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This week I have both GOT and FOUND some gigs!

The one GOT is for something in the summer which I cannot ANNOUNCE yet (I don't think I can anyway - I can exclusively reveal, however, that it is NOT Glastonbury!), while the one FOUND was possibly even MORE exciting. As stated last year, I am approaching my ONE THOUSANDTH gig next month, and so have been gathering some STATS, notably going through THE LOT and trying to work out who played at them, both WITH me in various bands and also on the same bill. This is a bit tricky for the early gigs, but then yesterday I remembered that I'd started an early version of the website around 1997, and had an ARCHIVE of some of the "NEWS" posts from around mid-1998. Could this, I wondered, help my BRANE remember stuff?

As it turns out, it very much COULD. A glance through very quickly revealed a whole GIG I had completely forgotten about! It was a radio session at Imperial College Radio that I did with Frankie - we'd trained it down to London especially to play it, and then gone on to The Bull & Gate to see Sportique, John Sims and Airport Girl do a gig. Reading about it reminded me that this was the time that I forced a tape upon Mr Steve Lamacq, who was sitting in the front bar, but other than that all I recalled was that we'd been to the student bar beforehand and it was both swankier AND more expensive than expected.

This was VERY exciting because it meant that I could add it to the database and make Gig 1000 into the ACTUAL thousandth - until this point it had only been the 999th, so I was planning to go and do an Open Mic Night somewhere this month to get the numbers up, but now I wouldn't have to! Hoorah!

To be honest, the whole thing is quite vague ANYWAY - I am entirely sure there are plenty of other gigs early on that I never made a note of, and there are likely to be others that I DID note but never happen, plus there are wide variations throughout in what does and doesn't count as a gig, but STILL, overall I think it balances out and there definitely ARE now one thousand gigs listed in The Database Of ROCK.

HOWEVER, getting this new gig in proved to be PROBLEMATIC, as there was no specific date given. All I knew was the month it happened and that afterwards we'd been to see the aforementioned bands, but surely that meant that it'd be easy enough to find out, right? Surely there were PLENTY of websites that would record gigs, especially at such a well known venue?

WRONG! The internet did EXIST back in those days, and there were rudimentary websites, but very little of it survives until today, especially it seems for BANDS and especially especially for old gig dates. HOORAH then for The Wayback Machine, that marvellous archive of THE PAST, which stores different versions of pages from the last century! By remembering the web address for the website I managed for my old work in Leicester (www.prw.le.ac.uk), I was able to find my old personal webpage (featuring a SPINNING HEAD GIF which involved going to the photobooth at Leicester Railway Station and swivelling round on the stool) and thence via one of the many versions of the Sorted Records site, on to John Sim's page and - HALLEUJAH! - a GIGOGRAPHY!

With this I am now not only able to fill in LOADS of other bands that I'd forgotten played at our mutual gigs, but ALSO to state that the session was on 25 November 1998. Thank you, Internet Archive, for this AMAZING resource, even if it did rob me of several hours by forcing me to read through all those old sites going "Oh WOW I remember making that in Paintshop" etc etc! It's HISTORY baby!

posted 6/1/2023 by MJ Hibbett

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