Whenever people ask you about your first gig, there’s that fleeting moment when you think about your first, and your actual first gig.

Sure, if you want to get into it your first ever show was probably Peter Combe or some weirdo playing an out of tune guitar at a school assembly about brushing your teeth or stranger danger, or maybe it was the Wiggles - who in hindsight, led me very astray in terms of blindly trusting narcoleptics in skivvies.

But the first show you consciously went to, you got your tickets, you laced up your sneakers and truly committed to.


Mine was The Cure. My best friend and I were in our late teens, and we did a two-hour trip from our little town to Perth for the show. We sprinted all over the city trying to find cat ears so we could be The Lovecats, because of course we did. We were 17 year old girls from the planet earth, of course it was all about Lovecats. 


We got there super early and lined up dutifully to get our t-shirts from the merch van, our cash held tightly in our sweaty little hands, and only being able to get XXL sizes. We wore our big horribly printed dresses with our budget cat ears and clutched hands as we wormed our way through the seasoned veterans of the scene, punching darts and spilling beer all over our best sneakers. 


The show was huge. There was no opener, it was just a bleary eyed, slightly bloated Robert Smith stumbling out on to the stage and turning his back on the audience. 


It went for three hours straight. Three encores. No breaks. The best part about it was they forgot they were in an English speaking country until about halfway through the gig, so the moments between songs were silent, except for the caterwauling of goths.


Cast your mind back to my friend Tara and I working ourselves into a right tizz over finding cat ears. We were lost, sweaty and broke, but we got those fucking cat ears. They were crucial.

The Cure did not play Lovecats.

They did not play the fucking Lovecats.


Now, if you want to talk ACTUAL first gigs, strap yourself in. At the tender age of 13 I won tickets from a radio station to go see Australia’s true Idol, Nollsy. Obviously this holds a little less gravitas.

He and his band of Dad’s wore shiny black shoes and those classic Levi’s with the bootcut that is so painfully early 2000’s and should have never happened to our society. They also had those weird shirts, you know the ones, black button downs that are straining just a bit over the party belly, and they have the arty white design splattered over the side? Sort of what you’d imagine if Papa Noll and his band of Rock-Dads stood in a circle and took it in turns to jizz on each other. 

I was in the back row of the Bunbury Entertainment Centre, watching our boy Shannon jump in the air and drop to his knees while screaming ‘Let’s Ride.’

Shannon, I am 13 years old, my mum is not letting me ride anywhere with you, you fucking pervert.


Written by Trish Downes 


If you’d like to submit your writing to Rock and Roll Magazine shoot us an email to 

Screen Shot 2020-09-30 at 11.29.21