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

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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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Airbourne, Phil Cambell & The Bastard Sons, The Wild, Rock city, Nottingham, 22-11-17


So the morning after that “wonderful” (sarcasm) experience in London, i took an early train back up to my spiritual home of rock n roll; namely, Rock City, Nottingham. Once there, checked into my usual hotel & chilled for a while. I briefly tried to reflect on last night, but couldn’t as it was such a shitty experience ! So draw a line under last night & move on. At least today, even before it starts, i know the Airboure always put on a good show, so i know it will lift my spirits πŸ™‚ It’s a sold out show, so i’m sure it’s gonna be a great night.

Everything ran smooth with regards to entry & getting a seat on the balcony. The way it should always be πŸ˜‰
I’d never heard of the opening act “Wild”. Didn’t really do a great lot for me tbh.
I was quite interested to see what “Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons” would be like. It was everything i was expecting πŸ˜‰ It’s quite amazing to see the “change of look” of Phil Campbell since he joined Motorhead back in the 80s. I’m sure Lemmy would be proud of the impression he had on him over the years.
They played a pretty short set tonight & of course, it had to include a couple of Motorhead songs, namely “Born to Raise Hell” & finished with “Ace Of Spades”. Whilst it was a decent set, i doubt i’d go see them headline anywhere.

So now the real fun starts….Airbourne. I’ve never seen a bad show by them & you can always rely on Joel to put on a show & do some “silly” things along the way (Will never forget when he climbed up the rigging to the top at Download festival πŸ˜‰ )
There’s a short intro tape before they hit the stage & show us they’re “Ready To Rock” πŸ˜‰Β Next up it’s “I’m Going To Hell For This”

At the end of the song, Joel shows his appreciation for Rock city, by saying ” Nottingham Rock City ! No matter where we go in the world, THIS is the best gig ever ! “. That’s something i’d agree with πŸ™‚

We then get a song from their debut album “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast”. It’s kind hard to believe that it was released over 10 years ago ! ( What a great debut “Running Wild” was ! They set the bar high & have continued to release more albums of the same quality over the years)
Next, it’s a couple of songs from the last album they released (“Breakin’ Outta Hell”) “Down On You” & “Rivalry”. Before “Rivaly” Joel tells us all : “I know it’s a midweek show & I know you’re going to work, or university tomorrow…but you know what? There is no fuckin tomorrow ! You’re LIVIN RIGHT NOW ! You could always go to work with a hangover or you might not show up. Fuck the boss man “!
As an aside,”Breakin Otta Hell” was released back in 2016 & they’ve been touring it for about 18months. They certainly do work hard to entertain the masses on a global scale.
During “Girls In Black”, Joel does his usual thing of coming out into the audience, carrying on playing & culminating with him smashing the can of lager on his head until it squirts all over everyone. Great showmanship !

We next get “Bottom Of The Well”, closely followed by “Breakin Out Of hell”. Both full on typical rock n roll songs.Β 
Before “It’s All For Rock N Roll” Joel says that Motorhead will live forever. As i’m writing this, it’s just been announced that Fast Eddie Clark has died. So that means all of the “Classic” Motorhead members have left this earth. Let’s hope they’re up there jamming together. Joel dedicates the song to Lemmy & also Malcolm Young. During the song, a flight case is wheeled onto the stage & on the side of it it says “Lemmys Bar”. Joel then pours out 4 Lemmys (JD & coke) for the band members. He also shares his with the front row of the crowd.Β 

The main set finishes with ” Stand Up For Rock N Roll”. Then over the PA we hear the sound of an aeroplane or a “Bomber” a la Motorhead πŸ˜‰ This is accompanied by an air raid siren being wound on the stage. I also notice a guy down in the press pit who’s holding up a drone & waving it over the crowd. I assume he’s got a GoPro attached to it & is filming it. (Interesting & different use for a Drone eh?) After the siren finishes, the band are back on stage & proceed with “Live It Up”. During the song Joel throws some beers into the crowd. A mate had said when he saw them in London, he couldn’t work it out he he pretty much threw them with nothing coming out during flight.I suppose there must be a knack to it. But tonight, pretty much every one he threw out spilled a bit ! Maybe he was a little over excited at being in Nottingham & it being the last night of the UK tour ? πŸ˜‰
The night ends with a rousing version of “Runnin Wild”.

