Thursday, December 29, 2016

End of Year Reflections

Rick Parfitt - Brighton 2015
Normally at this time, I compile a list of best shows, venues of the year etc, but I'm not going to this year. 2016 has been the start of what I fear will become a trend as the years go by of the musicians I grew up with steadily passing away. I appreciate that is life as we know it, and whilst it is sad, it does give us a chance to reflect on the enjoyment we have had from seeing these great musicians. In the past 12 months, these artists that I have seen perform live are no longer with us:-

David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Andy "Thunderclap" Newman, Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Dale "Buffin" Griffin, Steve Byrd, Scotty Moore, Rick Parfitt & George Michael

Probably the one that hit me most (although not entirely unexpected) was Rick Parfitt on Christmas Eve. You do grow a certain attachment for a guy you've seen perform well over 100 times, met and have autographed photos on your wall.

Rest In Peace all.

Sadly, there will be more in 2017, so enjoy them while you can folks. I've been to 37 shows this year - one less than the last two years, but the vast majority have been really enjoyable - both the big arena shows and the small clubs. My bank balance may have taken a pounding, but there's no substitute for quality live music.

Here's wishing all readers of this blog a safe and enjoyable 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Status Quo - Tuesday 14th December - Brighton Centre

More Quo - and more driving to Brighton due to another train strike. My last show of 2016 and support once again comes from REO Speedwagon (as on Sunday). They were OK again - they played their 3 hits - but boy, does the lead singer fancy himself! Everyone was made more than aware that he wrote the big hits! Still, as a support act, I'm glad I've seen them (twice!), but probably wouldn't choose to invest to see them as headliners.

A standing show meant a decent spot in the crowd for Quo, but a reasonable number of annoying people around (either barging to the front or in the case of one nearby - singing the entire setlist into the face of his mate whilst acting out the words in a sort of "I know the song, you don't" type of way. Watch the ****ing show and let your mate enjoy it!).

Show very similar to the O2 and very enjoyable again.

Setlist (REO Speedwagon)
Don't Let Him Go
Take It on the Run
Keep Pushin'
Can't Fight This Feeling
Son of a Poor Man
Time for Me to Fly
Back on the Road Again
Ridin' the Storm Out
Keep On Loving You
Roll With the Changes

Setlist (Status Quo)
Caroline
The Wanderer
Something 'bout You Baby I Like
Rain
Softer Ride
Beginning of the End
Hold You Back
What You're Proposing / Down the Dustpipe / Wild Side of Life / Railroad / Again and Again
Paper Plane
The Oriental
Creepin' Up on You
Gerdundula
In the Army Now
Drum Solo (The Caveman)
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
+
Burning Bridges (On and Off and on Again)
Rock and Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny

Monday, December 12, 2016

Status Quo - Sunday 11th December - O2 Arena

Latest Quo entry takes Mrs B and I to the O2 Arena in Greenwich for the "Last Night of The Electrics". This was my first viewing of Richie Malone (standing in for Rick Parfitt following his most recent heart attack) and he acquitted himself well. Sadly, not many other changes had been made. Which doesn't mean it wasn't excellent (it normally is), it's just the age old complaint about the static set list - still, too late to change their ways now.

Francis Rossi was on good form - Rhino was better than expected on the vocal parts normally sung by Rick and it was all very enjoyable. The older man next to me had not taken my stance on refusing to pay £6.50 for a pint of Stella and was absolutely hammered. His attempts to video portions of the show on a phone he couldn't work meant accidentally calling many of the people in his contact list. By the end of the show he had 10 "missed" incoming calls and 12 text messages. The one I saw was asking if he was OK as he kept calling them. I was amazed he made it through the show - he certainly won't remember much of it.

