PVRIS, O2 Academy, Birmingham, 23-11-17

ย Got a train from Nottingham to Birmingham & once there i totally remembered the route from station to The Academy & Pentahotel. This one didn’t get off to a good start for me. Why ? Because i’d not received the details about the VIP M&G i’d booked. I’d sent numerous emails etc, but got no replies. So today i’ll be winging it lol
After hanging at the hotel a while, i thought i’d just nip round the corner (literally!) to see what was happening at the venue. There was already quite a queue. Multiple queues in fact lol. I asked if anyone was doing the M&G, so once confirmed, i joined that queue. After a while someone came out & started handing out the M&G lanyards. When he got to me, i told him i’d not recieved the full info etc, but it wasn’t a problem as my name was on his list, i was then duly ticked off. We all went into a side room, where we lined up around the edges of the room. There were so many doing the M&G, the line circled the whole room & then some. After a while the band came in & slowly,but surely, every filed past, got an item signed, had a brief chat & then a photo with the band.
Sometime before this show, i’d asked my niece what she wanted from me as an Xmas present. She said “Something more personal than usual”.Just need to back track a bit here… Last year a bunch of my “Garbage friends” clubbed together to buy me a M&G with Garbage. They did this shortly after i was diagnosed with brain tumors.I was shocked & astounded that they would do this for me. It was a gesture i’ll remember forever. If you’d like to check out that day, it’s in my blog here : http://www.gigaddiction.co.uk/garbage-troxy-london-13-6-16/
Jump forward a few months, a friend in the USA went to see Garbage & took a copy of my M&G photo with them at Troxy. Again a nice gesture.
So, back to the now, Kevin inspired me to take a photo of when myself & Alice saw PVRIS at Norwich last year & get the band to hold it as well. I had to explain it all to the band & as i was doing so, i just broke down. Once again it was the reality of my situation that caused this. So, through teary eyes, i told them as much as i could. After my photo with the band was took & i started walking away, i got a tap on my shoulder. It was Lynn. She gave me a massive hug. Again started to walk away, but the photographer stopped me & said something like “Can you hang around whilst we finish the M&G? The band want to talk more with you & give you some free merchandise”. I was gobsmacked ! I went & sat on a little chair watching everyone file past the band. Eventually, it was finished & Matty (photographer) told me to follow him & the band through a side door. Once there, we had a longer chat. Lyyn asked if i’d tried Rekki to try help my situation etc. I was also asked if there were any other gigs that myself & Alice could make it too. If so, they would help us to do so. I was pretty sure i could maybe fit in Brixton, so i suggested that. Matty took my email etc & said he’d contact me tomorrow. After a few minutes a lass turned up saying “Are you ready to go on your shopping trip?”. She took me to the merch booth & said “You can have anything you want!” I’m not one to be “greedy”, so i was a bit timid about what i should take. But Leealia (SP?) kept saying “What about that also?”. In the end , there was so much that it took a box to carry it all !
We next went up to the balcony to find a good viewing point. As luck would have it, especially as so many had already took the seats, there were 3 empty seats on front row! So i went there. When we were walking past security, they asked “What’s in the box?!!”. Leealia was having nothing of it. “It’s band merchandise for this guy! Have a look!”. I was still a bit paranoid that security might try shutting me down for taking photos/video clips, so i asked Leealia to explain to them that i had permission to do so.
The first band of the night, i didn’t think much of them. The second on, “Coin”, were pretty cool. I enjoyed their set. Sometime later, Leealia came back as she’d found a big bag to put the merch into. Would be a lot easier to carry than the box (Don’t forget i gotta take this home on the train). Not only that, she also said she’d spoke with security so they shouldn’t hassle me. But as a back up, she also handedย  me a AAA laminate ! Wow ! ๐Ÿ™‚
Soon enough, PVRIS took to the stage. They opened with “Heaven”. This is also the opening track on their latest album “All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell”.
Even though this is a “new” song, it feels like i’ve known it for years. It’s certainly got all the key elements of a PVRIS song. There’s a single white light pointing at Lynn as she sits at her keyboard & starts singing away. (During the M&G we’d been told that Lynn had some kind of cold/flu, so she wouldn’t be talking much. It was immediately obvious that she wasn’t quite her usual powerful self. It still sounded good though…& i doubt many in the crowd would have even noticed she was struggling a bit) Still, a great song to start the evening with. Next we have a trip back to a song from their debut album “White Noise”. It’s the classic “St Patrick”. I absolutely love this song. When the crowd recognized the song from the keyboard into , they screamed & were totally up for this one.

