SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL, PRVIS, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, As It Is, Jimmy Eat World, Leeds, 26-5-18

ย The songs that are crossed out on the set list couldn’t be played due to time constraints. (They were “Mirrors” , “Smoke” & “Holy” )

Again, i’d been really looking forward to this gig, for a couple of reasons : 1. Seeing PVRIS playing on a bigger stage. 2. The bonus of seeing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes again. The only “downside” was that this gig would probably end up being the last one i can attend for a LONG time ๐Ÿ™ (In the end, even though i shouldn’t have, i DID go to Ginger Wildheart + The Levellers at the Gliderdrome, Boston. There was no way i could miss that. So after that gig, it will be a long time before i can get to another)

Athula & Alice picked me up in the morning (on time ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) & we drove to Grantham to catch the train there. Made good time getting there. Whilst in the waiting room, i saw a chap i often see at Boston train station. Poor lad, he’s obviously got some issues : He wears lots of thin clothes & all you can see is his eyes & his bare feet. When i point him out to Alice, she says that she knows him & doesn’t live far away from their place. It’s a small world….
For this festival, i’d bought one ticket & Alice would get the complimentary helper ticket for free. I’d also been liasing with Lisa B (PVRIS T.M. this time) about hopefully meeting PVRIS when we’re up there. I’d booked a different hotel to where i usually stay,partly due to cost being higher than usual. Once in Leeds, we checked where our hotel was & then went to get the wristbands/tickets/passes. Had prearranged to collect everything at the “Disabled Window” at the Leeds arena. Asked a security chap where said window was & he said “I don’t know. I’ll ask my manager” (Yup, we’re off to a great start). Eventually, i see the head of security & he’s also a bit unsure! When i finally get the wristbands & had gone back to Alice, i realised they didn’t give us the passes we need to meet PVRIS ! So once again, the head of security goes to the window to ask about those. By now, as it’s pretty warm & the last few nights i’d not had much sleep, i’m already feeling knackered & annoyed by all the tomfoolery going on. Guess what ? The passes were at the other collection point, back near the hotel !
As we were back down that end, i thought it might be a good idea to see if we could check in early (official time was 3pm). As luck would have it, we managed to get checked in around 14.10 ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a decent enough room, but i noticed a couple of things that were not right. Firstly, the TV could only get one channel ! Second, the toilet seat was broken !ย ย Whilst we were there, Alice somehow watched “The Dangerous Summer” on her phone. I guess they must have been streaming it live.
We then decide to go try to get some food. I know a few Wetherspoons in Leeds. The first one, Beckets Bank, was absolutely rammed. No worries, theres a couple more ๐Ÿ™‚ We end up at The Hedley Verity. Whilst there, i get a txt from Garry. I say “Come to here to meet us. We’re just about to have food”. A few minutes later he arrives. He decides to just have a beer & no food. The food i had was pretty rubbish tbh. Even with a steak knife, the chicken was hard work to cut! Ended up leaving most of it. After that, we all went to the “Rocksound Breakout Stage” as Alice wanted to see “Dream Straight”. What a joke that room was ! It was a really small room which was rammed. We see there’s a small balcony, which is about 6 steps up.It was pitch black trying to get up those stairs! If it wasn’t for Garry waving his mobile phone, i wouldn’t have a clue where he was! If fact, it was so damn dark you couldn’t even see where you were putting your feet! I certainly don’t think there was a Health & Safety issue there LOL. After that wonderful experience, we went to the underground carpark ! What ? Yes, you ready correctly! This was where a load of merchandise was being sold & throughout the day, some of the bands would be there. Alice wanted to meet “Dangerous Summer”. I didn’t realise that she was so into them. She showed them a tattoo she has on her ankle to do with the band. They seemed quite impressed about that.ย ย After that, Garry left us to go get himself some food. We decide to go back to the hotel to have a little rest & also to collect the PVRIS photos. We hung there for a while. Later we went to the underground car park again ! This time it was because Alice wanted to meet “Dream State”.ย Again, i took some photos for Aliceย ย We then go back into the arena (Jagermeister Stage) to watch Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. During “Wild Flowers”, he certainly didn’t get as many girls on stage as in Nottingham ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once again, they finished with “I Hate You” (But unlike Nottingham, he didn’t direct his Hate towards anyone )

