GARBAGE , Estrons ,Rock city, Nottingham 11-9-18

I’d been looking forward to this gig for ages. Was hard to believe i’d not seen a gig since June ! I knew i’d be meeting a lot of friends at this show, so that made me even more interested.In the end, i decided to do the “Push It” M&G package ! It cost around $300 ! Reason i did it was that this could be my last chance to do this sort of thing. I took a train whichΒ coincidedΒ with when Rob & Greg would be changing trains at Grantham. As usual, it was just 2 carriages & quite busy. But managed to get a table seat for when Rob & Greg joined. Once aboard, Rob got some cans out “Do you want one?” Me : “Are you taking the piss !?” (Just a slight slip up, but still joked about it). We’d planned that once in Nottingham we’d got get some food, then go check in hotel. I also needed to visit Jessops to try pick up some photos. Luckily they had arrived. I think after that, took em to the hotel then briefly went to meet everyone around the corner at “Alberts” (This used to be “Spanky Van Dykes”). As i was feeling tired, decide to go back to the hotel before going to RC for the M&G (I might have got the order of things wrong lol) As i was doing the M&G thing at 4pm, Rob & Greg went to the pub (Nothing new there lol)
Before going in, i saw a few people i know,namely Paul A, Renee A, Leisha T, Jonathon C,Nigel M etc. Everything went very smoothly with regards to getting in & having my seat in my favourite spot. Emily, who was the concierge organising the M&G was a very nice & bubbly person. You could see she loved her job & interacting with the people doing the M&G. We were took through to watch the band soundcheck. After that, we went into the side room called “Black Cherry Lounge” (Which was once called “The Rig” where they had a few gigs in there. Terrible place for a gig!). The band then came out to chat doing a mini Q&A & they also seemed very interested where everyone had travelled from. When they announced the remaster of Version 2.0, i was really hoping they’d do a 5:1 surround mix (As i thought their style & way of recording would work perfectly), but unfortunately they didn’t do it πŸ™ So i had to ask the question πŸ™‚ Butch seemed interested in the concept of doing it maybe in the future, but Shirley also said something like “How many people do you think have the equipment to play that stuff” That was a reasonable reply i guess.
After the chats, we all lined up to get a photo with the band. I came prepared as i brought a previous photo from the Troxy show & also one that a friend in the States had done πŸ˜‰Β Β This is the actual photo from the Notts M&G :Β 

We then went into the foyer & had a look at the merchandise. At the time, they were still setting up the stall, so Emily said “If you want to come back a bit later, buy your merch, then take it to your hotel, you can still come back & get in earlier than the everyone else”. Excellent.
I’ve got to say, the prices of the merch were really quite extortionate ! I mean, a pair of socks for Β£15, a very small rucksack for Β£50 (apparently it was Β£60 at previous shows), a track-suite style jacket Β£90. You get the idea. In the end, i succumbed to purchasing a few items…might even get something else at Brixton. Rob, being the biggest Garbage memorabilia collector, bought everything ! Emily seemed quite shocked πŸ˜‰ Rob got chatting with her about his website http://www.garbagediscobox.com/ . After taking merch back to hotel, i went straight back to RC. I managed to get in even earlier than expected as the security guy asked me if i wanted to go in then. Was quite funny when i saw all the other M&G peeps walking in later & Emily saw me sat down “Oh Simon i’d been wondering where you were “! She went to the barrier to chat with people. Then i had the bright idea : ” I wonder if as Rob has bought so much merch, she’d let him in early as well?” So i asked & surely enough, she went & got him. They both had a good rapport. Rob even managed to blag a Tote bag from her πŸ˜‰
The room started to fill up & soon enough Jim came to join us. Poor old Greg, in his hurry to get to the front, slipped on the steps & almost face planted himself on the floor ! (At least no one saw it…oops πŸ˜‰ )

First band of the night i’d never even heard of them (actually that’s wrong, as Nigel told me a bit about them earlier outside the venue). Personally, i found the Estrons very “samey”. I seem to find nowadays that it’s very rare that a new band impresses me. Sorry, but not sorry.

So, to the main event of the evening : GARBAGE !

They kicked off with “Afterglow”. A very sombre start.

Next up it was “Deadwood”. When they play “Temptation Waits”, i couldn’t help wishing that i was down in the thick of it jumping around etc. I really miss doing that. Actually, i was surprised at the lack of people in the audience NOT bopping around during the song. Next up it’s the groovy “Wicked Ways”. During this one, they meld in a part of “Personal Jesus”. It works perfectly.
Before “Special”, Shirley explains how rock City is a special place for them. They have footage of the first time they played here. She goes so far as to dedicate the song to Rock City & all the staff & of course all the fans that have travelled on the journey with them.

