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Norwich gig brought back live music memories

A recent visit to see a gig in Norwich reignited memories of my long-held love of live music. An old friend has been involved for years with seminal punk band the UK Subs, and when he informed me they were playing Norwich as part of their farewell tour, I was in.

I had a wonderful night at The Waterfront with my son Alfie, who shares my love of gigging, and it brought back some fantastic memories.

My first-ever live music experience was seeing Anglo-Irish band The Pogues at Leicester’s De Montford Hall in March 1987. I bought the tickets from the old Bayes Recordium in Tower Street and they included transport from the Tuesday Market Place.

Jeremy Ransome and his son Alfie before the UK Subs gig in Norwich
Jeremy Ransome and his son Alfie before the UK Subs gig in Norwich

It was an amazing gig, catching Shane McGowan’s men at the peak of their powers, and it hooked me on live music.

Over the next decade or so I discovered some great bands, mostly at the UEA, Arts Centre and Waterfront in Norwich, but also at venues in Cambridge, Lincoln and Lynn.

Locally, venues such as West Lynn Community Centre, Downham Town Hall, the Regis Rooms, Wenns, the Blue & Gold and Lattice House hosted superb local groups such as Shine, The Boatmen and Passion Flower Hotel.

Further afield I saw groups such as Levellers, The Wedding Present, The Primitives, Billy Bragg, Spear of Destiny, The Soup Dragons and The Wonderstuff.

Sadly, I missed an early gig by Nirvana at the Waterfront in 1989 but did catch the legendary Morrissey when he played Lynn Corn Exchange in 2006.

In recent years I’ve been further afield to take my son to larger venues, enjoying acts such as Gorillaz, Enter Shikari, Green Day and The Libertines. I’ve also taken my children to various festivals over the years.

I had a great night earlier this year when ska-punk outfit Faintest Idea played at the Blue & Gold, with some wonderful local support acts, and I’m looking forward to more gigs there soon.

You just can’t beat live music. I loved it when I was 16, I’m loving it even more now I’m 53 and I intend to be loving it for many more years to come.

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