Papa Roach, Ho99o9, rock city, Nottingham, 6-10-17

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Once my train arrived in Nottingham, i made my way to the hotel via The Roebuck Inn πŸ™‚ Upon checking in, the receptionist said to me ” Ah, that’s a name i remember. You’ve stayed with us a few times haven’t you?”. I confirmed this & told her i’ve a bunch of bookings coming up & could she make sure my room is at the end of a corridor, away from the lifts. I told her that Emma,the manager, had agreed to this after i had a bad nights sleep due to a herd of elephants walking by. She smiled knowingly πŸ˜‰ (The “herd of elephants” was in fact a very noisy bunch of women,i assume on a hen night πŸ˜‰ ) I then spent most of the afternoon in my room.
Doors were at 6.30, so went down to rock city about 6.15. Spoke to security about getting a barstool & all went fine. There was already somone in “MY” spot (lol) so i had to move a little to the left. Pretty sure there had been a M&G earlier & that’s how my fave position got took. After a while, my Nottingham friends Jason & Kirsty joined me. Had a bit of a catch up & prepared for the opening act. Tonights show is sold out. It looks very packed on the main floor.
The support act, ” Ho99o9 , were pretty terrible. It seemed most of the audience didn’t like them. The singer (I use that term very lightly lol) seemed to take offence as someone in the crowd voiced his opinion of them. I couldn’t believe it when he went down to the barrier & took a couple of punches at said audience member. I think that security were caught off guard as they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. But they soon swamped him (the band member) & pushed him back to the stage. The perpetrator is on the right in this photo :
Personally, i think their set should have been cut short & he should have been kicked out of the venue due to what he did. I mean, if the tables were turned, the audience member for sure would have been ejected. He needs to understand that being up there, not everyone (anyone?) is going to like what they do & there will be certain knocks along they way. His shouldn’t be punching an audience member.I won’t say anymore. This incident even made the local paper :
http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/man-rock-city-punched-member-594308 Finally it was time for Papa Roach. The intro music plays then there’s an announcement saying ” Attention This is a serious announcement. Full participation is required. Now put your middle fingers & repeat after me ,FUCK PAPA ROACH ! FUCK PAPA ROACH ! YOU MUTHA FUCKERZ !”. The audience duly complies πŸ™‚

The band kick off with a new one, which is also the title of the latest album, namely, “Croocked Teeth”. There’s plenty of audience interaction with fist pumping the air claping & sing a alongs. Bloody love it

Next it’s an old classic “Getting Away With Murder”. I soon realise that the lighting is a bit of a pain as they are using a lot of lights which are pointing out towards the crowd. This seems to be the norm nowadys. Hardly any bands use follow spots at the back of the room unless it’s in a huge arena.
Next song is “Between Angels & Insects”. About half way through, Jacoby gets the crowd to part. Will it be a “circle pit” or a “wall of death” or just everyone going crazy??
You guessed it; the latter πŸ™‚

Tonight there is a good balance of new & old songs. The next new one is “Born For Greatness”. Pretty much all of the floor gets bouncing along to this. There’s also some great vocals from the crowd. Everyone together & having a bloody great time. A chap goes to the pit/barrier & films it all. Jacoby says “You guys are insane!”
A couple more older songs follow. The audience sings along to “She Loves Me Not”. Then another classic “Scars”. That’s followed by another new song “Periscope”. Seems to go down well. Jacoby then tells the crowd they’ve been a band since 1993…also, “Some of you fuckerz weren’t even born then ” LOL He then asks if “Everybody wants to get rowdy”. Next it’s something unexpected; a great cover of Blurs “Song 2”

We get a couple more new songs ; “Traumatic” & “American Dreams” & it’s soon encore time.
What a way to finish the night ! We get “None Of The Above”(new song), then two old classics which are part of Papa Roachs DNA ; “Dead Cell” & “Last Resort”
Wow! What a night !

I quickly say my goodbys to Jason & Kirsty, then make the long journey to my hotel….ok it wasn’t really that far ! In fact it was next door to Rock City πŸ™‚
As they had the usual club night on after the gig, it meant i could get a bit more sleep. That was needed. Especially as the following day i was travelling down to London for “Indie Daze” all dayer !

