Martin Sainty on A Gig

Photograph of Michael Head

A Gig.

I’ve ditched the virtual mega bus and swapped it for my mate Dans Hyundai as we head off to our first gigs since Feb 2020.

Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band – Hebden Bridge Trades Club 17th Sept

Being a Michael Head fan is like being part of a secret cult. His gigs are rare and always sell out in a matter of minutes of tickets going on sale. For those not in the Mick Head cult, he’s from Liverpool and was the front man of Pale Fountains, Shack, Michael Head and the Strands and now Michael Head and TREB whilst also providing the backing band for Arthur Lees Love. The NME once described him as Englands best songwriter but troubled by demons and bad luck he’s never quite got the accolade he deserves.

His gigs are like one big family gathering, the more of his gigs you go to the more you start to see familiar faces. I’m not very good at describing music but Micks music fits more into the psychedelic pigeon hole than any other genre I can think of. He goes as far back as the early 80s with a Pale Fountains song and wheels out the staple live numbers, ‘Newby Street’ and ‘Meant to Be.’ Just writing those words creates the songs in my head, the mariachi style trumpet and the crowd belting out the chorus. Gigs don’t get better than this (apart from the next Mick Head gig.) Some new songs get a play and sound as good as ever, new LP being recorded as I type. His sister Jacquie joins him on stage and gives an amazing version of ‘Danielle’ off the HMS Fable LP. And then it’s the encore, ‘Stranger’ which pays homage to the Byrds and then he finishes with ‘Neighbour’ and then that’s it. Finished. The lights are on. We drive home. Already planning the next trip to see him again.

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