Something i should say is that Hotel Rob is great! First thing in the morning, the barrista (Rob!) always serves up a nice coffee for his guests!
But not only that, the chef (Rob) provides a nice breakfast if required. I don’t want you to think that i don’t appreciate it or take it for granted, so i’m saying it here : Thanks Rob for everything 🙂
After having brekky, some of the guests go purchase some beers from the local shop. All different kinds of beers! They even got “Tramps beer” aka Special Brew (yuck!). I guess they need it as will be watching the footy later 😉 Rob handed out some wafer snacks which had chocolate in the middle. Unfortunately, Greg didn’t realise they also included nuts so he had a bit of a scare as he’s allergic to nuts. Rob offered to take him to the hospital, but Greg said he’d just wait here to get over it.
Eventually we all set off to have a meal. Today we go to a Mexican restaurant in Soho, called “Wahaca”. This is a first for me. Gradually, pretty much everyone arrives. After the meal, we make our way to Brixton. Would you believe it, we again all met up in the Beehive ! As i had checked in, i’m pretty sure Neil saw that, so he also joined us all. Time was getting on, so myself & Neil went to the Academy. Unknown to me at the time,someone (Anne ?) had took a photo of me & then everyone in the group took other photos of them with said photo. I’ve seen this happen a few times & it can be quite funny. Same as yesterday, the M&G peeps were in a queue to get back in. When we were going in, there was someone in front who seemed to be taking an age to get their tickets ! (Annoying) But thankfully, we still managed to get the front row of balcony. Unlike last night, the balcony had some lights on, so you could actually see where you were going down the steps! (After the darkness or an accident waiting to happen last night, i took a small torch with just in case 😉 ) During “Dream Wife”, we couldn’t believe what someone was doing sat next to Neil : A guy had a video camera & was openly filming a song ! He then later filmed quite a bit of Garbage, again openly ! Surprised he got away with it. Sat to my right was an old chap. We got chatting & he told me he was a sound engineer. This was also his first time seeing Garbage live. After Dream Wife had finished, he said that their sound wasn’t very good. I guess that’s one of the traits when your in the business 😉 Even though i’d not drank much, i was bustin for a pee ! Managed to nip out & back before Garbage started. Phew. My mate Neil didn’t quite time it as well, so i decided to record the first song “Afterglow”.
There was only one slight problem, which was during “Lick The Pavement” Shirley had monitor problems. She stopped the song, then they restarted it.
Again, like the previous night, they played the extra “No Horses”. For the last song of the night, Shirley gave the crowd a choice out of 2 songs. It was either “Starman” or “Cherry Lips”. The crowd made themselves heard to decide which one 🙂
So it was another great night. The chap next to me said he’d enjoyed his first experience of seeing Garbage live. My mate Neil had a nice uncomplicated evening. I myself had a great night also. Out of the two nights, i reckon that the 1st one had the edge. Once again, we agreed to meet at The Beehive (This time Anne didn’t have Robs keys). Whilst waiting, i briefly saw Diletta. Been a while since we last saw each other.
Some people stayed for the after party, but i think most of us head back on tube pretty quickly.
Rob had told everyone to meet at “Tap East” Westfield centre as it would be the easiest way. So, after finally working out proper exit for Robs side, now it messes up my mind as i’m going in the opposite direction! Not been there for a while, but eventually found it. Upon arrival, no one was there ! But soon enough, the whole gang arrived & they were on the beers…
Most of us head back to Hotel Rob to drop off bags. Once there food is bought. Eventually we head off to Brixton. Go to the usual pub “The Beehive”. Jims already there & has got a table.So we all pile in there. As it was “Fish Friday”,that’s what i had to eat 🙂 We were tightly packed around this small table, so ate it off my lap. After a while Mel arrives. Actually, it was a last minute thing that Mel decided to come. She messaged me to say she wanted to meet me as we’d not seen each other for ages. As luck would have it, she didn’t need a ticket as i’d arranged for a “helper” ticket for both nights. She’d brought with her some dayglo orange nail varnish (to tie in with the V2.0 album colour) “Simon, i want to do your nails !”. I was a bit reluctant to start off, but then thought “fuck it, lets have a bit of fun” 😉 A couple of the others caught this monumental moment lol
After a while, we set off to the venue. Along the way Mel said to me ” I’m disappointed in you Simon” Huh? “You’re not wearing the old red fleece that you wore on the V2.0 tour” 🙂 I didn’t even think about doing that 🙁 Walking towards the box office entrance, i see that the M&G people are all in a line waiting to go back in. Say hello to Renee, Paul & Sophie. Then i notice Mike sat down. Don’t think he recognised me to start of with as I’ve now not got any hair & am skinnier. Had a nice brief chat. Emily then came out to get the M&G peeps back in.Seemed to take a while for us to get the helper ticket, but once in, still managed to get front row. Yay !
