TONIGHT ALIVE, Rock city, Nottingham , 11-3-18


It’s quite funny how this one happened. I booked a ticket for the gig & when i saw on Pledge there was a M&G package, as it didn’t cost much extra, thought i’d do that as well. I knew Alice (My niece) liked T.A. so asked her if she was going to the gig. Not only was she going, but had also paid the extra for the M&G. Asked her if she was driving there or staying over. I’d already booked my hotel (Roomzz for 2 nights,as next night was seeing The Stranglers) & suggested to her if she decides to stay over in Nottingham, Premier Inn had an offer on where a room only cost around Β£30. So she booked that quickly πŸ™‚
We took quite a later train than usual. The earlier one would have had a 2 hour change over in Grantham ! When we got to Nottingham, we had around 30mins to walk to our hotels, get checked in , then go to rock city for 5pm (M&G time). There were quite a few in the M&G queue….some people who weren’t doing the M&G also joined the queue, but were soon set straight πŸ˜‰ When the guy came out checking names, Alice had still not got to the venue, so i told him she’ll be here soon. As i was waiting, a bizarre coincidence happened ; someone behind me asked “Were you at the Marmozets show in Cambridge?”. I turned around & recognised the 2 girls i’d met in Cambridge ! We had a quick chat about the Marmozets gig & of course i moaned about the rubbish “seats” they had for disabled people πŸ˜‰ Then Alice arrived…just as the dude was handing out the posters & beanie hats πŸ™‚ Once inside the venue, we were took through a side door into the room that used to be called “The Rig”. I think they only use that room for the disco stuff nowadays. That’s a good thing as when it was a gig room, it was absolutely rubbish ! (The one & only gig i went to there was back in ’98. The band ” A ” were opening for “Symposium”. As i couldn’t SEE the band, i sat on the bar! Of course, security rightly told me i couldn’t do that πŸ˜‰ So i said to them “show me a place where i can actually see the band, or i want my money back”! Ended up getting my money back & driving home ! Doubt that would happen nowadays lol)
So, back to the M&G….we all queued up then one by one we met the band, had a photo took, then hung around waiting for the M&G to finish. The band then went on the improvised stage & there was a short Q&A session followed by them playing an acoustic version of “Temple”.Β Β Β We then made our way to the main room. Along the way, i saw “Kev” (security) & reminded him he was gonna sort out a seat for me. We went to the balcony, only to be told it wasn’t open tonight. Ok, plan B it is then : Under the stairs ! Couldn’t believe it when Kev brought me one of the old high back seats! He was wise enough to save one πŸ˜‰ Thanks Kev !
Alice seemed unsure if she wanted to stay in that position or to go down on main floor (I knew already what she’d do πŸ˜‰ ) We watched the support acts from there. The first was called “The Gospel Youth”. Didn’t do a thing for me. Next it was “Roam”. I quite liked their set. Kinda wished i’d filmed a song.
Shortly before Tonight Alive were about to take the stage, Alice decided to go on the main floor to have a bop around. Wise choice πŸ™‚ I woulda if i coulda…After a short intro,the guys walk on stage to huge cheers & when Jenna appears, the crowd get louder. They start the show with ” Book Of Love “. After that it’s ” Lonely Girl ” from the album “The Other Side”. This is a very upbeat sounding song, even if they lyrics don’t really relate to being “up”,so to speak. Next, another one from “The Other Side”. It’s great seeing everyone having a great time during “The Ocean”.Β “Crack In My Heart” sounded great.

During “World Away ” there was a great sing a long from the crowd. I managed to capture the tail end of the song & then the acoustic version of “Say Please”

During the course of the evening, they played around 16 songs.There was always a positive vibe in the room πŸ™‚Β Β 

The show finishes with the song that they earlier played acoustically at the M&G, namely “Temple”. A nice one to finish the night off.

When we leave the venue it’s raining a bit. Alice wanted to try meet the band again, so we hung around for a while. She managed to meet a couple of the guys & have a brief chat.Β Β Obviously, it was Jenna that she really wanted to meet again, so we waited a bit longer. In the end, as it was raining & cold, we thought Jenna might not come out. So kinda gave up. I walked Alice to her hotel & said to her ” You know, it would be just your luck that Jenna might come out after we’ve left!”. When i left her at her hotel, i said i’d text her if Jenna was around. When i got back, you guessed it, Jenna was there! There were only about 3 people there with her. So sent a text to Alice telling her. Literally seconds after i’d sent the txt, Jenna walked back to the venue/bus. So i told Alice to not bother coming back πŸ˜‰
The following day, Alice was going back home. We arranged to meet & have some breakfast in Wethers. Wasn’t as busy as i expected it would be. After that, we walked back to our hotels & i said i’d meet her at the junction near the royal concert hall, so could walk her most of the way to the station. I was waiting a while so txt her as it wasn’t long till her train was due to leave. She’d walked further down, near to Subway (there’s no crossroads there πŸ˜‰ ) So i told her “i’m on the way” haha. Said goodbye at Broadmarsh as i wanted a quick look in FOPP. I then headed back into the city & decided to have a look where Brewdog was. Typical, that they didn’t open till 12.00 & i was there about 11.30 ! As it was pissing it down i thought i’d see what films were on (As would kill a bit of time & i’d be out of the rain). When i saw the prices, i decided against that ! Spent most of the day in my hotel!


