*1. What was the first band you saw in concert?*
I remember when I was very young, like 5 or 6 years old, at some free music festival in St. Anne’s Park. The Lark in the Park or something like that. A band called Spider Simpson was playing. I don’t remember them per se, just my aunt Kathryn talking about them. Apparently they were named after a character from Prisoner: Cell Block H.
Skipping forward a few years, I really wanted to see Soundgarden, who were headlining Sunstroke in the summer of 1995. At the time Soundgarden were like my favourite band in the world, ever. But my mum wouldn’t let me go. In hindsight it wasn’t such a big deal, as Soundgarden were notoriously shite live. At the time, however, it was like my soul had been doused with caustic soda.
Three years on, and the first gig I paid to get into was a show by a really bad Northern Irish band called Watercress. I just didn’t like their music whatsoever — mandolins are good and all, but not in the context of sugary-sweet fey pop rubbish — yet I was there for someone’s birthday, so I kinda wrote it off.
After that, I can’t really remember. This is a period of my gig-going life that I disown, to be honest, so that’s probably a good thing. I think I saw The Offspring at the SFX sometime around then; I had the last vestiges of a really bad flu-like bug and spent the show clinging to a sweat-drenched wall, just wishing I could go home.
There’s a big blank space in my memory from then on until the Bouncing Souls matinee show I saw at the tail end of 1999. This was when my decisions started getting better. Not quite there yet, but almost. I wish they’d been better that summer though: Fugazi played here and I was completely oblivious.
So, in answer to the question, (I wish) the first band I saw in concert was Zen Guerrilla, who supported Man Or Astro-Man? at an awesome gig in early 2000. As far as I’m concerned now, the line starts here.
*2. Who is your favorite artist/band now?*
At the moment I’ve been digging The Blood Brothers. Their latest album was released just a few weeks ago; the production is quite weak and hollow, it must be said, particularly compared to the lush majesty of last full-length. But the songs — oh, the songs! I just can’t get enough!
*3. What’s your favorite song?*
It is, and most likely always will be, Search by the Minutemen. I even remember the first time I heard it. I almost didn’t feel worthy to hear it.
*4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?*
I would love to master the bass guitar. I have one, but I don’t have an amp. Yes, I know that doesn’t make much sense.
*5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why?*
I’m not sure. Before I would have said Mike Watt, but he’s not so much an icon to me as someone I really and truly respect as a musician and a human being. Sure I’d love to meet him, but not in the manner that this question implies. Actually, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t like or want to meet anyone in that manner. I get very starstruck, you see.