When playing “13x Forever”, they meld in a short lyric from The Kinks song “Tired Of Waiting”. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but sometime during the gig, there was a mistake & both myself & Rob instantaneously picked up on it (We looked at each other with a face of “What The fuck?”)
Before “Get Busy With The Fizzy” Shirley mentions that she’d forgot how hot Rock City can get. Also talks about having an argument with her dad earlier in the day. She’s also cracking up laughing. Is this the start of the downfall ?

 

Hmm, maybe it was during “Hammering In My Head” that me & Rob had the “WTF?” glance together at same time ? If it wasn’t then, then certainly around the time of “Medication”.
Shirley has a massive rant about some kind of recent review. She starts off by explaining that when they covered “Thirteen” (Big Star) how proud she was that Alex Chiltern (main song writer) had said it’s his favourite cover version by any band ever. She then tells the band about how just before the show, she’d read a review online which some young lady had wrote about Thirteen & she was apparently disgusted about said cover version. (As she’s saying that, Rob shouts out “Shes a cunt !” haha) She then tells us that after being in the business for many years, it still bugs her when she reads a review like like. But she continues saying “Well fuck you mother fucker…cos the man who wrote it loved it ” (with a massive smile on her face). Towards the end of “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine”, Shirley goes over to Duke, who at the time was playing keyboards. She joins in with him. To start of, i don’t think that Duke was very impressed by that move. I could also see Billy Bush looking on with a “WTF?” kind of expression. But once Duke had accepted that Shirley was tinkering with the keyboards, Billy had a massive smile on his face πŸ™‚
Towards the end of “Sleep Together”, Shirley ends up writhing around on the stage floor πŸ™‚ Next up it’s a rather feisty version of “Dumb”. It’s funny when Shirley goes over to Steve O πŸ™‚

During “Soldier Through This”, Shirley seems to get very emotional. (I can’t help thinking of the lyric “I feel Intoxicated”, as i’m sure she is lol) After that, it’s one of my favourate songs “Lick The Pavement”. It’s an absolute rocker of a song !

Next we get “Push It”. Shirley is all smiles & the audience is helping out by singing some of the lyrics. I also think that around this time, the booze is really kicking in as they have to restart “When I grow up”

Second try…

The version of “The Trick Is To keep Breathing” i can only describe as embarassing.

When Shirley is introducing the band & comes to Eric Avery, she says ” He’s one of my best friends…i’m in love with him… the fact that we get to play with this formidable talent is insane..” But then she says ” Anyone who’s a Janes Addiction fan, go fuck yourself” (Flicking the bird).
Well fuck YOU Shirley ! I bloody LOVE Janes Addiction, almost as much as i do Garbage. But i’ll let you off this time as you were obviously “under the influence” & you also confess that you are drunk πŸ˜‰

Tonight’s extravaganza finishes with a cover of David Bowies “Starman”. It was so good, they had to do it twice πŸ˜‰Β 
Afterwards, whilst chatting with Lou & Anne, i made an unintentional pun by saying the show was “Absolute Garbage”. I think everyone then went to the Rescue Rooms to carry on drinking & chatting about the gig. Myself, i was bloody knackered, so went straight back to the hotel.
The following morning, i noticed that one of the pair of socks had a hole in them ! So i asked Rob to exchange them when he goes to Newcastle.

Whilst at the time i was pretty annoyed about the performance, in hindsight now, i realise that EVERYONE has a bad day in their life. It also reminded me of when Mark from Skunk Anansie asked me why do i see multiple gigs on the same tour. My reply being that no two gigs are the same. Sometimes the band played perfect & others there could be technical difficulties or the band don’t quite gel. Also, for myself, different audiences can play a part in how i enjoy the shows or not. So i guess tonight was one of those nights where Shirley had an off night. Maybe some people might think i analyse it too much. But if you REALLY know me, then you’ll know i LOVE music, especially LIVE music. We may have different opinions on things, but i always speak what i think. Also, with this show, you could look at it multiple ways : some might find it funny, some might be disappointed, some might not even notice the problems ! Everyone has their own opinion.
I was pleased to hear they played a great show in Newcastle the next day & am really looking forward to seeing both nights at Brixton.

EDIT : The following day Shirley apologised for her performance. Apparently, after the argument with her dad, the combination of painkillers & whiskey put her over the edge. I also found out from a friend that a few people waited for the band to come out in the hope of getting stuff autographed or to have photos with them. Apparently, all the band, except for Duke went straight to the bus.

