Have you ever been talked into going to a gig? How did it go?

This has happened twice with me.

Once, a friend of mine who was insistent that we had similar tastes in music, though I felt more like he had the same taste as teenage me, but was happy enough to just let it slide. He kept going on about how good Me First And The Gimme Gimmes were. I tried explaining multiple times that the particular sound that NOFX, MFATGG, Blink 182 and all of that toilet punk sounded absolutely awful to me. Never liked it, never would, but he saw this as more of a challenge to try and find a song of theirs I would like.

Eventually they announced a London date and he was so excited he wanted all his mates around him there. I wanted to say no, but his enthusiasm was so much that I thought that maybe I’d get swept up in all the excitement around me and they’d be one of those bands who were better live than on recording. It was at the Kentish Town Forum, so had to trek across London for it and even bought a ticket. I stayed for two songs, then went home.


no i don’t think so

Second time, fairly similar.

Same company, workmate I didn’t know as well who was a bit older than me but saw me as Mr “Knows His Music”. The guy was an absolute Carter USM fanatic. Again, kept trying to “persuade” me to listen to different tracks of theirs, sure that when I found the right one that I’d suddenly realise they’re the best and love them. Every single time I’d just hear this uninspired shitty music that sounded like it was produced on an Argos keyboard.

This one was later than the previous one, so when a similar thing came up with a Carter USM gig at Brixton Academy, I said no thanks. Thing was, the guy was convinced that I’d love them live and it was only a short walk away from my flat. Still though, no. Eventually he insisted on paying for my ticket and was quite insistent of the case. He said, if you change your mind and love it, you can pay me back! I found out that Future Of The Left were the supports on one of the dates, so with this eventually thought, maybe this time I’ll prefer it live.

Anyway, turns out we weren’t going on the night FOTL were supporting in the end, and when we got there, they were diabolically awful. Just as bad as the recording, it was horrendous. The difference this time though was that there were only three of us, and my workmate kept doing that thing where he’d look at me to check I was enjoying myself, and I didn’t know how to visually respond other than with that polite non-smile you do to people who hold the door open for you or something. I had to watch the whole thing.

Afterwards he asked me what I thought, and I used all my creative ways of explaining how I could appreciate how someone could enjoy it, but it was not for me. He then did that thing where he was making a big deal about how he didn’t mind and that was fine, but you could tell that inside he was hurting from it all.

I never did pay for the ticket, and didn’t really keep in touch with him much after that. Feel bad that I went at all though, I just objectively made the thing less enjoyable for him and that was never my intention.


I never talked into gig


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In maybe 2008 I went to see Amy Macdonald. It was like a second or third date with a girl and I only went so as not to reveal the true depths of my then musical snobbery. She was dead keen to go, so off we went. It was fairly bad, but my abiding memory is of someone immediately in front of us clapping so aggressively and so badly out of time that it was genuinely an incredible sight to behold. We are now married (the girl, not the clapper) and still reminisce about the clapping.


Yeah, went to see War on Drugs on the Slave Ambient tour (concorde 2, Brighton). Had never heard a note of their stuff before that gig. Was a very long gig and I got bored.


Went to see Bon Jovi when I was 17. A school friend had a spare ticket, I bought it to help him out I guess?

It was a pretty nice sunny day out at Wembley stadium but also I didn’t really like Bon Jovi and they played for 2.5hrs, so it was… very long. Also the supports were Toploader and Andreas Johnson, who was probably the best thing of the day but didn’t even play Glorious last for some reason???


Only done the reverse.

Was out for summer works drinks in Cardiff Bay about 10 years back and convinced all 10 of my co-workers to come and see The Silver Jews (with Pavement/Spiral Stairs side project Preston School of Industry supporting).

Response was split fairly evenly between enjoyment and utter bewilderment.


Yes, “The Garden”

Fucking terrible

I can think of 3 occasions. All were positive.

  1. Whilst at university I worked part time at sole trader. One day I was serving a chap with a pair of birkenstocks who was with his friends and commented that he looked a bit like Tim Burgess from the charlatans, it wasn’t him. But he said he was in a band called Alfie and they were playing the Bierkeller that evening. I hadn’t heard of them but he said they had been badly drawn boy’s backing band and I really liked hour of the bewilderbeast. He said he would put me on the guest list. I thought I would pop down if I was on the guest list but when I got there I wasn’t I had to pay ( about £4) there were 3 bands, appliance, Alfie and snow patrol there were probably about 30 people there. When snow patrol came on they put a box of rolling rock at the front of the stage ( the tour was sponsored by them) and told the crowd to grab a bottle. Then they said , now you’ve had our rider you’ve got to dance. It was an unexpected and fun night.

  2. Back home from uni I bumped into a friend who I hadn’t seen since high school and we had a chat when we were talking about music I said I was into GSBE and sigur ros and he said if I liked that I should come to a gig that evening at the arts centre where a band called Lift To Experience were playing. I’d never heard of them, let alone a note of music and hadn’t been to the norwich arts centre for nearly 5 years at that point. It was an amazing gig and it wasn’t until much later that I realised how little they played the uk and how lucky I was to see them.

  3. My wife dragged me kicking and screaming to see Gomez at V2006. I had really liked the first 2 albums but was well over them at that point and thought they were naff… however, they were really great live and I realised you shouldn’t just bin a band because they aren’t flavour of the month.


Saw them once on the reunion tour and can only imagine how amazing they would have been originally. They were pretty fucking amazing when I did see them tbf.


Teenage me loved Carter but even so I utterly loathe this behaviour. “If you just listen to this song you’ll change your mind…” Nah mate, we don’t all have the same taste in music and that’s fine.


It was great, but coming to them cold it was quite overwhelming. They had an air raid siren at the front of the stage which they wound up through a song for what seemed like 10 minutes… and the arts centre in Norwich is a small venue. It was at the time the loudest gig I had been to (since over taken by MBV).

One year I decided to make my new years resolution to see 24 gigs in a year (an average of two a month, maths fans) and during that time I took absolutely no persuasion to go to anything.

I’d also buy tickets in pairs in the knowledge that I’d drag somebody along with me for free…

My mate took me to see throbbing gristle who I respected immensely but didn’t really enjoy (just not my bag) but it was a good friend who took me and a fun gig anyway.

I took somebody else to see Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer as I thought it could be something a bit different/fun and spent the gig awkwardly side-eyeing my mate to see if he was actually enjoying it or finding it unbearably twee/shit…


Bloody love Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

I was roped into going to see Kate Nash do her first album in full. She played Foundations twice


Festival slot rather than a gig but it was a peak mud Glastonbury trapse so I’m counting it. Can’t remember who dragged who but @RatKingCole and talked eachother into going to see the Be One set at Glastonbury 2016. Described by the guardian as ‘transcendental drone symphony between man and bee’ recorded with 40,000 bee session musicians. Stood there for 20 minutes waiting for it to start before realising that this perpetual one note hum was the whole performance. No disrespect to the bees, just clearly wasted on my cloth ears. Left to get a pie.


i’ve gone to a couple of gigs just cos a load of friends were going and it seemed like a fun night out.

one was Nine Inch Nails in 2013. loads of friends were going, ASIWYFA were supporting and i quite liked Copy of A.

most of the gig was very boring.

I have a mate who knows I’ll pitch up to most things and will accompany him to noisier things that others won’t. And of course the converse applies. He took me to Mono who were a bit dull, but also Show Me The Body and Richard Dawson (not on the same bill) which are two the best gigs I’ve been to in “recent” times. Good stuff, Johnny.