The Polcats – Salford University 4th June 1981

You know how sometimes people say that gig changed my life? Well this one probably did! It was the first gig I ever worked and I’ve been humping flight cases in and out of buildings ever since!

The gig was initially going to be U2 but they pulled out at the last minute because they wanted to stay in America a bit longer so we were offered various alternatives including John Martyn but ended up with the Polecats. The gig was originally advertised as U2 plus the Radio 1 Roadshow but was changed to The Radio 1 Roadshow plus the Polecats. I still have the (unsigned) U2 contract somewhere!

The things I remember most were having a pint with Richard Skinner who was the Radio 1 DJ that night and getting him to record a ident for Salford University Radio. He messed up the first attempt and laughed saying that we’d probably use that one. Sadly we didn’t use either as the radio station was one of the victims of the University Grants Commission cuts imposed that summer by Thatcher’s Government!

I also remember having to take one of the band to the loo about 3 minutes before they were due on stage! I had to take him through the upstairs corridor and into the loos as we would never have got through the crowds otherwise! The first few minutes of the radio show were recorded in the afternoon and used to start the broadcast in case of technical issues but the band started on the dot so I had to get him back in time!

I remember getting home after the de-rig feeling exhausted and having a shower but also having the hugest grin on my face – I couldn’t wait to do it all again!