 

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THE STRANGLERS ,+ Therapy?, Rock city, Nottingham, 12-3-18

After Alice had left, i had a look in FOPP, then checked out where Brewdog was (was thinking of going there later). Almost went to see a film, but the price put me off πŸ˜‰ So i spent most of the time in my hotel. Decided i needed some grub to see me through the night,so once again, i visited The Gooseberry Bush. Had a lovely Grilled Chicken Tennessee burger, washed down with Devils Backbone (I’m a creature of habit).By the time i finished that, the rain had just about stopped.Think i had about 40mins in hotel before i needed to go to Rock City. Once there, the queue had grown. As i went to the doors, some one else who had disabilities was just being let in. I told the security chap i needed a seat etc & he kind of questioned me. I saw Kev was there,so asked if i could have the same seat as last night πŸ™‚ His reply was “If i can find it,it’s yours.They keep moving it around the place!”. Couple of minutes later, the seat was brought up to the balcony for me. Must have been in a good 10mins+ before main doors opened.
It’s always interesting seeing people coming into the venue. Some head for the front row on the barrier & others head straight to the bar !
Whilst waiting for Therapy? to take to the stage, a chap to the right of me said ” Well done on getting the seat! Think i could also do with one!” (or words to that effect). When i told him that i NEED to have the seat & briefly told him why, he was initially dumbfounded. We carried on chatting, talking about the gigs we’d been to etc. It was surprising that we’d both sometimes been at the same gig (but obviously then we didn’t know each other) not only that, he doesn’t live too far away from Bostonia! (I think it was Heckington?). I told him about my blog which listed every gig I’ve seen since 1980 & he seemed quite impressed with what i’d done; “That’s amazing!”. Later he said something like ” You’re an inspiration how you cope with things & are still getting to the gigs”.I also said to him something like “It’s not until you see the situation from the other side, that you can really understand how it totally affects your life. Having a sense of positivity really helps”.Then he really shocked me ; ” I’ve been thinking….(He’s a headmaster at a school) Would you come to the school & give a talk about how your life has changed & how you cope with these health issues ?….I’m not putting you on the spot.”
Whilst i can see where he’s coming from, I’ve never been the sort of person that would, or rather COULD, do that type of thing. I said i’d think about it πŸ˜‰ Enough of that, lets get to the reason why we’re all here tonight : A great line up including Therapy? & The Stranglers πŸ™‚

I’ve seen Therapy? a few times over the years. We even saw them in Amsterdam back in 2006 ! (Bet you remember that one Chris H? Something to do with beers πŸ˜‰ ). The thing with Therapy? is you’re always sure that it will be a great gig. When i saw they were opening for the Strangers, i just had to go.
Tonight they kick off with “Die Laughing”. Andy dedicates it to Ken Dodd who recently passed away πŸ™‚ Next, from the album “Infernal Love”, they play “Stories”. A couple of songs in & there’s already a small group in the crowd bopping away.(Actually, i was surprised that more of the crowd didn’t get into Therapy? tonight) I’ve always loved their version of “Isolation”. I really think they made it there own. “Turn” is as great as always. Really wish i’d filmed a couple more songs tonight, but i was enjoying it too much to do that.
They play most of the “hits” from yesteryear; “Turn” , “Teethgrinder” , “Nowhere” , “Knives” all sound as fresh as the day they were released on albums. They finish their set with “Screamager” & “Potato Junkie”. Btw,Just who was “James Joyce” ? πŸ™‚

This Stranglers tour is being called “The Definitive Tour”. After having a quick gander online to see what they’ve been playing, that title pretty much sums it up! I just know it’s gonna be a great night.
Tonight’s show starts with an intro which goes into “Curfew”. What a great way to kick things off.(Pretty sure i can hear the chap next to me singing along πŸ˜‰ )

Next up it’s another classic Stranglers song “(Get a) Grip (On Yourself)”. That’s followed by “15 Steps” & “Bear Cage”. If my memory serves me correctly, the track “Bear Cage” wasn’t on any album & was just a single release. However, it was included on the reissue of “The Raven” CD. Talking of “The Raven”, I remember buying that on vinyl way back in 1979 (?) & it had a special cover. There was a seemingly 3D image of The Raven on the front. Pretty sure I’ve still got that LP somewhere. Hmm, i wonder how limited that release was? Might be worth a bit nowadays πŸ˜‰
Next, from the same album, it’s “Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)”. Some great shouts/interaction from the crowd. Bloody fantastic !

