Wolf Alice, Sunflower Bean, Superfood, Rock City, Nottingham, 15-11-17

There was a little drizzle as i walked to the train station. Nothing too much. The trains ran fine & was soon at Nottingham. First stop was Argos as needed to collect a couple of things i couldn’t get in Boston. Then checked into Roomzzz hotel. “You’ve been here before haven’t you? So i don’t need to go over everything with you again?” She was correct πŸ™‚ I got a nice room, almost at end of corridor (The best place as you won’t get people walking by late at night πŸ˜‰ ) I relaxed for a while, then made my way into town to get food.(Yeah, my usual place lol). Walking back to hotel,as i went past Rock City, i saw a chap queuing who i recognized, so stopped & had a catch up with him. (The funny thing about us knowing each other was that i often saw him at various gigs. I think it was at Wolf Alice Leeds 3-16 that we started chatting. I said something like “Ive seen you at a few gigs & recognise your face”. Coulda knocked me down with a feather when he said he was also from Boston! Small world !) After our chat, i went back to the hotel to relax a bit more. As is the usual preocedure nowadys, i went back to RC about 15 mins before doors, talked with security about having a prearranged seat in balcony, then whilst waiting, had another chat with Nige B. Soon got in, at my fave spot on balcony.
First act tonight were “Superfood”. Can’t say they did anything for me. Second act was a band from New York, called “Sunflower Bean”. They were pretty decent. I enjoyed their set. They also got a good reaction from the crowd. Apparently, they’ll be coming back to Nottingham soon & will be playing The Rescue Rooms. Need to check out their album.

There was a pretty quick turnaround before Wolf Alice came on. I noticed the floor was absolutely rammed. The lights went down & Wolf Alice slowly walked onto the stage. From the off, the crowd was very loud. Pretty sure tonights set list was the same as in Amsterdam. Second song in ” Yk Foo ” really livened things up. Already, there were a couple of mosh pits down there. When they played the familiar opening riff of ” You’re A Germ”, the room just goes crazy! It went to another level. You could also see that Ellie was really enjoying herself. THIS is the Wolf Alice i’ve come to love. “You’re Loves Whore” is fantastic.

The more i think about it, i realise that the Melkweg show was nowhere near as good as Rock City. It had been bugging me that i felt something was “missing” at Melkweg but couldn’t put my finger on it. I now realized the thing that was missing, was the great Rock City crowd πŸ˜‰ Don’t get me wrong, Melkweg was great night out, but Rock City was another level up πŸ™‚ Tonight’s setlist was similar to the other shows i’ve seen on this tour. I think they just made slight changes as to where the songs were in the set.Β The night ended with the double wammy of “Blush” & “Giant Peach”.

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Papa Roach, Ho99o9, rock city, Nottingham, 6-10-17

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Once my train arrived in Nottingham, i made my way to the hotel via The Roebuck Inn πŸ™‚ Upon checking in, the receptionist said to me ” Ah, that’s a name i remember. You’ve stayed with us a few times haven’t you?”. I confirmed this & told her i’ve a bunch of bookings coming up & could she make sure my room is at the end of a corridor, away from the lifts. I told her that Emma,the manager, had agreed to this after i had a bad nights sleep due to a herd of elephants walking by. She smiled knowingly πŸ˜‰ (The “herd of elephants” was in fact a very noisy bunch of women,i assume on a hen night πŸ˜‰ ) I then spent most of the afternoon in my room.
Doors were at 6.30, so went down to rock city about 6.15. Spoke to security about getting a barstool & all went fine. There was already somone in “MY” spot (lol) so i had to move a little to the left. Pretty sure there had been a M&G earlier & that’s how my fave position got took. After a while, my Nottingham friends Jason & Kirsty joined me. Had a bit of a catch up & prepared for the opening act. Tonights show is sold out. It looks very packed on the main floor.
The support act, ” Ho99o9 , were pretty terrible. It seemed most of the audience didn’t like them. The singer (I use that term very lightly lol) seemed to take offence as someone in the crowd voiced his opinion of them. I couldn’t believe it when he went down to the barrier & took a couple of punches at said audience member. I think that security were caught off guard as they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. But they soon swamped him (the band member) & pushed him back to the stage. The perpetrator is on the right in this photo :
Personally, i think their set should have been cut short & he should have been kicked out of the venue due to what he did. I mean, if the tables were turned, the audience member for sure would have been ejected. He needs to understand that being up there, not everyone (anyone?) is going to like what they do & there will be certain knocks along they way. His shouldn’t be punching an audience member.I won’t say anymore. This incident even made the local paper :
http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/man-rock-city-punched-member-594308 Finally it was time for Papa Roach. The intro music plays then there’s an announcement saying ” Attention This is a serious announcement. Full participation is required. Now put your middle fingers & repeat after me ,FUCK PAPA ROACH ! FUCK PAPA ROACH ! YOU MUTHA FUCKERZ !”. The audience duly complies πŸ™‚

