The All-New ‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge – Week 2

He's seen the I&Os - have you?

Well, here we are again for what might be called Weekly Song Challenge – Week 2 (unless it’s called Challenge 32…can’t decide) and, as you may imagine, I’ve got my entry picked out so here we go.

The format is the same as for the Facebook 30Qs: you choose one song in response to each theme and post it with an appropriate justification and ideally a link. Based on discussions so far, here are the guidelines for how we can make this work as a weekly thing – they are of course open to tweaks and adaptations as we go along:

A new challenge will appear every Tuesday – 10pm became the traditional time for the 30Qs but I’m sure this will be more flexible as stewardship changes hands each week

We take it in turns to set the challenge – whoever wants to set next week’s challenge, make yourself known over the course of the thread. If no-one has volunteered by, say, Friday, the job defaults to whoever posted first. We’re OK for next week – on Tuesday 17th mein host will be Abahachi.

No artist can be duplicated in one week – whoever posts firsts gets to keep their choice. No gratuitous selections of Tom Petty or The Grateful Dead just to piss tfd or Chris off as that would be mean. [But genuine honest selections of TP will be fine with me – tfd.]

However, unlike in the 30Qs, song choices can be repeated in subsequent weeks (though we might want to impose a one-week prohibition following selection – [Edit: of songs, not bands] – as with artists making the RR Top 10) because it’s doubtful anyone’s going to want to keep track of everyone’s choices indefinitely.

Challenge questions don’t have to be as pithily worded as the 30Qs – with so many of the big things in life covered last month, we’re inevitably going to be peeping into the cracks so we can probably afford to be more precise and/or convoluted in our questioning than would have been appropriate for the Facebook masses.

I’ve not set it up so don’t look at me but we can get together a Dropbox folder of choice cuts each week. This worked well with bethnoir’s choice last week – shall we leave it that people put songs in the box on request?

Feel free to add to and alter those rules. Now here’s my decidedly unpithily-worded challenge:

A song by an artist/band you’ve never seen live but wish you could (or wish you had, if they’ve packed it in for any reason, eg death)…

277 thoughts on “The All-New ‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge – Week 2

  1. My first thought was Buddy Holly and then I realised I saw him on “Sunday Night At The London Palladium” so thought it may not count.
    Then I remembered Esquerita, who was the man that taught Little Richard the piano. His real name was Eskew Reeder and he was big around New Orleans and, a massive name in France, although as far as I know, he never visited.
    He belonged to the school of Rock and Roll Loonies.

    Esquerita “Rockin’ The Joint”

  2. Breakdown by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    This song is about the breakdown of a relationship, but it’s also about the mental breakdown of the bloke concerned, who can’t accept it’s all over. On stage TP acts out the part so you can see the poor chap disintegrating in front of you as he repeatedly sings “it’s all right…” But it clearly isn’t.

    TP will then shout out to the audience “Is it all right?” and they conventionally shout back “Yes!” because they think he means: are you enjoying the show and am I the coolest person on the planet? Which of course they are, and he is.

    But one day, when I finally get to see the band live, which inevitably I will because if you wish hard enough for something you always get it [What, are you twelve? – Ed.], I will be at the front of course and when he says that I will shout out “No!” and see what happens.

    This version with added crêpes suzettes

    • By my count I’ve seen TP 6 times & he’s not only done this every time he’s torn up the place with it every time. Mrs. Fintan goes into another world when he plays this & damn it’s all so fun. No worries Miss Demon, TP ‘s saving a special night just for you.

      • I think it’s a great example of the way a live performance can add layers of meaning to a song.

        Hope you’re right, Fintan…

  3. Soon after I moved to Norwich – a couple of mates came up to visit – first time we’d seen each other for months – we found a lovely pub opposite the art centre and chatted and chatted – I then mentioned Brakes were playing across the road in the converted church – but we continued to chat and chat – and then it was too late.

    I copied some Cds by Brakes (I mean lent them) for my friends to take home. They both now love the band so much, they haven’t forgiven me for not insisting we went in.

    Friends huh – I wish we’d seen the band too – they haven’t returned here.. and I’ve know my friends 22 years now – their conversation wasn’t that interesting. (I reckon they’d been eyeing up some boys at the bar anyway – and it wasn’t my sparkling conversation they wanted to stay there for)

    Brakes – Crush on You

    • Whoa, Shane – is the rest of the album that good? Or did you just pick the one good track and all the rest are rubbish?

      • They have produced 3 albums, consistently good, as long as it’s dumb, fun, rock and roll that makes you happy, that you are after.. I love them.

        They know what record buying means too – on give blood they have a song called ‘Comma Comma Comma Full Stop’ that’s the whole song (seven seconds long) a brilliant shout when playing the vinyl but wouldn’t you be pissed if that was a download credit!

        the 7″ singles have similar throw away tracks – I love them for it and they make my effort of tracking stuff down special.

      • because you didn’t find RR before! – they were one of my staples for nominating and often get into my ‘Spill playlists.

        this is the best, most beautiful song about breakups, mixed with compilation tape bloody perfect is that?

        I would have nominated /crowbarred/shoehorned it for Divorce..

        “they pain of being together, is more than being apart”

        …is one of the most poignant lines I know.
        Brakes – No Return

      • Brakes are one I only know because of Shane too.
        Hey Hey is a staple on both my AND DarceysSis’ mp3 players.