When they play “Peaches” it takes me back to when i was a prepubescent kid. What a great music scene it was back in those days. Growing up with bands like The Stranglers, Sex Pistols, Siouxie & The Banshees, Blondie, Buzzcocks, B52s, The Jam, The Members, etc etc.
One of the most unexpected songs to hear tonight was “Don’t Bring Harry”. Again, i remember when i got “The Raven” album, i really didn’t like that song !
Maybe it was because,at the time, i didn’t know what it was about ? (Heroin). Either way, i just didn’t get it.Β 
They then play 3 of my fave songs, namely “Golden Brown”(Their biggest hit single i think), “Always the Sun” & “Walk On By” (OK, it is a cover of a Dionne Warwick song, but i think they made it their own πŸ˜‰ )
I love the angst(lyrics) & power(music) of “Something Better Change”. Again, it’s right up there with the Stranglers classic songs. After S.B.C. they played “Duchess”

Tonights show comprised of around 22 songs & lasted just shy of 2 hours in length. Talk about value for money πŸ™‚
They finished with “No More Heroes”

After the show finished, i hung around on the balcony & noticed that Michael McKeegan (Therapy? Bassist) was looking down at the crowd leaving. I just felt i needed to go have a brief chat with him. Basically, i just said that i’d seen Therapy? quite a few times over the years & ive not seen a bad show by them. Also mentioned how he always seems to have a smile on his face when he’s playing, so to me, he must be enjoying playing. After that quick chat, i said goodbye to the couple of lads i’d met earlier, then headed back to my hotel.
Damn, this has been such a great couple of days/gigs in Nottingham ! Feeling thoroughly contented with everything πŸ™‚

 

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TONIGHT ALIVE, Rock city, Nottingham , 11-3-18

Β 

It’s quite funny how this one happened. I booked a ticket for the gig & when i saw on Pledge there was a M&G package, as it didn’t cost much extra, thought i’d do that as well. I knew Alice (My niece) liked T.A. so asked her if she was going to the gig. Not only was she going, but had also paid the extra for the M&G. Asked her if she was driving there or staying over. I’d already booked my hotel (Roomzz for 2 nights,as next night was seeing The Stranglers) & suggested to her if she decides to stay over in Nottingham, Premier Inn had an offer on where a room only cost around Β£30. So she booked that quickly πŸ™‚
We took quite a later train than usual. The earlier one would have had a 2 hour change over in Grantham ! When we got to Nottingham, we had around 30mins to walk to our hotels, get checked in , then go to rock city for 5pm (M&G time). There were quite a few in the M&G queue….some people who weren’t doing the M&G also joined the queue, but were soon set straight πŸ˜‰ When the guy came out checking names, Alice had still not got to the venue, so i told him she’ll be here soon. As i was waiting, a bizarre coincidence happened ; someone behind me asked “Were you at the Marmozets show in Cambridge?”. I turned around & recognised the 2 girls i’d met in Cambridge ! We had a quick chat about the Marmozets gig & of course i moaned about the rubbish “seats” they had for disabled people πŸ˜‰ Then Alice arrived…just as the dude was handing out the posters & beanie hats πŸ™‚ Once inside the venue, we were took through a side door into the room that used to be called “The Rig”. I think they only use that room for the disco stuff nowadays. That’s a good thing as when it was a gig room, it was absolutely rubbish ! (The one & only gig i went to there was back in ’98. The band ” A ” were opening for “Symposium”. As i couldn’t SEE the band, i sat on the bar! Of course, security rightly told me i couldn’t do that πŸ˜‰ So i said to them “show me a place where i can actually see the band, or i want my money back”! Ended up getting my money back & driving home ! Doubt that would happen nowadays lol)
So, back to the M&G….we all queued up then one by one we met the band, had a photo took, then hung around waiting for the M&G to finish. The band then went on the improvised stage & there was a short Q&A session followed by them playing an acoustic version of “Temple”.Β Β Β We then made our way to the main room. Along the way, i saw “Kev” (security) & reminded him he was gonna sort out a seat for me. We went to the balcony, only to be told it wasn’t open tonight. Ok, plan B it is then : Under the stairs ! Couldn’t believe it when Kev brought me one of the old high back seats! He was wise enough to save one πŸ˜‰ Thanks Kev !
Alice seemed unsure if she wanted to stay in that position or to go down on main floor (I knew already what she’d do πŸ˜‰ ) We watched the support acts from there. The first was called “The Gospel Youth”. Didn’t do a thing for me. Next it was “Roam”. I quite liked their set. Kinda wished i’d filmed a song.
Shortly before Tonight Alive were about to take the stage, Alice decided to go on the main floor to have a bop around. Wise choice πŸ™‚ I woulda if i coulda…After a short intro,the guys walk on stage to huge cheers & when Jenna appears, the crowd get louder. They start the show with ” Book Of Love “. After that it’s ” Lonely Girl ” from the album “The Other Side”. This is a very upbeat sounding song, even if they lyrics don’t really relate to being “up”,so to speak. Next, another one from “The Other Side”. It’s great seeing everyone having a great time during “The Ocean”.Β “Crack In My Heart” sounded great.

