Indie Daze,House Of Love, Voice Of The Beehive, Crazyhead, Hunt & Nockalls, Bis, O2 Forum, London, 7-10-17

The previous night i was in Nottingham to see Papa Roach. I took a train from Nottingham to London which departed at 07.30 & arrived about 09.15. Quickly on the tube to make my way to “Hotel Rob”, over at Stratford. Rob & Kristina had only been home a few hours after their latest holiday. Had a chat with Rob, gave him my Max & Igor ticket ( Can’t do it now as the following day i have an appointment with my Oncologist & couldn’t get back in time). Eventually Kristina woke up. Was suffering from jet lag after the long trip home. Had a bit of a natter & then made my way back into the city. Was gonna have a wander around Camden, but it was already too busy for my liking, so i went straight to The Forum in Kentish Town. It was an early start today. First band “Bis” were due on at 1.30. I went to the box office to confirm everything, then decided to go for a quick beer. Didn’t make it though, as i bumped into Eddie. We had a quick chat & he realised he’d got a bottle of Corona in his bag. Obviously, he wouldn’t be able to take that in the venue. So, he gave it to me & i necked it pretty quickly πŸ™‚ As we were stood there, who should come walking towards us from the venue ? Tracey & Missy ! Perfect timing πŸ™‚ (We didn’t get a chance for a natter at the Lexington show as had to dash off quickly for a train)
I asked if we could get some photos now, just in case it got busy after the show. Tracey said “Great idea !”. Thanks to Eddie for taking the photos & also to the random person walking by who took the group photo….& thanks for not running off with my camera πŸ˜‰ Tracey also took a couple of selfies on her mobile phone. Oh yeah, whilst chatting to Tracey, i told her how much i loved hearing “Playing House” live @ The Lexington. She then quietly said to me ” We’re going to play it again tonight”. That was it : my day made already πŸ™‚Β 

Soon enough, the girls were on their way back to the hotel so they could chill/rest up for a bit before their show later on. By now doors were open so myself & Eddie decided to go in. Got our passes sorted & we could go either upstairs or downstairs. As expected, the balcony was pretty much empty. So i quickly went downstairs to check out the merchandise again. Eddie was there & was handing over some badges he’d had made up. He even gave me a few for a small donation. Cheers mate. I quickly went back upstairs to take my spot on the balcony.

The first band on were “Bis”. The venue was pretty empty as it was early in the day. Didn’t know what to expect of them. Back in the day, i bought their single “Euro Disco” . I dunno if it was a “hit” per say , but i loved the track. Liked the quirky disco beat sounds. Today, i didn’t think much to the sound, but they were ok.


Next up it was “Salad”. They were a band that totally passed me by all those years ago. Tbh, can’t even remember them. There was still only a small audience in the room, but there were certainly a couple of people who loved the band. Didn’t really do anything for me though.


Yet again, a name i remember from back in the day. But as far as i’m aware, i never saw them live or bought any or their records. Tbh, i soon got tired of them today !

MILES & ERICAΒ 

Ah finally something i really do know ! I went to many Wonder Stuff shows around the UK back in the ’80s. They were/are one of my fave “jump around” kind of bands. Miles is a great lyricist & i pretty much loved most of the Wonder Stuff catalogue. A funny coincidence is that when VOTB first got back together, back in 2003, they were opening for The Wonder Stuff. At that time, Woody couldn’t do the shows so they had Tom Fenner on drums. All due respect to Tom, but, it just wasn’t quite right without Woody. A nice memory i have of that tour was seeing Miles sat at the back of Hammersmith odeon, on the main floor, watching VOTB soundchecking. He later praised VOTB saying something like ” I’d forgot how many great songs they had”. But i digress…
I’d already seen Miles & Erika do a solo show & really enjoyed it. So i knew this one should be a good one. I have a lot of respect for Milo. He does things how he wants to. An example of that was, today/tonight, he said they were gonna play a bunch of songs from the latest album & we’d have to wait for the Stuffies songs. It was a good show. In some ways, i even think that Miles & Erica doing their own stuff , is as strong as a Stuffies gig. Yes, it’s totally different, but it’s very nice.I got a clip of a new one, but i’m uploading a Stuffies song here πŸ™‚

