We did it again! It’s truly wonderful that after all this time we can still pull off a really special event – thanks to all for your support over the years! It’s freaking brilliant to have this opportunity to remember Robb with a loving, talented, courageous, daft group of friends, old and new.
We have been talking a bit about how we can best continue, develop and grow Robb’s Gig as it enters it’s fifteenth year and have taken a bold decision to try and have a go about the much talked about but never actioned – ROBBFEST!!!!
Robbfest would be a whole weekend outdoor extravaganza in a rural southwest location (which we are currently working to confirm) where guests can also camp festival style!
We hope the benefits of announcing and holding the first Robbfest would be as follows:
1) More time for planning and practice – we hope by giving everyone a bit more notice than usual we can include more people to perform not only music, but spoken word, dance, comedy, poetry or frankly anything anyone would like to perform!! We are also going to do some detective work to see if we can rustle together some of the previous Robb’s Gig performers of old.
2) In addition, we appreciate that the last few Robb’s Gigs haven’t given much opportunity for Robb’s friends from the north or further afield to attend. We hope by giving more notice, more people could make arrangements to get to the gig, and also by camping avoid Bath’s horrific accommodation costs!
We’d like to make Robbfest child-friendly and as inclusive as possible. If you have any special requirements, let us know and we’ll do our best to help. We like to help!
3) More performance time – we can spread the performances over two full days and have less noise restrictions and a later curfew! Again – we are looking for as many people who want to perform as possible – there’s plenty of time!
4) It could be fun (or terrible)! But it will definitely be a lovely place populated by lovely people! Which we love.
However – to make this happen we are going to need all your help!
First – setting a date – we are always going to struggle to find a date that everyone can do. However, thinking about summer holiday plans and other music festivals etc., we are proposing to hold the first Robbfest on the weekend of 10th-12th April 2020.
If this date is impossible for you, or you have info that it clashes with something we should know about, please let us know in the comments below (or inbox us). We want to make it work for as many of us as possible.
Second, we are going to need to fund this thing if it is to happen. We are hoping that if you would like to attend the event you will be able to contribute £20 for the whole weekend to help us cover all the various costs of putting on this event. This would be your entry ticket, including space for camping.
If this is too much then please pledge whatever you feel you can afford. Even if you can’t make Robbfest, we’d really love it if you could still pledge to try and help make something beautiful happen?
“Hey hey people!!! Nope we havent forgotten and yep we are totally gunna do all the loveliness again! Robb’s gig baby! That’s right – a right lovely get together of nice people, impromptu bands playing sweet ass music, Jagermeister, a bit of nostalgia, performance, booze, SEX HAMMER, whatever you want to happen, let us know!! All help can and will be provided to accommodate people, performance, thoughts, visuals, ANYTHING – just let us know! Please keep the date free and join us for a lovely evening of lovely people doing lovely things – love. xxx”
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.
As it turns out, being a 30 year old man is really quite different to being a 22 year old boy. 8 years is a long time in neurons. We have no way of knowing what a 30 year old Robb would be like (I know we’d love to be able to find out).
Something I’ve learned during that time is to never be certain about what life is, or who I am. Every choice you make is an experiment and very little of what happens is controllable. So I would suggest to anyone, particularly 22 year old Robb:
See what happens.
Be OK with things not meeting your expectations.
Try not to have any expectations.
Enjoy the experiments of experience.
The one thing that is certain is that choices are only available to alive people. From my experience, I recommend making as many choices as you can, for as long as you possibly can.
Also, playing drums is one of the funnest things a person can do.
The following message is brought to you via Jamie, from the wonderface that is Paul C. MacMahon.
Hey beautifuls, and good afternoon to you, the lovely crew.
It’s coming round to that time of the year again, and big ting gwahn in the background of late to bring together the latest installment of our friend Robb’s gig. Robb’s Gig 2010’s venue and date is now CONFIRMED, and we’re proper excited about it. We’ve got plenty of time to pull together an awesome celebration of his life and loves, get creative, make videos, create new bands, write songs, draw pictures, create decorations, act all silly and all the other malarky that we do so well.
Once all that has been sweated over, let’s all get together and show each other what we’ve been doing in:
The staff at the Farmhouse have been really supportive so far and are eager to put the event on, and the pub is completely lush, great atmosphere and perfect for any level of noise we want to make into the wee small hours. We’ve got it exclusively for us till 1 o’clock in the morning.
As we have no limit on noise this year we’re able to crank those amps back up to 11! We will have full backline available (including drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitars, electric piano and mics), so if you would like to put something together and play let me know and we’ll start to put together a playlist for the evening. We’re encouraging the punk, rock and metal side of things, as well as the acoustic and folk element, and will hopefully have a nice dynamic swoop to the evening. We also have some pretty special things in the works that might not come off, so I won’t mention them yet.
The Farmhouse have a large HDTV behind the stage, so if anyone has anything visual that they would like to display through it – any format should be fine as we can hook a laptop up to it – let me know. We’ll be looping images and things on there through the night, but it would be awesome if we could have another video interlude. Again, if anyone wants to put together a film or show something they’ve created in the past this would be an ideal opportunity.
We’ll be cooking up a barbecue (hopefully) from about 5pm in the outdoor bit of the Farmhouse (which is also really lovely). (It’s all just really lovely there). If the weather is pooping we’ll keep it indoors and sort out some other form of catering. Let me know if anyone has any specific food ideas.
In the spirit of collaboration and embracing emerging technologies I’ve started a Spotify mix to collate all things Robb and musical. Come on board and add freely any songs to be played on the evening in between the live stuff. If you haven’t got Spotify you definitely should have it, and you can get it from www.spotify.com for free – I have a couple of invites left for the unlimited music version so hit me up if you want!
We really hope the date is good for everybody, if anyone has houses that have beds what are inside them for people to sleep in locally then here’s the place to hook up. I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org, and my mobile number is 07742 364102 for asking the things about the evening and please let me know if you’d like to play, what you’ll be doing and what (if any) of the backline you’ll need. Of course, if there people that need to know and are not on the Facebook then please spread the word.