Tonight it’s “Dream Wife” who are opening the show. Tbh, we didn’t really watch them much, as we were having a catch up ! A funny thing was that Mel asked me “Simon,who would be your dream wife?”. My first reply was that after what my previous wife did, i’d never get married again! Whilst Mel went to get a drink, i had a think about it. It’s easy to lust after someone because of their looks,but you still don’t know if they’re a (cheating) bitch or not haha. My confessions were Katie McGrath (played Morgana in TV series “Merlin”). I love the Irish accent & in interviews she seems fun. Eleanor Tomlinson (Played Esmeralda in TV series Poldark) I’ve always had a bit of a thing about red haired lasses. Now if only i could find an Irish lass with red hair who’s fun…haha Mels answer was a lot less complicated 😉
After the show in Nottingham, i just KNEW Brixton would be better. They’re still playing the same set as before, but i’m hoping for a switch around or a couple of different songs added. It kicks off with “Afterglow”, then it’s “Deadwood”. I’m still don’t like how they start with such sombre songs. Fortunately, the next one “Temptation Waits” is a lot more up beat. Btw, i do love the links between songs. As an example, the “Are you flirtin with me?” line, which is Juliette Lewis from the film “Natural Born Killers” works so well. (I wonder if they have to pay any kind of royalties to use that sort of thing? I’m sure Juliet would be fine about it, but wonder what the companies would think)
After “Wicked ways” the crowd is so damn loud. This is much more like a home coming show. I’m loving it already. Shirley gives the speel about how long they’ve been playing at Brixton Academy & how grateful they are. Also mentions her dads there…i’m sure by now they’ll have gotten over that wee argument before Nottingham…& she thanks us fans who have stuck by them for all these years.
Next it’s “Special”. This is always a fun song. I’m still not too keen on “The World Is Not Enough”. “13x Forever” & “Get Busy With The Fizzy” i enjoy. Going back to the links between songs, after the “Hammering in My Head” the clip used from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, where Hal says “Take a stress pill and think things over” fits perfectly before going into “Medication” 🙂
Of course, Shirley is still proud about the fact that their cover version of “Thirteen” was the best cover version ever. Next song is another cover version “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” by The Seeds.
“I Think I’m Paranoid” is still such a classic. I really wish i could go down there in the thick of things…Mel decides SHE needs to go downstairs for a bit of fun…
I don’t know exactly what happened between ITIP & Sleep Together, but Shirley asks if everyone down the front is ok. Maybe it was down to Mel or rather, someone giving her a hard elbow 😉
“Lick The Pavement” is one of my favourites I love the rawness of this song. It’s short n sweet.
The rest of the show, just seems to go so quick 🙁 For the encore,they start with “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing”. But then they do something i wanted the to do : change the set list ! They played “No Horses”
Not only that though, they also played “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)”. What a way to finish the show !