      • SpottedRichard – hope my flippant remark didn’t come across wrong.. I often open mouth and let whatever spur out.
        ‘No return’ is my top tune from them.. often you have to search for BrakesBrakesBrakes unless you want to get them confused with an america band.

        The Beauty of RR and ‘spill is the distilling of so much music into easier chunks, I find… and you seam to be fitting in splendidly.

        DsD – glad you both enjoy – I’m going to find so much pleasure in those generational crossover tracks, with my 2 boys, as I do with the songs I playlist for my Dad still. (although he hasn’t forgiven me for putting ‘Song To Delia Smith’ by Aidan Smith on his birthday mix yet – gives him unpleasant mental images on match days)

    • Love the Brakes. Have been fortunate to catch them live in a small venue. If I can get to nom “Heard about your band” sometime I’ll be delighted. Not got their 3rd yet though! I like this clip that captures the live experience (hope ok to post it).

      • Sure is, vanwolf – hi, and post away! Don’t forget to give us your own choice though.

      • cheers for posting vanwolf – great clip.

        I loved the Touchdown album, just as much as the first two – for differing reasons.
        Glad to have people along for the ride.. I imagined my personal missing a live band wouldn’t connect with anyone, as this question is designed for the BIG HITTERS really.. thanks for joining in.

        I would dropbox some Brakes for people – but haven’t converted most of the vinyl – they’re that kind of loud turntable band for me.

        (obviously, if I did send some to DsD I must have copied some somewhere.. my filing systems aren’t very helpful!)

      • this question is designed for the BIG HITTERS really..

        No it isn’t. It’s for whatever people want to put in. I thought your story was great, Shane.

      • TFd – I only mean in a sense that the big hitters are going to pop into your head pretty speedily – I’m thinking ‘Leonard Cohen’ my songwriting hero I’ve never seen live – that would be my big hitter.

        and by the way – I love it when I find a track you enjoy – I wouldn’t have thought it with ‘Crush on you’ but re-listening there is plenty of cross over appeal with things you love.. hinted in their vocals and playing style.

      • I don’t like any of the other 3 here though – very disappointed!

        (With myself, I mean – not with the band.)

      • Oh well, found one track you liked – there’s no need to be disappointed –
        . must remember I have a stupid o’clock start in the morning… been sleepy all day after reading through these last night – great question – and so many interesting off shoots to think about.

      • It’s worked out really well, hasn’t it? Everyone’s now talking about great gigs they’ve seen and being happy about it.

      • certainly has worked out well.. and I never doubted it would – (designed for big hitters was badly worded – sorry bout that)

        I know first gigs question has been asked here – but favourite/ most disappointing/ and unexpectedly brilliant are what’s been going around my mind – as well as thinking about others that I missed but would like to of attended.

        I’ve crewed for bands, some I wanted to and some I didn’t (michael Ball will live forever as an unpleasant experience – right up there with the Gallagers) but seeing The Sugarcubes and Pixies first ever uk gigs are right up there with other peoples Sex Pistols/ Dylan/ Stones.

        I was right at the front when Pulp took over from Stone Roses at Glastonbury and blew the place away too.. there are so many more enjoyable experiences – you have made my last two days at work a veritable pleasure (well the work was crap – but my mind is in a very happy place)

        great spark – great memories.

      • Not sure you did send me anything directly, Shane. I think Hey Hey was Dropped in RR Handclaps week, or may be even in Hey-Hey-Na-Na week . . . but memory ain’t what it was . . .

      • I was right at the front when Pulp took over from Stone Roses at Glastonbury and blew the place away too..

        shane – I was a few dozen rows behind you. Ironic, that I answered the Stone Roses for this question – I hadn’t even thought about missing the 1995 version at Glastonbury – wouldn’t consider swapping that Pulp set for anything though.

  4. Good question, tfd. Now, this is a question for which the Grateful Dead would have been a credible and not gratuitous answer. But I’m actually going with the first name that came into my head – I love this guy on record but I’ve always read that he was something else live. It could be any great act from all those unrestrained soul revues from the 60s but the Duke of Earl wins it by a neck –

    Gene Chandler – What Now?

    • May that’s just groovy. One of the things I missed was the early mid 60s soul revues ’cause they never stopped in Reno. No audience. Closest we had were Sonny Charles & the Checkmates LTD ’cause they had a regular gig at one of the casinos. Had to listen from the Coffee Shop (underage) so the visual was mostly lacking. This was right in my wheelhouse.

    • Ah well, May, you know what they used to say: There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. Trouble is, you never knew whether it would be brilliant or not. The Grateful Dead Movie is a fair impression of what they were like in the mid-seventies. I think.

  5. I don’t get to see many gigs at the moment, due to childcare and other constraints, but in an ideal world, I’d love to have been able to see Tyrannosaurus Rex live. I know Marc Bolan moved on from the whimsical bongo folk scene fairly quickly, but it’s still my favourite era of his output.

    perhaps and acquired taste, but I believe they meant it at the time.

  6. I wasn’t of an age to appreciate what I was missing during the late 60s and early 70s. So many great performers and such fabulous mind-altering music.

    This is the British Blues at its best.

    • Great clip Richard. Can say I would have liked to seen them except I did after the witch joined so there’s that. But it’s the English Rose era I would have really liked or Then Play On. Love this.

    • Have y’all seen the documentary Peter Green: Man Of The World? They show it on BBC4 from time to time.

      • No Ma’am. I hardly ever watch tv If anyone sees that it’s on, please feel free to give me a nudge!

