The Darkness, Rock City, Nottingham, 2-12-17

 

The previous night i should have been seeing Royal Republic at Koko in London. I decided to skip it as was already getting a bit tired after the few shows i’d seen in a row. Gave my Royals ticket to my mate Rob.This way i could relax a bit more before the next gig.
As my sister had been admitted to hospital,i was initially unsure if i should go to this gig or not. In the end, i decided to go in the hope that it would take my mind off how my sister was & cheer me up a bit. Got to Nottingham a bit later than usual, but still had time to check in my hotel, go out for food & then relax a bit back at hotel.
I won’t bother going into depth about this gig, but can surely say it was “just what the doctor ordered” ! The venue was rammed & everyone seemed to be having a great time. Ok, there a couple of sound issues here n there, but nothing enough to ruin the show.

There were some real funny moments from Justin (as always). 

They played a lot of the old classic Darkness songs & it was a really long set.(Probably getting on for 20 songs). It still puts a smile on my face when they play “Christmas Time (Don’t let the Bells End)”…we even got fake snow showering down into the crowd.  It was cool when they jammed snippets of “Immigrant Song”,”Sweet child Of Mine” (with the crowd doing i fine job of singing) & “Thunderstruck”. The show finished with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. Yup, a great night out !

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PVRIS, Brixton Academy, 30-11-17

I met Alice at the train station & we were soon on our way to London. Changed trains at Grantham & we had been booked seats in 1st class ! First time been in 1st class. As i expected, there was a very loud man near us who let everyone know how “important” he was. The couple sitting opposite us were totally down to earth & they too were laughing at “important man”. We had a nice chat. Once at Kings X we went straight to the hotel that had been booked for us. Upon checking in, they said it hadn’t been prepaid, so i put it on my credit card to avoid any confusion. We had a very nice room with 2 double beds.  Eventually, we set off for Brixton.Nathan had arranged that when we got there, i should phone him & he’ll come out to take us in. As luck would have it, PVRIS were doing their soundcheck, so we got to see that. Alice was given her AAA laminate, but it was minus a lanyard. I thought to myself, the “O2 Angels” always have them, so we could nip out & get one later. However, in the end, didn’t need to do it as Matty kindly gave us his lanyard 🙂 We watched the soundcheck from downstairs mainly.  

 Had a quick walk around to find way up to balcony & watch some more from there.   Went back downstairs & saw Matty again & he took us backstage. The band were having some kind of a meeting, so we stayed outside their dressing room. A few minutes later, Brian came out & took us to another room. (Or did Matty take us there & Brian came in a few mins later? Can’t quite remember). There were various drinks laid out & we could have what we wanted. We had a nice conversation with Brian. Told him a bit more about ourselves & where we live etc….”We’re from the ORIGINAL Boston 😉 ” (Funny coincidence eh?)  Time was getting on & Brian needed to be at the M&G session. So we all went out to find where it was. Again, it was busy like in Birmingham a few days back. Matty kindly let us get photos with the band 🙂  We then sat watching everyone having the M&G. Was interesting seeing how some of them had pre-planned how they wanted their photos with the band to be taken. (Then there’s the other exteme of a few people who were nervous about meeting their idols). The band got a lot of gifts from the people they met.
Once the M&G was finished, Lynn asked us if we’d like a cup of tea! Actually, she wrote it down & showed us as she was trying to rest her voice 😉 (She was still suffering like in Birmingham. Respect to her for soldiering on & not cancelling any of the shows) There was a little confusion if we should hang around there or not. We went up to the balcony to find our seats. By now, the bands allocated seats had “Reserved” on them. That is except for 2 seats which were reserved in my name 🙂 
The “Big Mama security woman” asked us if we’d got wristbands. We waved the AAA laminates at her & took our seats. She then came over to us & said “You need wristbands !”. I said to her ” Look, these seats are reserved in my name….i can show you proof of my identity…blah blah”. Then i thought, “Ok, i’ll go back downstairs & get the wristbands if only to make her happy” lol. As i started walking back along the balcony, another security guy turned up. I explained to him what had happened & he said “Just go to your seats”. He was a nice chap. Had a bit of a laugh with him. Once sat down again, “Mama security” came back to us & apologised for the earlier hasstle. That was nice of her. We watched the support bands & somehow missed getting that cup of tea we were offered earlier haha. So later we went backstage again & were told we’d missed 2 cups of tea ! Now, they’d run out of tea bags, so someone was sent to get more teabags from the bus ! (Americans prefer coffee i guess. That’s why they ran out of tea so quickly) We were told to go back to our seats & someone would bring our cuppas to us !
**Now i’m sure some of you reading this might be thinking “This story is quite long winded”. yeah, maybe so. But, i like to document my experiences as much as i can. However, the main thing here & i hope people get it, is that the band/manager/crew are just great people. I mean, even something as small as a cup of tea, they go out of their way to make sure it happened)** Sure enough, a while later, i big burly crew guy brought us our cups of tea. Thank you 🙂