I’d been looking forward to this gig for ages. Was hard to believe i’d not seen a gig since June ! I knew i’d be meeting a lot of friends at this show, so that made me even more interested.In the end, i decided to do the “Push It” M&G package ! It cost around $300 ! Reason i did it was that this could be my last chance to do this sort of thing. I took a train which coincided with when Rob & Greg would be changing trains at Grantham. As usual, it was just 2 carriages & quite busy. But managed to get a table seat for when Rob & Greg joined. Once aboard, Rob got some cans out “Do you want one?” Me : “Are you taking the piss !?” (Just a slight slip up, but still joked about it). We’d planned that once in Nottingham we’d got get some food, then go check in hotel. I also needed to visit Jessops to try pick up some photos. Luckily they had arrived. I think after that, took em to the hotel then briefly went to meet everyone around the corner at “Alberts” (This used to be “Spanky Van Dykes”). As i was feeling tired, decide to go back to the hotel before going to RC for the M&G (I might have got the order of things wrong lol) As i was doing the M&G thing at 4pm, Rob & Greg went to the pub (Nothing new there lol)
Before going in, i saw a few people i know,namely Paul A, Renee A, Leisha T, Jonathon C,Nigel M etc. Everything went very smoothly with regards to getting in & having my seat in my favourite spot. Emily, who was the concierge organising the M&G was a very nice & bubbly person. You could see she loved her job & interacting with the people doing the M&G. We were took through to watch the band soundcheck. After that, we went into the side room called “Black Cherry Lounge” (Which was once called “The Rig” where they had a few gigs in there. Terrible place for a gig!). The band then came out to chat doing a mini Q&A & they also seemed very interested where everyone had travelled from. When they announced the remaster of Version 2.0, i was really hoping they’d do a 5:1 surround mix (As i thought their style & way of recording would work perfectly), but unfortunately they didn’t do it 🙁 So i had to ask the question 🙂 Butch seemed interested in the concept of doing it maybe in the future, but Shirley also said something like “How many people do you think have the equipment to play that stuff” That was a reasonable reply i guess.
After the chats, we all lined up to get a photo with the band. I came prepared as i brought a previous photo from the Troxy show & also one that a friend in the States had done 😉 This is the actual photo from the Notts M&G :
We then went into the foyer & had a look at the merchandise. At the time, they were still setting up the stall, so Emily said “If you want to come back a bit later, buy your merch, then take it to your hotel, you can still come back & get in earlier than the everyone else”. Excellent.
I’ve got to say, the prices of the merch were really quite extortionate ! I mean, a pair of socks for £15, a very small rucksack for £50 (apparently it was £60 at previous shows), a track-suite style jacket £90. You get the idea. In the end, i succumbed to purchasing a few items…might even get something else at Brixton. Rob, being the biggest Garbage memorabilia collector, bought everything ! Emily seemed quite shocked 😉 Rob got chatting with her about his website http://www.garbagediscobox.com/ . After taking merch back to hotel, i went straight back to RC. I managed to get in even earlier than expected as the security guy asked me if i wanted to go in then. Was quite funny when i saw all the other M&G peeps walking in later & Emily saw me sat down “Oh Simon i’d been wondering where you were “! She went to the barrier to chat with people. Then i had the bright idea : ” I wonder if as Rob has bought so much merch, she’d let him in early as well?” So i asked & surely enough, she went & got him. They both had a good rapport. Rob even managed to blag a Tote bag from her 😉
The room started to fill up & soon enough Jim came to join us. Poor old Greg, in his hurry to get to the front, slipped on the steps & almost face planted himself on the floor ! (At least no one saw it…oops 😉 )
First band of the night i’d never even heard of them (actually that’s wrong, as Nigel told me a bit about them earlier outside the venue). Personally, i found the Estrons very “samey”. I seem to find nowadays that it’s very rare that a new band impresses me. Sorry, but not sorry.
So, to the main event of the evening : GARBAGE !
They kicked off with “Afterglow”. A very sombre start.
Next up it was “Deadwood”. When they play “Temptation Waits”, i couldn’t help wishing that i was down in the thick of it jumping around etc. I really miss doing that. Actually, i was surprised at the lack of people in the audience NOT bopping around during the song. Next up it’s the groovy “Wicked Ways”. During this one, they meld in a part of “Personal Jesus”. It works perfectly.
