Friday, 5 December 2014

Memories of a thousand* gigs #37, #38 & #39

(* probably not actually that many, but who’s counting?)

Some of the most memorable support slots I've had the pleasure of seeing...

#37: Cardiacs (supporting Chumbawamba)
Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth - 15 November 1995

You all know the extent of my love for Cardiacs. I only caught them live on onew occasion though. It was one evening whilst studying for my journalism exams on the south coast. The band had slimmed down from seven to four members by this point, but jeez were they good. Tim’s silly banter, telling the crowd to “SHUT UP!” during the quiet bits, and his routine abuse of brother Jim added to the general bemusement of some audience members, but it all made a strange kind of sense when they played. Listening to Cardiacs’ music, you wonder how any band could play it live. Only by experiencing their live show do you really get it. Utter genius with a touch of hilarity thrown in.


#38: Papa Brittle (supporting Chumbawamba)
The Anchor Inn, Westward Ho! - 1 August 1992

I saw Papa Brittle a few times around this period and remember them with great fondness. Chumba was, I think, the biggest band the Anchor ever hosted so they were undoubtedly the main draw, but Papa Brittle made a lot of friends that night. The energy and intent in their performance fuelled the capacity crowd through one of the sweatiest gigs I’ve ever experienced. They returned for a headline show a little while later, and on another occasion in Exeter gave a shout out to Westward Ho! after spotting us in the crowd.


#39: Von Bondies (supporting the White Stripes)
Anson Rooms, Bristol - 20 November 2001

Until earlier this year, the Von Bondies were probably the last support band I saw (who I wasn’t already aware of) that made me think “wow, gotta get some of their records.” And I did, purchasing their CD from the merch stall after the White Stripes had played. They were just raw and loud and bluesy and soulful and loud and full of energy and raw and loud. Plus they had the lovely Marcie Bolen on guitar. The following year, MrsRobster and I went to see the Hives at Cardiff International Arena, but had no idea who the support was. As they came onstage, I recognised them instantly. “It’s the Von Bondies,” I declared excitedly as the wife nodded in approval. Once again they were raw and loud and…..



  1. It is for a long time a time that somebody appreciates the Von Bondies accordingly. I saw them supporting the White Stripes on the same tour in Cologne. As you said they were raw and loud.

  2. Hi Rob(ster). Just wondered how you tracked your gig history? I used to just keep all my tickets in an old tin and, whilst I still do that, I now also use Songkick (here's me "gig-ography". I think also offer something similar through their site, though it isn't as richly detailed as Songkick.

    1. Most of the gigs I've featured are simply from memory (hence the title of the feature). Some I still have tickets for, some I can find via good old Google, and some I can't find any definite date for. I have used and Songkick on occasion. But there are plenty of gigs I'm sure I've completely forgotten about over time (for numerous reasons).

      I see you saw the great Moz last weekend. Wow, that's one I'd like to have been at!

  3. Came across this as i was looking to see who the Cardiacs played with at the Pompey gig, thanks for confirming! PS Papa Brittle were an amazing live band