HALESTORM, Motorpoint arena, Nottingham , 25-11-19


For this one, there were 3 of us going. So either Andy T. or Andy G. would be driving there n back. Unfortunately, when we all went to curry club, Mr T said he’d got a course that day in Sleaford. So I left it to my mates how we were gonna get there. In the end, Andy G picked me up. Whilst Andy T took the train from Sleaford. When we were driving to Nottingham, we were talking about all sorts of things, including my sister. Upon arrival in Nottingham, we walked to the arena. I had to be there early (4.30) as was doing the M&G. It’s a LOT more expensive than it used to be, but I just had to do it. (Thinking ahead, it might be the last time I’d have the opportunity to do so). Andy G knew what time Mr T would be arriving, so he went off to meet him. Soon enough, we were all grouped up & about to go have the M&G. I said to a security chap that I couldn’t stand for very long, so he promptly went & got me a seat (Nice one mate). So I used that in the queue. There were a couple of people who arrived late, so I let them go in front of me. That would mean I’d be the last one doing the M&G. When it was my turn, I went though & they remembered me ! Asked how I was doing (heath wise) had a brief chat, then photos were took. I did have a request for them tonight ” I know it’s a cover, but, could you play “Hell Is For Children” ?? Joe said he couldn’t remember how to play it (they haven’t played it much live) whilst Arejay seemed up for it ! But in the end, they didn’t play it 🙁 However, during one of the last songs of the night, Lzzy partially changed the lyrics & sung “Hell if For Children”. Yay.



First band tonight was “New Years Day”. I think I’ve  seen them before, but they haven’t improved ! After there set, the Andys got in. Hmm, thinking about it, can’t remember if the saw any of “In This Moment”. No, scratch that, they saw a few songs cos I told them how Maria mimes a lot 😉 So it’s not long ’til that act that we’ve all come for ; HALESTORM !  As always, they put on a great show. Lzzy mentioned that they’d played here before in this venue during the “Taste Of Chaos” tour in 2010. I was there. The other acts were ; Buckcherry, Papa Roach & Disturbed. I left before Disturbed came on 🙂

So back to tonight. They played a pretty balanced set, covering some old & some new songs. The most unexpected was a cover of  “Adele” called “Someone Like You” Hmmm.

The full set list was ; Freak Like Me , Love Bites (So Do I) ,Apocalyptic , Vicious ,
I Get Off , Familiar Taste of Poison , Amen (includes a video). Bass / Drum Solo
Black Vultures , Uncomfortable ,I Am the Fire , Chemicals Do Not Disturb
In Your Room , Dear Daughter , Someone Like You (Adele cover) , Here’s to Us,I Miss the Misery.

A couple of people decided to leave during Miss The Misery, so my filming temporally wobbles all over the place ! (but stick with it, as the rest of the song is good quality 🙂

Was a great night out ! Whilst walking back to the train station (where the car was parked) there was a bit of drizzle. But I bad to ask the guys to slow down as I couldn’t keep up with them 🙁 When we got there, I got my bag out of the boot & chose to stay on the back seat on the way home.The next day, my mum came round, to update me. It was very  sad news….my sister had passed away 🙁



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 🙁 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 😉 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)  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.  Eventually went to Montagu Pyke, Jim & Paul were already there 😉 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.  Then finally a photo of me giving the band a present 🙂 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!)  Once again, huge thanks to Judy for the great photos. I hadn’t took a proper pic of the box, so took one on the train down to London haha  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 🙂
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 😉
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 🙂 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 ? 😉
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 😉 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 🙂
After this, it’s the irrepressible “Mz Hyde” followed by Arejays drum solo (Which as always, includes the “Big Sticks”).   They then go back to the album “Strange Case Of..” & we get “Freak Like Me”. Again, fantastic stuff 🙂 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 😉

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 🙂
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.

