For those that are aware of Milton Keynes, don’t worry this isn’t a post about concrete cows, town planning or the fact that the place looks like the deserted futuristic city in The Martian Chronicles if you have a wander round on a Sunday morning, as I found out first hand. No, Milton Keynes is known for something else, a purpose built outdoor concert arena known as The Bowl. In 1988, literally half a life time ago I experienced a musical experience that has yet to be beaten. I recently found a flyer for this event whilst I was rummaging through boxes as I unpacked into the new abode and just the thought of how many great bands I saw that day, a day that did nothing less than shape, or at least reinforce my future musical taste, puts a smile on my face. A bunch of twenty somethings living off of burgers and warm draft cider on the hottest day of the year and sleeping rough in the car on the most stifling night of the year and being subjected to some of the best music the eighties had to offer? And not the eighties that modern hindsight would have us believe, all padded shoulders, dayglo, jumpsuits, mullets and music that sported either eyeliner or flintlock pistols…sometimes both. People convieniently forget that the eighties was the decade that saw The Smiths have 15 top thirty hits and bands such as Bananarama, ABC, Ultravox and Toyah all failed to have a number one hit, a feat achieved by a quartet of spotty oiks from Hull called The Housemartins.
As I remember it, the eighties had some great music and here I was to see some of it’s greatest and all to help raise money for Amnesty International. All I have to do is drink alcohol, lie on the grass and watch live music you say? I’m in. And here are some of the highlights through 26 years of haze and mythologising. This may not be accurate, but it’s whats in my head.
As I began to look at the bands I am going to talk about, thought about what they mean to me, I realise that this could end up as a long, rambling article, so I have decided to post it out in daily chunks. So check back each day or just read through successive posts about the day.