Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Best Gig 2008
1: Bryan Adams - O2
Classic long set and barely a "filler" amongst them
2: Who - Indigo2
They maybe of pensionable age (nearly), but no-one rocks like the 'oo!
3: Journey - Hammersmith Apollo
Unexpectedly good evening of Classic Rock
Most Disappointing Gig 2008
1: The Scorpions - Hammersmith Apollo
Last years "Best Gig" winners was the most disappointing this year - but still not bad!
2: Status Quo - Brighton
A rare below-par performance from the Quo - but still an enjoyable show.
I can't really describe any of the others as disappointing - In a year of reduced shows for me, the quality has been really good. That's probably down to me being very selective!
Best Venue 2008
1: Hammersmith Apollo
Worst Venue 2008
1: London Astoria
2: Wembley Arena
Good in 2008
1: Less Drunks at gigs than last year.
2: Venues don't seem to be quite such a squeeze when "full". Maybe Health & Safety has reduced some capacities.
3: More friendly security - Seems more customer focused at most venues.
Bad In 2008
1: Even more people buying tickets for "big artists" purely to flog them on eBay for profit. Lowlifes! And don't even get me started about Seatwave / GetMeIn / Viagogo etc! How does AC/DC sell out 2 nights at the O2 in less than 10 minutes? Why are prime seats available via GetMeIn (A Ticketmaster Company) etc a nanosecond later at a 400% markup?
2: Fuelled by above, Rip-off ticket prices still. Maybe the credit crunch will bring these back down. Even if it does you can bet the agencies will still charge a fortune in "booking fees" and postage.
3: Merchandise costs are still far too high. I still don't want to pay £15 for a programme. As said before, I would buy a T shirt if they were a) good and b) around a tenner instead of poor quality and £16/£20 each ! The "fake" ones outside are less than a fiver and often not any worse quality.
Well, that's it for 2008. Hope you had a good one and an even better 2009!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
[break for Townshend to sort his ears out!]
Can't Explain (again!)
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
Love Reign O'er Me
Won't Get Fooled Again
See Me, Feel Me
Listening to You
Tea & Theatre
Monday, December 15, 2008
Kentish Town has smartened up a bit too.. it even has a nice Piano Bar called "Annies"!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
It was just as well we weren't thirsty while we were in the Brighton Centre as they were enforcing a bizarre rule whereby drinks could be taken into the auditorium before the lights went down, but not during the show (despite the fact the bars were open and serving!).
Anyway, we had a good view from Row E, but personally I felt the band weren't quite on top form tonight. Last years Brighton Show was one of the best I've seen, but this one appeared a little rusty. Still, good to hear the "new" old songs in the set and Richard and I have decided to go for the rescheduled Portsmouth show in February.
Don''t Drive My Car
Beginning Of The End
Is There A Better Way
Pictures Of Matchstich Men
Ice In The Sun
Creeping Up On You
In My Chair
Living On An Island
In The Army Now
Roll Over Lay Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
Rock 'N' Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thunder were promoting their excellent new album, "Bang!". Setlist was a mix of old and new and the band were on top form in front of a packed audience. Only downside was that the tube shut 30 minutes earlier than advertised (no explanation) and we then had a 40 minute gap before the night buses started to get us home... very...very late !
On The Radio
Low Life In High Places
The Devil Made Me Do It
Love Walked In
Can't Keep A Good Man Down
Don't Wait For Me
I Love You More Than Rock 'n' Roll
Gimme Some Lovin'
Photo - by Mark Grimwood from here:- http://www.flickr.com/photos/liabilitygrimwood/3075172969/
After the normal traffic chaos and nearly 2 hours to travel the 18 or so miles to Wembley, we settled into our "guest" seats about half way back on the shelf. Deacon Blue delivered a Greatest Hits set, including "My Town", "Chocolate Girl", "Wages Day", "Real Gone Kid", "Fergus Sings The Blues" and "Dignity", so you couldn't go far wrong apart from the poor sound quality for the first 2 songs.
Simple Minds also treated us to the "Hits" which suited me. The one thing that struck was that the vocals of Ricky Ross and Jim Kerr were pretty spot on, considering they are singling songs which were recorded 20-25 years ago. A pleasant evening and a much faster journey home.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Started the evening in The Stewart Arms - a real "Life On Mars" throwback of a pub. There was actually a guy in there who we didn't know if he was asleep, in a coma or dead - just slumped over 2/3 of a pint. After 20 or so minutes he moved and slumped onto the other side of the table, so encouraging signs of life! Everyone else just carried on around him, so assume this was a normal state of affairs.