I’d considered going to one of the warm up dates that Crazyhead played before Indie Daze. Again, back in the day i loved em. But what eventually stopped me from going to any warm up, was the locations. They all seemed to be a bit far out of the towns & as i can no longer drive, i didn’t fancy a late night walk in territory that i don’t know (I’m also adverse to using taxis as i’m a tight bugger!) So i dipped out & decided to see them at Indie Daze. The last time i saw them was back in ’99 when they toured with The Mission & All About Eve. Previous to that, it was The Duke Of Wellington pub in Lincoln (’93). I was looking forward to tonights show. Unfortunately, i messed up though. The previous night i’d used my camera at Papa Roach in Rock City & pretty much drained the battery. The other battery i had, seemed to have not held its charge very well. I only managed to capture a partial amount of one song of Crazyhead.

Fortunately, i had a mini charger that i was using for my phone, so i ended up charging the battery as much as i could before VOTB came on. I enjoyed Crazyheads set, but i felt it seemed too loud & lacked definition.

Apollo 440 : Didn’t enjoy them at all. Even “Stop the Rock” or whatever it’s called, didn’t do anything for me. Maybe i was losing my attention as it had already been a long day & i was just willing that VOTB to get up there? Who knows…
During the next interval, Robert spotted they’d placed VOTBs set list on the mixing desk. I leaned over the balcony & got a photo of it πŸ˜‰ Was interesting to see how they were gonna shake it up a bit. Especially surprising was the position of “..Barbarian..” in the set.Β 

After a while, the familiar intro started playing & they went straight into “Beat Of Love”. Next we got “Trust Me”. This was followed by the song where Tracey relates to the city they’re playing in today. It may be “Just A City”, but we all know how much she loves the place πŸ˜‰Β  Β 
They then go up a gear & we get a nice version of “Just Like You”. I notice a balloon flying around down there. This was something that was Eddies idea : He brought a bunch of balloons to hand out to people in the crowd & thus every so often during the show, you’d see balloons flying around πŸ™‚

Next it’s the slow,but beautiful, “Man In the Moon”. I love how they placed “Look At Me” next to “What You Have Is Enough”. As previously said, Tracey was way ahead of this time about how people are so narcissistic nowadays. Facebook is a prime example of this… Then on the flipside, “What You Have Is Enough” reaffirms this as well πŸ™‚
Oh yeah ,Tracey gives a shout out to April from Australia, before they play “What You Have Is Enough”

Next up is my favourite song on this tour, namely “Playing House”. Missy mentions how some people have travelled very far for these shows, you know who you are guys πŸ˜‰

“Adonis Blue” is as beautiful a song as ever, then we get the shock (well,it would have been if i’d not seen the setlist lol) of “Barbarian” NOT being the encore ! A strange place for it to be in the set, but it still works well. Once again, things are brought down a level with “Sorrow Floats”.
They finish the set with all the major hits, “Dont Call Me Baby” , “I Walk The Earth”, “I Say Nothing” & the last song of “Monsters & Angels”.

What a great show yet again ! I’m not bothered about seeing “House Of Love”, so i make my way downstairs. Get chatting with some of the bees,both new & old. Then i remember i need to collect the Indie Daze poster that i’d won. Went over to merch & collected it. Went back to the others & nobody seemed to know where VOTB guys would be going for a meet up. Initially it was gonna be at The Bull & Gate pub but ended up being in the upstairs bar of the Forum…much better πŸ™‚
It soon got quite busy up there. Was great to see so many happy faces after everyone had seen VOTB. I had a little chat with Dotty, who came over for the shows back in ’03, but i don’t think she really recognized me. Woody asked me how i was. I told him i’m fine & enjoyed the show. He then said “I thought you looked frail at the Lexington”. I suppose as we’d not seen each other for so long & i’ve gone through both radio & chemo therapy, maybe my appearance to many is shocking to how i was before. Whatever, it was really nice to see him again back where he belongs πŸ™‚

I took a few candid snaps, had a nice chat with Missy & then bid my farewells to everyone. By now, i was getting pretty tired & had to travel over to Stratford.
All in all, the whole Beehive experience was a hell of a lot of fun. Great to reconnect not only with the band, but also some of the old school Beehive fans & then some who i’d not met before. This is an experience i’ll remember forever !

