FM ,Bernie Marsden, rescue rooms, Nottingham 29-10-16

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Ady picked me up around 4pm. Once in Nottingham, we parked on a side street which was free, but a bit of a walk to venue. Ady went off for a Subway whilst i went to sort out my bar stool in the venue. We went up the back stairs in the bar & she left me a stool there. Seemed silly to have to go back outside, but i guess it’s protocol. Once outside, i bumped into Carl & Lisa. Wasn’t expecting to see them, so was a nice surprise. Had a good old chat πŸ™‚ Once we were let in i went straight up to balcony. My stool had gone! There was a couple on the right side with a stool & a bloke on his own on the left with a stool. Seemed obvious the bloke on the left wasn’t disabled, so i asked him ” Are you disabled?” His reply was ” No”. So i told him he’d took my stool ! He was fine about it. Easy mistake to make πŸ˜‰
First act was Bernie Marsden (ex Whitesnake). Being honest, i wasn’t looking forward to it! But, i found his banter was funny & he certainly sings a LOT better than Coverdale nowadays πŸ˜‰ Ended up really enjoying his set as did most of the audience by the looks/sound of things.

It’s quite amazing to think that ” Indiscreet ” was released 30 years ago ! That would make me 20 years old at the time. When i look back to that era now, i think how lucky i was to be experiencing the early years of acts like Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer etc etc Unique times for sure. But i digress…
FM start with the usual intro & go straight into “Digging Up The Dirt”. Then it’s an old classic “I Belong To The Night”. Only two songs in & the whole crowd seems to be behind them. As always, Steve Overlands vocals are spot on. It’s funny how some singers from the same era are sounding rough nowadays & yet Mr Overland is pure quality as ever.

We get a couple more old classics from the album ” Indiscreet”, namely “Let Love Be The Leader”


…..followed by the hit “Frozen Heart”. I always associate “Frozen Heart” with a lass i was seeing back in the day during that era.
There’s good crowd interaction on ” Face To Face ”

They play all the tracks from ” Indiscreet ” tonight & it’s fleshed out by songs from the albums ” Heroes & Villains ” & ” Rockville “. I found it interesting they encored with ” Story Of My Life “. I always thought it “plodded along” tbh. However, i’d imagine a lot of fans like it as they may see it as an “anthem” & something to wave the arms about πŸ˜‰
The strangest thing of the night for myself though, in a similar vein to what Heart did recently, was they finished the show with a couple of cover songs by Whitesnake (Heart did the same playing Led Zep) ! Ok, it’s obvious it gives them the chance to jam with Bernie & the songs were great,but, i prefer bands to finish with their own songs πŸ˜‰
Whatever, it was a great night !

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Heart , FM, O2 Apollo, Manchester 30-6-16

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The plan today was that Andy would drive us to Lincoln, i’d have my treatment, then drive to Adys at Withern. Ady would then drive us all to Manchester. Best laid plans…. Well, the journey to Lincoln went fine, until we got there. As i was walking up to oncology, it suddenly dawned on me that, i’d forgot to take my medication! What an idiot! First time i’d done that. Thing is, the meds need to be in my system for an hour before they can do radiotherapy. So sheepishy went up to Julie on reception & explained my error. They’re always kind & understanding here & within a minute or so it was arranged that i come back an hour later (when meds had kicked in) & my treatment would follow. We went for a wander around “Go Outdoors” which is close by πŸ˜‰ Once back, my treatment ran smoothly & we were on our way to Withern by 12.30. Once at Adys we set off for Manchester. The traffic was pretty awful & the weather was threatening rain (Hey, it’s Manchester, what else do you expect?) After a couple of wrong turns etc, we eventually parked up near venue & went for a wander. Found The Pub/Zoo, so had quick drinks there. When we got back to the apollo, doors had opened & we just went straight in to our seats. Whilst they were at end of a row, they were close, so decent view.

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FM started things off & were their usual selves. A fine quality band. Don’t think i’ve ever seen a bad show by them. They only had a short set, of 7 songs, but still managed to cover all bases of their career, with old classics like ” I Belong To The Night “, “That Girl “, “Bad Luck”. A pretty balanced set list, especially when given such a short slot. Steve Overland STILL has a fantastic voice. Loved their set !

