Guano Apes , Alex Mofa Gang ,Melkweg, Amsterdam, 5-11-17

Another great Guano Apes gig. Huge thanks to Henning for looking after me (+ Jorge).Β ** Write up to follow when i have time to do it ! **

If you’re looking at this page, you’ll be one of the first to see this video as it’s unlisted πŸ˜‰

My friend Julia pretty much summed it up about theΒ  last photo : ” SimonΒ that’s amazing, I am so happy to hear this. You deserve it more than anyone else in this world. Hope you had an amazing trip xx “

 

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Wolf Alice , Melkweg, Amsterdam, 3-11-17

Originally, i planned to go see Guano Apes in Berlin & Leipzig. Then travel to Amsterdam & have “a day off” on Saturday, before the GA show at Melkweg on Sunday. Was gonna do that with Marc, but, even though he was initially interested in doing Berlin/Leipzig, he lost interest. I didn’t fancy doing the shows on my own,partly because of my illness & partly because i’m not as confident doing stuff out of the UK nowadays (This is coming from a guy who made multiple flights & train rides to see all the “final” GA shows back in 2005). Oh another thing, due to my condition, i cannot get any “holiday” insurance. So in the end, i had to cut it back & just go to GA in Amsterdam. However, my local mate Andy (G) kinda came to the rescue. He’d booked 3 nights hotel in Amsterdam whilst i’d only booked 2 nights (Sharing with Jorge). Andy suggested i fly out with him & i could share his hotel room on the first night (+at Gatwick as well). He’s a good mate for sure. As i’d waited so long for Marc to decide, flight prices were going up & i really needed to get on with things. So i took up Andys offer & booked train tix & flights to Gatwick.

This whole trip started after Curry Night on Thursday 2nd November. Went staight to Boston train station to travel to Gatwick airport.Was a smooth journey, with no hickups along the way.Soon got checked in & once in the room had a good, if short, nights sleep. No snoring either πŸ˜‰ The flight went well & we quickly got into Amsterdam. Bought a 3 day travel card as Andys hotel was quite far away. I fancied walking it as it wasn’t too far from the area i know & it’s always good to have a packup plan if trams have any problems. As we walked along Damrak, i decided i need to start the day with some chips & mayonaise ! (Didn’t have any on last trip to the Dam, so had to have em this time!) We walked the route we’ve done many a time & soon got to Leidesplein. As we were there, thought we’d quicky go to Melkweg. (Backtracking a bit… before we travelled over to Amsterdam, Andy had mentioned that “Wolf Alice” were playing at Melkweg on Friday. I immediately thought “Hmm that would add to the trip”….but i wondered if i’d be knackered already & didn’t wanna wear myself out on the first day, which could potentially ruin the whole weekend for me. So decided to make up my mind once there). We then carried on to find my hotel. Once again, it was in the pefect position for Paradiso/Melkweg/ Rijksmuseum etc. Then carried on to find the hotel Andy had booked. Having not been there before, it took us a while to find it. Funniest thing was we actually walked right past the place & didn’t realise it ! When we doubled back, i said ” Andy, see that big sign that says Hilton?” was funny at the time. We soon got checked into the hotel by a lass that Andy took a shine to. Didn’t quite catch her name, but sounded like “Urethra”. Hence forth that was her name πŸ˜‰ Whilst we were in our room, there were some chaps outside cleaning the windows! I also noticed, down below, a boatΒ connected to the hotel (i assume) Hilton Marina .Β 