HALESTORM ,Avatar, Rews, O2 academy, Sheffield , 22-9-18

     Been looking forward to this one for a long time. Last time i saw Halestorm was at the crappy Download festival, back in 2016 !
I used to follow them all around the UK & also saw them abroad in Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Paris. As i could only make it to 2 shows this time (Sheffield & Brixton) i decided to do the M&G at Sheffield. What a great decision that was 🙂
I’d arranged to meet my old Halestorm touring friend Kristina at Sheffield. We both messed up by booking hotels which were stupid prices. If only we knew our plans before, we could have saved a lot of money by sharing a room. Live n learn i guess.
My train journey to Sheffield included changing train at Nottingham. From Boston, it was only 2 carriages & pretty busy. Once at Nottingham, i was amazed that once again it was only 2 carriages. Good thing i reserved my seat as it ended up standing room only! They even stopped people from getting on board at some stops ! Well done EMT for spoiling a few peoples day 🙁
Arriving in Sheffield, there was a high presence of police. They even had horses. I assumed there must be some footy happening.
Managed to check into hotel early & arranged to meet Kristina so we could go for food. Only problem with my hotel is there’s 2 entrances & it seemed that Kristina took the wrong one. But hey, we met up still. I’d decided the “Bankers Draft” would be the best option to go to as it’s bigger than the other Spoons in Sheffield. It was still very busy though & we were lucky to get a table. Kristina insisted on paying for our meals. They seemed to be taking a long time to bring the food to us, so Kristina went to investigate. Would you believe,about a minute (or less) after she’d gone, the food was brought to our table ! Damn did i need that food ! (Thanks Kristina). After that, we both went to our own respective hotels. This time we arranged to meet at the venue 😉 There were already a few people queued up when i arrived. Most of them doing the M&G. The box office wasn’t open due to staff being ill. Great ! After various emails to both Stuart & Kirstie, i’d got everything sorted out so could get in early & Kristina could also join me at the same time…they said go to the box office once there lol. Fortunately, for once, there was a GREAT security guy who understood what i needed & he even said he’d show me where the disabled area is, after the M&G. When Judy came out to hand out the laminates etc, she had exactly the number of them for the  people doing the M&G. I explained to her that Kristina wasn’t doing the M&G, but it had been arranged she could come in as my “helper”. This is where Kristina got very lucky 🙂 Judy said she could also have photos took ! So i decided we should be the last in the line.Thought this way, would get more time to chat with the band.(I mean, there’s been a lot that’s happened since Download festival). To my surprise, Arejay still remembered me ! I think Lzzy remembered me. When chatting with Josh i asked if he remembered when after the Oxford gig he stayed outside talking even though it was raining like hell. He didn’t remember, but as it was 5 years ago & MANY gigs during that time, it’s hardly surprising 🙂 I told Joe that i’d be up in the balcony. So if he wanted to throw a guitar pick up there, that would be cool. He then gave me a pick,which caught me off guard! (“in case my accuracy isn’t good enough” ) It was really nice to “reconnect” with them all.
Tonight it was Judy who took the photos (Where’s Detroit?). Unfortunately, there was a problem with the link to download them, so i emailed her & she said she’d send them via email.  We said our goodbyes, then went back out to join the queue. Once inside, i didn’t see the “Great Security guy”. When i got up on balcony,i saw another security chap & explained to him i didn’t want my seat to be in the disabled area & to start off he didn’t agree to it. But i talked him round to it 😉 Got what i consider the perfect position, on the left side.
The first band “Rews”, i’d never heard off (Same goes for the second “Avatar”). Rews didn’t really impress me. Found them a bit repetitive. Avatar though were quite a fun band. They wore costumes, as did the roadies/techs. Quite liked some of their songs. So much so, that i even filmed a song :

Apparently Halestorm have been changing around their set list on this tour. I totally applaud them for doing this. I wish more bands would do the same. It was a pretty safe bet they’d open with “Black Vultures”, so decided to film the opening song

Next up we get “I Am The Fire”. Btw, i think the latest album is their best so far. They’ve really progressed, but it’s still a rocky album. 
“Uncomfortable” is both great on the album & also great live. Only 3 songs in & i’m enjoying it all so much. We then get a full on rendition of “Skulls”. Those guitars are so heavy. Love it.

