Uncut’s 50 Best Gigs – Extra!

Exclusive to Uncut.co.uk - Today: Nicky Wire tells us about Sonic Youth in Cardiff in 1988

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In this month’s UNCUT, our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisce about their favourite gigs.

The October issue, onsale now, features our best 50 – including Jimi, U2, The Band and Oasis – with rare photos from the shows too.

Now here’s some more – we’ll publish one everyday this month – including online exclusives on gigs by Manic Street Preachers,The Stone Roses, Pixies, Beach Boys, and Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones and Babyshambles’ Adam Ficek‘s favourite live memories too.

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Sonic Youth
Cardiff University, 1988
NICKY WIRE, MANIC STREET PREACHERS:

It was really severe noise terrorism at its finest, and I just thought Thurston Moore looked absolutely translucent on stage, barely alive and hunched and mumbling away. Kim Gordon became one of my bass playing heroines, I love women bass players. D’Aarcy from the Pumpkins, Kim Gordon and Melissa Auf Der Maur.They did “Teenage Riot”, it was even better than the record, which I barely ever say – I’m not the most prolific giggoer. They smashed their guitars at the end and the drummer trashed away, it was proper noise, hard to hear a tune at times, but really confronting and really challenging too.

They looked great, they were really run-down, but kind of chic as well, something about them was just unbelievably cool. James [Dean Bradfield] and I went, he loved it too. It was the age of discovery, walking round to Spiller’s Records and picking up American bands, also post-C86 stuff, it was a great time. That’s what I wanted to do with my solo album, almost try and be a little bit elitist about it. There’s that great quote from Roddy Frame where he says “I won’t reissue my seven inches, I won’t put them on CD, because some records should be rare.” Back then, it felt like you were part of some vague notion of the underground. It was a good time to be young, you had to look for stuff, it wasn’t on a plate.

I think it was their prime, pre-Geffen. I still think Dirty is a great album, but Daydream Nation’s the one, the reissue out at the moment is fantastic, really gorgeous. It did influence us, actually – obviously we were never going to sound like them, coming from Wales and being who we were, we had quite a lot against us, we had to be more cartoon, more Ramones-esque, larger than life. In terms of rock theatrics, Sonic Youth had it all. It’s a myth that they just stood there, shoulders slumped, banging away on their guitars, it wasn’t at all. It was kind of swirling, mesmeric, really self-contained – they barely addressed the audience.

There was some deep-rooted arrogance there which I love! Kim Gordon held her bass really low, which I thought was brilliant, it made it more difficult to play. Their obsession with modern iconic culture was an influence too, it definitely influenced me and Richie – their obsessions with Marilyn Monroe and the whole trash culture thing. I’ve been listening to them loads actually, I’m having a real Indian summer with Sonic Youth.

*****
plus WERE YOU THERE?

Not even UNCUTs war-weary gig-hounds have been to every great show in history – but you lot probably have.

Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com, or share your memories in the comments box below, of the ones we might have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!

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