I live a few minutes bus ride from one of the best gig venues in the country, which plays host to nearly all bands on major UK tours, and yet I never go to any gigs anymore. In the past I’ve seen Jurassic 5, Cradle of Filth, Fear Factory, Insane Clown Posse, Public Enemy, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, and possibly others that I have forgotten at the Manchester Academy. A quick look on their website shows a few gigs coming up I would love to see: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Rob Zombie, Sonic Youth + The Pop Group, Gary Numan, Napalm Death, Terrorvision, Iron and Wine, Devin Townsend, The Go! Team, Saxon, Europe, Kool Keith, and (Graham, if you are reading this phone me!) Van der Graaf Generator. None of these are on my must see before I die list, but all should been a damn good show.
In Manchester I’ve also seen live Kraftwerk, Zappa Plays Zappa, Judas Priest, and the Pogues. Of all the gigs I’ve been too in Manchester, only one of them (Public Enemy) has been since I moved here about three years ago. What have I been doing with my time? Cooking, watching TV, playing Civilisation IV, serving customers (who are the worst people in the world; worse than racists, dictators, paedophiles, and the pope? Hmm, maybe not worse, but certainly not better... I digress), enjoying domestic bliss, reading, picking my nose, making sweet sweet love, stroking my facial hair in art galleries, wearing my girlfriend bought me this clothes, trying to draw against all my natural lack of inventiveness, not learning to drive, not saving any money, reading again, collecting postcards, drinking in the house, complaining about being tired, and the rest of it.
I bet if I took the time to research all the gigs I’ve missed in the last three years it would make me cry tears of pain that burned my skin and seared holes in my jumper. Off the top of my head I know I have missed Glitch Mob and Venetian Snares. That makes me want to cry. Venetian Snares is on my must see before I die list. I was walking one day, on my lunch break, through the streets of Sale when I saw a poster advertising Venetian Snares at the Warehouse Project. Fuck me! I thought! Then like a bullet through my tiny little proto-heart came yesterday’s date. I had missed it.
Some of the bands on my Must see before I die list I have already seen: Kraftwerk, Judas Priest, the Pogues. The full unabridged title of the list is the must see before I (or they) die list. I added the or they especially for Shane MacGowan, before I had seen the Pogues, one romantic Christmas with a beautiful woman who was to become my girlfriend. There are others on the list who may succumb to the eternal vacuum of death before I get to see them: Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Captain Beefheart (who is unlikely to ever play live again)... And some who already have: Dimebag Darrell and Pantera, Frank Zappa, Karlheinz Stockhausen... If you’re interested I’ve started compiling a spotify list of bands I must see before I die. I’ll try and keep the already dead entrants to a minimum as it kind of undermines the entire concept. Listen to the list here. The spotify playlist will grow organically (pfft, whatever) as I think of new entrants to the most elite club in all of music.