger and Ranking Junior.
January 29: Justin Townes Earle, Union Chapel, London
James Walbourne introduced me to Chrissie Hynde and I nearly died. I also got involved in a controversy about whether JTE uses backing tracks. He doesn’t.
February 4: Ben Weaver, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
A nice way to celebrate Ben’s birthday.
February 6: The Phantom Band, Railway Inn, Winchester
All the way from Glasgow and really, really good.
February 8: C.W. Stoneking, Mr Kyps, Poole
Too gimmicky for me but nice to get to Kyps after all these years.
February 11: Ben Waters, Discovery Centre, Winchester
Yes sir, he can boogie.
February 12: Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo, Coombe Bissett
That’s what you call atmospheric. A lovely house concert.
February 17: Dolly Varden, Railway Inn, Winchester
Greatly enhanced by the last-minute addition of Portland’s Dolorean to the bill.
October 19: Betsey’s Winterlude, Conway Hall, London
Mini festival but I had to leave before Danny And The Champs, the band I’d come to see.
February 22: Teddy Thompson, Joiners Arms, Southampton
Not as good as I’d remembered. Support David Ford was better.
February 27: PJ Harvey, The Troxy, London
Devastated to find I didn’t really enjoy the album everyone else was raving about.
March 2: Dan Michaelson, Railway, Winchester
He has a very, very strange voice.
March 19: Dead Rock West, Railway, Winchester
They rocked this town and then spent the rest of the tour with food poisoning. Nothing to do with us.
March 6: Albert Lee, Railway, Winchester
A legend who didn’t live up to expectations.
March 9: Jon Amor, Railway, Winchester
Rockin’ the Attic.
March 19: Malcolm Holcombe, Farncombe
Nice venue but small audience.
March 12 20: SXSW, Austin, Texas
Heaven on earth. Front row for The Bangles!
March 19: Arbouretum, Borderline, London
The evening I ordered a Margarita cocktail from a pizza menu!
March 28: I Am Arrows, Railway, Winchester
Homecoming show for Andy Burrows.
March 30: Peter Bruntnell Band, Railway, Winchester
Followed by some heavy-duty shenanigans at our place.
April 11: Low Anthem, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
They had to do half the show acoustically after the PA blew up.
April 13: Simone Felice, Railway, Winchester
A country walk followed by three standing ovations.
April 17: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Railway, Winchester
Totally and utterly brilliant. Phil Wandscher is God.
April 21: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Water Rats, London
Inevitable let-down owing to crap venue.
May 21: Hurray For The Riff Raff, Railway, Winchester
That happy serendipity of booking the right band at the right moment.
May 28: Winchstock, Twyford
It had to happen eventually. A festival in our garden, organised by Annabel.
May 30: Frank Turner, Railway, Winchester
Seldom has anyone been so ridiculously over-rated.
June 8: Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, Railway, Winchester
June 12: Lazy Bishop Festival, Farnham
I felt so sorry for the guys organising this event, which was destroyed by rain.
June 14: We Are Scientists, Assembly, Leamington Spa
Unashamed ligging with Andy Burrows in a super venue with a super band.
June 17: Mungo Jerry, Railway, Winchester
Do you know, they were bloody good.
June 24: Dead Rock West, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
June 30: Flaming Lips, Eden Project, Cornwall
Perfect setting for still my favourite band.
July 1 2: Blissfields Festival, Woodmancott
Gorgeous weather, lovely event and yes - the amazing Jim Jones Revue.
July 6: Dead Rock West, The Hope, Brighton
Few things can be as enjoyable as walking along a sunny Brighton seafront with Cindy Wassermann.
July 8: Travelling Band, The Point, Eastleigh
They supported Leisure Society and blew them offstage.
July 13: Richmond Fontaine Acoustic, Railway, Winchester
Willy and Dan in the Attic. Intense and very, very hot.
July 22 24: Truck Festival, Steventon
Great weekend notable for a triumph by The Duke And The King. Little did we know the festival was in the process of going bust (although the signs were there).
July 26: Ed Sheeran, Railway, Winchester
Interesting because he was number 3 in the charts at the time. He rather sweetly performed on a beer crate in the middle of the room. He reminded me of Finley Quaye - folk with beats and constant references to dope.
August 2: Sidmouth Fringe Festival
Notable for lovely food, the presence of Small Town Jones and Peter Bruntnell, and an almost complete lack of audience. And the fact that I got all the way there by bus, and for free.
August 8: Ian McLagan, Railway, Winchester
I was star-struck again. Mac stopped for a piss in the car park on his way to the stage. Two days before, he’d been performing to 100,000 people at Fuji Rock with The Faces.
August 17: The Low Anthem, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
A Winchester outing to a sweet warm-up for Green Man.
August 18: Mark Morriss, Railway, Winchester
The Bluetones front man was a tad inebriated, which made him an excellent raconteur.
August 27: Buddy Whittington, Railway, Winchester
He’s not small.
August 28: Peter Bruntnell, Black Lion, Surbiton
Pete with his covers band.
August 31: Matthew and the Atlas, Railway, Winchester
A bit clever for me.
September 11: Sam Baker, Railway, Winchester
Trouble for me. People were buying me tequilas, as it was my birthday. When I got home, whoops, I knocked a rather valuable ornament off the wall.
September 10: Peter Bruntnell, The Palmeira, Hove
Birgit very nearly fell asleep at the wheel on the interminable journey home.
September 12: Jason McNiff, St Pancras Old Church, London
Jason’s album launch in a lovely, if hard to find venue.
September 26: SXSC Festival, Railway, Winchester
Our annual all-dayer, and the focus of my life for months. It was a wonderful day. The magnificent Richmond Fontaine headlined.
September 24: The Agency, Twyford Parish Hall
Just like the old days except, thank goodness, someone else organised it.
September 27: Richmond Fontaine, Scala, London
Their big show, and a general triumph.
September 28: Beth Jeans Houghton, Railway, Winchester
Absolutely bloody brilliant, although they looked like street children, sitting on the floor of the car park before the show. I went home and looked for them on You Tube - scandalous video they have.