Setlist
Caroline
The Wanderer
Something 'bout You Baby I Like
Rain
Softer Ride
Beginning of the End
Hold You Back
What You're Proposing / Down the Dustpipe / Wild Side of Life / Railroad / Again and Again
Paper Plane
The Oriental
Creepin' Up on You
Gerdundula
In the Army Now
Drum Solo (The Caveman)
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
+
Burning Bridges (On and Off and on Again)
Rock and Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Magnum - Tuesday 6th December - Brighton Concorde 2

Thanks to the incompetence of Southern Rail and their inability to engage with their staff, we couldn't risk the train to Brighton on the basis we may not get home on a strike day (nice of Thameslink - same parent company - to cancel so many of their trains with no explanation too). That meant a drive to the south coast and a battle with the "pay online only" parking challenges around the Concorde 2 venue.

Magnum were on a second mini-leg to their recent tour (5 nights) and I enjoyed this more than the London show. Decent view and sound - with a small number of set changes to accommodate "Lonely Night" from the forthcoming ballads compilation. Despite slightly too much new material still, the band were on good form - Bob's vocals standing up well and Tony's guitar impressive as always. Harry, Mark and Al were provided the expected level of expertise behind them.

News in the car on the way home that our train had indeed been cancelled vindicated our decision to drive!

Setlist
Soldier of the Line
On a Storyteller's Night
Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies
Freedom Day
Dance of the Black Tattoo
Crazy Old Mothers
Blood Red Laughter
Your Dreams Won't Die
How Far Jerusalem
Unwritten Sacrifice
Twelve Men Wise and Just
Les Morts Dansant
All England's Eyes
Vigilante
Kingdom of Madness
+
Lonely Night
When the World Comes Down

[PS - 2 days later brings the shock news that keyboard maestro Mark Stanway has quit the band. Reasons not clear, although it appears that there must have been a massive falling out to leave after 36 years with 3 dates only to go. In which case that is a real shame]

Sunday, December 04, 2016

SAS Band - Saturday 3rd December - Guildford G Live

Spike Edney's SAS Band return for their annual Christmas knees up. With guests Tom Robinson, Midge Ure, Toyah Wilcox, Madeline Bell and Patti Russo, this fitted into the standard show - classic rock covers played by exceptional musicians. Only slight dispointment was - like  last time around - the "other special guests" didn't materialise. Still, those we had were good - the version of "2,4,6,8" was possibly the best I've heard. For me, Midge Ure stole the show with the trio of "Vienna", "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" and "The Boys Are Back In Town". Toyah and Jamie Moses did a decent version of Fairytale of New York and there were nice musical tributes to David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.

It was good, and I enjoyed it, but the amount of spare room in the standing area was possibly a reflection of the high ticket cost and the familiarity of the guests.

Setlist anyone?

Monday, November 21, 2016

David Essex - Sunday 20th November - Drury Lane Theatre

View from the Gods
David Essex announced that this would be his "farewell tour", so it seemed like a good opportunity to see the 70's superstar again before he bows out. This is the 3rd time I've seen David and I seem to be getting higher and higher in each venue I see him! This despite paying (well) over £10 for the first time for his ticket! The show was effectively a greatest hits sing-a-long, with Richard and I very much towards the lower age range for the audience. The view was OK(ish), but the sound was clear, vocals good and the material as expected.

I would put myself very much in the "casual fan" bracket regarding Mr Essex, but the passion of his true fans really showed - hundreds even standing out in the rain by the stage door afterwards to get a glimpse or photo.

Setlist
Beautiful Day
If I Could
Lamplight
All the Fun of the Fair
Hold Me Close
Me and My Girl (Nightclubbing)
Oh What a Circus
A Winter's Tale
Dangerous
Stardust
Picture This Sky
On and On
Rock On
Imperial Wizard
Ships That Pass In The Night
Gonna Make You a Star
Silver Dream Machine
+
Here We Are All Together
It's Gonna Be Alright
I'll Be Missing You

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ian Hunter - Friday 11th November - Shepherds Bush Empire

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band
I had been looking forward to seeing Ian again and was even more pleased when I remembered that we had decent floor seats for this one. Support came from Graham Parker and Brinsley Schwarz who were pleasant enough - but somehow I expected that I'd recognise at least a couple of their songs. I didn't! Still, it was fine and Graham came across well with some self depreciating humour to the fore.

