Archive for the ‘2002’ Category



I came to the Smiths late.

I got the first album second hand about the time that I was doing my GCSEs, and I followed that with Louder than Bombs.

I never owned any others on vinyl, which now seems a little embarrassing.

I lent that first album to my best friend, and he fell very heavily for them. He was a Meat is Murder guy. He also bought all the solo albums,

The two of us went to this show together, and it was honestly thrilling.

You could feel the fanaticism in the audience.

Libertines supported. Bit of a shambles, frankly, but still… Morrissey….

There was a brilliant First of the Gang to Die, which I don’t think was released at the time.

There was Suedehead, and Sunday.

There was a Light that Never Went Out.

High: Hand in Glove

Drinking: Obviously not too much, because the memories are strong.

Thinking: If a double decker bus….

Setlist on


Strokes Cambridge


By this stage, I’m in full proselytisation mode about this band.

After seeing them a couple of times on the last tour, I’ve bought four tickets for Cambridge and convinced a female friend to drive four of us up to see this show.

So, there we are in her mother’s yellow Mini.

We’re joined by the guy who used to sing in my band (the Strokes aren’t really his thing, but he knows he ought to), and one of the friends I’d seen them with in Oxford last year.

He’s actually reviewing the show for a website that his company at the time runs.

The next week he’ll put out a review that, like everything else written about this band at this time, is ecstatic.

(He won’t say that after the show he wanders off far too drunk trying to find the band themselves and delays our return to London).

We all have dinner together in a very un-rock and roll Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill and then we’re in.

(It’s amazing the details that stay with you).

And the show is amazing. When my friend’s review is written he nails the iconography perfectly.

That simple drum kit, with that logo – the same as on my t-shirt – that looks so close to the Top of the Pops logo of our youth.

It’s fun, it feels young and it’s all a short euphoric burst.

They just don’t have the material for it to be longer, and this is a Good Thing. They play a couple unreleased new ones, but we all know why we’re here.

Drinking: not to excess, but just with excitement.

Thinking: I actually wish all gigs were shorter. And this exciting.

Foo Fighters


It was the One by One tour, and they opened with a young looking Dave Grohl smashing out All My Life as their banner unfurled behind him.

Gigs on too much cocaine were strange for me.

I’d feel dislocated, unsure what I should be feeling. Unsure of the expression on my face.

Drinking perversely slowing down due to a lack of focus.

And in this case, with an old school-friend and an old band mate (the only time I think the two of them ever met), the problem was children.

We were sitting up on the side and there was a mother with two boys who must have been around 12 or 13.

She was visibly pained every time that Dave swore. More so I think that the kids squeamed with delight.

At times it felt as if the show was entirely geared to thrilling young teens with the F word, with an added frisson of shocking any parents in attendance.

I think there were a lot of parents. I think the band were on the way to being proper pop stars, though they still played the early thrashy ones like This is a Call.

I didn’t live that far from Wembley in a cab, and we’d started getting far too high at mine.

I’d recently got a new acoustic guitar.

I felt that this was the year that I’d finally learned some actual guitar chops – after nearly 15 years of playing, including three in a band.

I remember making the guys sit through my party piece at the time, America by Simon & Garfunkel.

Then a cab journey feeling tense and constrained by the blow.

And then the band and horrified mum.

I think I ruined the show for myself.

High: I want to say Everlong, but all I really remember other than a mildly (barely booze-subdued) stress and sense of panic was All My Life.

Drinking: Lots, but slowly – gulp at a time.

Thinking: I’m going to have trouble sleeping tonight (this was before I discovered Valium).

Setlist on

Why: I’d seen them earlier in the year (ticket to be posted if I find it) and had kind of messed up that show by overdoing things. That said, the memory was of a fantastically cool stage presence and all those killer, moody first album tunes. Again, another band who somehow seemed to segue from the Strokes but with a completely different vibe. Still no idea what “The Subway is a Porno” means, but christ they were cool.

High: That would have been the porno subway…

Drinking: Not nearly as much as usual – no one wanted to go to the bar.

Thinking: Carlos, you’re either a total dick or one of the coolest guys on the planet right now.

Gig on Songkick 

Setlist on 

Why: When they first appeared, BRMC were a big deal. They were somehow on that same cool young American guitar band tip as the Strokes but far darker, far louder and had a Jesus & Mary Chain vibe about them. Much as I hated the Forum (then and now) I had to go, and I’d asked along the guitar playing accountant I was occasionally dating at the time.

High: I’d like to say it was Red Eyes & Tears, my favourite from that first album, (the only album that really counted until the acoustic Howl years later), but obviously it was Whatever Happened to my Rock & Roll – screamed out from behind a blaze of dry ice and white light at chest thumping volume.

Drinking: Those were the Stella years for me, but it would have been whatever attempt at premium lager the venue could handle.

Thinking: You’re so cool. I’m so drunk. Please take me home.

Gig on Songkick 

Why: I quite liked a couple of singles by the Music, and when a senior colleague at work at the time asked if I’d go with him I just said yes – even though I knew the guy didn’t touch alcohol and wasn’t what many gig goers would think of as cool.

High: Absolutely none. Queues for the bar and I walked out during the Coral’s set. Sure, they had some good tunes but I didn’t like the way they looked. Someone I dated from time to time fancied the singer as well, so seeing him in the flesh I decided he was a wanker and left.

Drinking: Curtailed and continued at home with the 4-pack of Stella that constituted my baseline home alone alcohol quota from 2000-2004.

Thinking: I’m going home.

Gig on Songkick