If you look at this gig two things are amazing. Firstly – what a line-up! Eric Clapton, The Who (playing Quadrophenia), Bob Dylan and the then current hotness Alanis Morissette all on the same bill! The scond amazing thing – the ticket only cost £8… YEP EIGHT POUNDS!!! It may have been 1996, but even then most small concerts cost betwen £6-10 let along an all-dayer with such a classic line-up! It was all in aid of The Princes Trust.
Unfortunately the weather was the main problem at the gig. It was a cold day (especially considering it was peak summer time) and really windy. The wind was more of an issue than the coldness to be honest, as it really effected the soundsystem and made the bands very hard to listen to.
A whole group of us (Melissa, Monty, Simone, Oli, Sarah, Kate and my sister Dominique) arrived early afternoon in time to see Alanis Morissette. I’d been lucky enough to see her at the (over-)sold out gig at Shepherds Bush Empire in April (GIG 276) where she’d been amazing. Despite the best efforts of the wind she was still really good and a pleasure to see a second time.
Bob Dylan was next on the bill, with his regular band augmented with the addition of Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood and a couple of other guests. I’d never listed to much Bob Dylan before but, again despite the wind, he was really good to see.
The Who were performing Quadrophenia and weer assisted in this by a host of special guests. Jools Holland came out and introduced the band to the stage and during the set various cameos and musical guests joined in such as Stephen Fry (Hotel Manager), Trever McDonald (Newscaster), Phil Daniels (Narrator), Ade Edmundson (Bell Boy), Gary Glitter (Rocker) and Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd who played guitar on a couple of tracks. Now I’m probably going to disappoint a few people here in saying I’ve never been much of a Who fan. I like a handful of their tracks but am generally not keen on them. I’m sure they were great live, but given the deteriorating weather, bad sound, and my general apathy towards the band I thought they were ok but nothing special.
Unfortunately the weather was beginning to cause us real issues. The sound had been bad all day, and we were getting chilled to the bone. I’d have loved to have stayed and seen Eric Clapton but all of us agreed that it was probably best to escape the open air and head somewhere drier and warmer. To this end Monty and I ended up in a pub in East Finchley on the way home which, in turn, led to a very late night movie night back at his flat.
I never got to see Eric Clapton, and don’t suppose I will now.