Mr Hunter has been touring for a good few years now with his Rant Band and the set tonight was a good mixture of old classics and newer favourites. Ian was in fine voice and effortlessly switched between guitar and keyboard. The crowd lapped it up (after almost being dragged to their feet initially by 2 somewhat overexcited fans - who presumably wanted to get "down the front"). If I do have one reoccurring issue with Ian's shows, it is the front of house sound. Now, it could be mitigating that we were in the 4th row, but it took several songs before the vocals and in-between speech became clear (and lifted above the instruments). Also when special guest Paul Cuddeford joined in for "All The Way From Memphis", it took an age for the desk to realise that he was playing a solo and to turn him up so the audience could hear it. I'm sure being the sound man is a far from easy job, but there are few recurring shows I go to these days where the vocals start so muffled.

Despite those reservations, I really enjoyed the show and it was nice to be able to hear "All The Young Dudes" without a stage invasion by Joe Elliott!

Setlist
That's When The Trouble Starts
Once Bitten Twice Shy
When I'm President
Saint
The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nuthin' but the Truth 
Cleveland Rocks 
All American Alien Boy 
Fingers Crossed
Honaloochie Boogie 
Dandy
Just Another Night 
Bow Street Runners 
Shrunken Heads 
American Spy 
Michael Picasso 
Ghosts
23A, Swan Hill 
Sweet Jane 
+
Irene Wilde (Snippet)
All the Way From Memphis (with Paul Cuddeford)
Life
All the Young Dudes 
Goodnight, Irene (Snippet with Graham Parker)

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Dan Baird & Homemade Sin - Saturday 5th November, Bush Hall

Who's Got The Hat?
The now (at least) annual London show from Dan and the boys. Back to Bush Hall, where a slightly stressful 5-modes of transport journey got us there slightly after nine. Thankfully proceedings seemed to be running a bit late and we caught half of the main support act with Warner E Hodges on guitar. They had a couple of catchy numbers, but the main vocals were a slightly acquired taste.

The late start and strict curfew meant a reduced headline set. Dan prides himself on choosing the set each night (and mixing it up on the fly). In general, this works really well, but tonight it didn't quite have the desired effect for me - probably the weakest show I've seen from the guys for a while. Quite a lot of similar songs and too many elongated. Surely a 12 minute version of Railroad Steel to finish was not the best use of limited time especially when it followed a lengthy "Dan Takes Five" (which is basically the same song!)

Still, "Mon Cheri", "Sheila" & "I Love You Period" were great. "Two for Tuesday" was a sad omission, but to be fair, even a slightly under-par show from this band is still good.

Dan was kind enough to sign a copy of the new Live DVD/CD - "Live At The Sweden Rock Festival" for me which was much appreciated.

I didn't note the exact set, so if anyone did - could they please post?


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Jasmine Rodgers - Friday 28th October - Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell

A very quiet October means this is my only show - and another new venue for me, downstairs in the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. Rich and I have seen Jasmine Rodgers before, but only backing her famous dad (along with various other family members!)

Here, she was showcasing her solo material in front of friends and a dedicated group of fans. Probably a bit different from the next evening when she was supporting Bad Company at the O2! It won't be any surprise to anyone familiar with her dad's work to know that she has a fantastic voice. Some of the songs were pretty catchy - although a number very short! A more than competent backing band supported and thankfully pretty much drowned out the alarm that was ringing on the door for the latter part of the show. Sadly Paul didn't make a special guest appearance, but this was a fiver well spent.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Simon Townshend - Friday 30th September - The Islington, Islington

Show 2 on this Friday night. Getting towards the front of the queue for autographs / photos earlier at the JST show meant we didn't have to rush too much to get across town to Islington and allowed time for a pint in the Camden Head. Quite bizarrely, there are now 2 pubs called "The Islington" within about 150 yards of each other and it turned out that the gig was in the second of those.

A nice, but small music room with easy access to the bar provided an excellent view, although was possibly undersized for the amplification from the band! Simon and the guys provided an excellent set with a fair bit of between song chatter. Phil Spalding was great on bass (I last saw him on guitar with Johnny Warman when I was deafened in Barnes!) and with Simon's son - Ben - on bass and Mike Wilton on lead guitar, this was a good quality outfit.