Then went to a nice bar called "The Prince of Wales" which had a fine selection of beers. Very expensive, but a good effort. Meandering back towards Bush Hall we stopped in an Irish Pub. The Irish clientele were watching the England game and the back of the pub was full of Poles watching Poland beating Ireland! Classic!
We decided to skip the support band - "The Small Fakers" to see a bit more of the football, having handed over our entrance money to the security guy on the door. Maybe not the smartest thing to have done - half expected him to deny all knowledge of us when we ent back or to have done a runner, but it was all fine and in we went.
With hindsight, I'm sure the Florida-based band wouldn't have chosen to play the night of an England football match, because the place was nearly empty! No more than 75 punters which was a real shame, becuase the band are excellent. Once again, vocals were spot on and the band sounded just as they should. It was loud too! Good setlist - even a few for the "hardcore" - "Fortune Teller" anyone? I'm sure everyone there had a good time - let's hope there are a few more next time around.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Having broken my o2 "duck" a few weeks ago for Queen, it was back to the mega-arena for some classic Canadian Rock. We took an alternative route via Maze Hill, giving us the opportunity for some new pubs on the way with a half in each. The first was called the "The Vanbrugh" - a pleasant enough local which was obviously trying to enter the "gastro-pub" arena. Pretty quiet there, so it was onto the (very dark) Crown (bypassing the totally empty "Ricks Bar"). Then onto the slightly eccentric "Royal Standard" where we played some reasonable quality darts - well reasonable when you consider the darts we borrowed weren't actually made up from one set. Then onto the "Ship and Billet" - I'll be polite and just say it was typical of the area! Finally the bus then dropped us near the "Pilot Inn" which again offered the bonus of attractive bar staff.
OK, enough waffle... the gig: We knew from reading about the other UK shows that Bryan was likely to start on the 'B' stage in the middle of the arena, so we stood near that. When he came on, he was only a couple of yards away, so we got an excellent view of the first 2 acoustic songs. We then beat the rush, to get nearer the main stage - ending up about 25 yds away... not bad considering the venue was packed. What we got was 2hrs 20mins of classic Adams, old and new. It was Bryan's birthday and he really seemed to enjoy himself. Highlights for me were "Hearts On Fire", "Summer of '69", "Take Me Back" and an unexpected "When The Night Comes". We even got a suprise guest when Mel C (Spice Girl) turned up for "When You're Gone". All in all an excellent show, and as I said to Richard as we filed out - "We may just have seen the gig of the year".
Please Forgive Me (Acoustic)
The Best Of Me
Hearts On Fire
18 Til I Die
Let's Make A Night To Remember
Back To You
I Ain't Losin' The Fight
Summer Of '69
Everything I Do
Cuts Like A Knife
When You're Gone (with Mel C)
Thought I'd Died And Gone To Heaven
She's Only Happy When She's Dancin'
It's Only Love
Take Me Back
Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman ?
The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You
I Thought I'd Seen Everything
Run To You
Straight From The Heart (Acoustic)
When The Night Comes (Acoustic)
Walk On By (Acoustic)
All For Love (Acoustic)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
And no "Wind of Change" which pleased Dave immensely! Oh and did I mention the £4.40 pint of Tiger beforehand.... ouch! (nice though!).
The evening ended with a couple of pints in the Larrick in Putney which was pretty empty despite (or maybe because of) a live badn. Once they finished, a bloke did some solo covers pretty well including "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight", "Summer of '69" & "Hotel California". Shame about the 25 minute wait for a bus afterwards and the idiot ponytailed Chelsea fan with his 60+ grandad who started fighting someone on it! Yes, really...
Bad Boys Running Wild
No Pain No Gain
Coast To Coast
Another Piece Of Meat
Loving You Sunday Morning
Big City Nights
Still Loving You
No One Like You
Hes A Woman Shes A Man
Rock You Like A Hurricane
Friday, October 17, 2008
After calming down, what was left of the show was really good (although watching later the recording on MTV, Liam's vocals were pretty rank!).. nearly every song is a singalong and the advantage of being further back was that we didn't get soaked by the idiots throwing beer.
