Bands most seen

11 TIMES

BARENAKED LADIES

Comedic Canadian funsters still on great form. Plus ex-member Steve Page as a solo artist.

SQUEEZE/GLENN TILBROOK

Eleven gigs overall. See below for Squeeze encounters going back to 1978.

HUE AND CRY

Talented, soulful, and still going. Particularly good acoustically.

10 TIMES

SCOTT GORHAM

7 with Lizzy, 3 with Black Star Riders.

UFO

Long-lasting rockers. Technically retired after 50 years but strangely still gigging. RIP Paul Raymond and Pete Way – both gone to the great gig in the sky.

8 TIMES

DR. FEELGOOD

From Wilko to the current line-up, classic pub rock. First seen in 1979.

NINE BELOW ZERO

Good time London blues band. Always a laugh. Dennis Greaves used my mate Dave’s crutch as a bottleneck at the 100 Club. A metallic one. He had broken his leg.

RIVAL SONS

Still Californian. Still shouty. Rising from the Borderline to packing out Brixton, The Roundhouse and the Kentish Town Forum. Top stuff, but the guitar and drum solos are getting longer and more indulgent.

THUNDER/LUKE MORLEY

Left-handed Flying V-playing Luke Morley, going back to date X.

WISHBONE ASH

Historic early pioneers of the twin guitar approach, and inspiration for my purchase of a Flying V in the first place. Incarnations of the band are now split between Andy Powell’s version, which he maintains is “the authentic one”, with a lawsuit childishly insisting that Martin Turner’s version be billed as Martin Turner (Ex-Wishbone Ash). They are both excellent and we are eminently capable of working out who is who whilst still enjoying the music.7 TIMES

DEF LEPPARD

Full throttle rock experience. Worth every penny. 9 times if you include Joe Elliott’s Down n Outz and Phil Collen’s ManRaze.

KING KING

Big bloke in a kilt playing brilliant blues rock with his slightly smaller brother.

MOSE ALLISON

Hilarious observational jazz/blues pianist.  Brilliant. Sadly died in 2016.

THIN LIZZY

Obviously the 1976 twin guitar line-up was the classic. You had to be there.

6 TIMES

BAND OF FRIENDS

Rory Gallagher tribute band run by the ever-cheerful bassist Gerry McAvoy. Now featuring the excellent Jim Kirkpatrick of FM. RIP Ted McKenna.

BON JOVI

Guaranteed good time and masters of big venues.

BRYAN ADAMS

Still pumping out the hits. He can rock hard, despite the cheesy ballads.

DEL AMITRI/JUSTIN CURRIE

Bittersweet Scottish crooner, sometimes with his mates.

FRANCIS DUNNERY/IT BITES

It Bites man still noodling after 30 years.

GIRL

Glam rock – long since gone.

HALL AND OATES

A bit soft soap, but with good soulful moments. Daryl can’t hit the high notes any more.

MARCUS BONFANTI

Many incarnations here – as a solo artist, in Jawbone, Saint Jude, fronting Ten Years After, and playing for Johnny Hates Jazz. Truly eclectic.

STRAY

Rediscovered in 2010 and still gigging after 50 years. First saw them support Rush at the Hammersmith Apollo for £2.00 in 1977.

THE 45s

Clapham/Brentford pub band I followed insanely in the 80s.

5 TIMES

THE BLACK CROWES

First seen in 1995. Somewhat variable. In the early days they could noodle incessantly in extended jams. The 2022 rendition of Shake Your Money Maker was a welcome straight rock outing.

CHAS N DAVE

Twice supporting Clapton, another supporting the Quo, and two office parties, courtesy of working on Courage Best.

CROWDED HOUSE

Neil Finn on his own, with his brother Tim, in Crowded House, or even Fleetwood Mac.

THE DARKNESS

Always good for a laugh, especially when Hawkins sails onto the stage astride a pair of giant comedy breasts. 6 times if you include his strange hiatus project – the bizarrely titled Hot Leg.

EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS

Numerous iterations, but you can’t not have fun at their gigs. Front man Barry Masters was held together by chewing gum and ale. I once had a conversation with him at the stand-ups in a bizarre venue in Torrington. Sadly died October 2 2019.

