A Musician Who Listens

Concert single photo of artist
The Scottish musician Anton O’Donnell recently answered which four concert performances he attended that moved him for the musical ability and skill of the artist or band. What was it about that show that still stayed with O’ Donnell.

T In The Park - The Balado years
Balado Airfield, Perth & Kinross, Scotland.
1998 - 2014
I went to that festival for almost 10 years straight from the second year it was held at Balado; I was totally unprepared in those first couple of years – little cash, too much beer, crab tent and completely the wrong attire. I was 15 at the time and rained constantly. I seen so many great bands at that festival, and like many of my first gig experiences, I was just like, ‘I wanna do that’. I once met Tim Burgess (the Charlatans) in the hospitality area, I was incredibly drunk, and turned into a fun-boy. My then girlfriend was standing with me and I was like, “Right, Tim… you need to play, ‘You’re A Big Girl Now’… it’s my favourite tune”. We went to the Charlatans slot at the ‘King Tuts Wah Wah Hut’ text later that day, and Tim being the sound yin that he is said of the microphone, “This one’s for Anton & Stacey”. It wasn’t the song I had asked for but it was a pretty cool wee moment.

The Charlatans
The Barrowlands
This was the first gig I ever went to (the 2nd being The Who) and I’m still surprised to this day that my mother let me go. My mother ran the local pub back in those day, and the scheme was a lot wilder that it is these days. A bunch of the local lads that were going to the gig had a spare ticket, and my ma was very pally with them all so agreed to let me head off into town to a band that I loved. From the train journey in to the gig itself, and the train journey back home, it was utterly wild. I mean the lads I went with were a good 7 to 10 years older than I; the drinking, the singing, and the passion for the love of the gig was unreal. And the gig at the Barras, well… the buzz of the crowd when the Charlatans came on and started blasting out that record just become something that I wanted, and I’ve been trying to touch it ever since.

Ocene Colour Scene
Various Vemues
Over many years
Like the Charlatans, OCS were a band that became the soundtrack to my youth; every time I listen to them it just brings back memories of kicking about like a wee lout. Man, them were the days. Simpler times – long hot summers of playing football, getting stoned, strumming the guitar and chasing skirt. There was a special moment at the OCS gigs where Simon Fowler would play a solo track or 2, and one song in particular, ‘Robinhood’… the whole room sang that song right back at him, utter goosebumps.

Ryan Adams
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
I used to listen/play Ryan Adams a lot in the early days, and then I completely went off him after the whole sexual harassment scandal. That gig though was quite the thing. It was a masterclass in acoustic performance delivery.