I’m beginning to get a little excited about this Saturday’s gig in Balloch. It’s always a bit special going to an outdoor gig, and the setting for this one, with Loch Lomond in the background (about 100 metres from the stage) makes it fairly unique. There have only been three concerts held there, and a couple of Radio 1 roadshows. The first concert was Runrig almost 14 years ago – the concert itself was on the day of Louise’s 18th birthday… oops, shouldn’t have said that!! – and was just a fabulous day. Hard to describe but a combination of good friends (largely the same bunch I’ll be with on Saturday) booze, sunshine and fireworks brought a lump to the throat. Ahh yes, those were the days.
No doubt we’ll be reminiscing on Saturday and various snippets of the day come flooding back easily – the hauntingly reverberating didgeridoo used by the Hothouse Flowers in their opening song sent shivers up the spine, the man painted bright orange, standing next to Lorraine Kelly when Runrig were on stage, our mate Niall sneaking in juice cartoons filled with spirits (injected using a syringe) – and I’m sure Saturday will be the same. However R.E.M. will play a large part in that, and I’m hoping they break with tradition slightly to play a more “greatest hits” orientated set than they normally would.
I missed Oasis playing in Balloch, sort of, as I spent the day floating on the loch on a friends boat, watching the bands of the day being shuttled back and forth across the loch to Cameron House. The Manic Street Preachers the only ones to acknowledge our presence that day, although admittedly the consumption of cheap red wine was the order of the day. Highlight was the sunsetting over the hills, the sky burning crimson as Champagne Supernova blasted out across the water. Awesome stuff.
Thinking about it, I think only the U2 gig at Parkhead on the Zooropa tour and the Stereo MCs in the Barrowlands can top the Runrig gig. Sure the music, venue, people and the entire atmosphere were different for each, but that’s what gigs are all about, what you take from them, what you keep locked away is rarely the music alone.
So, over to you lot, what’s your favourite gig? And why?