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Before they were famous/ bands I almost saw - but didn't
  • In the Blu Ray thread, I told a story about Mrs T and that she had seen U2 when they were just a new band in 1980 at the Ipswich Gaumont in support of the Boy album, their first. It got me thinking about other bands people may have seen when they were nobodies and went on to become rich and famous.
    I've got 3 from memory. I saw AC/DC at the ABC theatre in Colchester, which spent most of its time as a cinema. This was 1978 and they were touring the album Powerage and were still pretty much unknown in the UK, hence the venue.
    Also in 1978, I went to see Black Sabbath at the Ipswich Gaumont and support that night was a new band from the USA called Van Halen. Dave Lee Roth was doing the splits back then. Probably could not manage it now.
    Finally, in 1986, we went to see Queen at Wembley Stadium. It was a big bill that day with many bands. Among the early runners was a band called INXS. Unheard of then. Everyone in the crowd was saying 'who's this inks?' Wembley stadium today, fame, fortune and then back of a hotel bedroom door tomorrow ! Shame.
    Any other 'I saw them before they were famous' out there? How about bands you almost went to see, but for some reason, didn't.
    Post edited by Urban_Tribesman at 2014-10-22 16:24:17
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
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  • Taking some liberties with the definition of 'famous', here's a list of a few names, places and dates that come to mind:
    Goldfrapp @ Rock Werchter (29-6-2001)
    Muse @ Paradiso, Amsterdam (6-1-2000)
    Duffy @ Odeon, Amsterdam (5-2-2008)
    Chvrches @ Eurosonic, Groningen (13-1-2013)
    John Grant @ Paradiso, Amsterdam (10-6-2010)
    Within Temptation @ Para, Breda (24-1-1997)
    Soulwax @ Para, Breda (??-??-1996)
    Jamie Lidell @ Mezz, Breda (??-??-2002)
    there's more, will add those later

    and I once saw a cute redhead playing keyboards in a band supporting Jellyfish in Amsterdam in 1991
    the band turned out to be Goodbye Mr Mackenzie.
    the girl in question was Shirley Manson...

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    "I think it is our job to dream"
  • No idea of years but, like Dreeke said, 'before they are famous' is very subjective. Before a record deal? Before an album release? Before your mum has heard of them? :-)

    Saw Frapp on Felt Mountain tour and although not as big as they are now there was a bit of hype (i.e. trip hop, bristol, friends of Tricky/Portishead). They ended up being up for Mercury Prise that year. Most bands I like never become 'famous' in a big sense and I usually only like small venues so I see most artists in the early stages of their career anyway. So it kind of relates to how big bands I saw became.

    In the late 70's/early 80's, without the internet, you would literally turn up and not know stuff about the band (or very little) so it would be a gamble. These days I don't think you get the surprise element anymore. You can youtube/spotify them on the way to the gig and then know half their tracks. So there is less chance to miss something early on. Infact the hype often puts me off. I turned down ticket to see the Arctic Monkeys before they were famous but at this point the NME was raving about them. Although I do regret turning down the first Sigur Ros tour (with an opera singer) at Leeds Varieties. That would of been a before they famous moment.

    Big bands?

    First proper gig I went to (I initiated) was INXS on their first tour of UK (85/86?) promoting Listen Like Thieves tour at Shef Uni. But more relevant was seeing them the next year on first Kick tour, just before they hit big time, being supported by an unknown Sinead O'Connor.  

    Also saw Catatonia in a pub in Leeds with 30 people ...being supported by Space.

    Saw Cardigans first NME tour. Are they big?

    Sure there must be some more.
  • Let's say before they are famous is just before they became accepted mainstream acts. You know, the story about Shirley Manson is the thought process I had in mind. I also turned down a ticket to go to Colchester Tech college in 1977 to see a new band I had never heard of. They were called Dire Straits.
    Let's expand this out to bands I almost went to see but didn't.
    Thinking about it, when I was still at school, I occasionally worked for my Dad. He was a wine merchant and had a license to run outside catering bars at weddings etc and we also did the annual end of term do at the teacher training college in Clacton on Sea. They always had bands on stage and in 1975, one of those bands was Eddie and the Hot Rods if anyone has heard of them. They went on to some fame as a punk rock band and eventually became The Rods. I remember their music being quite in your face in a proto punk style. They were also associated with The Damned and Dr Feelgood.
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  • The Pretty Things are a band I almost saw, but didn't.  It must have been 1967 or 1968, while I was living in Lancaster.  I went with some friends to another town (I can't remember which -- it was somewhere in North West England) to see the band.  The venue had hard wooden seats a bit like the Union Chapel.  While the support act was playing, some very strong joints made the rounds.  Consequently, in spite of the hard seats, I passed out/fell asleep before the Pretty Things came on stage, and awoke after they'd finished their set.

    I'm sure a lot of people had similar experiences in those days.
  • Okay I have funny one - and it's quite neat linking with Goldfrapp. But only relevant to UK parents of small kids (or adults that watch too much Cbeebies - UK kids TV). :-)

    I used to go to an unplugged music night in a small pub in Leeds in late 90'searly 00's. 30ish people max when full. I was chatting about it the other day with my Leeds buddies and we were trying to remember the people we saw. Mainly old blokes singing the blues but also some very talented younger people. My mates who wrote Dubstars - Not So Manic now, Jon Gomm, Mick Artistic (the few who got minor fame). But there was couple of girls, Mimi and Vicki, who were truely unique in their vocal interplay - almost theatrical. Sometimes on their own or with a band, a couple of lads (they all met at Bretton college art school) and they were called Aqute Couch. 

    I remember at my first Goldfrapp gig me and my mate Helen met Mimi and Ben and had a nice chat. Ben was very quiet, shy lad and I was intrigued at his love of Tool (not what i expected). 

    Any way when I did a search the other day and a link for the band turned up on Ben Faulks website. The funny thing is to most parents Ben Faulks is not a leftfield art school musician but in fact MR BLOOM! Cbeebies very on kids gardening expert. Funny seems he is the only person to have hit the big time from that unplugged night - just not for music we expected :-).