Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Best Gig 2007
1: The Scorpions - Hammersmith
A long show at London's Best Venue - Great Fun
2: Status Quo - Brighton
The best Quo show I've been to for ages
3: Paul McCartney - Roundhouse
Legend - Up close and personal and a cheap ticket!
Most Disappointing Gig 2007
1: Ian Hunter - Pigalle Club
Purely down to the venue
2: Atari's - Mean Fiddler
OK musically, visually awful
3: The Answer, Bloomsbury Ballroom
Great band, awful sound here and a poor venue
Best Venue 2007
1: Hammersmith Apollo
3: Fairfield Halls
Worst Venue 2007
1: Pigalle Club
Not only the worst this year, but probably ever! You can't see unless you book dinner and can't afford to drink! (The toilets are nice!)
2: Nottingham Rock City
Much of the audience can't see the full stage
3: Bloomsbury Ballroom
Like a wedding reception with a rip-off bar
Good in 2007
1: The BBC Electric Proms
Good artists at sensible prices!
At Hyde Park and the Mean Fiddler
3: Nearly all my late-night return connections from far-away gigs worked out
Good planning and more than a little luck!
Bad In 2007
A big increase recently in people completely out of it at gigs and being a nuisance (and standing near me!)
2: Rip-off ticket prices
£100+ for Bon Jovi, Rolling Stones, Genesis, Police etc. No thanks! £875 for The Eagles. Yeah, right!
3: Rip-off prices at bars and merchandise stalls
I don't want to pay £4 for a beer thank you. Nor will I pay £15 for a programme. I would buy a T shirt if they were a) good and b) around a tenner instead of poor quality and £16/£20 each !
4: People buying tickets for "big artists" purely to flog them on eBay for profit.
I never have liked touts and this is what it makes you.
Well, that's it for 2007. Hope you had a good one and an even better 2008!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thunder’s Xmas bash - once again at Nottingham Rock City. Always nice to see how friendly most people are once you get outside London - they actually talk to you and smile in hotels/bars… none of that nonsense at home!
After last years viewing fiasco, we made sure we got in early and got a good spot. The gig itself got off to a slow start - if anything the material was a little too obscure, even for the traditional Thunder “hardcore”. The pace picked up with the arrival of the guests - including the McDonald sisters and Peter Shoulder (who’s guitar solo on Go Your Own Way was fantastic). The 2nd half of the show picked up with a good selection of Thunder originals and some well chosen covers (see setlist). The only downside, as always, was the venue. There are a number of problems with Rock City:-
1) When the band sits down (as in the first half), if you are not in the front few rows (or very tall), you can’t see them.
2) The venue is much wider than the stage. If you are off to the right (about a third of the crowd), you can’t see.
3) If you are on the balcony and not in the front row, you can't see.
4) There is little on no signage to exits, toilets etc and the place is a maize.
5 There is a bloke in the gents demanding cash for napkins/aftershave/lollipops/ turning taps on… this is a rock venue for goodness sake, not some poncey club.
6) Hardly anyone behind the bar, so you don’t get served quickly.
7) When you do, the draft beer has run out, leaving you with a choice of a £3.50 can of (warm) Red Stripe.
8) There is only one guy on duty at the cloakroom = long queues.
9) According to other reports, security is overly zealous.
All in all, it is not a good place for a gig. It’s probably OK as a club (which it is most nights), but for live shows it’s amongst the worst venues I’ve been to. Let’s hope next years show is elsewhere!
Despite that, it was all good fun and we had a nice few hours afterwards in the Cookie Club.
LONG WAY FROM HOME
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH
DOES IT FEEL LIKE LOVE?
SUBSTITUTE (LUKE MORLEY VOCAL) (THE WHO)
IT’S ANOTHER DAY
ANGIE (ROLLING STONES)
ON A DAY LIKE TODAY
THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE (10cc)
GO YOUR OWN WAY (FLEETWOOD MAC)
EVERYBODY WANTS HER
RADAR LOVE (GOLDEN EARRING)
PREACHING FROM A CHAIR
ROLLING THE DICE
DON'T WAIT FOR ME
ADDICTED TO LOVE (ROBERT PALMER)
CAN'T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
IT'S ONLY ROCK & ROLL (ROLLING STONES)
DELILAH (SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND / TOM JONES)
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN (SPRINGSTEEN AND LOADS OF OTHERS)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Gig was solid - Mr Cocker certainly starting to look his age, but vocally still impressive. All the expected hits were played - I was especially please to hear “When The Night Comes” and “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”. I lost big-time in the bet with Richard on the number of unnecessary “screams”. I went 12 or under - we lost count somewhere around 30!
