VIRGINMARYS + Ten Eighty Trees + Quesey @ cafe totem, Sheffield, 5-4-18

This gig & the next one were kinda hanging in the balance. I’d recently got my last M.R.I. results & they were not good. Tbh, to start off with, i wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be going. After speaking with my nurse, i decided to go. As i’d never been to this venue before, i wondered if i’d be able to SEE anything or not. When i emailed them about having a seat, it all seemed a bit sketchy….
Last time i visited Sheffield i checked out where Cafe Totum was, cos i’d never heard of the place ! (It used to be called “The Rocking Chair”)
I left Bostonia at 11.50. Changed train at Nottingham & finally arrived at Sheffield around 14.45. Stayed at Jurys Inn this time. A nice room, at a reasonable price & pretty close to the venue ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

After checking in, i had a walk to “The Waterworks” & had a late lunch. As it was Thursday, i had to have the usual Curry Club deal ๐Ÿ™‚ On the way back i decided to have a look in Cafe Totum & confirm about the seat for later. The lass at the bar said the manager was downstairs in gig room, so i went down. Door was locked though! Luckily, i could see in the room & caught the eye of Gareth. We kinda sign languaged lol, Telling me to go back up stairs. Met him there then he took me into the gig room. The guys were finishing off sound checking. Even though i thought the room would be small, it really surprised me just how tiny it was. There was no way, even with a stool, i’d be able to see the stage. I noticed a kind of ledge right at the back, so decided to try perch myself up on there. Simon (another one ….too many Simons!) said he’d already took a snap from up there. It was a bit of a balancing act once up there, but seemed ok. Gareth got me a stool so i could use it to get up there (+ also put a note on it to say it was reserved. Nice one mate). Myself & Danny then went up to the bar for a drink & a natter. There was a slight problem at the bar ๐Ÿ˜‰ During which time Stuart also came up. So i bought the round of drinks. We had a real good chat about “the business & contracts” etc (Hey Danny, don’t forget about those master tapes i filmed ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
The closer to doors time, the more busy the bar got. I later saw, Gary, Ross et al turned up & they went over into a corner. Do i smell bad ? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then i saw Helen Tate & her clan arrive. She came over & had a chat with me (Maybe i don’t smell that bad after all lol). Always nice to see her & Lauren. Again, we briefly talked about the music industry & how hard it is for small bands to make it big. She mentioned about how Facebook has changed. Apparently, if they paid something like a tenner the posts would get more views. HOG have around 14,000 subscribers, but after the change, the most recent announcement for a new gig was only seen by about 160 people. What a load of rubbish is that eh? After a while she went back to her kids. I then noticed the room wasn’t so busy. Most peeps had gone downstairs to the gig room. So i went down. as expected, it was pretty rammed. I was surprised that no one had pinched my stool. I sat on said stool for the support acts; neither of which really did much for me.
There was a lad near me who was already pissed up. I told him i’d be going up on that “perch”. He said “Yeah…reckon i’ll do that as well”. I’m thinking to myself “I can see him having an accident just trying to get up there!”
The guys kicked off with “Portrait Of Red” & then went straight into “Dead Mans Shoes”. I then realised that the lighting in this venue is REALLY poor. Basically, i could see Ross & Danny ok, but there wasn’t any lighting on Allys side. Trying to film a clip, the camera just couldn’t see Ally. So i ended up just filming Danny, Ross & Garry ! Garry? Yes, he was nicely lit up on front row ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next it’s “Free To Do” & then, one of my faves from “Divides” “I Wanna Take You Home”. Again, due to poor lighting, the photos i tried to take are pretty naff.ย 

A bit later, they played a new song called “Don’t Wanna be Free”. Was interesting to hear that. About half way through the set, i noticed the pissed up guy next to me was wobbling on the perch & then he started knocking me. Sorry to say it, but, i was thinking “Just fall down already!” ๐Ÿ™‚ I think i lost my focus then as was bothered about the chap next to me ! The guys played a lot of good uns, namely “Running For My Life”, “Into Dust”, “Blind Lead The Blind” etc. Again i had a go at filming another song:

When they got to “Lost Weekend”, i thought i’d try my mobile to see how it picked up the band in low lighting (I’ve never used mobile to film stuff as i’m sure sound would distort) As it was, it did pick up Ally better than my camera, but the resolution was a lot lower. Was an interesting experiment ๐Ÿ™‚