Next up, Lzzy does a short Acapella version of “I Get Off” which melds into “Do Not Disturb”. Very nice 🙂
Lzzy then says how happy they are to be playing Sheffield again & she asks “What can i get you to do?”. So this is where we see how loud the audience can be.And yes, we were loud ! I’m pretty sure that they’ve extended “Amen” when playing it live (that’s excluding the to & fro of the chants with the crowd)

After “Vicious” it’s time for Arejay to showcase his talents. Cool to see he’s still using the big sticks 🙂 Years back, there was a time he didn’t have the big sticks, so he used umbrellas ! What i sight to see 🙂  After that it’s a song for all the freaks here tonight. Yes, you guessed it “Freak Like Me” 🙂 Damn this gig is just flying by ! We get some old classics such as “Love Bites (So Do I)”, “Mz. Hyde” & the stomping “It’s Not You”(from their debut album back in 2009).Sometime during the latter part of the show, Joe points to me & throws a guitar pick. It lands just in front of Kristina. it’s only fair that she gets to have that. From the old, to the new, the main set is finished with “Killing Ourselves to Live” (from the latest album “Vicious”)  Btw, When i think about the title of that song, i always think about the Black Sabbath song ” Killing Yourself To Live” 🙂 

“Sheffield, thank you so much. I’ve got to tell you something. We’ve been a band for a while.This year marks 21 years of Halestorm (huge cheers from the crowd) Of course, i started it when i was two 😉 We’ve always,always, always dreamed of commin to the UK. We’ve always said that since we were little. Do you think anyone will let us go to the UK ever…Tonight, you are making our little dreams come true, thank you so much” Then both Lzzy & Joe sit on a box together & do an acoustic version of “The Silence”. ( I wonder if this song is about their relationship?) Lzzy really sings this with such emotion.
Next it’s another old classic Halestorm song “I Miss the Misery”. Again fantastic stuff.
Last song of the night is “Here’s to Us”. This is & has always been, one of the main connections between the band & the fans. Music really does bring people together.

So that’s it. Over & done. We stay in the venue until they kick us out. I decide to get one of the T-shirts. Very reasonable price as £20. When we go outside, there’s a few people already hanging around to meet the band. We’d already decided to wait & meet them again.  ( Me? Psycho eyes?”Psycho Killer” Qu’est-ce que c’est, Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better Run run run run run run run away oh oh” Whilst waiting, i jokingly said to Kristina ” I need £50 from you”. Kristina “Huh?. I paid for lunch!”. Me “C’mon you can’t compare that to getting a free M&G!” Me again “Ok, just a thank you would be fine”. Kristina ” Oh, i thought i’d said that. Well thank you anyway 🙂 “. During this time, we see Detroit going back n forth to the bus. Kristina reminds me that i was too shy to ask for a photo with her years back 😉 I decide i need to have a chat with Detroit as we’ve not seen each other for so long. She’s now been upgraded to the role of tour manager. Nice one. We have a nice chat about old Halestorm gigs etc. I tell her about my health problems & she said that she knew already as the band had been talking about it & told her. They’re all such a nice bunch of caring people. 
Arejay is the first of the band to come out. He does it in his typical quiet fashion….not! 🙂 Gets swamped with people wanting stuff signed or wanting photos. The big guy near him, who i assume is the bodyguard for the band, makes everyone form a queue. You can see he want’s this to be over quickly. Dunno how “new” he is,but, he should realise this band will always stay chatting with the fans for as long as they want to. (I remember a time when we saw them in Oxford 2013 that Josh still stayed chatting even though it was raining!). Eventually the rest of the band come out to chat, sign stuff, have photos took. It was a nice way to finish the day.   