      • You’ll need a hanky for the end bit, when he says he knows he used to be famous but he can’t remember what for.

      • The urban legend is that he went on a one way acid trip. Is he actually schizophrenic?

        Another talent (apart from Syd) that has spent most of his life in psychiatric care is Stan Campbell who was with the Special AKA for a while and was the voice on Free Nelson Mandela. Still in a hospital somewhere near Brum, apparently.


      • These labels are not necessarily very precise but PG has been diagnosed with and received treatment for schizophrenia, yes.

        I offer a what’s-on-BBC4-tonight service every Friday on RR; don’t know whether it’s appreciated though as no-one’s been round for the margaritas yet.

    • I forgot to put that this is Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green era) singing My Baby Sweet live.

      (If you don’t like the song, check out the moves of the chick in the silver dress.)

      • SpottedRcihard!!! That is not a silver dress….it is a work of art!!!

        I am almost sure it is a Paco Rabanne Metal chain-linked armor-plated mini dress, but that one has unusual split long sleeves which would make it almost priceless!!!

        There is a shoulder strap style one in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art…. if I am right that would be amazing!!!

        That would put the date of this video at about 1967????

        The song is great also!!!!!

  7. Just from THIS PHOTO I guess it was a great gig, and it looks like they were playing the bass break in THIS SONG. I’d have to have been braver than I was aged 16 to get across London to the gig, or to have had some friends who were more into disco than I…

  8. Well, I am to Roy Harper what TFD is to Tom Petty, so it has to be him. I have bought a ticket on several occasions but the show has always been cancelled – now he plays a lot in Ireland or anywhere where I can’t manage to get to … or find a baby-sitter … so I guess it’s just going to be one of those un-requited things. I did see Nick Harper (his son) – I think I was pregnant at the time, so it was probably the last gig I’ve ever been to!!

    Anyway enough burbling, here’s Roy:

    • oh, I feel kind of guilty now, I’ve seen Roy loads of times, in a variety of venues. He’s fun but sometimes a rather grumpy live artist, he doesn’t like hecklers, even if they’re just being silly, but has made me cry on numerous occasions. I hope you get to see him, buy the ticket to Ireland and go!

    • “HEADS UP… A major London show for Roy’s 70th celebration is being planned for the Autumn, 2011. Date and venue to be confirmed soon…”
      11:33 16 Mar

      • cool, I saw him at the 60th birthday one at the Royal Festival Hall, he started with Commune and the strings were magnificent, let’s meet up for the 70th one!

    • The best Roy Harper gig I ever went to was the Valentine’s Day one at the Rainbow, when he previewed the Valentine album. He had Jimmy Page on guitar, Ronnie Lane on bass and Keith Moon on drums backing him for the electric numbers.

      An amazing night.

      • Valentine is my favourite album, I’d have loved to have been at that one Carole. He did show us his bits at a gig in Colchester, but on reflection I’d rather have seen Jimmy Page.

      • I overlistened Stormcock, had it on all the time along with Liege and Lief by Fairport, know it too well now. Seriously though, I’ve seen Roy since the 60th birthday gig and he’s well worth seeing, looks like a white haired sage these days, bring the children with you, we’ll have a creche!

      • Might take you up on the creche idea, this seems to be a good year for major life changes! Hope it’s good, anyway – there’s only one way to find out.

  9. Predictable answer

    The Clash – Complete Control

    I did see Strummer 3 times and one particular gig and saw him do some fine versions of London Calling, White Man, Straight To Hell etc, but he didn’t do this.
    A mate at school did ask me if I wanted to go with him to see The Clash when we were at school – I declined because a few months before he’d told me lurid tales of violence at Clash gigs (people getting forcefed broken glass apparently). It was only the Cut The Crap line-up anyway.
    I’ve gradually ticked off a lot of the others over the years what with the steady stream of reunions over the last few years. Still haven’t seen Wire. And the Virgin Prunes reformed recently but only to play Bono’s birthday party, and my invite never turned up.
    I guess a Clash reunion in some form may still happen with a stand-in, but that might be a step too far.

      • Sorry to rub your noses in it but I did see the Clash on one of those Lyceum nights in 1978. I won’t ever forget it. They are the 2nd best band I ever saw live.

      • @fredflinstone – well I prefer that to the teacher when I was at school who mentioned in an offhand sort of way that she’d seen The Clash in 77 and thoufh they were awful!
        Obvious question – who were the best band?

      • That’s opening up almost a sub-category of individual gigs we wish we’d been at, webby. Or gigs we were at that were so legendary there’s as many people claiming they went to it as were actually there (not doubting your veracity for one second, goes without saying) – I sort of feel like I remember it and I didn’t set foot in Liverpool for another 8 years!

      • We already have a sub-category of gigs we had tickets for but still missed – Fintan and DsD so far; anyone else?

        Plus a much-appreciated one of people including TP song-titles in their responses – Carole and (nearly) webcorewebcore, thank you.

      • @treefrogdemon – I have history of missing the Mission. To be honest they’re not my favourite band in the first place, but I had tickets to see the with a boyfriend in 1988. He dumped me the day before, so I gave that ticket away. I had a ticket for them a few years ago and got shingles, too poorly to go. Bravely, I now have a ticket to see them in London in October (because the Fields of the Nephilim are playing with them, I may leave before they come on), I really hope the curse of the Mish ticket doesn’t strike again!