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PAUL DRAPER, Rescue rooms, Nottingham, 5-3-18

I was really looking forward to seeing this gig from Paul Draper, as he’d be playing the whole of Mansuns “Attack of the Grey Lantern”. For me, this was their best album they released. ( “Six” is still good, but for me, nothing will top the debut AOTGL).
When i set off, i was expecting the fields to have a lot of snow, but there wasn’t hardly any (In a few dykes, where sun hadn’t hit it, there was just a small amount of snow). Actually, thinking about it, i was very lucky to be able to get the train to Nottingham, as only a couple of days earlier, there were no services between Skeggy & Nottingham ! Train arrived on time & went straight to the Premier Inn to check in. After hanging there for a short while, i decided to go to The Gooseberry Bush for some grub. Went back to hotel, relaxed for a bit, then walked to Rescue Rooms. Explained to security i need a stool for the gig & he went to find one straight away. He then took me up to the balcony. He started carrying the stool towards the end of the balcony & i said “No. I much prefer being in the centre, straight on to the stage”. Think i got in about 10mins early.
It seemed to take a while before the room got busy (I wonder if some peeps didn’t know the doors time had changed?). Whilst waiting for the opening act, i got chatting with a guy next to me. Later his missus turned up & we were introduced. Thinking about it, this was probably the only good thing that happened tonight ; i made 2 new friends πŸ™‚
The fist act was a lone geezer playing a guitar. Didn’t really do anything for me tbh.
When the Paul Draper band got onto the stage, i’d say it was the beginning of the end ! Once PD was onstage, i could just sense that he wasn’t into it tonight ! They played a short set of songs from PDs release “Spooky Action”. I didn’t know any of the songs, as don’t have the album. But lets be honest here; everyone was really there to see them play all of “Attack of the Grey Lantern” πŸ˜‰ During the first part, there was no interaction between PD & the audience. When they came back to play AOTGL, things got worse! PD was mumbling & forgot some lyrics. It so obvious he wasn’t having a good time up there.

He seemed more interested in getting his glass of wine topped up than playing for the crowd. At one moment he held his guitar up & said something like ” I love this guitar….should i break it ?”. He even had a go at the audience when they played “Wide Open Space”. Later on, he just sat down on the drum riser & didn’t finish the song. I think it was after “Naked Twister” that PD just walked of the stage. No explanations as for why that happened. A lot of people “booed” when he walked off.
I can safely say, after seeing over 1000 gigs in my lifetime, this was the worse one I’ve ever seen!
The only good thing about this gig was how well his band coped under the situation they were in. They’re all exellent musicians & i have massive respect for them for not only coping, but also playing great.
I said my goodbyes to Steve (His missus had gone somewhere, so couldn’t say goodbye to her) & went back to my hotel. I laid on my bed thinking ” Did that really just happen ??” Of course , at that time, no one knew what the problem was with PD. So there were loads of people posting on FB with their thoughts about it. I did notice that PD did post something about “Drowned In Sound” & he called them Nazis…& it was quickly took down πŸ˜‰
Whatever the reasons, i hope that PD seeks medical treatment (if needed), as this show really shouldn’t have happened.

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SAXON, Diamond Head, Rock Goddess, Corn exchange, Cambridge, 24-2-18

Β Got pretty much everything here ! On the left is the “Golden ticket”. This gives admission to any HEADLINE gig by Saxon on the Thunderbolt tour, Yellow sticky another pass specifically for the Corn Exchange. Then of course the ticket for my seat (Though i didn’t go there as it was way back in the balcony !)Β As i couldn’t get to the Hull show ( & back on the same night), i decided to go see Saxon in Cambridge. My train arrived in Cambridge at around 1.45pm .I couldn’t check in to my hotel till 3pm, so i decided to go straight to The Regal pub & have food. Was quite surprised how busy the place was, even though i expected it to be busy-ish as it’s a Saturday. After i had finished my food & drink ( Tennesse Chicken burger + Devils Backbone IPA), as i was close, thought i’d have a quick look to see if there was anyone at the corn exchange. There were about 6 or 7 people queuing. I then went into the box office to see if i could get my ticket then, but primarily i thought i’d ask if there were any spare flyers/posters for tonights gig πŸ™‚ It was a NO on both counts πŸ™Β 

So i went back to check in to my hotel. As the streets were so busy with people walking & just looking at their mobile phones ( ! ) it took me a bit longer than i expected it would. Probably only had about 40mins at hotel before i had to go back to Corn Exchange as i needed to meet Saxon tour manager for 4.30pm. When i got back, the same group of lads were still outside. I asked them if any of there were doing the M&G w/Saxon. None of them were & they didn’t even know about the M&G. So i explained how the “top” of the “Pledge Campaign” (At the time i booked mine at least) included a “Golden Ticket” which can be used at any HEADLINE gig by Saxon & also a M&G with them before the gig. If you’re the kind of person who likes to see multiple gigs by a band & you’re into Saxon, i think this package is great value for money.
After a while i went in the foyer to try find someone to talk with about meeting the manager. I could see they were sorting out tonights merchandise & i caught the eye of someone who i beckoned to come to me. When i told her why i was here she said ” Oh , so you’re the guy with the Golden Ticket”. Once inside, she introduced me to Saxons tour manager & i was very surprised to find i was the only one there tonight with this special ticket ! So, yeah, i had the band all to myself. The band were already sound checking, but i think i got to hear most of it.

