Everyone remembers fondly their favourite live music events, and I am no exception. I’ve also seen the likes of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Supertramp and many more fine acts live. Here are a few that stick in my mind:
Hugh Masakela/George Duke-Stanley Clarke Project
If I tell you that the legendary South African trumpet player Hugh Masekela and his band Kalahari were the support act for this gig, you’ll get a measure of the kind of gig this was. It was sometime in the early 80s at the Apollo in Manchester. Masekela was warming up for the Stanley Clarke/George Duke band, with Philip Bailey (who had recently been no 1 with Phil Collins with Easy Lover) as guest vocalist. Between this array of musical talent a sumptuous menu was served up, to the point where I was full and could barely take any more.
Robert Cray Band
Also appearing at the Apollo, this time in the early 90s, was blues legend Robert Cray. He dispensed with the horns and appeared with his standard band – no bad thing. The set was magical, packed with glorious guitar licks – notably the slow blues numbers, where I had a shiver running down my spine. He finished with two stunning and sublime encores: I Was Warned and Our Last Time. I went home with a beaming smile on my face, in total awe.
Iggy & the Stooges
I’ve written before about the Hop Farm in Kent, 2011. There were many great acts playing, but the headliner was Morrissey – and he came on stage saying “How the hell do you follow Iggy and the Stooges?” Iggy Pop at 64 was simply amazing – and he’s still at it, two years on. Apart from boundless energy that saw him running from one end of the stage to the other without needing to stop for a breather in an hour-long set, the man is sheer stage charisma personified. He might have performed a greatest his collection, but it was the man as much as the music – he was truly electric, and still attired in his customary pose minus shirt and displaying his sinewy torso – girls in the audience were throwing off their tops too! But you couldn’t take your eyes off Iggy – Jagger eat your heart out!
I saw the Pogues at Greenwich at the end of a stupendous July 2011. Having already written a blog about them, linked above, I won’t repeat it – but believe me when I say that evening lives long in my memory as a truly happy time!
I’ve seen Forcione about 12 or 13 times now. He’s never less than great value, being a virtuoso guitarist and a great showman in equal measure, and he’s a generous performer in that he will always jam with other artists. One such gig was at the Jazz Café in Camden. He came on and did a few solo numbers, then invited on one collaborator, then another, and before I knew it the time was 1am and getting home was nigh on impossible – I was utterly spellbound! Forcione is a genius and a joy to watch, every time a winner.
I could go on, but these will do for now. What were YOUR favourite gigs?