1,000 concerts and counting!
We’ve got a growing number of users who have reached the 1000 past gigs mark on Songkick now, so we though it’d be interesting to have a chat with one of these stellar concert-goers to find out a bit about their experiences over the years!
Skif45, was one of our first users of Songkick 2.0 when it launched two years ago and since then he’s been a consistently active member of the community; adding his entire concert history, nearly 1,000 photos, and doing an awesome job of keeping the Rough Trade East listings in good shape.
1) Tell us a bit about your concert-going habits
I’ve moved around the country a bit over the years. When I was in my teens/early 20’s I saw a lot of gigs in Portsmouth, more often than not involving bands in the local music scenes down there, as I was involved with a lot of them through running a Portsmouth-music-focused record label for a while. However doing this meant I was a bit out of the loop as to what was going on in a wider sense.
As such after closing down the record label stuff I started writing the fanzine ‘Vanity Project’ mainly to try and get records by new bands that I might otherwise have missed, and continued this as I moved around the country to Leeds and Liverpool. Both of those cities have a wide variety of great gig venues (Leeds particularly having a great underground gig scene) and so was able to attend several gigs, usually writing up a short review of each for the fanzine.
However my volume of gigs has really taken off since moving to London 5 years ago. It certainly helps that more ‘alternative’ tastes are catered for on a much wider scale than in other cities and also that there are so many free things you can take advantage of. Things like events at the Southbank Centre, Bandstand Busking and Daylight Music have been great. I have also been blessed that I live very close to Rough Trade East so am able to make the most of their free instore shows to check bands out.
Featuring Andrew W.K. from Andrew W.K. at Rough Trade East (12 Sep 09)
2) If you had to pick what would you say has been your best concert so far, and why?
Really difficult to do that after a thousand of them, but going to Primavera Sound last year for the first time was a wonderful experience, and I also have to credit the eclectic bills you used to get at the sadly missed Phoenix Festival in the mid-90’s for helping broaden my tastes.
Last year’s top gig, for me, was Tune-Yards at Cargo in Shoreditch. Went just to check her out but left absolutely blown away. It was February and even then I knew it’d be my gig of the year.
Other highlights, off the top of my head, have been Cardiacs at the Astoria in 2001 and 2002, Carla Bozulich at The Spitz in 2007, Skyscraper and Cable together at the Southampton Joiners in 1996, Puressence at the Wedgewood Rooms in 1995 and The Magic Band at the Liverpool Academy 2 in 2005.
3) Do you have any particular concert memories that stand-out/ any interesting anecdotes/ random events?
I twice introduced the Portsmouth band Dragontree on stage in the style of a US boxing ring announcer. I still can’t remember why I did this, or why they wanted me to do so, but on the first occasion I was wearing a fancy dress Teddy Boy outfit. This does not lend any further sense to the project, but is true nonetheless.
4) What’s the furthest you’ve travelled to see your favourite artist?
I guess that would be last month when the knowledge that Carla Bozulich would be doing a one-off performance and curating parts of the Donau Festival took me to Krems, a beautiful Austrian town about an hour by train from Vienna.
Featuring Carla Bozulich from Donau Festival 2011
Even though I live in a city most artists will usually arrive at when touring, I nonetheless enjoy a gig adventure and went to Bristol and Tunbridge Wells to see The Wedding Present last year and also a church in Coventry to see Low.
5) What’s your favourite venue, and why?
Easy – the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth because it was like my second home between 1994 and when I left town nine years later; because I promoted a gig and launched a CD compilation there; sold t-shirts and CDs for Portsmouth bands there; danced on stage with the Green Hornets there; addressed an audience of 300 there on a couple of occasions; had a few drunken snogs there; got to know lots of great, wonderful people there.
The fact I was able to see not only bands (Songkick sez 170 music gigs in all) but loads of comedians and poets as well in an excellent cabaret (tables/whiskey bottles with candles in ‘em) atmosphere made it a great all-round venue for any entertainment occasion.
Sightlines good, sound good, intimate without being a sticky fleapit. If you were to ask me what I missed about living near Portsmouth, Southsea sea-front in the summer would rank second behind the Wedge.
Possibly a little over-effusive, but its the kind of place one becomes very attached to
6) Do you have any concert pet peeves?
If you want to have a chat, clear off to the bar will ya!!
7) Any recommendations for upcoming shows to check out?
Go to Primavera 2012. Whoever’s playing!
Big thanks to skif45 for answering our questions and generally being an awesome Songkicker! There’s a Songkick t-shirt on its way to him now.