October 5: Ghostpoet, Railway, Winchester
Rammed, as he had just been nominated for the Mercury Prize. I went with daughter Lucy and Ghostpoet was very, very good.
October 9: Israel Nash Gripka, Railway, Winchester
October 11: Roddy Woomble, The Point, Eastleigh
Lovely venue and a good but slightly soulless performance.
October 12: Lotte Mullan, Railway, Winchester
Actually very charming - an Ed Sheeran-style breakthrough is not out of the question.
October 15: Alejandro Escovedo, Railway, Winchester
Austin’s finest, an unadulterated joy.
October 20: Richard Warren, The 12 Bar, London
Richard’s album launch. A dingy but atmospheric place.
October 23: Singing Adams, Railway, Winchester
Steven from the Broken Family Band on cracking form.
October 25: Richmond Fontaine, Café Atlantik, Freiburg, Germany
One of my madder escapades. Their rider was a fridge full of beer called Fucking Hell.
October 28: Travelling Band, Discovery Centre, Winchester
I was sure it wouldn’t work in this venue but I was wrong.
October 31: PJ Harvey, Royal Albert Hall, London
A night out with daughter Lucy. Finally getting used to Let England Shake but I still don’t believe its her best album.
November 3: The Selecter, Railway, Winchester
Earlier in the evening we saw Charlie Parr at the new Berry Theatre in Hedge End. The contrast could hardly have been greater.
November 6: Richard Buckner, Railway, Winchester
One of the most rewarding shows we have done (not financially, sadly). Italian backing band Sacri Cuori were a scream.
November 8: Eilen Jewell, Railway, Winchester
November 9: Mark Eitzel, Richard Buckner, Buffalo Bar, Cardiff
Impossible to resist.
November 16: Low Anthem, Roundhouse, London
I was proud that support Simone Felice got me into the VIP area. Made a swift exit when the VIPs talked all the way though.
November 25: Amelia Curran, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
House concert. Jason McNiff supported and I think it got quite drunken.
December 9: Franz Nicolai, Chris T-T, The Bargate, Southampton
Officially the coldest gig I have ever attended. Cheered by the presence of Emma from Band Of Skulls.
December 14: Stephen Fretwell, The Railway, Winchester
Very, very good indeed.
January 16: Laura Gibson, The Social, London
Dump of a venue at which I could neither see nor hear.
January 31: Whitehorse, The Railway, Winchester
The new name for Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. Lots of loops and effects took some getting used to.
February 8: Rich Robinson, The Brook, Southampton
Black Crowes guitarist on good form.
February 14: Danny and the Champions Of The World, The Railway, Winchester
Romantic evening with Danny and the boys (and girl).
February 17: Dawes, The Windmill, Brixton
First exposure to a band destined to become one of my favourites. Sweaty and joyful.
February 18: The Deep Dark Woods, The Railway, Winchester
What a weekend of music. Another new band that simply blew everyone away. This was their first ever UK show.
February 22: The Lucky Strikes / Ox, The Railway, Winchester
Southend’s finest, supported by our old friends from Canada.
February 28: Kathleen Edwards, The Academy, Islington
Emotional evening. Kathleen with full band. At one stage, both she and the audience were in tears.
March 7: Peter Bruntnell Band, The Caves, The Railway, Winchester
Pete with his great new Welsh backing band The Caves. Plus Davey Lemonade of course.
March 13 16: South By South West Festival, Austin, Texas
I saw Chuck Prophet five times in two days.
March 21: Richmond Fontaine, Peter Bruntnell, The Chapel, Bath
Willy’s story of how he first met Peter Bruntnell on an alien planet brought the house down.
March 29: The Hollies, G Live, Guildford
I think the most exciting day of my musical life. Bobby Elliott gave us wine backstage in plastic cups and Tony Hicks sort of nodded at me.
April 1: Aynsley Lister, The Railway, Winchester
Not a good joke.
April 2: Shearwater, The Cellar, Oxford
They’d lost their most interesting members and turned into a grungy rock band.
April 6: Simone Felice, The Railway, Winchester
With Simi Stone and Matt Boulter. Intense.
April 11: Miller Anderson, The Railway, Winchester
Hardly anyone there but Miller was cheerful and positive.
April 14: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, The Railway, Winchester
Two shows in one day, enlivened by a wedding party.
April 27: Simone Felice, Bush Hall, London
May 1: Richmond Fontaine Duo, Richard Buckner, Peter Bruntnell, The Railway, Winchester
Some of my favourite people, being brilliant.
May 6: Slow Club, The Railway, Winchester
Died a death.
May 7: Richmond Fontaine Duo, Richard Buckner, Peter Bruntnell, Cecil Sharp House, London
Birgit caused a stir by having a back spasm and having to lie down.
May 12: Alabama Shakes, 02, Birmingham
This was supposed to be a wedding anniversary treat but the venue was crap and the band off form.
May 24: Eastleigh Festival
The festival had moved indoors. Lanterns On The Lake were good.
June 4: Ryan O’Reilly, The Bugle, Twyford
June 4: David Thomas Broughton, The Railway, Winchester
Can’t remember much about him, to be honest.
June 13: Nashville Babylon, The 12 Bar, London
I think Richard Warren played.
June 14: Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby, The Railway, Winchester
A better turnout than usual.
July 1: Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys, The Railway, Winchester
July 11: Dawes, The Scala, London
Quite a step up from the Windmill.
August 31 - September 2: End Of The Road Festival, Dorset
The best festival ever. Midlake, Deep Dark Woods, Jonathan Wilson, Grandaddy - and that’s for starters.
September 9: sxsc Festival, The Railway, Winchester
It all went swimmingly apart from a minor Eitzel strop.
September 20: Malcolm Holcombe, Neil Halstead, The Railway, Winchester
Holcombe is a crazed genius.
September 22: Emily Barker, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
What a privilege! Emily was joined by her brother Joel.
September 30: Slim Chance, The Railway, Winchester
The spirit of Ronnie Lane.
