Every Gig I’ve Ever Been To (I Think)

Every gig I’ve ever been to (I think)

It’s fair to say, even before compiling this list, I’ve been very privileged. In my fairly short life of twenty one years I have seen lots of live music. After a fairly poor start where I saw every pop band worth seeing, things picked up as I discovered Indie music (2005 in particular I remember being a very busy summer) gigs tailed off as I realised alcohol was a better way of spending my hard earned wages. Still a look over this list and I think I’ve covered most of the important bands that were around when I was growing up. There’s obviously some notable exceptions who I either don’t rate, or just never got round to seeing.


  • Prince – Manchester Academy
  • Prince – Manchester Academy


  • The National – November
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – November
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Low – Mancehster Central Methodist Hall 25th April
  • The Killers – 17th February
  • Milo Greene – 25th January – Review (of sorts) here


  • The Pogues – 20th December
  • Gotye – Ritz Manchester, 2nd March I touted a ticket for this, it was ok, having spent the day drinking after filming this video with my band.
  • Watch The Throne – Manchester Arena 12th June See a review here
  • Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball tour, Etihad Stadium, 22nd June I wept throughout Thunder Road and Born To Run, not sure why crying has become my ‘thing’ at gigs now, think it might be alcohol related.
  • Hop Farm Festival – Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, Suede, Primal Scream and more. Full review here
  • Guilfest – Buzzcocks, Bryan Ferry, Olly Murs, Cher Lloyd, Heaven 17, Take Fat and more. Full review here
  • The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart


  • Justin Bieber – My World Tour 20th March Don’t you judge me.
  • Take That – Progress Tour 12th June I said don’t judge me.
  • Glee – Live Manchester Arena 23rd June Really, don’t judge me!
  • Latitude Festival – Henham Park Suffolk, 14th-17th July Too many bands to list, but Eels, Glasvegas, My Morning Jacket, The Walkmen, The National, Adam and the Ants…
  • Wilco – The Whole Love Tour, Manchester Academy 25th October Again my favourite band ever, they’re incredible on record and absolutely perfect live.


Mark Ronson and the Business Intl Leeds Academy 3rd October He was surprisingly good, great guest spot from the Kaiser Chiefs.

The Pogues Sheffield Academy, 16th December The moment I realised I couldn’t hack standing gigs anymore, nearly passed out after two songs, hung back for whole set getting breathe back to go cry my eyes out to Fairytale Of New York at the end.


The Kaiser Chiefs Off With Their Heads Tour, Sheffield Arena, 23rd February I’d been meaning to see the Kaisers since my NME days, but never got round to it until 2009, they didn’t disappoint.

Oasis Dig Out Your Soul Tour, Heaton Park Manchester, 6th July Supported by Kasabian, Fire was the best tune of the night. Made a tenner recycling paper cups.

Bruce Springsteen Hampden Park, Glasgow, 14th July 2009 The first time I saw the Boss, had standing tickets but swapped them for seated ones because my then girlfriend has swine flu. Probably irresponsible infecting an entire stadium, but for Bruce, it was worth it.

Latitude Festival Henham Park Suffolk, 16th-19th July Nick Cave and Bad Seeds, Pet Shop Boys, Passion Pit, Patrick Wolf, Thom York…

Leeds Festival Bramham Park Leeds, 28th-30th August Hell On Earth. I was working on a fire tower in Green Camping. It overlooked the toilets, so the smell as, you can imagine, was awful. It also meant I had eye contact with people sitting on toilet, they thought I was perving on them, I wasn’t. Only saw Patrick Wolf, Glasvegas and Them Crooked Vultures. Put me off Leeds for life. Someone threw a used condom at me when I put their fire out.

Peter Doherty Grace/Wastelands Tour, Manchester Apollo 21st September Went on the Monday night of freshers week. Got stuck behind some unbearable hipster (Ironic, I know) who was apparently texting Pete before he came on to impress a girl. I spilt beer on him.

Wilco Wilco (The Tour) Leeds Academy 3rd November The first time I saw the band that would later become my favourite band ever, largely thanks to this gig. No one ever seems to have heard of them, but seriously, Wilco are incredible.

Biffy Clyro Manchester Apollo, 7th November Supported by (the superior, and they’re not even that good) Manchester Orchesta. Went along with my friends, and later band mates, but was still quite hung up on Wilco at the time. To be honest, I still am quite hung up on Wilco.


