Camden Rocks Festival, Virginmarys, Royal Republic, Hands Off Gretel, 3-6-17

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As always, we got to Camden early. Once we’d got the tix exchanged for wristbands, we hung in Worlds End pub for a while. Whilst there, various friends turned up. Quite a shock to see Benoit as he pretty much never visits the UK ! I’m guessing it had something to do with meeting Kitti πŸ˜‰ The ever present Jim also joined us as did lovely Eva. The rest of the “VMs family” were in the other part of the bar, but we gradually said our hellos. Couldn’t help goofing around a little πŸ˜‰

There were a few bands i was looking forward to,but, generally i think the lineup for the day wasn’t that great. Obviously VMs headlining, Ally solo, Royal Republic, Hands Off Gretel were my priorities…anything else would be a bonus. Whilst sat in Worlds End, watching everyone go by, someone noticed a lass outside wearing bright purple/pink glitzy trousers. Soon realised it was Lauren from H.O.G. Great idea for the band to hang around there giving out flyers & posing for photos & drumming up more people for their set (Not that the extra bodies were really needed. I mean, they’re kicking up a storm & have already got a great following….but i suppose it was a good idea with a personal touch to turn peeps onto H.O.G. ). As the window was open, i had a quick chat with Helen (Laurens mum) as hadn’t see her for awhile.

Can’t quite remember what we did after the Worlds End pub ! But the first band i saw was Hands Off Gretel in the Underworld (probably saw last minutes of the act before them). The place was rammed, as expected it would be. It was interesting to see the varied age of the audience. H.O.G. obviously appeal to all ages, so that has to be a good thing. Lauren thanked the crowd for choosing their gig instead of any of the others. As ever, they played a great gig. At the end, the crowd really wanted more & kept shouting “one more song,one more song”! Unfortunately, due to time restraints, it wasn’t possible. Managed a couple of videos.

Next we went to the Crowndale to catch a bit of The Kut. Rob spotted a great place in a mini balcony, which was perfect to see it all. I’d not previously heard anything by them before, but i enjoyed what i saw.Β 

We then made our way to Koko to see the amazing Royal Republic. We caught the tail end of “Moses” set. (Didn’t really do anything for me lol)
Soon enough, it was time for the Royals. As ever, they were full of bombast & were bloody great ! They’re such a FUN band to watch !

As ever, they finish with “Full Steam Spacemachine”

We started making our way back to the market. Wandered around looking for food. To start off, i wanted some, but then i got a whiff of something & it totally put me off !Β Rob had some though.
Went to the Kraken stage which was billed as an “amphitheatre” to see Ally acoustic. All the VMs peeps were already there. It was quite nice sitting on the (false) grass steps. The only downside was that the sun was shining, behind Ally, towards us all. Must confess, when Ally spotted a sound problem & the local(?) guy didn’t agree with his opinion, it brought a smile to my face. (I think it was sorted by replacing a cable or something?). As always, Allys performance was pure & from his soul. I’m sure everyone enjoyed his show.Β 

Me? Take sneeky photos? πŸ˜‰Β 

Dunno where the time went today, but soon enough we headed to the Underworld in preparation for the maid band of the day, Virginmarys. But before them, we ended up watching quite a bit of ” Ruts DC”. They were a laugh. (In a good way). Was obvious there were some diehard fans in the crowd. Was surprised i knew a few of their songs (mighta been covers?)
So, to the main reason for coming down to Camden Rocks : The Virginmarys !
The place was soon heaving. We had a nice view from above to the left. They kick off with a ferocious version of “Portrait Of Red”. It’s really cool to see the crowd dancing away down there. Smiles all around πŸ™‚ Without taking a breath, they then play “Taking The Blame/ Halo in Her Silhouette”.

Next it’s one of my faves off the album “Divides”, namely “I Wanna Take You Home”. I always think of someone when they play this song πŸ˜‰ We’re only 5 or 6 songs into the set & i notice it’s already getting quite rough in the pits. As much as i wish i could be down there, it’s times like this i appreciate NOT being down there !
The (relatively) new song “Sweet Loretta” comes over great. The VMs family already know this so they’re singing along with passion.

