GARBAGE , O2 Academy, Leeds, 15-7-19

After the recent problems with trains, I decided to take an earlier departure from Boston. Left at 09.42 (1 min late)
Arrived Grantham, where I needed to change trains. Fortunately,Β the train going from Grantham was slightly delayed, so managed the change over.(There was originally a 10 min change). Upon arrival in Leeds, as I’d not been there for a while, I dropped off my bag at Clayton Hotel. (Couldn’t checkin till 2pm). I then walked to the venue & timed how long the walk was πŸ˜‰ I was surprised to see a guy putting out barriers so early. There was also some work going on at the venue; pretty much all of the front was enclosed by scaffolding etc. Had a short chat to the guy, to check where I need toΒ  queue up. Once that was sorted, I went to get food πŸ™‚ The Cuthbert Brodrick was the closest to the venue. After the grub, I made my way back to the hotel.
Forgot to say, somewhere on Neville Street, there were a group of protesters. The road was closed off to traffic & there was a high police presence. Once back at hotel, I could now check in. Decided to stay there & relax πŸ˜‰
When I got back to the venue, there was still only a small queue. Someone said “Hello Simon”. It was Jonathan. Had a short chat, then he went back in the queue.
Getting in the venue was quite funny. Security had wands. I took my camera out of my pocket, then was wanded again. It beeped. I had a torch in my pocket. Wanded again, it beeped. Wanded again, it beeped. I had a small packet of mints in my pocket!
Wanded again! Finally I could go in ! I was took up to the balcony, couldn’t have expected it, but the front was reserved for disabled guests! I chose to go on left side & the lass said “Why don’t you go centre?” That was because there’s glass there on front row πŸ˜‰ The Garbage set was pretty much the same as normal, opening with “Control”, followed by “#1 Crush” & the always present “Stupid Girl”. Just 3 songs in & the crowd is VERY LOUD ! Shirley says “Whoah ! Leeds this is so crazy ! Thank you so much.” She that talks about the last time they were here. Gestures to Steve & said they were talking backstage about the last time they we here was ’95 or ’96 ? Thanks to Radio 1, I can confirm it was in 1996. There are multiple bootleg versions of the gig at Leeds Metropolitan University from ’96.
Here’s a couple of scans of the boot CDs : They then play “Temptation Waits”

After that, we get the funky “Wicked Ways”. Then the more serious “No Horses”. Followed by “Dumb”.
Whilst Shirley is having a problem with her in-ears, she takes the piss out of the guy trying to put them back in. She then has a little whiskey (Here’s hoping that this is not the start of messing thing up πŸ˜‰ )
They then play “Special”. For those that are observant,towards the end,Shirley adds a few lines from The Pretenders song “Kid”.

Next up it’s “Blood For Poppies”(oof) followed by “On Fire”.
During “Empty”, Shirley REALLY sings it out

Next we get an old clasic,”Vow”. Next up is “Bleed Like Me”. Must confess, it’s not oneΒ  of my favourite G songs.
Thankfully, it’s followed by an oldie but goodie “(I Think I’m) Paranoid” πŸ™‚
Seems like we’re getting towards the end of the show now & they play a song that is timeless to me, “Push It”.
It gets the crowd up & jumping

They the play the early song “Only Happy When It Rains”. Looking down on the crowd, everybody seems to be going for it!
We’re then brought back to (the sad) reality of “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed”. I can certainly relate to this one πŸ˜‰

They then walk off stage, during which, Duke gives a little wave to the balcony. But hey, don’t be sad & gloomy, there’s more to come !! What better song to finish the night with than “When I Grow Up”

So that’s it. Thought it was a great gig. Now I’ve got the 15minute walk, out in the cold, to my hotel. Btw, I’m not into Garbage as much as I used to be & was thinking “If this gig goes tits up, I doubt I’ll go see them again”. This gig semi-restored my faith in them πŸ˜‰

 

THE B52s, Trapdoor Social, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 2-7-19

