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Paul S

Disappointingly short gigs

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Carrying on, sort of, from the short albums thread.... have you ever been to a gig that finished waaay before you expected it to?

My starter is Humble Pie.  1974.  They played the Kursaal in Southend and, in terms of power, energy and quality, it remains one of the best gigs I have ever seen.  But they went off after 50 mins and didn't come back.

So who left you high and dry?

 

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Back in the late 80s we went to a Capital Radio Reggae Sunsplash event in Alexandra Palace. The artists - Ziggy Marley, Maxi Priest, et al, were using Simmons electronic drumkits - the technology was relatively new and not very reliable at that time.

First artist came on and performed the full set however problems with the drumkits led to (roughly 45 minutes) delays with setting up the subsequent artists which led to their sets being around 15-25 minutes. 

Lots of unhappy punters and no suggestion of refunds. I think I still have the tickets in a safe place.

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Not so much short, but Alice Cooper wouldn't believe how strict the curfew was at Gulifest, so left the stage at the end of the set, at which point all power went off, and he hadn't performed any of the big hits which he'd saved for the encore! Oops!

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I don't think so. 

IMO most gigs are too long. IMO as a band you've got to have released a handful of successful albums before you can consider playing for over an hour and TBH most bands could do with trimming their sets down to around 30 - 45 minutes with a single song as an encore provided that it has been earned by both the band and the audience.

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When I was a teen I went to a Jesus and Mary Chain gig. I think it lasted about 20 minutes. I wasn't disappointed as such as this confirmed their rep as being a snotty, punkish band, which is what I liked.

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@TheGreek if the theme is drumkits at festivals...

A few years back I went to see Messenger play on the third stage at Sonisphere.  Then, as now, almost completely unheard of, but their drummer was Gomez, a reasonably well known producer in metal circles (he produced the first Ghost album, Angel Witch, Paradise Lost, Orange Goblin and loads of extreme metal).  I know Gomez a little so went along to see them, and there was a reasonable sized crowd for a good slot.  They played the intro to the first song, Gomez hit the first drum beat...and all the electrics on stage switched off

Five  minutes of furiously resetting everything that felt like forever. The band starts the intro again, Gomez hits the first beat...all the electrics cut out again.  They did it a third time and then just packed up and walked off

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I saw Martin Greh support Oceansize in the basement at Rock City many years ago. His set was about 15 minutes but I was totally blown away. I was so desperate for him to come back out, but if he had maybe it wouldn't have had the same impact. In contrast Oceansize stayed on for 1.5 hours and I was bored after the first 40 minutes

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I was massively disappointed with Marilyn Manson. Two short sets, no encore, absolutely no interaction with the crowd. It just felt like he was going through the motions. Probably my worst gig experience. 

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One that left everybody confused....

Almost 30 years ago Hawkwind did an all nighter at the Brixton Academy.  It was scheduled from 6.00 pm to 6.00 am, and this was before everybody had internet and the ubiquity of mobile phones, certainly no smart phones, and with few details on the poster it was guesswork as to when any of the bands would play.  But Hawkwind will be on late, right? If they take the right drugs they might play through the night, right?

I arrived at about 7.30/8.00, and am standing in the lobby trying to spot a mate, not sure when he is arriving.  At some point it occurs to me that they are playing Hawkwind on the PA in the lobby - weird.  I then go into the auditorium to see if my mate got there earlier, and am a little surprised to see a band on stage playing Hawkwind songs.  Why would they put a Hawkwind covers band on...oh, hang on, that's Hawkwind isn't it?  So I missed about half of the set, and in total they played for about an hour - not what the crowd was expecting when they paid for an all nighter.  A big chunk of the crowd left at that point, including the mate I was supposed to be meeting, disgruntled that they'd only got an hour of the headliners, and with no great interest in the rest of the bands who would be playing for the next nine hours

A girl that I didn't know at the time but who later became my girlfriend briefly attended, having gone to another gig with some friends first, and knowing that they could go to that and also see Hawkwind.  She told me that they arrived at 11.30 to be told that Hawkwind had already played, so they went home.

There was therefore only a very slim crowd left at about 2.00 am when Hawkwind returned to the stage and treated us to another 45 minutes of their set.  There were only a couple of bands left to play at that point, and I always wondered if they might have played for longer if more of the crowd had stuck around to see the second set.  I saw it through to about 5.00, and only living down the road at Clapham Junction I walked home.  Brixton at 5.30 on a sunny Summer morning is a lovely place

Edited by Monkey Steve
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Babyshambles gig at Cambridge Junction, January 2006. On stage two hours late, played eight songs.  Pete Doherty was in jail two days afterwards.

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49 minutes ago, Mykesbass said:

Not so much short, but Alice Cooper wouldn't believe how strict the curfew was at Gulifest, so left the stage at the end of the set, at which point all power went off, and he hadn't performed any of the big hits which he'd saved for the encore! Oops!