Probably because I've seen Simon a few times over the last year or 2, I recognised most of the songs (but didn't note the setlist). Perhaps the only disappointment was the lack of the classic "The Way It Is" and a sparser than deserved crowd, but otherwise an excellent second gig of the evening.

Back towards home in Ganley's (Morden), we finished the evening with a pint listening to a third act who may or may not have been called the DB5's playing some solid Mod & Rock hits of the 1960's.

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Friday 30th September - HMV Oxford St, London

JST @ HMV 363 *
The first of 2 shows tonight - this one a freebie upstairs at HMV's flagship store. Entry for around 300 people was secured by getting in early online for a ticket and purchasing Joanne's new CD/Vinyl "Wild" (which is rather good if you like bluesy rock).

A six song, 25 minute set was very enjoyable (although view not great due to low stage/ceiling and flat floor) and followed by a meet and greet where Jo signed the album and posed for photos. An excellent start to the evening's entertainment.

* credit: photo shown is from the official HMV Facebook Page.

Setlist
Dying To Know
Wicked Soul
No Reason To Stay
Wanna Be My Lover
Wild Is The Wind
Going Home

Monday, September 12, 2016

Elton John, Madness, Status Quo - Sunday 11th September - Hyde Park, London (Radio 2 Festival In a Day)

I'm sure I've mentioned in these pages before abut being "done" with Hyde Park and that I won't be going to any more shows there. Well, this turned out to be the show that broke that promise with the attraction of Status Quo (before they announced their warm-up last Friday) and the fact you don't really get to see Elton John for £45 these days anywhere!

And to be fair, with no "Golden Circle" and a reasonable capacity (55,000) we were able to turn up during Gregory Porter's set and get a good spot for Quo near the front. Madness were also quite good fun and we could even move forward further for Elton. I couldn't have coped with the full 11 hours, but it was a good afternoon.

After a tiring, but excellent, 3 gigs in 3 days, I think I'm due a rest.

Setlists

Gregory Porter (approximate)
Liquid Spirit
Take Me to the Alley
Don't Lose your Steam
Hey Laura
Musical Genocide
Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Status Quo (Acoustic)
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Paper Plane
Caroline
What You're Proposing
Claudie
That's a Fact
Hold You Back
Rollin' Home
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World
Burning Bridges (On and Off and On Again)

Madness
One Step Beyond 
Embarrassment
The Prince
Life Has Just Begun
NW5
My Girl
Can't Touch Us Now
Wings of a Dove
Herbert
House of Fun
Baggy Trousers
Our House
Madness 
Night Boat to Cairo
Mr. Apples
It Must Be Love

Elton John
The Bitch Is Back
Bennie and the Jets
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
Philadelphia Freedom
Looking Up
A Good Heart
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Tiny Dancer
Levon
Your Song
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
I'm Still Standing
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Crocodile Rock

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Billy Joel - Saturday 10th September - Wembley Stadium

My second Billy Joel show of the year and his only UK date. The vast Wembley Stadium is the venue and my first time on the pitch since it was reconstructed.

The hint of rain meant free ponchos were being given out - sadly plain and not event specific (!). Luckily though, a light drizzle for about one song was all we got. Billy had opted to have no support, so we timed our arrival just about perfectly.

I don't know who Billy's sound man is, but he or she somehow manages to get a fantastic mix whether in a smaller theatre like Hammersmith, a cavernous arena like MSG or a massive stadium like here. It helps to have a decent band to create that sound. And Billy certainly has that. His own voice is seemingly as good as ever and the between song chit-chat kept the crowd amused. I won by personal bet that we'd definitely get a Beatles song - in fact we got two. And we got his Roadie - Chainsaw - belting out AC/DCs "Highway To Hell" - with Billy on guitar.

All in all a long show - but a strict 10:30 curfew meant the encore was slightly rushed - "Big Shot" being a casualty (no problem with that in my book - not a favourite!). Probably my most expensive show of the year, but definitely one of the best.