The band kick off with a new one, which is also the title of the latest album, namely, “Croocked Teeth”. There’s plenty of audience interaction with fist pumping the air claping & sing a alongs. Bloody love it

Next it’s an old classic “Getting Away With Murder”. I soon realise that the lighting is a bit of a pain as they are using a lot of lights which are pointing out towards the crowd. This seems to be the norm nowadys. Hardly any bands use follow spots at the back of the room unless it’s in a huge arena.
Next song is “Between Angels & Insects”. About half way through, Jacoby gets the crowd to part. Will it be a “circle pit” or a “wall of death” or just everyone going crazy??
You guessed it; the latter πŸ™‚

Tonight there is a good balance of new & old songs. The next new one is “Born For Greatness”. Pretty much all of the floor gets bouncing along to this. There’s also some great vocals from the crowd. Everyone together & having a bloody great time. A chap goes to the pit/barrier & films it all. Jacoby says “You guys are insane!”
A couple more older songs follow. The audience sings along to “She Loves Me Not”. Then another classic “Scars”. That’s followed by another new song “Periscope”. Seems to go down well. Jacoby then tells the crowd they’ve been a band since 1993…also, “Some of you fuckerz weren’t even born then ” LOL He then asks if “Everybody wants to get rowdy”. Next it’s something unexpected; a great cover of Blurs “Song 2”

We get a couple more new songs ; “Traumatic” & “American Dreams” & it’s soon encore time.
What a way to finish the night ! We get “None Of The Above”(new song), then two old classics which are part of Papa Roachs DNA ; “Dead Cell” & “Last Resort”
Wow! What a night !

I quickly say my goodbys to Jason & Kirsty, then make the long journey to my hotel….ok it wasn’t really that far ! In fact it was next door to Rock City πŸ™‚
As they had the usual club night on after the gig, it meant i could get a bit more sleep. That was needed. Especially as the following day i was travelling down to London for “Indie Daze” all dayer !

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The Virginmarys, Cut The Heroics, Rock City basement, Nottingham, 15-3-17

I had a last minute (as in they phoned the day before!) consultation with my Oncologist before setting off for Nottingham. Had been awaiting results of my last M.R.I. As expected, the tumor had once again grown. From now on i’ll be having MRIs every two months.
I’d been looking forward to this gig but was really unsure how i’d cope, as previously when they played the Basement i’d always be down the front. With a low stage, viewing from the back would be rubbish. So i thought i’d try it from down on the barrier. Didn’t even bother asking for a stool.
Train journey was fine, checked into “Roomzz”, then went for some food. Afterwards, back to the hotel to chill. Was meant to be meeting Danny before the gig, but it fell through due to the interviews they were doing. A funny thing before going in, i had someone ask me if i worked at Rock City. Been a while since that happened lol
Once inside, i went front left & kinda hung onto the barrier. After a while, my old mate Nigel Natrass came over & we had a good catch up. Hadn’t seen him in ages. More regular faces turned up, namely Rachel, Andy, Jill & then Fi Stimpson.
The support act were a local band, ” Cut The Heroics “. Apparently it was a last minute thing they got the gig. They were ok, but tbh i was just waiting for the headliners.
I noticed they had a video camera at the back of the room. Turns out they were gonna stream it live. (Thought to myself ” I wonder how much of the band will that show ?)

