In this First Concert Ever segment, the singer-songwriter, Paddy James, talks about the story of his first experience with live music. You can check out the story, after the break.
You could say I grew up at gigs. Even at a very young age, I would often be with mum in the audience at local pubs and festivals where dad would be fronting one of his various blues and rock bands. One of my favourites was a band called the ‘Muffin Blues-berries’ a name which still tickles me today. I have fond memories helping lump his kit about and the guys in the band were always super dope, leaving me with fabulous impressions of the music world.
As much as I loved these gigs it wasn’t until much later that I would say I finally went to my first ‘proper’ gig. I had bought tickets as a birthday treat for dad, to see John Mayer at the Brixton Academy in London in the summer of 2008. We had both been hooked since his ‘Continuum’ album, which is still up there as one of my favourites of all time. We were quite surprised he wasn’t playing a bigger venue, I guess the UK had been a little slow on the uptake.
We were super stoked and travelled up on the train from our hometown, Southampton in Hampshire, no more than an hour and a half away. We had barely been on the move thirty minutes before a tsunami of terror struck me, in a typical dopey teenager move, I had only gone and left our tickets at home.
Fortunately for me, dad can be quite persistent and managed to talk our way into the gig, much to the dismay of the bemused ticket office guy. What a relief. As we entered, I remember being pumped that it didn’t really matter where you stood because the raked floor was on such an angle that the stage was in clear view. John opened up with ‘Belief’ and immediately, the set was on fire. A typical Mayer masterclass of refined musicianship, blending his signature blues, rock, and pop sound. It was so great to get to see him in a smaller venue and a day I’ll always cherish.
On leaving the gig we bumped into a school pal of mine and decided that the night was too young to end there. We raved it up in the darker side of Brixton until crashing out in a cheap hotel somewhere. Pretty good evening all in all and a gig to remember for many reasons!