October 2: Wooden Sky, Evening Hymns, The Railway, Winchester
Evening Hymns trounced the headliners.
October 4: Peter Case, The Railway, Winchester
October 5: Tom Paley, The Discovery Centre, Winchester
Charming old boy.
October 6: Ray Davies, The Guildhall, Southampton
Why did he keep going on and off stage?
October 21: Scritti Politti, The Railway, Winchester
Quite a turn up for the books!
October 21: Jim Jones Revue, The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
No idea why they weren’t quite on form.
October 24: The Mastersons, The Railway, Winchester
Steve Earle’s backing band. Excellent, and support Hymn For Her were cool too.
October 29: World Party, O2 Academy, Oxford
Brilliant but two thirds empty, on account of astronomical ticket price.
November 4: Arbouretum, The Railway, Winchester
We love these guys. How come not many other people do?
November 9: Daisy Trail, The Old House At Home, Portsmouth
Phil Campbell’s new band. Good.
November 11: Small Town Jones, The Railway, Winchester
Jim’s first headline show in Winchester.
November 16: Sea Of Bees, The Railway, Winchester
Hardly anyone came.
November 19: Lucy Rose, The Railway, Winchester
Ghastly hype. The music industry at its worst.
November 21: Emily Barker, Union Chapel, London
Emily’s big breakthrough.
November 25: Elliott Brood, The Railway, Winchester
Return of the Crazy Canucks.
December 1: Elliott Brood, The Palmeira, Hove
Had to go back for more, but they were having a bust-up.
December 1: Ben Waters, The Railway, Winchester
He was accompanied by his 12 year old son!
January 27: Focus, The Railway, Winchester
What a way to start the year. FOCUS! At the Railway!
January 30: John Murry, The Railway, Winchester
February 7: Jason Lytle, The Scala, London Solo.
Always prefer him with a band.
February 19: Andy Burrows, The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Me old mucker.
February 20: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, The Cellar, Southampton
February 21: Elliott Brood, The Windmill, Brixton
February 22: Robert Vincent, Benjamin Folke Thomas, Jack Day, The Railway, Winchester
February 23: The Agency, Centre Stage, Bournemouth
February 24: Owen Tromans, The Railway, Winchester
Have you noticed that’s six gigs in six days? Life in the old dog yet!
February 26: Arbouretum, The Railway, Winchester
Just can’t say no.
March 9: The Coal Porters, The Railway, Winchester
Class bluegrass. Dave from Richmond Fontaine supported.
March 12 16: South By South West Festival, Austin, Texas
The best ever! (Always say that.) This time I stalked Dawes.
April 17: John Parish, Exil, Zürich
Was it self-indulgent to travel all this way for a gig? Yes, but worth it.
April 20: Jess Klein, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Austin to Twyford! Fun.
April 23: King Creosote, The Railway, Winchester
Dare I say over-rated?
April 25: Ruts DC, The Brook, Southampton
Triumphant return. I had no idea the bassist was also in Alabama 3.
April 29: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, The Cellar, Southampton
Bitter-sweet. After a great show, Chuck had his tour book stolen from the stage. Amazingly, it was returned 10 days later.
May 1: Malcolm Middleton, The Railway, Winchester
Dare I say over-rated?
May 3: The Deep Dark Woods, The Railway, Winchester
Great to have them back, and nearly a sell-out too.
May 8: John Murry, Bush Hall, London
Genius. Peter Bruntnell supported, too.
May 11: Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Railway, Winchester
Lovely to have them back.
May 12: Hiss Golden Messenger, William Tyler, The Railway, Winchester
What a weekend of top music.
May 15: Terry Reid, The Railway, Winchester
Hmm, not quite sure.
May 20: Allah-Las, Dingwalls, London
Good, but a one-trick pony. I preferred support Dead Coast - watch out for them.
May 24: Ginger Baker, The Railway, Winchester
I was star-struck but luckily, not physically struck.
May 30: Stiv Cantarelli and the Silent Strangers, The Railway, Winchester
Country punk from Italy.
June 1: Palmfest, The Palmeira, Hove
Was that really me pogoing? I’m afraid it was.
June 13: Martin Harley, The Railway, Winchester
He’s a clever guy.
June 14: Willy Mason, The Joiners, Southampton
I gave him a copy of Access One Step and he asked for my autograph. Honest!
June 27: 65daysofstatic, The Railway, Winchester
June 30: Patrick Duff, The Platform Tavern, Southampton
I used to adore Strangelove and Patrick is a riveting performer.
July 11: Andy Fraser, The Railway, Winchester
I was star struck to be in the presence of a member of Free, but this was a very strange show, focusing on his protégé Tobi, who wasn’t very good. The presence of Chris Spedding brightened things up.
July 17: Dawes, The Borderline, London
Absolutely brilliant evening with good friends and a great band.
July 18: Larmer Tree Festival, Blandford
Blown away by Richard Thompson (electric) and skanking to The Beat.
July 27: Simone Felice, The Railway, Winchester
Simone entrances the Attic.
August 1: Band Of Skulls, The Joiners, Southampton
A warm-up show in their spiritual home.
August 3 – 4: Wickham Festival, Wickham
I camped and got drunk.
August 8: Ben Folke-Thomas, Waterstones, Winchester
This was the launch of my mega-selling (not) novel Zander. Ben brilliantly covered Corey Zander’s greatest hit, “Mad And Bad”.
August 15: Arbouretum, Tiki Bar, Plymouth
Last time to see this wonderful band, now split up.
August 24: Daisy Trail, Gosport Festival
Phil’s new band hits the big stage. Good.
August 28: The Hoax, The Railway, Winchester
Still love ’em.
August 31 – September 2: End Of The Road Festival, Blandford
Brilliant as usual.
September 5: Bob Lind, The Railway, Winchester
His butterfly may be elusive but he’s an odd cove.
September 8: sxsc Festival, The Railway, Winchester
Day after my 65th birthday and I choose to have a day of (rewarding) stress.
September 17: Ben Folke-Thomas Band, The Railway, Winchester
Love the naughty Swede.
