Nick Patton shares his memories of attending the weekly Implosion events in the 1970s as a teenager, watching Elton John and The Who perform for 40 pence.
I was very young – 15 or maybe younger – but as the Implosion gigs kicked off at 3pm on Sunday afternoons I think I was able to convince my parents that they were relatively respectable!
They were quite an experience – massively informal, with people coming and going throughout. People either sat on the floor or stood around in a haze of thick cannabis smoke. And there was a light show – projections on a back curtain that, at the time, were really cutting edge and alien. We’d be there for a solid 4-5 hours, soaking up the atmosphere, before heading home on the last bus (with a detour to satisfy the munchies with ice cream from Marine Ices across the road) and reassuring my parents that I’d only been smoking Russian cigarettes! Looking back now, I can’t believe I had to be up for school the next morning – I don’t know how I got away with it.
I feel so lucky to have been there at such a special time – the end of the hippie era and the start of punk. My times at the Roundhouse made me feel like I was part of that social revolution. There’s one gig in particular – The Who – I think it cost me 40 pence to attend. Anyway there were various support acts, all pretty disorganised and standard, and then this 3-piece band came on and woke everyone up – they were so tight, loud and full of energy. There was this guy letting rip on a keyboard – amazingly I was watching Elton John right at the start of his career. And then The Who came on and just about stole the show!