ERIC CLAPTON

Boring old bastard who barely speaks to the audience (see Paul Weller). Including guest appearances with Sheryl Crow and Buddy Guy, one of whom he slept with.

GLENN TILBROOK

The Squeeze man is humorous and highly talented. It’s like he’s playing in your kitchen. Add in Squeeze performances and I’ve seen him 9 times.

GIRLSCHOOL

Still going. Female rock –  a down and dirty experience.

JIM KIRKPATRICK

Special mention. 3 times with FM. Once with Band of Friends. Once with Sari Schorr.

ROACHFORD

Alone with a keyboard, with his own band,  or fronting Mike + The Mechanics.

SQUEEZE

All the way back to 1978 – a 40-year run.

TAJ MAHAL

Lived-in blues supremo complete with gravelly voice.

4 TIMES

AEROSMITH

King rockers from Boston.

BLACKBERRY SMOKE

Brilliant Southern-fried rock. Have now taken on the mantle of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

BUDDY GUY

Charismatic blues veteran. Still belting them out, usually dressed in polka dots.

ERIC BIBB

Likeable blues guy. Tells long stories.

DIRTY HONEY

Fast rising Californian Aerosmith-a-like heavy rockers.

JOOLS HOLLAND

A bit of a corporate gig these days, but he’s a hell of a talent, especially when jamming with others.

MICHAEL SCHENKER

The best Flying V player ever?

NO DICE

Little-known and now defunct rock band we followed in the late seventies.

RONNIE WOOD

With The Stones, Rod Stewart and on his own. Still rocking.

THE SKIDS

First seen nearly 40 years ago. Still going.

THE SWEET

Ball-breakingly high harmonies, and Andy Scott’s white wig has to be seen to be believed.

THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT

Hairy, shouty rock, with seemingly ever-changing personnel.

T’PAU

Voice still cranking out. Classic AOR.

TRAIN

American rockers now sadly gone disco.

WILKO JOHNSON

First seen 40 years ago when he had plenty of pep. Sadly his last gig was excruciating. RIP.

3 TIMES

BILLY JOEL

Tons of hits. High quality. Top professional.

BLACK STAR RIDERS

Scott Gorham, Ricky Warwick and other revolving personnel. Increasing tendency to play too fast and too loud – a trait that detracts from the tuneful songs.

BLUE OYSTER CULT

Slightly odd US cult rock including perverse themes of dominance and submission.

DAVID LEE ROTH/VAN HALEN

Various combinations – always good. Eddie was one of the best, and Steve Vai’s double neck heart guitar had to be seen to be believed.

DEBBIE HARRY/BLONDIE

Everything from jazz to pop – still going.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS

Ragged Alabama boys who are angry about almost everything.

FLYING COLORS

Consummate supergroup who can play anything.

FM

Consummate AOR rockers.

GUN

Rough-arsed Scottish rockers, still going.

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR

Excellent blues guitarist with a raspy tone and a great set of pipes.

KEB MO

Smooth blues player. Good guitarist.

RUSH

Hairy, high-voiced Canadian prog rockers, now retired or dead.

THE RUTS

Full throttle Hounslow punk. RIP singer Malcolm Owen, who I met.

SAXON

The original NWOBHM biker rockers. Biff’s voice is so loud he doesn’t need the PA system.

SONS OF LIBERTY

Hairy Bristolian rockers who think they’re from Tennessee

STATUS QUO

Down down deeper and down, whatever that means.

THE BEAT

Once at Oxford Poly, once at Milton Keynes supporting Bowie, and once at The Jazz Cafe. Strange combination…

THE PRETENDERS

Various guises. Chrissie Hynde always good value.

THE STRANGLERS

Supported them in the early eighties. Down In The Sewer was the classic.

WALTER TROUT

Liver collapse survival merchant who completely relearned to play – fluid as ever.

PAUL WELLER

Boring old bastard who barely speaks to the audience (see Eric Clapton).

WHITESNAKE

Farewell tour as Coverdale hits 70. They had much more feel back in the 80s with Marsden and Moody – now it’s just full throttle bludgeoning all the way.

ZZ TOP

And/or Billy F Gibbons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.