Tonight has been fantastic. Really enjoyed the show. Also, most certainly made up after the shitty time in London πŸ˜‰
The following day, i travelled on to Birmingham to see PVRIS. For this show i’d chose to have the M&G ticket option.I’d had a plan to do something a bit unique & special for my niece as she couldn’t be there. Unfortunately, i’d not had any email to say what time the M&G would be happening etc. I always like to have full info about the schedules etc, so this one i didn’t feel so comfortable about it. After the shitty experience in London a couple of days back, i really wondered how this one would go. In the end, i didn’t need to worry about it as the day/night in Brum just got better & better……

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MR BIG , The Answer , Faster Pussycat , Rock City ,Nottingham 16-11-17

This was a bit of a strange one. To start off, It was an interesting, if mismatched line up. I’d never seen so many disabled people at a RC gig. I got chatting with a couple & we both agreed that after all the years that RC has been here, it’s amazing they’ve not got a better way in for people in wheelchairs (They have two members of security who carry the person up the steps at the back of the venue). We also had similar stories about how sometimes the security just don’t follow the instructions that we have been given about entry. If you’re not aware, the general idea is that disabled customers should pre-book saying what requirements are needed for them for the show. They should take priority entry & get seats (if required) & be in the venue before the mad rush of everyone piling in. It just doesn’t work that way very often nowadays. There must have been about 12+ people who needed seats tonight & they only placed TWO on the balcony! I went to the bar & said more seats are needed. The reply was “We’ve used them all” That was complete bullshit as i’ve seen the stacks of seats previous time i’ve been there. They managed to find me a smaller stool, but, i’m sure there were a lot of unhappy coustomers that night. Another thing about tonight was how early the doors were : 5.30pm ! I’m sure that caught out a lot of people with such an early start (Hello Ady πŸ˜‰ ) They really do need to inform the punters when there’s such an early start. Why such an early start ? Because the crappy student night seems to be more important than the gigs nowadays ! (The only way they can get 3 acts to play/finish before 10pm, is have a ridiculously early start time)
I thought that this gig would be very busy, but it wasn’t the case : They didn’t sell enough tickets to open the balcony ! I suppose it’s best to have a full downstairs than a half empty floor & balcony though πŸ˜‰ So, to the gig/bands :
First up was Faster Pussycat. The first time i saw them was the legendary night when they opened for Guns N Roses at this venue back in 1987. They were great back then. The last time i’d seen them was at Yardbirds in Grimsby, about 7 years ago. Tonight at RC, i didn’t have a clue as to if there were any of the original members on this stage tonight! If it was Taime on vocals, then he’s lost a lot of weight since i last saw him. As for the bands show, to me, it just felt like they were just going through the motions. There was no spark or excitement up there. I was a bit dissapointed.
Next up it was “The Answer”. They are a genuine “back to the roots” bluesy rock n roll sort of band. They always deliver a great show. Of the multiple times i’ve seen them over the years, i didn’t see a single bad gig by them. On top of that, they are very nice people to talk with. They were easily the highlight of the night for me πŸ™‚

Finally it’s time for Mr Big. I’ve never been that much of a fan of theirs tbh. Saw them at the height of their fame at RC back in 1992. Think i only saw them one more time after that till tonight. They started their set with ” Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” ( aka Drill Song ;-))

Played a lot of the old classic era songs. But one the guitar/bass solos started i just got bored of it tbh. I think my comment on the night pretty much summed it it ” Too much guitar wankery” πŸ™‚ Whilst some people love that sort of stuff, i’m just not into it at all.
I guess that overall, it was a decent night out, with different bands that played totally different styles of music & good value for money. Band of the night for me was most certainly The Answer. Afterwards, i arranged to meet Ady at the pub. We had a good catch up & i put him straight about a lot of stuff that he wasn’t aware of (about my condition) . I don’t think we’d had a proper chat since seeing Delain in Amsterdam…

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

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

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

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

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