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Voice Of The Beehive, The Lexington, London 4-10-17

I honestly didn’t think there could be a “proper” Voice Of The Beehive reunion during my lifetime. Just imagine my excitement when the news started filtering through that it was going to happen ! There were two key elements to making this happen. Firstly, Grant Holby using his tenacity over a couple of years to try make it happen. Secondly & probably the key element, was that Woody would come back into the fold. Tracey has already said, it was down to Woody playing that she agreed to doing it.
So special thanks must go to Woody for agreeing to do it & of course Grants persitance at trying to get it together πŸ™‚
Obviously, where ever they were going to play, i’d be there….

Oh yeah, must say, this gig was not only special to me for the band doing it, but also, since seeing my first gig, Blondie in 1980, this was the 1000th gig i’d been to !
I’ve seen many bands around the UK & Europe over the years, made many friends on my travels & have had a great life. Life without music to me is unimaginable.

I’d never been to The Lexington before,but knew it was a small pub venue. I was hoping there would be some sort of raised area,so i could SEE the show properly.
After recent visits to venues that had been “updated”, such as The Borderline, which is now absolutely useless, it was nice to go Lexington & see some positives !
Raised area at the back near the bar. A nice small room & as we later found out, nice sound.

My day began with a train from Boston to Grantham, then Grantham to Peterborough where i met an old school friend & we carried on to London Kings X. I had the forethought to walk from Kings X to the venue, just in case there was any problem with the Tube. (Guess what…) Went in the Lexington & there was a lone bartender who seemed bored πŸ˜‰ He told us that load-in was to be around 4pm. So we left & went to the Angel (Wetherspoons) pub. Angel Tube is just across the road. Perfect!
Had some nosh & a good catch up before making our way back to The Lexington. Outside, we saw a chap waiting around like an expectant father looking for his children coming home from school. Soon realised it was Grant πŸ˜‰ Whilst i’ve been in contact with him via FB, this was the first time meeting him in person. We had a quick chat & it turned out he was still waiting for the T-shirts & backline to arrive. Could already sense he was getting stressed πŸ˜‰
We went into the pub to chill for a while. During that time Martin & Mike arrived (Woody was already there). Had a nice chat with Mike. Hard to believe we’d not talked since the first reunion back in ’03 ! Robert Graves arrived & he sat with us for a chat. Whilst i’d known him for years, due to his great VOTB website he used to have, we’d never met in person. So that was cool. We had a nice chat about all things Beehive & was good to see we were both “on the same page” about certain aspects of VOTB web presence etc πŸ˜‰
Time seemed to go real slow. Later whilst sat there, we saw/heard a few cop cars go by. It turned out there was a suspect package at nearby Angel. They closed the station & evacuated everyone for the Angel Wetherspoons. I guess we had timed things perfectly.Β  TheΒ Lexington got busier & could see that Grant was getting a bit stressed.

Eventually, we went upstairs to the gig room. Got the perfect spot & the room quickly got packed out. Seemed an eternity before the familiar old intro tape snippet from ” I Love Lucy ” started. The excitement level increased so much then. It was like time travel back to the old days, seeing them multiple times around the UK….
Mike leads the procession on stage ,closely followed by Woody. Once sat down behind his drums, he does a little dance around waving his arms. Happy times πŸ™‚ Missy says “Thank you so much for coming. it means a lot!” Then as the intro dies, she says “We love London !”. Then it’s the familiar strains of “Beat Of Love”. Smiles all around. Some of the audience bouncing around already.