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Anthrax, rock city, Nottingham, 13-2-17

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Originally i fancied the idea of doing a few dates on the tour. But because i had to wait around to see if i had any hospital appointments etc, i had to hold back. Unfortunately, a couple of shows sold out & it didn’t make sense to do what was available. In the long run, it was probably for the better as i’d got a dry cough a few days before the show & i wouldn’t have hacked it. Damn it bugs me sometimes that “my mind says yes, but my body says no”. Whatever…
Got to Notts mid afternoon & checked into Rooomzz. Then just chilled as doors were not till 7pm tonight. Later i met up with a mate & we went for a quick drink. I’d arranged it so he could get in early with me. About 15mins before doors, we go to check everything is set up correct. The same dickhead security guy was there as the TPR gig …” i’ve arranged for a bar stool & early entry..”. Him ” You need to contact the venue manager about that !” Typical confrontational attitude from him ! Me “I’ve already done that…” He shuts the door. He’s about as much use as a chocolate tea pot ! Undetered, i once again phone management. I get a very courteous reply & he says he’ll come down soon to take us in. Got up on balcony & a bar stool was no problem.
Right now, Anthrax are in a very good position. They’d took their time before a proper Euro tour & released a great new album. Announcing they were going to play all of their classic album “Among The Living” was another factor to the interest this tour is generating. Most of the venues seem to be selling out & they totally deserve it.
The first act was “The Raven Age”. I’ve seen them before & wasn’t really impressed tbh. Whilst there’s no denying their hearts are in it & they try to put on a show, i just don’t see anything different or unique about them & a bunch of similar small bands nowadays. Sorry. I think their strongest song is the last one they played tonight.

Pre-Anthrax a bunch of classic songs are played over the PA. It seemed like everyone was singing the chorus to “Run To The Hills”. The vibe in the room has gone up a lot.
The brief intro “Impaled” has a solemn & mournful sound to it. Almost like a funeral march. But tonight will be anything but that! It’s a celebration of all things Anthrax. Going straight into “A.I.R.” they set their agenda for the evening. It’s heavy as hell & the crowd is into it straight away.
“We are the warm up band for Anthrax by the way. We have no name, but we go by the name of something close to the band…whatever” (Scott is kinda laughing as Joey says this) “Hey, how ya all doing?” *cheers from crowd*. “This one is Medusa!”. An absolute classic to my ears. We’re then brought up to date with “Blood Eagle Wings” from the latest album “For All Kings”. This is such a huge ,huge song ! Probably the most epic song they’ve ever wrote. In the live arena things go to another level. I bloody love this song (no pun intended). There’s the usual crowd interaction as “Be All, End All” starts up. It feels like everyone in the place is singing the guitar/vocal part ” Woah-Woah-Woah” ( & how someone near me sounds so out of tune/time on this i have no clue lol). The main set finishes with “Breathing Lightning”. It’s another typical “Anthrax riff” sounding song.
During the interval, the stage set is changed around somewhat. There are now various raised areas on the stage. It just fits perfectly – a big show in a small(ish) room.
Lights go down again & the classic Blues Brothers intro starts up, going straight into “Among the Living”. Tonight they’re playing the full album, though not in the same sequence as the release. It’s like being transported back in time, yet the songs are still as vibrant today as they were back then.
I look down on the main floor during “Caught in a Mosh” & cannot help wishing i was in amongst it all. Looks like hella fun down there. It’s great to hear these old songs played tonight. During “I Am the Law” i remember seeing them at this very venue & i was on the main floor. It was pretty crazy down there ( As an aside, i also saw them in Leicester & Sheffield back in ’87. The covered “Living After Midnight” at both of those shows & Rock City got “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”)

It’s pretty cool to hear these next few songs ,which i think have not been played much over the years : “A Skeleton in the Closet, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.), A.D.I. / Horror of It All”.
Charlie teases us by playing the drum intro to “Indians” a few times. The audience forms a circle pit & once again it’s like being in 1987 ! Classic stuff.