When they finished, Velby introduced me to the guys.
I had a real good chat with Biff. The first thing i asked him was “Will there be a UK Thunderbolt tour part 3 ? “. (Why? Because the venues they’re playing on the part 2 are all so far away etc). He said there should be a Pt 3 & even told me some of the venues they hope to play, but nothing is set in stone just yet. Either way, i’m sworn to secrecy to not let anyone one know which venues πŸ˜‰ That was exactly what i hoped for venues wise. I also mentioned how many years ago i bumped into him in Boston (Biff lived in Boston & a few other places in Lincolnshire back in the late ’80s early ’90s). When Nibbs came over & i said i was from Boston, he asked if the “Rose Of Bengal” restaurant was still there. Apparently the guys often used to have curry there & it was their favourite place πŸ˜‰ Oh yeah, something quite funny that Biff said (without any prompting from me) was that he called Boston, Bostonia! Ya see, even he realises the place is totally different to how it used to be πŸ˜‰
After having a bit more of a chin wag, Biff said “We need to get a photo of us all”. I think the TM took a couple on my camera, then Biff gave him his mobile phone to take another pic to put up on Facebook πŸ™‚ (Later on i found out that somehow they’d put the wrong name for me in that pic! So very briefly, i was “Martin”! I doubt anyone noticed as it was quickly edited to my real name πŸ˜‰ )


The T.M. said i could come & go as i please. At the same time Biff said ” You can go anywhere…except for backstage…If you go there, we’ll shoot you !”. My reply was “It’s a good thing i’m wearing my bullet proof vest tonight then !” (Nigel seemed impressed with my sharp wit πŸ˜‰ ). Anyway, decided i’d stay in the venue as it was pointless going back to the hotel. So i checked out the venue & watched the soundchecks of both Diamond Head & Rock Goddess.

During this time, some of the Saxon guys came back in & i had a great chat with Nigel. He’s a big fan of IPAs & told me about all the beers they can get from their local supermarket in USA. Was very interesting.
Later on, i realised i’d forgot to ask the guys to sign the booklet that comes with the DVD “Heavy Metal Thunder, The Movie”. When Biff came back into the hall i asked him to sign it. I also told him that the short clip from when they played Download ’08 was filmed by me. (At that show they played in a tent. It was so packed that hundreds couldn’t get in. Saxon were back on the up again for sure). He wasn’t aware, as everything was submitted via Coolhead productions, but he did say ” I do like bootlegs” πŸ˜‰ In the end, i only manged to get autographs from Biff, Nigel & Doug…so looks like i’ll take that book next time i see them πŸ˜‰Β Β If you want to check out the short footage that i filmed at Download, which they included in the dvd, go to 2 hours 29 minutes & 20 seconds πŸ˜‰

I carried on watching Diamond Head & Rock Goddess sound checking. Took a couple of quick snaps. Then the doors opened.
I found it hard to believe i’d never seen Rock Goddess live before ! Not even as a support act! Back in the day, i liked them, but somehow, i never got to see them live. I enjoyed their set tonight. I’m unsure, but i think on the opposite side to where i was sat, Denise Duffort (Girlschool) was there.
I don’t think i ever saw Diamond Head with their classic first line-up. Seen them open for a few bands over the years, but never headlining. Also have seen Tatler jam with Metallica a couple of times (Lars was a big fan of NWOBHM). I’d imagine that most of the (younger) crowd would only know the name Diamond Head because Metallica covered a few of their songs. I think there’s only Brian Tatler left from the original line-up. Again, i enjoyed their set which started & finished with a couple of classics, namely “Helpless” & “Am I Evil”. For the time they had tonight, it was a really good set. They played “Helpless”, “Bones” (?), “In The Heat Of The Night”, “Lightning to the Nations”, “It’s Electric”, “The Prince” and finished with “Am I Evil”.
Both bands nicely warmed up the crowd, so we were all waiting for Saxon to get up on the stage to show everyone how it’s really done !
I’d really enjoyed the day, but then something unexpected happened : I fire alarm went of & we had to evacuate the building !
Initially, it seemed everyone (including the security) was a bit confused as to what was happening. I didn’t even attempt to go down the stairs for about 5 minutes as there were so many trying to get out, it came to a standstill ! I was also surprised at how long it took the security downstairs to open the side doors aka Fire Exits ! It took a while to get everyone out & it was quite a sight to see hundreds of people gathered outside….plus a fire engine! Thankfully, there was no fire & we were soon allowed back in. (I’ve since heard from a friend who was also there, that before the evacuation, he was pretty near the back of the hall, but once back in, he was much closer to the stage. Well played my friend πŸ˜‰ But the flipside of that is i’m pretty sure some people who might have been on the front row after queuing for hours, might not have got back to their original positions )
Once everyone was back in, it didn’t take long before the intro, “Olympus Rising” was playing over the PA. They went straight into “Thunderbolt”. Afterwards, Biff said they’d got the go ahead from the venue to play the full show, even though it would be past the initial curfew (Personally, i think they still would have done it even if the venue hadn’t given them permission πŸ˜‰ ) . So, i have to say good on Saxon for playing the full set tonight.
Next up, we get “Sacrifice”. Following that is one of my fave tracks off “Thunderbolt”, namely “Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)”. I love how dark & heavy it sounds. Next we get a couple of songs from back in the glory days. “Motorcycle Man” & “Strong Arm of the Law”. It brought back memories of the first time i saw Saxon at De Montfort Hall, Leicester way back in December 1980 ! I would have been 14 years old then πŸ™‚ Something else to do with “Strong Arm Of The Law”….when i bought the vinyl back in the day, there was a big sticker included, which i put on my bedroom door (still living at my parents house then obviously) it’s still on that door to this dayΒ Β 

