My Favourite Gig – Vique Martin

This is the fifth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig. The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos   Pay by paypal, here

In a week when Jon Brunch from Sensefield was tragically removed from this Earth aged 45 I thought it would be apt to feature Vique Simba’s piece for this weeks ‘My Favourite Gig’  Vique is former editor of Simba fanzine and was involved in putting on bands in the UK.  Her writings in the 90’s were some of the most heartfelt I have read.  It was no surprise when she left her home in the UK and turned up working for Revelation Records as so many of the bands on that label had lyrics mirroring Viques style of writing.

Vique Martin– Revelation Records, Simba Fanzine

Revelation records 25th Anniversary show

2012

Rev25thAnnivFlyer1

“In 1987 I had a crush on a boy called Sam Cook. He had four t-shirts that he always wore and eventually my curiosity fueled four record purchases; Minor Threat, Youth of Today, Black Flag and The Descendents.  My introduction to hardcore and punk exploded and I was never the same again. I developed a lifelong passion for this music and my life became enveloped within a subculture and community that shared so many of my politics and values. Eventually I had my own zine and label, booking shows and touring with bands extensively. I visited the East Coast of the U.S. on many trips, for months at a time. Developing strong bonds with the friends I’d previously been writing to and attending many shows with them. Like the first Dayton Festival in 1993. Where I cried like a baby holding SevaPriya’s hand watching Into Another for the first time. So many shows, so many happy tears. How to pick just one to share in the pages of this book is such a challenge…

But I think it has to be the Revelation Records anniversary shows in the summer of 2012.  Seventeen years ago I took a job at Revelation Records and I’ve been living in California ever since. I’m the person that processes all the orders that ship to Europe. I’m the person that orders represses of Bold’s records and orders the shirts to make the Quicksand merch, for examples of a few of my daily tasks. Sometimes it still amazes me, as I’m picking the colour to press the Inside Out 7”s on next. I can’t believe that this is my life and I get to do this.  My life is not defined by my work, but it’s a huge component of it. And I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d never had a crush on Sam. Life changing.

In the summer of 2012 Sam came to visit for the twenty-fifth anniversary weekend for Revelation Records. I introduced him to people as the reason that they knew me. We watched all the old Rev bands along with my friends of twenty years and more. That weekend was incredibly special to me. So many friends in town, from near and far. So many bands I’d seen before, like Sensefield and Quicksand, playing their hearts out. The feelings that flowed back as though it had just been a few years and not decades. Standing in a room of 800 people that knew every word. That never thought they’d get to sing along to those words live again. Magical.

As was Into Another. Made all the more so because my Into Another partner of nineteen years ago was by my side. SevaPriya and I once again held hands and cried. The emotions of hearing the songs that got me through some terrible times caused more tears than normal. Seeing and hearing the band get emotional also causing more tears. So much emotion for so many people, the energy in the room so strong and intense. Everyone feeling so much more than they expected.

I mean, seriously, who expects to cry watching Crippled Youth? I didn’t expect it, but I certainly cried. Seeing your favourite straight edge record played after all these years was actually possibly the best moment, for me, of the entire weekend with regards to bands on the stage. It’s very likely I’m the only person that felt like that. But that’s what makes an event like this so magical, is that each band means something different to someone else. And everyone has different favourites and different amazing moments.  A large part of my weekend was spent getting people to sign the book I’d orchestrated for Jordan [the owner of Revelation Records] as a gift. I’d had many past employees, band members, and friends, write articles about when they met Jordan and memories of Revelation Records. It was all laid out in a little hardback book with tons of photos. I spent a large part of the weekend sneaking around behind Jordan’s back and getting all the band members who I either hadn’t had contact information for [or missed the deadline] to sign Jordan’s copy of the book. I had to be subtle about this and I somehow managed to do it without him seeing.

At the pinnacle of the show, just before Quicksand went on stage, I gave it to Jordan. It seemed to mean the world to him, and everyone got a little emotional. I’m so glad that we have this keepsake that reminds us why we do this. Why our lives revolve around shows and music and records and books and politics and community. Because we are fucking so lucky to have fallen down this particular rabbit hole. To be part of this community. One that shares stories about what they love about music and the scene. That pulls together to make something happen when people need our help. That benefit shows and benefit books and doing things for other people is a real way of life. It’s twenty five years of shows for me. Of knowing the people that I started this journey with. That I would hope will be right next to me for the Revelation Records 30th anniversary, and on, and on.

I leave you with a picture of myself sandwiched between Sam Cook and Seva Priya. This was taken by the amazing Chrissy Piper. Could the three of us look any happier? The two of them hadn’t met before this weekend but you’d never have known it. We were just about to watch Underdog I think. We went from one band to the next, one show to the next, in a daze of happiness that seemed surreal. But, as amazing as the bands were, it’s the community of my friends that is the real tear jerker when I reminisce. The quick catch-ups and the long hugs. The meals snatched and laughing ’til we cried. The creation of a whole lexicon of new inside jokes within that weekend. The avoidance of the exes and the flirting with the crushes. The same stuff that I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced at so many shows.  And possibly the best memory of all? Sharing thoughts and feelings on the drive home with Sam.   Verbal diarrhea of excitement and happiness from us both. Smiling so widely our faces hurt.  The best weekend of shows ever.”

Vique

vique simba

 

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