Tours, tickets and overpriced Heineken

04 February 2013 Under: Clash Memories, Clash News, Other Bands

Hello, welcome back and where have you been? I feel like I’ve been glued to this computer for the better part of 96 hours and that’s probably because I essentially have. If I wasn’t so knackered I’d take the dog for a long walk just to break things up but perhaps we’ll do that in the morning. I hope your week was decent and the weekend offers some decent options. I hope everyone in Minneapolis tonight and New York earlier in the week enjoyed the local Joe Strummer events, they both sounded like they would be brilliant. If you attended and want to write in or share photos/videos or battle scars please write in.

Before getting stuck in I wanted to thank you all for your continued reading of the blog, I managed to get more updates posted in January than in any month last year and you rewarded me with traffic that increased 20% over December and the most total readers in a single month since last May. Cheers for that.

There are some live gigs that I hope some of you will be interested in so let’s crack on with that. Viv Albertine has four live dates coming up later this month so if you’re in Newbury, London or Laugharne Wales please get along to see her. She’ll be playing tracks from her new album ‘The Vermillion Border’ which came out in November. Full details here and you might just Mick Jones at the London gig which is on Feb 23 at Nambucca which just happens to be right near Arsenal.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently from bands who’d like me to share their songs via the blog. Is this something you’d be interested in? I’d always meant to write more about the other music I like too but never really have the time. I might try it anyway and if you like it or hate it just let me know, I’m all for young bands who are inspired by The Clash getting down to writing songs and recording them. In fact this is arguably the easiest time in modern music history to get your work recorded and potentially shared around the web, so why not have a Clash corner for new bands. What do you think?

the specials live Tours, tickets and overpriced HeinekenSpeaking of tours I’d be neglecting my duty if I didn’t mention that The Specials and Billy Bragg (not together mind you) are touring shortly so make sure you check the links above to see if they are coming to a town near you. I’d like to go to see both but we’ll see how the piggy bank is looking nearer the time. I find it hard to justify spending a large sum on one concert when I could see 3 or 4 different acts for the price of one of these.

I don’t recall how much I paid to see concerts including The Clash back in my long ago youth but I’m sure that the thought of paying more than £6 to see anyone was never a  consideration until round about 1987 at a guess, unless you’re looking at large arena gigs. I think the last decade has seen the largest inflation in ticket prices which I apportion mostly to the fact that artists rely on concert ticket sales as the primary source of revenue in these file sharing and file stealing times. I might be wrong but I could see 90% of the acts that I like for somewhere between $8-$16 a decade back whereas today $15 is a cheap concert and $20 is the going rate for acts even in the smallest venues. Ultimately though it’s not the ticket prices I object to so much as the extortionate booking/convenience fees and the dreaded $12 bottle of Heineken. I wouldn’t have Heineken as a first choice at the best of times but when it’s the only reasonable beer at the venue at least don’t charge me the same amount I could get twelve bottles of the stuff for. I don’t like having to pick and choose which concerts to attend but $40-$50 per ticket makes it tricky.

Right back to work for me, just wondering who are the best live band you’ve seen in the last twelve months and the most you’ve paid to see an act?




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26 responses to “Tours, tickets and overpriced Heineken”

  1. Lawrence Colodney via Facebook says:

    $550 for The Rolling Stones recent anniversary mini tour.

  2. Jeff Perry says:

    Saw some good ones this year. Top three were probably Bob Mould, Tame Impala, and Wild Flag. Oh one more — Welsh trio The Joy Formidable. Most expensive show by far was Bruce Springsteen. I splurged on a $100 floor ticket at an arena justifying it as the one and only Springsteen show I’ll ever go to.

    • Tim at The Clash Blog says:

      The Joy Formidable, one of the best live acts I’ve seen in a while. They are also back on the road shortly (or even now).

  3. Collin Hamlett via Facebook says:

    Two years ago Crowded House was the best show i have seen in a while at $45, Last year Elton John in Vegas is the most i have ever paid at $100 for the very last row, ok show, but the wife loved it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Best recent: State Radio, Ann Arbor
    Highest paid: Wakarusa Festival $650 (VIP)
    Highest paid single act: probably David Bowie $60-70ish
    Most anticipated: Gaslight Anthem, Indy 3/2

    • Tim at The Clash Blog says:

      I really should have seen Bowie, no excuses on my part. Wakarusa was a new one to me, had to look it up.

