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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Guano Apes , Nirwana, Tuinfeest, Lierop, NL 27-8-16

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There’s a bit of a back story to this show, which i feel i should share : As most people who know me will be aware, i’ve personally know GA since the early days, back when i saw their debut UK gig at the Borderline back in 1999 ( http://www.gigaddiction.co.uk/guano-apes-the-borderline-london-23-9-99/ ). After that gig, i “lived the dream” following the band around Europe & at times even travelling with them.
Well, i last saw them in Barcelona in 2014. Many of the old friends who i’d met over the years, also travelled to that show. A great day.
Jump forward to 2016 & the proverbial “shit hit the fan” & for a while i was totally out of action. Radio & chemo therapy does that to you.
With all the messages of support i was recieving, i confess, i was disapointed to not hear anything from my old mates in GA. I tried contacting them in case there had been something i’d done or said to have “upset” them. Eventually, via a mutual contact, i was told there’s nothing wrong, most people are just very busy all the time. Ok, fair enough, at least i’ve not done anything bad.
Imagine my surprise when out of the blue i get an email from my old mate Henning saying : ” I spoke to the band and we thought maybe we could do something good for you by inviting you to the show in Lierop incl. Travel etc. but I’m not sure If you would actually be able to travel? ”
How fooking cool is that ? This was an invite i really had to TRY take up, despite me health being very up & down recently (As close to 3 days before the trip, i had flu type symptoms & it was doubtful if i’d make it or not – hence i didn’t dare “announce” anything on my FB page).
Between myself & Henning, we arranged a schedule that suited me……08.00am return the day after??!! No way ! πŸ˜‰
Come gig day, my train travel ran smoothly to Stansted airport ( 3 changes & nearly 4 hours travel) & i had plenty of extra time before my flight. Then after a while, i saw this :

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Of all the flights listed, mine was the only one delayed πŸ™ Oh well, bang goes the chance of seeing Danko Jones before Guano Apes.
Fortunately, Stansted to Eindhoven is a relatively short flight. Once there, Benoit was awaiting for me. Henning couldn’t have booked a better hotel for me ; directly at the airport ! Once we’d checked in, we were on the road to the festival. (The last message i’d sent to Henning in the morning, was about arranging to park the car in the artiste/guests area. He said to give him a ring when we’re a few minutes from festival)
Once there, Henning greets us & tells security to open gate for the parking. He quickly wanders off to get our passes from Markus.
Man, it was so great to see Henning again ! Once backstage, we gradually see other members of the band. Stude is having some food which made me wanna bork ! (I have problems with certain food smells nowadays ! For example, i used to love KFC & nowadays i cannot eat it due to the smell! One of the side effects of my treatments i guess) Said hello to Markus & then I explain to Dennis whats been going on. Then he gives me the proper backstage tour. ” Where do you want to watch the show from? ” Me : ” I’d prefer to be onstage as i get a bit tired nowadays “. Dennis : ” Oh, do you want a chair as well? ” Me : “Oh man that would be perfect, just in case “. The crew did this for me :

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Dennis couldn’t have been more helpful. He then showed me the “route” to get back to the other side of the stage (without walking over the actual stage). I then went out into the crowd to say hello to Pezi. She’s been following the band since 2003 i think. Nice to see her again. Then Benoit turns up & i leave him in the capable hands of Pezi on the front row πŸ˜‰ ( I think Pezi may have asked me if i was gonna stay, but, it wasn’t advisable for me tbh…& anyway, i already had my own special place πŸ˜‰ )
As well as bringing my camera, i’d also brought my digital audio recorder as i thought i’d make a not so sneaky recording of the whole show from onstage. As luck would have it, i saw Ingo (FOH engineer) a little before the show started. I thought ” Nothing lost by trying..”. Me : ” Hey Ingo, don’t suppose you could record tonights show to my digital recorder? “. He quickly looked at it & said “Yeah” πŸ™‚ RESULT ! Later, when i was back on stage, he came by & told me he’d got a new battery as the one i had wasn’t enough power. He’s a good man is Ingo πŸ™‚
Originally, i’d planned to take some photos from the pit. But when i was made aware photographers only had one song, i decided to just film a video clip instead πŸ˜‰

After that, they quickly went into ” You Can’t Stop Me “, whilst i walked around to my position on the stage. Whenever i’ve been up on stages before, the sound is generally not as good as out front. Mainly, you just hear drums then other sounds are very small compared. However, i reckon this was the best onstage sound i’ve heard ! Don’t get me wrong, it still wasn’t perfect. But Studes bass sounded great & i could also hear Hennings guitar & even Sandra sounded ok (Sandras was probably the lowest in the mix). But i loved it πŸ™‚

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Next up it’s ” Quietly “. An absolute classic from the “modern era” of the Apes. Gotta be honest, i’ve never really liked the song “Fake”. Whilst it *IS* better live than studio, i still don’t find it all that great (sorry)
The next song again is a classic ; “Pretty In Scarlet”. Just love that one πŸ™‚ I also love the loose funky feel of “Sunday Lover”. If this song performed live does not make you wanna shake your ass or dance, then i’d suggest you check your pulse ! (Sandra got a bit carried away towards the end & fell down during her spins. Though she pulled it off well, so i doubt many would have noticed πŸ˜‰ )

I couldn’t believe it, but, just before ” Oh What A Night” some dickhead decided he’d try sit down in MY AREA on MY CHAIR !! Honestly, it’s not like it wasn’t marked out or anything! I gave him a bit more of my mind than what i recorded πŸ˜‰

A young lad, Gijs, got lucky when Sandra spotted him on the front row & she went down to him! I bet all his birthdays & Christmases came at once !