Then we get the old classics “Free to Do Whatever They Say” & “Running for My Life”. It’s getting noticeably more heated in the pits & i can see there’s 2 or 3 idiots who just seem to be there to push people around. During the super new song “Sitting Ducks” it’s very cool to see Ross stomping around the stage but conversely, i notice the audience is now getting quite violent.
Hell, i even switch off my camera as i’m concerned some of my friends are taking a battering down there.

Next we get “Off To Another Land” & “Into Dust”. I find myself looking more at the audience than the band. I’ve never seen a VMs show where a small minority in the crowd seem to spoil it for the majority. I very much doubt those dickheads even knew a single VMs song. They’d probably rolled in from the bars & just wanted to thrash about. Some people seem to have no respect for others who are there to have a good time. During “For You My Love” it really kicked off in there. I could see at least one of my friends was visibly distressed about what was happening. I ended up filming the guy who was seemingly confronting her…

Got to say, this was the least enjoyable VMs show i’ve witnessed. Not down to the band, but due to some dickheads in the crowd.
“Walk In My Shoes” & “Motherless Land” seemed to go by without the previous altercations in the crowd. The last song, “Just A Ride” flew by. A bunch of us hung around for a while afterwards. Someone took this great photo of us with AllyΒ 

Eventually we all spilled out onto the road & started walking in the direction of Koko. My mate Rob had gone there to see Feeder, so we arranged to meet at the pub opposite. I think Feeder ran over time a little, but whatever, i’d had enough for the night. So once Rob was out, we were on our way back to Stratford. I got a txt from a mate in Boston saying there had been some sort of incident & he was asking if we were ok. (Thanks Andy G. ) On the tube back, we stopped for a few minutes at Mile End. The opposite line was also held. We were beginning to think the tube had been shut down. Eventually, we were on our way, but still wondering exactly what the incident was.

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Royal Republic , Thekla, Bristol , 6-10-16

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5-10-16 (Day before gig)
I put a lot of work into the planning/logistics of this show & the ones which followed. It was to be the first of 3 gigs in 3 days which involved a lot of travelling. As well as the gigs, it would give myself & Tess a few days together… I suggested we meet in London & stay at ” Hotel Rob ” the night before as train tickets would work out much cheaper this way instead of Me : Boston>Bristol OR Tess :Bournemouth> Bristol. After meeting up we were gonna visit Montague Pyke (why change tradition?) but it was rammed. Instead we made our way to Hotel Rob where we were greeted by Miss Grigorova πŸ˜‰ After a while we left to meet Rob at a bar (surprised?) & then he took us to a place called ” Flat Iron “. All i can say is OMFG those steaks were great ! Will most certainly visit there again soon, thanks Rob !Β http://flatironsteak.co.uk/ ( WE went to the Shoreditch place first)

6-10-16 (gig day)
I deliberately booked a train to Bristol for around midday. But when you’re up until 3am gassing & both Rob & Kristina leave early, it makes for a L-O-N-G day…Some of us coped better than others πŸ˜‰On train to Bristol 1

Once in Bristol i wanted to locate venue before checking into hotel,but, we were both too tired.So finding hotel was first priority. As we’d got VIP meet & greet tix, we also needed to be at venue for 5.30 onward.
That worked very well. All the guys in the band were very talkative & a good laugh. I learnt something from Per which surprised me & yet at the same time it didn’t. He told me that for Download festival they were offered Β£500. That’s for whole band & crew ! Of course, they said it wasn’t enough to even cover their costs, to which Live Nation replied ” There’s plenty of other bands that will take that slot if you don’t ! ” So they took it. Nowadays, it seems it’s really hard for bands to tour & make any money. They always have to put their own cash into things. The whole industry seems to be so rubbish , especially for “new” bands or ones that are trying to reintroduce themselves after being away (well, unless it’s an old “big” band reforming). It just shows the dedication & passion that acts such as Royal Republic, Virginmarys etc have.Β I knew Adam was tall, but blimey i look so short next to him !Β DSC07939