“Sitting Ducks”, from the last ep they released, always goes down well. Then another classic VM song is played, namely, “Motherless Land “. We’re then treated to another new song “Look Out For My Brother”. Lovely stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
The main set finishes with “Just A Ride” & “Ends Don’t Mend”. From my perch, i didn’t see much jumping around during the gig & also the crowd were not over loud. I think waiting for the encore even had a brief time when no one was clapping/cheering for them to come back !ย  Eventually they return & we get “Northern Sun” & “Bang Bang Bang”. Tonight they didn’t use the gong though ๐Ÿ™ A few people hung around for a little while in the gig room, whilst others made their way up to the bar…or left ! Oh yeah, earlier in the day, an old local friend from the ’80s sent a message to me about meeting up as he was working in Sheffield. We ended up meeting after the gig had finished. He came down into the gig room, then we went up to the bar. Had a real good catch up. Hadn’t seen each other for years! Was great seeing you again Graham ๐Ÿ™‚ .Before i went to my hotel, i said my goodbyes & got a quick photo with Ally & Danny.ย 

P.S. The Hero of the evening was Ross. Why ? Because he’d not been well recently but battled though the lurgy & played the gig. Good on ya Ross ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

 

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MARMOZETS , The Leadmill, Sheffield, 11-2-18

The earliest train out of Boston on a Sunday, leaves at 12.13.Today, when i changed trains at Grantham, there was a 2 hour wait for the connecting train. So there was nothing for it, i had to go to The Tollemarshe Inn for my lunch ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was surprised it wasn’t very busy, especially as it was around 13.15
After i’d had my grub, took a slow walk back to the station. Train was due to leave for Sheffield at 15.09 & arrive at 16.34 Everything ran on time. As i got closer to Sheffield i noticed more snow in the fields. Once i got to Sheffield, i went straight to my hotel. Today i was trying out the Novotel on Arundel Gate. It’s quite close to The Leadmill & a bargain at ยฃ54. It was a nice quality room, but there was something i’d not experienced before : As i walked into the room,on the right hand side, there was a toilet (yeah nothing new lol) but not only that, there was another door in front before getting into the main room! Very “different”! (Actually, having the 2 doors probably helped so didn’t hear people walking by ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Also, another thing i’d never seen before was a table that could “swing round” to a different position. (Looking at the photo, the lighter coloured desk on top, swings round , away from the wall towards where i took the photo from! Very different!)
As it was cold & wet outside , i stayed in my room till about 15mins before doors were due to open. Once at the Leadmill, there was a reasonable sized queue & i went to the front of it to have a word with security. There were also a couple more peeps who had disabilities & were waiting on the security to let us in. Once inside, on the left, there was a turnstile to pass through & the numpty security chap told me to go stand there! Why did he tell me to go there, when the other disabled customers were to the right of it ?!? A few seconds later, the other security chap came in & said “You don’t need to wait there mate” So yeah, that other security chap was a big numpty ๐Ÿ™‚
There used to be a raised area at the back in this venue. But a few days before the gig i had an email saying it wasn’t available as it had got “broken”. Yeah right, course it had… The stools we were given were rubbish. Way too low. It didn’t really help when some tall ignorant fucker stood directly in front of me (I say ignorant because he looked & saw me sat down, but still stood in front of me).
I sat down through all of Queen Zees set, just wishing they’d get it over with.
The show was sold out, so not hardly any room in the place. In fact, there was a point when someone in front of me kept stepping further back towards me & stood on my feet! A quick push from me sorted that out. Of the 4 shows i saw, this was easily the one i least enjoyed.
One thing i have learnt over the last couple of years is some venues are great with looking after people with disabilities whist others are just useless.
Untill you’ve seen it “from the other side”, you don’t realise what a difference it can make to either enjoying the show or not.
I won’t say much else about this gig except that it was the same set list as the other nights. The band went down a storm & from what little i could see, they seemed to enjoy it.
I did try taking a couple of photos/video clips, but it’s hard work to hold a camera above you for very long.

When i left the venue it was a bit sleety outside. Good thing my hotel was as close as it was ๐Ÿ˜‰
The following day, as i was walking on the icy paths to the train station, i couldn’t help thinking ” I really hope they play the O2 Academy main room next time”.

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While She Sleeps, Halfsight, Elegies, The Leadmill, Sheffield 29-12-15

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With the news of Lemmys death still sinking in, i really wasn’t in the mood for going to this gig. But i had responsibilities as i was the driver. Whilst we were at the pub,pre gig, i wasn’t really taking anything in from the chats we were having. I was there, but i wasn’t there. Once at the Leadmill, i wasn’t impressed with either of the support acts. As for WSS, there was a lot of energy up there, but again i just couldn’t really get into it. Would have been great if they’d tried to do a Motorhead cover , but at least Lozย mentioned good old Lemmy. Just a shame that half the kids didn’t seem to know who Ian Fraser Kilmisterย was though ๐Ÿ˜‰ After their set was finished, the first song played over the PA was “Ace Of Spades”. There was no way i was leaving that venue till i’d heard the full song. R.I.P. Lemmy.ย This was a strange way to finish my gig going of 2015.

