Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 - The Best and Worst

My annual look back over the year from a "best of" and "worst of" perspective.

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
2: Indigo2

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

The Who - Monday 15th December - Indigo2

What can I say - It's the WHO! Therefore as you would expect it was very, very good! Included the first public performance for 25 years of "Slip Kid". Lots on banter and swearing from Townshend and Daltrey in fine voice. Also the novelty of the 1st song performed twice has PT had a problem with his ears and had to leave the stage for 5 minutes. I blame the hat and glasses!

Can't Explain
[break for Townshend to sort his ears out!]
Can't Explain (again!)
The Seeker
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
Sister Disco
Baba O'Riley
Eminence Front
Love Reign O'er Me
Won't Get Fooled Again
My Generation
Naked Eye
Slip Kid
Magic Bus
Pinball Wizard
Amazing Journey/Sparks
See Me, Feel Me
Listening to You
Tea & Theatre

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quireboys - Sunday 14th December - The Forum, Kentish Town

Rock and Roll at its best! Greatest Hits and a selection from the excellent new "Homewreckers and Heartbreakers" album.

Kentish Town has smartened up a bit too.. it even has a nice Piano Bar called "Annies"!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Status Quo - Friday 12th December - Brighton Centre

The 2nd of 2 Quo shows at the end of the year and Brighton presented an opportunity to take a day off work and have a leisurely wander around some bars and record shops.

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.

The Wanderer
Don''t Drive My Car
Mean Girl
Softer Ride
Beginning Of The End
Is There A Better Way
Proposin' Medley
Pictures Of Matchstich Men
Ice In The Sun
The Oriental
Creeping Up On You
In My Chair
Living On An Island
In The Army Now
Drum Solo
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
Juniors Wailing
Rock 'N' Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thunder - Sunday 30th November - Astoria

One of the last shows at the Astoria which is to be demolished soon as part of the "Crossrail" project. Whilst it is a shame to lose an iconic venue, hopefully they will build a replacement with better facilities!

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 !

Set list:
Backstreet Symphony
On The Radio
Carol Ann
Low Life In High Places
The Devil Made Me Do It
Empty City
Dirty Dream
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'
Higher Ground
Dirty Love

Photo - by Mark Grimwood from here:- http://www.flickr.com/photos/liabilitygrimwood/3075172969/

Simple Minds / Deacon Blue - Saturday 29th November - Wembley Arena

So, Simple Minds and Deacon Blue. Admitedly, not my normal sort of show (although I do quite like Deacon Blue) - but this was a "freebie" by way of Wembley's apology for the Oasis fiasco a month or 2 back. Mrs B is a Simple Minds fan and there weren't too many other enticing shows at Wembley (everyone seems to do the O2 instead now!), so this looked worth a go.

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

The Wholigans - Wednesday 19th November - Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush

Thanks to Barry from The Wholigans for mentioning this show on this very blog, otherwise I would not have known about it.

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

Bryan Adams - Wednesday 5th November - O2 Arena

OK - cards on the table time. Firstly, I am a big fan of Bryan Adams and have seen him over 50 times in the last 21 years. Secondly, I think his "new" album, "11" is the weakest one he has ever done, so wasn't quite sure how this was going to turn out.

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".

Can’t Stop This Thing We Started (Acoustic)
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
Cloud #9
C'mon Everybody
Straight From The Heart (Acoustic)
When The Night Comes (Acoustic)
Walk On By (Acoustic)
All For Love (Acoustic)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scorpions - Saturday 18th October - Hammersmith Apollo

Good show (not quite as much fun as previously)... no drumstick (although Klaus must have thrown out aout 100!). Added bonus of seeing both Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker on stage with the Scorpions, but being brutally honest, they didn't add much musically to the evening.

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...

Coming Home
Bad Boys Running Wild
The Zoo
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
Doctor Doctor
Rock You Like A Hurricane

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oasis - Thursday 16th October - Wembley Arena

Basically what a farce. Why can't Wembley get all standing ticket holders into the venue before the show starts? Queued for nearly an hour from just after 8pm and missed 25 minutes of the show! Not happy! Neither were the hundreds still behind us when we got in to the 2 single file search lines inside. Total incompetance and a near riot.

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
The Masterplan
Slide Away
Morning Glory
Ain't Got Nothing
The Importance Of Being Idle
I'm Outta Time
Don't Look Back In Anger (Acoustic)
Falling Down
Champagne Supernova
I Am The Walrus

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Queen & Paul Rodgers- Monday 13th October - O2 Arena

Decided to go for a new mode of transport to get to this one - the Thames Clipper high speed boat from Waterloo to the O2. Very civilized and a small bar onboard. After a quick couple in "The Pilot", we headed into the arena. One of the problems of it being so big is that to get to our standing entrance was a 5 minute walk even after we were in the venue!

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
09. C-lebrity
10. Surf's Up... School's Out
11. Seagull
12. Love Of My Life (Brian on vocals)
13. '39
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

Status Quo - Tuesday 7th October - Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Just briefly then... They've changed the set!... repeat... They've changed the set!...

Bravo Polly!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tribute To Ian Fleming - Sunday 5th October - London Paladium

Not really a gig, but an entertaining evening out hosted by Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley and featured live performances of Bond themes by Beverley Knight, Ruby Turner, Tony Hadley, Mica Paris, Lemar, Lee Mead & Brian Connelly.