Next up it’s “Battering Ram”. Oh yes, we like it hard & heavy ! It was cool to hear “Power and the Glory” again. But i must confess, when that album was released i was a bit pissed off with Saxon as they went chasing the American dollar.That year, i think they only played one UK gig, which was at Leeds Queens Hall. A horrible venue, even though it was a good line-up of bands.
We’re then brought back to the present day, with a couple of songs off “Thunderbolt”. “Sniper” & “The Secret of Flight”. I think that “Thunderbolt” is the best album they’ve made in a long time.

“Dallas 1pm ” is one of my all time favourite Saxon songs. The lyrics about the assassination of JFK really work well.
“Never Surrender” is another great blast from the past

We get a couple more from Thunderbolt & of course “They Played Rock n Roll” is dedicated to Lemmy & all of Motorhead. Next we get the song that describes when they played Castle Donington festival back in 1980; “And the Bands Played On”. It was quite a hit single back in the day.
The show finishes with 3 absolute gems from their glory years where the lyrics are about Planes, Knights & Trains ;”747 (Strangers in the Night)”,”Crusader” & “Princess of the Night”.

They encore with “Heavy Metal Thunder” & the great sing a long song “Wheels of Steel”.
The night finishes with the song that brought us all together, “Denim and Leather”.


What a fantastic day/night this has been. This is what i’m living for…
I knew that a couple of friends i’d met on the road would be at the gig, so i hung around for a while afterwards to see if i could find them & have a chat. Couldn’t find them though πŸ™ (Hopefully meet next time Hannah & Mark). Bought myself a t-shirt, then walked back to my hotel. Damn it was cold !

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PARADISE LOST, Outshine, King Goat, Rescue rooms, Nottingham, 18-2-18

Β For this one, i took a much later train to Nottingham. This way i could take my mum out for lunch before going ;-)(Ok, technically, she took me out as i cant’t drive now, but i did pay for lunch πŸ˜‰ )
My train left Bostonia at 14.45 & was due to arrive Nottingham at 16.17. Train journey went well, with no hold ups. First thing i did once i arrived was to visit WH Smiths ! Why ? Because i couldn’t get the issue of Classic Rock Magazine “She Rocks”, locally, which has skin (Skunk Anansie) on the cover . Was pretty sure they’d have it in Nottingham. Managed to get it in the nick of time as store was closing at 16.30.Β 

Job done, carry on walking to my hotel. Once again i’m staying at Premier Inn as i booked a few stays there cos the price was so cheap. Once checked in, i just hung around at my hotel to relax. Doors tonight had been put forward by 30mins, so that worked for me. I’d tried phoning Rescue Rooms with regard to having a stool, but it always ended up going to the answerphone & the mailbox was full, so I couldn’t leave a msg.
Once i got to Rescue Rooms i had a chat with the lass on the doors & said that i can never get through on the phone etc. She then told me the reason for this, which i wasn’t expecting….it seems that both Rescue Rooms & Rock City have had a change of staff/security. Apparently, the ones that left Rescue Rooms didn’t tell the other people what the passwords were for the answerphone mailbox etc !! If that is true, then i’m sure the people were not very happy bunnies & did it deliberately πŸ˜‰ So the next time i go RR i wont bother phoning…The lass asked one of the security to find me a stool & when he came back, he walked me up to the balcony. Got the prime position again πŸ™‚
I wasn’t aware that there were two opening acts before earlier today. Both of them i’d never heard of. So i was already thinking “…hope they finish quickly as i’m only here for Paradise Lost!”.
The first band “King Goat” were pretty dire. The singer wore a huge coat/cloak & couldn’t even see his face it was that black. The band didn’t play anything that i liked.
Next it was “Outshine”. Now i actually quite liked them. Their from Sweden & i liked what they played. It was really a good show. So much so, i’ll probably buy the new CD.
I was really looking forward to seeing Paradise Lost again as i hadn’t seen them since around 2009 (At Columbiaclub, Berlin). From memory, Nick Holmes could be a bit of a grumpy old bloke & had a very dry wit about him, so i was wondering how he’d be tonight πŸ˜‰
They kicked off with ” From The Gallows ” which is from the yet to be released album “Medusa”. It’s a typical dark sounding Paradise Lost song. Next we get “Tragic Idol” which dates back to around 2012. I really nice chunky guitar sound on this one. Then 3 songs in, they play some thing i really know “One Second”. This to me, is classic Paradise Lost. Unfortunately though, there were sound problems during this one. It sounded like there was some kind of a loose connection somewhere as there were “crackles” happening a few times.