Eventually the VMs came on kicking off with old classics “Dead Man’s Shoes” , “Halo in Her Silhouette” & “Portrait of Red”. The new guy, Ross, had some sound issues to start off. This was first time i’d seen him with the VMs & i was very impressed with his performance. Pretty damn tight & he coped with said sound issues very well.Β 
Whenever they play “I Wanna Take You Home”, i always think of a certain young lady who i’d like to…haha no clues πŸ™‚
Next we get the first new song which was recently uploaded to VMs page. ” Sweet Loretta ” is the first of 3 new songs tonight. It’s very powerful in the live environment. It has that distinctive Virginmarys sound.

More classic stuff follows “For You My Love” , “Running for My Life” & ” Into Dust “. We’re about half way through the show now & everything is just flowing on stage. My VMs friends near me all have huge smiles on their faces…well, that’s not when they’re singing all the words at the top of their voices πŸ˜‰ The room has come alive.
Next up it’s “Falling Down ” Just look at that sweat pooring off Ally πŸ˜‰

Nowadays i find that listening to “Moths to a Flame” always brings tears to my eyes. I can so relate to this song after my shitty 2016. I’m still holding on…
We then get another new song ” Sitting Ducks “. From my position, i could see it listed on the setlist clearly, but, for whatever reason, i keep thinking “Shitting Ducks” ! Yeah, i’m strange i know lol. Another new song that has the typical VMs spirit to it. We’re then transported ” Off To Another Land” . Again,classic stuff.
The last new song of the night was ” Through The Sky “. It has a very “bouncy” beginning. A nice song with a great part for a sing a long towards the end. The band are bollock tight with the finish. Spot on.


The adrenaline rush continues with a frantic version of “Just a Ride ” Then the main set finishes with the immense sounding “Ends Don’t Mend”.
They encore with “Motherless Land” & “Bang Bang Bang”.

A good night for sure. I’m quite proud of myself for making it through the gig without dropping back. But it also made me realise, i cannot really do that again. As the phrase goes “My mind says yes,but my body says no” πŸ˜‰
A couple of other things about the night : Ally said they will record more songs & release eps before a full on album. There was an incident on the right side of crowd where some dickhead was getting over rough. Security eventually intervened. (From what i read online late, the bloke was not only kicked out,but, the police were involved also). Oh yeah, totally forgot i met another lad who i randomly met at gigs a few years back , James Chamberlain. Nice to catch up mate !
Finally, because they had the crappy disco/club night on afterwards, security were really pushing to clear everyone out. So it was all a bit rushed for anyone who wanted to quickly meet the guys from the band. I was stood with Rachel, waiting for Andy & Jill when an old guy asked Rachel if i was her husband ! So funny πŸ™‚ Upon leaving the venue, i couldn’t believe how many kids were queued up to get in ! Said my goodbyes to my friends & was soon back at my hotel…for yet another sleepless night. Roll on The Borderline gig πŸ˜‰

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Anthrax, rock city, Nottingham, 13-2-17

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Originally i fancied the idea of doing a few dates on the tour. But because i had to wait around to see if i had any hospital appointments etc, i had to hold back. Unfortunately, a couple of shows sold out & it didn’t make sense to do what was available. In the long run, it was probably for the better as i’d got a dry cough a few days before the show & i wouldn’t have hacked it. Damn it bugs me sometimes that “my mind says yes, but my body says no”. Whatever…
Got to Notts mid afternoon & checked into Rooomzz. Then just chilled as doors were not till 7pm tonight. Later i met up with a mate & we went for a quick drink. I’d arranged it so he could get in early with me. About 15mins before doors, we go to check everything is set up correct. The same dickhead security guy was there as the TPR gig …” i’ve arranged for a bar stool & early entry..”. Him ” You need to contact the venue manager about that !” Typical confrontational attitude from him ! Me “I’ve already done that…” He shuts the door. He’s about as much use as a chocolate tea pot ! Undetered, i once again phone management. I get a very courteous reply & he says he’ll come down soon to take us in. Got up on balcony & a bar stool was no problem.
Right now, Anthrax are in a very good position. They’d took their time before a proper Euro tour & released a great new album. Announcing they were going to play all of their classic album “Among The Living” was another factor to the interest this tour is generating. Most of the venues seem to be selling out & they totally deserve it.
The first act was “The Raven Age”. I’ve seen them before & wasn’t really impressed tbh. Whilst there’s no denying their hearts are in it & they try to put on a show, i just don’t see anything different or unique about them & a bunch of similar small bands nowadays. Sorry. I think their strongest song is the last one they played tonight.