September 27: North Mississippi All Stars, House Of Blues, Chicago
Horrible rip-off venue.
October 25: Mark Eitzel, The Art Bar, Oxford
He was having an off day.
October 25: The Agency, Twyford Social Club
October 28: Camel, The Barbican, London
Amazingly, Andy Latimer is alive and they are arguably better than they’ve ever been – brilliant evening.
October 28: Peter Bruntnell, Water Rats, London
Pete would have brought the roof down but it had already collapsed anyway.
November 2: Grant Hart, The Railway, Winchester
This was really rewarding. Grant turned out to be a sweet, charming and hugely intelligent gentleman. We had a get-together in the Light Of Bengal beforehand.
November 13: Emily Barker And The Red Clay Halo, Discovery Centre, Winchester
There was hardly room to squeeze in their gigantic tour bus.
November 15: The Coal Porters, The Railway, Winchester
Really good fun.
November 23: Laura Veirs, Islington Assembly Hall
Back in my old stomping ground. A visit to Indian Veg was inevitable.
November 25: Billy Walton Band, The Railway, Winchester
Lively evening with Southside Johnny sideman.
November 28: Martin Simpson, The Railway, Winchester
Almost too perfect and therefore lacking in soul.
December 3: Danny and the Champions Of The World, The Railway, Winchester
Headline show from UK country-soulers.
November 2: James Yorkston, The Railway, Winchester
Thought I would like him but didn’t.
January 15: Peter Bruntnell, Danny George Wilson, Neil Halstead, The Railway, Winchester
This cosy “in the round” triple bill worked brilliantly.
January 23: Deer Tick, The Garage, London
They were rather well behaved.
January 24: House Of Trees, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Our house concerts seem to attract Swedes for some reason.
January 30: Willy Vlautin, Rough Trade East, London
Willy’s book launch for The Free. I spooked him by leering out from behind a pillar.
February 8: Eleanor McEvoy, The Railway, Winchester
Had wanted to see her for years but was disappointed. The stakes have been raised in the singer-songwriter business.
February 11: The Deep Dark Woods, The Railway,
Winchester I was worried because they didn’t have the amazing Geoff Hilhorst, but they delivered magnificently.
February 16: Austin Lucas, The Railway, Winchester
I set this up with the help of Emily Barker and it was a cosy, intimate evening mostly played unplugged.
February 17: Anais Mitchell, The Railway, Winchester
This is what I mean when I say the singer-songwriter stakes have been upped.
February 27: John Murry, Islington Assembly Hall
Would this be the breakthrough we’d all been anticipating?
March 1: John Murry, The Railway, Winchester
Considering I believe him to be a genius, it was pretty exciting to have him playing a sold-out show in the Swiss Cottage followed by another in the Attic.
March 2: Kelley Stoltz, The Railway, Winchester
The weekend all my Christmases came at once.
March 4: Sons Of Bill, The Railway, Winchester
Guess what, they really are Bill’s sons!
March 4: Caravan, Salisbury City Hall
Would they still deliver like Camel did? No, they bloody well didn’t. And they were obnoxious too, so sod ’em.
March 11 – 16: South By South West, Austin, Texas
Another mixed but generally positive experience.
March 19: Sam Brookes, The Railway, Winchester
Outstanding young singer songwriter.
March 21: Chris Helme, The Railway, Winchester
You might think that “ex-Seahorses singer” doesn’t sound promising, but he was fabulous.
March 22: Ben Folke Thomas, The Betsey Trotwood, London
Lively farewell do for Ben, heading back to Sweden. We got a parking ticket.
April 18: Malcolm Holcombe, The Railway, Winchester
I’ve run out of words to try and describe him.
April 19: Simone Felice Band, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
The Swiss Cottage stars just keep getting bigger!
April 18: Dan Stuart, The Railway, Winchester
Accompanied by the inimitable Antonio Gramentieri of Sacri Cuori.
May 14: Terry Reid, The Railway, Winchester
Unruly audience members caused a funny atmosphere.
May 15: Black, The Railway, Winchester
Not particularly Wonderful.
May 20: Courtney Barnett, The Joiners, Southampton
One of those great Joiners nights with upcoming Australian artist.
May 25: Boo Hewerdine, The Railway, Winchester
He keeps getting better.
June 5: Nick Oliveri, The Railway, Winchester
You shouldn’t try to play metal solo with an acoustic guitar.
June 9: The Delines, Rough Trade East, London
I just found a new favourite band. What an unbelievable human being Willy Vlautin is – and the others are amazing too.
June 5: Jeffrey Lewis and the Jrims, The Railway, Winchester
June 24: Hatfitz and Cara, Talking Heads, Southampton
Duo from Australia, managed by my neighbour. Now they keep their gear in my garage.
July 5: Blissfields Festival, Basingstoke
I felt out of place.
July 6: Ian McLagan, The Railway, Winchester
I didn’t feel out of place. And neither did Mac. God, it was hot.
July 12: Neil Young, Hyde Park, London
And also Phosphorescent, Caitlin Rose and Midlake. One of the best days out I can remember.
July 18 – 19: Truck Festival, Steventon
Back in action. I went by bus.
July 13: Chuck Prophet, The Cellars, Portsmouth
A very rare Chuck and Stephanie duo show. I provided the keyboard.
July 24: Hans Chew, The Railway, Winchester
July 25: John Fullbright, The Railway, Winchester
Outstanding singer songwriter from Oklahoma.
July 27: Eels, Salisbury City Hall
July 31: Provincials, The Railway, Winchester
Polly Perry’s new band.
August 8: Jim Crawford, The Champ, Appledore
Gorgeous acoustic blues in my new favourite town.
August 14 – 17: Wickham Festival, Wickham
Dog’s dinner of a line up but Steve Earle was great.
August 25: Vena Portae, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Emily Barker’s lovely new band, supported by Co-Pilgrim.
August 29 – 31: End Of The Road Festival, Blandford
Lovely weather and wonderful music. Flaming Lips!
