ufoHe’s back. RUSHONROCK‘s classic rock columnist cum Wimbledon correspondent has spent the past fortnight mixing riffs with aces and volleys with solos.

But this week Self Made Man is looking ahead to a busy period of big-name gigs and revealing he’d willingly break the bank in his pursuit of rock.

Read his column exclusively right here every week. 


Rock concerts are becoming more and more like red buses.

You wait an age for one to come along and then a cluster of them follow in close procession.

For the first six months of the year, I’ve been starved of live gigs – seeing Aerosmith and Joe Bonamassa at the Clapham Calling festival was only my third of the year.

And I had to wait until April for my first.

But the floodgates have opened with the announcement that The Who will be touring for the last time in December and Kasabian too are hitting the road – two events I’m desperate to attend.

It’s bad enough that their concerts at Newcastle Arena are just 48 hours apart on December 9 and 11 respectively.

What makes it even worse is that sandwiched in between, ex-UFO guitarist Michael Schenker and his band are playing at the Carling Academy. I’ll be there too.

Naturally, I’d prefer the gigs to be a little more spaced out though not for one minute did I consider live music overload an adequate reason for giving one of them a skip.

It promises to be quite a congested end to 2014 as far as my concert diary is concerned.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Band Of Skulls at The Riverside on November 1 and then later that month, Robert Plant is on at the Academy.

For some reason, bands I want to see in concert all decide to tour at about the same time.

Last year, I indulged during the May-June period, seeing Whitesnake, The Who, Rush and Neil Young within the space of three weeks.

It was the same in my youth with January and February, I seem to remember, the most popular months to tour.

Of course, having a crowded social diary is nothing to complain about but having an empty wallet most certainly is.

My bank manager may be contacting me about frenzied activity on my account on Friday, July 4 for not only did I buy myself tickets for The Who and Kasabian but also for members of my family.

Four hundred pounds later and there’s part of me wishing we weren’t such lovers of live music.

Ian Murtagh