Pre-Anthrax a bunch of classic songs are played over the PA. It seemed like everyone was singing the chorus to “Run To The Hills”. The vibe in the room has gone up a lot.
The brief intro “Impaled” has a solemn & mournful sound to it. Almost like a funeral march. But tonight will be anything but that! It’s a celebration of all things Anthrax. Going straight into “A.I.R.” they set their agenda for the evening. It’s heavy as hell & the crowd is into it straight away.
“We are the warm up band for Anthrax by the way. We have no name, but we go by the name of something close to the band…whatever” (Scott is kinda laughing as Joey says this) “Hey, how ya all doing?” *cheers from crowd*. “This one is Medusa!”. An absolute classic to my ears. We’re then brought up to date with “Blood Eagle Wings” from the latest album “For All Kings”. This is such a huge ,huge song ! Probably the most epic song they’ve ever wrote. In the live arena things go to another level. I bloody love this song (no pun intended). There’s the usual crowd interaction as “Be All, End All” starts up. It feels like everyone in the place is singing the guitar/vocal part ” Woah-Woah-Woah” ( & how someone near me sounds so out of tune/time on this i have no clue lol). The main set finishes with “Breathing Lightning”. It’s another typical “Anthrax riff” sounding song.
During the interval, the stage set is changed around somewhat. There are now various raised areas on the stage. It just fits perfectly – a big show in a small(ish) room.
Lights go down again & the classic Blues Brothers intro starts up, going straight into “Among the Living”. Tonight they’re playing the full album, though not in the same sequence as the release. It’s like being transported back in time, yet the songs are still as vibrant today as they were back then.
I look down on the main floor during “Caught in a Mosh” & cannot help wishing i was in amongst it all. Looks like hella fun down there. It’s great to hear these old songs played tonight. During “I Am the Law” i remember seeing them at this very venue & i was on the main floor. It was pretty crazy down there ( As an aside, i also saw them in Leicester & Sheffield back in ’87. The covered “Living After Midnight” at both of those shows & Rock City got “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”)

It’s pretty cool to hear these next few songs ,which i think have not been played much over the years : “A Skeleton in the Closet, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.), A.D.I. / Horror of It All”.
Charlie teases us by playing the drum intro to “Indians” a few times. The audience forms a circle pit & once again it’s like being in 1987 ! Classic stuff.

The show finishes with “Imitation of Life”. But of course, that cannot be all we’re getting ! They finally come back for another encore & truly finish with ” Antisocial” (A cover of the song by French band “Trust”).
What a night ! Just quality abound. THIS was the Anthrax tour we’ve been needing for years. I think they are now at their peak (but would love for them to prove me wrong).
It’s amazing when i think about seeing them open for Metallica around the UK back n ’86 & how their career has ebbed & flowed over the years. Truly an amazing live band.Β 
I quickly say goodbye to my mate & then walk the long distance (lol) to my hotel next door πŸ™‚ For whatever reason i don’t know, but, i had an awful nights sleep. Maybe it was the buzz of the gig or just some rubbish going around my head (there’s been a lot of that recently). Following morning i go down for the “Grab & Go” breakfast quite early & take it back to my room. When i finally decide to check out & take an earlier train than previously planned, i go for seconds at the “Grab & Go” πŸ˜‰

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