Fish (Ex Marllion Frontman) – The Drill Hall Lincoln, 12th March

Latitude Festival Henham Park Suffolk, 18th-20th July My first ever festival, done in style. We got in free as guests of Elbow because my festival buddy was vaguely related to the drummer and they met at a family reunion about a month beforehand. Bands I saw included; Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros (who are/were terrible) Elbow, Seasick Steve, Interpol…

Glasvegas Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 25th September I saw theses when they had just stopped being the flavour of the month. Fortunately enough, the next flavour of the month White Lies, were supporting.

Oasis Sheffield Arena, 10th or the 11th October Another one where I can’t remember exactly which night I went, but I definitely did go.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Sheffield Academy, 27th November. I’m fairly sure this is in my top gigs ever list. Nick Cave is phenomenal, I would have chopped my own leg off to join the Bad Seeds that night.


Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour, Sheffield Arena, 14th April Bob Dylan, a living legend, when he came into town, I could not resist getting tickets.

The Who Sheffield Arena, 23rd May Baba O’Reilly is my vote for the best Rock song ever, the only thing wrong the with this set was the mini rock-opera they insisted on performing rather than classics like Substitute.

Babyshambles Nottingham Arena, 30th November Supported by The View.


The Strokes Nottingham Arena, 27th Janurary The first of two nights where I saw The Strokes, I was sitting for this one so it wasn’t quite as good. I remember my friend Scott getting served 4 bottles of Blue WKD and it being the best thing ever.

The Strokes Doncaster Dome, 28th January The better night of these two gigs, mainly because I was standing. I had convinced myself to try crowdsurfing for the first time during my favourite Strokes song, Someday, but was a coward and decided against doing so.

Oasis Don’t Believe The Truth Tour, Sheffield Arena, 9th or 10th of February I can’t remember which night I went, I bought one of my most prized possessions at this gig, a black Oasis hoodie which I wore EVERYDAY for the next three years, until it disintegrated. Still can’t bring myself to throw the remains away though.

Eric Clapton Sheffield Arena, 12th May Old Slow Hands was not great live, he was very self indulgent, but what more can you expect from the second best guitarist ever?

Richard Ashcroft Lancashire Country Cricket Ground, 17th June Supported by Razorlight (who I was embarrassingly so now) quite into at the time and The Feeling (who were shit at the time and now).

The Zutons Doncaster Dome, 13th November The second time I saw The Zutons and they were still only okay.

The Pogues Nottingham Arena, 14th December

Iron Maiden A Matter Of Life and Death Tour, Sheffield Arena, 18th December They played all songs from their new album, no ‘Run To The Hills’ or ‘Bring Your Daughter’ in sight. Trivium supported.


  • Babyshambles – Rock City Nottingham, 26th September I think this was my first ever standing concert, I went outside before the encore to get some fresh air and wasn’t allowed back in by the bouncers. Schoolboy error.
  • Eels – With Strings Tour, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, 11th June Maybe the most disappointed I’ve ever been after a gig, went expecting a rock set, it didn’t deliver. Luckily E made up for it at Latitude 2011, fairly sure if I saw same gig now I would weep throughout.
  • Kings Of Leon – Doncaster Dome, 18th June Before they were shit, well before they were as shit.
  • Oasis – Don’t Believe The Truth Tour, City Of Manchester Stadium, June 30th Support from Super Furry Animals, the sound system didn’t work, so it was closer to a 60,000 person singalong than an Oasis concert.
  • R.E.M. – City Ground Nottingham, 6th July It rained a lot at this gig, so much that Michael Stipe’s weird blue face paint line came off, and they had to get these huge towels on the stage. Supported by The Zutons, who were ok.
  • Stereophonics – Manchester Arena, 17th September
  • Motorhead – 30th Anniversary Tour, Manchester Apollo, 5th November The LOUDEST gig I have ever been to. Supported by In Flames. I couldn’t remember exactly which year I saw them so I text my friend, he confirmed it was 2005. He still owns and wears the t-shirt from this gig. I was wearing my poncy white Babyshambles shirt, everyone else was wearing black.
  • Paul Weller – Doncaster Dome, 15th November The Modfather was disappointing, I went as a big fan of The Jam and the tight bastard didn’t play a single song of theirs. 6 months later he was on stage at The Brits committing what I took as a personal betrayal by playing a greatest hits set. I hate the Brit Awards.
  • Ian Brown – Doncaster Dome, 1st December


The White Stripes Elephant Tour, Nottingham Arena, 23rd January The last and possibly only gig I ever saw with my Dad.

