The REAL GONE Advent Calendar 2021

With the slow return of live gigs and Britain escaping another lockdown (by some miracle), 2021 hasn’t felt quite as troubled as 2020, but it’s not always been fun or easy. As we build up to xmas, it’s time for our usual welcome distraction with Real Gone’s advent calendar!

As with previous years, we’ll be counting down the days until the 24th with a selection of cool videos. It might be an old favourite. It might be something brand new. It could be something you’ve never seen. Come back here each day for a new surprise!

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David Longdon: 17 June 1965 – 20 November 2021

When Big Big Train appeared on the prog rock scene in the early 90s, they immediately set themselves apart from other new bands. Whereas other new arrivals seemed set on reworking things that were obviously derived from early Marillion or writing their own ‘Supper’s Ready’, Big Big Train were different. Their love of all things pastoral and a deep respect for the solo works of Anthony Phillips gave them a heart so much bigger than their would-be peers. With shifting line-ups came changes in sound, but the idea of “the song” always seemed to be key, but it wasn’t until the arrival of vocalist David Longdon in 2009 that they really broke into the big leagues.

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Listen: Marillion – Buffalo, July 1983

For years, the ‘Recital of The Script’ VHS was only available document of Marillion’s earliest live shows. Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in 1983, the gig was drummer Mick Pointer’s last public appearance with the band. Although visually brilliant, the performance is rather slow in retrospect, not always doing full justice to some great material.

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Astro (1957-2021)

For those not old enough to experience Bob Marley in his prime, UB40 provided a very important introduction into contemporary reggae music. Their earliest material, powered by massive basslines and even bigger social/political messages really got to the heart of early 80s Britain. Their first ten years, in particular, presented the work of a band that seemed almost infallible. They could shift from political anger, into 70s influenced dub, through to a deftly played cover tune without missing a beat.  Their show from the Hammersmith Odeon in 1983 – still denied a DVD release – is a near perfect example of the early UB’s in full flight.

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Watch: Sepultura – Live @ Rock In Rio 2001 (full show, pro-shot)

Following the departure of frontman Max Cavalera in 1997, Sepultura found themselves in the unenviable position of being the true underdogs of thrash/groove metal. Replacing a much-loved frontman is never easy, but in Derrick Green they secured a powerhouse performer; a man capable of bringing a new energy to the band’s old songs, and also maintaining a commanding stage presence.

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