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Fish, City Hall, Sheffield 10-12-15

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I happened to notice that the city hall offer reduced price car parking at Q Park on Rockingham street. Only ยฃ3 for 24 hours! Only problem was, even though it’s close by, somehow we walked around in a circle to find City Hall! Went to the Wetherspoons for beer & a curry, then off to the gig. This was originally gonna be in the Ballroom, but ticket sales were good enough to move to the city hall ( Agent to Fish : “Do you want to move to the city hall?” Fish : ” Erm, that’s where i’ve had many jinxed moments over the years!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

The support act, ” Lazuli ” were interesting to start off, but, ultimately i found them a bit samey. So much so that i was dropping off to sleep ! They finished with all band member playing a glockenspiel together. That was quite impressive.DSC06430

So, to the main man. I’d read that the previous night in Birmingham, he was struggling with vocals. First stop in Sheffield was A&E for Cortizone injections. This could fall below par tonight. The first song, i thought he sounded awful ! As the night went on & possibly as his vocals had warmed up, he started sounding better (Or was it *not* any better & i was allowing too much?) ย Fish told a story about being in A&E & there was a “typical Scottish drunk” there (Not him). It was a nice segue to ” Family Business” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then it’s time for “Misplaced Childhood”. Before the start, Fish basically said “Just enjoy yourselves, how ever you want”. This caused pretty much everyone to get to their feet.

Overall, Fish performed well, but, you could tell he was struggling a bit. I’m sure the loud audience spurred him on a lot though. Listening to “Misplaced” i was transported back to the Nottingham & Leicester gigs of 1986. So many great memories. Then we had “Market Square Heroes”….that took me back to Rock City 1983. Fish got it right when he said it’s great we can all still share these moments “together”after all these years. Whilstย he doesn’t know us all per se , there is a great connection. Must confess, i thought finishing with “The Company”, didn’t really work for me. But that’s a minor complaint for a decent night out ๐Ÿ™‚

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” Winter Rocks “, The Temperance Movement, Fozzy, Nonpoint, Crobot , Scorpion Child, Graveltones, Sumo Cyco, Tax The Heat, Dirty Youth, Skarlett Riot , Falling Red, Corporation, Sheffield 5-12-15

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Damn it was windy today ! Believe it or not, it actually helped us as regards car parking! Got to Sheffield & 1st car park was full. 2nd one was pretty much the same, except for 2 spaces which had some boarding that had blown down. So out the car we get, move the boarding & space secured ! (straight after, someone came into the next space lol) We went to the pub, for food n beers & then of to the Corp. There were a few in the queue before us, but, everything was looking good. Saw Simon Dunkerly & he said ” Have you seen the photo?” Me: “Erm what/where?” . Simon ” On the Winter Rocks page. Stuart asked for a photo to put up & i chose the one where you’re wearing the red top!” Me : ” Oh ace ! Cheers mate ๐Ÿ™‚ ”

12339100_523459581149003_1197949217560640296_oOnce doors opened, we were then held in the bar area, whilst final preparations were finished. Skarlett Riot were sound checking (i shoulda filmed it under the shutters lol). Once in, front row was secured in the perfect position. Job done! ย First band on were Skarlett Riot. A solid opener for sure.

Next up, it was “Sumo Cyco”. (Bad Touch had to pull their set due to having traffic problems). I had never even heard of Sumo Cyco before, so it was all new to me. What can i say except that they rocked big time. They certainly brought the energy levels up. I really wanna see these do their own headline show now ๐Ÿ™‚ P.S. My mate Ady thought that Sever/Skye was a “scary lady”….personally, i thought she had great attitude & knows how to pump up the crowd ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Next up it was “The Dirty Youth”. A band i’ve seen before & they’re not bad. But truth be told, anything after “Sumo Cyco” was gonna be an uphill struggle.

Next we had ” Tax The Heat”. I’ve seen these before & gotta be honest, whilst they are great musicians, they just didn’t get me going (again) sorry. I think my friend Rachel summed them up very aptly ; ”ย Too groomed, too safe……yawn ” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next it was The Graveltones. They’re always great. Apparently, this was their last gig for 2 months & it’s the first time in 5 years of touring, that they’re having 2 months off ! Respect ! As a bonus, they had Nick Fyffe (The Temperance Movement) jam with them as well tonight

Scorpion Child were next. Didn’t know anything about them, but they were ok.

Crobot followed & they were their usual awesome selves. Knew we were in for something special as before the show, i saw Jake with his bottle of Jack Daniels pouring himself a very nice measure. He was having a laugh n joke with some of the peeps down the front as well. This guy is a dude. I’m sure he also made the day for many ladies in the crowd as he performed tonight just wearing his pants !

