My first live music gig was the four-piece Herman’s Hermits. I don’t know if my parent’s couldn’t get a babysitter or decided to widen my cultural horizons but they took me along. I can remember being thrilled looking down on four guys on a big stage! I soon moved on to making my own musical choices and wasn’t even a teenager when I went to see the band Slade play on a memorable November 17 1972 at The Victoria Hall in Hanley. This atmospheric venue, affectionately called The Vicky Hall was packed with fans and with Suzi Quatro and the amazing Thin Lizzy as the guests it was a night that hooked me into live music, a passion that continues to the present and led to a New Year’s resolution.
This resolution wasn’t in 2020. It was back in 2002 that I realised we weren’t seeing as much live music as we used to. This was understandable; a combination of having a young son and little money had got us out of the habit of going to see bands. Organising and paying a babysitter for a night out meant they didn’t come as often as they did when we were teenagers. But by 2002 our son was old enough to leave on his own and my New Years resolution was to get us back into the groove and see at least one music concert a month.
In 2002 we were living in Preston, both working in average paid jobs and we had enough spare cash to commit to this target, although seeing a band wasn’t quite as expensive as it is today. My year of 12 gigs cost us £421.60 for the two of us. These gigs varied from free pub bands to a day at a festival. The music varied from jazz and folk to rock music, We were at Leeds Festival to see Muse but this was also the first time I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and became a fan. 2002 was also a memorable year as I saw the Indigo Girls twice, once in Manchester and once, unforgettably, in the open air in Berkeley California with my lovely friend who had moved to that area.
The cost of concerts these days varies wildly. A day ticket for Leeds Festival has pretty much doubled since 2002 but I saw the Indigo Girls again in 2018 and paid just £25. I have no doubt you would pay more than £25 to see Bob Dylan today and tickets to see Kate Rusby these days hover around £30. The Manic Street Preachers are one of the best live bands I have seen [2002 was my first experience & I’ve seen them a further four times] and this summer they are playing in the stunning Halifax Peace Hall for £45.
We still get to as many live gigs as we can but have slipped out of the habit of going so often while we have concentrated on frugality. Perhaps one year I will want to dust off this resolution and repeat it.
My Year of Music
|Indigo Girls [American folk rock]||31/01/2002||Manchester University Students Union||£14.00|
|The Sue Parish Band [jazz]||01/02/2002||The John O’Gaunt, Lancaster||£0.00|
|The Hamsters [blues rock / parodies]||09/03/2002||The Platform, Morecambe||£8.50|
|Joanne Shaw Taylor Band [blues rock]||26/04/2002||The Kite Club, Blackpool||£6.00|
|Bob Dylan||09/05/2002||Manchester Arena||£25.00|
|Kate Rusby [folk]||07/06/2002||Accrington Town Hall||£12.00|
|Indigo Girls[American folk rock]||13/07/2002||Greek Theatre, Berkeley||£15.00|
|Leeds Festival [rock music] – The Libertines, Midtown, Otis Lee Crenshaw, The Hives, Ben Kweller, Sum 41, Ash, Muse, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club||25/08/2002||Temple Newsam, Leeds||£40.00 (one day)|
|Oasis [rock]||15/09/2002||Lancashire County Cricket Ground, Manchester||£28.50|
|Robert Plant [rock]||20/10/2002||Apollo, Manchester||£20.00|
|John Mayall & Peter Green [blues]||04/11/2002||Preston Guild Hall||£19.50|
|Manic Street Preachers [rock]||06/12/2002||Manchester Arena||£22.30|