Afterwards spent 30 minutes after the show at the management office writing down the details of our dis-satisfaction... glad we got there quickly - there was a long queue soon afterwards!
[As a footnote I should add that I got a nice reply from Wembley to my complaint, explaining what went wrong on the night and making a suitable gesture of goodwill]
F**king In The Bushes (tape) - missed this!
Rock N Roll Star - missed this!
Lyla - missed this!
The Shock Of The Lightning - missed most of this!
Cigarettes And Alcohol
Meaning Of Soul
To Be Where There's Life
Waiting For The Rapture
Ain't Got Nothing
The Importance Of Being Idle
I'm Outta Time
Don't Look Back In Anger (Acoustic)
I Am The Walrus
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We entered just in time and it was packed! Got a spot about 3/4 of the way back. A good show (I like both Queen and Paul Rodgers solo stuff), but you just can't get away from the feeling that it's not the same without Freddie. Of course, the band and show are good in their own right, the crowd was up for it and if you'd never seen the original Queen then you'd say it was an excellent show. But that's a big "if". Still, enjoy it for what it is.. great songs (quite a heavy setlist here) and only a couple from the (patchy) new album.
Setlist: (from the excellent http://www.queenconcerts.com/live/current-tour/2008-10-13.html)
01. Cosmos Rockin' [intro tape]
02. Surf's Up... School's Out [intro tape only]
03. Hammer To Fall (fast version)
04. Tie Your Mother Down
05. Fat Bottomed Girls
06. Another One Bites The Dust
07. I Want It All
08. I Want To Break Free
10. Surf's Up... School's Out
12. Love Of My Life (Brian on vocals)
14. Bass solo (Danny + Roger)
15. Drum Solo
16. I'm In Love With My Car (Roger on vocals)
17. A Kind Of Magic (Roger on vocals)
18. Say It's Not True (Roger, Brian and Paul on vocals)
19. Bad Company
20. We Believe
21. Guitar Solo
22. Bijou (Freddie's studio vocals)
23. Last Horizon
24. Radio Ga Ga
25. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
26. The Show Must Go On
27. Bohemian Rhapsody
28. Cosmos Rockin' (including comedian Al Murray)
29. All Right Now
30. We Will Rock You
31. We Are The Champions
32: God Save The Queen (tape)
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
You can read more about the evening here:-
Saturday, September 27, 2008
We missed the first support act - one of Jimmy's daughters, but were in for the next - Brooke Supple. She played some pleasant tunes and was at one stage subjected to the type of heckling you'd only get when drunken Aussies are present "You're F***ing Hot!" - Reply: "Err... Thanks!". She ended with a good version of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long".
We then queued up to meet Jimmy and get his authograph. What a nice chap he is too - happily posing for pictures and signing tickets and CDs. Richard's photo of me was awful beyond belief, but never mind.
Onto the show where it had become apparent that we were amongst the less than 1% of the crowd who weren't Austrialian. About the same percentage (1%) weren't slaughtered! Anyway, a great setlist and singalong - no hint of trouble and great fun had by all. Come back soon Jimmy!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Maybe due to the beer, I was suprised when we got to the venue, because it wasn't where I expected. Or rather it was, but it was a different venue to the last time we went to Totteridge & Whetstone. Very confused!
Anyway - the band were the Mods who we normally see in Sutton - that is Johnny Warman, Steve Byrd, Steve Barnacle, Johhny Marter et al. The expected evening of classic Small Faces, Kinks etc and the bonus of even more Who tracks than normal. Excellent stuff, aided and abetted by unusually attractive bar staff!
All followed by a long snooze on the Northern Line!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Setlist (Richard Thinks!)
Cradle Of Love
Dancing With Myself
Flesh For Fantasy
New Future Weapon
To Be A Lover
World Coming Down
Eyes Without A Face
Ready Steady Go
Hot In The City
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We decided to skip the first support act and have a couple of beers in town. This nearly cost us as the journey to Wembley was slow and there was a long queue to get in!
