Which of these people’s first gig was Billie Piper?

Rockers, punks, metalheads – do these names even mean anything any more?

As smartphones and streaming services change the way we listen to music and social media means that you get your news from a million different sources, is the typical rock and metal fan being redefined? (Is there any such thing as the ‘typical’ rock and metal fan?)

To find out, we spoke to people at Download and the Metal Hammer Golden Gods and asked them some simple questions. The answers themselves probably won’t surprise you – the people who give them might. Have a look at the gallery below and see if you can tell which of them is a Bestival regular, whose first gig was Blue, spot the Phil Collins fan, and try and work out whose love of new music was trigged by Nightwish…

Ian, Oil worker, Aberdeen

Why are you here?

Mainly because I got free tickets from him [points to his mate, Liam]. He runs and owns Daily Dischord, a webzine.

What was your first ever gig?

Oh, that was Billie Piper. It was genuinely Billie Piper. I’m a massive fan, yeah. She fell from grace and she’s never been the same since.

What’s your favourite Billie Piper song?

That one she sings. [Thinks] What did she fucking sing again?

Gemma, bar worker, London

Why are you here?

Because this is my home.

Because it feels like home?

Yeah. As soon as you walk up and you’re in the car park, and you’ve got your chair on your back and your beer in your hand… I love it. It’s my fourth year and I’ve been here every year with my parents. They’re the best parents in the world. They’re my best friends.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Actually, I think it was Peaches. I love Peaches! I’m going to see Foo Fighters at Wembley next weekend. [Hmm. That’s what YOU think…]

Bradley And Tony, London and The Wirral

Is this your first Download?

Bradley: Oh god, no. This would be about my seventh Download but about my 19th Donington. There you go! And I’m still young and beautiful!

What’s the best band you’ve seen here?

Bradley: Rammstein! Without a doubt - with that fucking big phallic cock? It’s all about the cock, oh yeah.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

**Bradley: **Actually it was the Two Ronnies at Hammersmith Odeon.

Tony: Mine was Little And Large at Blackpool-

Bradley: Nah, fuck off! That’s just cos I said The Two Ronnies!

Tony: …Or Ronnie James Dio at Liverpool Empire. Actually, that’s The Three Ronnies!

Dave, Clacton ** **

Why are you here?

Why am I here? Really? [Gestures around him] This is why I’m here.

Was there any particular band that drew you?

Well I booked my tickets at the end of last year, and while the line-up’s not so great this time, there’s a few I’m looking out for. Muse I’m interested to see, Slipknot were amazing last night. Stuff like this [Hollywood Undead are playing] is not really for me.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

It would’ve been a local band, but if we’re talking big concerts and stuff, Download. I think I was 15 or 16 so probably 20056.

Can you remember who headlined?

No. I don’t remember much about that weekend. I’ve got vague memories of my teenage years…

Tom & Jess, Darlington ** **

Why are you here?

Jess: Download – it’s amazing, this is my fourth one.

What was the first gig you went to?

Tom: Iron Maiden in 2005, Newcastle.

Jess: Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour in Newcastle.

Brittany & Natasha, Leeds

Why are you here?

Brittany: Cos I fucking love metal.

Natasha: I love metal, I love rock, I love indie - to be fair, I’m quite diverse.

Who’s your favourite band?

Natasha: I pretty much listen to anything. Today, I’m psyched for Slipknot and I’m looking forward to Five Finger.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Brittany: I went to see Enter Shikari when I was about 13.

Natasha: I think I came to that. We went together.

Brittany: I’ve seen so many people, it’s unbelievable. I’ve seen Sabbath, I’ve seen Priest.

What’s the coolest place to go to in Leeds?

Brittany: It used to be Cockpit but now it’s Key club. People were fucking devastated when Cockpit closed.

Zack, off-shore worker, Lowestoft ** **

Why are you here?

Because I love the music. I think this is my eighth Download.

What was the first gig you went to?

Funeral For A Friend at Norwich UEA back in 2013 maybe.

What’s your all-time favourite band?


Jimbo & Kirsty, Shrewsbury

Why are you here?

Jimbo: We’re here to see Motley Crue, Kiss, Black Stone Cherry. We’ve missed a few - got wrecked yesterday, like. We’ll catch up today and tomorrow.

What was the first gig you went to?

Kirsty: If you can call it a gig, Blue. I know. But I’m proud to say I’ve now seen and met Steel Panther more times than any other band, ever. Thanks to Jimbo my music taste’s changed.

**Jimbo: **Black Sabbath, mate, I’m proud to say. Til I was about 18 I acted like there was no other music invented. I had a one-track mind. The Forbidden Tour came out when I was about 13 and fucking Ozzy was supposed to turn up at the end of the gig, but everyone said ‘Nah, he ain’t coming’, so I thought, I better go find my dad. Next thing the gig erupts and I just saw this black-haired fucking fella…. My old man caught Rondinelli’s drumstick for me, so I was fucking made up.

Eric, Camberley ** **

Why are you here?

To see this, Download. First experience. I liked the look of the headliners, mostly. No-one in particular. I just like the festival experience.

What other festivals have you been to?

Reading, Glastonbury, Isle of Wight.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Oh, it was 30 years ago probably. I can’t remember. Before Reading there was Windsor, so I went to Windsor a couple of times.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?

Recently was Bestival when they had Elton John there. And also - I can’t remember the name of the singer, that black, blind singer – Stevie Wonder, yeah, he was great too.