Setlist
Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)
Prelude/Angry Young Man
Just the Way You Are 
The Entertainer
Zanzibar 
My Life [with "Rule Britannia" followed by "Ode to Joy"]
Vienna 
The Longest Time [with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"]
Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
Leningrad 
Allentown
New York State of Mind
With a Little Help From My Friends 
Don't Ask Me Why
Sometimes a Fantasy
Highway to Hell [Sung by "Chainsaw", Billy Joel on guitar]
We Didn't Start the Fire
She's Always a Woman
Keeping the Faith
The River of Dreams / A Hard Day's Night
Nessun dorma [Mike DelGuidice on vocal, Billy Joel on piano]
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Piano Man
+
Uptown Girl
It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
Only the Good Die Young
You May Be Right [with "Rock and Roll"]

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Status Quo - Friday 9th September - Union Chapel

Acoustic Quo as a warm up for Sunday's Hyde Park show. Rick still not well enough to perform, so the "Aquostic" Quo are a man down. They've decided to stand for this one in the most intimate venue they've played for years. A good choice of up tempo numbers for a festival set seems a good choice and we get the bonus of hearing the "new" songs twice. It works - just.

Setlist
Pictures of Matchstick Men
Paper Plane
Caroline
What You're Proposing
Claudie
That's a Fact
Hold You Back
Rollin' Home
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World
+
Burning Bridges
+
That's A Fact (repeat)
Hold Ya Back (repeat)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kenney Jones & The Jones Gang - Friday 26th August - Under The Bridge

Back to Stamford Bridge for a rare outing from the former Small Faces / Who drummer. With the fantastic Robert Hart on vocals, this was an enjoyable romp through some classic rock of the 60's and 70's. It was good - but far too short. Surely it would not have been much to ask to sneak in another 4 or 5 Small Faces and Who Tracks.

Dave "Bucket" Colwell joined in for the 2nd Bad Company song and the "Free" encore. Last saw him with Jim Cregan at Sutton United - perhaps he only plays football grounds these days!

Interestingly, besides the time I saw Andy "Thunderclap" Newman, I have not seen less interaction between the named act an the audience - Kenney did not utter a word in our direction. can only assume he is shy.

So, good, but was hoping for more.

Setlist
Can't Get Enough
The Time of Your Life
Maggie May
Substitute
Feel Like Making Love
All Or Nothing
Tin Soldier
Mr Brown
Angel
Itcthycoo Park
Stay With Me
Won't Get Fooled Again
+
All Right Now

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bryan Adams - Sunday 14th August - Brighton Centre

And here it is - yet more Bryan Adams (it has been a vintage year!). Down at the seaside again - another solid show (surprisingly not sold out) and the bonus of an acoustic "Hearts On Fire" plus a view "down the front". Bryan and the band (including the bassist from "The Feeling") have been on great form this tour - hopefully his next album will build on the success of "Get Up" and be a real rocker.

Setlist
Do What Ya Gotta Do
Can't Stop This Thing We Started
Don't Even Try
Run to You
Go Down Rockin'
Heaven
Kids Wanna Rock
It's Only Love
This Time
You Belong to Me
Summer of '69
When You're Gone [solo acoustic]
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
Back to You
We Did It All
Somebody
I'll Always Be Right There
Please Forgive Me
Cuts Like a Knife
18 'Til I Die
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
+
Brand New Day
C'mon Everybody 
All Shook Up 
She Knows Me [solo acoustic]
Hearts On Fire [solo acoustic] *
All for Love [solo acoustic]
Remember [solo acoustic]
Straight From the Heart [solo acoustic]

* Hearts On Fire might not be in the precise setlist location

Friday, August 05, 2016

Bryan Adams - Thursday 4th August - Sandown Park

A nice evening of racing in the sun (with sadly very few winners) followed by a sold out concert. They could have done with a few more speakers towards the back as the light wind affected the sound badly. As the children were in tow, we spent most of the show miles away and although from what we could here sounded good, it did detract from the normal enjoyment I normally get from Bryan's shows. Still, that aspect will be put right again very soon!