      • MAY1366 – I was 24, My younger brother, 18, was close friends with Pete Wiley of the Wah! franchise. Pete was/is a real nice chap. He was close friends with Mick Jones, who at some point gave Pete a Les Paul. Pete always treated me like his best mate cos of his friendship with my brother; but I wasn’t, of course, he just had the gift of making you feel that way. Anyway, he’d told my brother not to miss The Clash’s Eric’s gig; brother then told me. I went to a previous gig and became a member, at this stage you couldn’t get in without a membership card, and then went on the night with the bro, who introduced me to all of the musicians in the burgeoning Liverpool scene. Most were real friendly; some stayed friends for a while. I was in a band at the time, though I was never a punk, too old at 24, and never played on that circuit, though I would have liked to.

      • Epoch-making stuff, Mr Webcore. That was of course the night, so legend has it, that Pete, Ian MacCulloch and Julian Cope pogoed into one another’s paths for the first time, went on to form The Crucial Three and then some other bands that actually played and recorded anything.

        Don’t really know Wylie but he does seem a good lad and, yeah, I’d have to say that the scene spawned by Eric’s and indeed that night was a huge part of what made me think of this place as home.

    • I think I was at that one which was a Sid Vicious benefit.

      For me it was The Rainbow in Dec ’77 on the Complete Control tour, I was 15 and it was the first time going into London with school friends to see a gig. I was apprehensive because of the riot when they played the same venue earlier that year, which was compounded by the heaviest dub music played before each band. Then a sprinted announcement & BAM! straight into Complete Control, It was my Damascene moment – fucking brilliant!!!

    • 1st saw The Clash on the White Riot tour (with The Jam, Buzzcocks, Subway Sect & The Slits). Tricky part was avoiding a kicking from Rod Stewart fans & squaddies awaiting to ambush anyone who attended. It took a 7 mile walk home (train & bus stations had to be avoided). It was well worth it. Saw them another couple of times & they became one of the best ever live bands.

      • Shoegazer

        I missed them on the WR tour due to the authorities in Canterbury thinking it would herald the end of the world if these violent punk rockers were allowed to play there. Saw them twice on the next tour though !!

  10. I was just thinking about this last week, wondering if I’d get a chance to see Daft Punk live at some point, as the prospect excites me more than any new music they might release. So I’ll go for Da Funk:

  11. There are so many……

    I suppose the one that is most frustrating is I never saw Melon Kinenbi live.

    They started out as the backing singers and dancers for Maki Goto and then were given their own group as part of the Hello Project agency.

    But unlike so many of these groups they did not change members every week and stayed together for 10 years. They were the pop sound of my high school and university time and somehow I thought they would always be there to see at the next tour….

    It is even more frustrating as they were always said to be one of the best live pop groups.

    They were not typical dumb idol types, they had a sense of humor and laughed at them selves and the silly world of pop music. They always seemed to have fun.

    Oh well, at least many of their performances are on dvd.

    This clip is This is Unmei (destiny) from the Melon Island tour.

    I think you can see the humor, and fun they have and how this spreads to the audience!!!

      • Thank you so much TFD!!!! I feel like such an airhead!!

        I will check 20 times now that bold is closed before posting!!!

        (or is that too obsessive???)

      • Pairubu

        They were actually a “girl power group” but a lot of guys liked them also.

        I liked them because they were different and had a lot of energy and did not do the stupid dance routines that a lot of idol groups did (even though they were all trained as dancers)

        I have a great song I am waiting for an opportunity to nominate

        Here’s Girl Power by Melon Kinenbi – I am sorry the quality is not so good of the video

      • Well, it didn’t make everything else bold this time, Sakura – don’t know why though! I’ve sorted it, anyway.

      • I know!!!! That is why I am so angry at me for not seeing them when I had the chance!!

  12. I gotta go with the band I had tickets for ( & damn good ones too) two nights after Mr. Morrison allegedly introduced little Jim to the audience in Miami. If only they’ed played Jacksonville first. All the righteous & pious had them banned from the state in one day. Jax concert canceled & had to wait 6 weeks to get my money back. Wankers all of ’em.

    Alabama Song ( Whiskey Bar)

    • Interesting choice. I have seen them live a couple of times but although I love them on record, I’ve never been impressed by the live sets. For me, it doesn’t add anything to the recorded versions.

    • I did see them live, in Greece, shortly after Simple Pleasures came out. I was right at the front, close enough to touch Stuart Staples’ madly twitching foot. This song in particular was mesmeric.

      They seemed nice, too. They had a problem with the sound during “Tiny Tears” and stopped halfway through – I expected prima donna antics, but in fact they got the sound sorted, and played the song again from the beginning.

    • Have a at least 4 live Tindersticks albums (& I hardly ever bother with live albums). Would agree that they’re usually faithful to the studio versions. Playing with a full, orchestra, as they’ve done a few times, would be great to experience at least once.

  13. She died long before I was born but my first choice would be Bessie Smith. Only one piece of film exists and I don’t think it does her justice.

    As that is probably cheating, my next choice is someone I could have seen if only I’d had my wits about me at the time and that’s Muddy Waters.

  14. As fintan has just put up a Doors song I would go with the Sex Pistols who I probably could have seen with a bit of effort but in those days I was spoilt for choice so it didn’t happen.Anyway.

    God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols

    PS I think this is one of the greatest videos ever made.