“Gods Of Ancient” is another one off “Medusa”. Heavy as fuck & what i can only describe as “growling” vocals.
They seem to play a lot of new songs tonight & older stuff that i don’t really know tbh !Β 
If i’m honest, as the night went along, i kinda got a bit bored with it all. I dunno, maybe as the last shows i’d seen were all high enery stuff (Marmozets) Paradise Lost probably wasn’t a very good choice to see after those Marmozets gigs !
When it came to the encore time, there was one song i was really hoping to hear, namely “Just Say Words”. But they didn’t play it πŸ™
After looking online to see the setlists at other venues, it seemed they generally finished with “No Hope In Sight”, “The Longest Winter”, then “Just Say Words”. I’m left wondering why they didn’t play it on this night as it’s a great song.


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MARMOZETS , The Leadmill, Sheffield, 11-2-18

The earliest train out of Boston on a Sunday, leaves at 12.13.Today, when i changed trains at Grantham, there was a 2 hour wait for the connecting train. So there was nothing for it, i had to go to The Tollemarshe Inn for my lunch πŸ˜‰ I was surprised it wasn’t very busy, especially as it was around 13.15
After i’d had my grub, took a slow walk back to the station. Train was due to leave for Sheffield at 15.09 & arrive at 16.34 Everything ran on time. As i got closer to Sheffield i noticed more snow in the fields. Once i got to Sheffield, i went straight to my hotel. Today i was trying out the Novotel on Arundel Gate. It’s quite close to The Leadmill & a bargain at Β£54. It was a nice quality room, but there was something i’d not experienced before : As i walked into the room,on the right hand side, there was a toilet (yeah nothing new lol) but not only that, there was another door in front before getting into the main room! Very “different”! (Actually, having the 2 doors probably helped so didn’t hear people walking by πŸ˜‰ ) Also, another thing i’d never seen before was a table that could “swing round” to a different position. (Looking at the photo, the lighter coloured desk on top, swings round , away from the wall towards where i took the photo from! Very different!)
As it was cold & wet outside , i stayed in my room till about 15mins before doors were due to open. Once at the Leadmill, there was a reasonable sized queue & i went to the front of it to have a word with security. There were also a couple more peeps who had disabilities & were waiting on the security to let us in. Once inside, on the left, there was a turnstile to pass through & the numpty security chap told me to go stand there! Why did he tell me to go there, when the other disabled customers were to the right of it ?!? A few seconds later, the other security chap came in & said “You don’t need to wait there mate” So yeah, that other security chap was a big numpty πŸ™‚
There used to be a raised area at the back in this venue. But a few days before the gig i had an email saying it wasn’t available as it had got “broken”. Yeah right, course it had… The stools we were given were rubbish. Way too low. It didn’t really help when some tall ignorant fucker stood directly in front of me (I say ignorant because he looked & saw me sat down, but still stood in front of me).
I sat down through all of Queen Zees set, just wishing they’d get it over with.
The show was sold out, so not hardly any room in the place. In fact, there was a point when someone in front of me kept stepping further back towards me & stood on my feet! A quick push from me sorted that out. Of the 4 shows i saw, this was easily the one i least enjoyed.
One thing i have learnt over the last couple of years is some venues are great with looking after people with disabilities whist others are just useless.
Untill you’ve seen it “from the other side”, you don’t realise what a difference it can make to either enjoying the show or not.
I won’t say much else about this gig except that it was the same set list as the other nights. The band went down a storm & from what little i could see, they seemed to enjoy it.
I did try taking a couple of photos/video clips, but it’s hard work to hold a camera above you for very long.

When i left the venue it was a bit sleety outside. Good thing my hotel was as close as it was πŸ˜‰
The following day, as i was walking on the icy paths to the train station, i couldn’t help thinking ” I really hope they play the O2 Academy main room next time”.

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MARMOZETS , Queen Zee, Rescue rooms, Nottingham, 8-2-18

I left Hotel Rob reasonably early & was surprised just how busy the tubes were. I hate it when they’re so rammed as this day. Good thing i gave myself enough time to get to St Pancras for my train up to Nottingham πŸ˜‰ Even though i had already booked a hotel in Nottingham, my mate Andy T. was going to drive to Notts & meet me & then drive back to Bostonia after the gig. When my train got into Nottingham, i had a quick look in FOPP, before going to my hotel (Premier Inn, round the corner from Rescue rooms & only cost Β£31). Once checked in, i went to the Gooseberry Bush for some food. As it was Curry Club night/day, i decided to have the obvious πŸ˜‰ Couldn’t believe the size of the poppadoms though ! They were literally same size as the curry bowl ! (They’re usually much bigger than this)Β 

