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.
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.