Sometime during the night, i got a tap on my shoulder. I thought “Here we go…round 2 with security!”. But it wasn’t security, it was my mate Rob! I asked how did he get up on balcony considering they’d got stalls/standing tix? He told us that Jim had booked a seating ticket, so he used that to get up here. And where was Jim? You guessed it, downstairs ! The old trick never fails 😉 I told Rob we’d meet him downstairs after the gig. I’d also give him my ticket for the Royal Republic gig which was the next day (I decided it was best i didn’t go as was already under the weather & have finally realised i can’t do as many gigs in a row as i used to, due to my condition)

You could feel the excitement in the air for when PVRIS were about to take to the stage. Same as in Birmingham, they opened with “Heaven”. Again, this was followed with “St Patrick”

Tonights setlist was the same as Birmingham (& i assume the rest of the UK dates). So i’ll let the photos & video clips “describe/represent” the evening.

 

When the gig finished, we went downstairs so could meet Rob & i gave him the Royal Republic ticket for the next day. Said our goodbyes then made our way back up to the VIP bar. Thought the band might be there, but they weren’t. So went back down,backstage, to try find everyone. Brian invited us into their dressing room, so we hung there for a while.    Nathan went off to get the money to pay for the hotel. (I’d Never seen Irish currency before!). After a while, we all went out into the corridor. Chatted a bit more with the band etc  Alice had brought a card with her to thank the band for everything they’d done for us. She read it out & didn’t falter doing so. As she was reading it out, i saw Lynn had slight tears in her eyes 😉 Alice handed over the card & also another picture/postcard of St Botolphs Church, Boston (Which is known locally as “The Stump”). we then got a group photo.

Time was getting on & i was wondering if we’d still be able to get the tube back to our hotel. Didn’t need to worry about that though,as when i mentioned it, Nathan said “We’ve already booked you a cab for your journey back to the hotel”.
Seriously, the generosity & kindness from band/crew etc etc was quite overwhelming ! We got a couple more photos with the band, Alice had a bit more of a chat with Lynn & then Nathan said our taxi was waiting outside. Final hugs of the night & both Nathan & Brian walked us out to the taxi. Oh yeah, as we were walking i asked Nathan what the plans were for next year. He told me about a couple of big things that will happen, but said i need to keep it to myself. I really hope those plans happen & that i’m still around to be able to make it to those shows.
So, summing up, it was a fantastic unbelievable day/night. I’m sure i also speak for Alice when i say Thank You for everyone involved who helped make this happen. Sure it was the best “Early Christmas Present” that Alice will ever have & when i’m gone, i hope it will be a memory she will treasure forever.

EDIT : After i’d finished writing this up, i thought i’d ask Alice if she’d like to add her own comment/memories of the day. This is what she wrote ;

” I enjoyed the train journey to London with Uncle Simon, as we were waiting at Grantham for our connecting train there was a very light dusting of snow floating in the air and it was so magical. We arrived at the Hotel lobby and it was all decorated for Christmas. It smelled like spices and cinnamon which made me feel warm inside. The cold was biting as we arrived at Brixton academy, we walked in with Nathan, one of the lovely PVRIS managers, just as ‘Half’ was being played at soundcheck; which is the song that reminds me most of my Uncle, I felt like the universe was aligning. We met Matty and he was very kind and looked after us really well. The show was beautiful, the sounds, the lights, the colours, the energy. After the music had finished we met with Nathan, Matty, Brian Lyndsey and Alex, to create what would become the most meaningful memory for me. AS everyone gathered round I read out loud some heartfelt words I had written on a Thank You card for everyone who helped make the day happen. The corridor was still and I think even the air particles stopped to listen. We all connected in that moment, with love and altruistic understanding that we had created something so special. My gratitude is eternal and I cannot wait for us all to meet again”.

