Londongigger – My Top 15 Most Manic concerts ever

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Pop, Popular Music, Rock Music, Top lists
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Londongigger’s  Top 15 Most Manic concerts ever

This post resulted from my exhaustion from the Bad Manners gig I attended last night. Practically crawling out of this gig, I started to recall other similar ones that had been amazing but physically and mentally intense. To American readers viewing this post, I can only say it’s very British orientated. There may some British bands you have never heard of. I think there’s a natural pent-up rebelliousness and latent aggression in the Brits that finds its expression and outlet in music. I am not saying that American artists and bands don’t have a degree of that as well (Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop are two good examples) but it seems to be more prevalent in the UK. So here are 15 of the most frenetic, energetic or just downright mad concerts I have experienced. 

1. Sex Pistols, Brixton Academy, Monday 12th November 2007

 With Johnny Rotten pacing up and down the stage like a demon king, manically staring down at the audience, at times it was more like Theatrical in the UK. I was standing within 30 feet from the front of the stage at Brixton surrounding by young nouveau punks with their classic spiky hair and old former punks reliving their youth. (Believe it or not there were a few families mixed in there as well). The result was an insane giant mosh and pogo pit where everyone bounced off each other. This 50 year old guy put his arm round my shoulder and we started pogo-ing like mad. “Holidays in the Sun” and “Anarchy in the UK” were especially intense. It’s the only concert I’ve ever come out of black and blue and every muscle in my body aching in spite of the drinks but the post concert high was one of the most amazing feelings ever. I even bought and wore a “Never mind the B**llocks tee-shirt after and wore it  prominently displayed on the tube almost as a badge of honour.

2) Madness, Madstock Event, Finsbury Park, Sunday 9th August 1992 (yes 1992 – you did read right, yes I am that old)

 Madness are institution in the UK and have a permanent place in the hearts of many music lovers. They had around 20 Top 20 hits in the UK but only one – “Our House” in the US  However, they had split up in 1986 and nobody seriously thought they would get back together. Of course, nowadays they perform virtually every year but back in 1992 they had been split up for 6 years. So, to the delight and surprise of their many fans they announced two reunions concert in north London’s Finsbury Park. The tickets proved to be some of the bestselling of that year. On the bill there was also Morrissey (who on the Sunday cancelled) and Ian Drury and the Blockhead amongst others. So, jampacked in with 30,000 others, this was one big bounce-along for 2 hours. There was not much else you could as the crowd was so tightly packed. It’s also to this day the only concert I’ve been to where everyone knew all the words to all the songs and sang their hearts out to all of them. There were some comic and dangerous moments as well. A guy who decided to be clever and climb up a tree to get a better view got pelted with fruit. Trouble was we were near the tree, so at one point we trying to avoid flying oranges, apples and a grapefruit. Have you ever been hit by a hurled orange. Let me tell you it hurts. Some of the people towards the front also experienced near crushing

Nonetheless, the concert was great and in fact, is also in my top five of all-time.

3         Bad Manners, Islington Assembly Room, Saturday 18th February 2012

 What can I say Bad Manners are the reason I’m writing this post. Just saw them yesterday (February 18th 2012). This ska band from north London with their larger than life irreverent frontman Buster Bloodvessel kept up a frenetic pace as did the crowd. Mosh pits,wild dancing from men and women of a certain, beer showers and the pace never let up. The gig finished with a massive knees-up to Bad Manners’ version of the Can Can.  Rarely have I felt so exhausted after a gig. I was on my knees practically going out of the venue but a fantastic gig anyway.

 4         Basement Jaxx, Wireless Festival, Sunday 4th July 2009

Strangely  this is the only Dance Act to make my list, on a nice summer’s evening In Hyde Park, me, my brother-in law, my niece and her boyfriend got our funk for an hour and a half non-stop. We were towards the back of the 30,000  or so crowd but it didn’t matter. We had the space to dance but my-oh-my, how we got down to the non-stop party sound track of this excellent band. We bounced, we hopped, we freaked, we let it all out. Undoubtedly, this was one of my best ever festival gigs.

5         The Specials, Brixton Academy, June 8th 2009

There’s a line in a Peter Gabriel song which goes “If looks could kill they probably will”. Well, being at a Specials gig, is more a case of “If sweat could thrill, it probably will”. To classic social British ska songs like “Too much too young”, “Ghost Town” and “A message to you Rudy”, Brixton was like a seething mass of former British rude boys. The temperature went up, it was like an oven in the auditorium and even though, me and my friend, were out of the main crowd, raised up on the side, there were still people squashed against dancing as were we. Came out of this one, completely dripping in sweat as did everyone we saw going out. Women’s hair-dos had wilted under the heat and sweat and mascara was running. Blokes en masse had sweat stains on the tee-shirts. Still a great gig for the ska nostalgics.