The show finishes with “Imitation of Life”. But of course, that cannot be all we’re getting ! They finally come back for another encore & truly finish with ” Antisocial” (A cover of the song by French band “Trust”).
What a night ! Just quality abound. THIS was the Anthrax tour we’ve been needing for years. I think they are now at their peak (but would love for them to prove me wrong).
It’s amazing when i think about seeing them open for Metallica around the UK back n ’86 & how their career has ebbed & flowed over the years. Truly an amazing live band.Β 
I quickly say goodbye to my mate & then walk the long distance (lol) to my hotel next door πŸ™‚ For whatever reason i don’t know, but, i had an awful nights sleep. Maybe it was the buzz of the gig or just some rubbish going around my head (there’s been a lot of that recently). Following morning i go down for the “Grab & Go” breakfast quite early & take it back to my room. When i finally decide to check out & take an earlier train than previously planned, i go for seconds at the “Grab & Go” πŸ˜‰

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The Wildhearts, The Main Grains, Massive Wagons, Rock city, Nottingham 27-1-17

Scans0751Β 2017 wildhearts posterBeen really looking forward to this one as it’s a one-off UK gig where they will play ” Fishing For Luckies ” (I suspect it’s also being taken as a warm up for the Japanese shows coming up where they will do the same). It was a bit touch & go if i’d make it as earlier in the week i got my MRI results & for a second time, my brain tumor had grown. Fortunately, i didn’t have to restart my chemo this day (as they wanted) & we agreed to restart next week.

As ever, i took the train to Nottingham. Only this time i was meeting a friend from London who’d never been to Rock City before. We both stayed at same hotel “Rooomzzz” which is right next door to Rock City. Once again, it was early doors @RC. After numerous phone calls, i was hoping tonight would be some what better than the Pretty Reckless debacle of getting in ! We turned up about 20mins early & all ran smooth. Only slight downer was the balcony wasn’t open. But i still got my bar stool under the stairs.
First band tonight is “The Main Grains “. I’ve not seen them before & all i know about them is that Danny McCormack is the main guy ! Obviously, with his Wildhearts past, i’m expecting something interesting. Tonight, Danny is playing the show sat on a seat (In case you didn’t know, in 2016 he suffered an aneurysm & further complications meant he had to have his leg amputated at the knee). He does look as though he feels at home up there. DSC09140Β They kick off with “Unscrewed”, which is also the first song on their debut album “Don’t Believe Everything You Think”(or is it an EP as only 7 songs & clocks in around 20mins). Straight away there’s a good vibe in the room. They continue with “Happy Round Here”. This really has a Wildhearts kinda sound to it. Very upbeat. Next we get “Spend Your Money”. This has a lovely deep bass intro to it. The song’s maybe a bit basic, but it rocks nicely.
“I’d Rather Be In California” is another “happy” sounding song. Again, a very Wildhearts kinda vibe to it.

A couple of drum hits & a familiar sounding guitar riff & they’re playing a cover of The Undertones”Teenage Kicks”. (Gosh that takes me back to my youth! Think i got a 7″ on green vinyl back in the day. Or was it “Jimmy Jimmy” i got ? Old age…). I think they played about 4 more songs after that. It was great to see Danny with a big smile up there. Overall, a great start to tonights proceedings.

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Next it’s “Massive Wagons “. Again, a band i don’t think i’ve seen before. I loved the intro they used : “Rock And Roll Preacher” by Slade. Actually, as the night went along, it dawned on me that Baz sounded a lot like Noddy Holder with his vocal style. The band have been around a few years & i’m surprised i’ve somehow missed them. Over all, to me, they have a great classic British rock sound. I’d like to see them again. They dedicated a song to Rick Parfitt,namely, “Back To The Stack” :


So to the headliners, The Wildhearts. This was a pretty last minute gig,tagged on after the rescheduled Manchester gig. It will be a special one as they’re playing “Fishing For Luckies”. I suspect they’re also treating Rock City as a “warm-up” for the Japan shows where they’re playing FFL. When the lights went down the fantastic crowd/family started singing & it was marvelous. Before even hitting the stage,the Wildhearts totally owned Rock City . “Inglorious” really kicked things off nicely. After that, the familiar intro to “Sick of Drugs” had the crowd sounding even louder & Gingers smiles getting bigger. It must be such a rush to have an audience “woah-whoah-ing” like that.
Before “Schizophonic” Ginger thanks everyone for coming down to this special show. He says how it’s “..great to play an album 20 years after you made it & it’s fucking wierd”.
He also says he “…can’t believe it that both Danny McCormack & me are still alive!”. Again, its bloody brilliant how the audience sing along with the guitar at the beginning.

