Last week, I discussed how a little gig in an underground bar on a cold December’s night helped me finally realise my dream of becoming a professional music journalist.
Whilst that gig may have been truly life changing (and you can read about it here if you want to), it wasn’t the first time I’d ventured out to a bar in my hometown of Wigan to write a few bands about a local show.
That first gig happened to be a little charity rock night known as Davestock, where a band called The Hicks tore up the stage with an impressive fury of metal, stoner rock, and grooves that literally oozed off the stage and into your very soul.
C’mon Gravedigger, Dig a Little Grave For Me
That gig also featured The Crash Band and The Randoms, the latter of whom would become good friends of mine, but I have to admit that it was The Hicks who really stood out for me that night.
They were -as they would be for many a year ahead- truly captivating, not only because of their awesome music but because of a stage presence that was as entertaining as it was mesmerizing.
The review I wrote of that night has sadly been lost, but it was the start of something special.
It was because of whatever I wrote about that gig that I was invited to more local gigs, met more bands, and got involved in what was a very exciting time for the live music scene in my home town.
The best part?
The Hicks were there to soundtrack much of that time. Their sound may have evolved, introducing reggae influences and moving closer towards the stoner/desert rock sound that was hinted at in their earlier career, but for years the band were a solid presence throughout the peak of the local music scene, and for a long time after.
I was fortunate enough to write about them on several occasions afterwards, and interview them a couple of times, but it was that first gig back in 2004 that I always remember best.
That was the one that changed things for me. That was the gig that introduced me to a scene, a community if you prefer, of like-minded people, of creative, talented individuals that I was privileged to be around.
GraveDigger by The Hicks is the 35th song on my list of 52 songs that changed my life. Other entries in this list are below:
- Michael Jackson – Bad
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Queen – The Hitman
- R.E.M – Drive
- Pink Floyd – The Wall
- The Eagles – Take it Easy
- Beautiful South – Old Red Eyes is Back
- Coal Chamber – Loco
- Type O Negative – Everything Dies
- Monster Magnet – Space Lord
- Live – The Dolphin’s Cry
- Metallica – The Memory Remains
- The Prodigy – Poison
- Nirvana – Territorial Pissings
- Iron Maiden – The Angel & The Gambler
- Metallica – Creeping Death
- Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
- System of a Down – Sugar
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Garden of Eden
- Guns ‘n’ Roses – Mr. Brownstone
- Metallica – King Nothing
- The Cranberries – Zombie
- The Offspring – The Meaning of Life
- Muse – New Born
- Biohazard – Resist
- Rage Against The Machine – Testify
- Soil – Halo
- Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss
- Alice in Chains – Would?
- Pearl Jam – Alive
- Tom Petty – Free Falling
- Counting Crows – Mr. Jones
- Incubus – 11AM
- Selfish C*** – Britain is Shit