 6         Kaiser Chiefs, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Sunday 3rd March 2007

 With songs titles likes “The Angry Mob” and “I predict a riot”, the Frontman Ricky Wilson almost caused one by leaping off the stage into the crowd but the crowd buckled under the force and he fell. However, he recovered to go on and the band and crowd movement literally shock the foundations of Shepherd’s Bush Empire theatre. I was in the front row on Level 1 with my wife and as we stood we could feel the balcony moving back and forth underneath us. We had never experienced this before and never have since.

 7         The Rakes, Koko, April 29th 2009

This has to be the most frenetic gig I have experienced. These indie heavyweight performed almost 24 songs in just one hour hardly pausing for breath. The mosh pits were violent and full of mad teenagers.

 8         Franz Ferdinand, Brixton Academy, Saturday 24th October 2009

 The excellent music aside, “Take Me Out”, “No You Girls” etc; this was the gig for you if you liked late nights (the gig started at a quarter to midnight), people pushing past you, treading on your feet and beer showers. One beer shower was particularly interesting as it was more like a beer bomb. I was hit full on the back of the head by a virtually full plastic glass of beer, which bounced off me and splattered about 10 people around me. That said, all this was worth it to see Franz Ferdinand sublime techno-end to the concert with the track “Lucid Dreams” , that unexpectedly transformed from an Indie to techno section, the latter of which lasted nearly 10 minutes and completed  bemused all those diehard Franz Ferdinand fans.

 9         Lacuna Coil, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, February 5th 2010

I don’t normally headbang. However, I got a bit carried away that evening and ended up hanging off the Level 1 side balcony pumping my fist, singing the song and headbanging the night away to the gothic metal tunes. Gig full of drama and emotional angst and the mosh pit down below was violent.

10     Juliette Lewis, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Friday 23rd October 2009

This one I’ll never forget, the crowd were already jigging up and down in a frenzy but then Juliet Lewis, a Hollywood star and right-on indie starlet gets off the stage and plunges into the crowd at Shepherd’s Bush and is singing surrounded by people, me being one of them. What a moment and yes, I’m not ashamed to say it, my head was turned a bit.

 11     Micheal Franti and Spearhead, Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, Saturday 2nd July 2011

Thirty minutes of festival mosh pit madness that I experienced at last year’s Wireless festival. I had listened to Michael Franti’s music before on CD and had been expecting some gentle laid back danceable ballads so I put myself at the front but instead it was fast and furious and everyone around turned the show into a frenetic posh pit. Was bump, bruised and battered – not on the scale of the Sex Pistols, of course. And then, of course the crowd was joined by Michael Franti himself with guitar who sang, jumper hopped and skipped his way around the tent whipping the crowd into a frenzy as his went.

12     Super Furry Animals, Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, Sunday 25th June 2006

I did not see the whole of this as I was stuck outside the festival tent waiting to get in but I’ll always remember jumping up and down in a euphoric crowd for about 10 minutes repeatedly singing the chorus of “They don’t give a f**k about anybody else.

13     Primal Scream, Hyde Park Calling Festival, Hyde Park, Thursday 6th July 2006

 What  can I say? Primal Scream were awesome. Once again a euphoric festival crowd were absolutely high on tunes like the stomping “Country Girl”, the mellow “Come Together” and “Loaded “and quite a few were just loaded – period. Yes the weed was flying around big time. The crowd just danced hippy early 90’s style  – many high as a kite.

 14     Fischerspooner, Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, Friday 24th June 2005

 Fischerspooner love performance art and dressing. In the gig this american band was dressed up in old fashioned baseball uniforms made up with black around the eye on one side and white on the other. Later at another gig of theirs, I saw in that same year, the lead singer – Casey Spooner dressed up as a Roman Emperor and had dancers around him dressed as vestal virgins. This gig was held in a small tent and it was bursting at the seams. The people inside completely let loose to the mellow electro-tunes of “Just Let Go” and “A Kick in the Teeth”.

 15     The Whip, Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, Saturday 5th July 2008

 Another festival gig and another in a tent. In fact it was the first of the day at 2:30pm on a hot summer’s afternoon and I did not expect much. I could not have been more surprised and more wrong when this Electro indie-outfit produced one of the gigs of the festival. Fast-paced, frenetic electro with relentless danceable drum beats. The audience, mainly made up of teenagers went crazy for it. Spontaneous mosh pit sprung up all around and then disapated throughout the show. Crowdsurfacing was de-rigueur. It may have only been the first gig of the day but my energy was already spent and I had to spend the next hour chilling out in the grass recovering.

  1. Rafa says:

    !Un blog de la puta madre!……siga yendo.
    Yo tambien he visto algunos de estos gruops en vivo – eran estupendos.
    Hasta manana hombre.

  2. fuzzywuzzy says:

    Very jealous of your Top 5!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s