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PVRIS, O2 Academy, Birmingham, 23-11-17

 Got a train from Nottingham to Birmingham & once there i totally remembered the route from station to The Academy & Pentahotel. This one didn’t get off to a good start for me. Why ? Because i’d not received the details about the VIP M&G i’d booked. I’d sent numerous emails etc, but got no replies. So today i’ll be winging it lol
After hanging at the hotel a while, i thought i’d just nip round the corner (literally!) to see what was happening at the venue. There was already quite a queue. Multiple queues in fact lol. I asked if anyone was doing the M&G, so once confirmed, i joined that queue. After a while someone came out & started handing out the M&G lanyards. When he got to me, i told him i’d not recieved the full info etc, but it wasn’t a problem as my name was on his list, i was then duly ticked off. We all went into a side room, where we lined up around the edges of the room. There were so many doing the M&G, the line circled the whole room & then some. After a while the band came in & slowly,but surely, every filed past, got an item signed, had a brief chat & then a photo with the band.
Sometime before this show, i’d asked my niece what she wanted from me as an Xmas present. She said “Something more personal than usual”.Just need to back track a bit here… Last year a bunch of my “Garbage friends” clubbed together to buy me a M&G with Garbage. They did this shortly after i was diagnosed with brain tumors.I was shocked & astounded that they would do this for me. It was a gesture i’ll remember forever. If you’d like to check out that day, it’s in my blog here : http://www.gigaddiction.co.uk/garbage-troxy-london-13-6-16/
Jump forward a few months, a friend in the USA went to see Garbage & took a copy of my M&G photo with them at Troxy. Again a nice gesture.
So, back to the now, Kevin inspired me to take a photo of when myself & Alice saw PVRIS at Norwich last year & get the band to hold it as well. I had to explain it all to the band & as i was doing so, i just broke down. Once again it was the reality of my situation that caused this. So, through teary eyes, i told them as much as i could. After my photo with the band was took & i started walking away, i got a tap on my shoulder. It was Lynn. She gave me a massive hug. Again started to walk away, but the photographer stopped me & said something like “Can you hang around whilst we finish the M&G? The band want to talk more with you & give you some free merchandise”. I was gobsmacked ! I went & sat on a little chair watching everyone file past the band. Eventually, it was finished & Matty (photographer) told me to follow him & the band through a side door. Once there, we had a longer chat. Lyyn asked if i’d tried Rekki to try help my situation etc. I was also asked if there were any other gigs that myself & Alice could make it too. If so, they would help us to do so. I was pretty sure i could maybe fit in Brixton, so i suggested that. Matty took my email etc & said he’d contact me tomorrow. After a few minutes a lass turned up saying “Are you ready to go on your shopping trip?”. She took me to the merch booth & said “You can have anything you want!” I’m not one to be “greedy”, so i was a bit timid about what i should take. But Leealia (SP?) kept saying “What about that also?”. In the end , there was so much that it took a box to carry it all !
We next went up to the balcony to find a good viewing point. As luck would have it, especially as so many had already took the seats, there were 3 empty seats on front row! So i went there. When we were walking past security, they asked “What’s in the box?!!”. Leealia was having nothing of it. “It’s band merchandise for this guy! Have a look!”. I was still a bit paranoid that security might try shutting me down for taking photos/video clips, so i asked Leealia to explain to them that i had permission to do so.
The first band of the night, i didn’t think much of them. The second on, “Coin”, were pretty cool. I enjoyed their set. Sometime later, Leealia came back as she’d found a big bag to put the merch into. Would be a lot easier to carry than the box (Don’t forget i gotta take this home on the train). Not only that, she also said she’d spoke with security so they shouldn’t hassle me. But as a back up, she also handed  me a AAA laminate ! Wow ! 🙂
Soon enough, PVRIS took to the stage. They opened with “Heaven”. This is also the opening track on their latest album “All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell”.
Even though this is a “new” song, it feels like i’ve known it for years. It’s certainly got all the key elements of a PVRIS song. There’s a single white light pointing at Lynn as she sits at her keyboard & starts singing away. (During the M&G we’d been told that Lynn had some kind of cold/flu, so she wouldn’t be talking much. It was immediately obvious that she wasn’t quite her usual powerful self. It still sounded good though…& i doubt many in the crowd would have even noticed she was struggling a bit) Still, a great song to start the evening with. Next we have a trip back to a song from their debut album “White Noise”. It’s the classic “St Patrick”. I absolutely love this song. When the crowd recognized the song from the keyboard into , they screamed & were totally up for this one.

