SHINEDOWN , STARSET, O2 Academy , Birmingham , 5-11-18

 

Got there early. Jim got there before me. Went to have grub, checked into hotel. Then the fun n games started ๐Ÿ˜‰ Was told to go to box office to collect our passes, but the box office wasn’t being used as Shinedown were doing a M&G. The security were really helpful…NOT ! I even asked a guy with a Shinedown laminate where we should go “try round the back”. Did that & still no progress. As we’d been there a while, i realised time was moving on & i hadn’t took my camera with me. So whilst i waited, Jim went back to the hotel to collect it & the spare battery ( Jim put a smile on my face when he came back ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Eventually we got in after a right old game. Of course, many people got in before us, so most of the prime seats were already taken. I spotted a couple on opposite side of balcony & we made our way there. Not perfect, but still good. Starset put on a typically classy show. The addition of the violins/cello was cool. (Before the gig, Adam had told me they were toying with the idea of playing an acoustic set. Personally, i didn’t think that would work as when your up against Shinedown playing full on loud rock show, i don’t think the crowd would appreciate it. Thankfully, they chose to do their usual show with additions of Violin/cello. It worked well)

Shinedown have some bloody great songs, but the thing that annoys me is that Brett has a tendency to talk a lot. Not only that, when you know the “….look to you left, look to you right” speech starts i often think how they could get another 2 or 3 songs in if that didn’t happen ๐Ÿ˜‰ But saying that, they’re a well oiled machine & still put on a great show ๐Ÿ™‚

 

After everything had finished we went to the back of the venue to meet Adam (Plays drums in Starset). Didn’t take long for him to appear. He invited us to go in their tour bus. Had a good, no GREAT long chat. He’s a good un is Adam. This is a photo took on my camera :ย ย  ย  ย And this is Adams selfie :Eventually it was time for us to leave & by sheer fluke/luck we walked round corner & Brett from Shinedown was still there. So the photo opportunity was took ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

MARMOZETS , Jamie Lenman : O2 Forum, London, 19-10-18

The day before this gig i’d had a “fun” day…NOT! Thought my bloods were ok to proceed with next round of chemo, but they phoned & said they weren’t. Ended up waiting in Pilgrim for results & having the chemo. Once that was done, a chap took the canular out & said i could leave. What ?
Why is it that i always seem to have to think for others ? I tell him that usually when i leave i take a whole bunch of drugs with me ! “Oh, i’ll look into that”. The drugs are sorted & again i get the prefilled needles. Same again, i have to remind them to give me a sharps box! I’m so pissed off with everything at this time. Even unsure if i should go to the gig tomorrow.
After seeing Josh posting that they might play some new songs at this gig, i thought i shouldn’t miss it. Could be an interesting night….even though i didn’t feel quite right.
Once again, i took an early train to London. It was quite misty/murky for a while, then the sun burned it away. Again, at Grantham, my train was cancelled (Hull trains seem to have some serious problems!) As i’d already experienced this a couple of weeks ago, i knew what to expect lol. Not only that, i knew exactly which screen to check out that showed how busy the carriages were….don’t think many were aware of that ๐Ÿ˜‰
Arriving in London, i headed straight to Hotel Rob. Today, Kristina was off work, so it was gonna be a nice relaxed day. Dropped bag off, had a catch up & then we went into the city. As per, visited FOPP. Kristina got the latest Amaranthe album & i got a bargain with the latest AVATAR only costing ยฃ5 ! (I’ve got to say, i enjoyed them when they opened for Halestorm. Pretty entertaining band). Next went to the other usual haunt, “The Montagu Pyke” & had some food. Arranged to meet Rob a bit later & then headed towards Camden.Once there, straight to the Ice Warf. Jim & Paul were already there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Had a natter & drinks then decided to walk to the Forum. It had been a while since walking that route, so seemed longer than it was . Got there in perfect time though.ย The support act “Jamie Lenman”, i didn’t enjoy.ย ย Just a bit boring & repetitive.ย  Sat next to me was an old geezer. We had a good chat & we seemed to be on the same page. He was/is a sound engineer, so straight away he said the sound was bad ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tonight’s Marmozets gig wasn’t quite as good as i was expecting. Something just didn’t seem quite right up there. (Maybe something to do with Joshys recent mental issues? Whatever, i hope he gets well soon & the band get back to being super tight again) Don’t get me wrong, they were still great, but i was hoping for at least a couple of new songs (After Joshy said they might play some new songs). The one new song they DID play was quite cool. A typical Marmozets song. I think it should have been on the last album ๐Ÿ˜‰
I also think that after the previous day when i had all sorts of problems, i wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind. It happens sometimes.
Another thing was that i dropped my camera during the show. As the lighting wasn’t very good, i didn’t know if that drop had messed up the camera or not. I did film a couple of songs, but certainly not up to my usual standards.