Dinosaur Pile-up were decent enough,but, i got the impression they so want to be Nirvana πŸ˜‰ Whatever, the kids loved them…

So to the main course : Royal Republic ! After the intro, what a great, in the face, full on start : “When I See You Dance with Another” straight into “Walk!”. Already the vibe is UP !
I just love the latest album ” Weekend Man “. A strange little secret i have is that i play the first two songs when i have a shower in the morning ! Why? The fast beats make me lather up quickly & i’m soon out of the shower thus saving water πŸ™‚ (Nothing kinky that i’m sure some of you were thinking !)
Next it’s back to the album “Save The Nation” with an outing of ” Make Love Not War “. We actually get about 4 from that album tonight as next up it’s “Strangers Friends Lovers Strangers”. Then it’s back to basics, or rather, where it all started with the classic ” Underwear ” from the debut album “We Are The Royal”. How many times have myself & friends quoted the line “..I can see your underwear from down here..” lol All done in the best possible taste πŸ˜‰
Tonight Tess has free reign to take photos all through the show. There’s no photo pit,the punters of first row are against the stage. As the venue is so small, we have the great idea of her leaving her camera bag tied to the balcony railing next to me. This way, she can come back up & take photos from this position also. Yo Tess! When are we gonna see those pics online ? πŸ˜‰
Adam tried to explain about “Weekend Man” saying that “…The Devil on your shoulder is like a choir boy compared to the Weekend Man..”. Make of that what you will πŸ™‚

After that it’s back to the STN album for “Everybody Wants to Be an Astronaut”. I’m really enjoying this set. We’re getting songs from all the albums & they all fit so well together. It’s just a sign of a quality band. The biggest or nicest surprise is the inclusion of a “Nosebreakers” song. For those not aware, about 2 years ago, Royal Republic covered their own songs acoustically on the album ” Royal Republic & The Nosebreakers”. They did even tour it around Europe, but, unfortunately not in the UK πŸ™ It was really cool to hear “Addictive” this way :

We’re then took back to the album ” Weekend Man ” & the brilliant song “Kung Foo Lovin’ “. Oh yes, you need to check out the latest merchandise where they have a “Kung Fu Lovin’ Adam” on the design πŸ™‚ Bloody love it & had to get one as the old school baseball shirt with this caricature just works so well
http://royalrepublic.merchcowboy.com/t-shirts/baseball-shirt-kung-fu-weiss-schwarz.html

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The main set is closed out with the killer song from debut album ” Tommy Gun “.
Something i noticed about this place/crowd was that despite there being only a few hundred(?) in the place & it was sold out, the audience was loud. I mean real loud!Β Already i love this venue. It’s nice n cosy with a cool balcony.
The first song of the encore was ” Here I Come ” (The first song of Weekend Man album…the one i shower too πŸ˜‰ ) Full on rocking. The atmosphere was then took down a little with the moody ” Follow The Sun “. Of course, there was really only one song to finish the show with & it was the amazing ” Full Steam Spacemachine “. Just love it when Per hits those drums so hard.DSC07988

Afterwards i decided i’d have to get a t-shirt. Got the Kung-Fu Adam cariacture one. I think it’s brilliant (though mine could be faulty as there are a few “black dots” in the print which are not on the one featured on their merch page πŸ™ ) Still, it’s supporting the band & helping them to carry on touring. Everyone should buy their merchandise as it really makes a difference (especially when they are partly self funding the tour). I wish i could have got to more shows but they clashed. A mate said Nottingham was great also.
Hopefully they won’t be long before their return & the venue sizes will jump up next time. Hope for Rock City next time as they deserve it.Β Soon afterwards we were back at the hotel hoping to catch up on the sleep. Again, it didn’t quite work out…I was really knackered & Tess was checking through the photos she’d took. Hey ho, got there eventually….& following morning was another early rising before the trip back to London πŸ™‚

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Theory Of A Deadman , Royal Republic, Forever Never, waterfront, Norwich 6-3-16