  15. I’ve been to so few gigs in my life – first due to lack of money, time and often transport, later due to a certain divergence of musical taste between myself and Mrs Abahachi – that the list of artists I’d love to see is absolutely enormous. Just off the top of my head: Mogwai, Peter Broetzmann, Zentralquartett, Manuel Goettsching, Dylan. I think I simply have to go with one of the ones that is entirely impossible until someone sorts out the time travel thing: runner-up is Charles Mingus, preferably with Eric Dolphy, but the winner has to be the greatest small jazz group ever, the second Miles Davis Quintet. As previously noted, I don’t have sound on my work computer, so can’t tell if this video clip is actually any good…

      • Oh, doh- no artist repeats. Retract Miles and add Eddie Harris in Montreaux, 1969, playing variotone on Listen Here, mainly because I’d like to have given the sleepy audience a bit of a kick, particularly at about 3:49..

  16. Hm, good question. Perhaps The Smiths. I saw Morrissey at Brixton Academy some time in the early noughties prior to the release of “You are the quarry”. I remember being surrounded by grown blokes weeping as he sang “There is a light that never goes out”. It was extraordinary.

    • Now I did see The Smiths, and they were ace. 1985-ish, with Craig Gannon as a second guitarist.

      I was entranced by the 10min+ instrumental version of Still Ill that they played because Morrissey had stormed off stage, having been spat at once too often.

      The same gig gave me one of my candidates for a band missed too: James were the support, but we were all so busy gassing and drinking in the bar, we walked in just in time to hear Tim Booth say “Goodnight!” and see the backs of their heads as they walked off.

      • I saw them (James, that is) at Crystal Palace Bowl after my A-Levels in the summer of 1990 with The Cure, All About Eve and Lush. Just fab. And yes, we did all ‘sit down’ when instructed.

    • Saw The Smiths early on supporting Howard Devoto. Last time was at the Festival of the 10th Summer (with the extra guitar). More rock: less flowers. Also saw Morrissey at MSG with his rockabilly band touring the Arse album.

  17. Look forward to catching up after I meet webcore for our monthly coffee. Good category TFD, and good finetuning of the rules. One I would add is a link is mandatory.

    Mine for this week’s topic is Jimmy Buffett. I rarely listen to him, but his concerts are legendary for their good cheer, start to finish. This clip from the queue to a show in Paris gives you taste of the atmosphere.

    • Housemate goes every time he’s nearby. Last time was about a year ago, son took her for her birthday. They had parrot headpieces, leis, and lots of tequila and beer. I guess everyone has tailgate parties for a few hours before the actual concert.

      • Yeah it’s apparently quite an event, the only equivalent being a Rocky Horror screening.
        Shoey, m8, it’s not a sign of weakness to actually have fun in life you know.

  18. Apols in advance for the wishy washy answer… but, thinking about it, my greatest live music experiences have always been complete surprises- the first time I saw Fanfare Ciocarlia, or Warsaw Village Band; gaping at a kiwi singer-songwriter I developed a huge crush on; Courtney Pine’s band suddenly switching to live drum & bass for a euphoric half-hour in a club in Mainz. In comparison, the concerts I’ve gone into with incredibly high expectations have often somehow failed to spark.. Morrissey, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter…

    Still, I’ll second Abahachi’s and Bishbosh’s selections, and go for the obvious myself..

  19. (For archival purposes that was Miles’ band in November 1970 playing Honky Tonk. But I’d demand an entire set from this band along the Cellar Door lines.. Directions/Honky Tonk/What I Say/It’s about that time/Inamorata.)

    *cue baffled shrugs from all Spillers bar Ejay and Abahachi, who nod sagely*

    Not saying I’d turn down the opportunity to see Abahachi’s second quintet either, but I think the late 1970 band was more explosive and- dare I say it- more consistent over the length of a whole set, judging by the Plugged Nickel/Cellar Door comparison; though the rock band’s music wasn’t quite at the same level of genius, it probably has more power when experienced live. (Running the risk here of falling into several stereotypes, but hey)

    • I don’t think anyone’s archiving any more, nilpferd – Chris is archived out! But I for one appreciate it if people include the name/song title in the post since when I’m at work (eg now) I don’t have YouTube access so all I see is a big blank space where the link should be.

      Of course it’s fun to guess.

    • If we do get the time machine sorted out, wouldn’t it be great to go on a Miles fieldtrip, hopping from early appearances with Parker and the Birth of the Cool to the first great quintet, Kind of Blue, second great quintet and on to the 1970s?

      • ..followed by Osaka on Feb 1, 1975, some of the Kenny Garrett band performances from the late eighties, then a special guests only after-hours invite to the Hendrix/Tony Williams/Davis supergroup performance upstairs..

  20. I can think of many, but given his relatively recent demise I’ll go with Mark Linkous. I’m not sure how good he was in concert but I’m sad at not having seen him and wish he was still around.

  21. I didn’t get to London very often when I was younger, too expensive but, one year, on my birthday, I ventured up to the big smoke to spend some cash ( and see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).
    After the film I went looking for records ( as we called them in those days) on Oxford Street.
    Passing the 100 club I noticed a sign “Gig Tonite !” it read ( possibly). I was tempted, should I stay or should I go..home and have my tea.
    I chose the latter, thereby turning down the opportunity to see this band

    I think it’s fair to say that, ever since, I have pretty much batted a 100% average on making crap decisions about things.

