If only…

Now a brief list of bands that I regret not having seen. Obviously I regret not having seen Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin etc – I’m talking about bands I could have seen but geography/fate/timing/inertia conspired against me. In no particular order. There’s bound to be more, but I can’t think right now – I have been lucky enough to see a fuck of a lot of cool bands, so this list is pleasingly small.

The Stranglers (with Hugh Cornwell) Fucking loved the Stranglers, ever since Golden Brown. They played Guildford Civic around the time of 96 Tears, but I was studying for my A Levels and it was a school night and I didn’t know Cornwell was going to leave. I don’t like the other fellow though.

Duran Duran The best pop band of the 80s, and not just because the guitarist was called Andy Taylor. Sort of liked them at the time (due to osmosis through my sister’s bedroom wall) but only got majorly into them in the 90s, before the 80s got cool again – fuck, I’m such a trailblazer. Thought about seeing the reunion tour in 2004/5 ish, but couldn’t really hack the whole Wembley Arena thing.

Judas Priest Loved them back in my teens, still listen to them now. Deceiver was the first Priest track I heard (on a dodgy K-Tel compilation called Masters of Metal, which introduced me to so many bands. I would love to find that again, but it was probably so shit that it was deleted fairly soon after release) and I mostly like the 70s stuff (Victim Of Changes, Rocka Rolla etc) but I’d love to see them play the NWOBHM era stuff live. They came to Auckland last year, but playing the new concept album, and not the greatest hits stuff, so I passed.

Fountains Of Wayne Was only vaguely aware of them when I lived in the UK, so no idea if they even toured. Have since become one of my most played bands, and I wonder what they would have been like on stage? Given that they aren’t that popular, in the UK at least, presumably would have been able to see them in a nice small venue. Bumsies.

Ultravox Possibly my first favourite band – The Collection was one of my first cassettes (received as a (12th?) birthday present), and they are without doubt one of the most influential synth bands ever. Band Aid notwithstanding.

Depeche Mode I still only possess the 2 singles collections CDs, but I consider myself a huge fan. I loved all the early 80s stuff, then went right off them while I was into metal and they were in the U.S. doing smack. When I got into electronic dance music I heard ‘Everything Counts’ mixed into a track by Meat Beat Manifesto and I suddenly realized how utterly brilliant they were, even the more recent stuff.

Coldpay at Glasto 05 See Glasto 05.

Megadeth Massive fan of the first three albums – when ‘So Far…’ was out I wore out the tape because I played it constantly. They were a seriously good thrash metal band. They toured shortly before I had my gig awakening, and not again until after I’d grown out of them. I tried to get tickets for the 2005 Astoria show (Oh, how have the mighty fallen) but it sold out. Probably just as well, seeing as I didn’t know (much less like) anything post 1988. A familiar story.

Voivod Not a big enough fan to go and see them back in the day, and I don’t remember seeing any tours advertised in more recent years. Not sure I’d want to see them with Jason Newstead, and since one of them is dead, they are probably a shadow of their former selves.

Rage Just gotta love Teutonic thrash/metal, innit.

Opeth You just cannot beat a bit of progressive death metal, can you? Same story, didn’t discover them until too late. The Scands do a great line in metal don’t they? Just couldn’t believe I hadn’t even heard of them until about album number 4, by which time I was preparing to emigrate. I think they’ve played in Australia before, but I have definitely missed the boat now. You do see the odd Opeth t-shirt in Dunedin but I would be very surprised if they even came to Auckland. Sniff. I might invest in the Albert Hall DVD, that will have to do.

Roy Harper Too young to have caught him in his prime, but he was still touring when I was gigging. I did turn down the offer of a ticket (and a lift) to see him play The Grey Horse in Kingston in about 1991, for reasons completely unknown. I really do regret that decision.

Steeleye Span Electric folk oddity family favourite. Parents listened to them when we were kids, possibly the least cool band to admit to liking. Nevertheless, I absolutely love them, and wish I had seen them at one of their annual Reading Hexagon shows. With Maddy Prior, obviously. I am not ever allowed to play them at a volume audible to the missus.

Clan of Xymox Introduced to the mysterious Xymox back at Uni in the early 90s and was well versed in their early stuff but kinda dropped off the radar until only a few years ago. Now I can safely say they are my favourite Dutch darkwave techno goth band of all time. By default.

Masters Of Reality The first album was inducted into my personal hall of fame back in 1988 and I think I remember reading about a tour back then, but I never made the effort to go, for some reason. The precursor of Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss and all that desert rock stuff. Not sure if they’re even still going, but I’d definitely go if they came to town (yeah right).

Theatre of Tragedy Usual story, never really got into them until I was in NZ. Still not quite sure if I prefer the growly death metal early stuff or the more electro poppy goth stuff of later albums, but I reckon they’d be a great live act. Preferably supporting Clan of Xymox.

Atomic Swing I’m a sucker for a good pop tune, and the Swedes do it best. They split up long before I had come across them though.

Eloy Preposterous German prog rock nonsense from the 70s and beyond (I think there is an incarnation still around today) producing good* albums up until at least the mid 90s. First exposure to them was on Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show, as with so many great (!) bands, and over the years I managed to acquire a good dozen or so of their albums.  Their output ranges from ridiculous overblown Yes-eque  concept albums (The Power And The Passion, worth it for the cringe value alone) to the more avant-garde synth rock stuff from the 80s like Ra. However, no bugger’s heard of them except me.

*all things being relative, you understand

Mötley Crüe By rights I shouldn’t like them at all because they’re a bunch of effeminate hairspray-guzzling pretty boys from LA, the absolute antithesis of the sort of rock music I generally like. In fact, I think I only ever got into them by mistake, because ‘Shout At The Devil’ happened to be on the flip side of a copy Master of Puppets I’d borrowed. The Crüe are a bit of a guilty pleasure I’d have to say, and I think everything up to Dr Feelgood is worth a listen. Kudos to any band with not one but two heavy metal umlauts. I would only have wanted to see them in the 80s though, I think the post-Pamela Anderson, wasting disease-ridden Crüe would be rather too sad.

Steel Panther Everything that’s funny about Mötley Crüe but intentionally so, and anyway the guitarist’s way better than Mick Mars. Any band that can come up with the lyric “You’re the only girl I like to screw when I’m not on the road, when I get home my dinner’s cooked and the front lawn is mowed” has to be worth seeing, and deserves some kind of Nobel prize for something.

Culture Shock Not the poncy drum and bass outfit that seems to come up on YouTube and all the filesharing networks . No, the original Culture Shock, the crusty punk outfit made up out of Dick Lucas and other former Subhumans. I tried to see Citizen Fish, Dick Lucas’s next project, once at Deptford Free Festival, but they weren’t in the tent they were supposed to be in when they were supposed to be in it. Civilization Street is just a belter of a track.

Early Man Only heard of them a couple of years ago. Would imagine they are pretty exciting live, although I think they should really be called ‘Early Metallica’.

Jethro Tull Longtime fan of Tull. Martin Barre is another of the guitar greats, possibly wasted in a band that really didn’t rock that hard. Prefer the seventies classic era stuff (Aqualung, Mistrel In The Gallery, Songs From the Wood etc) but they put out some fairly creditable material in the 80s too. Crest Of A Knave is worth it just for the guitar work, but the cod-Miami Vice 80s feel to it is quite laughable, now. I wonder if Ian Anderson wore a suit jacket with the sleeves pushed up, and espadrilles with no socks when they recorded this?


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