When I saw Motorhead at Guilfest - or The Guildford Festival as it was them - they actually switched the power off mid-song. 

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3 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

When I saw Motorhead at Guilfest - or The Guildford Festival as it was them - they actually switched the power off mid-song. 

Can't say they weren't warned. The festival made it absolutely clear that it would happen. Sounds like Cooper's timing was a tiny bit better than Lemmy's!

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58 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I don't think so. 

IMO most gigs are too long. IMO as a band you've got to have released a handful of successful albums before you can consider playing for over an hour and TBH most bands could do with trimming their sets down to around 30 - 45 minutes with a single song as an encore provided that it has been earned by both the band and the audience.

Yep, 40min set, whether playing or watching is just right imo too.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

I don't think so. 

IMO most gigs are too long. IMO as a band you've got to have released a handful of successful albums before you can consider playing for over an hour and TBH most bands could do with trimming their sets down to around 30 - 45 minutes with a single song as an encore provided that it has been earned by both the band and the audience.

I went to see Hothouse Flowers in Glasgow a few years ago. They were 2 hrs late and when they started I only had time to see 2 songs before I had to run for my train.

They returned to Glasgow, a couple of years later and I got my moneys worth. They went on ,and on, and on, until over 2 and a half hrs later, I'd had enough and left in the middle of some huge extended jam. 

In the end they probably had to be dragged off by a big hook :)

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I got dragged to see REM in the late 1980s and I swear they played for three hours. Stuck it for a while but had to go for a break and didn't go back in.

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I saw 'It Bites' headline at Folkestone. This is when Calling all the heroes was still in the charts. I had their album, 'The big lad in the windmill'

They played the whole album and did an encore, which was calling all the heroes, for the 2nd time.

They were fabulous

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The Damned.

IIRC, but I probably don't, it was a gig in Birmingham. Something was thrown from the crowd, causing them to walk off after a couple of songs.

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Little and Large, or it may have been Cannon and Ball.

Summer season in Blackpool many years ago at the end of one of the piers. Billed along the lines of 'An Evening with...' they only came on at the end and did a bit.

 

Edited by MacDaddy

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St Patrick's Day, Shepherds Bush, The Pogues.

The singer was, I assume, somewhere getting ratted, instead of being on stage in front of fk who had paid highly to see him.

So not a short set because it ended too soon. Rather it was a short set because it started too late, the singer was incoherent and rambling to the point where we just left.

 

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Back before I went full-time (now empty-time) I worked as stage crew in various contexts. I did a show for Van Morrison at Blenheim Palace, tickets for which were £150 over 15 years ago, and I think he did maybe 35mins.

As the crew ambled on to start striking the stage we received rapturous applause, which quickly disintergrated into a few thousand punters-worth of boos and grumbles of disappointment. I spent the first 10 minutes explaining that no, he wasn't coming back, and the show was over. This itself had to disintegrate into "I'm sorry, I completely understand, but I'm just the bloke who coils the cables and puts the speakers away- and I need to get back to work!".

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2 minutes ago, stewblack said:

St Patrick's Day, Shepherds Bush, The Pogues.

The singer was, I assume, somewhere getting ratted, instead of being on stage in front of fk who had paid highly to see him.

So not a short set because it ended too soon. Rather it was a short set because it started too late, the singer was incoherent and rambling to the point where we just left.

 

I have an acquaintance who told a very similar story about The Pogues!

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I'll shoehorn in one under the term "Mercifully short gigs" - Ian Brown in the Olympia in Dublin, touring his debut solo album Unfinished Monkey Business, refusing to play any Stone Roses material. The second time they played their shambolic cover of Thriller was the clincher. It was over in under an hour, thankfully.

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Sham 69 at Cleethorpes Winter Garden around 1979. Pursey had vocal feedback problems, gave us just 2 and a half songs!!!!

Told everyone to keep their tickets and they will return at a later date. They never did!!

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2 hours ago, BigRedX said:

I don't think so. 

IMO most gigs are too long. IMO as a band you've got to have released a handful of successful albums before you can consider playing for over an hour and TBH most bands could do with trimming their sets down to around 30 - 45 minutes with a single song as an encore provided that it has been earned by both the band and the audience.

I agree. Unless you’re a big band then a 40-50 min set is usually plenty. For punk shows a 40 min headline set with no encore is pretty standard.

King Adora used to play 25 min headline sets and it was great!

Though I haven’t seen them live for a long time, I’ve had more than enough of watching Foo Fighters’ festival sets on TV that are 3+ hours long with a 20 minute jam in the middle of every song.

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Two for me. King Monkey, Mr Brown, got a cob on at the Academy in Brum Town and didn't come out til about 22.30 - 23.00. All the sheeple were booing like mad, then as soon as he appeared went crazy. I was just crazy..... mad at the unprofessionalism. Still love him though. Also, not music, but Frankie Boyle. Did about 40 minutes, but boy were they a funny 40 minutes (he finished withMichael Jackson children's hospital). 

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