Once again found ourselves next to a couple (in their 50’s) who were totally legless and unable to stand without supporting each other (just). To avoid getting too annoyed, I moved away - thankfully 10 minutes later they had staggered elsewhere. 2 blokes behind us (also in their 50’s) were in a similar state. That has been one of the bad things this year - people turning up at gigs absolutely slaughtered. As you know from these pages, I’m all for making the gig a social occasion - but surely the idea must be to be in some sort of state to enjoy / remember it!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wrong on both counts!! Gravy Train in and "Burning Bridges" added.
This was my 3rd (and last) show of the tour and by far the best. Francis seemed really up for this one and some of the improvised solos were excellent. I'm not normally a fan of Burning Bridges, but when you get the "guitar version" like last night (as opposed to what I term the "keyboard version" which often gets played), it really rocks!
All in all a great night! (also funny to see security asking Rhino what he wanted them to do with the bloke who tried to climb on stage. "Throw him out" was the obvious reply!)
We also did a nice mini-crawl of the Kemp Town area of Brighton beforehand - especially liked the Hoffbrau in the Hand In Hand and the huge female > male ratio in the St James!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Last Man Standing
I'll Be Waiting
The Devil Made Me Do It
Robert Johnson's Tombstone
River of Pain
Flawed to Perfection
Like A Satellite
Love Walked In
You Can't Keep A Good Man Down
(Somebody Get Me A) Spin Doctor
Low Life In High Places
I Love You More Than Rock & Roll
Monday, November 19, 2007
The show itself was good. The Mean Fiddler is back as the "Astoria 2" these days, but inside it's still the same maze of stairs and doors. Got down near to the front on the left and were treated to over 2 hours of Magnum classics, including the whole of the "Wings of Heaven" album. A busy, if not full, crowd seemed to enjoy the whole thing and were enthusiastic in their participation, no doubt aided by the Red Stripe and Tuborg available. The live CD of the show, due next year, should be a good one.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Anyway, we had good seats in row "E" which turned out to be the 3rd Row in front of "Rhino". Not surprisingly, same set as last week. There was also a bit of trouble with a very drunk/stoned bloke causing trouble, although apparently the night before there had been a more serious altercation at the front. What is the point in turning up to these things in that sort of state? Anyway, my prediction is that by the next time I see Quo (Brighton next month), "Gravy Train" will have been dropped from the set.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
But to be fair, that doesn't make it a bad show - it's just a bit frustrating as it could be even better with a bit more thought and effort. The Cliffs Pavillion was sold out and we couldn't get near the bar when we arrived. Not a big deal as we had sampled a couple of Southend's "finest" bars before the show. Managed to get a good spot 10 yds or so from the barrier behind some very excitable lads who had clearly enjoyed the bars more than we had. Despite their drunkeness, they at least bumped, barged and jumped with each other as opposed to innocent bystanders and didn't cause too much trouble apart from annoyingly throwing their empty plastic glasses when they'd finished. The nearest bouncer seemed to be paying more attention to the blonde girl in front of him than any crowd control issues!
Anyway, as I say, predictable set, with the addition of 2 tracks from the new album (Beginning of The End - good, Gravy Train - not so much). The songs seemed to be played with enthusiasm and were quite "heavy" which is always good, although the elongated drum solo was (like pretty much every drum solo I've endured) quite skillful, but pointless. They really should be banned!
Best surprise of the evening was the extended "Bye Bye Johnny" with completely different arrangement from normal - I thought it was excellent.
Something 'Bout You Baby I Like
Don't Waste My Time
Beginning of The End
All Stand Up (Never Say Never)
Creepin' Up On You
Proposin' Medley / Big Fat Mama
Gerdundula (with Drum solo)
Roll Over Lay Down
Whatever You Want
In The Army Now
Rockin' All Over The World
Bye Bye Johnny
Monday, October 29, 2007
For the encore Ian was joined by Mick Ralphs (Mott The Hoople/Bad Company), Verden Allen (Mott The Hoople) and guitarist Chris Spedding – Chart Act !! as well as predictably, Tracy Hunter!
The classic "Saturday Gigs" was played in it's entirety.
All in all, MUCH better than the Pigalle Club show earlier this year!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Anyway, after a long queue to get in, I was able to get near the front and enjoy the rarity of seeing a "living legend" in such a small venue. A set featuring lots of Beatles songs went down well and the whole thing was on BBC TV and Radio, The cameraman even decided to zoom in on me for some reason during "Get Back".