During “World Away ” there was a great sing a long from the crowd. I managed to capture the tail end of the song & then the acoustic version of “Say Please”

During the course of the evening, they played around 16 songs.There was always a positive vibe in the room πŸ™‚Β Β 

The show finishes with the song that they earlier played acoustically at the M&G, namely “Temple”. A nice one to finish the night off.

When we leave the venue it’s raining a bit. Alice wanted to try meet the band again, so we hung around for a while. She managed to meet a couple of the guys & have a brief chat.Β Β Obviously, it was Jenna that she really wanted to meet again, so we waited a bit longer. In the end, as it was raining & cold, we thought Jenna might not come out. So kinda gave up. I walked Alice to her hotel & said to her ” You know, it would be just your luck that Jenna might come out after we’ve left!”. When i left her at her hotel, i said i’d text her if Jenna was around. When i got back, you guessed it, Jenna was there! There were only about 3 people there with her. So sent a text to Alice telling her. Literally seconds after i’d sent the txt, Jenna walked back to the venue/bus. So i told Alice to not bother coming back πŸ˜‰
The following day, Alice was going back home. We arranged to meet & have some breakfast in Wethers. Wasn’t as busy as i expected it would be. After that, we walked back to our hotels & i said i’d meet her at the junction near the royal concert hall, so could walk her most of the way to the station. I was waiting a while so txt her as it wasn’t long till her train was due to leave. She’d walked further down, near to Subway (there’s no crossroads there πŸ˜‰ ) So i told her “i’m on the way” haha. Said goodbye at Broadmarsh as i wanted a quick look in FOPP. I then headed back into the city & decided to have a look where Brewdog was. Typical, that they didn’t open till 12.00 & i was there about 11.30 ! As it was pissing it down i thought i’d see what films were on (As would kill a bit of time & i’d be out of the rain). When i saw the prices, i decided against that ! Spent most of the day in my hotel!

 

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The DAMNED, Slim Jim Phantom, rock city, Nottingham, 4-2-18

My mate from down London came up for this show. For a change (as they had an offer on!) i stayed at the Premier Inn. I thought i did well booking that for Β£31, but Neil out trumped me as his hotel was Β£27 ! (And by all accounts, it’s a decent hotel). So once we were both in Nottingham, we met up at the Goosberry Bush pub. Was good seeing each other & we had a good catch up.We got to Rock City about 20mins before doors.The usual thing, make security aware we’re here so they can sort out a seat for me & get in before the mad rush. But tonight something strange happened. Whilst chatting away, a woman came over & had a go at me ! She said “I’ve been in the queue since 5pm & it’s not right what you’re doing”. I replied “Don’t worry, you’ll still get your place on the front row. I’ll be going in the balcony & I’m not queue jumping…”. Again, she said ” But i’ve been queuing since 5pm “! I suppose that if you see me you wouldn’t know of my illness, but she could have gone about it a different way. In the end i told her i’ve got brain tumors & (supposedly) only about a year to live…& she still came out with that same phrase she’d been using! Some people should think before they speak…
Anyway, after that stupidity from her, a security chap came out & walked us in, sorted out a seat (the new rubbish LOW ones) & i went downstairs to a place i could see the stage. Neil had a bit of a laugh with me about the womans attitude. I’ll say no more on that.

The opening act tonight is “Slim Jim Phantom”. He who was part of “The Stray Cats”. It was all decent enough, but i was here to see The Damned.
Crazy as it sounds, this was the first time i’ve seen The Damned ! Always been into them for years ,but somehow never got to see them !
The lights go down & the intro tape is played over the PA. (It’s Gustav Holst “The Planets”). Having previously looked online to see what their set list is, it seems they usually start with a pretty rigged set. They play “Lively Arts” , “Silly Kids Games”, “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow” etc. It’s all good. The new songs sound good & the old classics sound even better. Something i quickly noticed was that whilst Dave Vanian & Captain Sensible don’t seem to have aged much, i couldn’t believe how much Paul Gray had aged! (Sorry to say this)
Tonights show comprised of a few new songs from the yet to be released “Evil Spirits” & a bunch of the old classics like “Neat,Neat,Neat”.