You can read more about the evening here:-

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jimmy Barnes - Friday 26th September - Olympia

Australia's finest was playing the "Toast Australia" festival at Olmypia. The fetival was basically a trade show for promoting Oz, but with a lot of Wines and Beers available - albeit at high prices. £3.50 for a bottle of beer is a bit steep when you've already paid >£30 to get into the place!

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

The Mods - Friday 19th September - Bull & Butcher, Totteridge

An intended mini pub crawl through the strees of Barnet actually turned into quite a session. This included some suprisingly high standard darts on one of the pubs en route - can't go wrong when the pub provides 2 Tournament boards and a proper raised oche ! Despite playing really well (123 on one throw and a 100+ checkout), Richard somehow won 3-2 !!

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

Bogus Blues Brothers - Friday 8th August - Earl's Court

Not a "real" gig as such - the band were on as part of the Great British Beer Festival. Not much to say really - they were fine as a covers band. Everyone there for the beer festival - we watched about half the bands' set. And I discovered I am an expert skittles player after several pints!


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Billy Idol - Thursday 31st July - Brixton Academy

2.5 years on from seeing Mr William Broad at the same venue and tonight's show was just as much fun. Luckily his new album is a Greatest Hits compilation (again!), so that's pretty much what the crowd wanted and what they got. In fact, barr a couple of numbers, check out the 2006 review and you'll have this one covered too. Good stuff!

Setlist (Richard Thinks!)
Cradle Of Love
Dancing With Myself
Flesh For Fantasy
White Wedding
John Wayne
New Future Weapon
To Be A Lover
Sweet Sixteen
World Coming Down
Eyes Without A Face
Ready Steady Go
Blue Highway
LA Woman
Rebel Yell
Hot In The City
Mony Mony

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Status Quo - Friday 25th July - Excel Arena, London

Quo at the Motor Show - or at least the custom built venue to the side in the car park! You're probably read more than enough about Quo on this blog over the years, so the only things I'll say are:-

1: Suprised how quiet it was - barely half full

2: The band were on top form. Quality stuff and (at last!) a long overdue change-around to the setlist.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whitesnake / Def Leppard - Thursday 26th June - Wembley Arena

The evening started with a meet at The Globe (Baker St Tube) where we met a couple of other friends purely by chance. I say by chance, every time I go to The Globe I seem to bump into someone I know. It is one of the most "touristy" pubs in London and one with poor service, so who knows what our guests think of that.

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

Journey - Tuesday 17th June - Hammersmith Apollo

Quite an unusual one this - a headline band who I've not seen before and only own one CD of (the "Greatest Hits"). Based on that CD and a positive review of their previous UK shows, Richard and I trouped off to London's best music venue. The fact that we had secured front row tickets added to the excitement, only slightly dampened by the outrageous £3.85 for a pint of Tuborg in a plastic glass!

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
Mother, Father
Piano Solo / Open Arms
Wheel In The Sky
Where Did I Lose Your Love
Chain Reaction
Wildest Dream
Edge Of The Blade
Don't Stop Believin'
Any Way You Want It

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mark Knopfler - Thursday 29th May - Royal Albert Hall

A very short comment for this one. We were lucky enough to be in a box (with butler!) for this one (thanks to some friends kind generosity) which made the whole evening a fun one. I wasn't expecting too much from the setlist, but whilst disappointed they're weren't a few more Dire Straits songs that I might have known in the set, there is no doubt about Mr Knopfler's talent as a guitarist. It just all seemed a bit "safe" if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dan Baird / Quireboys - Monday 26th May - Borderline

As I said, you can't go wrong with these, so it was back to the Borderline for day 2, with the headline acts swapped around. The Quireboys repeated their excellent set from last night with just one minor change and once again it was very good.

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:-

Quireboys / Dan Baird - Sunday 25th May - Borderline

This show was moved from the Garage in Highbury & Islington due to ominous "health and safety" reasons. That meant a packed Borderline for the first of a 2 night "double header" of The Quireboys and Dan Baird & Homemade Sin.

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

XCom - Friday 9th May - The Peel, Kingston

So are they "XCom" or "Bad Company 2008"? Neither if Mr Rodgers gets his way, dubbing them a "tribute band falsely using the Bad Company name" and threatening legal action. Either way, Mr Ralphs and co were coming to South London and it seemed a good opportunity to see what they could do.

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

All quiet !!

A stunningly slow start on the 2008 gig front. Can't afford the Eagles, and can't make Roger Daltrey/ Thunder for the Childline O2 show, so next up is XCOM (Bad Company) and that's not until May 9th..!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jackie Lynton - Sunday 27th January - Scratchers, Farncombe

A Sunday evening jaunt to Farncombe in Surrey for a free pub gig by Jackie Lynton. He specialises in blues based rock and the small pub hosting the venue is one of my favourites - a friendly country local with Oranjeboom on draft. Farncombe would appear to be the worst-lit village in Surrey, so we stumbled in the dark to a couple of other pubs on the way to the venue.

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.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. Believe it or not, I've got no gigs scheduled at all for this year at the moment. If that remains the same, this blog will be very quiet!!