Bands I saw from Dec 17 1977 - 1980
By way of a personal history project, a scan of the back pages of my adolescent diary, where I wrote down, how did I put it, "All the groups I've every seen." Apologies for my, um, iconoclastic spelling.
The first concert (or gig, as I might have said) was at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park, on Dec 17, 1977 (Yachts Blast Furnace and the Heatwaves The Boomtown Rats (I saw the Boomtown Rats the following year too. Too embarassed to write it down?). Lots of pogoing, not much gobbing, but the Boomtown Rats didn't really inspire that sort of thing. There were real punks in the audience, but the Boomtown Rats had appeared on Top of the Pops, and there were Rats' fans too - girls wearing school uniforms (after their hit "Mary of the Fourth Form") and boys wearing pajamas ('cause Johnny Fingers their keyboard player wore pajamas).
1978: The Jolt Reggae Regular Generation X The Mickey Jupp BandWhirlwind Elvis Costello (2 times) Queen The BannedThe Strangeways Radio Stars The Young Ones The Boyfriends Blondie Fusion Black Slate Penetration Subway Sect Buzzcocks Humphrey Ocean Misty Ian Dury and the Blockheads John Cooper Clarke Richard Hell and the Voidoids The Innocents The Slits (3 times) The Clash
1979: Hazel and the Unknowns Fischer Z Delta 5 The Specials The Mekons (2 times) The Gang of Four (3 times) The Girls The Maps (twice) Delex Sally, Dick and Jane The Distractions Joy Division The Teardrop Explodes (3 times) Echo and The Bunnymen The Flowers The Beat (2 times) The Human League (2 times) The Pop Group3 times The Books A Certain Ratio(3) The Talking Heads UB40 The Selecter The Portraits Simple Minds(2) Manufactured Romance The Mo-dettes (4 times) The 45s Toyah Blood Doner The Acryllics The Nips Dexy's Midnight Runners English Subtitles Classix Nouveux Ultravox The Cliches This Heat The Raincoats (2) Martha and the Muffins The Only Ones The Plain Characters The Cure Margot and the Space Virgins The Q-Tips The Patrick Fitzgerald Group The Vs (The Maps Someone and the Somebodies Count Viglioni Mission of Burma Modern Theatre, rock against the Draft, 3/30/1980) Ten Pole Tudor Spizz Energi The Au-pairs(2) The Piranhas Red Beans and Rices The Scars Boots for Dancing The Opposition X-Odus Essential Logic
Sometime in 1980 or early 1981 I stopped writing down the bands I went to see. Probably because it started to seem a bit trainspotterish, or I'd started having beers at concerts and couldn't be bothered to write things up when I came home, or I misplaced this notebook. So there's no record of seeing U2 two or three times (serious chaps with mullets), or the Birthday Party (who out of all these bands, and the competition is fierce, probably were the most extraordinary act live). I saw most of these bands in London, a few in Boston.
Note on the links: I've linked to All Music a lot, hope that works. If not I'll go through at some point and find better links. Only Joy Division and Mission of Burma seem to have fans obsessive enough to list every performance of those bands. I'm not surprised, I've met some of those fans. There are a number of bands I saw which seem to have left no trace, (and I don't remember a thing about them). If any of these names are familiar to you (in the context of the late 70's), let me know.
A picture of me in 1980.