Having not played the UK since 2004 ( ! ) Heart were well overdue for their return. When i saw the dates, i decided Manchester & Glasgow were my best options. Whilst the trip to Glasgow is expensive, seeing the size of the venue etc, i decided to push the boat out πŸ˜‰
Heart started off with ” Magic Man “. An absolute classic from the early days. Then it’s staight into a song from their ’80s commercial peak ;
” What About Love ?”. Anns vocals are sounding pretty fine. At the time of the gig, i didn’t have the new album (might not have been released yet actually), so didn’t know what to expect of the new stuff. We were about to find out what to expect, with the next song , ” Beautiful Broken”. This is a really good song. Has a nice edge to it. Good old school rock n roll! (Please also note, on the studio version, James Hetfield backs them up. This version, in my humble opinion, is even better that the live, on their own, version. Also for the real Fanatics out there πŸ˜‰ this song was also on the previous album release “Fanatic”. Supposedly it’s totally different sounding. I don’t know as don’t own that album ) Interesting they decided to include a ” Lovemongers” song, called “Sand”, in the setlist. Then we’re back to the heady ’80s for ” These Dreams ”

When is a cover song not a cover song ? When it’s “Two” by Ne-Yo. Apparently they heard the song, asked Ne-Yo if they could use/have it & he agreed. It’s yet to be seen if Ne-Yo does his own version or not. We then get a bunch of old classics including ” Straight On “, ” Sweet Darlin” & “Kick it Out”.

There were a couple of things which surprised me about this show. Firstly, that they didn’t play “Alone”. I think that was their biggest hit in the UK (?) so why not play it?. Secondly, Β was the fact they finished with 3 Led Zeppelin covers. It’s a well known fact that the sisters love a bit of Zep, but, surely it would be better to finish with one of your own songs ??
Overall, it was a great night. Very balanced set list which leaned towards the real old songs. Something i liked πŸ™‚ There were a couple of small moments where i thought Ann might be struggling, but, considering how long they’ve been doing this, it’s amazing her voice has held out so much over the years. Much respect.

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Scorpions, Anathema, Saxon, Blue Oyster Cult, FM, Toseland , No Hot Ashes, Ramblin Man Fair, Maidstone, Kent 25-7-15

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An early start onΒ the train to London, to meet Rob.Β He drives us to the festival (Thanks mate). Weather is fantastic ! We get our wristbands ; VIP ones i won via Saxon FB page, & i ask for it to not be too tight ( Rob says “He suffers from bad circulation!”) The reason for not being tight is i’m only going for the Saturday & Rob & Ady will do both days….so i can takeΒ it off easy & Ady can use it tomorrow πŸ˜‰ (Not that i’d told him…i’m just good like that πŸ˜‰ ) Have a quick look around the festival site. It seems a very nice size. First band we see are No Hot Ashes. I’d seen them before & my opinion hasn’t changed πŸ˜‰ Then it’s Toseland. They go down pretty well, but leave me a little cold as i find it rather formulated & have seen it all before. (sorry). Next it’s FM. Simply quality. You know what you’re gonna get. Then it’s the mighty Saxon. Such consummate pros. Easily the best band of the day for me so far. Then it’s B.O.C. It’s the 3rd time i’ve seen them & i still just don’t get them. I suggest to Rob we go to the other stage for Anathema. Great choice. It felt so much better than last night in Sheffield & the audience seemed more into it. I made a right schoolboy error though as my camera battery died πŸ™ So from then onwards, no video, just a couple of photos. Back to the main stage for Scorpions. Great set list. Make it Real, The Zoo, Coast to Coast! Then some real oldies jam “Top of the Bill/ Steamrock Fever/Speedys Coming/Catch Your Train” It then dipped a bit. The whistling song !! Thank god they brought it back up with Blackout , Rock you like a Hurricane etc ! Over all, a great day. Oh yeah, forgot, we had some great burgers & sweet potato fries. Expensive, but well worth it πŸ˜‰DSC04561DSC04562

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Took a while to get out the car park, but, as Rob knows his way around Maidstone, we went a different way to the other cars & cut off some journey time. By now i was truly knackered & was dozing off in the car. As i said, i think i could have fallen asleep standing up i was that tired. Hell, i even managed to sleep in the same room as a heavy snorer πŸ˜‰

P.S. On Sunday morning Rob made some Bacon & Egg butties. I really shouldn’t have stayed as i got to the train station with literally 1 minute to spare before my train left ! That could have been a very expensive butty ! Also, all afternoon, i had the most evil eggy farts πŸ˜‰

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DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL : Tyketto, AC/DC, Taking Dawn, Hellyeah, Flyleaf,Reckless Love,Genitortures, Megadeth, Y&T,Skin, Michael Monroe,FM, Saxon,Cinderella,Slash, Billy Idol,Steel Panther, Airbourne, @ Donington Park, 11-6-10

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Over the 3 days we saw :Β Tyketto, AC/DC, Taking Dawn, Hellyeah, Flyleaf,Reckless Love,Genitortures, Megadeth, Y&T,Skin, Michael Monroe,FM, Saxon,Cinderella,Slash, Billy Idol,Steel Panther, Airbourne,

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