I remember when I was a kid, when I saw the B52s on TV, I thought “They’re quite unique”. So wentΒ  & bought a couple of picture discs by them. I got “Rock Lobster” & “Planet Claire”. My age would be around 13. Being so young, the chances of me seeing them live were pretty slim πŸ˜‰ Move forward to 2019 & I got the chance to see them. I just HAD TO DO THE M&G experience. It was the best Β£250 I’ve spent on a ticket ever. Took a train from Boston to Nottingham, booked a hotel near the RCH & was all set to go. Must admit, as I’d not seen them before, I was wondering how good they’d be πŸ˜‰ As instructed, I went to the box office (or a people say in the states “Will call”) to collect my VIP Laminate pass. I then went back to my hotel to relax for a while. When I went back to RCH, they’d just opened the doors. Went straight in, got my seat, looked around at the almost empty hall, thought to myself ” I think this is going to be an interesting night” πŸ™‚

The support band, “Trapdoor Social”, to start off, I just didn’t get them. But when they were joined by people who played Trumpets, Trombones etc, they seemed to go to another level. (Apparently those guys were from Leeds). As they worked through their set, I liked them more & more. I must confess, sometimes I don’t listen to support bands, but, tonight I thought “Trapdoor Social” sounded great !

So onto what we’re all come for; The B52s ! They played what I expected they would play. The people in the stalls mostly stood up & had a good dance around. The atmosphere in there was one of absolute FUN. I took a few photos & attempted to film a couple of songs, but couldn’t help getting into the groove. Here’s a few of the photos & video clips I took on the night :

Before “Funlpex” Fred told someΒ  ” Could you put your cell phone down please”. I thought that was quite a strange thing as there were a lot of people who were using there mobile phones. (Hell, on the row in front of me, a couple were taking selfies, with the band in the background ! ) But so be it….

As I previously said, I didn’t take many photos or video clips, as I was living in the moment . Towards the end of the show they played a couple of the old classics, namely “Love Shack”

And on the encore, the 1st song they played was “Planet Claire” , followed byΒ ” 6060-842″ . Of course, they had to finish with “Rock Lobster”

They said their thanks to the crowd

then walked off the stage to massive applause What a great night this was ! But it’s not over yet for some of us πŸ˜‰ Those doing the M&G had been told to wait at the merchandise stand & “Hope” would take us all backstage for the M&G. I mean, as if this night couldn’t get better : I’m going to meet the band ! ( To think threeΒ  years ago I was diagnosed with brain tumors & given two years to live & I’m still here is amazing.) During the M&G, we all stood in line to meet & briefly chat with the band members. Hope would take photos of everyone. When it was my turn, I told them that many years ago I bought the picture discs, & I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to see them. When I said that, Fred gave me his drum stick which he had been hitting the cowbell with. Great stuff. Β  As we all leave, we get a “tote bag” full of goodies. I’ve had a few of the “tote bags”, but, nothing can compare to this one : There’s a signed photograf , some pins (as they say in USA). Badges to you & me ;-), a key ring which could be used as a bottle opener. But the main thing, in my opinion, is the red squishy (rock) lobster πŸ™‚ This was a fantastic experience. Absolutely loved it all. Had a quick walk to my hotel & when there, I think I fell asleep very quickly (Even though I was still buzzing after the whole experience.

P.S. My friend Nigel M. was in the balcony & he got a shot which included me ( In the middle, two rows back, grey hoodie, camera in hand )

DIE ANTWOORD, Brixton Academy , 17-6-19

**HUGE thanks to Mel for letting me have the extra ticket !** I’d never seen them before, so this should be interesting. I changed the ticket to balcony. Managed to get on 2nd row. As soon as Die Antwoord were on stage, it seemed the whole crowd were JUMPING ! That includes the BALCONY ! Even though on entry, one of the security said “No standing on the first two rows”, everyone in the balcony seemed to stand up ! So much so, that the balcony was moving ! Had trouble with the camera keeping it steady !