For myself, the highlight of the show was when an old chap named “Johnno” got up on stage. I was surprised he’s still alive if i’m honest. Whilst i’ve never met him, i was made aware of him back in the ’80s. How? Well, back then i used to visit a bunch of “Record Fairs” around the UK. I often visited Leicester, Sheffield & sometimes even London to see what they were selling. Well, one time in Leicester, i bought a fanzine which featured Crazyhead,Ghost Dance etc. There was also an interview with Johnno where he told them how he loved the Damned & would go to multiple shows. He really inspired me. So, to see him up onstage tonight was pretty amazing.Β 

I think he’s about 73-74 years young & he’s still doing his favourite thing. I have so much respect for the guy.
He actually got up on stage towards the end of “Evil Spirits” & introduced “Smash It Up”.

They came back for a second encore of one song, a cover of “Jet Boy, Jet Girl”.

When the show was finished, we once again went to the Goosberry Bush for final drinks of the night ! All in all, a fantastic night out.

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STEEL PANTHER, Inglorious, Wayward Sons, Rock City, Nottingham, 23-1-18

Took a train from Bostonia at 13.50 & arrived in Nottingham 15.23. Was wondering how the station would look after the recent fire there. Couldn’t really see any damage tbh. I surmise they did a quick clean up job. Straight to my hotel. Dropped off bag then out to get food. Decided to go to The Gooseberry Bush as thought it would be quieter than The Roebuck. Had a nice meal & a pint, then off back to hotel to relax before tonights gig. Once at Rock City, it’s the usual drill ; make myself know to security, explain I’ve prearranged to have a seat/stool & in we go. Probably got in about 12mins before main doors. Security chap walked me upstairs, no one was at the bar (back of which is where the stools/seats are stored), so he went to storage place & all he could find was a very small seat. He even said to me ” I don’t think this will be much use as you won’t be able to see over the barrier !” He then went off to try find a better stool/chair….but never came back ! To give an idea of how useless this chair was , height wise,i took a photo at eye level whilst sat down :Β 

Yup, what a load of rubbish ! Venue soon filled up. Later, another disabled person turns up(with a different security chap) & again he has a useless seat like myself. I say to security number 2 ” Can you find some better seats/stools than these please? Usually it’s high backed seats or stools that we have”.
” Yes, i’ll go find some for you both”. Again, he didn’t come back ! Honestly, i just don’t get it ! Surely they won’t have thrown away all the seats/stools they previously used ??!? (Tomorrow I’m gonna phone RC & speak to a manager & let him explain what went wrong)
So to the show…Tonight was the first time i’ve seen “Wayward Sons”.This is Toby Jepsons latest band.Β  Back in the ’80s, i saw quite a few shows by “Little Angels”. I might even have seen their first gig in London, when they opened for Tesla @ the Marquee. Tonight, at rock city, Wayward Sons set is rather short. Lasting about 30 minutes,they crammed in about 7 songs. Toby also announced that they would be playing Download Festival this year. (He’s know “Coppo” for years πŸ˜‰ ). I’m pretty sure that tonight, even if most of the audience don’t know much about Tobys previous bands (or indeed this one) they picked up a few new supporters tonight.
Next it was “Inglorious”. Don’t think i’ve seen them before….& couldn’t see much tonight due to the rubbish chair!
Both bands did a decent job of warming up the crowd, but obviously, everyone was waiting for the headliners ; Steel Panther πŸ˜‰ Oh yeah, when SP announced their tour for the UK, there were only a few dates & nothing that was suitable for me. Luckily, they added another 3 dates which included Rock City, so i had to go to this show πŸ™‚ (I’ve a mate who bought tix for Manchester & was a bit pissed off when they announced Rock City)

So, Steel Panther tonight…The lights went down & over the PA they played Van Halens “Everybody Wants Some”.It fades out at the guitar solo, then another tape is played, which i assume is an updated version of “Into the Future”. The narration sounds like a typically British public service announcement lol.
Stixx is the first on stage & then the rest of the guys amble onto the stage & kick off with “Eyes Of A Panther”.