As everyone was going to the bus, Kristina spotted Judy walking back as well. She had a question for her. She’s going to the Birmingham gig & someone let her down(?) so she doesn’t have a ticket. Judy is so nice that she said “Give me your full name & phone number & i’ll sort you out” (Or words to that effect). How cool is that ?
Shortly after that, we make our way to our respective hotels. Kristina has to be up early as she’s going up to Glasgow to see them the following day. I would have loved to have followed the tour, like the old days, but there’s now only so much i can do, due to the shitty chemo etc.
Following morning, my train home is at a reasonable time of 10.35. Walking to the station, there’s still the fresh aroma of the horse shit from yesterday! In fact, they hadn’t fully cleaned it up ! On the route back, i change at Nottingham. Once there, i automatically walked towards platform 2, where it usually departs from. This time though, it was from a totally different platform, 6a ! So over the bridge i go 🙂
On the way home i was thinking about the fact that on Sundays myself & me mum go for Sunday lunch. So i phoned her & asked if she fancied a late lunch at The Endeavour. Jobs a good un, table booked for 2.30.
All in all, a great weekend 🙂

The following day, i tried to download the photos that Judy had took. The link wouldn’t work 🙁 Later i got an email from her 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? “. Around the same time, Kristina sent a msg to me saying that the photos were messed up, but we both thought they looked ok. So it now looks like myself, Kristina & Rob will all join the M&G for free at Brixton Academy on Friday.

Download Festival, Iron Maiden, Janes Addiction, Halestorm, Delain, Shinedown, Donington park 12-6-16


Back in 2012 i vowed i’d never go back there again until they improved the set up for the punters. Awful memories of the car getting stuck GOING IN on first day, rivers of MUD & generally a crap festival.I’m only going Sunday, mainly because Maiden are headlining & being a British band, they STILL wont do a proper UK tour – bunch of cunts! There’s a couple more decent bands & i’m also really looking forward to meeting friends there 😉

I realy shoulda listened to myself hey ? It was as crap as 2012, if not worse ! The day started early with Andy picking me up & driving us to our “usual” hotel in Nottingham. There we met Ady & went off to the gig in his car. I’d got the disabled parking permit, so, that was a bonus as we get to park on the hard standing surface instead of the rivers of mud. As i’d arranged this a bit late, it seems they’d cocked up & didn’t send something to get me in on the disabled entry though. First stupid thing : The portacabin for disabled tix etc was all muddy in front of it. An easy example of how they could improve things for the punters : How about some tracking or pallets placed in front of it? After some discussion, eventually a guy came to see us & after i complained, he took us to the disabled entrance,thus jumping the massive queue 😉 Good chap.
The festival site was an absolute mess! Talk about rivers of mud ! I’d hate to think what crap was in there & it’s really not the best place for me to be,due to my immune system dropping right now. But i am rock n roll & i’m doing this mofo !
I didn’t take hardly any photos/videos, due to the crap weather…
First band we saw was ” Monster Truck ” on the main stage. Good old school, kinda southern rock n roll. We stayed there to watch Amon Amarth. They had some nice fire breathing dragons onstage, & we were asked to raise our horns 😉 First time seeing them for me & i doubt i’d go out my way to see them again. Musically good,entertaining yes, but vocals meh !
We then went to the other stage to watch Delain. Finally the weather got a little better & could use camera. I was surprised how it wasn’t very busy. But they did a nice little gig.DSC07243