PAPA ROACH + Nothing More, Rock City, Nottingham, 28-4-19

As is always the case, I took the earliest train out of Boston. But today, there was a 2 hour stay in Grantham. So I decided to go to The Tollmache & have some grub πŸ˜‰ Wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be, so a good start. Walked back to train station then got the 15.09 to Nottingham. I’d worked it out that I’d have enough time before early entry. Straight to my hotel, “Roomzzz”. There was someone checking in before me, but once they were done, the chap looked for my booking (Didn’t have to say my name, as they all know me by face nowadays πŸ˜‰ )
Got up to my room & noticed they were cleaning room next to mine. Opening the door I head a strange noise. It was the dishwasher that had been left on ! Tried phoning reception, but was busy. So went out & found a cleaner. She didn’t seem to understand English language, so I gestured to her to come to my room. She switched of the dishwasher…then switched it back on again ! Eventually, she got it that I wanted it off ! This was the start of my day going down hill….

I went to doors of RC at the set time, 5pm, & some people were queuing for the VIP M&G whilst others, like me, were waiting for the “Trust In Papa Roach” package. That cost Β£125. In the email I got about it, it said we’d get an autographed new CD & another merchandise item.
When the first VIPs went in, I noticed they were being searched. This is something that rarely happens at Rock City nowadays. They were being quite tight with the searches (I later overheard the head of security say it was a last minute thing as management requested it)
Later they brought out a load of tables. I assumed that would be so could search people quicker. I’m now stating to think “I wonder if their stopping all cameras in the search?”. I mean, usually they’ll let in any camera that doesn’t have a detachable lens. So decided to ask security if my camera would be allowed it. He said no. So I took it back to hotel. ( To think years back I used to record audio & stuffed it down my trollies, and now I’m giving in easily. But hey, it was expensive ticket). When I got back to RC, there were a few more queuing for the “trust..” package. I even had 2 different people ask if I was security ! Not had that happen in a while πŸ˜‰ After standing for so long, I decided I needed to sit down. So sat on one of the previously mentioned tables. Oh forgot to say, all the beginning of the queue were quite rowdy, singing out loud PR songs. So going back to the tables outside, I sat on one for 5 or 6 minutes & it collapsed ! I did like a backwards somersault, whilst sliding down the table. Yes, those guys singing away laugh when they saw it happen. I was little bit dazed by what happened tbh. I think then someone amongst them realized, whilst it might have been funny to see happen, there was also the possibility i could have hurt myself. (Whoever you were, Thank You). I was quite surprised that security didn’t come rushing out, I was quite a clatter that happened. In the end, i had to tell one of them that the table had collapsed!
Another example of my day going downhill.

After a while, a chap comes out to give purple wristbands to the queue that’s doing the “In Papa Roach We Trust” package. I’d been given one earlier so they waved me through in to the foyer. The same chap was handing out the merch that was included in the “IPRWT”. From the email I received, I was under the impression we’d all be getting an autographed CD + a piece of merchandise. As is often the case nowadays, the other merch included was one of those rubbish “Tote Bags”. (I did question him about it, but he said “That’s it”). I then made my way into the venue proper. Guess what ? They DIDN’T search me or even check my ticket ! So if I’d had the guts, I coulda got camera in ! Oh well…

With not being able to take my camera in, I decided to see how well my mobile phone would cope. Needless to say, photos were grainy & the video clips i made were distorted. However, I must say that I really enjoyed both bands tonight.
I think I first saw Nothing More back in 2014, maybe opening for “Heavens Basement” ? I know that I saw them a bunch of times opening for “Halestorm” in 2015. Man, how they’ve progressed over the years ! I actually think they’re headline material nowadays. Their set list was :

Let ‘Em Burn , Christ Copyright ,Don’t Stop , Go to War , Do You Really Want It? , Fadein/Fadeout , Jenny (STILL a standout song),Ocean Floor,
This Is the Time (Ballast) , They finished with a cover of Queens song “We Will Rock You”. Β 

 

