Now it’s not often you’ll find this particular rock fan complaining about too many gigs. Too few, yes. But too many? Is there even such a thing as too many gigs?
I never believed it until a few weeks ago when I was inking some key dates in the old rushonrock diary. Thursday September 17 never really looked that special earlier in the summer but as the weeks went by it quickly emerged that this would be one crazy night of rock action in my native Newcastle.
It all started to go a bit mental when the Jeff Fest was moved from its original date at relatively short notice. As a big fan, a ultimately a friend, of iconic North East rock spinner Little Jeff it’s one night I never like to miss and so that was that – September 17 would be spent propped up at the Trillians bar supping Guinness and watching my favourite female-fronted band Remedy.
Then I started getting into my promo copy of INME’s stunning new record Herald Moth and started pestering the PR guy to find out when these emo kids turned rock Gods would be stopping off on Tyneside. You’ve guessed the answer. Thursday September 17. No problem, I thought. Remedy are on early so why not catch Jen and her mates at the Jeff Fest, bomb down to the Academy for some INME action and then hot foot it back up to Trillians for last orders. As plans go it was perfect.
Then came the spanner in the works to beat all spanners in any works. One of my favourite hair metal bands from the early 90s, the legendary LA guns, announced a gig at Legends on, of all nights, September 17. Even worse – and that’s worse in a scheduling sense rather than a criticism of the band – the fantastic Fables Last Stand bagged the support slot. Not only was there no space left in the diary, I was seriously doubting my ability to cover three venues in one night.
Contrast this frankly bonkers night of Toon rock with the previous week and it’s possible to understand why fans occasionally wonder what on earth is going through the minds of bands and promoters in these recession-hit times. Unless I’m mistaken there was barely a rock gig of note anywhere across the North East last week and looking ahead to next week only It Bites, at The Cluny, looks like a decent bet. Yet here we are facing a three-gig dilemma on one night – in the very same week that Blackhole and The Used have already made a play for the Tyneside public’s hard-earned cash.
As a fervent supporter of Fables I can’t miss those guys. As a regular advocate of Remedy’s 70s tinged rock there’s no way I’m going to miss the Hard Rock Hell-bound band on home turf. Tracii Guns is one of my fave guitarists of all time and INME’s new album is so good I just have to see at least some of it live.
And so the rushonrock Rockathon is born. But it means there’ll be fewer full reviews than is really acceptable, no reviews at all where various bands are concerned, and the reviews which do make the cut will be riddled with errors due to inevitable fatigue. I’m making my excuses early. But what’s the promoters’ excuse?