Friday, November 30, 2012

Magnum - Thursday 29th November - Islington Academy

Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin keep the nightlight burning
A trip to Islington for the 2nd week running, this time to the Academy to see Magnum. The backstreets of Islington appear be a haven for attractive Eastern European bar staff and this was again the case this evening.

We made sure however, that we arrived in good time at the venue (last time Magnum were here it was so packed we barely got through the door) and secured our regular spot for this venue on the right hand side with a decent view. The setlist for this door has been absolutely static and at first glance may appear slightly biased toward newer material, but from first song to last, the band were at their captivating best. It helps that their last couple of albums have been top notch too.

Bob Catley continures to enthrall the audience with the enthusiasm of a man have his age (and full credit for the first time I have ever heard the words "Come on Islington!"), whilst Tony Clarkin's guitar playing is first rate and seemingly effortless. Add in the wonderful Harry James, Mark Stanway and Al Barrow and this is a top rate band. We were slightly puzzled with what could be needed on Mark Stanways laptop/Mac Airbook - not sure they use too much in the way of pre-recorded loops, but whatever issues the roadie was trying to sort didn't appear to affect the sound.

Predictable highlights were "Les Morts Dansant", "The Spirit" and "Vigilante" plus a relatively rare outing for "Day Of No Trust". Cracking stuff.

Richard and I were speculating that over the course of 25 years of watching Magnum, we have never heard them play a cover version live. Not withstanding that they did things like "Runaway Sue" earlier in their career, what other bands of stature can you say that for? A colleague put forward Bad Sabbath as a possibility - if anyone knows of any more or can correct us re: Magnum, I'd be interested to hear!

PS Another "Ling" point easily collected.

All The Dreamers
When We Were Younger
Blood Red Laughter
Wild Angels
Brand New Morning
How Far Jerusalem
The Flood
Les Morts Dansant
The Spirit
Dance Of The Black Tattoo
All My Bridges
All England's Eyes
Kingdom Of Madness
See How They Fall
Rockin' Chair
Days Of No Trust

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Doro - Tuesday 20th of November - The Garage, Islington

Ms Pesch
Off to the Garage in Islington for some German rock!

This was preceded by a long pub crawl - sadly all non-alcoholic for me, but including some excellent darts!

Arriving perfectly 5 mins before showtime we took our place in a 2/3 full venue and scored an expected 'Ling alert' point.

Having previously seen Doro supporting Saxon, I still didn't know too much material, but it was all solid enough apart from the outrageously long drum solo which was painful. The front of the venue pretty much dispersed to the loos for this part of the show. There must be a campaign online to ban these surely - if so, sign me up!

Anyway the rest of the show was enough to make me probably look out for a best of Warlock CD sometime soon. Raise your fist in the air London!
I Rule The Ruins
Burning The Witches
Fight For Rock
The Night Of The Warlock
True As Steel
Raise Your Fist In The Air
Für Immer
Metal Racer
Earthshaker Rock
Wacken Hymne (We are the Metalheads)
Metal Tango
Breaking The Law
All We Are
Love Me In Black
East Meets West

Friday, November 16, 2012

Brian May with Kerry Ellis - Thursday 15th November - The Hawth, Crawley

Kerry Ellis & Brian May
A trip to suburbia to see the Queen guitarist with stage star Kerry Ellis in Crawley.

The evening started with a couple of games of darts in Three Bridges and included a nice 180 with some "pub darts" in one venue and a stunning 13 dart 501 finish (my best ever) in "The Moonraker". We then cut through some sports fields and made our way to the Hawth, which I'd bizarrely thought was going to be the same venue I'd seen Status Quo at 10 years ago (Wrong! - that was the Crawley Leisure Centre)

In a seated and very quiet auditorium the mainly acoustic show presented a selection of Queen hits and other songs in aid of The Born Free Foundation. It was quite strange (with no real atmosphere whilst the songs were playing) and a strictly enforced "no photo" policy.

A local youth choir joined for the last 5 songs and they were perfectly pleasant (although Richard was horrified they needed a crib sheet for "We Are The Champions"!)
It was nice to see Brian playing in a venue like this (and for a good cause) but I look forward to seeing him on his own playing some more rock material soon. Kerry's vocals are pleasant enough but somewhat limit the style of material they can play.
Born Free
Butterfly (Somethings That Glitter)
I Who Have Nothing
Dust In The Wind
I Can See You Kissing Me
Somebody to Love
Nothing Really Has Changed
Life is Real (Song for Lennon)
The Way We Were
Love of My Life
I'm Not That Girl
No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)
Last Horizon (Electric Guitar version)
I Can't Be Your Friend 
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions
In The Bleak Midwinter
Born Free
Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Born Free Foundation Website

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Slade / Sweet - Friday 9th November - Guildford G-Live

The 2012 version of Slade
A double header on a Friday at the new G-Live venue in Guildford. After a pint or two by the riverside we headed to the venue which is quite an upgrade compared to the old Civic Hall.

First up were Sweet who include original guitarist Andy Scott. The band played a set sticking mainly to hits and their new album which is covers-based. They were better than I expected, so much so that I bought couple of CDs at the interval and got them signed.
Headliners were a band calling themselves Slade. Original members Dave Hill and Don Powell treating us to around 75 minutes of prime 70s rock. Whilst it still takes a few songs to get over the singer's rasping vocals, the show settles down into a mass sing-a-long. A relatively early finish enabled us to get a direct train home and it was a really nice evening.

New York Groove / Empire State Of Mind
The Six Teens
Wig Wam Bam / Little Willy
Teenage Rampage
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
Love Is Like Oxygen / Fanfare For The Common Man
Fox On The Run
Ballroom Blitz

We'll Bring The House Down
Take Me Bak 'Ome
Far Far Away
Coz I Luv You
Run Runaway
The Bangin' Man
Gudbuy T'Jane
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Get Down And Get With It
My Oh My
Cum On Feel The Noize
Merry Xmas Everybody