Wednesday 15th March 2017

"I've attended 21 Teenage Cancer Trust Royal Albert Hall shows...

the one-off gig in Bristol with Roger Daltrey and Babyshambles in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, music festival Moonfest in January 2009 and The Who Hits 50! An Evening of Who Music In Aid Of Teenage Cancer Trust at Shepherds Bush Empire on 11 November 2014.

I really love going to the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at the Royal Albert Hall and have been to at least one a year since 2007 and I am really looking forward to seeing The Who again in April.

The shows I've attended are:

30 March – Kaiser Chiefs supported by Gruff Rhys and The Cribs
31 March – The Who

9 April – Noel Fielding was back to perform for us and hosted an evening of comedy after appearing as one half of the Goth Detectives the year before
11 April – The Fratellis
12 April – Muse
13 April – The Who, Joan Armatrading, David Gray, Newton Faulkner and Amy Macdonald

27 March – Kasabian

27 March – Arctic Monkeys with support from Mystery Jets and Anna Calvi.

21 March – Comedy night: John Bishop, Kevin Bridges, Greg Davies, James Corden, Miranda Hart, Seann Walsh and Angelos Epithemiou
24 March – Roger Daltrey performs The Who's 1969 rock opera Tommy with support from Jon Fratelli
25 March – Beady Eye with support from Miles Kane

29 March – Paul McCartney
31 March – Pulp with support from Cat's Eyes
3 April – Florence + the Machine with support from Big Deal

20 March – An evening of comedy with Russell Brand and Noel Fielding with very special guests Tony Law and Seann Walsh
22 March – Kasabian plus support from Dark Horses
23 March – Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn & Graham Coxon with support from Gruff Rhys

29 March – The Cure – 3 hour show
30 March – Suede supported by Eagulls

28 March – Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds with support from Future Islands

19 April – An evening of comedy with John Bishop and very special guests Alan Carr, Stewart Lee, Josie Long, Romesh Ranganathan, and Seann Walsh

The first time I went to a Teenage Cancer Trust show was also my first gig at the Royal Albert Hall and the first time that I saw Kaiser Chiefs.

I attended 2 shows in a row that year and saw The Who the following night. 

The atmosphere is great and a video was played before Kaiser Chiefs came on stage reminding you why money from our concert ticket and donations are so important as it enables Teenage Cancer Trust to create world-class cancer services for young people in the UK, providing life-changing care and support so young people don't have to face cancer alone. There are more Teenage Cancer Trust units now across the UK than there were back in 2007 which is fantastic.

Then Kaiser Chiefs came on stage and gave us a great show playing tunes from their then new album 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' and their debut album 'Employment'.

I first heard about the shows as I love The Who and remember watching The Who and Special Guests - Live At The Royal Albert Hall on TV. It looked like it was a fantastic gig with so many great artists performing with The Who. That gig also made me aware of Teenage Cancer Trust and I was interested in finding out more about the charity because my brother had cancer at the age of 19. He is now 31 and enjoying life in London. 

My brother was not treated on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit but knowing what he went through and finding out more about Teenage Cancer Trust and the care and support they provide for teenagers dealing with cancer I wanted to support the work that they do. I also love going to gigs so I ensured from 2007 I was free around Easter each year so I could go to at least one of their Royal Albert Hall shows a year.

I've got so many favourite moments from the shows I've attended...

I was so excited when I heard that Paul McCartney was going to play. I've seen Paul McCartney quite a few times and this was certainly one of his very special gigs. We were treated to many great tunes from his extensive back-catalogue. Paul and Roger Daltrey hugged on stage at the end of the gig which was very special to see and I couldn’t believe who was sitting very close to me: JK Rowling, Peter Kay and Richard Curtis. I guess that's quite a few great moments in one gig.

Muse, another band I love, are so often voted best live act and rightly so as they made the Royal Albert Hall feel so small with their fantastic set.

Matt Bellamy played the organ for 'Megalomania' and you could see how happy he was after playing it and so too were the crowd.

I was very fortunate to meet Roger Daltrey backstage at The Fratellis' gig. It's not everyday you meet one of your rock heroes. It really is amazing what he does each year for Teenage Cancer Trust and his work inspired me to organise gigs myself in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

Arctic Monkeys, another awesome band, played a fantastic set and I still remember how excited we all were when Alex said "laaadddiiieees" and the band proceeded to play 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor'. It was also the first time I saw Anna Calvi as she was one of the support acts and I have seen her many times since.

Florence and the Machine's gig was very special. I've seen the band perform many times and that gig is still my favourite of theirs. I say theirs, I think the 'Machine' was replaced by the fantastic orchestra and backing singers. The orchestral arrangement was perfect for the Royal Albert Hall. The whole performance made me quite emotional and even more so as it was the first Teenage Cancer Trust show my brother attended with me.

I love Noel Fielding, his quirky stories and jokes make me laugh. I particularly liked his 2008 show. The Mighty Boosh performed a few songs at that gig and so too did Johnny Borrell and Andy Burrows (Razorlight).

Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon playing Blur's 'Tender' together was pretty special, especially for those like me who remembers the rivalry during the Britpop years.

The 2013 Kasabian gig is probably one of my favourite Kasabian gigs. They were on Fire (excuse the pun) and so too were the crowd. I could go on as I love going to these gigs. Whether it's a band you love or want to see for the first time I highly recommend going to a Teenage Cancer Trust Royal Albert Hall gig. For instance I had never seen The Cure before and was amazed by their fantastic set which was full of hits and over 3 hours long.

I've also held some fundraising gigs of my own for Teenage Cancer Trust...

I've organised 2 live music events at The Louisiana in Bristol. The first was in 2014 at The Louisiana raising just over £2100 and it was in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust's south-west appeal to open the unit in Bristol for local young people from across the south-west region with cancer. The second was in January this year raising £2321. I was very lucky to get some great local acts to perform at each of the gigs, gain funding from someone very kind in the music industry which ensured that all the money from each ticket went directly to Teenage Cancer Trust and got some fantastic auction and raffle prizes from Arctic Monkeys, Anna Calvi, Tom Odell, Tottenham Hotspur, National Trust, Radisson Blu and Bristol Lido.

I've also bucket collected in my local Argos on 3 separate occasions and it’s amazing how generous people are.

The best thing about the shows is...

It's a great night of music for a fantastic cause. You are made aware of the fab work that Teenage Cancer Trust do, you're in a special venue and it certainly helps to spread awareness of the cause.