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To the shoe I lost on 12/06/2015

After hearing about the sad and premature death of Keith Flint recently, it had me reminiscing hard about the two Prodigy gigs I attended in recent years. They were gigs that I will forever remember for being insane. Not that I expected any less, but actually witnessing them in person is a memory I will have for a long time.

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Eight of us went down to the festival in 2015 if I remember correctly. My sister and a bunch of friends that all bought tickets for that summers IOW fest. It is a huge festival in the UK, not quite Glastonbury sized but big enough to be known internationally. 58,000 people went down to see the acts including Billy Idol, The Black Keys, Blur, Pharrell Williams, Fleetwood Mac and Paolo Nutini, amongst many others. And of course, The Prodigy.

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Now as with any UK music festival, expect rain. Even in the summer. What I love about the Isle of Wight is that it is one of the most southern points of the UK, meaning it can get some really nice sunshine in the summer months. As you can see in the first picture with my friend, we got on a flight down to Southampton before boarding a ferry to cross the water. This made it feel like a right holiday. That and the blue skies.

That was until the evening of ‘the gig’. We had storms which added to the atmosphere however with tens of thousands of people trampling through wet fields, things got muddy fast. And with the Prodigy gig imminent this was to make for a fun evening.

I didn’t get any footage of the concert as I kept electronics in the tent. I had no waterproof electronics and didn’t want to damage anything. I just have the memory. Very old school, I know.

I remember it kicking off pretty much straight away, I was with Wigz and my sister. But after a few minutes, I wasn’t with anyone. I am not sure if you have been in such a crowd at the front of such a gig, but remaining standing is hard let alone staying with the people you arrived with. What I do love about festivals is that as brutal as the crowd may be, if someone falls they are pulled straight up again. People work together like that and gigs are always friendly experiences. From my experience anyway.

I remember bright lights, I remember the iconic sounds of their songs, and I remember trying to stay alive. Within five minutes, whatever cheap pair of shoes I bought from Topman were as expected, ruined. Cheap shoes or wellies are vital for such an evening. One popped off my foot like a cork from a bottle and was never seen again. Not that I looked, that would be an impossible task. The remainder of the gig, about 99% of it, I spent hopping on one foot. The amount of times my foot was unintentionally stamped on I am surprised I didn’t break. I couldn’t walk for two weeks afterwards.

Every now and then I would catch glimpses of my sister and friend in amongst the crowds. One memory I have was of my sister. She suddenly appeared next to me again with a bloody nose. I didn’t even ask how it happened, it was obvious. Not that she would have heard me anyway. Seeing her face in the strobe lights reminded me of the exorcist or something. After this I did not see her or my friend again, and I was shoeless. I remember looking for them after it finished, considering the fact that they might (hopefully) be at the tent and walked back. I picked up on of the hundreds of shoes that were left abandoned and used it to walk home in. I didn’t put it on, that would be a crazy move. Instead I put my foot on top of it and used it as a kind of ski, sliding on the slippy, muddy path home. I remember two people kissing on a barrier too which fell backwards, as did they. This was met with a big cheer from everyone walking by.

Ah, festivals.

When I did get back, worryingly my sister wasn’t there. But soon afterwards to my relief a group of people- I think mainly girls- saw she was alone and walked with her. Another reason I love festivals, people can be trusted and are willing to help if it is needed. They followed her back to the tent to know we were reunited and we stayed with them the rest of the night for a couple of drinks and music. We had a great evening to follow a crazy but amazing gig.

The hangover wasn’t the best the following day though.

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I wonder how many shoes fell off people that day, and where my shoe ended up. Their gigs do that to shoes. I went to another gig more recently but in Newcastle this time, next door to the hotel I worked at. The venue was the o2 Academy and I remember the heat from the gig hitting us as we walked through the front doors, despite having to climb two sets of stairs to actually be in the main room.

What was even more incredible were two fans that were near the front row. I shit you not, two people that got to have been in their late 70’s, maybe even 80’s left the front of the crowd and exited the building close to the end of the set. As we were a little late arriving and how packed the building was, we were forced to the back. I remember a wave of sound from the crowd cheered as they left, and they fought through the crowds holding hands and walked right by us. Much love and respect to them.

 

And with that, I ask. Have you any crazy memories from any gigs? Or are festivals not your thing? There is little I like more than a good weekend away to see a bunch of bands play in a fields with friends and a beer in hand, even if it means losing a shoe and almost breaking a foot. Let me know any experiences you have had, I am eager to hear them.

RIP Keith Flint.

 


 

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Sam

24 replies »

  1. I remember a Morrissey concert many years ago at the old Forum in Kentish town, at the end of the night id lost almost every button on my shirt. A great night but bloody cold on the way home.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I remember an Ed Sheeran concerted where there were 4 marriage proposals during his song “Perfect”. Every time it happened, we would hear the crowd begin to scream and shine their phone lights at the couple. Was a pretty cool experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, much be a fan favourite! I can’t think of it off the top of my head, I will have to play it. But it sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  3. I’m impressed with that elderly couple! Wow, life goals.
    I have a trauma injury so I tend to avoid being in the mix of concerts like that. My daughter dislocated her thumb 2 mins into a Testament/ Lamb of God concert with her dad. The poor kid required surgery but she was famous at the children’s hospital for her injury. ha ha

    This was a nice tribute! I felt so sad when I read the news. I have a soft spot for those of us who leave the world that way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am really impressed by them, not just because of the packed and wild crowd but the heat in there! It was roasting.

      And that is a shame your daughter got that injury, so early into the concert as well. But it is a rock and roll injury she can be proud of! I hope her thumb recovered quickly.

      I do agree, it is very sad. Especially when these artists are entertaining others whilst suffering themselves. These are the people we need in the world. Thank you for your comments here, and I hope you have a great day.

      Like

  4. My son went to see the last Phish Concert in Vermont. He said after to concert they were standing on a hill looking down at the field and in all the mud was shoes people had lost and left behind. I so wished he had a picture of that. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been to a fair few gigs in my time, in the mosh pit at that Guns n’ Roses set at the 1998 Monsters of Rock, usually if someone goes down then everyone works to get them back up again. Who knows what went wrong that day. Bang up to date the mosh pit at Fields of the Nephilim gigs swing between energetic moshing and everyone pulling together to get people up on someone else’s shoulders: https://www.instagram.com/p/BpttPrcggqx/ I’ve never lost a shoe though!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks! Thankfully I’ve never fallen in a moshpit, I try to avoid them if I can these days too but they start up at the most unlikely gigs. I’d totally expect it at a hardcore metal band but finding them at goth Nephilim and folk Levellers gigs was a surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember my one and only time at a U2 concert (around 1985 I think)at the old Wembley Arena. My main memory of the gig is that everyone else stood on their seats (which were the kind that flip up and down, like the old type of cinema seats) and so to see anything, I had to do the same. As I am not good with standing on flippy seats (or with heights, even low ones) I was most put out! But I had to do it too, or I would have seen nothing… I have a couple of photos, where the stage is sooooo far away you can barely make out the band. I think it was good, otherwise, but I can’t honestly remember – all I remember is the seat thing… LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha that’s a cool memory! For a band to make people in the seating area stand is a good band, but to make them stand on the actual seats is pretty unheard of! Sounds like an amazing concert.

      Liked by 1 person

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