Next up, another from the debut album, it’s “Smoke”. As with all their songs, it’s very “real” emotional lyrics

We next get another new song from AWKOHAWNOH, which is called “Half”. It starts with a haunting vocal, but soon kicks in to be another “new classic” song. It’s also pretty cool seeing Lynn take to the drums.
It’s great seeing/ hearing the audience chanting the “Woah o oh os” during “You & I “. (Just a shame my camera can’t quite cope with the darkness)

As i’m writing this, i’ve realised that there are not many bands where i can say that i love ALL the songs on ALL their albums. PVRIS is one where i do love everything.
They have such a uniqueness about them. So much passion in both the lyrics & the music & it really connects with just about everybody.
The evening seems to just fly by. They finish the main set with “My House”

Obviously, they’re gonna come back for an encore. We’re treated to another new song to finish the night with ; “No Mercy”.
What a great day/night it’s all been. Never expected that all that would happen. Many thanks to the band/crew etc for EVERYTHING !
Went back to my hotel pretty soon as was knackered. Can’t help thinking what Alices reaction will be when i tell her all about it ๐Ÿ˜‰


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H.E.A.T. + Degreed + Black Diamonds , O2 Academy, Islington, London, 21-11-17


After a great gig/experience in Nottingham, i was really looking forward to this one. Originally, Eva was going to join me, but due to her work place being short staffed, she had to cancel (more than one gig). As i’d booked an earlier train than usual, i had to spend more time in London as there wouldn’t be anyone home at “Hotel Rob” till later in the afternoon. So i went to the usual places like FOPP etc to kill time. Eventually it was time to travel to Stratford to drop of my bag. Had a quick chat with Kristina & then i was off to Islington.
As is the norm nowadays, i’d pre-arranged getting a seat & hoped i’d be up in the balcony. Once i got to the Academy, everything went down hill ๐Ÿ™
“Why?” You ask. All down to one jumped up, power hungry, “I’m so important” security guy ! (From now on he will be called “Mr Dickhead”)
As per usual, i explained to him how i’d phoned to arranged seat early entry etc. Firstly, he told me to go join the queue. After a while, i got tired & sat down on the floor. Mr Dickhead was walking back n forth along the queue & when he got to me, he had a slight change of attitude ; ” Are you ok?”. My reply was “Well given the circumstances, i suppose it’s as good as it can be”. He then said something really weird “….you’re looking at me like i’m something strange ..” (or words to that effect). I think maybe his few brain cells got confused & he thoughtย iย was drunk or on drugs & he was hoping to get some brownie points! At this point, there were many things i would have liked to have said to him. But i didn’t because he was so up himself that i know if i “upset” him, he probably wouldn’t have let me in the venue. Then he came out with something else which i thought was very demeaning towards me…(& everyone nearby heard him say it) “….you realise this is a standing CONCERT you’re going to…”. Once again, there’s so much i could have said, but again i kept my mouth shut. ( Now I’m sure some of you, like myself, will be thinking “As id arranged a seat for the gig, surely this caring (not!) Mr Dickhead would be able to put 2 & 2 together & realise i might ALREADY need a seat outside in this queue “. But no he didn’t.)
Eventually the doors opened & someone walked me through to the disabled area. Looking towards the stage, it was on the right side.It was a very oblique angle of viewing. All it needed was for some tall guy standing at the barrier & there would be not hardly any viewing of the stage. I asked if i could go upstairs, but i couldn’t as they’d not opened it. Shame on you London for not selling enough tickets to open the balcony. Nottingham had already kicked your ass before a band even got on stage ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So i had to make do with this rubbish position…. oh yeah, it had the added bonus of people walking by a lot to get backstage & also a (different) security guy in the area.
Anyone who checks out this webpage of mine will know i like to take a few photos & video clips of the show. Tonight it was a bit of a dilemma. Crappy angle to the stage & security stood new by. During “Degreed”, i took a couple of pics to see if there was any reaction from the security near me.
It wasn’t until about half way through H.E.A.T.s set, that i attempted any filming. I had to catch Eriks crowd surf to the bar ๐Ÿ™‚

What little i did film, was barely worth it as i had no vantage point to shoot from…& i’m also a short arse ๐Ÿ™‚
Can’t really say i enjoyed the night, for obvious reasons. It got to the point of wanting it to just finish !
After this shitty experience i very much doubt i’ll go to this venue again unless i’m sure the balcony is open. When i pay money to see a gig, i expect to be able to SEE the gig !! P.S. Would be an added bonus if Mr Dickhead wasn’t there also ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.P.S. Even without all the fiasco, Nottingham had already kicked Londons asses 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

009472016.3.26 Wonder Stuff Leeds

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!*

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.

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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Blondie, Carnabys, @ O2 academy, Sheffield , 29-6-14


I quite like this venue. It’s a nice size & can get a real good view of everything from the balcony. Tonight we got a reasonable balance of the oldies but goldies plus a few newer songs.ย ย 

The end of the main set, they finished with the classic “Heart Of Glass”

One of the biggest surprises was they played ” Hollywood Babylon” (A cover by The Misfits). The show finished with eternal favourites “In The Sun” & “Dreaming”

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