The eighteen year old me would be wondering how it was even possible to only go to one gig in a year. I’m still not sure – other than my hearing is deteriorating quite a bit (even though I’ve worn earplugs for over fifteen years at gigs) and there comes a point where it isn’t as enjoyable. Oh, and add the costs of babysitters too – it can get pricey.
So my 2019 gig ended up being Adorable at Bush Hall. Adorable were a band I was never an obsessive fan of – I like the band, I own the records, don’t get me wrong. But they weren’t my House of Love or dEUS type of obsession. BUT. My friend was in the band. A friend from my past who I knew well before the band, so I knew I had to be there.
So let’s skip back a couple of decades. I can’t remember how our paths crossed, possibly bands and fanzines and chatting and writing letters. We all wrote letters, lots of them. We all chatted on the phone a lot too. Robert was in a band, The Applicants. I know I met all of the band when they played with The Williams in Scunthorpe, and I remember us all the following day hanging out at Paul and Alan’s house. The Applicants were a fun indie band; female singer and the sort of music which fitted in with that late eighties early nineties sound.
Somewhere further down the line Robert ended up playing guitar with The Williams, and indeed by the time they got to support Primal Scream on their second album tour (just Egham, Oxford and Aldershot) the band were powerful and things seemed to be moving in a good direction. I think we may have all joked how Robert was in eleventy billion bands and how did he get the time to play in them all.
That tour was the last time I saw all of them, time meant we all moved away, the letters and phone calls and fanzines stopped and we all lost touch. That was until Facebook came along where you’re guaranteed to find most people again. We all got back in touch. We all got back to Bush Hall. Half of the Williams and that fanzine writer from York.
I only saw Adorable the once at Leeds Duchess in 1992. That was the last time I saw Robert, he thought I might hit him. I didn’t. I was pleased, delighted, full of happiness he was in a band who had been signed to a label (Creation). Everything was fine again.
But it didn’t end well for Adorable. The press gave them a hard time. They split feeling like they were a hated band, that nobody liked them. They weren’t on speaking terms.
In 2019 they got back together for a few gigs, to split up properly on their own terms. I think it worked.
So here we all are in 2019. Married, kids, still going to gigs. Alan found us in the crowd easily, Robert found us afterwards. We all grinned, reminisced and felt like it was a bit weird we all knew so much about each other thanks to our Facebook statuses.
The gig itself was great. So much energy and power, all the old songs, no new ones (of course) and so much love for the band in the room. Other people can talk about that who deserve to. For me, for my only gig this year it was a happy memory. We’re all older and if, when you’re older you get that chance to put right what didn’t go right when you’re younger, take it up. Do it. Don’t live with ‘what if’s’ and ‘should I?’ or ‘I wish I had’ regrets.
My 2019 gig going started and ended at Bush Hall in November.