Indie Daze,House Of Love, Voice Of The Beehive, Crazyhead, Hunt & Nockalls, Bis, O2 Forum, London, 7-10-17

The previous night i was in Nottingham to see Papa Roach. I took a train from Nottingham to London which departed at 07.30 & arrived about 09.15. Quickly on the tube to make my way to “Hotel Rob”, over at Stratford. Rob & Kristina had only been home a few hours after their latest holiday. Had a chat with Rob, gave him my Max & Igor ticket ( Can’t do it now as the following day i have an appointment with my Oncologist & couldn’t get back in time). Eventually Kristina woke up. Was suffering from jet lag after the long trip home. Had a bit of a natter & then made my way back into the city. Was gonna have a wander around Camden, but it was already too busy for my liking, so i went straight to The Forum in Kentish Town. It was an early start today. First band “Bis” were due on at 1.30. I went to the box office to confirm everything, then decided to go for a quick beer. Didn’t make it though, as i bumped into Eddie. We had a quick chat & he realised he’d got a bottle of Corona in his bag. Obviously, he wouldn’t be able to take that in the venue. So, he gave it to me & i necked it pretty quickly 🙂 As we were stood there, who should come walking towards us from the venue ? Tracey & Missy ! Perfect timing 🙂 (We didn’t get a chance for a natter at the Lexington show as had to dash off quickly for a train)
I asked if we could get some photos now, just in case it got busy after the show. Tracey said “Great idea !”. Thanks to Eddie for taking the photos & also to the random person walking by who took the group photo….& thanks for not running off with my camera 😉 Tracey also took a couple of selfies on her mobile phone. Oh yeah, whilst chatting to Tracey, i told her how much i loved hearing “Playing House” live @ The Lexington. She then quietly said to me ” We’re going to play it again tonight”. That was it : my day made already 🙂 

Soon enough, the girls were on their way back to the hotel so they could chill/rest up for a bit before their show later on. By now doors were open so myself & Eddie decided to go in. Got our passes sorted & we could go either upstairs or downstairs. As expected, the balcony was pretty much empty. So i quickly went downstairs to check out the merchandise again. Eddie was there & was handing over some badges he’d had made up. He even gave me a few for a small donation. Cheers mate. I quickly went back upstairs to take my spot on the balcony.

The first band on were “Bis”. The venue was pretty empty as it was early in the day. Didn’t know what to expect of them. Back in the day, i bought their single “Euro Disco” . I dunno if it was a “hit” per say , but i loved the track. Liked the quirky disco beat sounds. Today, i didn’t think much to the sound, but they were ok.


Next up it was “Salad”. They were a band that totally passed me by all those years ago. Tbh, can’t even remember them. There was still only a small audience in the room, but there were certainly a couple of people who loved the band. Didn’t really do anything for me though.


Yet again, a name i remember from back in the day. But as far as i’m aware, i never saw them live or bought any or their records. Tbh, i soon got tired of them today !

MILES & ERICA 

Ah finally something i really do know ! I went to many Wonder Stuff shows around the UK back in the ’80s. They were/are one of my fave “jump around” kind of bands. Miles is a great lyricist & i pretty much loved most of the Wonder Stuff catalogue. A funny coincidence is that when VOTB first got back together, back in 2003, they were opening for The Wonder Stuff. At that time, Woody couldn’t do the shows so they had Tom Fenner on drums. All due respect to Tom, but, it just wasn’t quite right without Woody. A nice memory i have of that tour was seeing Miles sat at the back of Hammersmith odeon, on the main floor, watching VOTB soundchecking. He later praised VOTB saying something like ” I’d forgot how many great songs they had”. But i digress…
I’d already seen Miles & Erika do a solo show & really enjoyed it. So i knew this one should be a good one. I have a lot of respect for Milo. He does things how he wants to. An example of that was, today/tonight, he said they were gonna play a bunch of songs from the latest album & we’d have to wait for the Stuffies songs. It was a good show. In some ways, i even think that Miles & Erica doing their own stuff , is as strong as a Stuffies gig. Yes, it’s totally different, but it’s very nice.I got a clip of a new one, but i’m uploading a Stuffies song here 🙂