Next up, another from the debut album, it’s “Smoke”. As with all their songs, it’s very “real” emotional lyrics

We next get another new song from AWKOHAWNOH, which is called “Half”. It starts with a haunting vocal, but soon kicks in to be another “new classic” song. It’s also pretty cool seeing Lynn take to the drums.
It’s great seeing/ hearing the audience chanting the “Woah o oh os” during “You & I “. (Just a shame my camera can’t quite cope with the darkness)

As i’m writing this, i’ve realised that there are not many bands where i can say that i love ALL the songs on ALL their albums. PVRIS is one where i do love everything.
They have such a uniqueness about them. So much passion in both the lyrics & the music & it really connects with just about everybody.
The evening seems to just fly by. They finish the main set with “My House”

Obviously, they’re gonna come back for an encore. We’re treated to another new song to finish the night with ; “No Mercy”.
What a great day/night it’s all been. Never expected that all that would happen. Many thanks to the band/crew etc for EVERYTHING !
Went back to my hotel pretty soon as was knackered. Can’t help thinking what Alices reaction will be when i tell her all about it 😉

 

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Airbourne, Phil Cambell & The Bastard Sons, The Wild, Rock city, Nottingham, 22-11-17


So the morning after that “wonderful” (sarcasm) experience in London, i took an early train back up to my spiritual home of rock n roll; namely, Rock City, Nottingham. Once there, checked into my usual hotel & chilled for a while. I briefly tried to reflect on last night, but couldn’t as it was such a shitty experience ! So draw a line under last night & move on. At least today, even before it starts, i know the Airboure always put on a good show, so i know it will lift my spirits 🙂 It’s a sold out show, so i’m sure it’s gonna be a great night.

Everything ran smooth with regards to entry & getting a seat on the balcony. The way it should always be 😉
I’d never heard of the opening act “Wild”. Didn’t really do a great lot for me tbh.
I was quite interested to see what “Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons” would be like. It was everything i was expecting 😉 It’s quite amazing to see the “change of look” of Phil Campbell since he joined Motorhead back in the 80s. I’m sure Lemmy would be proud of the impression he had on him over the years.
They played a pretty short set tonight & of course, it had to include a couple of Motorhead songs, namely “Born to Raise Hell” & finished with “Ace Of Spades”. Whilst it was a decent set, i doubt i’d go see them headline anywhere.

So now the real fun starts….Airbourne. I’ve never seen a bad show by them & you can always rely on Joel to put on a show & do some “silly” things along the way (Will never forget when he climbed up the rigging to the top at Download festival 😉 )
There’s a short intro tape before they hit the stage & show us they’re “Ready To Rock” 😉 Next up it’s “I’m Going To Hell For This”

At the end of the song, Joel shows his appreciation for Rock city, by saying ” Nottingham Rock City ! No matter where we go in the world, THIS is the best gig ever ! “. That’s something i’d agree with 🙂

We then get a song from their debut album “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast”. It’s kind hard to believe that it was released over 10 years ago ! ( What a great debut “Running Wild” was ! They set the bar high & have continued to release more albums of the same quality over the years)
Next, it’s a couple of songs from the last album they released (“Breakin’ Outta Hell”) “Down On You” & “Rivalry”. Before “Rivaly” Joel tells us all : “I know it’s a midweek show & I know you’re going to work, or university tomorrow…but you know what? There is no fuckin tomorrow ! You’re LIVIN RIGHT NOW ! You could always go to work with a hangover or you might not show up. Fuck the boss man “!
As an aside,”Breakin Otta Hell” was released back in 2016 & they’ve been touring it for about 18months. They certainly do work hard to entertain the masses on a global scale.
During “Girls In Black”, Joel does his usual thing of coming out into the audience, carrying on playing & culminating with him smashing the can of lager on his head until it squirts all over everyone. Great showmanship !

We next get “Bottom Of The Well”, closely followed by “Breakin Out Of hell”. Both full on typical rock n roll songs. 
Before “It’s All For Rock N Roll” Joel says that Motorhead will live forever. As i’m writing this, it’s just been announced that Fast Eddie Clark has died. So that means all of the “Classic” Motorhead members have left this earth. Let’s hope they’re up there jamming together. Joel dedicates the song to Lemmy & also Malcolm Young. During the song, a flight case is wheeled onto the stage & on the side of it it says “Lemmys Bar”. Joel then pours out 4 Lemmys (JD & coke) for the band members. He also shares his with the front row of the crowd. 