Setlist
Do What Ya Gotta Do
Can't Stop This Thing We Started
Don't Even Try
Run to You
Go Down Rockin'
Heaven
Kids Wanna Rock
It's Only Love
This Time
You Belong to Me
Summer of '69
When You're Gone [solo acoustic]
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
Back to You
We Did It All
Somebody
I'll Always Be Right There
Please Forgive Me
Cuts Like a Knife
18 'Til I Die
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
+
Brand New Day
C'mon Everybody 
All Shook Up 
She Knows Me [solo acoustic]
Straight From the Heart [solo acoustic]
All for Love [solo acoustic]

Remember [solo acoustic]

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Status Quo - Wednesday 13th July - Rochester Castle

A trip to deepest Kent to see Quo in summer festival mode. Sadly Parfitt-less following his recent heart attack (get well soon Rick!), Freddie Edwards (son of Rhino) proved an able substitute and the band were on good form.

Earlier, Steve Harley had warmed up the crowd with a good selection of material - including the inevitable sing-a-long for his last number.

And before that, I had won the "Kent Open" in the only bar we could find with a pool table. Sadly, by the time we found a dartboard it was nearly showtime.

Setlist - Steve Harley (approximate!)
Here Comes the Sun 
Judy Teen
Mr. Soft
All in a Life's Work
The Lighthouse
Journey's End
Ordinary People
A Friend for Life
The Best Years of Our Lives
Riding the Waves (For Virginia Woolf)
Sebastian
+
Come Up & See Me (Make Me Smile)

Setlist - Status Quo
Caroline
The Wanderer
Paper Plane
Hold You Back
Beginning of the End
What You're Proposing / Down the Dustpipe / Wild Side of Life / Railroad (Medley)
Don't Waste My Time
The Oriental
Creepin' Up on You
Gerdundula
In the Army Now 
Drum Solo (The Caveman)
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World 
+
Burning Bridges (On and Off and on Again)
Bye Bye Johnny 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Metal Hammer Golden God Awards - Monday 13th June - Hammersmith Apollo

We booked up for this on the basis that:-
  • It cost £6.66 !
  • It was at Hammersmith
  • Saxon were playing a tribute to Motorhead
  • There must be someone else decent on
In the run up to the show - and having seen the other announcements - I was fearing the old adage that "you get what you pay for"! Wrong! What a fun evening!

First up were Amon Amarth. I had not seen "Norse Metal" before. And my, did it make you smile. Extras dressed as warriors beating their shields. Fire (dry ice) breathing giant dragons. And an 8 ft hammer. Wow!

Gojira were up next. Not my scene at all here, although they seemed popular amongst the younger audience members. Just a lot of noise and shouting for me - I must be getting old!

Next were Halestorm. Fronted by the talented Lzzy Hale, musically this was the best performance of the night for me. Great guitar and some catchy songs.

Final act of the night was "A Salute To Lemmy with Saxon, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee". Whilst I'm not a huge Motorhead fan - I had been due to see them before Lemmy's sad passing. This proved a nice, albeit brief, tribute.

Interspersing all of the above was the awards show. And so what if most of the awards went to modern metal bands I've never heard off and so what if our hair wasn't anywhere as long as 90% of the crowd. There was a moving tribute to the recent victims of a shooting in a gay US nightclub with the message that "metal is non-discriminatory". Here here.

So, against all the odds, a really fun evening.

Setlists

Amon Amarth
The Pursuit of Vikings
First Kill
Twilight of the Thunder God

Gojira 
Silvera
Stranded
The Heaviest Matter of the Universe

Halestorm
Love Bites (So Do I)
Amen
I Miss the Misery

Saxon
Heavy Metal Thunder
Motorcycle Man
Princess of the Night
Ace of Spades [with Mikkey Dee]
Born to Raise Hell [with Mikkey Dee]
Overkill [with Mikkey Dee]

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Saturday 11th June - Hampton Court Palace

So AC/DC one week, The RPO the next, thanks to the generosity of some good friends. A very civilised couple of hours in a Hampton Court pub, followed by a picnic in a Gazebo watching others getting wet and then the concert.