Before “Special”, Shirley explains how rock City is a special place for them. They have footage of the first time they played here. She goes so far as to dedicate the song to Rock City & all the staff & of course all the fans that have travelled on the journey with them.
When playing “13x Forever”, they meld in a short lyric from The Kinks song “Tired Of Waiting”. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but sometime during the gig, there was a mistake & both myself & Rob instantaneously picked up on it (We looked at each other with a face of “What The fuck?”)
Before “Get Busy With The Fizzy” Shirley mentions that she’d forgot how hot Rock City can get. Also talks about having an argument with her dad earlier in the day. She’s also cracking up laughing. Is this the start of the downfall ?
Hmm, maybe it was during “Hammering In My Head” that me & Rob had the “WTF?” glance together at same time ? If it wasn’t then, then certainly around the time of “Medication”.
Shirley has a massive rant about some kind of recent review. She starts off by explaining that when they covered “Thirteen” (Big Star) how proud she was that Alex Chiltern (main song writer) had said it’s his favourite cover version by any band ever. She then tells the band about how just before the show, she’d read a review online which some young lady had wrote about Thirteen & she was apparently disgusted about said cover version. (As she’s saying that, Rob shouts out “Shes a cunt !” haha) She then tells us that after being in the business for many years, it still bugs her when she reads a review like like. But she continues saying “Well fuck you mother fucker…cos the man who wrote it loved it ” (with a massive smile on her face). Towards the end of “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine”, Shirley goes over to Duke, who at the time was playing keyboards. She joins in with him. To start of, i don’t think that Duke was very impressed by that move. I could also see Billy Bush looking on with a “WTF?” kind of expression. But once Duke had accepted that Shirley was tinkering with the keyboards, Billy had a massive smile on his face 🙂
Towards the end of “Sleep Together”, Shirley ends up writhing around on the stage floor 🙂 Next up it’s a rather feisty version of “Dumb”. It’s funny when Shirley goes over to Steve O 🙂
During “Soldier Through This”, Shirley seems to get very emotional. (I can’t help thinking of the lyric “I feel Intoxicated”, as i’m sure she is lol) After that, it’s one of my favourate songs “Lick The Pavement”. It’s an absolute rocker of a song !
Next we get “Push It”. Shirley is all smiles & the audience is helping out by singing some of the lyrics. I also think that around this time, the booze is really kicking in as they have to restart “When I grow up”
The version of “The Trick Is To keep Breathing” i can only describe as embarassing.
When Shirley is introducing the band & comes to Eric Avery, she says ” He’s one of my best friends…i’m in love with him… the fact that we get to play with this formidable talent is insane..” But then she says ” Anyone who’s a Janes Addiction fan, go fuck yourself” (Flicking the bird).
Well fuck YOU Shirley ! I bloody LOVE Janes Addiction, almost as much as i do Garbage. But i’ll let you off this time as you were obviously “under the influence” & you also confess that you are drunk 😉
Tonight’s extravaganza finishes with a cover of David Bowies “Starman”. It was so good, they had to do it twice 😉
Afterwards, whilst chatting with Lou & Anne, i made an unintentional pun by saying the show was “Absolute Garbage”. I think everyone then went to the Rescue Rooms to carry on drinking & chatting about the gig. Myself, i was bloody knackered, so went straight back to the hotel.
The following morning, i noticed that one of the pair of socks had a hole in them ! So i asked Rob to exchange them when he goes to Newcastle.
Whilst at the time i was pretty annoyed about the performance, in hindsight now, i realise that EVERYONE has a bad day in their life. It also reminded me of when Mark from Skunk Anansie asked me why do i see multiple gigs on the same tour. My reply being that no two gigs are the same. Sometimes the band played perfect & others there could be technical difficulties or the band don’t quite gel. Also, for myself, different audiences can play a part in how i enjoy the shows or not. So i guess tonight was one of those nights where Shirley had an off night. Maybe some people might think i analyse it too much. But if you REALLY know me, then you’ll know i LOVE music, especially LIVE music. We may have different opinions on things, but i always speak what i think. Also, with this show, you could look at it multiple ways : some might find it funny, some might be disappointed, some might not even notice the problems ! Everyone has their own opinion.
