Punk Alley: The Cast’s Chronicles: From Mics to Memories

First Gig Experiences

Do you remember your first gig? Sure you do! Why? Because music is so powerful, especially at a young age. It’s unlike anything you experienced before, it’s visceral, physical, a bit like, well, like theatre and dance. That first gig is that one performance that sticks with you through the years and makes you fall in love with live music.

As we toured Punk Alley, our latest family show for 5+, we realised we may be giving young people their first ever live music experience. What a responsibility! And it made us, the cast and creative team, reflect back on our own first gig experience. And we want to hear about yours… 

Amarnah aka: Akoma

My first gig was at the Ivy house Pub in Nunhead. I was 14, they used to have underage nights where local teenage bands would play and under 18s could attend. I went with my school friends. I think we saw the bands Charlie Brown and Jenners Field. These nights were great because they were local and one of the only other ways to socialise with other local teens who didn’t attend my all girls school.

Maria aka: Zed

My first gig was a radio one roadshow, I think it was bands like Ocean Colour Scene and Aswad! I must’ve been around 7 or 8 so it’s a bit hazy :D.

Kitty aka: Rake

David Devant and his Spirit Wife – I was 15.

Sarah aka: Sarah

It was a Child Line Charity concert at The Point in Dublin. It is now called Three arena. I was 13 and I went with my sister Jill who used to dress in big fur coats, platform boots and had big red back combed hair. I was cool by association. I was mega into OTT at the time and I couldn’t believe that I was seeing them LIVE. I remember it being loud and getting totally taken into the hysteria and crying when they came on. Ha- who knew I was a fanatic. It was wild to feel that emotion for people that you don’t know but you think you do.  I loved Niall O’Neill too much but what did I think was going to happen? He would see me hysterically crying and want to marry me?

Caroline aka: 1/2 of the Marketing team

My first gig (well the first ‘real gig’ I went to with no parents) was the Cranberries in Brussels, I went with one friend and I was 14. I mostly remember the feeling of utter freedom and abandon to the loud emotional reaction I felt hearing the music I’d been listening to, no, obsessing about, on a CD in my room over and over. I didn’t understand any of the lyrics (I didn’t speak english at the time) so the reaction was really a physical embodied one.

Rita aka: other 1/2 of the Marketing team

My first gig was Feeder at the Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall when I was 13. I loved the band – I used to buy any magazine that merely mentioned them, and I had a BIG crush on the lead singer Grant Nicholas, with his bleached blond spiky hair (swooon)! I remember standing in a crowded hall, singing along to all the songs with the rest of the crowd whilst trying to look cool – pretty sure I didn’t! It was my first time being amongst a mosh pit and I felt so excited that this was going to be the start of my gig-going days! 

What was your first gig?

Music and theatre continue to influence and inspire lives, shaping dreams and hopes. We’ve shared our stories; now, we want to hear yours. What was your first gig like? How did it impact you, and what lessons did it carve into your narrative?

Let the music – and the memories – play on.

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