    • Oh, how I laughed at your story. Probably at the exact instant you rejected going to see the Sex Pistols. I was in the Charing Cross Road deciding not to go to an XTC gig.

      • I don’t think I’d bother now. I haven’t listened to the Pistols in ages, their brand of rather lumpen “rock” doesn’t appeal much, but I think it fair to say that the punk lifestyle changed my attitude to a lot of things ( not least personal hygiene) and , of course, it would have given Sid Vicious a chance to shove me in the back a year earlier than was actually the case.

      • Ooh, I saw XTC at Rotters, Liverpool, 1980. They were promoting Drums And Wires (1979). It was almost my favourite-ever gig. Certainly the best sound quality. Being a former Top Rank it was carpeted and had tables and chairs and a huge dance floor in front of the stage. One night, Captain Beefheart looked around and said, “This is like my mother’s lounge.”

    • I’ve only met the odd person who saw the Pistols “back in the day” as opposed to reunions. One of them was a manager at work who’d only been because a friend wanted to go and agreed to go on the basis that the friend went with her to see Barry Manilow (or someone like that). She thought the Pistols were too loud.
      Some people…

  22. ohh…good question. There are so so many, but the first one that came into my head is:

    Bad Brains: the most lightning fast and super tight hardcore band ever, and before he became a homophobic asshole (little Senseless Things reference there to amuse Shane!), he was by far the coolest frontman ever.

  23. Donds for everyone from Bessie Smith to Hendrix to Sparklehorse, but you all already know my answer, because it’s a life-scarring tale I’ve told before:

    Led Zeppelin at Knebworth, August 1979. Had the ticket, was made to return it by my mam.

    By definition due to its then relative newness, this – In The Evening – is one they didn’t play very often before Bonzo died.

    Given how limp the Knebworth rendition sounds compared to the studio version, you can maybe see why!!

  24. OH, BY THE WAY,


  25. In 1986 I was working for a small furniture retail group in South East England. I was responsible for 5 outlets, a large warehouse, delivery lorries and up to 30 staff.
    The job came with a company car, credit card and various other ‘perks’.
    And, of course, I wore smart suits, a collar and tie at all times and expensive shoes.

    And it wasn’t me at all.

    A friend told me about these guys and I got hooked. They used very few musical instruments and were nothing like anything I had heard before.
    They were my minds breakaway from having to conform.

    I never did get to did them live and they have evolved somewhat to become more commercial.
    But I would have loved to see them in their prime.

    Test Dept. from the album “The Unacceptable Face of Freedom” and the track “Comrade Enver Hoxha”

  26. I too would love to have seen Tyrannosaurus Rex in their prime but if I have to pick one act that I really wish I had seen live then I think it’s Etta James.

    Unlikely to happen now but this clip isn’t bad for a 75 year-old.

    (Please don’t suggest that I go see Beyonce instead)

      • The final episode of “Madmen” played out with Etta singing “Trust In Me” which really fitted the plot and was electric!
        As you say, severin, not bad for a 75 year old. Especially when you consider all of her addictions over the years.
        I also like her earlier stuff like “Wallflower” and “Good Rockin’ Daddy”, plus later things like “Tell Mama”

    • I think we’ve got all the ‘dead at 27’ people now, haven’t we, Blimpy – except Brian Jones, and of course amylee has seen the Stones many times (I’m guessing but should be right).

      I’ve seen them twice myself, once with Brian, once without.

      • Only twice! Well after Brian, and after Mick Taylor too. I think i first saw them in ’81 when i was 20 in Philly, then much later in NYC. Passed on a chance to see them in San Francisco (friend and i decided we couldn’t afford the scalped tickets), which ended up being a good call, turned out to be a crap set.

      • I saw them in the early 60s, amy, at the bottom of a bill that had the Everly Brothers and Little Richard (? forgotten, but Mitch knows) at the top. I got all the Stones’ autographs. Then I saw them in 1973 or 4 in Stafford or Stoke or somewhere like that.

      • When I saw the tour, Little Richard hadn’t been added to the bill. I saw it on the first night at The New Victoria theartre when it was The Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley.. Jagger’s vocals were so off key that I must admit I wasn’t impressed.
        I had seen Little Richard the previous year when he toured with Sam Cooke. That was one of the best shows I’d seen for excitement.
        Then in 64, I caught the annual Blues caravan at the Albert Hall and got to see Big Joe Turner, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Victoria Spivey, Willie Dixon, Sister Rosetta and Sleepy John Estes, amongst others. Oh yes, Arthur Crudp was also on the bill.

      • all the ‘dead at 27’s?’ Haven’t even scratched the surface yet TFD.. Charlie Christian, Clifford Brown, Scott la Faro all dead before 27 and all would have been brilliant live. I think GF did a more comprehensive ‘jazz musicians who died before their time’ list recently.

      • Just meant the usually-referenced ones, nilpferd – Robert Johnson, and then Brian, Jimi, Janis, Jim, and Kurt who were all 27 when they died.

      • looks like we will have to reference Brownie, la Faro and Christian a lot more often on here then, to make the “usually-referenced” list.. can you give me a target number of references for that please 😉

      • As those chaps all died at 25, nilpferd, I don’t see how we could get them into the died-at-27 group were we to reference them from now till Doomsday. Whenever that is.

      • TFD – Add Gram Parsons to the dead at 27 group. And someone else I didn’t get to see (nor any version of the Byrds for that matter.