I decided to stay in the hotel for a while, to recharge my batteries, whilst Andy went out for a while. (Any excuse eh mate ? ;-)) I think Andy came back just over an hour later. We then went or our usual pilgrimage to the various bars etc. Mr T. wasn’t with us this time, but he’d sorted out Andy with his infamous stickers on the the map πŸ™‚ First place we had a beer was Cafe Hoppe. Later we went to Tomaz Restaurant for some grub. It was busy, but managed to get a table. Had a good old chat with the waitress & i said something like “When i think of a pie, i imagine it to be some pastry with a filling”. What she recommended , was actually a tart, but they called it a pie! Apparently, she’d been saying this to the management for a couple of years, but they wouldn’t change it to what it really was . She even suggested i should review the place & mention about how people visiting expect a pie (as i previously described) So, that’s where my comment of “When is a pie not a pie? When it’s a tart!” came from πŸ˜‰ After filling ourselves, we went for another wander & somehow we ended up back at the Melkweg πŸ˜‰ We decided that as we were here, we might as well go see Wolf Alice πŸ™‚ It wasn’t sold out, so getting tickets on the door was a doddle. Maybe it was because we got there early, but the place wasn’t very busy. Managed to find a nice spot on right side of balcony & we stayed there all night.Β Β 
Tonights gig was good, but not great. I couldn’t put my finger on it,but, i kinda felt that something was missing. Andy seemed to enjoy it, so that was good to see.

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Delain , Paradiso, Amsterdam 10-12-16

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“At trip to Amsterdam including an insight into the snoring techniques of my mates ”
This one will be more about the time in Amsterdam than the gig review…..
We booked this some time back & for a change, we decided to travel via ferry. Plan was to have a few days in Amsterdam & visit various places old & new. The journey started on Thursday & it seemed only right to visit the Wetherspoons in Louth as it’s “Curry night”. There was some disapointment amongst our group as the meal wasn’t up to the standards we were expecting. After Andy G. getting replacement WARM rice & then the lass asking if we were happy or not, we all got free coffees πŸ™‚ Afterwards we drove up to Hull to catch the ferry. (I think maybe the last time i took a ferry might have been back in ’99 going to Rock Am Ring in Germany). It was a very smooth overnight sailing, but i really suffered a lack of sleep due to the “3 part non-harmony” of my mates SNORING ! After enduring it a while, i could easily work out WHO was doing the snoring by the different sounds they made (sad?) I’ll leave it at this: One had a very deep gutteral snore, one a “breath through the mouth” snore & the other a nasal snore with a kind of “wimpering” sound on breathing out ! God knows what or who he was dreaming about πŸ˜‰ ( I guess we all snore & i’m supposedly no exception! My mate Rob says i was super loud when we went to Angelfish in Glasgow. Of course, i knew nothing of it,but the others did,as is always the case lol) It was a l-o-n-g night but at least once we get to our hotel i’ll be able to sleep as only sharing room with one of the guys….famous last words eh πŸ˜‰
Over the next days we planned to visit various places in the Dam. Some we’d been to before & others were new. Andy T. was very organised having brought a map on which he placed stickers indicating locations to visit πŸ˜‰Andy Ts map

First day we tried a pancake house. The guys were impressed, but i wasn’t. Around midday we checked into our hotel. http://www.backstagehotel.com/en I last stayed here when over for Garbage gig. A nice reasonably priced place located very close to Melkweg/Paradiso.

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Andy queues up a day early ;-)Then it was off for more exploring visiting places like Cafe Gollum & an early evening meal at a Nepalese restaurant. After the disappointment with the pancakes, this place was great !DSC08743DSC08748

I confess, by this time i was so damn knackered, that i decided to go hotel & try get some sleep. Couldn’t believe it! It sounded like above our room they were moving furniture & were generally very noisy. Then i realised our room was directly below the bar area! If you ever stay here, make sure you don’t have room 002 !! In the end i couldn’t stand it anymore & about 3am i went to reception to tell them we need to change rooms. ( Remember i’ve been awake since Thursday evening & it’s now the early hours of Saturday morning ! ) The chap was very nice about it & i moved to a bigger 3 bed room. Funny thing was, later i found out Andy didn’t even realise i’d left the room & came back to collect my bags later! (Can’t say i appreciated the msg from someone at 8am though…shoulda looked & realised sleep was needed !)