September 7: sc4m Festival, The Railway, Winchester
A new name for my annual birthday present to myself with Danny and the Champs, The Rails and The Travelling Band.
September 10: Tiny Ruins, The Railway, Winchester
Beautiful music from New Zealand.
September 26: Small Town Jones, The Thatch, Croyde
Jim on home territory, supported by the ever amazing Bruntosaurus.
September 27: Wayne Hussey, The Railway, Winchester
Not bad, but I ended up going upstairs to watch Julie Felix. She’s 76, you know.
September 30: Jess Klein, The Prince Albert, Stroud
Good stuff but I didn’t like the venue being full of smelly dogs.
October 2: Jim Jones Revue, The Old Market, Brighton
Their farewell tour. I persuaded Phil to go and he HATED every moment!
October 2: The Coal Porters, The Railway, Winchester
A couple of new members this time round.
October 12: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, The Railway, Winchester
A slightly tense affair but a triumph in the end.
October 19: Sarah Borges with Girls Guns and Glory, The Railway, Winchester
Hardly anyone came but I LOVED it.
October 22: Danny And The Champions Of The World, The Cellars, Southsea
Can a venue ever be too small?
October 22: John Mayall, The Anvil, Basingstoke
Amazing veteran who has still “got it”.
October 30: Hot Feet, The Railway, Winchester
All the way from Stroud but they had terrible flu and could hardly perform. Didn’t like headliners Cocos Lovers, and not only because they can’t use apostrophes.
November 4: The Mastersons, The Railway, Winchester
Good show from cheerful Steve Earle backing Austinites.
November 6: Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers, St Andhelm’s Church, Bournemouth
More Austinites. She’s an ex schoolteacher and acts like it. A freezing church is not a good gig environment, especially when the only refreshments are tea and pasties.
November 13: The Delines, The Discovery Centre, Winchester
This worked well in a more plushy venue.
November 15: Boo Hewerdine, The Railway, Winchester
He seemed to be going through the motions.
November 23: Simone Felice, The Railway, Winchester
Intense as ever.
November 25: Jesse Malin, Dingwalls, London
Back in London at last with a hot new band and songs.
November 28: Red Sky July, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Multi-million sellers in our back garden (members of Texas and Alisha’s Attic)
December 5: John Otway, The Railway, Winchester
The master on storming form. I’ve heard all the jokes scores of times but they are still funny.
December 12: Scarlet Soho, The Railway, Winchester
A little Twyford outing for Soho’s Xmas party.
January 30: The Barr Brothers, The Railway, Winchester
Stunning start to the year with a fantastic band from Montreal featuring a rock and roll harp.
February 4: PJ Harvey, Somerset House, London
This was the “art installation”, watching them recording in a box.
February 12: Songwriters In The Round, Discovery Centre, Winchester
Peter Bruntnell, Danny Champ and Neil Halstead.
February 15: Sons Of Bill, The Railway, Winchester
Sold out. They still really are Bill’s sons.
February 19: Frontier Ruckus, The Railway, Winchester
Perhaps more notable for the support, the excellent Austin Lucas.
March 14: The Coal Porters, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Getting some notable names in the cottage now. This was The Long Ryders’ Sid Griffin.
March 17 – 22: SXSW, Austin, Texas
Why do I continue to do this to myself? Well, the Tex Mex food is wonderful and we saw Chuck Prophet five times in three days.
April 1: John Murry, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Not an April fool.
April 14: Benjamin Folke Thomas, The Half Moon, Putney
Combining Ben’s album launch with a beautiful day out on Eel Pie Island.
April 18: Benjamin Folke Thomas, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
A riot, basically.
April 19: Mark Olson, The Railway, Winchester
Slightly downbeat because he’d had a valuable instrument stolen in Brighton the night before.
April 26: Ryan Boldt, The Railway, Winchester
Excellent Deep Dark Woods vocalist supported by the extraordinarily good Kacy And Clayton, my tips for the top.
May 1 – 3: Kilkenny Rhythm And Roots, Kilkenny, Ireland
Drunk for three days.
May 9: Cale Tyson, The Railway, Winchester
Rising country star. Robyn Hitchcock attended and I was able to interest him in doing a Railway show.
May 16: The Strypes, The Engine Rooms, Southampton
A new venue and a storming show from Irish teenagers that I’d been lucky enough to see in Austin.
May 31: Daisy Trail, The Cellars, Portsmouth
Supporting good friends on their album launch.
June 2: Billy Bragg, The Joiners, Southampton
One of those utterly magical Joiners nights.
June 5: Chuck Prophet And The Mission Express, The Joiners, Southampton
Trying out a different venue for Chuck but I was out of my comfort zone.
June 7: Electric Eel Shock, The Railway, Winchester
Brilliant! All the drummer wore was a sock over his penis.
July 2: Jace Everett, The Railway, Winchester
An extremely nice bunch of rockers.
July 10: Jolie Holland, The Railway, Winchester
Not nearly as good as I expected.
July 16: Ben Poole, The Railway, Winchester
Young blueser managed by my neighbour Alan.
August 6 – 9: Wickham Festival, Hants
The thrill of camping in our new van made up for the patchy line-up. Standouts were Tom Robinson and Andy Fairweather-Low.
August 30: Graze Festival, Twyford
My first ever experience of booking the acts for a proper festival and it all went swimmingly. The Blockheads headlined.
September 3 – 6: End Of The Road Festival, Dorset
It’s just the best, and such a thrill to see The Delines triumphing.
September 11: The Delines, St Pancras Old Church, London
We love these people so much.
September 13: sc4m Festival, The Railway, Winchester
Our sixth. Pick of a good line-up was Andrew Combs.
September 15: Willard Grant Conspiracy, The Talking Heads, Southampton
Only found out about it at the last moment. Best I’ve ever seen them.
September 17: Laurence Jones, The Railway, Winchester
Another young blueser. Rather good actually.
September 26: John Murry, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
A lovely duo show with Grum Gallagher.
October 8: The Rails, The Railway, Winchester
October 9: Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart, The Railway, Winchester
Very loud and dubby. Super cool band.