Scans0620IMAG0025When it was announced that Royal Republic would open for TOAD, i was a bit pissed off as i couldn’t make any of the dates. However, they added a date in Norwich, on a Sunday, so that was perfect for me! I think i’ve not seen the Royals since 2012, so well overdue. First band up tonight are the typical Essex lads Forever Never. I’ve seen them before, maybe in the same venue? opening for someone. They’re all about having “Fun” (like on his t-shirt πŸ˜‰ ) They’re decent enough, it’s just that their top song is a cover of John Farnams “The Voice”. It’s a great version & always gets crowd interaction, but after that i feel they cannot top it. Either way, they’re a good support act, no denying it.DSC06108

 

Next, as far as i’m concerned, it’s tonights headline act ; Royal Republic ! It’s gonna be a short set, of mainly new songs, but i know i’ll love it πŸ™‚ They start with ” When i See You Dance With Another” & then pretty much straight into ” Walk”. Fantastic full energy stuff as always. DuringΒ ” Make Love Not WarΒ “, Adam has a laugh with someone in the crowd, who is now named “Bob”. He has to look into his eyes as he sings the lyrics with heartfelt emotion πŸ˜‰

Before “Baby” we hear the story of how Jonas has had surgery on his knee. Respect to you for carrying on with the tour dude!

After “Kung Foo Lovin”, they finish with the old classic ” Full Steam Spacemachine”. Damn did that 30min set go quickly !

Next up it’s Theory Of a Deadman. I’ve seen them open for a couple of bands in the past. Must confess, i wonder if i’ll be able to stay for all their set πŸ˜‰ All i can say is they were good at what they do, but none of it is really groundbreaking stuff for me. Funniest thing during their set was some woman kept shouting at Tyler. Dunno if she was drunk or just in looove πŸ˜‰ Overall, a good night out & the 2 hour drive was worth it πŸ™‚

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Download Festival ,Def Leppard, The Darkness, Alter Bridge, Royal Republic, Thin Lizzy, Black Stone Cherry, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Japanese Voyeurs, System Of A Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Skunk Anansie, Down,Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Cheap Trick, Mr Big, Dio Disciples, Clutch, Linkin Park, The Pretty Reckless, Castle Donington 10-6-11

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Houston band like video

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Guano Apes , Royal Republic, VK, Brussels 23-5-11

006912011-5-23 Guano Apes Brussels

After the previous nights nightmare in Amsterdam, i made sure all the security knew me &Β that i had permission to film the show. I wouldn’t normally shoot it all from in the pit, but, just felt i had to tonight. Yeah, it distorts & i cannot get the best angles as so close, but it was a great idea to film there. Not only that, the gig was fantastic ! Really enjoyed this one πŸ™‚

P.S. I do like how they wrote ” T.V.” on the pass πŸ™‚

This different video also includes me filming the show πŸ˜‰ (Cheers to Christer for linking me this)

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Guano Apes, Royal Republic , @ Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands 22-5-11

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Wow ! A dream come true : Seeing my fave band in the Melkweg & being able to film the show. Unfortunately, it ended up being an absolute NIGHTMARE ! Due to a lack of communication, Melkwegs security were somehow not aware i was allowed to film. About 3 songs into the set, security downstairs start shining torches at me. Then i feel someone grab my leg from below ! (I was on balcony & it was pretty much directly below where the sound desk was) Security told me to shut down. Obviously, with all the volume etc, it wasn’t easy to try explain…especially to a total dickhead security guy ! Talk about shot down in flames. Β There was really no need for this to happen. On previous tours, i’d always get an AAA laminate-no one messes with those-but for whatever reason, i just got the stickies this tour. Yes, a recipe for disaster if there ever was one.

A great show, but i just couldn’t get into it after the B.S.

P.S. The security didn’t totally “win”. Me being me, i still carried on running audio of the full show with my mic in plain view !

P.P.S. Royal Republic totally rocked the show tonight. They’re such a fuckin great live band. Here’s a little footage i shot of them πŸ™‚

As for the Guano Apes footage? Nah, it’s staying with me & not gonna upload it ever πŸ™‚

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