Nonpoint were refreshing, due to their sound, but, ultimately were a bit boring. As for Fozzy ? Omg. Seriously ? The singer just loves himself waaaaay too much. I did think his jacket at the start was funny though! I mean, we’re coming up to Christmas, so all those flashing lights fitted nicely. Strangest moment of their set was a cover of Abba’ “S.O.S.” I turned around to see everyones reactions. There were as many people just looking stunned as there were really loving it.(I saw you gettin down to it Nina ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) On reflection, i still don’t know what to make of it. The lass next to me tapped me on my shoulder with a “there there there” kind of gesture ! She’d noticed what i was thinking lol

Finally, time for the headliners, The Temperance Movement. I got chatting to a lass who had traveled down from Scotland just for this show. She was telling me that TTM are headlining Glasgow Barrowlands next year & that i should go. Must say, i’m impressed they’ve got up to that level. Just shows with quality songs & a lot of hard work touring, anything is possible. Tonights performance was just great.Not as great as the Bodega show though ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย A shame they ran out of time ….

So, all in all, another great indoors festival at Sheffield. Was nice seeing some “old” friends there & being introduced to some others (putting more names to faces is always good) is always cool. Roll on Winter Rocks 2016 !

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Michael Monroe, Hardcore Superstar, Chase The Ace, Corporation, Sheffield, 10-10-15

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A few friends were also going to this one, so nice to briefly hook up with Lisa + Carl, Nomis + Liz & also Scott. Whilst i was the first in the queue, i wasn’t the first there as a couple of nice German girls were actually waiting at the wrong door. I soon put them straight though. First band was “Chase The Ace”. They had plenty of energy up there. They said they were also not getting paid for tonight, which is a sign of the times. Yes folks, that’s why it’s always important to support bands buying the merchandise.

This was a co headline tour between Hardcore Superstar & Michael Monroe. Those German girls i mentioned were following the tour to see HSS. Oh yeah, there was also a lass i met from Finland who was following the tour to see MM ๐Ÿ™‚ HSS i’ve seen a few times before & i always felt there was nothing that really stood out that was different or unique. But saying that, they are good at what they do & tonight was the best i’ve ever seen them. Really enjoyed their set.

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Mr Monroe is always entertaining. Within a couple of numbers, the sweat is just running off him. The band all seem to be having a great time as there’s little in jokes with each other etc. MM is just all over that stage & down on the barrier. It’s what full energy rock n roll is always about. Something i loved though was despite the craziness, he still took a few seconds to go down in the pit to tough base with someone in a wheelchair ( I think it was a “mate of a mate” Mark Hodgkinson) such a diamond geezer. I wouldn’t really say that the show was much different than it always is….just quality rock n roll delivered very professionally by all involved.

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Anathema, Lone Wolf, @ The Ballroom, City Hall, Sheffield 24-7-15

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I picked up Cat 30mins later than planned (or was it ? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) & off to Sheffield we go. Park up at Meadowhall Interchange & take the tram into the city. Once there we go exchange tickets for wristbands. Interestingly, this was happening in the City Hall. I’d never stood on that stage before, so had to take a photo from up there. I told Cat i’d seen Metallica in here twice & it seemed to blow her mind ๐Ÿ˜‰ย After grub, we go into the Ballroom. It’s not over busy, but the front row is already took. Then Cat gets a msg from Daniel that we have passes waiting for us ! Very nice thank you. Once back, our luck gets even better as a couple decide to leave & we get front row! Perfect. I just love the songs of Anathema, they’re so moving. I think the lighting in here is pretty rubbish tbh. I got the feeling that Vincent wasn’t over impressed with tonights crowd (pretty sure he said something off mic ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Still, i enjoyed the show as i always do with them. Afterwards, we went for a quick drink. Cat wanted to meet Daniel to thank him,but, we were running out of time as the last tram was at 11.45. Once at Cathedral stop, it’s listed there’s a later tram. We now know whichย pub Daniel is in, so go for a walk. Soon find him & thank him etc. I tell him i’m going to Ramblin Man festival tomorrow as i’d won tickets. He didn’t realise Scorpions were still on the go….& then took the piss about the “whistling song ” ๐Ÿ˜‰ He also offered me guest tickets for Ramblin Man ! What a great guy ๐Ÿ™‚ (I didn’t take up the offer, but it was a back up plan if needed ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Anyway, time was getting on, so we went back to the tram stop. Well, it seemed the info on the board was wrong & we’d missed the last tram (11.45). So had to get a taxi back. Was expecting it to be really expensive, but it cost around ยฃ10. Got back to Boston around 2.45am & i was gonna get up at 6.30 ready for my train to London….

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Slipknot , Korn , King 810, @ Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield 16-1-15

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As far as i was concerned, i had the perfect seating position for this show. No one in front to block my view & close enough to get some great shots. What a brilliant show it was ! Loved both Korn & Slipknot, but didn’t like King 810. Also a mate sneaked his video camera in so he later mixed my footage with his & we now have a great document of the evening ๐Ÿ˜‰

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