Tuesday Ten: 020: Bands I’ve Not Seen Live

This week, it’s time to revisit something I have mentioned in passing elsewhere. In fact, last week I put up a poll about gigs/bands you’d go back in time to see, and the results were fascinating. So to expand it a little, it’s time to look at bands I never did/never have seen live. I may yet have the chance to see some of them in the future, others I most certainly won’t. Or at least, in the form that I might have wanted to see them in the first place…

And yes, here’s where you all tell me how fantastic each and every one of these were, right?

I’ve never seen Ministry live. This isn’t for the want of trying, but over the past 10-12 years I have been scuppered every single time. According to Al Jourgensen, there is one last tour to come in 2008 before Ministry finally cease to exist, and I will make it to one of those gigs no matter what.

I should also add: I remember one drunken night about seven years ago watching In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up with a few friends. The single greatest live video ever. It’s mental: at one point, during Burning Inside, a fan chooses to climb the chain-link fence that protects the fans from the band (watching the whole video you learn quickly that this is the way it is working), and is somehow set on fire. For some reason it takes some minutes before the fire is put out, too – and you are left thinking, did I just see that?

This one would have been sorted long since had they a) played in the UK in recent years, or b) I’d got to WGT this year (or just about any year). Of course, if I go to WGT next year as planned, it’ll be the one year they don’t play. Why do I want to see them so badly? They are the band I first discovered industrial through. They are legendarily good live. It’s Front 242. What other reasons do I need?

Their reformation appearance at Coachella was all over the internet pretty quickly (the Youtube clips are actually pretty good quality, too), and suggest that even after a few years apart they haven’t lost their live power. So yes, if they deign to come over to the UK, I’ll be going. More than anything to make up for lost time.

I seem to recall that this band were originally a ‘studio project’, but did eventually play at least a few dates live. Unfortunately they never did bring their rather unusual brand of industrial rock (a tense, expansive sound that despite evolving and mutating across their three albums always sounded unique) to the UK.

I’ll probably get mocked for this one, but I don’t care. I’ve been a fan of Radiohead since the release of Pablo Honey, to me they remain one of the most interesting and forward looking of all of the “rock” bands around – in their willingness to experiment, their refusal to be pigeonholed, and their willingness now to think outside of the box in terms of how to get their material to their fans.

Live I have always been told how great they are, but with their obsessive fans it becomes something of a scrum to get a ticket. I don’t doubt the next tour – when it happens – will be just as tough…

Yeah yeah, I know, everyone has seen these guys except me, so it seems. They might be getting old now, and recent albums haven’t been all that great, but from what I hear they still rule live, and as long as I don’t rush headlong into the moshpit I’ll still come out in one piece (when I eventually get ’round to seeing them).

They reformed a year or two back for a number of select gigs, finally announced a gig in London…only for it to clash with me playing football at Whitby last October (which was all booked and paid for). Possibly my biggest music-based regret – I missed my one chance to see the greatest Extreme Metal (never mind Black Metal) band that has ever existed. Needless to say, my friends that did go have mercilessly reminded me at every opportunity since.

One of my favourite bands of all, that I got into just too late. They played their final gigs in 1997, when Michael Gira finally tired of pushing things to ever more extremes, and one of those was in London. And yes, I missed it. Still, it probably wouldn’t have been as good (or as visceral) as earlier gigs, as these clips of A Screw and Beautiful Child from older gigs show.

Another band that I keep missing my chance to see – they’ve played at least four times in the UK in the past couple of years, too. One of the most unusual bands that are lumped in with “industrial”, I’ve always been intrigued to see how they will translate to the stage – and for now I’ll just have to keep waiting.

Few of my friends ever did see Nirvana, even if some of us came close. I was one of the many who had a ticket for the ill-fated spring ’94 tour that never happened (my ticket was for the first of the G-Mex gigs), although I think I’d love to have been at that Reading appearance in 1992.

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