The main set finishes with ” Stand Up For Rock N Roll”. Then over the PA we hear the sound of an aeroplane or a “Bomber” a la Motorhead 😉 This is accompanied by an air raid siren being wound on the stage. I also notice a guy down in the press pit who’s holding up a drone & waving it over the crowd. I assume he’s got a GoPro attached to it & is filming it. (Interesting & different use for a Drone eh?) After the siren finishes, the band are back on stage & proceed with “Live It Up”. During the song Joel throws some beers into the crowd. A mate had said when he saw them in London, he couldn’t work it out he he pretty much threw them with nothing coming out during flight.I suppose there must be a knack to it. But tonight, pretty much every one he threw out spilled a bit ! Maybe he was a little over excited at being in Nottingham & it being the last night of the UK tour ? 😉
The night ends with a rousing version of “Runnin Wild”.

Tonight has been fantastic. Really enjoyed the show. Also, most certainly made up after the shitty time in London 😉
The following day, i travelled on to Birmingham to see PVRIS. For this show i’d chose to have the M&G ticket option.I’d had a plan to do something a bit unique & special for my niece as she couldn’t be there. Unfortunately, i’d not had any email to say what time the M&G would be happening etc. I always like to have full info about the schedules etc, so this one i didn’t feel so comfortable about it. After the shitty experience in London a couple of days back, i really wondered how this one would go. In the end, i didn’t need to worry about it as the day/night in Brum just got better & better……

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H.E.A.T. + Degreed + Black Diamonds , O2 Academy, Islington, London, 21-11-17

 

After a great gig/experience in Nottingham, i was really looking forward to this one. Originally, Eva was going to join me, but due to her work place being short staffed, she had to cancel (more than one gig). As i’d booked an earlier train than usual, i had to spend more time in London as there wouldn’t be anyone home at “Hotel Rob” till later in the afternoon. So i went to the usual places like FOPP etc to kill time. Eventually it was time to travel to Stratford to drop of my bag. Had a quick chat with Kristina & then i was off to Islington.
As is the norm nowadays, i’d pre-arranged getting a seat & hoped i’d be up in the balcony. Once i got to the Academy, everything went down hill 🙁
“Why?” You ask. All down to one jumped up, power hungry, “I’m so important” security guy ! (From now on he will be called “Mr Dickhead”)
As per usual, i explained to him how i’d phoned to arranged seat early entry etc. Firstly, he told me to go join the queue. After a while, i got tired & sat down on the floor. Mr Dickhead was walking back n forth along the queue & when he got to me, he had a slight change of attitude ; ” Are you ok?”. My reply was “Well given the circumstances, i suppose it’s as good as it can be”. He then said something really weird “….you’re looking at me like i’m something strange ..” (or words to that effect). I think maybe his few brain cells got confused & he thought i was drunk or on drugs & he was hoping to get some brownie points! At this point, there were many things i would have liked to have said to him. But i didn’t because he was so up himself that i know if i “upset” him, he probably wouldn’t have let me in the venue. Then he came out with something else which i thought was very demeaning towards me…(& everyone nearby heard him say it) “….you realise this is a standing CONCERT you’re going to…”. Once again, there’s so much i could have said, but again i kept my mouth shut. ( Now I’m sure some of you, like myself, will be thinking “As id arranged a seat for the gig, surely this caring (not!) Mr Dickhead would be able to put 2 & 2 together & realise i might ALREADY need a seat outside in this queue “. But no he didn’t.)
Eventually the doors opened & someone walked me through to the disabled area. Looking towards the stage, it was on the right side.It was a very oblique angle of viewing. All it needed was for some tall guy standing at the barrier & there would be not hardly any viewing of the stage. I asked if i could go upstairs, but i couldn’t as they’d not opened it. Shame on you London for not selling enough tickets to open the balcony. Nottingham had already kicked your ass before a band even got on stage ! 😉 So i had to make do with this rubbish position…. oh yeah, it had the added bonus of people walking by a lot to get backstage & also a (different) security guy in the area.
Anyone who checks out this webpage of mine will know i like to take a few photos & video clips of the show. Tonight it was a bit of a dilemma. Crappy angle to the stage & security stood new by. During “Degreed”, i took a couple of pics to see if there was any reaction from the security near me.
It wasn’t until about half way through H.E.A.T.s set, that i attempted any filming. I had to catch Eriks crowd surf to the bar 🙂