Overall, i think the highlight of tonight was that they played “Cry”, which i don’t think they’ve done for quite some time.

Gotta say, it was a wise choice to make up the pull out bed earlier in the day, as once back at Hotel Rob, i was out like a light ๐Ÿ™‚

HALESTORM , Avatar , Rews , O2 academy, Brixton, 28-9-18

Back tracking a little bit…When i purchased the M&G package for Sheffield, there was a link for downloading the photos that were took with the band. Somehow, it didn’t seem to work ๐Ÿ™ So i tried to contact Judy via FB. Pretty much at the same time, she emailed me saying “I actually wanted to reach out to you to see if you were coming to anymore shows, Brixton if I remember correctly, and wanted to see if you could come out to that M&G(free, of course) and let’s redo the group photo and make it a nice one worth framing, ehh?”. Yeah, i’m up for that ! A bit later, i found out that she wasn’t happy with the photos she took that night & was going to offer anyone else who was there a free M&G on the next tour. So this worked out fine for doing it again in Brixton.
Rob was meant to be going to tonight’s gig, but also today he was having an operation on his wrist.I had my doubts that he’d make it to the gig, so sent a msg to him asking if he could give his ticket to Kristina so that it wouldn’t go to waste.(He told me he’d already thought of that. Great minds…) The thinking behind this is that Anette is coming over from Norway ( to do a kind of interview with me) so maybe she could use said ticket. Oh yeah, Kristina had also managed to work it out with Judy that Rob could join for the M&G. So if he couldn’t make it, then obviously Anette could do it.
I’d already booked my trains a while back & i left Boston quite early. As Rob would be having the op & Kristina would be at work, i realised there wasn’t a chance to drop my bag off at Hotel Rob. So i took a smaller one as i’d have to take it into the venue.I’d arranged to meet Jim at Montagu Pyke later in the day (again, why change with tradition).When i changed train at Grantham, they’d cancelled the train i was taking to London! (Hull trains!) Barstewards! Managed to get on the next one, LNER, was super lucky to get a seat ! Got to London & one of the tube lines was closed, but didn’t matter as it wasn’t as i was in a rush ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, totally unexpected, i got a msg from Jorge that he’d be in London later on & was meeting with Kitti. Said they’ll try get tix for the show. I headed to Camden market for a look around. Wasn’t as busy as i thought it would be.Then went down to Tottenham Court Road to have a wander around. Ended up at FOPP & they had an absolute bargain (which i didn’t buy,as already have it)ย ย Had a bit more of a wander, reminiscing about the old LP/CD shops such as “Shades”. Really should have visited “Reckless Records” & “Sister Ray” but i didn’t want to wear myself out, as it was going to be a long day. I did consider going to “Flat Iron” for food, but as i was on my own & as ever, there was a wait for a table, i decided to not do it.ย ย Eventually went to Montagu Pyke, Jim & Paul were already there ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d not met Paul before,but he knew a lot about me as Jim had told him. He’s a decent chap, with a good sense of humour. Eventually we made our way to Brixton & for a change we went to the Beehive. Time was getting on & Anette hadn’t arrived yet. Think she got there around 5pm & the M&G was for 5.30. Couldn’t believe how much luggage she’d brought with her ! ( “Just the essentials”) There was quite a few people doing the M&G, so once again, i suggested we go last. When Judy was checking off peoples names, i had a quite word with her that i’d got something for the band, so would like a couple of extra photos if poss. Going in, bags were searched, it seemed to be quite a quick M&G today. Maybe cos of the numbers? We all had a group photo, then individual photos.ย ย Then finally a photo of me giving the band a present ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d previously done this before when i saw them at Glasgow 2015 ( Read about it here https://www.gigaddiction.co.uk/halestorm-nothing-more-wilson-barrowlands-glasgow-scotland-6-3-15/ ).
I’d got them some marshmallows with photos of them ! The band seemed to again appreciate it & i doubt they’d last long before they were consumed (The cakes!)ย ย Once again, huge thanks to Judy for the great photos.ย I hadn’t took a proper pic of the box, so took one on the train down to London hahaย ย After the M&G we were all kicked out of the venue (as usual) & formed a queue again. Of course, if you had a bag with you, then security search it again. I still don’t get it how we can’t just stay in the venue,but gotta follow the protocols ๐Ÿ™‚
I got a decent place on front row of balcony (well, i thought i had). As most times, i get talking with people near by. The lass next to me was moaning about how hard her life is…seemed to be making a mountain out of a mole hill…pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to cope with what I’ve been going through for the last 2 & half years ๐Ÿ˜‰
Once again, “Rews” didn’t do anything for me. Seen it all before. Sorry. Sometime during the night, Jorge & Kitti came to see me. They then went to try get some seats, but i think the seats they went to were already occupied (Probably went to get merch or go for a pee!) So didn’t see them any more till briefly after the gig.
Once again, i really enjoyed “Avatar”! They’re great showmen. I even filmed one of their songs tonight