October 12: Graham Parker And The Rumour, The Brook, Southampton
Shit hot. The original line-up, too.
October 14: Simone Felice, The Railway, Winchester
Featuring Anna Mitchell on piano and vocals, adding a whole new dimension.
October 25: Ron Sexsmith, The Joiners, Southampton
Ridiculous. It was only a third full, what’s wrong with people?
October 29: Dan Baird And Homemade Sin, The Railway, Winchester
The joint was duly rocked.
November 2: Robyn Hitchcock, The Railway, Winchester
Okay, I’ll say it: The best show I have ever put on. He played “Winchester” and we all cried.
November 6: Julian Dawson, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
This truly was a delight. An artist whose records I used to buy in Germany comes to our little venue and blows everyone away.
November 11: Simi Stone, The Railway, Winchester
All the way from the Catskills! Great support from Dan Whitehouse too.
November 13: Kelley Stoltz, The Nest, Bath
Time for a little road trip.
November 14: Kelley Stoltz, The Golden Lion, Bristol
Back for more and very rewarding it was.
November 28: Gemma Hayes, The Railway, Winchester
She’s bloody good, and strangely, half her band comes from Winchester.
November 29: This Is The Kit, The Railway, Winchester
How exciting to see Kate Stables doing so well! It sold out so they added a matinée.
December 3: Peter Bruntnell Band, The Railway, Winchester
With Davey Lemonade and Dave Boquist, they were jamming like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Unbelievable.
December 10: Will Johnson, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Very exciting for me, as I’ve worshipped this man’s music with Centro-Matic for many years.
December 11: Josh Savage, The Guildhall, Winchester
A pleasant surprise to see the Guildhall actually being used for good music.
December 13: The Wiyos, The Railway, Winchester
Their percussion table looked like a porn shop.
January 22: John Parish Band, The Railway, Winchester
Our old friends. Lovely support from Nadine Khouri too. I was hungover for three days.
January 22: Matthew E. White, The Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth
Brilliant artist and band but a pitiful turnout.
January 30: Jenny Ritter Band, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Arguably our best ever Swiss Cottage show. Superb Canadians.
February 3: AMAUK Awards, St John’s Church, Hackney
Aware ceremony in a cavernous church featuring Billy Bragg.
March 3: The Brothers Landreth, The Garage, London
Checking out these roots Canadians prior to their Railway show.
March 7: The Brothers Landreth, The Railway, Winchester
And this was them. Really good.
March 15 – 21:SXSW Festival, Austin, Texas
Not as good as usual. Didn’t find many good bands.
March 31: John Bramwell, The Railway, Winchester
Of I Am Kloot.
April 8: Peter Bruntnell Band, The Crown, Farnham
This was WILD.
April 10: The Hollies, Portsmouth Guildhall
They were great but I caught a lurgy that lasted weeks.
April 11: Lucius, The Thekla, Bristol
We got hideously lost on the way home.
April 14: Benjamin Folke Thomas, The Forge, Basingstoke
I do not like this venue.
April 17: Richmond Fontaine, The Railway, Winchester
Their last ever visit to Winchester. Two brilliant shows in one day.
April 22: Underhill Rose, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Another nice American band.
April 23: Wilko Johnson, The Forum, London
On good form.
April 28 – 30: Roots Festival, Kilkenny
Lots of good music but I was ill.
June 17: Marty O’Reilly And The Old Soul Orchestra, The Swiss Cottage, Twyford
June 18: Dead Men Walking, The Discovery Centre, Winchester
Ancient punks including Jake Burns and Kirk Brandon.
June 21: Delta Saints, The Railway, Winchester
A fraught evening but they were astonishing.
June 29: Vintage Trouble, The Engine Rooms, Southampton
Featuring “crowd swimming”.
July 20: Peter Bruntnell, The 100 Club, London
We parked our camper van in Oxford Street!
July 22: The Blockheads, The 1965, Southampton
Nice new club but not many people there.
July 30: Blind Boy Paxton, The Railway, Winchester
A revelation. Superb multi-instrumentalist.
August 4 – 7: Wilderness Festival, near Oxford
Strange event where we we slightly out of place but enjoyed Robert Plant and the Flaming Lips.
August 28: Graze Festival, Twyford
I booked all the bands but a triumph was marred by Toyah calling me a wanker.
September 2 – 4: End Of The Road Festival, Blandford
Too damp to be as much fun as usual.
September 8: David Brent, Hammersmith Apollo
Enormous fun. I went with Lucy and hobnobbed with the stars courtesy of Andy Burrows.
September 11: sc4m Festial, The Railway, Winchester
The best ever. I know, I always say that.
September 13: John Murry, The Slaughtered Lamb, London
Too many stories to tell about this, but he killed it.
September 14: John Murry, The Hope And Ruin, Brighton
A little awayday beside the sea.
October 7: Miranda Mulholland, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Spectacularly good Canadian fiddler.
October 13: Simone Felice, Railway Inn, Winchester
Solo this time. Since we last saw him, Simone had produced hugely successful albums for The Lumineers and Bat For Lashes.
October 15: Tom Brousseau / Robert Chaney, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
US songwriters on top of their game.
October 21: Richmond Fontaine, Electric Ballroom, London
Many tears at their last big UK show – a thousand punters.
October 29: Worry Dolls, Railway Inn, Winchester
Rather good duo with a background from LIPA.
October 31: PJ Harvey, Brixton Academy, London
Much praised but I’m afraid we found the show rather sterile.
November 3: Richmond Fontaine, Haus der Musik, Vienna
A gorgeous “city break” with much laughter and alcohol.
November 7: Cale Tyson / Erin Rae, Railway Inn, Winchester
Warm-hearted show with up and coming young country stars.
November 16: Robert Ellis, Railway Inn, Winchester
November 19: Boo Hewerdine / Dan Whitehouse, Railway Inn, Winchester
November 23: Teenage Fanclub, Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth
December 15: Peter Bruntnell Band / Robert Vincent, Railway Inn, Winchester
Nice Xmas show. I was on crutches following an ankle operation.
