Got to Leeds in good time. Found the cheap car park easily. Top tip; it’s Trafalgar street car park. Only £6 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 !” 😉 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 🙂
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. Was also great to see Digby side stage singing along to all their songs. Miles even came onstage to present them with champagne 🙂I 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! It’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.
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 🙂
I’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.
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 !
The end of the main set, they finished with the classic “Heart Of Glass”
Typically, i was the first person at the venue 😉 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 ” i’d imagine most peeps are in the pub” lol. I told her i’d seen the tour already & we’re in for a good show. We had a good laugh whilst waiting for others to arrive. After i’d told her i’m staying in Leeds, she asked if i fancied going for a drink afterwards…of course ! 🙂 The gig was another good one. During the show, skin said something to me & Lorah seemed impressed 🙂 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 😉 A bloody good day/night for sure !