So, to the main act & what we’re all here for : Halestorm !
I think it’s great that they’re mixing the setlist up. Changing the order of songs & sometimes adding extras. I’m pretty sure it makes it more fun for the band & of course anyone who’s seeing multiple shows. Tonight they start with “Vicious”, then go straight into “Love Bites”. The screams/reaction from the crowd, when everyone realises they’re playing the classic “Love Bites” are quite amazing ! (However, i do have to say, from where i was, the sound wasn’t yet dialled in as it should be)

Next up, from their latest album “Vicious”, it’s “Skulls”. I’ve only managed to get to two shows on this tour, but I’ve noticed both times that “Skulls” goes down very well with the crowd. I’m pretty sure that for future tours, this will be kept in the setlist.
After that, they go back to the album “Into The Wildlife”. They play “I’m The Fire”. It’s a great song & really shows of Lzzys vocal prowess.
Next they play “Do Not Disturb”. Personally, i’m still a bit unsure about this one. Can’t make up my mind if it “plods along” or is “really heavy” ! Obviously, the subject matter of the lyrics is interesting though ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it really works well on the album,especially as it’s followed by “Conflicted”, but still unsure about the live setting. Hey, maybe i just analyse stuff too much ? ๐Ÿ˜‰
Lzzy then says to the audience “London, what can i get you to do? Anything ?”. “Alright London, i want you to go yeah yeah”. It’s the typical call & response. Whilst doing this, she noticed a little skirmish down the front. From where i was, it looked like a lass with a pony tail headbutted a guy. But straight after that, they seemed to hug each other. Lzzy ; “Are you alright?” “Shall we continue?”. “Now let me hear you go Hell Yeah!” Audience reacts as they should. Lzzy then steps it up a bit “Now let me hear ya say fuck yeah!!” Audience is even louder ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then Lzzy finally says ” London..can i get it…can i get a A-a-a-men?” Now what i like about “Amen”,in the live setting, is how they have a jam towards the end of the song & they really extend it. You can tell they’re all having so much fun up there doing this! To think on the album the song lasts just shy of 3 minutes long, yet live, it’s getting on for 9 minutes ! Fantastic stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
After this, it’s the irrepressible “Mz Hyde” followed by Arejays drum solo (Which as always, includes the “Big Sticks”).ย ย  They then go back to the album “Strange Case Of..” & we get “Freak Like Me”. Again, fantastic stuff ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how fast the start is on “Uncomfortable”…straight ahead rock n roll. But also, if you listen to the lyrics, Lzzy is really making a statement. I love this new song.
Next it’s a total change & totally unexpected. From the live ep “One & Done” (which is hard to find at a reasonable price,as it was released in 2006) they do “Takes My Life”. Wow !

They finish the main set with “Killing Ourselves to Live”. Already, to me, this sounds like an anthem.
The encores were the same as they previously played in Sheffield. Namely, “The Silence” , “I Miss the Misery” & “Here’s to Us”.
The lighting seemed a bit better (than Sheffield) for “The Silence”, so i filmed it ๐Ÿ˜‰

As is always the case, the last song , “Here’s to Us”, finishes on a high with everyone swaying their arms in the air. So yet again, it was another fantastic night out. Once again, i still had the thought “I wish i could go to more shows,like i used to”, but my useless body won’t let me do it. I suppose i should be thankful for the fact i can still get to a couple of gigs…but i’ll always want more ๐Ÿ™‚
Afterwards we met up at The Beehive again.I think there might have been a queue for the cloakroom as it seemed a long time before Anette etc got to the Beehive. Briefly said our goodbyes to Jorge & Kitti, then got on the tube to Hotel Rob. Once there, it did seem a little strange that Rob wasn’t there. Had a good nights sleep (i needed that) & following morning we were all up early-ish. As is always the case, left Hotel Rob with plenty of time before train back to Boston. Once at Kings Cross, there was still a bit of time to kill, so myself & Anette went into the Parcel Yard for coffees before we left. I’d prebooked my seat on return journey, whilst Anette just booked a ticket in the hope we could sit near each other on way back to Bostonia. It totally worked ok as someone didn’t make the train in time (or some other reason).
When we got back to Boston, walked the route to my place. This way Anette could see the various photo opportunities. Over the next couple of days, Anette did the video interview with me,took photos of my memorabilia etc. Looking forward to seeing the finished article.