We were absolutely delighted when Graeme Lucas offered to share his night out at The Darling Buds gig with us. On Twitter we know him as @GLPNE73 and it didn’t take long for us to crack the code. Graeme Lucas supports Preston North End football club and was born in the year 1973. He has pretty much been a regular fixture in our community since the early days, sharing tunes and keeping us up to date with his gig nights. We’ve learnt from this that Graeme is rather partial to Nine Black Alps, The Cribs and Toy among others.
Anyway, this is what Graeme has to say about his night with The Darling Buds (and what an enjoyable read it is)
The Darling Buds @ Hebden Bridge Trades Club – Saturday 18th July 2015
Gig reviews always leave me with memories of my youth, which is, like most of us, many moons into the past. One in particular stands out…June 1993, I was about to sit my English Language A Level (resit) and had a problem. The night before the exam, a gig in Manchester had appeared on my radar. Now, as a Prestonian with no car, getting to Manchester Academy midweek usually meant a train, but somehow, on this occasion, another friend said they would drive. They had no exam the following morning, so no issues there for them. Trouble was, back then, I had no self control, no stop button, and therefore, the gig was on. The Lemonheads, supported by Eleventh Dream Day.
The night is a bit of a blur in all honesty, and I stumbled home at around 3am, and wasn’t exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed at 9am when the exam started. Nervously, hung over, I opened the booklet to see the choice of titles. One immediately caught my eye. It simply said, ‘Write a review of a theatre visit or classical concert you have recently attended’. Job done. In my eyes, the world ‘classical’ was open to interpretation. Why am I telling you this? It was the last gig review I ever wrote.
So onto Saturday and a bit of context. Hebden Bridge, unless you live north of Birmingham, is probably somewhere that sounds mysterious, quaint and quirky. In a way, it is. The small town of Hebden Bridge is halfway between the industrial mill towns of Burnley and Halifax, but deep enough into Yorkshire for me to be slightly paranoid about my Preston accent, despite Hebden Bridge having a reputation for being highly tolerant of alternative lifestyles. The night started with a pint in a pub served by an elderly lady so small, she struggled to reach the pumps. Top shelf challenge firmly off our agenda then!
At 8pm, we headed up to the venue, the brilliantly named ‘Trades Club’, a dark and imposing building typical of Yorkshire architecture. We walked in and up the stairs, disturbed by the silence. As we got to the top, a small bar on the right was being used by 5 or 6 people, a game of pool was ongoing but no other sign of life. A further door, into the events room was closed and we were told doors opened at 8-30, with the band on at 9-30. No support band had been found. Back into town, where my fears about the accent were confirmed, on a number of occasions, ‘Where are you from?’ was asked, closely followed by ‘Are you Burnley boys?’ Given that most people in this area support either Leeds or Burnley, my mate took a punt with the response ‘I am, but he’s a Preston fan’. Thanks mate…anyway, I somehow avoided a kicking and at 9pm we headed back to the Trades.
I’d love to say the place was rammed, but it wasn’t. In all honesty, a venue that probably holds 300 had around 60 diehards. The Darling Buds emerged at 9-30 on the dot, opening the set with the wonderful ‘Spin’, which got the crowd going quickly. Andrea threw flowers into the crowd, which were treasured by those lucky enough to catch. The set continued at a blistering pace, covering a range of tracks from all three albums. In between songs, the band engaged well with a passionate crowd, my particular highlight was someone shouting ‘you rock’, which Andrea misheard as ‘you’re crap’! The warmth from the crowd was notable, with pogoing and even the semblance of a moshpit at times. A Cribs gig it was not, but lively it was. The main part of the set ended, but the band themselves stayed longer, not bothering to go off and on again. The ‘encore’ they designed was not a disappointment. The live sound was edgier and harder than on record, which really worked.
‘You’ll know this one’ introduced Burst, which sent the small crowd wild, swiftly followed by Hit The Ground and they ended with Shame on You. The only shame of the evening was that there weren’t more people there to enjoy a cracking show. Andrea and the rest of the band seemed genuinely touched by the response of the crowd and I hope they had as good a night as we did. The crowd swiftly dissipated and we headed back across the Pennines to Rawtenstall.
My gig buddy had a surprise up his sleeve. Bizarrely named Artisan Cafe was our destination. ‘There’s a band on’ he told me, and as we pulled up, the opening chords of ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ burst out of the bar. This bar was rammed, loads of 40+ people enjoying Riflemen of War, a local punk covers band. For the next hour or so, we were treated to a variety of punk classics. Stiff Little Fingers, Sham 69, Tenpole Tudor, The Clash and much much more. By the end of their set I’d had quite a few so I have no real recollection of how good they were, or how tight the sound was. I had a damn good time though. Next gig lined up for me involves a trip down south. Oxford. That is the south, right? Taking my son, who is 10, to see the mighty Polyphonic Spree. Who knows? I might write another review, making a total of 3 in my 42 years!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Graeme’s gig night. We would love to hear about your own gig experiences whether they are recent or in the past. Please contact us if you would like to contribute, via email email@example.com or Twitter @IndieOver40