First gig of the year was actually Bruce Springsteen’s gig at the King’s Hall. A major first for the Boss. This being his first visit to Belfast and also a more scaled down and intimate tour compared to the massive stadium and arena shows that he normally does.
This tour was more stripped back almost like MTV Unplugged as Bruce brought the new sounds of The Ghost of Tom Joad on the road. This was a brilliant gig and they must have done something to the King’s Hall as the acoustics never sounded better.
Worst thing about the gig if there ever was one is me not getting to meet the man himself. My dad was giving me a lift up the road from work and I noticed my friends waiting around outside the main gates. Little did I know that Bruce was on his way and my friends met him getting some autographs. Pure raging so I was!
My first visit to Mandela Hall at Queen’s for a Radio 1 Evening Session on campus gig. It was headlined by Lush with support from Portadown’s Joyrider.
I think I was mainly there for Joyrider but I had bought some singles by Lush and I liked what I heard. It was a really good gig and Mandela Hall became one of my favourite venues in Belfast.
Going to see Moby at the Limelight before every song he released was being used in a commercial was a highlight.
Probably the last of the smaller venues for him before he went on to release Play, Moby went all out punk rock. The more heavier side of Moby, Animal Rights was a favourite album at the time. I also got to meet him at the gig and I bought a CD single there which he signed for me.
The next gig was probably the one gig I really wouldn’t have gone for…The Prodigy!
I was never into dance or rave music as I was a real music snob! My first fears were realised when you were amongst people with day-glo sticks and whistles. I felt out of place but when The Prodigy came on they blew the roof off the place, mixing dance music with rock music, it was just amazing. I went in a sceptic but came out a fan. The Prodigy never disappoint.
The last gig of the year was the now traditional Christmas gig which brought me to Dublin to see Ash.
This was the biggest show of the year for Ash who were enjoying the success of 1977. Probably the biggest gig I seen them play at the Point which was their only visit there. Please correct me if I am wrong!
As Britpop was taking over the support came from bands who were on the fringes of the scene but would have been championed by Radio 1 Evening Session. Support for the evening came from 60ft Dolls, Kenickie and Chinadrum.