Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Who - Royal Albert Hall - Saturday 31st March

Early evening start for a trip back to the RAH for the Who. Got to Victoria Station and were greeted by several hundred riot police with baying Alsatians. Why? Well, apparently Sheffield Wednesday fans (happy from their with at Palace) were arriving to pass through to the tube. As to the level of threat they offered we were unable to tell.

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

Noel Gallagher - Royal Albert Hall - Tuesday 27th March

It's Tuesday, it's the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Royal Albert Hall - that means Noel Gallagher. Warm up beers in the excellent "Hereford Arms" (some nice outifts on display!), the Gloucester Arms and the hard-to-find Queen's Arms (via the mews) and we were in the venue (with the normal lack of ticket checking) to see the support who were the Coral. They were OK - nothing more, nothing less. Then followed a small bout of accidental "blagging" whereby what we thought was a bar, turned out to be corporate hospitality. Still, they offered us free beer without any questions and we thought it rude to ask if we should actually be there!

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'
'Talk Tonight'
'Fade Away'
'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'
'Listen Up'
'Sad Song'
'Slide 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

Who's Who - Half Moon, Putney - Saturday 17th March

As I left home, checked the venue on-line... tickets available. Got there... "sold out" !! Argghhh

Consoled ourselves with trips to a couple of Putney pubsa and enjoyed watching Ireland beat Pakistan in the cricket.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Answer - Bloomsbury Ballroom - Friday 9th March

Friday night and it's a bumper group of us for the Answer with Paul, Chris and Mark joining Richard and myself for a trip to the grand sounding "Bloomsbury Ballroom". Dave had double-booked, so we had a spare ticket and took the chance to wind him up by saying "Jimmy Page" was bound to be special guest !! (not true, unfortunately). Anyway, after discovering it was a late start, there was far too much time for a few too many beers at various venues, including the Polish bar behind Holburn Station. Managed to sell Dave's ticket for pretty much face value and get in with lots of time to spare. Didn't care for the venue (nowhere near as grand as it sounds) and the sound was muffled. The "newbies" in our group enjoyed it, but Richard and I didn't feel it was as good as the times we've seen them previously. Still quite enjoyable and the band should be destined for bigger things.