  27. Not sure if the link’ll work, but here’s a go:

    Robert Johnson – Come On In My Kitchen

    Can somebody please remind me (again!) of how to post the youTube vids?

      • Don’t use the html, williamsbach – just copy from the address at the top of the YouTube page and paste into your comment on a separate line.

        Or of course you can just ask the fairy frogmother’s advice.

    • I imagine that the lack of recording technology at the time means that what we hear is nothing compared to what he (and others of that time) was like in reality.

  28. Severin, I saw Etta several times but I can’t say she was really memorable, Buddy Guy was MEMORABLE! And how, so was BB and Bo, and Ray.
    One band/artist I’d love to have seen was Charlie Parker in NY in the 40’s, got loads of his records but never heard him live. Another is Duke, spent my whole life buying his records and books and films about him but I never saw him live.

  29. I was lucky enough to see Hendrix back in 1967 and I’ve also seen most of the other bands/artists I’ve wanted to. I only ever saw the Dead four times, which is a drop in the ocean, but one was the best concert I’ve ever been to, as I may have mentioned (‘yawn’ – Ed.). That gig, Bickershaw, also had Captain Beefheart on the bill but, due to the rain and chaotic management (Jeremy Beadle was in charge: I kid you not), Don appeared at stupid-o’clock in the morning. I wanted to make sure I was awake for the Dead, so missed him. I wish I hadn’t.

    • Chris, that’s the Magic Band line-up from the Liverpool Rotters gig I mentioned upthread. It was the best Beefheart gig I ever attended. There were hippies, beats, bikers, Rastas, rockers and punks galore. It was certainly the most raucous gig I was ever at. Beefheart was a bit pissed off with the audience’s possessiveness towards him, but that just added an edge, as if he were determined to show who was boss. It was a fantastic night. He was so funny. And guess what, I have a double CD, a direct line taken from the sound desk; would you like me to drop it?

      • If you have the video go with it, webbie, then yes, please! You could drop one or two of the best tracks if you like.
        Your post below reminds me I never saw Talking Heads. But at least there’s the Jonathan Demme film…

      • Chris, I’m just a fan, and it was 1981, a video camera was about the size of a suitcase. Someone may have noticed. Though I owned a C90 from the sound desk within 2 weeks of the gig, which was an edited version of the double CD I acquired 20 years later. I think you’re right, I’ll drop a couple of tracks. You know that this means I have to sit in the living room tonight drinking beer and listening to both CDs whilst Mrswebcore watches th’aliens ont’box. It’s a hard life. I’ll post ’em tomorrow after the box is cleared.

    • Chris, maybe you should choose. Here’s the set list; you pick ’em and I’ll drop ’em.
      Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man – Abba Zabba – Hot Head – Dirty Blue Gene – Best Batch Yet – Safe As Milk – Flavor Bud Living – Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles – One Red Rose That I Mean – Doctor Dark – My Human Gets Me Blues – Sugar ‘N’ Spikes – Veteran’s Day Poppy – Dropout Boogie – Sheriff Of Hong Kong – Kandy Korn – Suction Prints – Big Eyed Beans From Venus.

      • OK, then. How about Nowadays A Woman’s Gotta Hit A Man, Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles, Sugar ‘N’ Spikes, Dropout Boogie and a surprise, please? Thank you.

  30. Prime-period Tom Waits, check; Black Uhuru with poor ill-fated Puma Jones, check; Talking Heads, check; Nina Simone, check. Woulda done penance to see any of those.
    But it has to be Curtis Mayfield. Never got near one of his gigs. I heard the single version of Move On Up in the early to mid-70s, whenever it charted. I knew he’d been the main man in The Impressions, and I liked what I’d heard of the Superfly soundtrack, but that 45 blew my head off! When I began catching up with his records I soon realised what an amazing writer and guitarist he was. And his lyrics! He had the writer’s gift of the telling detail. Now that’s a gift of God, so to speak.

    Here’s Curtis with the beautiful Keep On Keeping On . . .

    • Ah, well, I do have a couple of Curtis gigs in my knapsack and they rank as two of the most unforgettable nights of my life. Such a gentle man – I mean, he can’t have been totally gentle to build that career but on stage…the words, the voice, the gossamer strokes of the guitar – beautiful and intensely funky.

  31. Well I did attempt a post this morning with God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols but it got swallowed in the ether and as that opportunity has now gone I will substitute one of my 2 favourite vocalists that I never got close to seeing, although I did see Tony Bennett which I suppose is not that far off. It would have to have been during the Capitol years, of course.

      • Yep SR. I remember a story Benny Green told in a radio biography of Sinatra. It was in the mid 60s and Sinatra had been booked into a studio in London to record an album. The musicians who were going to back him on the record were all hardened veterans and were a bit sceptical as to how good this big headed Yank was in the flesh. After the 1st day of recording they were grudgingly respectful of him. At the close of the 3rd (and final)day’s recording the orchestra applauded and cheered him out of the studio. Thus was the great man’s craft and talent.

    • Ok, if Led Zep doesn’t count and Hendrix, Nirvana, Doors, Clash, etc are gone – I never did see these guys.

      Guns n Roses – Paradise City

      • Not flouncing! Just really really busy and can’t keep up. Not enough hours in the day or days in the week.

      • glad you are busy amy – sounds like it’s going okay for you.