Gig Day : Once up, we wandered off to find the nearby bar to indulge in their apple pie + cream on top (Or as they call it “Slagroom”, which i still find hilarious as i’m English)Β DSC08759
Myself & the two Andys then went to another bar ” Cafe Chris”. We were the first in as they were just opening up at 3pm. Apparently the place dates back to 1624.
Later we went to Cafe Gollum again & finally went to a steakhouse for grub. Before going to meet Rob & everyone, i went to check on the early entry time at Paradiso.
Oh yes, need to explain that : My good friend Jan fell on the stairs when we were all at the Garbage show. The venue/management later arranged for him to have guest list places for future gigs. He offered me these,but as i said to him, they are for him. So i asked if maybe he could arrange something with regards to myself & Kristina getting in early as with my condition (brain turmors), this often happens in the UK. Sure enough, Jan sorted it out very quickly with Bram. All i needed to do was go to side door & ask for Rob who is the manager. Rob couldn’t have been more helpful & professional about it all. I explained where we’d like to sit on balcony & he even said i could take a couple more in with me! I don’t abuse the system & by not offering the places to others no ones nose was put out of joint ( ” Hey! Why you chose them instead of me?! “). We arranged to come back about 15mins before doors opened. Outside in the queue i met old friends from Bulgaria ; Venelin, Ned & Kristina (another one). Of course, Benoit was also there πŸ™‚ We then went to Cafe Kooper on Leidseplein to meet up with all the others which included Jim, Diana, Rob, Michel & (a nice surprise) Anne πŸ™‚ Hugs all round, lotsa laughs etc. 6.45 we went back to Paradiso & left the rest boozing away.
Getting closer to the venue, we realised they’d already opened doors! Reason being cos it was raining. How nice of them….wouldn’t happen in the UK πŸ˜‰ Rob had reserved the seats for us, but they were not quite where we wanted to be. ” No problem! Go where you want “. So we moved along another 7 or so seats as it was a better angle to view from. The venue soon started filling up (was sold out). I sent txt to Andy to say there was one seat next to me if he could get there soon. But they were staying in the Irish bar till queue died down. Of course, they ended up on the top balcony. Around same time i got txt from Benoit saying he was on balcony left side. Didn’t take him that long to realise there was that seat next to me. (Snooze/booze & you lose Andy lol )
Tonight was a special gig celebrating 10 years since they released their debut album “Lucidity”. What better way to celebrate than playing one of THE best venues in the world, the “Church of Rock”, Paradiso, Amsterdam & filming it all for posterity?!! Many fans travelled from all over the world for this one.
After the intro tape, they go straight into “Hands Of Gold” from their latest album “Moonbathers” (I confess i’ve not got the album yet lol). It was a bit of a shock that they had the singer from “Arch Enemy”, Alissa White-Gluz join them on first song of the evening (She later also joined during “The Tragedy of the Commons”). But that was setting us up for an evening with quite a few guests & old band members joining them. The song finished with confetti cannons firing over the stage into the crowd. Already we have plenty of bang for buck πŸ˜‰ Next it’s ” Suckerpunch” (again off “Moonbathers”. Maybe i should get the album πŸ˜‰ ). I knew this one after seeing the video back in February…phew πŸ™‚ What ?! Another one from same album? This time “The Glory & The Scum”. Gimmie something i know !! Finally, the big hitter “Get the Devil Out of Me” is aired. Bloody love it. (No coincedence it’s one of my fave Delain songs). The crowd is really into this one πŸ™‚
During “Hurricane” confetti is dropped from the ceiling. Made for a nice effect.
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There then followed a very heavy version of “April Rain”. I love the synchronized headbanging from the guitarists at the beginning…