As PVRIS are the next band, we stay there.ย ย Tonight there set is shorter than it should have been. I think it was due to time constraints, that they had to miss playing three songs. They start off with “Heaven”

Next up is “St Patrick”. Again, they skip a song, so next it’s “Half”. That’s closely followed by “You & I “. The rest of the set comprises of “What’s Wrong”, “Winter”, “Anyone Else”, “No Mercy”

And they finish with a rowdy version of “My House”. Whilst it was a short set, it was still great ๐Ÿ™‚ย When they’ve finished, we go outside the venue. I see I’ve had a missed call from Lisa B (PVRIS tour manager). Also i got at txt saying “Please call me”. Then a txt saying ” security was very very tight, so i’ll come meet you to take you back to the bands room”. As we’d already checked out where the backstage entrance was, i thought lets see how far we can get. Just showed our wristbands at a table outside, then walked inside! There was no one around, so we just looked for a sign as to where PVRIS dressing room was. Found it easy. I knock on the door & Lisa comes. I think she’s probably a bit shocked that we got in so easily ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s quite a few people in the dressing room & Lisa kindly asks them to leave as we’re going to have a wee meet & greet with PVRIS.
We all say our hellos & have hugs etc. They ask me how i’m doing as regards health wise. I ask Brian if the proposed big London show which was meant to be at the end of the year, is still on. He replies “No, we’ve decided to leave it for a while & instead take some time to start writing for the next album”. This is also the first time I’ve met the drummer Justin. (Previous times we’ve met them he’s never been there). We have a bit of a chat & he soon leaves the room. But not before we get a full group photo or two ๐Ÿ˜‰ย ย I quickly take a selfie with Lynnย ย Then i show them the photos (Smallest one is Norwich UEA 2-4-16 when myself & Alice did the M&G) The bigger one is when i went on my own to see them in Birmigham 23-11-17 And boy did that gig lift my spirits! Never expected what would happen at that one ๐Ÿ˜‰ & finally a photo from Brixton 30-11-17 where both myself & Alice went to & the band paid for our trains & hotel!
I suggest to them that we get another photo,of a photo of a photo , to carry on the tradition ๐Ÿ™‚ Lynn, Alice & Alex hold the photos whilst Lisa (or was it someone else?) takes the photo ย Our time with the guys seemed to fly by. Eventually we said our goodbyes & off we were going to see what was still happening. Unfortunately though, Alice had forgot to take the photos with her ! So i quickly send a txt to Lisa to ask if she could bring us the photos & we make our way back to the backstage entrance. As we’re going there,who should we bump into, but Alex ! I tell him that Alice forgot to take the photos with her, which i think he found amusing ๐Ÿ™‚ Whilst we’re waiting for Lisa, we get a quick selfie with himย 
I then notice Lisa running towards us with the photos in hand. Once again, thank you Lisa ๐Ÿ™‚
By now it was around 10pm. We go to the Signature stage to watch a bit of “As It Is”. I think that the singer sounds a bit like Brian Molko. I took a couple of photos & filmed one song :ย 

The last band of the night we see is Jimmy Eat World. Again, i filmed one song.