EDENS CURSE , Mob Rules , Degreed, Yardbirds, Grimsby , 16-4-19

My friend Andy G drove us to this one. I’d prearranged with Scott, from Replay Records, to leave 2 tickets on the door (Thanks Scott πŸ™‚ )
I was unsure if Mr G. would want to go, given the recent circumstances, but good on him for going.
We got there before the doors opened, so went back to the car for a while. When we saw a couple going into Yardies, we went also.
Sure enough, there were 2 tix waiting for us on the door.
The place didn’t seem very busy, so hoped that the numbers would pick up. I saw Scott & had a chat with him…been a long time mate.
Degreed were a little late to take the stage, but I loved their short, but sweet, set. (Dunno how I’d forgot I previously saw them open for H.E.A.T. back in 2017 !) Tonight, at Yardies, they hit the stage with “Black Cat”, closely followed by “Sugar”:

Great stuff πŸ™‚
Actually, thinking about it, I fimed most of Degreeds set. Here’s “Ruins” :

Next they played “War”. That was followed by “Tomorrow”
Their set was finished with 3 songs :

DEGREED set list:Β Black Cat , Sugar , Ruins , War , Tomorrow , If Love Is a Game , Shake down , The Scam

Next it’s “Mob Rules”. Whenever I hear that name, I automatically think of Black Sabbath ! They start their set with “Ghost Of A Chance”.

I think they’re pretty decent, but truth be told, we’re mainly here for Degreed πŸ˜‰
I only recorded a couple trax by them, hears the last but one, ” On The Edge” :

The last song they played was called “Hollowed Be Thy Name”. Again, I can’t help thinking of another band πŸ˜‰

MOB RULES SETLIST : Ghost Of A Chance , Somerland , Black Rain ,Sinister Light , My Kingdom Come , Astral Hand, Childrens Crusade , On The Edge , Hollowed Be Thy Name.

The last band of the night was “Edens Curse”. I think we stayed for about half of their set. They were probably the worst band on tonight. Bit repetisious.
But not only that, I was starting to get a bit tired.
Once again, huge thanks to my friend Andy G. for driving us there πŸ™‚


 

 

 

UFO , Tara Lynch, Rock city, Nottingham, 26-3-19

This one really made a change. For once I wasn’t going on the train ! My mate Andy T, drove us there. We set off around 2pm, weather looked a bit dark, but as we travelled further away from Bostonia, it got brighter. Shoulda took my sunnys with me. When we got to Nottingham, we walked from the station into town.(Via a slight diversion called FOPP) Then had lunch at The Roebuck. Surprised it wasn’t very busy. Next stop was Rock City to see if there was much of a queue or not. There was a small one. Also, they’d put barriers out the front, something that I’ve not seen them do before.
We’d still got an hour plus to kill, so went to Premier Inn & hung there for a while. (I had booked a room as it was so cheap)
About 15mins before doors, we went back to RC. Had to “jump the queue” so i could get a seat. Tonight, Andy was my “helper”, so a free ticket for him πŸ˜‰ Managed to get a seat in my favourite spot (Thanks Kev) then the rest of the crowd came in. I Was surprised that it didn’t get very busy. But soon enough it did look a lot busier, which was good to see.

The opening act was “Tara Lynch”. Once again, they didn’t really impress me. As they were playing, I noticed the drummer was someone I thought I’d seen before. Sure enough, it was who I thought it was ; Joe Lazarus. Even he couldn’t “save” Tara Lynch band…that’s just my opinion.

By the time UFO hit the stage, Rock City has filled up a lot more. They amble on to the stage & start with a couple of old classics; “Mother Mary” and one of my faves “We Belong To The Night”

Instantly I notice Phil Mogg is in fine fettle tonight. As he’s now getting on a bit with age, it surprises me that he sings really well. Good on ya Mr Mogg ! ( I just wish that a couple of other oldie vocalists would wake up & realise they’re not as good as they used to be. Classic example : David Coverdale. There’s more guitar solos than him singing πŸ˜‰ )
Tonight they also play “Venus”. According to internet chatter, this was the only time they played it on this tour. Lucky I caught it ;

It’s a cool song. Next they play “Lights Out”. It’s another song what they’re famous for. Phil tells us that they first played it at Rock City in 1982. Either someone gave Phil a wrong setlist or he had trouble reading it, he introduces “Cherry”, but they play “Baby Blue” !! hahah. He then says “I’m so sorry. Someone gave me the wrong setlist. This is called “Burn Your House Down”. What do they do? They play “Only You Can Rock Me” haha. He has a bit of a laugh about it πŸ™‚ TheΒ  guitarist steps up to the microphone & says ” That was “Burn Your House Down”. I’m not keeping up with all these shenanigans !! Then they finally play “Burn Your House Down”.
We finally get “Cherry”

Next up is one of my all time faves ; “Love To Love”. Phil says there’s someone in the audience to dedicate it too. “Where is she ? Oh she’s in the toilet !” Sheer class !