Got to be honest and say it's not totally my thing and thought that the musical selections could have been aimed more at the casual classic music follower for an event like this. Still, excellently played and I did recognise one or two compositions.


Setlist

Sunday, June 05, 2016

AC/DC - Saturday 4th June - Olympic Stadium, London

"It's A Long Way From the Top" to see AC/DC
AC/DC are on their 2 date UK tour of taxpayer funded stadiums (London and Manchester) with guest vocalist Axl Rose standing in for Brian Johnson. And standing he was, forgoing the wheelchair from the opening nights of his guest spot.

Our seats, like most in the vast Olympic Stadium were miles from the action (I hope West Ham fans are long sighted!). However, they were comfortable and the volume was more than adequate to reach us and the essential big screens provided a view of what was happening - even with the inevitable time lag. For the first ever concert at the venue (after the Olympic closing ceremony), the sound was pretty good.

Mr Rose performed well - certainly the whole show was better than early YouTube footage I'd seen with him and the standing section of the crowd looked boisterous. I'm not sure if those who returned their tickets made a good call as this was a solid event and Angus Young seemed to revel in his "rock icon" status. The bottom line with AC/DC is you know what you are going to get and they did not disappoint.

Setlist
Rock or Bust
Shoot to Thrill
Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
Back in Black
Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Rock 'n' Roll Damnation
Thunderstruck
High Voltage
Rock 'n' Roll Train
Hells Bells
Given the Dog a Bone
If You Want Blood (You've Got It)
Sin City
You Shook Me All Night Long
Shot Down in Flames
Have a Drink on Me
T.N.T.
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock (with Angus Young guitar solo)

Highway to Hell
Riff Raff
For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Magnum - Friday 13th May - Islington Assembly Hall

A quick search back through this blog will show that I have been to see Magnum a lot of times. However, I was aware that it had been ages since I was really close to the front, so determined to put that right and see Tony Clarkin's fine playing up close, we timed our arrival well and got to around the 2nd/3rd row spot on the right hand side.

Credit should be given to the band for always showcasing their new material - the issue that creates of course is a lack of time for some of the older classics. Some seem more undroppable than others and it surprises me that "Soldier Of The Line" and "All England's Eyes" stay in at the expense of say "Sacred Hour" or "Just Like An Arrow". Interestingly on this tour there is no space for any material from their best selling album "Wings of Heaven".

The new album this time around  - 'Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies' is OK - maybe not quite up to the standard of the last 2 or 3, but functional none the less. This meant the show ranked for me as "very good" rather than exceptional. Still, good fun nonetheless.

Setlist
Soldier Of The Line
On A Storyteller's Night
Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies
Freedom Day
Dance Of The Black Tattoo
Crazy Old Mothers
Blood Red Laughter
Your Dreams Won't Die
How Far Jerusalem
Unwritten Sacrifice
Twelve Men Wise and Just
Les Morts Dansant
All England's Eyes
Princess In Rags (The Cult)
Vigilante
+
The Spirit
Kingdom Of Madness

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Bryan Adams - Saturday 7th May - O2 Arena

More Bryan Adams with decent front block seats acquired for the O2. As always from Bryan, another decent show - with 2 extra songs from Bournemouth a week ago providing value for money. Quite surprised security didn't stop people moving towards the front, but a relatively friendly crowd meant no issues seemed to be caused.

Already looking forward to next time!

Setlist
Do What Ya Gotta Do
Can't Stop This Thing We Started
Don't Even Try
Run to You
Go Down Rockin'
Heaven
Kids Wanna Rock
It's Only Love
This Time
You Belong to Me
Summer of '69
When You're Gone (Acoustic)
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
On A Day Like Today
If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
Here I Am
Somebody
I'll Always Be Right There
Please Forgive Me
Cuts Like a Knife
18 'til I Die
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
+
Brand New Day
C'mon Everybody / All Shook Up
She Knows Me (Acoustic)
Straight From the Heart (Acoustic)
Into The Fire (Acoustic)
All for Love (Acoustic)
Remember (Acoustic)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bryan Adams - Friday 29th April - Bournemouth BIC

Bryan Adams offering standing tickets seemed too good an opportunity to miss, so an afternoon off work, a cheap(ish) B&B for the Friday night booked and it was off to the seaside. I've not been to the BIC (or indeed Bournemouth) for a number of years. the venue was fine, but at the risk of being snobbish I was underwhelmed by the town. For somewhere that prides itself as a destination for stag and hen dos's these days, where were the decent places to get a drink? Does a town centre really need 3 or 4 Wetherspoons!? When one of the best bars is the Slug and Lettuce, you know that some decent independent places are needed!

