It was July 2022, the first day of a small heat wave, and time to venture back to Alexandra Palace for of the best gigs of the year.
One particularly exciting aspect of my 2022 gigging life has been rediscovering the live experience of several bands I’d not seen for well over a decade. On this midsummer evening it was time to rediscover a band who I saw seven times in 2003 and then not at all since: the Dandy Warhols.
Two years had passed since this gig was supposed to take place in May 2020. A whopping two years and 8 months had come and gone since I actually bought the ticket. I am pretty sure that this gig marked the longest COVID delay of my gigging life, and in a particularly happy landmark, it was my final gig that had been booked in pre-COVID times.
This was a gig like none I have experienced since the distant days of the very early 2000s: a phone-free gig. And it was a revelation. I may be left with no mementoes in the way of photos or videos, but but by the end of the night I found myself wishing that all my gigs could be phone-free from that moment on.
Nothing could stop me from attending this once in a lifetime chance to see Liam Gallagher at the Royal Albert Hall. Not even COVID.
It was March 2022. Not only was it my birthday month, but I’d just been offered a brilliant new job, my most senior post yet in my 25 year strong NHS career. There was only one way to celebrate: by catching COVID!
The UK feels like a very different place since I was last at a gig two months ago
Another week in December 2021 had passed, full of stress and uncertainty about the immediate future. But then it was Friday night.
Halfway though this, the final Manic Street Preachers gig of this most triumphant year for the band, I had what you might call A Moment.
“Coming Up” by Suede is an album that soundtracked a period of huge transformation in my life.