Women Tell Us About Their First Gig One Month On From The Attack In Manchester
The attack killed 22 people, many of them young women and children.
The people of Manchester talk about the fighting spirit of the city ahead of the One Love Manchester tribute concert following the bomb attack at the Manchester Arena...
A month on from the terrorist attack at Ariana Grande’s gig at the Manchester Arena on May 22nd, we ask women for their memories of their first gig. Because while the senseless attack targeted music fans and particularly young women and girls, it won't scare us or stop us remembering the powerful nature of enjoying live music together.
‘My first concert was of all people Jedward when I was around 15, as my friend who had been watching their reality TV show decided for her birthday we needed to go see them. We even had novelty Jedward masks. The opening act was for some reason a women in a bright pink dress who was singing in Russian, who stripped during her songs. The teen audience was not impressed.
"Then Jedward showed up and played the hits, by which I mean covers of hit songs because they didn't have any of their own. After the show we waited outside the stage door to see them, but they were bundled out the door and into the waiting car so fast the whole thing lasted about 3 seconds and was a bit over dramatic because there was like eight people there total.’ – Emily, Aberdeen, 21
‘I was 13 and saw Green Day with a group of my other wannabe-punk friends. It was so thrilling to be out without a parent hovering right behind you, wearing stuff we’d never worn (and would never wear again) and screaming every single lyric of the songs we’d essentially revised so that we never heard a word we didn’t recognise.’ – Katherine, Leeds, 19
’18. Dizzee Rascal. Newcastle. Probably the most fun I’ve ever had.’ – Georgia, Durham, 22
‘My “first gig” was technically my second gig because honestly I’m not going to count the trip to see the Wiggles in Canberra, a tiny toddler, when I was incapable of speech or full bowel control. My first proper gig was a Franz Ferdinand concert with my Dad - I was a few months shy of my eighteenth birthday and during the last days of school. I only had a half-pint to drink, a few men approached me trying to chat me up (queue me wildly gesticulating at my chaperone, which made them scatter away, like sweaty tears in the gig rain), and I awkwardly felt extremely complicated emotions for wildly exuberant and sexually charismatic front man Alex Kapranos whilst two feet away from my then fifty-four year old civil servant Dad who still brings out a camp bed when my boyfriend comes to stay with me.
"It was, without a doubt, one of the best nights of my life. I danced on my own, without a care in the world, sang all the lyrics dredged up from my batter old CD of their first album from 2004, and let the beat bang through me. Then, to cap it all off, I got a free lift home.’ – Mimi, Cambridge, 21
‘I was a late-bloomer when it came to gigs, and only saw my first one at the age of 24. However, the band I waited all those years for to see was the best duo this country has to offer: McBusted. I have no regrets.’ – Caroline, London, 27
‘When I was 11 years old, my dad wrote down a riddle and put it up on the fridge for about three months. Finally, not being able to crack it, my dad asked if I wanted to know what it meant. Long story short, he had tickets for us to go see the Rolling Stones that very night. I sobbed. I wore the t-shirt I got that night for years until it literally had gaping holes in it.’ – Sarah, Edinburgh, 23
‘It was at this tiny venue in my backwater hometown to see this incredibly rubbish band (which shall remain nameless, for the sake of saving face) who, even though they were appearing at what was basically a glorified sports hall to a crowd of about forty people, still came on stage almost an hour late to a chorus of boos. I left after three songs, and went on to go to much better gigs later in life (this experience happening at the grand old age of 14)—like losing your virginity, I like to think that your first gig is more of a choice of the first actually formative one, rather than embarrassing fumble in the dark that leaves you regretting an evening that could have been better spent sat in your bedroom listening to your favourite CDs.’ – Louise, Bath, 23
‘Oasis. Best night of my life.’ – Anna, Manchester, 25
- Words by Sarah Manavis.