Friday, 20 April 2012

Top Five

Rich and I went to see Angelique Kidjo the other week, which was really nostalgic for me since I've loved her since I was fifteen.  She turned me onto world music and a whole world of music I hadn't ever been exposed to.  

My brother, sister and I share a love (obsession) of music.  As kids, we grew up listening to whatever was in the charts, it wasn't until we were older that we really got our education in music. We have deaf parents so we didn't have their musical influences shaping our own.

I remember distinctly hanging out at my friend Katie's house when I was fourteen, working our way through The Beatles back catalogue she had grown up listening to, learning about them for the first time ever. Sure, I'd heard a few of the songs by then, but I really didn't have a clue who they were! It was only then that I realised that there was so much more to music than songs that made you feel good on a top 40 countdown.

Homebake Festival, 2008
Arrested Development
Baba OJ !
Kings of Leon (pre Sex on Fire) 
Rage against the Machine
Laura Marling 
Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco
Lissie & me!
So many memorable live shows over the years, and I've been thinking recently about my all time top five.  It's difficult to choose because there are so many variables and reasons why one might stand out. It's not always just about the music either. More often than not, it's also about those that you share the experience with. Or those songs from our life's soundtrack that remind us of certain times and memories.  My list is always going to be sentimental, I cant be any other way.  This is my (current) all time top 5 and why:

1. Faith No More, The Horden Pavilion, 1995.
I went to this gig with some friends of mine who played in a band.  When those distinctive first few chords of 'Epic' were played, we ran from our seats down to the mosh pit.  Before I knew what was happening, my mates had hoiked me up off my feet and let me go…..I was crowd surfing. I will always remember those moments of making my way to the stage - above the crowd - and looking over at Mike Patton just metres away.  I'm not a crowd surfer or even that much of a mosh pit enthusiast to be honest, but that moment was seriously (mother flippin) incredible.

2. Erykah Badu, The Sydney Opera House, 2012.
Ask any of my friends and they'll tell you, I pretty much die for an awesome female singer.  From Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, to Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Alela Diane, Lissie...the list goes on and on!  Erykah Badu is one I had waited to see for a long time and finally got the chance earlier this year. And she didn't disappoint! The SOH is a very respected venue, there is a certain reverence, which means seeing your favourite bands or artists play there can be somewhat subdued or 'unplugged'.  But Erykah had the place jumping out of their seats. By the third song, I had kicked my heels off to join the crowd in a massive dance off.  That gig for me was all about the music, her overwhelming talent and the pure joy that everyone in the room felt by being there. It was electric.

3. Michael Franti & Spearhead, Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, 2003
Every year from 2001 to 2005, 'Blues Fest' was a staple in our events calendar.  If I had to rate the best festival of all time, this would be it, without a doubt.  We saw some seriously mindblowing and historic performances, discovered loads of amazing new and 'new to us' artists & bands.  But this performance in particular makes my list because that year my sister joined for the first time. She is is seven years younger than me and was nineteen at the time. She was wide-eyed and excited and we went to this show together. Just the two of us. We kicked up the dirt and danced, we sang 'all the crazy people make the beauty of the world' we hugged strangers, we hugged each other, we hugged Michael Franti and we left with the hugest smiles. Sharing this moment with her is forever in my heart.

That line speaks for itself, really. It was as awesome as it sounds.  ok so, technically it was two gigs, they didnt play together on the same stage, but I cant choose one or the other.  People were up trees and flagpoles to get a glimpse, I've never seen so many people at a show actually. There was a sense of seeing something truly special, we were lucky to be there. 

Oh! AND, we stayed in the same hotel as Thom Yorke, I passed him in the lobby and for the smallest of moments, we locked eyes.  I'm sure he'll remember that moment forever ;-)

5. Hollie Smith, The Vanguard, 2008.
My music loving husband introduced me to Hollie Smith, she is another one of those to die for female voices. This was back when Rich and I were dating, sharing music and love song dedications.  We got amazing tickets, sat spellbound in front of her keyboard and watched her play barefoot and sing her heart out.  She's stunning, in every sense of the word.  It was special, and especially so for us.

*sigh* it's been fun to relive those moments! 

I'd love to hear about your all time favourite gigs too. Share!

Belinda x


  1. I want to say a big thank you to you for introducing me to the great musical stylings of Hollie Smith. I stumbled across her from catching a glimpse of a passing status of yours on facebook last year sometime. Boy am I glad I was paying attention that day! A quick google later and her magical tunes were dancing though my mind and I was hooked! I have made a point of paying it forward and my friends are also grateful! So thanks again! Xx

    1. Isnt she so great! Glad to hear you and your mates love her too, Kaz :-) xx

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Thanks for your comment, so nice to hear from you. Belinda x

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