After that, we made our way back to the hotel. Along the way, we had a look to see if any place like Tesco was still open as Alice was hungry.
I think it was around 11pm & was surprised to see a few places we closed. Carried on to the hotel. I reckon that even though Alice looked sleepy, she was as high as a kite after this day. Myself, i was knackered ! Alice then had the bright idea of ordering some food via room service. I thought it was quite expensive tbh. But she managed to change my mind ๐Ÿ™‚

Early next morning, Alice got a txt to say she needed to be somewhere in town, earlier than had previously been arranged. She phoned Athula to ask him to bring some clothes/make up as time wise, it would be cutting things quite short. I could see she was getting wound up. Made sure we got to the train station early & Alice decided she needed to have a coffee so i waited opposite the shop. After a while i thought “Where is she? She’s not in the shop still”. I assumed she’d gone to the platform where i train was leaving from, so i made my way there. Once i got on the train, she wasn’t there. So i txt her to see where she was. It was only about 5 mins till departure! Fortunately, she gets there quickly. Hell it would have been a mess if she’d missed the train as would have had to buy another ticket! I think it was down to lack of communication that we didn’t get to the train at the same time. But it didn’t matter, as we both made it on time & were soon on the way back home ๐Ÿ™‚ Athula picked us up at Grantham & drove us from there to Boston. A few days earlier, i’d ordered some new speakers for my PC & they could be collected on this day. So i asked Athula if once we’ve dropped off Alice, he could take me back to Tescos to pick up the speakers. No problem. Alice then said “But that means he has to go into town & then back to Tescos. Think we should stop at Tescos before dropping me off”. I said no to that as she needed to be at the meeting on time. Also it’s not as if it would cause any problems for Athula. Most certainly, i didn’t want to be blamed for her arriving late (especially as she had been wound up since the morning!) It was the logical thing to do dropping Alice off and then going back to Tescos ๐Ÿ™‚
Finally, fate was not on my side today. When i got the speakers home, setting them up, i thought the bass sub sounds too weak. Upon inspection, i found it had a bad wire connection, so i had to return them ! Hilarious eh ?

But hey, at least the gig was great ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 โ˜บ Checked in ok & they gave 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 โ˜บ

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Wonder Stuff , The Wedding Present, The Lottery Winners, o2 academy, Leeds 26-3-16

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Got to Leeds in good time. Found the cheap car park easily. Top tip; it’s Trafalgar street car park. Only ยฃ6 all day (cheaper if have Leeds Arena ticket). So much better than the rip off “The Light” etc prices. Went to the pub, had some grub.I was falling asleep in the pub,so thought a bit of fresh air would help, went to venue about 4pm. Typically, i was first person there. Had a lass ask where the box office was. She came back & said it was closed. So i suggested looking for a phone number or going round back of venue & trying to have a word with the scurity to see if they could help. She then said ” Oh! Do you not work here?”. (Damn, it’s been a while since thats happened lol.In the past i’ve even had people wanting to give their tickets to me for entry!) Me: ” No luv, i’m here for the gig myself & i’m just a nice person who likes to try help”. Girl : ” Oh thank you very much. That’s real nice of you!” *Job done, my good deed for the day!*

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During the time in the queue i also saw : A very understated Mr McCarthy going into town. The lovely Katharine taking photos of the venue. She wasn’t quite so happy on her return when it was pissing it down…even under cover, the rain conspired against her when she sat to have a quick fag ; “What?! fuck you !” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh yes, the RAIN. It wasn’t for long, but it totally chucked it down. Yup, i got a bit drenched. Amazingly, i was the ONLY person in the O2 priority queue tonight. That was funny in itself. Still, i got the spot on front row that i’d put the effort into to get ๐Ÿ™‚
Miles had been plugging “The Lottery Winners” & quite a few made the effort to get in early to see them. They were great. Some great pop/rock. The main guy,Thomas Rylance, was a very funny chap(in a nice way). I dunno if it’s because of where they come from,but, he kind of reminded me of Johnny Vegas or Peter Kay. Brilliant when he posed for the face book photos as well. DSC06402Was also great to see Digby side stage singing along to all their songs. Miles even came onstage to present them with champagne ๐Ÿ™‚DSC06400Lottery Winners picI love the way The Wedding Present start their show : Katharine playing the great bass intro,very heavily, to “You Should Always Keep in Touch With Your Friends”. She rocks! DSC06425It’s strange, but somehow “back in the day” i totally missed TWP. It was at the “Indie Daze”festival in 2015 that i first saw them live. I was surprised how many of their songs i knew. So tonight is a nice bonus. There’s a bunch of classics with a couple of new songs for good measure. I particularly liked the newbie “Rachel”. The crowd loved them & when they finished off with “Brassneck” it just erupted. Bloody loved the show.DSC06410
Finally the Stuffies. To think they’ve been on the go for 30 ‘kin years! Well done for keeping it together through the think n thin. I guess it’s suitably apt they kicked off with “30 years in the Bathroom”. The intro was extended with various audio snippets from their history over the years. Slow & brooding build up before the audience is full on rockin out. Only first song in & all the smiles & dancin (both off & on stage) are so inspirational. I dunno if it’s because i’d not listened to it for ages or what,but, next song “Play” i’d almost describe as a heavy metal version! It just seemed so fast! The hits just keep on coming with “On The Ropes” followed by the early days classic “Red Berry Joy Town”. Inevitably, there’s the “…words the audience are not looking forward too…time for a NEW song…”. But hey, when it’s this good as “For The Broken Hearted”, it just fits in greatly. I’m not gonna list all the songs,but, you can be sure so many of the classics were played. Something like a 25 (?) song set, your faves are gonna be in there!

