Down the Front – Adam Broadway’s Tales from the Pit

Adam Broadway has succeeded where so many have failed – he has logged his life and times as an observer of gigs and has crystalised not only the specific goings-on on stage but also captured the zeitgeist of the time. The good, the bad, the ugly and the unwritten laws governing how audiences and bands alike behave are detailed in his tremendous book, Down the Front, which we cannot speak more highly of. Here’s an extract for your delectation:

My Toyah gig was gig number six. I was trying to learn fast the tricks of this new craze.

As the gig was in February I had arrived nicely wrapped up in my Arthur Daley coat… stylish, hey! Anxious about getting the last train and not wanting it nicked, I decided to keep my lovely warm coat on. Sensible, I reckoned. What I hadn’t thought through was that pogoing around a crowded venue with my muso pals meant I would get hot. Very hot. By the fourth track I was sweating profusely. But I was in a good position and enjoying the gig. I wasn’t going to move, and certainly not back to the cloakroom. Then I did the classic. I turned to the guy next to me and, feeling full of gig confidence, ‘great gig. It ain’t ’alf ’ot though,’ I said naively in some fabricated London accent. ‘Well take your coat off then!’ he replied rather sensibly. He didn’t say it but I knew exactly what he thought. ‘Prat!’

Toyah signed off with a screaming ‘Ieya’ and the crowd went mental. Gig over, Rob and I pegged it out of the venue and charged off to the tube. I was still in my sheepskin coat and now drenched. We crossed the busy Seven Sisters Road and headed along the foot tunnel down to the tube. The tiled walls were dark yellow, dripping with years of tobacco smoke. You could smoke on the tube and virtually everywhere at this time. I remember hearing a cry down the tunnel after us. ‘Oi!’ We didn’t look back. We just ran for our train, and once on board we looked at each other, smiled and said ‘Great gig.’

Learn how to get your copy of Adam Broadway’s Down the Front here

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