After having food, i went back to my hotel & waited for Andy to arrive. As he’d come pretty much after he’d finished work, he went & had a crappy Burger King. When we got to the venue, there was only a small queue (which surprised me really, considering it was sold out). I went to the side door & had a word with security, explained i needed a stool (They’ve still got GREAT ones!) & that Andy was my carer/companion. We hung around for a few minutes as the soundcheck was taking a bit longer than expected. One of the security chaps went to find a stool & put it up in the balcony for me to go to. Once inside, another security guy brought a couple more stools up, so Andy decided to sit on one of them πŸ™‚ That was excellent service tonight. I wish it could be the same always ! (I still don’t get it why Rock City threw away all the old seats/bar stools as the new seats are pretty useless if you want to actually SEE anything from the balcony! Fortunately, i know another good position where these new seats are viable to use )
So, once again, it’s “Queen Zee” opening. Both of us don’t really like their sound etc. I think we were talking more about the bra that the singer (male) was wearing !
We had the perfect position on the balcony to see everything. (After the rubbish experience in Cambridge, i couldn’t wait to see them at a venue with a balcony!)

Marmozets set starts with “New Religion” & then it’s a great 1-2 of “Habits” & “Is It Horrible?”.

I love hearing Wills bass intro to “Like A Battery”, it’s so deep & heavy. At the end of the song Sam says to the crowd “You guys are fuckin awesome”. Then someone in the crowd shouts ” We love you!” Becca reply’s with “Guess what? We love you too….newsflash !”. She then says “Are you ready for a Move,Shake,Hide sort of situation? Show me what you’ve got Nottingham !” Queue huge cheers from the crowd & lots of bouncing around on the floor. Next up we get another classic Marmozets song, “Weird & Wonderful”. Again, it goes down a storm. Towards the end of the song, at the “…I can see it in your right mind,Ever thought to wonder you’re not typical..” part, Becca lets the audience finish with the “…You’re weird and wonderful…” part & she says “Yeah you are !”. One of my favourite new songs is “Insomnia”. To me, it sounds like a messed up (in a good way) lullaby. Good to hear the crowd singing along to it as well. No messing around they go straight into “Meant To Be”. During the middle part, Sam shouts out ” Let’s see you Nottingham ! C’mon Let’s have it! “. Crowd is already going crazy & a small circle pit happens. During “Particle” it’s just the same. A great high energy crowd tonight.
As the intro to “Play” starts, Sam says “..try to get over here…” (to the crowd)
Before “Suffocation” Sam asks Joshy if he “can get the crowd going a bit more?”. Josh leaves his drum kit & wanders down to the front of the stage. He then puts his finger to his mouth, trying to make the crowd be quiet. He then throws his arms in the air to make em all cheer. He does this for both sides & then of course it’s a group effort. Becca then notices some one in the crowd & asks if she’d like to get on stage to have a photo with the crowd! Never seen that happen before. The lass gets up & the photos are took πŸ™‚ Song goes down well & is finished with Josh doing a little drum solo (whilst the guys are tuning up). Becca asks the audience ” Do you believe you were born young & free & you can do whatever the fuck you wanna do? Good on ya !” Yep , it’s time for a rousing version of “Born Young & Free” πŸ™‚
Afterwards, Sam says that Nottingham is the first crowd to have NOT crowd surfed yet. This gets drowned out by loads of the crowd wanting to hear “Vibetech” haha. He then says “Why the fuck is everyone shouting for Vibetech?”. Becca then says, “How about if when we come back next time, we’ll play it then?”. It’s a done deal as far as i’m concerned….but i reckon it will be Rock City next time they come back πŸ™‚
So, during “Lost in Translation”, the security have to work a bit harder as there were so many people crowd surfing. There were only 2 of them (security) but they did a great job of getting the surfers over the barrier etc.
“Lost in Translation” is really cool live. Another new one follows, namely “Run With The Rhythm”. We’re getting close to the end of the show now…
“Why Do You Hate Me” is as ferocious as ever. Bloody love it.
Sam then says “When you go to gigs…the people who look after you , are fucking awesome…Becca, i want to get a picture with these” (He’s talking about the 2 security guys) So up they get & that’s a photo took with the security & all the band…shame they never posted that one. (Here’s a rubbish screen cap πŸ˜‰ )

The funny thing after that was Sam then said “Ok, we got a picture with them, but lets make em fucking work now !” Absolute classic haha
Before “Major System Error”, Becca says “This is one of my personal favourite songs we’ve ever wrote…& it’s ok to like your own stuff…there’s nowt wrong with it at all!” . It’s really cool to hear the crowd sing the first lines on their own. I guess that means it’s a thumbs up for for the newest album.
What song could they finish with ? Yeah, you guessed it, the beautiful “Captivate You”. Loads of people got up on others shoulders & sang their hearts out.