Next up there’s another guest appearance. This time it’s Burton C. Bell from “Fear Factory”. He joins for “Where Is The Blood”. After this, there was an intermission which gave Charlotte time to change her outfit. Upon returning they played a great version of “We Are The Vultures”.
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During “Fire with Fire” there was a real cute moment where Charlotte got on her knees in front of Merel. From the angle i was looking from, even on her knees,she almost seemed the same height as Merel ! Funny & cute πŸ™‚
As previously mentioned, Alissa White-Gluz once again joined during “The Tragedy of the Commons”.
After another short intermission the band returned to the stage. Or rather, a “different” band returned ! Old band members,bass,guitar & drums, played “Sleepwalkers Dream”. That was pretty cool πŸ™‚

During “Your Body Is a Battleground”, i’m looking for where the backing vocals are coming from. Then realize they’re playing a video of Marco doing said vocals. I guess they couldn’t get all the guests they wanted tonight.
Another guest appearance was during “See Me in Shadow”, when Liv Kristine joined. There was also the addition of a cellist up at the back of stage.
The main set finished with “Pristine” & included another guest appearance (dunno who he was lol)
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Back for the encore & Charlotte has once again changed her outfit. It’s the white one she wore in the “We Are The Others” video (Though it’s only the top half for the super observant πŸ˜‰ ). A great version of “Mother Machine” was this first encore. I loved the audience participation for “Don’t Let Go”. The whole floor was jumping & shouting “Hey! Hey! Hey!”. Bloody loved it.
Of course, they had to finish with the obvious “We Are The Others”. A great finisher for a great night.
It’s funny, but at the time, i wasn’t as “into” the show as i should have been. A combination of lack of sleep & annoying people affected me big time. But upon reflection, i realise this was a top show. Pryro,smoke,costume changes,guest musicians & quality songs. The crowd was also just great. The fact that they were filming the show will be a great memory of a great night for sure.
Afterwards a bunch of us briefly went around the bars. Of course, i again turned in early in the hope of catching up on sleep πŸ˜‰

Morning arrived too quickly. We set off for a wander in search of a decent priced breakfast. Mr T. had already scoped out the place “Bagels & Beans”. Nice place & nice staff. Of the 3 different breakfasts, we all chose the “Good Morning” one (no coincidence it was the cheapest!) ” Good Morning breakfast please”. “Good Morning” *smiles* lol You had to be there πŸ˜‰ I can’t imagine what Mac would say if he saw the ” Power Breakfast” (Ok, i can. Insert inappropriate word). Take the napkin for later…
Afterwards, we split up,with Ady going to some museum/gallery & myself & the two Andys going to more refined areas πŸ˜‰ ( I obviously jest). Another quick visit to The Old Quarter. Looked like the cat hadn’t moved since yesterday!

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Finished the day with chips n mayo & last bar was ” In het Aepjen “, which was close to the bus pick up point. Of course, with us “checking in” to most places, we were stalked by Rob & Kristina as they popped in a few minutes before our departure πŸ˜‰ Nah, actually it was nice to briefly say goodbye till the next time πŸ™‚
Once on the ferry, i knew i wouldn’t get much/any sleep. So whilst the others rocked out to the house band (lol) i turned in early ! Was it a better nights sleep for me ? Lets just say i’ve never looked forward to being in my own bed !
To sum up the whole experience : “Would i travel via ferry again ?” Nope. Will always be flights/trains from now on. “Would you if it was different travelling companions?” . Again, nope. The journey takes too much time.
Upon reflection, over all, it was a decent enough break. Cool to meet old friends & a decent gig πŸ™‚

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Garbage ,Paradiso, Amsterdam 30-5-16

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So, Garbage in Amsterdam,Β for numerous reasons, i really thought i wouldn’t make it , one of which was being able to get to Luton airport !
Once again, an old school friend, Dusty, came to my rescue & offered to drive me to Luton & pick me up on return! Thank you mate, it wasΒ really appreciated.Β The journey got off to a bad start as once on the plane, we were delayed 2 hours ! (Due to thunder storms in NL). Once in NL ,everything ran smooth. First walked to Jeffs hotel near Leidsplein

