All the gigs of my life

All the gigs of my life: Gig 107 – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Monday, July 17, 2006, Earl’s Court

My one and only Red Hot Chili Peppers gig. A great night which, unfortunately, I remember more for the actions of the people I was at the gig with than the band themselves.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers may seem as anomalous a band to appear on my gigography as for example David Gray or Alabama 3. It’s true that they are out of place amidst my glam British indie faves, but in fact, they are a band I’ve sneakily enjoyed for a long time. In the early 90s, when I was trying to figure out what sort of music fan I was, “Under The Bridge” and “Give It Away” were all over the music TV, and I thought they were pretty good. With their knack for fusing a deep sense of melancholy with a funky bass riff, I would in fact go on to enjoy several more of their tunes over the ensuing decade and a half.

In 2006, I was quite keen on some of the tunes from their latest opus “Stadium Arcadium”. But what led me to actually taking the plunge to see them live was the fact that the Chilis were Crush Boy’s favourite band. For those of you who haven’t followed the saga over the course of the last few gigs I’ve written about, he was the colleague I embarked on an ill-fated relationship with in 2005 before he decided he liked someone else better instead. We’d maintained an uneasy friendship since then, and I’d even, at his request, made an effort to be friends with his new girlfriend too, despite all the discomfort and pain it caused me.

All this lasted until April of 2006, when his new girlfriend decided that he was no longer allowed to have any contact with me. Trickily, however, we’d already booked to attend this Red Hot Chili Peppers gig together. So while this is the first gig for some time that I actually recorded some details about in my diary, most of those details are centred around the personal politics at play on this night out.

Fortunately for me, my Glam Best Friend was also attending this gig with some of her work colleagues, although she had seated tickets while I had standing, so I was unable to just join her crowd instead of Crush Boy’s for the gig. But it did mean that I was able to escape uncomfortable pre-gig socialising. From my diary:

‘The Chilis gig, anyway, was fantastic. I avoided unnecessary awkwardness by going for some drinks and food at a pub called the Prince of Teck in Earl’s Court with Glam Best Friend and her mate. Which was fun. Got into the venue with minutes to spare, and was united with the group. Oh it was clear from the start that certain members would have been much happier without my presence.’

Crush Boy’s girlfriend and her mate greeted me in the briefest manner that was humanly possible without actually tipping over into rudeness. I attempted to be the Better Person and make friendly conversation.

I decided to Make An Effort.
Me: How’s the new job going?
CB’s GF: (ignoring me til Crush Boy pointed out that I’d spoken to her) Fab!
Me: Do you guys want to stand in front of me, seeing as you’ve been here so much longer?
CB’s GF: No!
Well, I tried. And I was not remotely bothered. In fact, I quite enjoyed the fact that now I was the one who was dealing, and she resolutely was not.’

Anyway, enough of this gossipy nonsense. What of the actual gig?

‘Anyway, once the Chilis were on I moved to the other side of the group so I was next to Crush Boy, and had a great time. The band were fantastic with their funk-rawk-mellow-punk ‘fusion’ type thing and I grooved out oblivious to the animosity a couple of people near me might have been feeling. So, I had a great time. Was not even perturbed by Earl’s Court station being shut when we got out. Just walked to South Ken via Burger King ‘cos I was in need of a) a big drink and b) the loo.’

Yes, it’s not the in-depth report you might hope for (and they will return eventually, patient reader!), but it’s an improvement on some recent gig posts. And for those of you fed up with the tedious shenanigans between me and Crush Boy, you will be relieved to learn that this was the last gig I attended with him, and so my blog will now be free of references to our disastrous romance. At least until my All The Songs Of My Life series makes it to the mid-2000s, that is.

Whether I’ll ever make the plunge to go out and see the Chilis again is another matter. While I’m definitely not amongst the legions who for some reason consider them the Worst Band In Existence, they are more of a passing interest for me, and there are many other bands that I am more keen to see while I still have the energy to be heading out for a night of gigging. So – apart from the unlikely event of a reunion between me and Crush Boy which necessitates a celebratory Chilis gig – this will probably remain the only Red Hot Chili Peppers gig I’ll ever attend.

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