Luckily, we got in just in time for the start of Whitesnake and met up with some more friends about half way back. Unusually for Wembley, the whole of the floor was standing, so there was a reasonable amount of room. Having enjoyed Whitesnake a year or 2 back at Hammersmith, I wasn't as keen this time. The vocals seemed a bit off key and Mr Coverdale's constant swearing (I lost the spread bet with Richard on going for "under 25 F***ks during the show") became a bit tiresome. Still, the timeless classics of "Is This Love", "Here I Go Again" and "Ain't No Love.." went down well.
By contrast Def Leppard, who I'd been disappointed with last time, were excellent. Their setlist was spot on and the energy and guitars spot on too. They were backed by an impressive backdrop which didn't detract from the performance which, of course, has all the sing-a-long anthems you'd expect. All in all, excellent!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Support was provided by John Parr and despite the technical difficulties and poor performance from the road crew - he was really good. Set included "Under A Raging Moon", "The Best A Man Can Get", "Oh Well" and, of course, "St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)"
It was then onto Journey. At the time of booking, I didn't know they had a new singer, but the pint-sized Arnel Pineda delivered songs new and old with great enthusiasm. We were standing up against the stage in front of guitarist Neil Schon who appeared faultless throughout. We recognised a fair number of the songs and the combination of John Parr and Journey justified the ticket price.
Never Walk Away
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Only The Young
Stone In Love
Keep On Running
Ask The Lonely
Who's Crying Now
Change For The Better
After All These Years
Piano Solo / Open Arms
Wheel In The Sky
Where Did I Lose Your Love
Edge Of The Blade
Don't Stop Believin'
Any Way You Want It
Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Dan Baird on the other hand changed the set entirely with nearly everything different except for "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" and the excellent new track, "Two For Tuesday". Over the years, this is something he has always done really well. The evening ended with a rendition of "Battleship Chains" with Spike on vocals and a raucous crowd singalong.
If you want the new CDS:-
The latter opened the show with a solid selection of their new album, Baird solo favourites and Georgia Satellites hits. Having seen Dan a number of times, he never fails to deliver a fun set and this was no exception.
Next up were the Quireboys. Again, a favourite act of mine and they gave a solid set of hits and selections from the new CD, "Homewreckers & Heartbreakers". We'd already seen the 2 guitarists in the pub pre-gig, but there was noticeably less "on stage" drinking than normal - maybe a sign of how seriously they are treating the new record.
As Spike always likes to remind us - "We're the Quireboys and this is Rock and Roll!". All in all for £17.50, you couldn't go wrong.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
This was my first gig for ages and the first whilst recuperating from a recent op. Therefore needed to take things easy and was grateful for the relatively short set. This consisted of a smattering of Bad Company songs, "Can't Get Enough", "Feel Like Making Love", "Movin' On" et all and, bizarrely, 2 Free songs - "Wishing Well" and "All Right Now". Both classic songs of course, but a little strange given that none of the band played on the originals. All in all, whilst they are clearly not Bad Company with Paul Rodgers, I enjoyed the bands performance with Robert Hart up front and a fun time was had by all.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
The first - The Cricketers seemed a pleasant enough place, but was so tucked away it was no suprise to find only half a dozen people inside.
The next, The Freeholders, was a strange old place. It was full of very drunk patrons and was arranged in such a way that even with only 20 people in the pub, it was almost impossible to sit or stand anywhere without intruding on others.
At this juncture, I should point out that Godalming/Farncombe run a "name and shame" policy whereby they display names and pictures of people banned from the pubs and they tend to get banned from all the pubs in the vicinity. With this in mind, maybe we shouldn't have been suprised when the landlady announced to the whole pub that "for the sake of quelling malicious gossip", that she had banned a girl the week before for "completely inappropriate" behaviour. We didn't get to find out what she'd done! Ceratinly one of the patrons playing pool seemed to have a "completely inappropriate" low cut top for playing pool!
Before we left, an elderly gentleman came in, caught my eye and tipped his hat with an "Evenin' Guv" greeting. Classic - I haven't had that happen to me for 20 years or so! What a bizarre place.
Anyway - the gig. Standard fare from Mr Lynton. He's now in his late 60's, but delivers a quality show with his excellent band. Lots of Blues and Rock covers in the style of Chuck Berry and contempories and a few of the bands own gems. Throw in a couple of amusing annocdotes and it makes for a fun evening, although the 2hr journey home wasn't much fun. Just resisted the temptation to lock-in the female smoker who was in the train toilet for 45 mins - I was deterred by the overhead camera.