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Then we went to meet Greg & Jerome at a bar. As we walked up, both Rob n Rijkels were also arriving. Later Marta joined us. All the other girls were still out shopping πŸ˜‰ Come 18.30 some of the guys were talking about going to the ” J.P. bar ” instead of Garbage gig !. Notice the empty pint glasses. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase ” Rijkeling a pint ” comes from, he’s demonstrating it here πŸ˜‰

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Myself & Rob left for the venue where there was already a few awaiting such as Anette, Paul, Marco, Boris etc. Rob & Rijkels had already decided they would join me up in the balcony tonight πŸ™‚ Β In a total shock, i saw Greg & Jerome take opposite position on other balcony ! (Though it didn’t last long) The Pearl Harts were their typical rocking selves. The audience did seem to take a while before waking up though.

So to the headliners ; Garbage. I thought opening with “Sometimes” was a bit strange (& the lighting was rubbish!), but at least “Empty” brought up the vibe.

We then got a couple of old classics ; ” Stupid Girl” & “Special” which brought things into overdrive. It was great to see a bunch of the Trashers down near the front just rocking out…yes, i kinda wished i could have been down there πŸ™

A very special moment for me was during ” #1 Crush” where Shirley sang directly at me πŸ™‚

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Halestorm ,@ Melkweg, Amsterdam 20-4-14

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On the 19th flew over to Amsterdam where i’d arranged to meet Kristina. Off to a bad start, as her phone died & took a while to find each other. Quickly showed her around the important places of Amsterdam πŸ˜‰ then we took a train to meet Michel & Rob in Rotterdam. Drinks were drunk. The following day, myself & Kristina left for the Dam & the others would join us later. I met a great American guy here Kevin here. He had an extra VIP Meet n Greet, which he kindly offered to me! Thanks so much mate, you rock ! I then gave my ticket to Kristina,so she could pass on to Michel/Rob as they were gonna get tix off touts. It worked out ok, me & Kevin got Kristina on the front row. Another killer gig. Had txts from Rob about meeting later only for them to bail as Michel had got himself propper pissed & Rob had to take him home!

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Skunk Anansie , The Jezabels, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands 25-11-12

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This was a good one. Myself & a few local friends made a weekend of this. Flying over on the Saturday, doing the usual stuff in Amsterdam, then on Sunday it was Skunk @ the Ziggo Dome.My mates came back to Boston on the Monday, but i traveled on to Cologne for Garbage gig. Β Got to Ziggo, met a few of the Dutchies & Cass took us in early. This venue is huge. Was interesting seeing stuff being set up etc. As ever, Mark was gonna run his GoPro cameras & he’d got a new item : The head strap mount ! He asked who’d like to try it. Theo did ..P1020298

It was the last night of the tour for The Jezabels, so Mark had made a nice little video to be played behind them…mate !

Still to be finished…

 

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Guano Apes, Royal Republic , @ Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands 22-5-11

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Wow ! A dream come true : Seeing my fave band in the Melkweg & being able to film the show. Unfortunately, it ended up being an absolute NIGHTMARE ! Due to a lack of communication, Melkwegs security were somehow not aware i was allowed to film. About 3 songs into the set, security downstairs start shining torches at me. Then i feel someone grab my leg from below ! (I was on balcony & it was pretty much directly below where the sound desk was) Security told me to shut down. Obviously, with all the volume etc, it wasn’t easy to try explain…especially to a total dickhead security guy ! Talk about shot down in flames. Β There was really no need for this to happen. On previous tours, i’d always get an AAA laminate-no one messes with those-but for whatever reason, i just got the stickies this tour. Yes, a recipe for disaster if there ever was one.

A great show, but i just couldn’t get into it after the B.S.

P.S. The security didn’t totally “win”. Me being me, i still carried on running audio of the full show with my mic in plain view !

P.P.S. Royal Republic totally rocked the show tonight. They’re such a fuckin great live band. Here’s a little footage i shot of them πŸ™‚

As for the Guano Apes footage? Nah, it’s staying with me & not gonna upload it ever πŸ™‚

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