This is such a fuckin great night already ! There’s quite a few fun, or funny moments, moments during the show. It’s cool when Ginger mentions that “…some people think that Dunc got treated badly in Manchester. So throw some money up on stage for him ! ” He quickly realises what he’s let himself in for & says “Notes! Paper money” as a barrage of coins hit the stage ! So funny πŸ™‚ (According to what Dunc has since posted online, he got Β£17.50)
Another fun moment was after “Soul Searching on the Planet Earth (Different Kind of Love)”. Ginger said something like “…we did something yesterday which was really fuckin freaky so we’re gonna try it again tonight. We want you all to click your fingers “. DSC09177Β DSC09178That was an interesting way to start the next song “Do the Channel Bop”.
We get another 3 or so songs before it’s encore time.

A chair being brought onstage signals the return of Danny McCormack. He stays there for the rest of the night.
First encore song is the ever powerful crowd pleaser ” Suckerpunch”. Unfortunately it seems that Dannys equipment isn’t quite set up as he’d like. It’s till “My Baby Is a Headfuck” that it’s sorted out. A great version of the song is played & the audience seems so loud shouting “Headfuck.Headfuck…” Love it πŸ™‚
For “Geordie in Wonderland” C.J. gets the crowd waving their arms & everyone joins in singing. This is the definition of a community spirit for a band. Everyone sings at the top of their voices (& sometimes are louder than the band!). The last songs of the night are “I Wanna Go Where the People Go” , “29 x the Pain” & the quirky little thing which Rich sings ; “Duck Song”. It’s lovely to see Mr Poole & C.J. hug Danny afterwards. Ginger makes sure everyone stays to pose for a photo or two by Trudi before leaving.
A fantastic night with smiles all around. My only small dissapointment was that i didn’t manage to get an event T-shirt as they’d all sold out.

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Pretty Reckless, Cruel Knives, Rock City, Nottingham, 19-1-17

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I’d been looking forward to this one for a while. Not only the gig, but a chance to spend a little time with someone. Unfortunately, the latter plans fell apart.”The System” seems to do that sometimes. Can be so frustrating… So anyway, i decided to not go too early as i’d only end up spending money around Nottingham!

I was very curious how the support act “The Cruel Knives” would be. If you’re not aware, they are a new band formed by a couple of the guys from “Heavens Basement” (what a great band they were) namely ; Sid Glover & Rob Ellershaw . The band is completed by Tom Harris & Al Junior. They’ve obviously got some good connections in the business as they are now opening for The Pretty Reckless all around the UK/Europe.
Upon arrival at Rock City, i noticed they hadn’t posted the times for the night. Also, they’d not put out the barriers. Immediately, i thought something wasn’t quite right.
There wasn’t a queuing system, it was a mess. Some people had paid extra to be VIPs. What they were supposed to get for that was EARLY ENTRY + a poster. (Ah yes, i remember doing VIP for TPR which included a photo with the band…which didn’t happen. But hey they’ve got your money & when you try arguing , well it’s pointless…).
So, as there was no info being given out, there were quite a few punters who were not impressed. From a personal point of view it was getting really hard for me to stand outside for so long. I eventually had to sit on the steps. But the biggest annoyance was one of the RC security guys! When one of the VIPs tried asking him a question, he said something like ” Calm down !”. Erm no mate, YOU are the one that needs to calm down & LISTEN to the people who have paid to see the show. He was basically a bully. Totally ignorant & showed no compassion what so ever. The problem was that the band were very slow with soundcheck so doors just kept getting pushed back. I understand if security are not getting good info, they are in an awkward place. But as an example of how differently some security deal with this, later on, the HEAD of security came out & said something like “….they’ve told us they’re going to be a while…”. He then said “….i interpret that as it will be a long time….”. He was calm & collected as he told this message, unlike the arrogant twat from earlier on. Good vs bad eh? I won’t even bother mentioning about the whole early entry & bar stool for disabled people like myself & the others….
The only good thing(s) to come of the delays was i saw an old mate who i’d not seen since around the time of my seizure & also got chatting to a couple who’d traveled from Mablethorpe area. (Hello if you’re reading this !) When we finally got in, i helped them by showing where to go & also got them a bar stool.
I got my fave spot on balcony so was reasonably happy.Β DSC09003

