When i ordered my ticket for the show, i requested access to the disabled area downstairs. The complimentary ticket would be for Rob. Anyway, i got an email saying there were more requests for wheechair spaces downstairs & would i change to balcony seating to accomodate those peoople.Of course, I agreed, no problem.
Had a smooth journey down to London. Headed straight to Hotel Rob. When i arrived, he was just preparing some pasta. As i’d not had anything to eat, i took him up on the offer of pasta & mushrooms 🙂
I’d previously asked Rob if he’d got a “Radioactive” sampler CD that i recently found. Included on it was a track listed as Shirley Manson, which was actually Angelfish. There was also a track by “Duke” (no relation to Garbage lol) & most bizarrely a track by Traci Lords ! Don’t think her music career was as suck-sess-ful as her previous one 😉 As Rob collects all stuff related to Garbage, i gave him the CD.
Tonight, for a change, Kristina was also joining us for the gig. We got to venue a matter of minutes before doors would open (tubes seemed slow today).Went to box office to get comp ticket & change my downstairs for balcony ticket….then the chap said we could go downstairs! As Kristina had bought a balcony ticket, we opted for balcony.
Strangest thing i’ve seen happened next : they let the O2 priority people in first. Usually it’s the disabled peeps who go in first. It didn’t matter though as we were quickly in & got seats on front row of balcony.I like the balcony at the Forum.
I’d not heard anything by the support acts.First up were “Sons Of Texas”. Never heard of them before, but they put on a good show.The crowd seemed to like them. Wish i’d filmed a clip actually.
Next up was “LTNT”. They were pretty awful ! Also, blokes wearing nightdresses is NOT a new thing. it was done back in the ’80s. I think it would have been better if they were the fist act & Sons Of Texas had the middle slot. Whatever…
After struggling to get through LTNT, it seemed ages before Seether came on stage !
Seether opened with “Stoke the Fire”, which is the first song,from their latest album “Poison The Parish”. I’ve not got the latest album, so anything they play off that tonight, will all be new to me. The next song was a real oldie, dating back to 2004. It was “Gasoline” which was on the “Disclaimer 2” album. I quickly noticed that the lighting was pretty poor tonight. Once again, the band were back lit & there were no follow spots. Seems this is happening more & more nowadays 🙁
As with the last time i saw Seether, there’s very little audience interaction between Saun Morgan & the crowd. I suppose he prefers to put his head down & get on with things. But that’s not to say the audience weren’t getting into it, they most certainly were. There were many times i looked downat the audience & they were moshing away & also some great sing a longs.
Tonights show was a pretty balanced affair of old & new songs. From the album “Isolate & Medicate” we got “Words as Weapons”, “My Disaster” & “Nobody Praying for Me”
Stand out moments for me were mostly the older classics. Namely, “Country Song”, “Broken”, “Fake It” & “Remedy”
All in all, it was a decent night out. You know what you’re gonna get with Seether, It’s always a good time with great songs. It’s real. Love it.
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 !
Got down London early afternoon. Visited the usual places which obviously included The Montague Pyke 😉 The weather was pretty rubbish with intermittent rain.
Around 5.30 i met Rob & we went for a drink in The College Arms (which is close to where he’s working at the mo). Had a catch up & then he was on his way home. As Rob didn’t want the comp ticket for the gig, i let Neil have it. Got to The Forum about 30mins before doors, sorted out the tix quickly. We had the option of going downstairs of upstairs disabled area. Chose upstairs as better view up there ( maybe not the best choice tonight ? 😉 ). Managed front row centre, so perfect position.
Got chatting with a bloke from Northampton. Couldn’t believe he’d never visited the Forum before (or “Town & Country Club” as it used to be called). We exchanged stories about how hard it can be getting to gigs if you cannot drive. He was a decent geezer.
The opening act tonight were called “Stone Broken”. Don’t think i’d seen them before. Seem to be a youngish band &I liked that the vocalist did SING. There’s so many young generic acts around now that do the shouty vocals & i find that boring. They were entertaing enough,but, obviously i was here for Cheap Trick.
The last time i went to a Cheap Trick headline show was back in 2010. But that same day, Skunk Anansie were doing a production rehearsal at LH2 studios. Obviously, Skunk took priority ! By the time Skunk had finished, i thought it would still be cool to catch what i could of Cheap Trick at Shepherds Bush Empire. As expected, the place was rammed & i couldn’t see a thing ! So finally getting this chance to see a headline show in 2017 was a nice prospect.
Tonight was my first time trying out my new camera. I really should have looked at the instructions better as i wasn’t well enough prepared. Some buttons on the Panasonic are in different places to my previous Sony camera & like a total idiot, i kept swithing the thing off when i wanted to make video clips! So what i managed often had a few seconds missing at the start !
Whilst it was nice to finally see a Cheap Trick headline show, i was a little disapointed with the setlist. For myself, there were too many of the mordern songs & not enough of the older classics. Also thought they didn’t need to play so many covers ! But that being said, it was a decent night as the show clocked in around the 2 hour mark.
The highlights for me were towards the end, when the classics were played 😉 ( Oh yeah, going back to the chap i was talking with earlier, he even left early as wasn’t so impressed with the new stuff!)
Afterwards, i said my goodbyes to my mate & went out into the rain. I was bloody knackered after this long day. By chance, at the tube staion, i bumped into my old mate Dave Ling. We had a quick natter & i updated him about my general health (or lack of it lol). By the time i got back to Stratford i was totally shattered. Think i managed about a couple hours sleep & then work up with a massive headache which lasted for over an hour. Tbh i was unsure if it was a result of being knackered/dehydrated of if it was to do with the brain tumors. It actually scarred me. Didn’t get chance to say goodbye to Rob as he was out to work early (i heard the door closing). Once Kristina was up, we had a chat about the gig etc & i said i was unsure if i’m fit enough for the next proposed gig. Left Hotel Rob around 10am for my train home. Oh what fun was ahead of me !