Blink 182 Nottingham Arena, 10th May They split up soon after this, probably for the best all things considered.


5ive Invincible Tour, Sheffield Arena February-May Not sure of the exact date of this gig.

Steps Steptacular Tour, Sheffield Arena, 13/14/15 May Not sure of this date either, but I definitely saw Steps at some point.


The Spice Girls NIA Birmingham, 3rd May My first gig, I think.

Wow, I think that’s everything there. I’ve no doubt that I’ve forgotten someone, but it’ll come to me later. I’ve been spoilt to death with the gigs I’ve seen and hope to continue that trend. Where you at any of the same gigs and what’s your list like? I’m exhausted after taking three hours out of my busy, busy (read Unemployed) life to try and remember all of these, but it’s well worth it. I hope you enjoyed my highly self indulgent list.

Hebburn (Episode 1)

Image for Hebburn

Finding a British sitcom (or comedy for that matter) to like which doesn’t Jack Whitehall in it is fairly difficult. That man has a very good agent. But over the past few weeks BBC2 have been putting a lot of effort into promoting Hebburn, a ‘northern’ family comedy. The trailer, unfortunately seemed to only have one joke, the fact that Hebburn sounds like Heaven, and that’s funny because “it’s grim up North”.

I was intrigued regardless, mainly because it also had Vic Reeves in it, and I am such a fanboy/sheep that I watched the series of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ that he was in, as well as the episode of one of Gordon Ramsey’s cooking shows where Ramsey kicked off at Bob Mortimer for coming to his restaurant and ordering a fried egg.

So, as the show was starting, BBC2’s voiceover man told us we were about to visit Hebburn, but it was funny because it sounds like heaven but “it’s grim up North”.  I wasn’t sure I’d last the program if they leaned too heavily on this joke, but it was actually the lazy voiceover people using the joke, the show itself, although practically obsessed with death (especially the hilarious Gran).

The main character, Jack, is a writer from the North East who now lives in Manchester with his girlfriend, Sarah. But she’s not his girlfriend, after a drunken night in Las Vegas they’re now husband and wife. The couple have come to visit his family, with the intention of breaking the news gently to them, as well as introducing Sarah to rest of the family for the first time.

Practically the first conversation we witness associates Hebburn with death,  one of Jack’s first lines is “This isn’t Newcastle, it’s Hebburn, where dreams come to die.” Anyway more death talk from Gran, it is revealed that Sarah is Jewish, cue Vic Reeves bacon sandwich being thrown in the bin and some regular cobs becoming bagels via an apple corer. It’s all very funny, quite broad comedy. Gina McKee is fantastic as Jack’s mother, and Vic Reeves (or Jim Moir as he’s credited) is a wonderfully inappropriate dad.

There’s trouble on the horizon however, Reeves’ character has a bad heart, which means that Jack is going to have to visit every weekend to help convert the house into three bedrooms. It’s seems a contrived way of keeping these characters together, but it’s dealt with sensitively and Jack’s decision to help his father is a touching moment.

It’s hard not to like something that feels so biographical, sharing a character name (Jack), home (Manchester) and occupation (writer) would probably have been enough. Never mind (nearly) universal experience of introducing a new girlfriend to your family. And the father with heart issues is something I know a little about.

The plot quickly moves on the from the awkward comedy of the house, to the awkward comedy of the pub. Which culminates in a brilliant set piece which had me crying with laughter. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a lot more talk of death.

It’s rare for a mainstream comedy to have such a morbid theme, I’m unsure how Mrs Brown’s Boys, for example, would handle the subject. I’ve seen (mercifully) few episodes of the sitcom, so I have no idea if they have covered death and how they did it.

If Hebburn can keep the high level it set with it’s first episode over a couple of series (or even one) it could easily stand next to Phoenix Nights or the Royle Family as great ‘Northern’ comedy. Keeping the show fresh might be a challenge, with many one note side characters who could quickly become stale. A bit of reading around the internet suggests that Sarah’s parents will be making an appearance at some point, which might shake things up a bit.

A very funny first episode, with some great characters that you care about instantly. You’ll cry with laughter, and I’m willing to bet that by the end of the series we’ll be crying over a main character’s death. Very cheery.