Honorable exception goes to the "Goat And The Tricycle" - a decent pub with a range of darts / pool / shove ha'penny and beer selection (although even there, the lager options were so-so).

Still, the main reason for being there was the gig, so we got in fairly early to secure a decent spot. Some people had clearly been "enjoying" the afternoon more than we had and their hours in the Wetherspoons were taking their toll even before the show started with some people in front of us too drunk to stand to even welcome Bryan onstage. Happily they realised their situation and vacated to the comfort of the toilet / side wall.

So the show? Well, pretty good actually. A few less ballads that often the case (good news) and my non-favourite "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" dropped for the much better "Please Forgive Me" thanks to a shout from the audience. And our tweets requesting "Remember" may or may not have had an influence to that being added at the end of the show (not a natural place for it to be honest). BA's vocals were good, band excellents as always - especially Keith Scott on guitar and the band appear to have fun which comes across to the crowd who respond in kind. Glad we went.

Back to the "Goat And The Tricycle" afterwards for some late night darts which included a fantastic 130 checkout from yours truly in the early hours. V happy!

Setlist
Do What Ya Gotta Do
Can't Stop This Thing We Started
Don't Even Try
Run to You
Go Down Rockin'
Heaven
Kids Wanna Rock
It's Only Love
This Time
You Belong to Me
Summer of '69
When You're Gone (Acoustic)
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
Here I Am
Somebody
I'll Always Be Right There
Please Forgive Me
Cuts Like a Knife
18 'til I Die
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
+
Brand New Day
C'mon Everybody / All Shook Up
She Knows Me (Acoustic)
Straight From the Heart (Acoustic)
All for Love (Acoustic)
Remember (Acoustic)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

T'Pau - Tuesday 26th April - Water Rats, Kings Cross

More T'Pau - this time an electric show for Vintage TV. Although I've been to the Water Rats before, I think this is the first show I've seen there and it is tiny. The band were on good form. - the audience were on a "no photo" rule, so I did wait until the last song to sneak my one and only piccie (note TV camera bottom left!).

Pretty much a "greatest hits set", the TV broadcast cut out most of the between song chat, but this was an engaging performance and well worth the admittance fee.

Setlist
Sex Talk
Valentine
I Will Be With You
Monkey House
Bridge of Spies
Secret Garden
Island
Say You Will
Wing and a Prayer
Read My Mind
Nowhere
Heart and Soul
China in Your Hand
+
Made of Money


Thursday, April 21, 2016

From The Jam - Thursday 21st April - Under the Bridge

Dragged a mate who is a big fan of the Jam to see this and glad to say he loved it. I really like this venue under Stamford Bridge and the rescheduled show was a good 'un. Pretty much all of the jam hits were played plus a few select album tracks. The Who's "So Sad About Us" was predictably a favourite for me.

Anyone got a setlist please?


Friday, April 15, 2016

T'Pau - Thursday 14th April - Royal Vauxhall Tavern

My second ever visit to the RVT and my second seeing of a T'Pau acoustic show there! We dragged along some friends who I think were more intrigued by the venue and it's reputation than the band, but they left having enjoyed the show. Carol and the boys were on good form and the acoustic format suits some of the songs pretty well. The encore song was a strange choice, but all in all a very pleasant hour and a bit.

Setlist
Heart And Soul
Valentine
I Will Be With You
Monkey House
Bridge Of Spies
Secret Garden
Island
Walk On Air
Purity
Make Love To Me
Wing And A Prayer
Read my Mind
Nowhere
China In Your Hand
+
Made Of Money