I was pleased to hear they played a great show in Newcastle the next day & am really looking forward to seeing both nights at Brixton.
EDIT : The following day Shirley apologised for her performance. Apparently, after the argument with her dad, the combination of painkillers & whiskey put her over the edge. I also found out from a friend that a few people waited for the band to come out in the hope of getting stuff autographed or to have photos with them. Apparently, all the band, except for Duke went straight to the bus.
Well, this was always gonna be a special one thanks to some of my great friends with who i go to the Garbage shows. After i was diagnosed with having brain tumors, totally out of the blue, slightly after my birthday, i got this card from my wonderful friends :
It’s times like these that you know who your true friends are. Yes, i admit it, this did make me cry, but it just shows the love from everyone.
The previous day we were in Nottingham for Download Festival. On the morning of Troxy gig, we drove from Nottingham to Lincoln, so i could have my treatments. Then drove back to Boston, where i caught a train to London ! Yup,takes a lot to stop Mr Gigaddiction.
Straight to Troxy where i met Rob & a bunch of others. Eventually the M&G people go inside. Had a bit of a false start as they let us in main room, then asked us to go back out ! Had to feel for Tess as their travel wasn’t going well & they had M&G tix as well. Could see they wouldn’t make it in time. When we got in proper, it was cool seeing the band soundchecking. They even played a song which wasn’t going to be in the setlist that night 🙂 After that, they stayed on stage for the Q & A session. That was quite interesting. The best thing i heard though was that they want to do a Version 2.0 anniversary tour. Now THAT’S something i want, to relive those heady days again 🙂
Afterwards, we were took backstage to a room where we get the photo opportunity with the band. As i was wearing my ” 50 ” badge, i was wished a happy birthday. I explained my birthday was in fact back in April & how my wonderful friends bought me the M&G package. I showed them my card & got them to autograph it. Duke, being the wise guy, asked ” Are you Daddy Cool ?”
Of course, he had just looked in the card 😉
I kind of embarrassed Stevo as i told him how we (myself, Rob, Rijkels) started the Steve-o chants… he went a bit red 😉 Finally, i gave Shirley a copy of the Angelfish film i made in Glasgow last year. ” Oh, it was you who was filming it !”
We then were given posters for the Troxy show. I noticed the guy giving them out had extras, so, i just asked if i could have another.
He was fine about it….& then everyone near me was grappling for them lol. Some lead,others follow 🙂 ( I gave my extra one to Rob)
We then went back into the main hall. I got a great spot on the raised area, left side obviously, next to mixing desk. Later Tess, joined me there, along with Rob , Jess, Jeff & his missus & Jim. Also saw some other friends including Becky, who i always see on the Garbage tours 🙂 Once again, it was nice seeing everyone again. Eventually,the rest of the Trashers joined below us on the floor. But Diana kicked ass the most, as she came up & stood other side of barrier,near to the mixing desk ! Stayed there for quite a while as well with no one contesting if she should be there. Maybe they all just knew she is the “Bitch Babe” not to be messed with?
Pearl Harts opened the night & as ever, i enjoyed their little set. Strangely, i didn’t take any photos or video of them! Probably because i was otherwise occupied ? 😉 Whatever, they got a decent reaction from the crowd,but, we were there for the main course; Garbage !
There was a lot of expectation on my part as Paradiso had been so good. Not only that, but, the last few London shows just seemed to get better each time.
Whilst i think it’s brave of them to open with ” Sometimes”, i think it’s a rubbish opener ! Honestly, i just don’t like it ! I guess the idea is to show a somber mood, but i find it meh. At least they go straight into “Empty “. I love that song. Nice energy pop music 🙂
Then we have the killer old classics “Stupid Girl ” followed by “Special”. It’s great seeing everyone getting off on these songs. Already, i don’t think i’ve enjoyed myself this much at a Garbage gig ever before 😉 It was quite a surprise for them to add “So Like A Rose” into the set & lucky i decided to film it.
