We’ve missed a couple of years due to various difficulties, but on August 22nd, we achieved Robb’s Gig 2015. Wonderful peeples once again converged on Bath for a night of joy and drink and noise and all the feelings.
I always have plans to say something profound, witty and/or heartfelt on the night, but nerves, stress and time-constraints mean I usually end up mumbling daft nonsenses instead. So I‘ll try to at least get the heartfelt bit done here.
Firstly, I want to make it clear what Robb’s Gig is about.
I’ve long been concerned that my lack of communication on this and other matters has made things unclear. It’s not to deify our dead friend. I’m sure almost everyone who knew Robb thought he was awesome, funny, pretty, grumpy, down to earth, an incredible musician and artist; but they also know he was as inherently flawed and silly as the rest of us.
We are in no way glorifying his death. The majority of my thoughts about my brother over the past decade have been fucking futile fury. In one action, he changed the lives of so many people, in such a terrible way. We’re dealing with that every day.
The only way I can come close to forgiving him is to remind myself that at only 22, he knew next to nothing. I know he knew next to nothing because I know I know next to nothing and I have now experienced almost 12 years more learning, thinking and growing than he will ever have.
So, the friction of Robb’s Gig — we want to celebrate the 22 years that he enhanced our lives, whilst simultaneously grieving the one night he fucked our lives and navigating the being-without-him-every-day-since.
It’s a beautiful, exhausting journey into intense emotions, soundtracked by drunken, (sometimes) rusty, musicianship and drunken, nostalgic voices.
We make time to remember him because for all his flaws he was a brilliant human being, and we miss him. We get together because he brought us together. We dance because being alive with these people is freakin’ wonderful and most certainly worth sticking around for. If he were here, I think he’d know that by now.
This means that secondly, but equally, Robb’s Gig is to celebrate each other. The skills and ideas and lovely faces and living lives of those that Robb connected. To me, it’s as much Chris’ Gig, Kristy’s Gig, Sam’s Gig, Shannon’s Gig…, as Robb’s Gig. (I refuse to mention you all by name, but I hope you know it’s your gig.)
So, thank you for being there on the night, thank you for thinking of us if you couldn’t be there, thank you for reading this if this is the first you’ve heard of all this. Thank you for being here now, through everything that got us all to this point in time. I appreciate you all immensely. You make my life better.
Finally, suicide is fucking shit. I presume that many beautiful humans who make this brutal decision are not of a rational state of mind. That is why the one thing I would tattoo on the back of everyone’s hand is:
Don’t mistake the way things are right now for the way things will always be.
In the decade since Robb left, my life has changed, my mind has changed, my body has changed, the world has transformed (thanks Steve Jobs). You don’t know how you are going to feel tomorrow, let alone in 10 years time. If you ever feel like your thoughts and feelings are overwhelming your ability to make rational, healthy decisions, get help. There are so many people out there who can help. If you don’t know who to ask, I will help you find them.
As with anything, the first path might not be the right one, so keep trying, keep experiencing, keep learning. Keep living. Like climbing a mountain to see a mind-blowing panoramic view of our planet, it’s totally fucking worth the pain.
For those of you couldn’t be there at Robb’s Gig 2015 (or those who want to relive it time and time again), debs and I put together the footage from the night and uploaded it to the new Robb’s Gig YouTube channel.
As we were both performing this year, filming was the very last thing that got sorted. We chucked a couple of GoPro cameras and audio recorders into the room just as Seven Crowns were taking the stage. There was no way to get a decent recording from the PA system, so, the sound isn’t as good as I would’ve liked, but we worked with what we could get.
I recommend getting the full Robb’s Gig experience in your living room by getting as drunk as possible (whilst remembering to drink responsibly and looking after your health NUMBER 1 MOST IMPORTANT), putting on this auto-playing playlist of the night, and hugging everyone you see.
Thanks. I love you. #emo.
AUTO-PLAYING PLAYLIST OF ALL THE ACTS!
Or watch each/any ‘performance’ at your leisure:
SO AM I
DEXTER SELBOY & THE SHONKY TRIO
THE BOOTLEG JIM FEAR TRIBUTE EXPERIENCE