My desire to be a music journalist is nothing new. Once upon a time, aged 13-16, I kept a scrapbook of concerts that I attended. However, not realising just how many I would end up going to, it wasn’t updated very often. Still, it is a documentation of how my relationship with live music began.
In this series, I will brush off the dust and transcribe these old diary entries (with emphasis on ‘diary’ as they aren’t reviews) in all their flawed glory. I’m not proud of some of these, or what I write about (crowd surfing and being dropped on your head in retrospect is annoying, and nothing to be proud of). Maybe it’s not the greatest idea to post these in the middle of a portfolio of serious work, but I was barely a teenager. You can forgive me can’t you?
This is the point that really was the final bookend of that stage of my life. I was still a rocker, but I wasn’t a fake extreme sports obsessive Sk8r Boi (explained in this entry) any more. As far as I was aware at the time, CKY was the best thing in the world. The band, the shows… the ‘franchise’ as a whole was awesome. I still like it (though more for nostalgia), and I would go on to see them once more.
CKY (Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, 30th September 2005)
After two significant concerts, I felt enlightened and grown-up and that I would go to gigs more often. I. Am. Awesome. But no, I wouldn’t go to another for almost a year. Coincidentally, the bands were very closely linked.
For a while, with a couple of friends, we made our own Jackass/CKY-style home video show with the criminally unoriginal title Random TV. It was pretty much us jumping into bushes and sitting on all-terrain mountain boards and luging down a hill because we didn’t have the guts to stand up. Our favourite music at the time was by HIM and CKY, everything to do with the Bam Margera connection, which in retrospect sounds like a clothing line or fragrance. When I saw a short interview with a member of the band, plugging the show that was local to me, I had to go. I was really excited about this one.
The support was Clutch, who were fantastic. My assistance tonight was my friend Toby. He enjoyed it too. They were relatively simple guitar rock – nothing too heavy or soft. It was just right. Good clean fun there with a stupid Goldilocks style analysis anecdote. Fittingly, lead man Neil Fallon has a spectacular beard that may well be a baby bear clinging to his face. Of their set, I remember in particular the oddly titled ‘10001110101’ and Burning Beard as they promoted their latest album, Robot Hive/Exodus.
(NOTE: This was the show that introduced me to the brilliant Clutch. It was only fitting. This CKY concert, and Clutch’s own 2007 show in Portsmouth both made the list of the loudest shows I’ve ever witnessed.)
Next was CKY, who received a very warm welcome from the crowd. Nothing could prepare me for the chaos that ensued as they opened with ‘Escape from Hellview’. This was probably the first time at a concert that I had had a good sing along. By the end of song number one, I was shattered. Back on the subject of feeling invincible, I managed to crowd surf again, though it took two attempts. Why? I was dropped on my head again.
(NOTE: “Again?” Indeed, this was my third concert and the third at which I attempted to crowd surf. This concert I think knocked a bit of sense into me – realising that it is really annoying to be kicked in the head)
They played a fair amount of material from their latest album An Answer Can Be Found, as they were promoting it at the time, of which I could only remember a couple of songs. However, there was plenty from my favourite album of theirs, Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild. Other highlights included ‘My Promiscuous Daughter’ (“this is a song about someone’s daughter”) and their debut hit ’96 Quite Bitter Beings’.
As there were time constraints after technical hitches, the set was cut short, closing on ‘Disengage the Simulator’ and dropping ‘Close Yet Far’. The audience chanted ‘one more song’, but to no avail. The curfew had passed.