Gig Review – An Evening With Alan McGee, St Paul’s Worthing, 21st June 2019

After a painfully slow train journey to Worthing, where walking may have been a less tortuous and quicker way to get to the venue, I arrived at St Paul’s, a deconsecrated hall on the approach between the train station and the centre of town, which now hosts gigs amongst other events.  The set up for tonight was Alan McGee answering questions from a moderator then from the audience. For those of you who don’t know who Alan McGee is, he was the co-founder of Creation Records and the man who discovered Oasis. Dependent on your love or otherwise of the Burnage band and British indie music of the 80s and 90s would determine whether you purchased a ticket for tonight or otherwise.

Having read Alan’s book previously, Creation Stories (Pan Books 2014), many of the stories and answers given in the first part of the show were known but it was interesting to hear them again. A difficult childhood in Glasgow was the catalyst with his friends to head to London in the early 80s and then start promoting shows and club nights which lead to forming Creation Records. The more interesting part of the night was the second act where the audience asked questions. Prior to this Peter Fij of Adorable played an interval set of indie bangers and cannon appropriate songs. With the evening being hosted in a church hall, this added a school disco element to the proceedings(this is meant as a compliment) but through a large loudspeaker system. Did anyone spike the punch?

When the second half kicked off, many of the questions or comments were Oasis-related. Are they getting back together? Unlikely/No. Which of the Gallagher brother music they preferred. The most interesting question asked was whether he was interested in signing Shack, the band featuring the mercurial Michael Head during the Creation Years. Alan said he was offered the band but passed, mainly on not liking The Pale Fountains, Michael’s previous band, finding them too twee. In terms of what ifs, could have Shack been ‘Oasis 2’ with the Creation machine behind them? The music was there but they never got the breaks. That’s the fun of what ifs…

An enjoyable evening but in part, it felt like a remembrance of 80s/90s indie music and guitar music generally. Viva Creation Records! Viva Jesus And Mary Chain! Viva Primal Scream! Viva Oasis!

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