So first up it’s “The Cruel Knives” . First song everything just seemed too loud & had a poor mix (maybe they didn’t get a line check due to TPR taking so long?). As they went along, it did improve. It’s good to see that Sid hasn’t changed & is still the show-off in the band πŸ™‚ (That’s meant in a nice way. He knows when the cameras are on him & hes a fantastic guitarist). I was unsure if it really was Rob Ellershaw up there ! The new “Liam Gallagher” hair style totally threw me πŸ™‚ Hearing everything for the first time is always hard to take in. Overall, i thought there were some good songs & it’s all very upbeat. There’s potential as, to me, they don’t sound like most of the typical young bands. It’s more solid rock. I wanna see them again.

The sound of “Hells Bells” & various other classics are played over the PA before The Pretty Reckless take to the stage. The guys just casually walk on & start playing, then Taylor comes on. The screams from the girls in the crowd are very loud ! As ever, Ms Momsen is sassy wearing her long leather coat. I don’t care what anyone says, this really is the Taylor Momsen show.DSC09014Β Tonight we get songs from the past few albums, starting with old favorites “Follow Me Down ” & ” Since You’re Gone “. As i don’t have the latest album, i didn’t know what to expect from the new stuff. “Oh My God ” is typical TPR with a barrage of drums. By now either the sound is getting better or i’m just getting used to it ! Interestingly, the next song, “Hangman”, is something very different for TPR. It’s nice to see the variety going on in that song. One of the biggest problems tonight are the long silences between songs. It kinda kills things. Blaming it on the jet lag is a cheap get out clause.

Ah cant beat a bit of classic TPR! Great vocals from rock city crowd πŸ™‚
Tonights show features a bunch of songs from the latest album “Who You Selling For “. There are way too many silences between songs. A few problems with equipment ( “….my mic stand keeps falling over….hired gear haha…”) & a general lack of flow. Jet lag eh ?! I don’t think they reached their stride tbh.DSC09029

Towards the end of the set they play ” Living In The Storm” & that was the most animated we saw Taylor tonight.

Of course, all that buggering about & delayed doors has the knock on effect because there’s a curfew of 10pm tonight. Yep, you guessed it, the club/disco is from then. So a few songs must have been dropped from their set. Even though their set was officially over, the crowd kept shouting for an encore. When the house lights went up, there were certainly a few “Boos” in the crowd. I hope they bring their game next time so we don’t feel so cheated….DSC09063

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Reckless Love, The Treatment, Rock city , Nottingham, 18-11-16

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It’s always cool when it’s possible to do “2-nighters” at places & this was the first of them (The second being Airbourne). I had hoped i wouldn’t be “alone” over the next days, but it didn’t quite work out for Tess as her sister was over. As is always the case, book early & the hotels etc are cheaper. I stayed at the Premier Inn Nottingham West, which is at the end of the tram line. A great little thing is if you’re going to an event in Nottingham, the tram ticket is only Β£2 return ! (Just have to show your gig ticket if there are inspectors checking) It worked well for me.
As luck would have it, an old neighbour from 30+ years ago(?) was also doing these gigs, so a nice chance to catch up.
I managed to get the early entry to Rock City & the chap had sorted out a bar stool for me. What surprised me was it wasn’t in the balcony, but under the stairs. Not that it bothered me as it’s still a great view from there. The surprise, especially after Reckless Loves last gig at RC, was they hadn’t sold enough tickets to open the balcony! It’s kinda cool to be in RC & the place is empty

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The opening act tonight were ” The Treatment “. I great bunch of lads who have a positive attitude & always put on a high energy show. I’ve seen them live a few times over the years. Their manager is Laurie Mansworth who used to me in the band ” Airrace” (If you’re older you may also remember the ’80s NWOBHM band ” More ” ). It’s cool to see him side stage really getting into the band :

As is always the case, the band get a great reaction from the crowd at Rock city.