How does this compare to something like Bestival?

This is extremely well organised. It’s not very frantic which is something I like as well. The people seem nice enough. I’m not like them, as regards clothing and such like, but I don’t care.

Billy Lowe, Ely, Cambridge ** **

Why are you here?

I’ve been coming here for quite a few years now, me and my wife are here - break from the kids, have some fun for the weekend, chilling out.

Is it still fun in the rain?

Oh god, yeah, of course it is. We’ve got a camper van - we do it in style, now! I’ve upgraded over the years. It’s awesome. I still get the same buzz, same atmosphere, great people, all friendly, all having fun.

What was your first ever gig?

It had be going with my dad to see rockabilly bands - I’m a big rockabilly fan. I think it probably would have been Stray Cats when they had a reunion thing back in the mid-90s. I’m 30 now but my dad’s always been an influence on my taste in music. I go from rock’n’roll gigs to… well, metal’s always been a love of mine. But I’ll go to anything really - I’d go to an Enya concert! [Billy’s tattoos by http://www.almostangels.co.uk/]

Agnes, Poland ** **

What do you do?

I play bass for a band called The Courtesans - an all-female band, London based. We’re from all over the place. It’s a bit gothy - loads of influences from Marilyn Manson, the Cure, Joy Division.

Why are you here?

I thought it might be fun to come. [Agnes’s friend shouts, “Babymetal!”] Yes, it’s all about Babymetal.

What was the first gig you ever went?

It was a Polish punk band, proper underground. I was drunk, after a half litre of vodka, and was piercing my nose, three times. I pierced it once and I didn’t like it so I pierced the other side and then I pierced my eyebrow.

Do you describe yourself as a punk, a metalhead…?

Fucking hell. I grew up on punk and Phil Collins. The first cassette I ever got was Roxette, and then I got Phil Collins and then Queen. And then I was free to do my own purchases and started buying Nirvana and all sorts of things. I was quite narrow-minded but then I started realising that a good song is a good song, regardless of genre. Then I got more into speed and dance. We all went through the phrases - I never grew up actually. I’m not planning to, either.

Helen & Jade, Birmingham ** **

Why are you here?

Helen [Jade’s mum]: Because we love rock.

What was the first gig you went to?

Helen [after a long pause]: I don’t know cos we’ve been to so many!

Jade: I think the first one we went to together was HIM, it must have been about 11 years ago.

Helen: The best one ever was Bring Me The Horizon at the SSE [Wembley Arena] last year. I get goosebumps thinking about it now.

Amy, London ** **

Why are you here?

Babymetal. I was dragged along. My friends invited me because they had a spare ticket. I’m going to be the worst person to interview.

Do you love metal?

Kind of. I love Slipknot. They’re my favourite band - but unfortunately I didn’t see them at the weekend. It’s probably the first time I haven’t seen them, I’m a bit gutted.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

The Spice Girls at Earls Court. The first rock gig I ever went to was Sum 41 at Wembley when I was probably about 12.

Do you see yourself as a metal person?


What does metal mean to you?

Dirty and long hair. Iron Maiden. It’s not really what I’m into. I do enjoy finding out about new bands but the bands I’m into are more like Parkway Drive or Brand New.

You don’t see them as metal bands?

Parkway Drive, slightly. Their new song is really like 80s metal. I just like what I like, really.

Shuvro, Bangladesh/London

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Iron Maiden in Newcastle, 2006. I came here in 2006, it might have been 2007. In my country you don’t get any international bands coming around. It’s more of a rebellious scene over there because you’re trying to be something else.

What you call yourself a rock fan, a metal fan, a punk - what are you?

I wouldn’t really put myself into a box. When you’re young you do have your own influences and stuff like that - like back home we used to listen to a lot of mainstream - but you come here and mix with different people and pick and choose your own things. Saying that, I don’t really listen to any cheesey new shit.

Tell me about your Iron Cross. I could never wear that, cos of the Nazi associations…

It’s not really, if you think about it - Malta have it as the Maltese cross. I’m the last person to be a Nazi. Even if I loved Hitler, I’m the last person he would’ve recruited. For me it’s aesthetic. It’s a nice piece of jewellery - before I bought it from the Great Frog, I asked my friend: “Is it OK to wear this?” When I first came over here, I’d see the punks and wonder if they were fascists or not. But I’m close friends with Anti-Nowhere League and punks bands from all over and they’re all actually anti-fascist. It’s great to see.

Brian, Bermondsey, London ** **

Why am I here?

Cos I follow TeamRock on Facebook and everywhere else - Classic Rock, Hammer, the lot. I’m 67 - I’m into a bit of everything.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

People have asked me this so many times and I cannot remember. The first one I can remember was The Stones at the Marquee. And then I saw Rainbow there. I used to go to the 2i’s Coffee Bar, if that means anything to you, Cliff Richards’ famous haunt. They used to all go there - Jagger and all that. I used to work there.

Would you describe yourself as a rock fan, a metalhead, what?

I’m not a metalhead, I’m a music fan. I love rock. I love classic rock more than anything. For the past four or five years since I retired I’ve been getting more into modern metal. A friend of mine, who was a truck driver gave me an album by a band called Nightwish and I was like, ‘Wow - I like the sound of that!’ And from then on I’ve just followed every band going. I’m into it big time.

ROUNDUP: Download Festival 2015