I’d considered going to one of the warm up dates that Crazyhead played before Indie Daze. Again, back in the day i loved em. But what eventually stopped me from going to any warm up, was the locations. They all seemed to be a bit far out of the towns & as i can no longer drive, i didn’t fancy a late night walk in territory that i don’t know (I’m also adverse to using taxis as i’m a tight bugger!) So i dipped out & decided to see them at Indie Daze. The last time i saw them was back in ’99 when they toured with The Mission & All About Eve. Previous to that, it was The Duke Of Wellington pub in Lincoln (’93). I was looking forward to tonights show. Unfortunately, i messed up though. The previous night i’d used my camera at Papa Roach in Rock City & pretty much drained the battery. The other battery i had, seemed to have not held its charge very well. I only managed to capture a partial amount of one song of Crazyhead.

Fortunately, i had a mini charger that i was using for my phone, so i ended up charging the battery as much as i could before VOTB came on. I enjoyed Crazyheads set, but i felt it seemed too loud & lacked definition.

Apollo 440 : Didn’t enjoy them at all. Even “Stop the Rock” or whatever it’s called, didn’t do anything for me. Maybe i was losing my attention as it had already been a long day & i was just willing that VOTB to get up there? Who knows…
During the next interval, Robert spotted they’d placed VOTBs set list on the mixing desk. I leaned over the balcony & got a photo of it 😉 Was interesting to see how they were gonna shake it up a bit. Especially surprising was the position of “..Barbarian..” in the set. 

After a while, the familiar intro started playing & they went straight into “Beat Of Love”. Next we got “Trust Me”. This was followed by the song where Tracey relates to the city they’re playing in today. It may be “Just A City”, but we all know how much she loves the place 😉   
They then go up a gear & we get a nice version of “Just Like You”. I notice a balloon flying around down there. This was something that was Eddies idea : He brought a bunch of balloons to hand out to people in the crowd & thus every so often during the show, you’d see balloons flying around 🙂

Next it’s the slow,but beautiful, “Man In the Moon”. I love how they placed “Look At Me” next to “What You Have Is Enough”. As previously said, Tracey was way ahead of this time about how people are so narcissistic nowadays. Facebook is a prime example of this… Then on the flipside, “What You Have Is Enough” reaffirms this as well 🙂
Oh yeah ,Tracey gives a shout out to April from Australia, before they play “What You Have Is Enough”

Next up is my favourite song on this tour, namely “Playing House”. Missy mentions how some people have travelled very far for these shows, you know who you are guys 😉

“Adonis Blue” is as beautiful a song as ever, then we get the shock (well,it would have been if i’d not seen the setlist lol) of “Barbarian” NOT being the encore ! A strange place for it to be in the set, but it still works well. Once again, things are brought down a level with “Sorrow Floats”.
They finish the set with all the major hits, “Dont Call Me Baby” , “I Walk The Earth”, “I Say Nothing” & the last song of “Monsters & Angels”.

What a great show yet again ! I’m not bothered about seeing “House Of Love”, so i make my way downstairs. Get chatting with some of the bees,both new & old. Then i remember i need to collect the Indie Daze poster that i’d won. Went over to merch & collected it. Went back to the others & nobody seemed to know where VOTB guys would be going for a meet up. Initially it was gonna be at The Bull & Gate pub but ended up being in the upstairs bar of the Forum…much better 🙂
It soon got quite busy up there. Was great to see so many happy faces after everyone had seen VOTB. I had a little chat with Dotty, who came over for the shows back in ’03, but i don’t think she really recognized me. Woody asked me how i was. I told him i’m fine & enjoyed the show. He then said “I thought you looked frail at the Lexington”. I suppose as we’d not seen each other for so long & i’ve gone through both radio & chemo therapy, maybe my appearance to many is shocking to how i was before. Whatever, it was really nice to see him again back where he belongs 🙂

I took a few candid snaps, had a nice chat with Missy & then bid my farewells to everyone. By now, i was getting pretty tired & had to travel over to Stratford.
All in all, the whole Beehive experience was a hell of a lot of fun. Great to reconnect not only with the band, but also some of the old school Beehive fans & then some who i’d not met before. This is an experience i’ll remember forever !