        (I haven’t forgotten about doing an Eels post for you – but I’m in the same boat.. lots of my ‘steady’ work is sinking without a trace at the moment so paddling furiously to keep our heads above water – luckily there’s a great selection of ‘spill posts – will get back to the Eels soon as possible)

      • Oh thank you Shane – And please take your time with the Eels post – as it seems that neither of us have much free time these days. And you have kids on top of it all. Don’t know how DsD manages to get on here as much as he does – i think he has 2 jobs now and kids too. I hope work picks up for you very soon. I’m starting to feel like DsD – sleeping like 4 hours / night.

      • @ Amy – Because I don’t sleep more than three-to-four hours a night for three-to-four weeks at a stretch! Then it all catches up on me and I’ll do three-to-four consecutive ten hour sleeps.

        And (the main) one of my two jobs is a worryingly-undersold self-employed consultant/trainer, so it’s not as if I’m 2x40hr stints in a week or anything.

        Having said that, I shouldn’t be here now, got a shedload of sorting & scanning to do before a final deadline on Tuesday.
        Nothing more than very brief one-liners from me til then.


  32. I can see I’ve got a lot to catch up on here (sorry for being so late to the party, Life got in the way!). After all the Big Names mentioned above, this is going to cause some eye-rolling – assuming anyone’s still reading down this far – but the band I yearn to see, but never can (due to unfortunate geographical circumstances) is The Groanbox Boys

    Here they are performing a song called Sea Bone Howl

      • They’re one of my RR disoveries, courtesy of TatankaYotanka. Looking at their website, I discovered they often play in Dorset, and I dream of a weekend meeting up with my old cronies Sally & Nick on Studland, crowned by a Groanbox Boys gig in the Square & Compass in Worth Matravers!

  33. Never heard Etta sing like that, must be the Dead + Horns, I remember her at blues clubs, totally different.

      • She and my son-in-law have become mad-keen Bellowhead fans – they went all the way to Bournemouth the other weekend to see them. So they were well chuffed when S&B came to play just round the corner from where they live in Oxford!

      • friend of mine was at the B’mouth Bellowhead too – he said it was phenomenal.

      • Re folk-song-a-day, debby – I had a look at it (maybe you told me about it before?) and…then I forgot about it I think.

  34. Wow, 227 posts – like an RR list!
    I feel blessed that I managed to see almost all the bands I wanted to see in my youth, both here and in the US – Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Floyd, Dylan, Airplane, Big Brother, Dead, CSNY etc. A few escaped my voracious gig-going – Kinks, Beach Boys, Who. But the one I most regret not seeing folded before I could get to see them – Buffalo Springfield. Here’s Mr Soul (great lyrics).

  35. 250 comments!?!?!?!

    GOod lord!!

    I have seen it, of course, TFD, but I have not answered, because lately my answer would be … ANYONE AND EVERYONE!!! Pretty much every answer anybody has given I’ve thought…oh yes, I’d like to be there! I haven’t been to see non-local live music since Malcolm was born, so it makes you really think about what you’d like to see…. And I don’t feel capable of answering.

    but I have hiccups. Does anybody have a cigarette to lend me? Because I don’t smoke, but it’s the only thing that makes my hiccups go away. Shoot…

    • Get someone to hold your ears for you (I mean, so that you can’t hear) and then you drink a glass of water.

      • Donds to the vinegar, you can add a bit of sugar to the bottom of the teaspoon if you want. Otherwise, there’s one I was taught recently where someone asks you to describe yesterday’s last 3 meals.

    • Well, Isaac likes to hold my ears, so I’ll have him do that and stand upside down drinking sugared vinegar from a paper bag. Thanks, folks. Actually the MFF scared them off.

      Ejaydee! Summer songs!! Summer songs!

      • Saw that, Steenbeck, it doesn’t feel too summer-y here, but it could be a good opportunity for a playlist.

      • Heh heh…you make a playlist, Ejay, and I’ll “coincidentally” nominate some of the songs on the mothership! Mwah hah hah.

        You seem like a summery song person, in a good way! THat’s all.

      • Oh I very much am, i just remembered I did a whole podcast about it, I would have nommed this though:

  36. My taste turned almost exclusively to reggae, though I did continue to see lots of blues and jazz through the 70/80’s. Every August there was a 4 day/night reggae festival in Montego Bay, theoretical start time of 8pm and usually the sun was well up by the time the last act finished, so we’d go and find breakfast and then attempt to sleep in the bright sunny heat to be ready for a repeat that night and again, and again! Four days of that and you were knackered, but you’d seen/heard the cream of world reggae, and I went every year from ’79 ’til about ’89! So I think I’ve seen just about every major/minor reggae group plus we went to every event every week in California; total immersion.
    Must say that though I’ve not had much to contribute to the general discussion I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all the comments.
    All the musicians who I wish I’d seen were probable playing jazz in the 30’s and 40;s and the list would go on for ever. Thinking about those who left early a very tragic case was Jimmy Blanton, considered by many to be the greatest bass player of his time, he joined the Ellington band in ’39 and died of TB three years later at age 23. Another bass player was Jaco Pastorias, he stuck around a bit longer but also died young, 35.

  37. It’s been SO lovely, you know, getting to the office every morning, putting the coffee on and, when it’s ready, sitting down with my iPhone to read all the ‘Spill Challenge emails before I start work. Thank you very much everybody for your wonderful and fascinating suggestions, all the great music and for all the extra chat that went on in between. Looking forward to the Abahachi question next Tuesday…

    …and, alimunday, you SHALL go to see Roy Harper! Get these glass slippers on right now…

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