Reckless Love are a band that are made for Rock City ! Of the 7 times they’ve played there, i’ve seen 5 of them (Started playing in the Basement & got too big for there). I do find it a little strange that it’s not a bigger audience tonight, especially as it’s one of only two shows in the UK (But saying that, the last couple of times they didn’t open the balcony)
The show starts with ” The Boys Are Back In Town” being played over the PA. It’s then straight into “Animal Attraction”. Oli briefly soaks up the affection from the crowd before they go into ” So Happy I Could Die “…with a huge scream from him at the start :

Next up it’s “Monster”. After that, Oli mentions Pepe & him being a Pretty Boy. Yup, we’re about to get the live debut of ” Pretty Boy Swagger ” πŸ™‚ It was pretty decent.
Then we get the double hitter of ” Beautiful Bomb” & “Badass”. There’s some good audience interaction/clapping during “Badass”.

The rest of the night it’s all about having a good time. The band seem as into it as the audience are. They encore with “We Are The Weekend” & the last song of the night is the classic ” Hot “. A great night out for sure.DSC08641
Afterwards we go to the The Gooseberry Bush pub where myself & Tim (the old neighbour) have a good catch up & he tells me his woes about recently splitting with his wife.Gooseberry bush afterwards
We eventually say our goodbyes & i take the tram back to my hotel, whilst Tim tries to figure out how to get to his hotel out Stapleford way !

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Saxon, Fastway, Girlschool, Rock city , Nottingham ,9-11-16

Scans0709Β IMAG0443Andy drove us there in my car (i’m not allowed to drive now) so gave it a nice run again. Parked up at Park n Ride. Cheap tram ticket as going to an event (Only Β£2.00 return). Went to the usual place for food & then to the venue. Was nice to briefly chat with Hana (front of queue as ever & had done the V.I.P. M&G). Hadn’t seen her in ages. Then went had a chat with my mate Gary (Pleased to hear all went well mate πŸ˜‰ ) Soon enough, we were first people in venue. They didn’t have any bar stools upstairs so had to wait a while for those to arrive. Still managed my usual spot πŸ™‚Β DSC08494

First band tonight was Girlschool. I’ve been seeing them live since 1982, with my first gig at Leicester De Montfort hall. In the mid ’80s i traveled to a bunch of places around the UK to see them. Tonight, it’s going to be a short set, 30 minutes or so. Personally, i’d sooner see them switch positions with Fastway & get a longer set. I guess it’s down to “politics”. Whatever, they played a great little set. They kicked off with “Demolition Boys” , from the debut album “Demolition”. Then went into the title track of their second album ” Hit & Run ”

It was quite funny when Kim asked if anyone remembered “Rockstage”. That was a tv show where they broadcast gigs from the Theatre Royal,Nottingham in the early ’80s. Girlschool were featured on the same show as Motorhead which was broadcast in 1981. The general consensus was “…you really are far too young to remember it aren’t ya !? “.
Kim dedicated the song ” Take It Like A Man ” to Fast Eddie as this was the last night that Fastway would be on this tour. Next they played ” Future Flash”. That’s always been one of my all time fave songs of theirs. Enid then gets to sing the oldie ” Watch Your Step “. The show finishes with ” Emergency ” (what else could it be ? πŸ˜‰

Next up it’s Fastway. Whilst there’s no denying there’s some legendary musicians in the group, it was a band i could never get into back in the day. Tonight i also thought Fast Eddies guitar was too loud. “What?” you’re saying? It can never be loud enough ;-). Or maybe it was more a point of Tobys vocals seemed a wee bit too low in the mix? Either way, i’m sorry to say that everything just seemed to merge into one.Β DSC08543