What little i did film, was barely worth it as i had no vantage point to shoot from…& i’m also a short arse 🙂
Can’t really say i enjoyed the night, for obvious reasons. It got to the point of wanting it to just finish !
After this shitty experience i very much doubt i’ll go to this venue again unless i’m sure the balcony is open. When i pay money to see a gig, i expect to be able to SEE the gig !! P.S. Would be an added bonus if Mr Dickhead wasn’t there also 😉

P.P.S. Even without all the fiasco, Nottingham had already kicked Londons asses 😉

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H.E.A.T. , Degreed, Black Diamonds, rescue rooms, Nottingham ,19-11-17

Nowadays, i prearrange to have a seat/stool when i go to gigs. There were a bunch of shows i was going to at Rock City & i sorted those over the phone. A couple of days before H.E.A.T. at the Rescue Rooms, i realised i’d not sorted out a seat for that one. I tried phoning the venue, but couldn’t get through to anyone. Couldn’t even leave a msg on the answerphone as it was already full. I tried messenging the venue via FB & still no reply. Come gig day, i’d still not had any reply. I was getting a bit paranoid about how this was going to go.
The night before this gig, i was up in Leeds, seeing Wolf Alice @ The Academy. Everything ran smooth with the security, letting myself & Lorah in early etc. As i’m travelling down to Nottingham, i’m thinking “Hope security will be as good as they were in Leeds”.
Once in Nottingham, i go check in to my usual hotel “Roomzzz”. “Oh, it’s you again ! How are you?”. They’re getting to know me there now 😉 After a bit of a relax in my room, i ventured out to get some grub. Along the way, i had a quick look to see if there was a queue outside Rescue Rooms, but there was no one there. After food at the Roebuck, i made my way back to the hotel. As i walked past Rock City, i saw that Opeth were playing there tonight. So wondered how much this would effect the sales of tix for H.E.A.T. (damn, i hope they open the balcony !). After hanging at the hotel for a while, i went to Rescue Rooms a bit earlier than usual. There was only a small queue. I opened the side door & had a chat with security, telling them that the venue had not replied etc. A couple of them looked at each other & laughed ” Yeah mate, that’s the usual thing that happens nowadays!”. They were decent chaps. I asked if the gig would be busy, considering Opeth were playing around the corner. “Yes mate, i think it’s close to selling out”.One of them got me a stool & even carried it up to balcony. Once up there, i saw they’d put the merchandise out downstairs on the raised area on the left. Security chap said “Believe it or not, by having the merch there, it loses space for over 100 people. So it will be very packed down there”.
Eventually everyone was let in & the place soon filled up.
I hadn’t heard (of) the support acts before. The first band “Black Diamonds”, were entertaining in a “cheesy ’80s throw back “sort of way 😉 

But gotta say, i loved “Degreeds” set way more. So much so, that i filmed a couple of songs. I’ve since bought 3 of their CDs. They’re a quality band.

I noticed the chap next to me had been trying to (not very) stealthily record (audio) the show & asked if he’d done it all so far. Apparently, he’d made an error & he’d not got one of the sets. I asked if he was gonna do H.E.A.T. & he said he would try. So obviously, i asked if i could get a copy 😉 He didn’t seem like he wanted to share it. When i told him that i had got loads of old shows from Rock City in the ’80s, he seemed a bit more interested 😉 But so far ,i haven’t managed to get a cdr copy of H.E.A.T.s set 🙁 I later found out from Scott that this chap was part of the Grimsby crew who’d travelled to the gig.