I honestly don’t think there’s another band ive seen over the years where i’m always happy at their gigs jumping around etc. From first seeing them open a couple of times for “Zodiac Mindwarp” (& blowing them off stage) i just knew they’d go far. Reminiscing about it all, so many great memories came back to me during this gig. In fact, it got so damn emotional i got a bit teary…i don’t care, i just felt it all. I reckon that this is the definitive line up of The Wonder Stuff. It’s so obvious that everyone is on the same page & just bloody enjoying themselves up there. As for the audience? Not many acts can get so many 40+ year olds to dance around for a full show like The Stuffies always manage to. Roll on the next gig i’ll see in Norwich ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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Wolf Alice, bloody knees, swim deep, O2 Academy, Leeds 19-3-16

Scans06092016.3.19 Wolf alice LeedsI’ve really being looking forward to seeing Wolf Alice. I’m a little late getting into them, but, i just love the album so decided to see them live a few times. Nowadays i’m trying to go more gigs on weekends as we’re only in March & already i’ve used a lot of holidays! My journey was very smooth & i found car park easily.Then searched out another car park i’d seen online (as it’s WAY cheaper than where i was staying). Went to the “usual”, the “Cuthbert Broderick” for lunch. Then later met Lorah back there. It was 3 years since we’d had that crazy drunken night after Skunk Anansie gig there. Next there was a freaky coincidence at the gig : As ever, i got talking to the chap next to me. Cannot imagine our surprise when we both realised we’d traveled from Boston & kind of knew each other ! (We’d never previously met) So we had a bit of a laugh. The first band ” Bloody Knees” really try hard. Think Nirvana & that’s a pretty good description. They are full of energy & they get a great reaction from the crowd. Seen it all before, but, good on them for making a fist of things.

Next up it’s ” Swim Deep “. These are different & interesting. During the first song the singer managed to make his ear bleed & he couldn’t seem to understand how. I loved the freaky little keyboards & the main keyboardist was so funny. I say that in a nice way. He was very entertaining. I think in some ways i enjoyed SD more than BK, but, i enjoyed both acts. They did what was intended; warming up the crowd for the main event.

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As soon as Wolf Alice came on stage, the audience went crazy. All around, people were jumping around & pushing. Singing the songs & generally having a great time. Was quite funny seeing the security getting annoyed at the members of the crowd on friends shoulders. No sooner had they told someone to get down than someone else was up! It seems that WA have played the same set every night on this tour,but, it’s one hell of a show! Everything comes over great live. Joff is a great visual guitarist. Damn, can he play!