Magical Mystery Tour
Got To Get You Into My Life
Only Mama Knows
The Long And Winding Road
Follow The Sun
That Was Me
Band On The Run
Back In The USSR
House Of Wax
I Got A Feeling
Live And Let Die
Let It Be
I Saw Her Standing There
Friday, October 05, 2007
Had booked this on the strength of Dave Edmunds alone. As it turned out he and Joe Brown shared the stage for some of the night and also did solo stints. Edmund's guitar playing once once again to be admired and I actually enjoyed Joe Brown and his band too. I was the second youngest person in the audience (Richard beating me!). Should have asked for half price admission!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Greatest hits from Spike and the boys and a solid performance from Quo in front of a decent crowd - although we had to leg it during the encore to have any chance of getting home. One downside for me are enourmous insect bites on my legs. One is so painful on my ankle, I can bearly put weight on my leg today - that can't be right!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
All a bit damp, but I though Mr Tyler & Co were really good - even if there were a few too many ballads. Had to remind Richard the next day that another CHART ACT had been seen with the inclusion of at least one of Run DMC turning up for "Walk This Way".
I gather Brian May was backstage - shame he didn't make an appearance on stage!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Oh.. the performance. Well it was semi-acoustic with a lot of new stuff. Sounded OK, but for what we could see we might as well have been in a pub listending to the CD.
I'm loathe to keep going on about it, but I can't describe how poor the whole experience of visiting this venue was.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Anyway, pretty good except for the visuals!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
We were actually greeted at the door by Rhino which was nice. A good set by the Quo bassist and his sons and a bit busier than last time around. 2 songs - Gravy Train and Bad News were featured, which should be on Quo's next album.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Anyway, attempts to find any pub showing the second half of Watford v Chelsea on PremPlus proved fruitless. Finally managed to find one south of Sloane Square with Sky Sports News to find that Chelsea sneaked a lucky 92nd minute winner - arghh!
After a swift one in the Gloucester Arms, we met Mick in the Queen's Arms for a coupld of decent beers (Staropramen, Kirin and Kuppers Kolsh) and then off to the hall. As normal, we were able to stroll in with little security checks and it was only when we realised we had gone the wrong way (towards the dressing rooms) that we encountered some guards who directed us down more stairs to get to the floor. We were given a plain white wristband and found our seats in the back row of the arena. Still, not too bad, the floor is pretty small compared to most venues.
As expected, the Who were excellent (when are they not?). Daltrey's voice was strong and good, despite recent illness and Townshend's playing spot on, coupled with the normal rambling/ranting between songs. Didn't hear a "get on with it" from Gary, but I'm sure it was there!
Only disapointment was no "Substitute" or "Kids Are Alright" but this was more than made up for by a storming "My Generation", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and an excellent "You Better, You Bet". In fact, the only duff track in my view, was "Emience Front" - I've never liked that!
For the encore we wandered down to the front and enjoyed the Tommy encore from near the stage (taking extra care not to impede the paying customers at the front!). Richard managed to snag a setlist and we decamped happy to the "Prince of Wales" off Kensington High Street for a nightcap. Un-remarkable pub, but stunningly attractive barmaid! Slow jouney home, livened up by a petite girl throwing a non-paying rider off the bus when he'd refused to leave. Cue round of applause from other passengers!
Last chance to see the Who for a while - I'm refusing to pay the 70 odd quid for the summer Wembley shows... ditto the £150 + fees for the Rolling Stones!!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Anyway, the show... well, if was good. Noel choose a selection of Oasis songs to play acoustically and a selection of cover versions. Paul Weller joined him for a few too. From our view in the Choir seats, we suspected that the strings section had been chosed for looks as well as playing ability! Richard pointed out he would do the same in Noel's position. Anyway, here's the setlist:-
'(It's Good) To Be Free'
'Cast No Shadow'
'Half The World Away'
'The Importance Of Being Idle'
'The Butterfly Collector' (with Paul Weller)
'All You Need Is Love ' (with Paul Weller)
'Don't Go Away'
'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'
'Don't Look Back in Anger'
'Married With Children'
Unfortunately, we didn't get 'Strawberry Fields Forever' which had been played the night before, which actually meant there was "booing" at the end. A bit harsh, as it was a good show. Sound for the music was good, but the pre-song intros were very muffled.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Consoled ourselves with trips to a couple of Putney pubsa and enjoyed watching Ireland beat Pakistan in the cricket.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
An unexpected treat - a chance to see Mr Barnes relatively soon after his last UK appearance. A "warm up" to the Charity show the next day, this acoustic show certainly entertained the primarily Australian audience. A good choice of hits, album favourites and covers led for a giant singalong. Richard made a new friend (that hair is a pulling machine, I tell you!) and everyone went home happy. Compared to everone else there, we felt very, very sober.