It didn’t seem that long before the Grenn Frey song “The Heat Is On” was being played over the PA.(A great way for the band to take the stage)
No messin about, they hit us hard with a new one,off the latest album “Into The Great Unknown”, namely “Bastard Of Society”. A great song to start off with as even though it’s new, it still has the trademark H.E.A.T. sound we all know & love. Next up, it’s back to the early days, with the great sing a long song “Late Night Lady”

Erik briefly mentions that “…We’ve been waiting for so long….Nottingham it’s like the second city (after Stockholm) which i’ve spent most time in ! It feels so good to be back..we are honoured…Thank you for making this a sold out show. Thank you.” 
We then get another song from the original H.E.A.T. album. The song is “Straight For Your Heart”. It’s kinda strange thinking how they had a different singer on those first albums. Erik really fits well in the band & he really does justice for those older songs. Let me say now, i was a bit late to the “H.E.A.T. party”. It was the album “Tearing Down The Walls” that really got me into the band & 2014 was the first time i saw them live. I really wish i’d heard them sooner than that. Now we get a classic from that album, namely, “Mannequin Show”. I bloody love this song ! 
Towards the end of “Beg,Beg,Beg”, Erik decides to crowd surf to the bar to get a shot (of redemption? My bad). The crowd glide him along & he makes it to the bar (with only a few people “touching” him along the way). Once there, after having a shot, he looks up to the balcony & i know exactly whats going through his mind ! He’s gonna climb up to us. I must be blessed some kind of way because when i saw them at Islington Academy in 2014, Erik jumped into the crowd almost next to me & he carried on singing amongst his brethren (i caught it on camera as well). Tonight, he climbs up to where i am & once again i’m capturing it! Talk about luck…

He then wandered around the other side of the balcony, before finally finding his way back to the stage.Next up it’s “We Rule” closely followed by “Time On Our Side”. What a show this has been & we’re only about half way through ! Sometime during the gig,someone in the crowd throws up some underpants! What does Erik do? He obviously puts then on his head!
I’m not really a fan of drum solos. The only ones i’ve ever really enjoyed were by either Cozy Powell or Neil Peart they did something special. So when the drum solo starts tonight, i’m thinking “hope it’s over quickly!”. But to my surprise, it was rather cool ! “Crash” played to “Flash”, if you get my drift.
Following that, we get a whole bunch more fantastic classic H.E.A.T. songs. How about this for the home run : “Breaking The Silence”, “Living On The Run”, “Eye Of The Storm”, “In & Out Of Trouble”. Makes me breathless just thinking about it !

During “Living On The Run” Erik just cannot stay on the stage so he jumps down into the crowd & they all sing along with him…”Hey someones touching my ass” 😉

The main set finishes with “Inferno”. Before playing it, Erik says ” Nottingham we love you ! Unbelievable ! Unbelievable ! I’ve got goose bumps on my balls! ” (That’s not something you hear very often lol) It always cracks me up when he sings the line ” I like to drink & masturbate” :-). But what a fantastic song this is. Great vocals & they all just rock out like crazy. This is the kind of gig i live for. Everyone having fun both on & off the stage.

Obviously, they come back for an encore , they treat us to “A Shot At Redemption”. Fantastic stuff & what a way to finish this most excellent night.
I loved every minute of this show.

Afterwards, i went for a quick pint at The Gooseberry Bush, then back to my hotel.

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Wolf Alice, Sunflower Bean, Superfood, O2 Academy, Leeds, 18-11-17

 

When I booked train tix for this one,I thought it was a strange route they were sending me on. Expected it to be Boston, Grantham, Leeds . Instead it was Boston , Sleaford, Lincoln, Retford , Leeds ! (I later found out ,due to engineering works,trains were not stopping at Grantham). If only ever been through Retford before ,never changed there. It was a strange station as to get to the main line, had to go under the tracks, then walk quite a way, then round the corner to the 2nd part of the station. My train arrives in Leeds on time, so quickly walked to my hotel, the Clayton. I remembered the route & short cut even though hadn’t stayed there for a few years ☺ Checked in ok & they have me a free room upgrade. Sent a msg to Lorah about where we’d meet up & was soon in way back into city. It was very busy. Millennium square had some kind of fun fair going on. The Cuthbert Roderick was rammed so waited outside for Lorah. We then went to the Hedley Verity. Still busy, but got a table ok. Ordered food then had a good old catch up. ( Sorry Lorah if I went on a bit !) Eventually we went to the Academy & I had a chat with security about disabled access & the complimentary companion ticket). Had a bit of a laugh with security guy, (how many pockets in your bag Lorah?!?), He wondered what the “big thing near my pocket” was….It was a portable phone charger lol Then he started telling us about ” Wish “, a website similar to Ebay. A decent geezer unlike some jumped up power hungry security 😉 He got a lass to take us up in the lift to balcony. Poor girl, it was her first day & she hadn’t used the lift before so was a bit uncomfortable lol. Once up on balcony could pretty much go where we wanted. Chose the left side . There were already a bunch of people up there (dunno how they got there before us) but still got a nice view.