  5. CCRGMac says:

    ^^ That was me, forgot to login…

  6. Beth Glazer Schettino via Facebook says:

    Wilco $250 -- front row.

  7. 250 Elvis Costello front row,worth every penny..

  8. Mike Davis via Facebook says:

    in general the more you pay, the bigger and lamer the show. local, underground heroes are often the best (ie most fun, remember that?) option…

  9. Mike Davis via Facebook says:

    in general the more you pay, the bigger and lamer the show. local, underground heroes are often the best (ie most fun, remember that?) option…

  10. Sean Penistone via Facebook says:

    The best? That’s a tough one: maybe the first time I saw the Vaccines, Crystal Castles, Rakim,,The View, 2DCC or The Japandroids …most expensive? Probably £50 to see Noel Gallagher, and he was boring as hell.

  11. Sean Penistone via Facebook says:

    The best? That’s a tough one: maybe the first time I saw the Vaccines, Crystal Castles, Rakim,,The View, 2DCC or The Japandroids …most expensive? Probably £50 to see Noel Gallagher, and he was boring as hell.

  12. Joseph Michael via Facebook says:

    New Order back in October were very good. Soundgarden last week also first rate. Hate to say it, paid $350 per ticket to take the missus to see McCartney a couple of years ago (but he played for over three hours and did anything you would want to hear from him).

  13. who plays bass for New Order these days Joseph?

  14. I can’t wait to see Frightened Rabbit and Japandroids the next month or two. Don’t think I’ll be able to see The Wedding Present in L.A. on the 14th

  15. Joseph Michael via Facebook says:

    I don’t know who was playing bass. Sound was great at the venue, but it was reserved seating which was very odd.

  16. Stone roses,t in the park was great,I always like prodigy live aswell.

  17. Sean Penistone via Facebook says:

    Japandroids are brilliant. Don’t drive, get drunk and stand at the front!

  18. Jessica Grams via Facebook says:

    $330 for 2 people to see Prince in a venue that only holds 300. But the best show was either Lucinda Williams (same small venue) or Hold Steady. “Best” is a bit vague. Best time, best musician, best performer, best all-around experience. Do I go with the one who brought tears to my eyes, the one who is underrated but will be a legend someday, or the one that was pure rock&roll bliss?

  19. In the past 12 months, the only show I saw was Los Lobos… always a good show (especially from the 2nd row). I spent around $110-$120 for the Police in 2007 and a tad bit less for the Stones the year before…

  20. Pete Stevens says:

    Just over a year ago, but the ‘Justice Tonight Band’ at The Scala in Kings Cross, London was the most stupendous gig. Last year was ‘Strummer Of Love’ festival where I’d pick Alabama 3, Seasick Steve, The Pogues, Hollie Cook and The Farm……

  21. Tracy Phillips via Facebook says:

    Best recent show was ~X~ at the 930 Club in DC -- I think I paid $30 and was at the rail right in front of John Doe. Worth a million!

  22. randal says:

    A slow year, concert-wise, for me, but 12+ months ago I saw the Bad Plus ($5) and they rocked the house. They had such a good time, and the grooviness was contagious.

    Hamell on Trial is always a treat, and I don’t know that I’ve paid more than $15 to see him.

  23. Joannie Volpe says:

    Really hard to pick one best show from 2012…I’d have to say that the best value was Bamboozle where I saw Foo Fighters and My Chemical Romance for about 50.00…plus a bunch of other good bands. Warped Tour was in the same price range, but since I got free tickets I can’t really count that one…but saw a great new band Skinny Lister…reminded me of Mumford and Sons meets Arcade Fire. Saw Sum 41 twice for 20 bucks…well worth it…those guys know how to rock the crowd. Highest price paid, and overall best concert experience of the year goes to Coldplay…$100.00 bucks and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    As far as ticket prices back in the ol’ days…my most precious concert ticket is The Clash at Bonds, and it still blows my mind that it cost 5.00 dollars!!! FIVE DOLLARS. Even in the year 1981 that was quite a concert bargain.

    Most anticipated concert of 2013? Another bargain at 52.00…Green Day…the best live band (consistently) touring today in my opinion.

    Bands I would pay pretty much anything for? Another Police reunion, any band with Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and / or Damon Albarn.

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