Finally it’s Saxon. What a band & what a career they’ve had all these years ! The one constant during those times (even if there were a few weaker albums) is you know you’re gonna get a great live show ! They always play nice long sets & often change the set lists along the way. ( A good example being, i heard it was very cold in Sheffield & the audience requested ” Frozen Rainbow “…the band played it πŸ™‚ )Β DSC08541
I’m not going to list all the songs they played, but you can be sure they covered stuff from all through their career. Interesting choice of intro tape ; ” It’s a long way to the top (if you wanna rock n roll)”. I’ll always associate that with Twisted Sister from back in the day πŸ˜‰ When intro finished, they brutally hit us with ” Battering Ram ” followed by a nice fast one ” Heavy Metal Thunder “.


Stand out tracks for me tonight were ” See The Light Shining “(change to set list) ,”Strong Arm Of The Law ” & ” Princess Of the Night “.

They played something like 21 (?) songs tonight. Such great value. As a footnote, it’s great to see that Saxon are (yet again) on the rise. Many dates have either sold out or been very close to selling out. Good on ya guys πŸ™‚ Denim & Leather brought us all together…

https://www.facebook.com/saxon/videos/1301523686545849/

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Band Of Skulls, + Bones, rock city, Nottingham 25-10-16

Scans0740I really like ” Bones ” & had never seen ” Band Of Skulls ” before, so thought i’d give it a go. I got totally lucky with my hotel as it only cost me Β£10 (Yes, a tenner !) Just look at this place for the amazing value i got :

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Took a late train to Nottingham as couldn’t check in till 3pm. Chilled in my room using the free wifi. Found out a friend, Diletta, was also here for the gig. She’s a massive fan of Bones πŸ˜‰ Unfortunately they hadn’t sold enough tickets to open the balcony. So myself & another couple went to my 2nd favourite position, under the stairs ( It’s raised here)
Place was slow to fill up, but eventually there were not many spaces on the main floor.
I’d imagine Bones were new to most of the crowd. I’d previously seen them open for Skunk Anansie & also PVRIS, so knew what to expect. To start off there wasn’t much “movement” amongst the audience, but, they were gradually turned onto the band as their set progressed. I made a few videos πŸ˜‰

Their short set ( 30mins? ) went by very quickly & they finished with the one two of ” Girls Can’t Play Guitar ” (preceded by telling the crowd about the infamous guy in Camden who said the immortal line “Girls Can’t Play Guitar”) then final song ” Pretty Waste “.

Band Of Skulls i really don’t know much about. First thing i noticed tonight was how their back drop of 3 ecclesiastical looking windows reminded me of a similar thing ” The Mission ” did back in the ’80s ! Move the outside ones closer to the centre & there you have it . By now the main floor was considerably more busy.
They kick off with ” In Love By Default ” & then it seems to be the same setlist most places on this tour with “Light Of The Morning” , ” Himalayan” & ” Bodies” following.DSC08390

Sometime pretty early on, i was filming a song & got a tap on my shoulder. It was Diletta coming up to see me. She didn’t realise this was the “disabled area” & the chap behind me who i’d been chatting to kinda of tried to make her move. Once he realised we knew each other, he was fine. ( Afterwards when we talked about that brief moment, Diletta said ” It was like he was your personal security !”. Funny & good point πŸ˜‰ )

Before “Patterns” , Russell mentions how they love playing in Nottingham πŸ˜‰ This song really starts to get the crowd going during the singback section. They then jump forward to present day with the song “So Good” from the most recent album ” By Default “. Very smooth how they merged from one song to the next.

