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Friday The 6th March 1987 at 7.30pm

March 6, 2012

25 years ago today I experienced my first ever live concert. Glasgow Barrowlands. The Cult, with support from Gaye Bikers On Acid. The Electric/Love tour, I think it was billed as. I still remember it like it was yesterday. From the thrilling shock of hearing a band in-your-face loud for the first time (and that was only the support act) to the heart-stopping sight of the roadie bringing on Billy Duffy’s massive white Gretsch Falcon (“Aw man!, It’s gonnaehappenit’sgonnaehappenit’sgonnaehappen!!!“) to the sputtery spark of said guitar being plugged in and amplified through the Spinal Tapesque coupla dozen or so Marshall stacks to the anticipation in the air almost as thick as the exotic smells wafting around me and my wide-eyed pals to the lights going down and the intro music starting AT ONCE (some rousing classical piece or other, my mind tells me it was Ride of the Valkyries, but I may be wrong) to the shock of hearing Ian Astbury speak for the first time “Yaykickayussmuthafuckinglasgow” (he was in transition at this point from Love-era bangles ‘n beads rattlin’ hippy to the Jim Morrison/Wolf Child American-twanged sweary twonk with furry trapper hat) to the mentalness of the mosh pit during the main event itself (in which I lasted all of half of a glam-slamming Big Neon Glitter before a wet with sweat biker jacket landed on my head and a big hairy guy pushed me out the road) to the first of what would be many asthmatic runs back to Central Station to discover we were too late for the train to the fruitless wander around Anderston Bus Station at midnight just in case a bus with ‘Irvine’ happened to pull up just for us to phoning one of my pal’s sleeping dads who arrived extremely pissed off and drove us down the road in deathly silence while our ears rang like billy-o and we pondered to ourselves why The Cult had turned themsleves into Def Leppard. Breathtakingly magic? Not ‘alf, as they say.

Here’s that self-same Cult, 10 days later, recorded live at the mixing desk from Hammersmith Odeon. Quite thin and weedy sounding. Not like I remember it at all. Maybe you had to be there, although the You Tube clip below (pointless but thrilling equipment trashing ‘n all) is pretty terrific and much more how I remember things, even after a quarter of a century.

Love Removal Machine

Li’l Devil

Revolution

Useless fact

A few months later, The Cult would take this tour to the enormodomes of the U S of A where they would be supported by fresh faced new kids on the block Guns ‘n Roses.

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5 comments

  1. Be sheer coincidence my first live experience was also The Cult. A year or so earlier, they played the Palace Theatre’s Grand Hall in Kilmarnock. Saturday November 16 1985 to be precise. I too remember Billy Duffy’s white Gretsch, but my overall memorable moment from that night was some maniac launching themselves from the upstairs balcony into the crowd below. Quite a sight for an impressionable 16yr old at his first ever gig. I believe a certain Mr Livingston was in attendance that night too. Magic stuff!


  2. Just found this page last night. Great stuff. I know this is irrelevant, and I apologize. But do you happen to still have the masters for I Heard It Through The Grapevine? I was going through your old posts and saw that you posted it a year or two ago. I got really excited to download it, but it seems the link is dead.

    I’m in my early twenties and I’m interested in mixing. I know that is even more irrelevant, but I just wanted to point out that Marvin’s music isn’t wasted on my generation. He is one of my favorite artists and to be honest it killed me getting that excited to get my hands on the masters only to find out the link isn’t working.

    I wouldn’t expect you or anyone to spend their time uploading solely because I asked, but if you do get a working link for it again it would be really appreciated.


  3. Aye Colin……….my mum wouldn’t let me go to The Cult in Killie.

    Around the same time, The Pogues played the Grand Hall. I was at a Christian Fellowship meeting (!) (the Christian Fellowship had a pool table and cheap cans of Coke and everybody I knew went, OK?) at a bible quiz (!!!) in an upstairs room and inbetween the questions on Samson and Delilah and Daniel and the Lion and burning bushes and so on and so on, you’d catch snippets of flutes ‘n drums ‘n Shane swearing in fluent MacGowanese, much to the displeasure of the auld guy asking the questions. Happy days!

    Did you know the Grand Hall was supposedly the scene of the Ballroom Blitz, from whence The Sweet had their big hit single? Of course you did.


  4. Eric!

    Thanks for the comments. You’re not really Eric B, though, are you? Are you still recording with Rakim?

    Those Marvin masters keep being deleted by the internet police. No sooner do I post a link to them than someone somehow accesses my files and deletes them! But leave it with me……

    I’ll be in touch.

    Ta!


  5. I was at the Grand Hall gig too, attending with then band mates Livingston and Gemmill. I am not sure what name we were going by at that time but it wasn’t half as ridiculous as the support band that night, Irish folk rockers Cactus World News.
    I kinda liked them. Their album wasn’t half bad, but the guitarist was a bit Edge-like in sound.
    I had the WORST haircut imaginable. I let one of my mates ‘cut’ it, and i borrowed a very cool pair of trousers from my brother.
    Anyway The Cult were great but I really didn’t dig the drummer at all, he was pretty hopeless trying to replicate the old SDC AND DC stuff (Nigel Preston RIP) and the Love tracks (Mark Unpronounceablename out of Big Country)
    We used to play all those songs from the Love album, not so many of the cock-rock ones from Electric though.
    Gary C



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