Not a bad start to the show eh? Next up it’s the old classic “Trust Me”. Whilst there might be some kind of problem with Traceys guitar, it’s great to see her smile at the “..Lets go Boys..” part of the song . Before ” Adonis Blue “, Tracey gave shoutouts to Robert Graves , Missy did the same to me πŸ™‚

Next we get a nice version of “Man In The Moon”. Things then go up a notch with the rocky “What You Have Is Enough “. This is followed by a nice surprise. I’d hoped they would play it and they did : “Playing House”. It’s one of my faves & don’t think i’d seen them play this before. We all interpret the songs in our own different ways, but this one i used to play a lot & i related to it when i was having a bad time & my relationship was breaking down. It’s kinda strange that i love this song so much, yet it was at a low point in my life i really got into it.
We all know how much Tracey loves London, so hearing “Just a City” again was most apt. Next they played the fantastic ” 7 Shocks “. Back in the day, i used to always go a bit crazy jumping around to this one. It was an interesting choice to play “Look At Me” & “Perfect Place” back to back. As Tracey had recently posted, “Look At Me” was ahead of it’s time & most certainly i can relate to how social media such as Facebook is a modern day version of this. Whatever though, i’ve always loved the song & the lyrics are so apt nowadays. The next song, “Perfect Place”, i’ve never managed to decide if it’s a song for hope or it’s about being stuck in a rut, wanting to change, yet the dreams don’t come true. I’ve always felt a touch of irony when i hear the lyric ” I walk the earth my darling but i never feel at home” Then thinking of the song “I Walk The earth” with the line “I walk the earth my darling, this is my home”. Maybe i just analyze stuff too much ?


“Just Like You” is just pure pop passion with an edge to it. It’s always been one of my faves when performed live. The mood is brought down a little with the “waltzy” “Sorrow Floats”. “Little Gods” is VOTB perfection. “Monsters & Angels” has a really big sound to it. I always imagine people swaying from side to side (or arms raised) like this is an anthem. “Pocketsized” has always been a fun song live. Love when Missy does the strange quirky vocal scream type thing in it πŸ™‚
The next three songs are true Beehive jems : “Don’t Call Me Baby”, “I Walk The Earth” & ” I Say Nothing “.
The encore was totally unexpected & it certainly mixed things up. Just Tracey & Missy performing “Tattoo Song”. I don’t think this has been done before, but i loved it.
Of course, the gig had to finish with “Barbarian” ! What a great night. Classic Beehive just like the old days. Sure, there were a couple of little errors along the way, but it proves that it’s all real & heartfelt. I don’t think they managed many rehearsals, but once again, it proved they were soon back into the groove & everyone was enjoying it.

The only downside to the day was that we didn’t get the chance to meet the band afterwards as we had to dash off to catch our train home. I’m hoping that will be rectified at the Indie Daze gig on Saturday πŸ˜‰

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The Wonder Stuff, Voice Of The Beehive, @ Manchester Apollo,5-12-03

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I remember thinking how late VOTB were arriving. Seems there was a hell of a delay on the motorway (Think i also caught part of it on my journey). Once they arrived, certainly seemed a little stressed out. Missy : ” Simon, at least give me a hug after that awful drive we’ve had!” (Or words to that effect). Was interesting for me seeing the “other side” of the venue. I kinda got a bit lost haha (Spinal Tap?).Again, VOTB went down well with the crowd & i filmed it all. Strange as it sounds, i hung with the band during some of The Stuffies set…strange because i LOVE the Stuffies. Also, i just kept my camcorder running most of the night & did a mini “interview” with Mike amongst other things.

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Voice Of The Beehive, @ Metro Club, London 3-12-03

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VOTB reunion gig. First time together in gawd knows how many years. Me ? Excited? You bet your ass i was ! As luck would have it, i bumped into Martin (bassist) before the gig & we went for a pint ! Going into the venue & seeing everyone again was just great after all those years. The only disappointment was that a couple of the Wonder Stuff tour dates got cancelled , so wasted flight to Glasgow etc. Still, the lovely girls offered me an AAA laminate for the Wonder Stuff tour, which more than made up for it, thanks so much guys πŸ˜‰FILE0022

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