After “Eyes..” we get a new song, “Going in the Backdoor”. Whilst a Steel Panther show is full of innuendo, they do back it up being great musicians. They always entertain. Of course, there’s also the self depreciation between the band members, where they often rip the piss out of each other. Tonight, i felt the chit chat between Satchel & Michael Starr just went on a little too long (especially as it was only 2 songs into the set!)
Next up it’s the classic laugh of a song “Asian Hooker”, closey followed by “Tomorrow Night”

They then have a little fun jamming “Living On A Prayer”. They get some dude out of the audience to help sing it…Β 

Afterwards Satchel says the dude should stage dive ! Thank fook he didn’t do it as he woulda probably broke a few necks in the crowd (Assuming they wouldn’t spread out & he’d fall flat on the main floor lol)
Before they play “Poontang Boomerang”, a lass in the crowds asks to get up on stage. She tells them she’s here with her mum…she then gets up onstage & says to Michael Starr “I wanna f**k you !”. *smiles & laughter all around*.Β 

The lass then says her twin sister is in the crowd..yup, you guessed it, she got onto the stage. Satchel made some joke about a 3-way or something πŸ˜‰ After the song finished, Satchel did a guitar solo & played various riffs from other bands songs. These included; “Breaking The Law/ Rock You Like A Hurricane/ The Trooper/ Enter Sandman/ Paranoid/ Iron Man “. Once again, he showed he can really play the guitar.
Next song was “That’s When You Came In”. Apparently there was a guy in the crowd who sang for “Surreal Panther”. They invited him to get up & sing the song. A nice touch. We’re getting close to the end of the main set now… Keyboards brought onto the stage which means they’re gonna do “Weenie Ride”.Β 

During “17 Girls In A Row” the stage is totally filled with girls from in the crowd. It was nice to see the security were helping them over the barrier & up onto the stage. (Oh something i forgot to say about RC security, i think they might have fired a bunch of them after there was some real bad behaviour by them recently. Their job is to look after people, not batter them. I think recently Rock Citys reputation has been let down due to some of the “old” security. Pleased to see they’ve done something about it, finally πŸ˜‰ )

The main set finishes with “Death to All but Metal”. A hilarious classic πŸ™‚
Back for the encore, they get the crowd singing along to “Community Property”. It’s a great sight to see & hear. This is what Rock city is all about. The crowd coming together (no innuendo there, lol) singing their hearts out to what they love.Β  The night finishes with “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)”.
All in all, an entertaining night out. Only thing that spoiled it for me was the crappy new seats πŸ˜‰ I got back to my hotel in about 5mins. Was ready for bed as towards the end of the gig i was getting a bit tired.

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Him, Rock City, Nottingham, 15-12-17

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This was a strange one ! Before i even got to Nottingham, i was already disappointed ! Why? Well, because a friend i know, who is a massive HIM fan was gonna follow them around the UK & i hoped we’d meet up at Nottingham. We’d been trying to have a meet up for a long time, but something always seemed to stop it happening. I was under the impression that at least we could have a meet up at HIM in Nottingham. So, the reason why i was disappointed was that about 4 or 5 days before the gig, she told me she wasn’t going πŸ™Β Oh well, c’est la vie….
I did in fact consider not going myself. But as i’d skipped a few gigs recently (wasted money on tickets) & i’d prepaid the hotel, i thought i should go. Oh yeah, there’s also the fact that this will be the last time that HIM will play Rock City, as they’re splitting up! So it HAD to be done πŸ™‚
I’ve seen HIM a few times over the years. The first time was in the Basement of Rock City 2002. The last time was Rock City 2015. Over the times I’ve seen them, what pretty much decided if it would be a good show or not, was Ville Valos state of mind πŸ˜‰
Tonight i managed to get my usual spot on the balcony & was interested if the’re might be some little extras or stuff they’d not played for some time.
I did like the intro music, which was suitably apt for tonight : The Everly Brothers “Bye Bye Love” πŸ™‚ As soon as they hit the stage, i straight away realised that the lighting was pretty rubbish. First song, there was no definition to the sound. Yeah, a great start !

I tried to capture some video clips & a few photos, but as the lighting was poor, my results were the same.Β 
I’m not gonna write much about this show. Yes, they did play a varied set which covered most of their career. Probably even added up to about 20 songs played. But in all honesty, i thought they just dialled it in. Just going through the motions. There was very little chat from Valo (nothing new there)…basically no interaction between him & the crowd.

I’m sure that most of the crowd went home happy. For me, what i expected of them was to go out in a blaze of glory, but instead, it was more like a damp squib. However, i’m still glad that i managed to see their last show at Rock City πŸ™‚

 

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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Rock City, Nottingham, 6-12-17