It’s getting towards the end of the show now. What better way to finish with “Makin’ Moves” & “Too Hot To Handle”. Phil has a little joke about Andy being 52…but he said “I do apologise to him, it was a gross exaggeration & mischief making” . Wtf ? Erm, I’m lost now ! He then introduces “Too Hot To Handle”. I dunno if Phil had been back on the sauce again or what. I’m not remembering it all, maybe i got it wrong?

They appear to finish with the long version of “Rock Bottom”. But surely, that can’t be the end ? Of course not ! They encore with a quick couple of songs, namely “Doctor Doctor” & “Shoot Shoot”.
All in all, this has been a fantastic night out (Even though there was confusion from Phil, which in turn confused me haha)
These are the nights that I live for.
P.S. Didn’t take any photos tonight as I was mostly filming it & more importantly getting into the gig πŸ™‚

 

Cats In Space + Blue Nation , Rescue Rooms, Nottingham , 15-3-19

This one was one of those “Last minute decisions”. So much so, that I printed my ticket at home. I’d heard a couple of people singing the praises about “Cats In Space” (Hello Dave Ling) so thought I’d go check ’em out. With the supposed line-up of Dirty Thrills, Rock Goddess & Cats In Space it was a no brainer really. Of course, shit happens as Jody from Rock Goddess got ill so they cancelled a few shows πŸ™ Also Dirty Thrills didn’t turn up ! Oh well, lets make the most of it πŸ™‚
Once again, I took a late train to Nottingham, arriving around 4.30 pm. Went straight to my hotel & chilled for a while. As per, I went to the venue 15mins before doors. Once I was in, I was shocked to see they hadn’t opened the balcony. Not only that, they put my seat on the only raised area near the merch. If you’ve never been to Rescue Rooms before, here’s a pic which shows where i was : Β 

The yellow line marks where the merch table went up to, whilst the red X marks where my seat was !Β  Tbh, it didn’t really get over busy. But the people who were there seemed to enjoy the show.
First act was “Blue Nation”. I’d never seen or heard of them ! They were a bit “Pedestrian”, but solid. In fact, I actually enjoyed their set. The singer was having a laugh with a couple of people in the audience. (Hello “Uncle Mick” & “Aunty Linda” πŸ™‚ )

Later in their set they play a melody of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” & “I’ve Got A Feeling”. Wish I’d filmed that as it was quite decent.
The singer mentions George Harrison. Someone in the audience shouts out “Legend”. Next they play “She’s A Storm” .
They finish their set with a sing a long song “Down By The River”

After a while, the intro tape starts a rolling for “Cats In Space”. It’s a version of the old “Stray Cats” song, “Stray Cat Strut”.
They then come on stage to play a 1-2 of “Johnny Rocket” & “Too Many Gods”. Unfortunately, they have some sound problems during “Johnny Rocket”

They then play “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” followed by “Clown in Your Nightmare”. Β Β  Before “Mr. Heartache” Paul Manzi says it was their first single. Then he says to us “I wanna hear some of your voices on this one….this is Nottingham right ?!” (Huge cheers)

As I’ve not seen the band before, i don’t know all the titles of their songs. But there’s good crowd interaction.
Later on they play “Hologram Man”

After that one, they played “The Greatest Story Never Told” ?
The main set is finished with “Five Minute Celebrity”

But it’s not all over yet, as they come back to encore with “Thunder in the Night”. As I’d not seen them before tonight, I was rather impressed by their show. I’ll definately go see them again if I can. After everything’s finished, I have the short walk back to my favourite Nottingham hotel, Roomzzz