They had a nice light show which complemented the sounds. Particularly loved it when they slowed things down & Joel (drums) sang ” Swallowtail”. Just beautiful. Talking of beauty, yes, of course Ellie is great. She’s a natural. She did seem a little withdrawn at times, but, it was all good.ย 

If there was one thing i’d criticize about the show, it would be the lack of interaction with the crowd.Maybe they are a “heads down & rocking” sort of act & they just let the music do the talking? For me personally, i think what really draws me to WA is their balance of pop & rock. An old indie style which rocks out big time. On this tour they’re doing 4 nights at Londons Forum & most of the other dates are selling out. That’s an indication of how their popularity is growing. I really hope they can keep things together & progress well without the pressures ruining them. I’m already interested to think where they will go with the next album release !

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Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon, Royal Blood, Ghost, Ducking Punches, Crosa Rosa, Area 52, Marmozets, Bramham Park, Leeds 30-8-15

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Saturday was a day/night of hanging around Leeds, up pubs, buying pyjamas!, a curry with Nomis & then a guided tour of various boozers.
Sunday myself & Cat set off for the festival hoping to catch Babymetals set, but unfortunately we missed them by a few minutes.Whilst walking around the site we bumped into Jason & Kristy ๐Ÿ™‚ .We made sure we were in a prime position for Marmozets, down the front on the left ๐Ÿ˜‰ Typically, Marmozets were just excellent as always.

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More photos of Marmozets are here ๐Ÿ™‚

After their set, Rob & Kristina found us…again they know where to be lol. ( “Always on the left side” )

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We all then hung at the BBC Introducing Stage, where we saw ; Area 52, Crosa Rosa, Ducking Punches etc.

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I hadn’t seen Royal Blood before, so was looking forward to their set. They had great sound & it was a very solid performance. In fact, it was way better than i expected it would be.I still have my doubts about how much is live though… I’ve got to see them do their own headline show now ๐Ÿ˜‰
I was expecting the crowd to go mental for Bring Me The Horizon,but, it just got silly really. Yeah, it’s kinda nice to see the pits etc,but, do any of these kids actually watch/listen to ANY of the show? BMTH also had the honour of having the worst sound of the day. It was just a mess. Hell, even Oliver commented from onstage about it. When it gets to the point that it’s just not enjoyable on any level, might as well leave, so we did ! Went & saw a couple of songs by Ghost then back again to main stage for Metallica.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, i love Metallica,have done since the beginning, they always can be relied upon for a great gig. But the venue/crowd can make a big difference. I’m not a fan of festivals, pretty much hate them tbh. Not just because of the weather, but the crowd. Nowadays they attract so many chavs. Today was one of those days. There’s always so many idiots just geting pissed up & not interested in watching the bands. Even though Metallica started the set with some classics, Fuel, Bellz, Blackened, King, i just couldn’t fully get into it because of the dickheads near me. Eventually i warmed to things & started to enjoy it (as much as i could given the situation). There’s no denying it was a great set list, maybe one of the best set lists ever, with many of the old classics including “Frayed Ends Of Sanity” (which i don’t think had been played before in the UK?), but still, it’s nowhere near as good as seeing them indoors.
All in all a good weekend spent with various friends. But i’m still in no rush to go to any festivals next year…

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Skunk Anansie , Beware Of Darkness, O2 Academy, Leeds, 20-3-13

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Typically, i was the first person at the venue ๐Ÿ˜‰ย Had a chat with “Beastie” whilst waiting. For ages no one joined the queue, then, a right bundle of energy turned up : ” Is the gig still on? Where is everyone?” . I said ”ย i’d imagine most peeps are in the pub” lol. I told her i’d seen the tour already &ย we’re in for a good show. We had a good laugh whilst waiting for others to arrive.ย After i’d told her i’m staying in Leeds, she asked if i fancied going for a drink afterwards…of course ! ๐Ÿ™‚ The gig was another good one. During the show, skin said something to me & Lorah seemed impressed ๐Ÿ™‚ My stand out memories of AFTER the gig was the last bar we were in, pretty much at closing time, Lorah brought pints over…then went back to the bar & got a couple more! So we both had 2 pints on the go. Then, we couldn’t find my hotel….once there, we had a few more beers ๐Ÿ˜‰ A bloody good day/night for sure !

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