Friday 11 February 2011

REM: Birmingham Powerhouse, 27 10 85


I'm amazed it's taken me this long to get around to posting something by REM...

I started working for A Major Record Chain in '85, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was a Metalhead. My first purchase (ohmygod - staff discount!) was the shaped picture disc of 'Lay it down' by Ratt. Happy days. As documented in 'Rushbo's Guide' elsewhere on this blog, I ended up in a band. And that band was all about REM. I bought 'Murmur' to get an idea of what I should be playing and from that day onwards, my taste in music changed forever. I played it constantly for about two months, only pausing to try out REM and Paisley Underground related stuff. Ratt sounded like it was from another planet after that. And it probably was.

This gig (which I missed by about a month or two, my epiphany coming in Feb '86) was at the legendary Powerhouse in Brum. How sticky were the floors? It's a pretty typical example of a mid 80s REM setlist, with a lovely, random feel to it, some oddball covers and a bit of Stipe chat. It's a decent audience recording - there are a couple of edits, but nothing too scary. I'm posting this as a tribute to the band that changed my life and one of my favourite venues...sadly missed.

The next time they played Birmingham, it was the NEC.

I heard 'Lay it down' on the radio the other day. Good tune.

Part 1

Part 2

REM: Birmingham Powerhouse, 27 10 85

Disc One
Feeling Gravity's Pull
Green Grow The Rushes
Driver 8
Fall On Me
Sitting Still
Good Advices
So. Central Rain
White Tornado
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
Auctioneer (Another Engine)
Just A Touch
Old Man Kensey
Pretty Persuasion
John The Revelator
Life And How To Live It

Toys In The Attic
Can't Get There From Here
20th Century Boy
Broken Whiskey Glass
See No Evil
Tired Of Singing Trouble
I Can't Control Myself
Little America


  1. You're such a bloody copycat, I've got some REM planned for Sunday.

    I might just not post it to spite you now.

    Nice post!!!

  2. Thanks for the REM.

    My story is pretty similar, just delayed a few years....I was also a metalhead (though Ratt were too poser for my taste!), and my epiphany was hearing Green (particularly Turn you inside out), grunge (early subpop), and early U2 (particularly Boy).