January 14: Knights, Elephant Records, Winchester
Instore with our old friend Jim Knights (Big In Germany).
February 2: AMA Awards, Camden
I took John Murry and we felt out of place as usual.
February 4: The Mastersons, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
So popular that we did two shows and sold both out. Great support from Anthony D’Amato as well.
February 8: Joey Landreth, Railway Inn, Winchester
Virtuoso guitar playing. Sold out.
February 15: Karl Blau, Railway Inn, Winchester
Lovely cosy show with an old friend from Laura Veirs days.
February 18: Chuck Prophet And The Mission Express, Railway Inn, Winchester
A complete and utter blast.
February 20: Chuck Prophet And The Mission Express, The Tunnels, Bristol
Had to go back for more. Took John Parish along.
February 24: Rob Heron And The Tea Pad Orchestra, Railway Inn, Winchester
Great entertainment with a political edge.
February 28: Benjamin Folke Thomas, Railway Inn, Winchester
March 4: Lewis and Leigh, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Rising stars, with great support from Lucas and King, new local duo.
March 6: Hammell On Trial, Hyde Tavern, Winchester
A new (tiny) venue in Winchester and quite an exciting booking.
March 18 -24: South By South West Festival, Austin, Texas
After fifteen years, this was the last time. It’s simply become too expensive. Had the most fantastic time, though, with wonderful music.
March 23: Hurray For The Riff Raff, Railway Inn, Winchester
A transformed band, even better in their new incarnation. Too big for the Railway from now on!
March 25: Jonny Fritz / Joshua Hedley, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Full of character and fun.
April 3: Alejandro Escoved0, The Bullingdon, Oxford
Loud and proud, accompanied by Antonio and the gang from Modigliana.
April 5: John Murry, Hyde Tavern, Winchester
The beginning of a lot of work with the Murryman this year.
April 6: John Murry, Hyde Tavern, Winchester
April 8 -9: Ramblin’ Roots Revue, High Wycombe
A new and very enjoyable roots festival.
April 27: Jeff Lang, Hyde Tavern, Winchester
To be honest, I can’t remember anything about this.
June 3: Emily Barker, Hundred Records, Romsey
Lovely instore in my favourite record shop.
June 10 – 11: Static Roots Festival, Oberhausen, Germany
Wonderful fun at a great indoor festival with Danny and the Champs, Peter Bruntnell and many more.
June 17: Winchestival, River Park, Winchester
A sunny new festival with mainly cover bands.
July 8: Billy Walton Band, Railway Inn, Winchester
A sideways step with some blazing blues. Support from new band Curse Of Lono.
July 14 – 15: Rhythmtree Festival, Isle Of Wight
Super festival organised by my old friend Pete Holden. Stereo MC’s were great.
July 19: John Murry Band, Slaughtered Lamb, London
A very intense gig at one of London’s finest small venues.
July 21: Joey Landreth, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Arguably the biggest star we’ve had in the cottage.
July 22: John Murry Band, St Mary’s Church, Guildford
August 3 – 5: Wickham Festival
All the same old bands in the mud.
August 13: Boomtown Festival, Winchester
August 27: Graze Festival, Twyford
Stereo MC’s, Repubica and many more. Exhausting but rewarding.
September 1 – 3: End Of The R0ad Festival, Dorset
One of the best ever. Lucinda Williams triumphed.
September 10: SC4M Festival, Railway Inn, Winchester
This was to be the last of our little festivals. Simply didn’t make financial sense any more. A nice way to go out, with great performances from Emily Barker etc.
September 12: John Murry, Talking Heads, Southampton
I promoted this show, which was sparsely attended but very exciting.
September 21: John Murry, St Pancras Old Church, London
I promoted this show too! Lovely curry from Indian Veg and a sold out audience.
October 20: Port Erin, Railway Inn, Winchester
Enjoyable band from Bath.
October 25: Hurray For The Riff Raff, Wedgwood Rooms, Portsmouth
Good show but I was ill with food poisoning and couldn’t appreciate it.
October 27: All Or Nothing, Mayflower, Southampton
A musical about the Small Faces. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed!
October 28: Dan Whitehouse / Jess Morgan, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
First cottage show for a while and very cosy it was.
November 1: Jesse Dayton, Railway Inn, Winchester
The beginning of a hectic gig season and it was a stormer, with a great guitarist from Austin.
November 2: Dream Syndicate, The 1865, Southampton
I helped to promote this one and was really sad and embarrassed that the venue lost money because of the poor turnout. Still one of the best gigs of the year for me, musically speaking.
November 4: Take Root Festival, Groningen, Holland
A weekend break at one of the best organised festivals ever. Jason Isbell, Margo Price and a host of others.
November 15: The War On Drugs, Portsmouth Guildhall
Great evening, during which the headliners were very nearly upstaged by support The Barr Brothers.
November 19: Knights, Aladin, Bremen
Supporting peter Heppner, who was quite good too. We gave Jim the fright of his life by popping tip unexpectedly out of the audience.
November 29: Fleet Foxes, Southampton Guildhall
Disappointingly bland, actually.
November 20: Chris T-T, The Railway, Winchester
Bittersweet occasion, as this was his last ever show.
December 1: Nadine Khouri, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
A long-held ambition fulfilled, with sterling support from Jason McNiff.
December 6: Low Cut Connie, Borderline, London
Fantastic band that I’d come across back in March in Austin.
December 13: Elliott Brood, The Railway, Winchester
A warm welcome back to the Crazy Canucks, with a bigger audience too!
December 22: Ryan O’Reilly, The Railway, Winchester
Ryan’s Xmas show, supported by members of Flyte.
January 5: The Boys, Talking Heads, Southampton
Kicking away the Xmas cobwebs with some vigorous power pop.
January 10: This Is The Kit, Joiners, Southampton
Lovely to see Kate and co doing so well.
January 19: Aerialists, Square and Compass, Worth Matravers
A marathon bus journey to see some orchestral Canadians.
January 29: Deslondes, The Railway, Winchester
Good roots from New Orleans although they were tired on the last night of the tour.