Back tracking a bit, i’d booked my return train some time back. Then i recieved an appointment from Oncologist on same day i was returning. So i had to get another ticket so could be back in time to keep appointment. Guess what? She only cancelled the appointment, so i wasted money on the earlier, more expensive rail ticket!
So, back to the (no) fun & games… My train was due to leave KingsX at 12.08. All seemed fine, got on it set to go & they cancelled the train. The next one was at 12.35, so got on that one. Sat on new train ready to go, i checked the train app on phone to see what time my connection would be in Grantham. Would you believe, it showed this one i’m now on was showing cancelled ! Sure enough, a few minutes later the announcement was made train is cancelled ! Eventally got on the 13.08 train & was on our way. Only 7mins in Grantham to change trains. Managed it ok but then there was another announcement saying theres a problem with the line about 3 miles from Boston ! Honestly, what more could go wrong with this trip from hell ?!? As luck would have it, they got the track mostly sorted so we could carry on slowly. Think it arrived about 5-10mins later than should have been.
When i finally got home i was so damn knackered with what i had to contend with this trip i seriously thought about ditching ALL the gigs i’ve got booked up already !
Due to structural problems at SBE, this is another gig that was moved to The O2 Forum. There was a bunch of people waiting quite early & it turned out they were doing the M & G with Lissie. I asked security where the O2 Priority queue was & it was where i’d already stood. Interestingly, unlike other O2 venues, at this one both the “normal” queue & O2 queue go in at the same time. Kinda defeats the point of priority. No wonder the cool security chap said they’d had a few complaints about that. Whilst i do see the argument that if someone has queued for hours in the normal queue & then someone turns up for priority queue, they could get in quicker & it’s not exactly fair, i’m the kinda guy who likes to have his cake & eat it! 😉 So, for time being, if you wanna be sure of front row, get there early & see how many people are in the queues & join the one with the least…
Turns out that tonights opening act “The Travelling Band” are also going to be playing with Lissie, so they have their work cut out. Must confess, they didn’t really do anything for me 🙁 Though it’s obvious they’re great musicians, especially when Lissie says they’ve learnt about 20 of her songs in under a week! Actually, i thought they also looked like they were enjoying things more when playing for Lissie. Tonights set was pretty varied & obviously there was a bunch of songs off the latest album ” My Wild West “. The opening salvo of ” Hero, Sleepwalking, Shameless, They All Want you” totally pulled me in. I just knew this would be a special gig.
I found Lissies interaction with the crowd to be both funny & sincere. ” Some people don’t like my hairy armpits” (or words to that effect lol). She’s a bit of a hippy i guess. Told us stories of buying a lot of land as she wants to turn it over & help the environment. She seems such a warm & genuine person.
It was a great night & certainly won’t be the last time i see Lissie. Afterwards, i briefly met my friends Julia & Nadine. Quite funny we’d not seen each other for ages & yet within the space of a couple of weeks we’d reconnected twice (Skunk Anansie night was great fun). When i got back to Cockfosters my car was iced over quite hard. Still, didn’t take long to clear it. Got home around 02.15 am.
The O2 Academy priority can be useful,but, they need to make everyone aware of it, or rather in this case which door its at! I’ve used it here a few times & we always queued at the side & then the queue gets split at the front. So you can imagine my annoyance after queuing for hours to find out they’d change the door they’re using now which is usually for guest passes etc. But luck was on my side as we still managed front row 😉 Already the best thing about tonight is i’ll get to meet some of my friends from the old Skunk Board days. In the queue i met Audrey, Faizal, & Alex.
Tonight we also get the support act ” Bones”. I really enjoyed their set & had to video a song :
Skunks set was the same as in Manchester. Everything seemed to flow a LOT better tonight. The crowd was pretty damn loud.
After the gig we went to a local bar & got nice group photo
Following that we went to somewhere else with the Dutch guys drinking late. Tonight was the first time i’ve known Rob to be “lost” in London. Google Maps is your friend though 😉
Originally i was meant to be seeing “Motor Sister” in London this weekend (would have been the 4th or so gig as was gonna follow the tour) but the tour got cancelled. As luck would have it, a friend was having a birthday party on the Saturday so i decided to go down a day early as could see We Are The Ocean + Three Days Grace. As wasn’t gonna get to London till around 7.30pm, i knew i wouldn’t get a great place in the venue. Once there, i got a txt from Kristina saying they were in the pub next door. As the queue was going quick, i thought i’d go in the gig. Then i got a txt off Rob ” Come to the pub. We are upstairs”. Ah fuck it, a quick pint first i reckon 😉 Back in the ’80s, the “Bull & Gate” looked really run down etc, but now the place is looking great!
When we got into the Forum, WATO were already a few songs into their set. As always, they were delivering a solid show.
Having never seen 3DG before (lol, not that i’ll “see” much tonight) this was gonna be interesting for me. I enjoyed their set. Sometimes it came over as “a typical American act”…a little soulless & formalized…but it was a quality show.
However, we had more entertainment OFF the stage ! Near us at the bar, there was a couple who were arguing most of the night Was quite hilarious ! After the gig we had an unplanned drinking session back at Robs. Tried loads of different beers & ended the night sinking a bottle of Mojito. Finally, at 5am, we called it a night 😉