Actually, i didn’t film much as i was just enjoying the moment so much. Once again, it was fun to be rocking out etc with Tess. ” #1 Crush ” was pretty intense tonight. Loved ” I Think I’m Paranoid” as always. Bit of jumping around etc. The whole evening was just great. Shirley did quite a talk, including band members introductions, before “Automatic Systematic Habit “. Stevo got embarrassed 😉 Mr Avery just showed what a bass god he is & we also were told that Duke is the only member of the band to have not cancelled a show due to being fucked up (So, does that mean he has played a few when he WAS fucked up ? 😉 )
Tonights version of ” Vow ” , was easily the best they’ve ever done (that i’ve seen anyways). Shirley was just so wrapped up in it…as were we. They finished with “Only Happy When It Rains” & everyone was rocking out & singing along. Hmm, cannot remember exactly if it was here or before, but, the girls went further into the crowd. I guess they just couldn’t stay at the back 😉
The first song of the encore was ” Even Though Our Love Is Doomed “. Myself , like many no doubt, can really relate to the lyrics in this song. It’s dark & moody & for me, probably my favourite track on the album ( With ” Blackout ” being a close second fave ) . We get the final songs “Why Do You Love Me” & “Cherry Lips”. Before “WDYLM” Shirley made an impassioned short speech about us, their crowd. She genuinely seems to appreciate us all supporting them over the years.
What a night it was ! Finally meeting the band after all these years supporting them, a fantastic show & probably the best London gig i’ve seen, some dancin & ass bumping, full of true friends. Just amazing. Once again, huge thanks to the Trashers who clubbed together to buy the M&G for me. It was truly appreciated like you’ll never know. Today was a day i’ll never forget for so many reasons. Mr Gigaddiction is STILL going strong 😉
So, Garbage in Amsterdam, for numerous reasons, i really thought i wouldn’t make it , one of which was being able to get to Luton airport !
Once again, an old school friend, Dusty, came to my rescue & offered to drive me to Luton & pick me up on return! Thank you mate, it was really appreciated. The journey got off to a bad start as once on the plane, we were delayed 2 hours ! (Due to thunder storms in NL). Once in NL ,everything ran smooth. First walked to Jeffs hotel near Leidsplein
Then we went to meet Greg & Jerome at a bar. As we walked up, both Rob n Rijkels were also arriving. Later Marta joined us. All the other girls were still out shopping 😉 Come 18.30 some of the guys were talking about going to the ” J.P. bar ” instead of Garbage gig !. Notice the empty pint glasses. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase ” Rijkeling a pint ” comes from, he’s demonstrating it here 😉
Myself & Rob left for the venue where there was already a few awaiting such as Anette, Paul, Marco, Boris etc. Rob & Rijkels had already decided they would join me up in the balcony tonight 🙂 In a total shock, i saw Greg & Jerome take opposite position on other balcony ! (Though it didn’t last long) The Pearl Harts were their typical rocking selves. The audience did seem to take a while before waking up though.
So to the headliners ; Garbage. I thought opening with “Sometimes” was a bit strange (& the lighting was rubbish!), but at least “Empty” brought up the vibe.
We then got a couple of old classics ; ” Stupid Girl” & “Special” which brought things into overdrive. It was great to see a bunch of the Trashers down near the front just rocking out…yes, i kinda wished i could have been down there 🙁
A very special moment for me was during ” #1 Crush” where Shirley sang directly at me 🙂
Oh my ! Memories of the last time we saw Garbage here & spent the afternoon in the Crowbar drinking 2 for 1 cocktails ! Surely, things couldn’t get as bad (worse?) as last time ??? This time, some of the Trashers got into Manchester the previous night. I’ve heard there were games of pool & THE GUYS pole dancing! Less said about that, the best 😉 I get up to Manchester around 1pm & meet the guys at the hotel. Have a quick pint with them & Anette also joins us. Seems there’s a few of us staying at the same hotel 🙂 Eventually we leave & head towards the venue/Crowbar 😉 It’s raining, so don’t expect that many to be queueing already…