I knew something interesting would be coming as Matt, the drummer, was given a guitar. So had to film this track. Turned out to be an old song which had been used a few years back on a tv show (A little digging & i found a bunch of their songs were used on tv shows & movie soundtracks over the years). There were some great little vocal harmonies going on between Russell & Emma

The rest of the night it was more high energy songs & i’ve got to say, i really enjoyed the night. The couple near me left early. I assume to beat the swathes of people leaving at once ( She needed a stick, so wise choice i reckon) They finished with ” Asleep At the Wheel ”

Afterwards, briefly had a chap with Diletta & then i went back to my hotel. Oh yeah, before hotel i went in multi storey next door & scanned an app where each time you park there, after 6 scans i think, you get free parking session. Whatcha mean….my car wasn’t there ?
The following morning, before checking out of my fantastic hotel, there was one last piece to be completed here : ” The Grab & Go ” breakfast ! At no extra charge, they have pastries, muffins, croisants, coffee, juice etc. Would love to stay here again….at the right price πŸ˜‰

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Virginmarys (Missed Feeder) , Rock City, Nottingham, 14-10-16

Scans0692Β What can i say except my day started pretty shitty when i awoke to a couple of Whatsapp messages. My mate Rob was meant to be driving today but illness put a stop to that. Then there were msgs from a close friend who seemed in a bad place (to say the least). What to do ? After a few attempts to contact,with no replies, i decided : Priorities. I couldn’t help the friend so i had to look into if it was possible to go Nottingham or not. With it being so last minute, i couldn’t find any hotel which i thought was reasonably priced. (There’s no way i’d use a scummy B&B as it’s too easy to pick up bugs etc…especially with my immune system being rubbish nowadays). I was all set to write it off when Rachel suggested i go see Virginmarys & come back home. I thought the last train would be earlier than it was. Realising it was an early start for the gig (Kick out 10pm so they can have the club night), it was possible to go ! So off i went ! Another train ticket purchased, Nottingham here i come πŸ™‚

When i got to the venue, i explained to security that i’d been chatting to someone about getting a bar stool (as sometimes i get tired nowadays) & they agreed to let me in a little early, “Just ask at the bar for a stool”. On the way in, i saw Alixe still setting up merch so quickly grabbed the new yellow t-shirt ! Yay ! Finally i got a VMs T-shirt πŸ˜‰Β IMAG0415_1

Once upstairs, got the bar stool & set up in my usual position centre of balcony. Jobs a good un !
The place didn’t fill up that quickly & i’m sure many people missed the usual killer set from the headliners…erm i mean Virginmarys πŸ˜‰ They kicked off with ” I Wanna Take You Home “. Always a good one to get you in the mood. Next up it’s ” Halo In Her Silhouette “. The band are on fire,unlike what can be said of the audience. Seems pretty tepid down there &Β not a single person on the front row seems to be getting into it. Their loss.

Next up it’s an old classic (well, it IS !) “Dead Mans Shoes “. Just flys by.
Ally asks the crowd if anyone has seen the band before…maybe opening for Skunk Anansie here ? Pretty much silence from the crowd except for one lonesome voice. He in turn dedicates next song to her…

It’s quite fun to see Gareth playing invisible drums sat behind Ally πŸ˜‰
We then get an oldie but goodie ” Running For My Life “. I just love hearing this stuff. I actually find it a little annoying that the guys are really working their assess off up there & the crowd just seems a bit lame πŸ™ We’re then brought up to the latest album “Divides” & the plough through ” Into Dust “. Another 3 or so songs & we’re at the finishing line with ” Just A Ride “. It’s just great & i get the added bonus of a shout out from Ally at the end πŸ™‚ Nice one mate!

Sometime during the show Ally mentioned there will be more *headline*shows later in the year. Whoo Hoo ! Also mentioned the “food donations” from his recent solo show & probably doing it again later in the year. I don’t want to misquote, but, i’m also pretty sure he said something about they’ll play anywhere “So if you could put us up for the night, that would be cool “. ** Don’t take that as gospel ! ** I had hoped to try verify some of the quotes after the gig, but i ran out of time to be sure of catching my train home.
I did have a good old chat with Alixe though. Very pleased to hear these dates were not a “buy on” as often happens nowadays. Proud they’re doing things their own way as always πŸ™‚ Must confess, it did seem strange to be leaving Rock City so early, but everything ran smooth & most important thing was i got to see the VMs πŸ™‚

31-10-16 EDIT : Ally has just confirmed about wanting to do gigs for food donationsΒ https://www.facebook.com/TheVirginmarysOfficial/videos/1436101046417369/

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