February 1: Willy Vlautin, Cecil Sharp House, London
A book reading and acoustic performance from our dear old friend.
February 2: The Americans, The Railway, Winchester
A great turnout for a cool new band from Los Angeles.
February 10: BJ Cole and Emily Burridge, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Classical music on pedal steel and cello in our garden “shed”. Who’d have thought it?
February 21: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express / Bottle Rockets, Skippers Smokehouse, Tampa
Super cool bands in a super cool venue.
February 22 – 25: The Tropical Heatwave Cruise, Tampa / Cozumel
Incredible treat with Chuck Prophet and they Mission Express, Sarah Borges and many others.
March 4: Kelley Stoltz, The Railway, Winchester
Great to have him back. Good support from Liverpudlians The Probes as well.
March 13 – 18: South By South West Festival, Austin, Texas
Back on track and total fun.
March 29: Don Gallardo, Gibson Guitar Studio, London
Launch party for Maverick Festival.
May 16: The Deep Dark Woods, The Railway, Winchester
The day after returning from a 6 week van trip! Wonderful to see them again, though.
May 20: The Rails, The Railway, Winchester
Healthy audience for James and Kami, this time with full band.
May 30: Robyn Hitchcock, The Brook, Southampton
We got to sit in the “Royal Box”. Useful evening which opened the door to booking Robyn for the Railway.
June 7: Gruff Rhys, The Railway, Winchester
“Big Band In A Little Venue” – never fails. And I set this one up.
June 8: Laura Veirs, Union Chapel, London
Great, but those damn wooden pews …
June 9: Benjamin Folke Thomas, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Ben got drunk. Want to know anything else?
June 15: Boxcar Boys, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Spontaneous gig caused by the band having a cancellation. Turned out to be very unusual music and the one of the best Cottage shows ever!
June 26: John Murry, The Lexington, London
Very pleasing, as there was a good turnout. Plus of course the obligatory visit to Indian Veg.
July 3: The Americans, The Railway, Winchester
This confirmed my hatred of football, as it coincided with a World Cup match and hardly anyone came. The band played like true heroes (three encores).
July 6: Vera van Heeringen Trio, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Our first alfresco show, because of the heatwave. Wonderful music and great support from Christopher Rees.
July 8: Eric Clapton, Steve Linwood, Hyde Park, London
Lovely day out with my friend Peter. The Americans played on a small stage and were arguably the best act of the day. I got into an internet fight for slagging off a dreadful band called the Wandering Hearts.
July 14 – 16: Rhythmtree Festival, Isle Of Wight
Such a lovely festival. We got to curate a little stage on the woods and all the artists (Nadine Khouri, Robert Chaney, Ma Polaine’s Great Decline, Lucas And King and Hymn For Her) were superb. Excellent main stage performances also, from the likes of Morcheeba.
July 20: Larmer Tree Festival, Dorset
Fantastic solo day out for me, culminating in the best musical moment of the year, The Barr Brothers. I became involved in a bizarre (but happy) audience / stage conversation about holidays in Greece – don’t ask.
August 2: Wickham Festival
A better musical line-up than usual, with Richard Thompson and Squeeze.
August 23: Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, The Railway, Winchester
Such powerful, raucous and fun music from a brilliantly radical band. Very proud about this one, and support band The Glorias.
August 26: Graze Festival, Twyford
The music was uniformly superb, but the rain destroyed the event and in fact it couldn’t be rescued to continue in future years. We gave it our best shot!
August 31 – September 2: End Of The Road Festival, Dorset
The usual wonderful music and vibe, topped of by meeting the extraordinary Josh T Pearson.
September 8: My 70th birthday concert, Parish Hall, Twyford
Of course it was fraught but we pulled it off with the help of Lucas and King, John Murry and Chuck Prophet.
September 10 – 15: Americanafest, Nashville, Tennessee
Frantically zooming from venue to venue. Lots of great music and a fun experience but sxsw is enough for me and I won’t be doing this one again.
October 11: Ethan Johns, Sound Knowledge, Marlborough
A very kind birthday present from my friend Chris Copeland.
October 20: Tom Robinson Band, The 1865, Southampton
He’s still got it.
October 24: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Aussie Strokes. Exciting.
October 26: Robyn Hitchcock, Railway Inn, Winchester
Packed and nonstalgic.
October 28: Kim Richey and Ben Glover, Railway Inn, Winchester
October 31: Richard Thompson, City Hall, Salisbury
He’s a f…ing genius.
November 1: Alejandro Escovedo and Don Antonio, The Bullingdon, Oxford
Loud and proud. Wonderful to see our friends Dennis and Antonio in full flight.
November 2: Ian Felice, Railway Inn, Winchester
A busy few days! A different Brother. Very full and well supported by Nick Panken. Perfectly behaved audience for two quiet songwriters.
November 7: The Manfreds with Georgie Fame, City Hall, Salisbury
I don’t want to offend anyone but this was dire, cringeworthily so.
November 9: Allan Jones, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
Lucas and King supported the ex-editor of Melody Maker and Uncut on this rainy but fun evening.
November 15: Peter Bruntnell and BJ Cole, Railway Inn, Winchester
We thought it might be a bit early for a return visit but if anything, it was even better.
November 16: William The Conqueror, Railway Inn, Winchester
A dance extravaganza from a band that is definitely on the up. One of the most enjoyable gigs of the year.
November 22: Curse Of Lono, Railway Inn, Winchester
Great apart from the bloody talkers.
November 23: Benjamin Folke Thomas, Railway Inn, Winchester
Ben and his new band presenting the album Modern Man.
December 1: Dan Stuart and Tom Heyman, Swiss Cottage, Twyford
I thought these two might be tired from a long and arduous tour but it was a delightful show (2 and a half hours).
December 4: John Parish, The Islington, London
A massive gathering of the clans (including PJH) and I got drunk because the beer (£5.95 a pint) was so strong.
December 5: Josh T Pearson, St John’s At Bethnal Green, London
One of my favourite gigs of the year. What a character! Superb support from Nadine Khouri, too.