Best Gigs Ever

I don’t really think of myself as someone who goes to many live performances of the so-called popular so-called music, but of the very few I’ve been to, it seems that one of them was almost one of the “twenty five best gigs ever“, according to the Observer (though there don’t seem to be 25 on the linked page; perhaps you’re supposed to buy the magazine or something to get them all. I don’t know.)

Anyway, there on the list: Mano Negra at the Town and Country Club, in 1989. I say “almost” as I don’t think I was there then; memory tells me I saw them there in 1990 or 1991, so maybe that’s because they were quite good in 1989, and got invited back or something. So perhaps it doesn’t count. Anyway: they were very good on that occasion, and great fun.

If I were to make a list of the 25 best concerts that I’ve been to, that one would certainly make the cut, though it would end up being quite a lot lower down than, say, Anne Evans singing Isolde at Covent Garden around 1993. That was really good. Splendid, even.

0 thoughts on “Best Gigs Ever”

  1. I’m guessing 1990 – their album Puta’s Fever was released that January, and I impulse-bought it after reading more than one flat-out rave review.

    I loved it – basically, Mano Negra were an insanely high-speed cross between the Clash, the Specials and the Pogues, but also with a heavy Mediterranean influence, so it simultaneously ticked most of the musical boxes I was into. It was also blindingly obvious that they’d be absolutely sensational live (and my God was that prediction accurate!). So when a gig came up, I naturally decided to go, and Chris had the most adventurous musical tastes of any of my friends or siblings, so off we went.

    So while it clearly wasn’t one of the 25 best concerts ever, it was still absolutely sensational – a good capsule summary of the atmosphere was that the singer (Manu Chao, who later went solo) did a stage dive within seconds of the opening number

    (Also, it must have been later than June 1990, because I can very precisely date my illicit use of a Mano Negra song in a video I made – but not much later. So July/August or thereabouts?)

    (The other detail I remember from that particular gig was that the vast majority of people there were French – it’s certainly the first and only time I’ve ever been knocked over by an insanely pogoing maniac, who then conscientiously helps me up and shakes my hand to make sure I’m OK…)

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