Once again “Superfood” opened & again I wasn’t very impressed (same for Lorah). But the crowd seemed to like em.
Next it was “Sunflower Bean” . Came out with the same lines as in Nottingham ” We’re Sunflower Bean from New York ” 😀. Once again I enjoyed their set.
Wolf Alice played the same set as they did at rock city. The crowd were well up for it from the off. There were quite a few circle pits with the kids down there 😉
If anything, I’d say the crowd sing a longs were louder than R.C.

Once again, I loved the show & couldn’t help but make a few video clips 😉

Lorah seemed to have enjoyed the gig & for myself it was nice to spend some time with an old friend instead of being there on me tod.
Man it was cold afterwards ! Lorah was catching a bus home from near train station so we walked there & said out goodbyes. She took a quick selfie before leaving. I got back to hotel even quicker than when I arrived in Leeds….must been cos was so fooking cold ! Didn’t have the best nights sleep as a couple of times noisey peeps walked by.
Next stop is Nottingham to see H.E.A.T…..on the train at midday ! Loving life at the moment ☺

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MR BIG , The Answer , Faster Pussycat , Rock City ,Nottingham 16-11-17

This was a bit of a strange one. To start off, It was an interesting, if mismatched line up. I’d never seen so many disabled people at a RC gig. I got chatting with a couple & we both agreed that after all the years that RC has been here, it’s amazing they’ve not got a better way in for people in wheelchairs (They have two members of security who carry the person up the steps at the back of the venue). We also had similar stories about how sometimes the security just don’t follow the instructions that we have been given about entry. If you’re not aware, the general idea is that disabled customers should pre-book saying what requirements are needed for them for the show. They should take priority entry & get seats (if required) & be in the venue before the mad rush of everyone piling in. It just doesn’t work that way very often nowadays. There must have been about 12+ people who needed seats tonight & they only placed TWO on the balcony! I went to the bar & said more seats are needed. The reply was “We’ve used them all” That was complete bullshit as i’ve seen the stacks of seats previous time i’ve been there. They managed to find me a smaller stool, but, i’m sure there were a lot of unhappy coustomers that night. Another thing about tonight was how early the doors were : 5.30pm ! I’m sure that caught out a lot of people with such an early start (Hello Ady 😉 ) They really do need to inform the punters when there’s such an early start. Why such an early start ? Because the crappy student night seems to be more important than the gigs nowadays ! (The only way they can get 3 acts to play/finish before 10pm, is have a ridiculously early start time)
I thought that this gig would be very busy, but it wasn’t the case : They didn’t sell enough tickets to open the balcony ! I suppose it’s best to have a full downstairs than a half empty floor & balcony though 😉 So, to the gig/bands :
First up was Faster Pussycat. The first time i saw them was the legendary night when they opened for Guns N Roses at this venue back in 1987. They were great back then. The last time i’d seen them was at Yardbirds in Grimsby, about 7 years ago. Tonight at RC, i didn’t have a clue as to if there were any of the original members on this stage tonight! If it was Taime on vocals, then he’s lost a lot of weight since i last saw him. As for the bands show, to me, it just felt like they were just going through the motions. There was no spark or excitement up there. I was a bit dissapointed.
Next up it was “The Answer”. They are a genuine “back to the roots” bluesy rock n roll sort of band. They always deliver a great show. Of the multiple times i’ve seen them over the years, i didn’t see a single bad gig by them. On top of that, they are very nice people to talk with. They were easily the highlight of the night for me 🙂

Finally it’s time for Mr Big. I’ve never been that much of a fan of theirs tbh. Saw them at the height of their fame at RC back in 1992. Think i only saw them one more time after that till tonight. They started their set with ” Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” ( aka Drill Song ;-))

Played a lot of the old classic era songs. But one the guitar/bass solos started i just got bored of it tbh. I think my comment on the night pretty much summed it it ” Too much guitar wankery” 🙂 Whilst some people love that sort of stuff, i’m just not into it at all.
I guess that overall, it was a decent night out, with different bands that played totally different styles of music & good value for money. Band of the night for me was most certainly The Answer. Afterwards, i arranged to meet Ady at the pub. We had a good catch up & i put him straight about a lot of stuff that he wasn’t aware of (about my condition) . I don’t think we’d had a proper chat since seeing Delain in Amsterdam…

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