This was most certainly a great night out !
We wait around for a couple of minutes so the majority of the crowd can get out of the venue. When we walked down the stairs, who should be coming up them,but Sam. I said to him it was another great show,thanks.
Once outside, it was raining a bit. Andy took a tram to go get his car, whilst i went into my hotel to grab my bag & checkout. We’d arranged to meet close by, but there was a little confusion which street he’d parked on πŸ˜‰ Once we’d found each other we were soon off back to Bostonia. Unfortunately, the weather got worse as it pissed it down! Some parts of the road back had massive puddles, which couldn’t be avoided. I know it was hard work for Andy to drive in these conditions (he doesn’t drive much at night nowadays), so much respect to him for coping with it & getting us home safely. Can’t remember what time we got back home, but i was straight to bed once there ! Once again, thanks Andy for driving.
The following day was a “day off” from the travelling, which i most certainly appreciated. The only downer of the Saturday was that i was told my sister had gone back into hospital πŸ™

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MARMOZETS , ULU , London, 7-2-18

I took my train down to London around midday. Only took about an hour. Today, it felt like “The Gods Of Rock” were with me all the way ! Why ? Well because it seemed that every tube/bus i took down there, id get to whatever station & didn’t have to wait at all for any transport ; it was always there ! A very smooth journey to “Hotel Rob”. Of course, i’d pre-booked my stay πŸ˜‰Β 

Kristina had took the day off work, so she was there to greet me once i arrived. We had a bit of a natter & i mentioned how my old friend Kevin (from USA) was in town & he wanted to meet us & go see Marmozets. But of course it was sold out πŸ™ I ‘d happened to see someone was selling a couple of tickets on the event page which was on Facebook. I sent him the link, but he couldn’t work out how to use it. Kristina then got her laptop out to try see if the tix were still available. There was one left! So she contacted the lass to see about purchasing it. As she was doing that, i got a msg from Kevin saying he’d contacted her & would meet her at the venue to by the ticket. Job done !
After a while myself & Kristina went into the city to have some food & meet up with Kevin. As the venue was so close to Montague Pyke, we just had to go there πŸ˜‰ Once there, i sent a msg to Kevin & he said he’d be there soon. After about an hour waiting, i wondered if he’d got lost. I jokingly said to Kristina “He’s probably gone to the wrong place & ended up in Shepherds Bush or something !”.
When Kevin did arrive, he said “It took a bit longer that i thought it would, as i was coming from Shepherds Bush”. Kristina & myself just looked at each other & cracked up laughing! You couldn’t have made it up! Of course, Kevin was wondering what we were laughing about, so we explained πŸ™‚
After a catch up we made our way to the area where ULU venue is. Nearby, we met Rob at….you guessed it, a PUB πŸ˜‰ We all had a natter for a while before we made our way to ULU. Tonight Rob wasn’t seeing Marmozets as he chose to see Alien Ant Farm instead.
As is the norm nowadays, i’d prearranged to have a seat in the balcony. Having never been to this venue before, i didn’t know what to expect. I managed to get on the front row so had a great view of everything. There was something like plexiglass running along the front of the balcony. I wondered how my camera would cope trying to take photos etc. (Oh yes, talking about the balcony, Kristina had a stalls/standing ticket & i tried emailing the venue to see if she could change it for a balcony ticket. But they never replied πŸ™ Even more stranger; the ticket Kevin had was supposedly a balcony ticket,yet security wouldn’t let him go up to the balcony! Go figure…But i think in the end, as they managed to get front row downstairs, they both enjoyed it more than they would in the balcony)
Tonight the opening band was “Queen Zee”. Never have liked them! So was wishing for Marmozets to get on stage πŸ˜‰
Once again, the Marmozets played the same set. There was a lot of energy in that room. As much as i don’t like to say it, i thought the audience tonight were the loudest & best of the 4 shows i was seeing on this tour. (I’ve often thought that London audiences don’t rock as much as audiences in other parts of the UK ! Why? Well because they’re “spoilt”. I mean, if a band is gonna play a one off show, chances are it will be London & nowhere else! I suppose it’s down to which band is playing, but i think London audiences can be a bit blasΓ©)

Tonight i saw something which I’ve never seen before. As the band started playing “Run With The Rhythm” a few people towards the back of the main floor, sat down & started rowing! Then a bunch more did the same ! Dunno why they did it as it’s nothing to do with the song being played, but was both bizarre & hilarious to see ! (I’ll probably upload the clip when i get a chance to)
When the show had finished, i went downstairs to meet Kevin & Kristina. We didn’t hang around long. Outside we said our goodbyes as Kevin was taking a different tube than we were.Β 

Once again, the tubes were always there as we got to them! When we got to Stratford, whilst walking down the stairs to get out, i got a tap on my shoulder & it was Rob! Talk about perfect timing lol

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MARMOZETS , The Junction , Cambridge, 6-2-18

I’ve been to The Junction a few times over the years, but was unsure if there were any raised viewing platforms or not. I know that when i saw Voice Of The Beehive there in ’91 there was something higher at the back as i filmed it, but nowadays i don’t know. So i went not having a clue what to expect!
Obviously in the past i drove there, but now i have to take the train.The journey seemed to take so damn long Boston>Grantham/CHANGE/Grantham>Ely /CHANGE>Β Ely>Cambridge. Took around 3 hours, but seemed longer). When i arrived in Cambridge i went straight to my hotel, which was very close to the station. For an Accor hotel, it seemed a strange set up for checking in. It looked like a bar with no check in desk! I had a nice room, which was at the end of corridor (so wouldn’t hear people walking to/from the lifts). Even though the hotel was virtually next to the train station, couldn’t hear the trains.


