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27/05/2017
BBC Radio Ulster

Rigsy Reminisces: Gig Antics of Old

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On Monday, we had listeners get in touch to name the Irish act they'd most like to see make a comeback in 2014. The likes of Oppenheimer, Six Star Hotel, Tracer AMC and Torgas Valley Reds were mentioned, while I bigged up Watercress and The Debonaires. It was a fun discussion and it got me thinking of an incident from 18 years ago.

I've only ever been thrown out of a gig once, and it was one of the first I'd ever attended. Maysfield Leisure Centre (honestly, it was a gig venue, The Stone Roses played there at one point), July 2nd, 1996. We got down early to catch Tunic - I was a massive fan of their sparkle-pop hit 'Wizzard'.

Next up was Backwater (who sort of morphed into the aforementioned Torgas Valley Reds). I'll always remember their set for the moment singer Barry Peak introduced 'Supercool' (side note - my sister features on the single's artwork). I assumed everyone would whoop their approval - but no one did, except me. Which was pretty embarrassing. This was before I realized a lot of people weren't as geeky about 'local music' as I was or indeed obsessing about Mike Edgar's (ATL Presenter) tastes and every song broadcast on Across the Line.

Then came headliners Ash. Even a gig going novice like myself knew the sound that night absolutely sucked. But it was so chaotic down the front, so beautifully sweaty - I doubt I cared at all. During the encore ('Kung Fu', I assume) I crowed surfed for the third time (not that ATL encourages such behaviour of course) - receiving a final strike and getting booted out. But the gig was over and I didn't care as I waited for my friends out front, bruised, and baptised.

I miss those days, attending gigs and acting the super-fan, without a care in the world. The next time I go see a local act (with things so quiet at the moment, it'll probably be for Independent Venue Week at the end of the month) I almost certainly won't do anything that warrants me being kicked out.

If I'm honest, that sort of makes me sad.

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