On this particular day we were playing outside during daylight for the first time
since the Meadows festival. Scaffolding had been erected to provide the largest stage
we had performed on so far. We were due to perform in the early afternoon, and a hurried
soundcheck indicated that we would be performing our stuff by sense-memory : our tiny
amplifiers were so far from us that they were inaudible. Off in the distance, a
shrieking which might have been our music, blowing on the breeze.
In order to to sow confusion and bewilderment among the public our set was introduced by the drummer's penpal, in French. Our name was therefore Les Cicatreuses. Later investigations did not discover any members of the 6,000-strong audience who had temporarily believed themselves to be in the wrong country.
|shrieking on the breeze (97 Kb)- click to enlarge|
We commenced our set with The Victim, which told the tale of an unbelievably heartless road-rage assault. The story had been discovered in a newspaper by my dad. After 20 seconds I realised that as had often occurred in the past, the poor quality of my guitar lead meant I could not move around without causing the sound to cut out. This had also occurred at our first London gig with the Human League, Gang of Four and Mekons, and was to happen many times in the future. I was rooted to the spot, which accounts for my hunched posture.
Missiles began to arc towards the stage, but because of the height, and and kind of demilitarized zone which had been set up by the promoter between the crowd and the stage, only the heaviest actually reached us. About half a dozen full cans of beer, some of which were unopened, rolled across the stage. It seemed a waste, and I was frightened – this seems to be happening every time we played. Rab caught one which came over at head height and drank from it.
A guy vaulted the barrier and ran toward the stage. I lost sight of him as he approached the high stage - apparently enraged by my boots. He must have been tackled because he did not reappear.
Sounds reported that the crowd reaction was a disgrace but we all realised that we had provoked a reaction at a major event, and we were happy with that - despite the fear.
Mail me if you were there.
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