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” Indie Daze” Wonder Stuff, The Wedding Present , PWEI, The Primitives, Eat, Back To The Planet, Popinjays @ The Forum, London 3-10-15

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I was slow getting a ticket for this one so ended up in the balcony.I’ve never been in balcony before at The forum, so was interested how it would be. Knowing it was unreserved seating, i made my way there early-ish, about 45mins before doors opened. Guess what? I was the first person there! hahaha. Well, i’d get the seat i wanted 🙂

For the money, this was a great line up. I’ve seen 3 acts before & the others are all “new” to me. First up, its The “Popinjays”. A guy, a girl, a guitar & prerecorded tracks. It was ok but didn’t really interest me much tbh. Next was “Back To the Planet”. Again, i knew nothing about them. They were a LOT of fun. Really got a groove going & i’ll try check em out more. I’m actually annoyed with myself that i didn’t video anything 🙁

Next it was “Eat”. Hadn’t heard anything by them etc but i was aware that Malc Treece (ex Wonder Stuff)  was a band member, so that peaked my interest. A nice set but the sound wasn’t fantastic. The vocals seemed a bit too low in the mix.

Next it’s The Primitives. I’ve only previously seen them one time before, back in the old days, at Rock City 1988…where they were supported by Goodbye Mr Mackenzie (Hello my Garbage friends 😉 ). Todays showing was as if the clock had stood still. Tracey was still the same diminutive lady from years back. Dancing around most of the time,pulling shapes & playing the tamborine as well. I saw online that someone thought she didn’t seem too happy though, due to lack of smiles. Whatever, it seemed fine to me 🙂

PWEI were bloody great. First song in & i really wished i was downstairs amongst it jumping around with every one else. They really brought the party to the Forum tonight. Best band of the day for me so far.

So The Wedding Present ? Strangely, for whatever reason, our paths didn’t cross “back in the day” ! So this is all totally new to me. They were also going to play all of their “classic album” “Bizarro”…so even a classic was new to me haha. They were ok. A few moments really rocked, where i wasn’t expecting it tbh. I absolutely LOVED the Bass sound 😉

Finally, the Wonder Stuff. I’ve seen them many times over the years & my journey started where they opened for (& blew off stage) Zodiac Mindwarp back in 1988. I’ve never seen a bad show from them (even when there were internal tensions within the band). I fucking love this band ! If ever there was a statement of intent said, that would sum up a gig,then the opening words of Miles said it all about tonight ” I’m fucking well up for this ! “. Starting with “Red Berry Joy Town”, then straight into “On The Ropes”, it was hit after hit…ok, they might not technically all be “chart hits” but in my heart they are….& i’m sure it’s just the same for many others in the crowd.

Miles really seems to be in a very good place nowadays. He’s one very happy geezer. As ever, i loved the little stories about a couple of songs.
“Friendly Company” was good if you’re a foodie, but, i loved how he dropped Erica in it by saying she didn’t like “Cartoon Boyfriend” ! *queue the boos* .Apparently, when she auditioned for the band, she “Didn’t bother to learn it”
as she didn’t think much too it! She likes it now though & Miles “Finally has a member of The Wonder Stuff who will answer me back!”

We got a brand new song which will be on the next album released next year, “Days Of the Feast” & it sounded great.The last 6 or so songs were absolute belters from the early catalogue. Finishing with the irrepressible ” Ten Trenches Deep”, what a fucking great show that was !

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Click HERE for loads more photos from the day 🙂

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