I must confess, i’m a bit late to the Frank Carter party. Maybe it’s because i didn’t like the previous band “Gallows”?. After seeing some great live footage of FC&TR on TV & Youtube, i decided i had to go see them. What better venue than Rock City πŸ™‚
Did my usual thing ; train to Nottingham, stayed at Roomzzz hotel, went for grub, back to hotel to relax, then off to the gig.
Before going to this gig, i’d seen online that Frank had not been very well recently (Both mentally & physically) so i wondered how the show would go.
I got my usual spot on the balcony & the place soon filled up (It was sold out).
First up was “Ecca Vandal” (spelling?) I’d never heard of her before. The short set was ok, but nothing to get much excited about.
Second support was “Basement”. Again,I’d never heard of them before! They got a great reaction from the crowd & it was during there set that the first circle pit of the night was formed πŸ™‚
So, to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes…
From the off, it was a high energy rock n roll show. Frank was all over the stage & i couldn’t really tell that he’d had tonsillitis (or whatever it was) for some days. Hell, he probably spent as much time OFF the stage, amongst the crowd, as he did ON the stage !
During the first song “Primary Explosive” there seemed to be as much energy onstage as off the stage. The crowd went mental ! Whilst i did take a few photos, i didn’t film any clips till about 5 or 6 songs into the set. I was just taking it all in & was in awe of the energy in the room !
During “Juggernaut” Frank comes out into the crowd. He was held up, standing on the shoulders of people in the crowd. But not only that, he even did a handstand ! Very impressive πŸ™‚
He dedicates a song to all the people working at this legendary venue tonight, it’s called “Vampires”

Before “Wildflowers” Frank invites the girls to crowd surf up to the stage. By the end of the song, the stage was absolutely packed! (It was nice seeing the security helping them onto the stage etc. I’ve a feeling that they might have got rid of some of the previous security guys as i didn’t recognise many of the faces)

During “Modern Ruin” Frank goes out into the crowd & up on the balcony. He ends up finishing the song on the level where the bar is.Β Β There was a cool moment when the guitarist went into the crowd…complete with guitar!…& Frank just had to join him :Β 

Something that i really liked about this show was the straight talking from Frank. When you first look at him, you probably see a feisty crazy mofo (Which of course he is πŸ˜‰ ) but he also showed his vulnerable & caring side. He talked openly about his mental health problems. I have a lot of respect for him by doing that. Maybe , by him being so open, members of the crowd will take that away with them & they will be brave enough to share their demons with family/friends. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying everyone in the crowd had issues,but lets face it, we all have certain aspects in life that we bottle up & don’t let out.

The main set finishes with “Paradise” & it’s dedicated to the victims of terrorist acts at music venues etc. It’s not long before the encore. They play “Devil Inside Me” followed by “Snake Eyes”. After “Lullabys” Frank tells us ” You have no idea how much this means to me! “. He then explains his journey/progression from the band Gallows, to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes & how they sold out the rescue rooms & have now sold out Rock City. He’s a very happy man πŸ™‚ When he’s asking everyone to give a round of applause to the security, a girl is lifted over the barrier. As she goes over, some idiot in the crowd punches her ! Absolutely despicable behaviour by that numpty. Fortunately, the security saw him do it & they kicked him out. Frank wasn’t aware what had happened, so he asks “whats happening?” The security/crowd explain that a lass was punched. He says he’s so sorry for that happening. Also “This is an event for love, for peace” That’s followed by “..well we know who we’ll be singing this song to don’t we?!” Next he says “No more crowd surfers, everyone find a partner or someone strong & get up on their shoulders”. The crowd then pretty much sing the words to “I Hate You”. It’s a great sight & sound , just a shame about how it came about.


So, all in all, my first experience of seeing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes was a good one. Will certainly go see them again πŸ™‚

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The Darkness, Rock City, Nottingham, 2-12-17

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The previous night i should have been seeing Royal Republic at Koko in London. I decided to skip it as was already getting a bit tired after the few shows i’d seen in a row. Gave my Royals ticket to my mate Rob.This way i could relax a bit more before the next gig.
As my sister had been admitted to hospital,i was initially unsure if i should go to this gig or not. In the end, i decided to go in the hope that it would take my mind off how my sister was & cheer me up a bit. Got to Nottingham a bit later than usual, but still had time to check in my hotel, go out for food & then relax a bit back at hotel.
I won’t bother going into depth about this gig, but can surely say it was “just what the doctor ordered” ! The venue was rammed & everyone seemed to be having a great time. Ok, there a couple of sound issues here n there, but nothing enough to ruin the show.

There were some real funny moments from Justin (as always).Β 

They played a lot of the old classic Darkness songs & it was a really long set.(Probably getting on for 20 songs). It still puts a smile on my face when they play “Christmas Time (Don’t let the Bells End)”…we even got fake snow showering down into the crowd.Β  It was cool when they jammed snippets of “Immigrant Song”,”Sweet child Of Mine” (with the crowd doing i fine job of singing) & “Thunderstruck”. The show finished with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. Yup, a great night out !

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