As i’m going to see Saxon at the Corn Exchange on 24th, i thought i’d walk the route from hotel to Corn Exchange so i know exactly where to go (again, it’s totally different to driving!). The online maps said walking time would be 23 minutes, i did it in 17mins πŸ˜‰ Along the way i passed a Wetherspoons pub “The Regal” (took 15 mins), which i visited on my way back πŸ™‚
After grub at The Regal, i walked back to the Junction. There was just one solitary chap queuing. I had a quick chat with him & made sure he remembered me. After the experience in Nottingham where that silly bitch thought i was jumping the queue, i thought it might be wise to mention it to said chap, so he wouldn’t think i’m jumping the queue when i come back πŸ˜‰ So i walked back to the hotel & relaxed for a while.

Later when i got back to The Junction, there was only a small queue, which surprised me. When doors opened i explained i’d arranged to have a stool/seat.
What they gave me was pretty strange. Hard to describe, but nearest thing i can equate it to would be an upside down skittle ! Yes, it wasn’t much cop lol
This stool was placed on the periphery of the venue & of course, someone stood directly in front of me, so view of the stage was pretty rubbish. Wasn’t impressed by the support act. Just waiting for Marmozets to hit the stage. Won’t say much about this one. They played a decent set including the older classics & a few more from the latest album (It was the same set list on all 4 shows i saw). I just wish i could have SEEN more…this venue is no good for people with disabilities.

After the gig was over, i hung around for a while as wanted to try get the band sign some photos from a previous gig. Whilst waiting, a couple of kids commented on the hoody i was wearing (PVRIS) had a short chat with them & i think due to that, i missed seeing most of the band as they weren’t out for very long ! However, i did still manage to get a quick photo with Josh before i went back to hotel. (Thanks to the chap that took the photo)Β The following day, i had a scrummy breakfast before travelling down to London to see The Marmozets again…

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The DAMNED, Slim Jim Phantom, rock city, Nottingham, 4-2-18

My mate from down London came up for this show. For a change (as they had an offer on!) i stayed at the Premier Inn. I thought i did well booking that for Β£31, but Neil out trumped me as his hotel was Β£27 ! (And by all accounts, it’s a decent hotel). So once we were both in Nottingham, we met up at the Goosberry Bush pub. Was good seeing each other & we had a good catch up.We got to Rock City about 20mins before doors.The usual thing, make security aware we’re here so they can sort out a seat for me & get in before the mad rush. But tonight something strange happened. Whilst chatting away, a woman came over & had a go at me ! She said “I’ve been in the queue since 5pm & it’s not right what you’re doing”. I replied “Don’t worry, you’ll still get your place on the front row. I’ll be going in the balcony & I’m not queue jumping…”. Again, she said ” But i’ve been queuing since 5pm “! I suppose that if you see me you wouldn’t know of my illness, but she could have gone about it a different way. In the end i told her i’ve got brain tumors & (supposedly) only about a year to live…& she still came out with that same phrase she’d been using! Some people should think before they speak…
Anyway, after that stupidity from her, a security chap came out & walked us in, sorted out a seat (the new rubbish LOW ones) & i went downstairs to a place i could see the stage. Neil had a bit of a laugh with me about the womans attitude. I’ll say no more on that.

The opening act tonight is “Slim Jim Phantom”. He who was part of “The Stray Cats”. It was all decent enough, but i was here to see The Damned.
Crazy as it sounds, this was the first time i’ve seen The Damned ! Always been into them for years ,but somehow never got to see them !
The lights go down & the intro tape is played over the PA. (It’s Gustav Holst “The Planets”). Having previously looked online to see what their set list is, it seems they usually start with a pretty rigged set. They play “Lively Arts” , “Silly Kids Games”, “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow” etc. It’s all good. The new songs sound good & the old classics sound even better. Something i quickly noticed was that whilst Dave Vanian & Captain Sensible don’t seem to have aged much, i couldn’t believe how much Paul Gray had aged! (Sorry to say this)
Tonights show comprised of a few new songs from the yet to be released “Evil Spirits” & a bunch of the old classics like “Neat,Neat,Neat”.

For myself, the highlight of the show was when an old chap named “Johnno” got up on stage. I was surprised he’s still alive if i’m honest. Whilst i’ve never met him, i was made aware of him back in the ’80s. How? Well, back then i used to visit a bunch of “Record Fairs” around the UK. I often visited Leicester, Sheffield & sometimes even London to see what they were selling. Well, one time in Leicester, i bought a fanzine which featured Crazyhead,Ghost Dance etc. There was also an interview with Johnno where he told them how he loved the Damned & would go to multiple shows. He really inspired me. So, to see him up onstage tonight was pretty amazing.Β 

I think he’s about 73-74 years young & he’s still doing his favourite thing. I have so much respect for the guy.
He actually got up on stage towards the end of “Evil Spirits” & introduced “Smash It Up”.

They came back for a second encore of one song, a cover of “Jet Boy, Jet Girl”.

When the show was finished, we once again went to the Goosberry Bush for final drinks of the night ! All in all, a fantastic night out.

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