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Next up it was the super classic of “Open Your Eyes”. I will never ever get tired of hearing this song. It has the same vitality today as it had back in the day. Love it.
Next it’s “Fanman”. Probably my favourite “modern era” Apes song. I love the bass line in this one. Once again, it’s funky & just grooves. I love the change of pace in this song, how it’s up & down. So pleased they kept this on in the set list πŸ™‚

“Sing That Song”, whilst i like it, i can take it or leave it. At this point i’d much sooner hear something like “All I Wanna Do” πŸ˜‰
The main set finishes with another classic,the Alphaville cover “Big In Japan” Β Man, did that main set just fly by ! It was all pretty solid stuff for sure.

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We then get the encore of the instrumental ” Lez “. I actually couldn’t remember if i’d seen them play this before & had to check when i got home! They did in fact play it in Barcelona last time i saw them ! Doh ! But that’s the thing ; i LOVE it when the guys do these jams as you can tell everyone’s into it ( Though my favourite will always be “Trompeter”,due to the “swing” ;-)) This just rocks.
Then it’s the final song of the night….what else could it be, other than “Lords Of The Boards” ? ! A stompingly good version, then the obligatory group photo was took…erm of only Stude & Sandra πŸ˜‰

Soon afterwards, i was in the backstage are with a very sweaty Stude ! It was just pouring off him πŸ™‚ We had some serious talks. He’s not the only band member i really shocked when i explained the extent of my problems. But everyone was very positive (even though shocked) & just told me to fight it all. I do that, to the best of my abilities. As it’s been ages, i decided i needed new photos with the band ! I managed to get a group photo (minus Sandra) with the guys.

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Then had individual ones as well.

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I asked Markus what was Sandra up to & he said soon she’ll be presented with a painting someone has made for her. (It looked great actually & i wish i’d took a photo). So that would be my chance for the Sandra photo πŸ˜‰
After Sandra had been presented with the painting, as she was walking in my direction, there seemed to be a moment of realisation for her when she recognized me! ” Simon ! You made it ! ” (I don’t think she recognized me when i was on stage tbh). So it was big hugs & very nice chats. It was the first time i’ve been VERY close to breaking down (OK, there were tears from me. To the guys, i hid it all better i think). During our conversation, i learnt something new, which i hadn’t expected. When GA posted on their FB page about me being a fan from the beginning & they linked to my “Borderline Story” on my www.gigaddiction.co.uk page, i was always under the impression it must have been Henning who’d posted that. Nope ! Sandra brought it up & said she posted it ! That kinda shocked me & made me love her even more! Cheers Sandra πŸ™‚
As with most people, Sandra told me i must not give up & should keep fighting this cancerous stuff i’m dealing with. Sometimes, it’s so much easier said than done though. We made a “deal” between us ; i won’t give up if she will do something for me in the future ! I cannot say what though & i very much doubt it will happen (Sandra, if you read this, i won’t hold you to it πŸ˜‰ )

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Eventually it was time to go back to our hotel, so off myself, Benoit & Henning went:-) Once there, Henning sorted out breakfast & we agreed to meet early next morning.
Oh that was hilarious ! The following morning, in the restaurant, the officious bitch said ” I have no information about you being booked in for breakfast!” Well, we had a card entitling us to 2 breakfasts ! So i told her to check out her story as seemed to me someone hadn’t done their job properly πŸ˜‰ Of course, we were right πŸ˜‰ Later Henning joined us & he also had a problem with this jobsworth woman : 10mins before breakfast “closed” she said “you need to be making your way out of here”. Again, Henning taking no B.S. said ” I’ll just go round once more ! ” Class πŸ˜‰
After saying our goodbyes, Benoit & me went to Eindhoven to kill some time (Always remember to use the Sat Nav Beno ! More importantly, if using it, take notice of the directions instead of gassing to me all the time!)But whatever, thank you for doing the driving mate. It was appreciated.
My last thought of the weekend was going through customs at Eindhoven Airport. I couldn’t believe it ; the bastards scanned my bags THREE times & once was with everything tipped out. Eventually, they decided the dodgy item was….my electric toothbrush ! Were they YTS trainees or something? Useless tossers ! πŸ™‚
So, summing up, this was a magical experience for me all thanks to my old friends in Guano Apes. Without them, i wouldn’t have got to see them live again, i’m sure. You’ll never know how much i appreciated this kind gesture from you all. It’s hard to put into words, but the easiest thing to say is THANK YOU πŸ™‚

 

 

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Guano Apes, @ Razzmatazz 2 , Barcelona, Spain 8-11-14

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This was more about meeting old friends who used to go to the GA shows. I went with no expectations of how GA would be & i’m happy to say the performance was great. But firstly, there was a nice little meet & greet which Henning & Marc had arranged (Such a shame that last minute Marc couldn’t make it there). The guys brought us all beers & it was great seeing everyone & having nice little talks. A shame that Stude didn’t join though. Never did find out why πŸ™ Of course, as ever, Sandra got swamped by people & i didn’t even realise she was there until she was leaving! So didn’t have much of a chance to talk, but at least i managed a quick photo πŸ˜‰ As ever, i mentioned i’m still awaiting their return to the UK…

The Gig : From the off, Β Sandra seemedΒ on fire as though she was trying to prove a point. Well, you certainly won me over! This show was up there with the energy levels & commitment of the “final” tour. The fact that Sandra crowd surfed is always an indicator that it’s a good show πŸ˜‰ (I’m sure that’s still not a regular occurrence ?) Something a really do like is that it’s just the originals up there on stage again. I never did get it when they had the extra guitarist, sorry. I prefer pure GA πŸ˜‰ There’s a part in the show where Sandra gets the guys in the crowd to take off their shirts. Of course, she “picked on” me, so i had to do it….that’s the first time in 35 years of going to gigs that i’ve done that….& probably the last πŸ˜‰ It was such a party atmosphere, it had to be done. It was great to be amongst old friends on the front row. I really enjoyed the night & for sure wanna go see GA again some time….

It was great seeing so many old friends who i’d not seen for years : THAT was pretty damn special in itself.

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Guano Apes , Haus Auensee, Leipzig, Germany 10-10-11

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This was meant to be a special gig for me as it was the 50th time i’d seen Guano Apes. Quite an achievement considering how few times they’ve played in the UK πŸ˜‰ It was a big deal for me as i wouldn’t go see many bands that amount of times unless they are special. I thought GA were. As it was, i didn’t even get to meet the guys. So no celebratory drink with them. Thankfully, some of the friends i was with realised it was special for me & we drank a bottle of Jagermeister before the show. Thank you…you know who you are πŸ˜‰

That’s me up in balcony filming the show. (Thanks Jasi for the photo)

2011 10-10-GUANO APES auensee,Leipzig 50th Guano gig

 

Unfortunately the next run of GA dates i was gonna follow got cancelled & i lost Β£hundreds. Again, thankfully, my friends warned me they’d cancelled…literally about an hour before i was about to drive to Gatwick airport. Schedule should have been :

20-10-11 Drive to Gatwick

21-10-11 Gig in Munich

22-10-11 Overnight train to Rome

23-10-11 Gig in Rome

24-10-11 Fly Rome to Milan. Gig in Milan.

26-10-11 Fly Milan to Barcelona. Gig in Barcelona

27-10-11 Fly Barcelona to Madrid. Gig in Madrid.

28-10-11 Fly Madrid to lisbon.

29-10-11 Gig in Lisbon.

30-10-11 Lisbon to Porto. Gig in Porto.

31-10-11 Fly back to the UK.

I wasn’t the only one to lose money on this tour…..but i’m pretty sure it hurt me personally a lot more than others.

“Like the Murphys, i’m not bitter ” πŸ˜‰

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Guano Apes ,+ 22 @ Columbiahalle, Berlin, Germany 9-10-11

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Columbiahalle is one of my fave venues. A very nice size; not too big, not too small. I was looking forward to get a great film of this one as i had problems with my camera the last time here. For whatever reason, there was a delay in getting my pass & thus the prime positions had gone πŸ™ The show was pretty good though πŸ™‚

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Guano Apes , Royal Republic, VK, Brussels 23-5-11

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After the previous nights nightmare in Amsterdam, i made sure all the security knew me &Β that i had permission to film the show. I wouldn’t normally shoot it all from in the pit, but, just felt i had to tonight. Yeah, it distorts & i cannot get the best angles as so close, but it was a great idea to film there. Not only that, the gig was fantastic ! Really enjoyed this one πŸ™‚

P.S. I do like how they wrote ” T.V.” on the pass πŸ™‚

This different video also includes me filming the show πŸ˜‰ (Cheers to Christer for linking me this)

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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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Guano Apes, Hristo Botev Hall, Sofia,Bulgaria 9-4-11

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We all went partying, in a couple of places. So much fun.

What is it about Guano Apes and Sofia? They always put on a great show. This one was good, but, nothing will top the show they played in 2009. That was magical.

This place was bigger & whilst everything didn’t quite run so smoothly, as Angela pointed out, i ended up with all the passes available for the day πŸ˜› Also, this time i was staying over in Sofia for longer than first time,so, really got to meet some great new people to party with etc….& of course again met peeps from the first visit like Nat πŸ™‚

P1010195P1010196P1010198P1010225P1010245P1010256P1010258P10102710004Β Nats photo “The Blue Eyes Club” πŸ˜‰0002

 

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