We then made our way back to the mainstage for Halestorm. Whilst there i met Tina & her friend Carol. Tina seemed very impressed with Halestorm, especially Lzzys great vocals 🙂 Tina DownloadDSC07248
As the lads are not into Brent Smiths over talking, we decided to move to the other stage (We all like Shinedowns music, but, Brent just goes on too much between songs…”Look to your left…shake the hand off that person..blah blah lol). They went to watch Breaking Benjamin, whilst i waited around to meet Tess. Stood near the “Big Download Dog” (a photo opportunity similar to the Harry Potter thing down London, except, you didn’t have to pay here lol) i could watch a bit of Shinedown on the screens. Totally thought of the lads when Brent did his preaching 😉 With Ghost having cancelled earlier, there were really only two bands i really wanted to see : Janes Addiction & Maiden.The weather was still rubbish & walking through the mud was a PITA. Once Tess arrived,we decided to make our way over to the Encore stage & get a coffee before Janes. Totally random, we bumped into Matt & Vicki Wright ! Was great to see them again. We then all carried on in the direction of Encore stage. Myself & Tess nipped to get a coffee before Janes Addiction. Now i love Janes, have done for many years, but sometimes the “same” show gets a bit much. Today however, was different as i was watching it with a fellow Janes lover who totally gets them 🙂
Starting with the usual “Up The Beach” we float into Janes world. Perry is still the Pimp Daddy, in his great old style clothes.

Then it’s the familiar “Stop” quickly followed by “Ain’t No Right”.Cannot help but shake my ass to this stuff ! Bloody love it.
Tess is beaming as classic after classic is played. During “Mountain Song” the world was exposed to my crappy vocals 😉
Next they play the only really modern song of there’s ” Just Because”. To think this came out in 2003….how quickly time flys.
Next it’s the monumental ” Three Days “. This is one of my all time fave songs by any band. I just love how the bass starts things off & the song ebbs & flows. It’s just amazing

Next it’s the song that everyone knows by Janes Addiction ” Been Caught Stealin “. After “Ocean Size”, there’s a shock when they cover Bowies ” Rebel Rebel “. I really dunno if it worked on not tbh.

Finally we get “Ted Just Admit It”. During which, we had the
suspension girls flying above the band. Why does it not surprise me that Tess said she wants to do that ? 😉 DSC07267DSC07270
The encore is the usual ” Jane Says”. Cracks me up how “comfy” Navarro looks 🙂

DSC07272So that was that. Easily my highlight of Download 2016.
Said my goodbyes to Tess,then me & Andy wandered off to see Maiden.
Maiden is a band i’ve followed for many years. Back in the day, i followed tours around the UK. I’m lucky to have seen a bunch of shows from the real “glory years”. In fact, they are in 2nd spot for the band i’ve seen the most. Strangely, it’s a certain German band that currently hold to top spot… So anyway, as soon as you hear UFOs “Doctor Doctor”, you know it’s time. First song was “If Eternity Should Fail “. Took them that song & “Speed Of Light” before it sounded any good. Particularly thought the Nickos drums sounded very tinny. But they got it better for “Children Of The Damned”. An old chestnut. It was a nice moment when Bruce dedicated “Tears Of A Clown” to the late Robin Williams. Was great to hear the classics “The Trooper” & “Powerslave”. Brought back so many memories of the ’80s for me. I think we stayed untill encore time. It had been a long day & it really was taking its toll, so myself & Andy decided to leave early & wait for Ady at the car.

My highlights of the day were Janes Addiction & finally meeting Tess properly. So nice to have a real good chat etc. It was a good craic 🙂
So, once again, i say to myself i won’t go to Download again….& this time i mean it ! The money grabbing bastards !

Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown, Halestorm, Highly Suspect, Capital FM arena, Nottingham 29-1-16

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Yet again, the arena has new sponsors. It’s now called “Motorpoint Arena”. Over the years it has been the arena, Capital Fm arena, Trent FM arena. It’s hard getting used to it being called Motorpoint arena as the Sheffield arena used to be Motorpoint arena! So there’s a little confusion for me when i see Motorpoint arena on tweets . I digress….My first stop in Nottingham was the Tourist Information place, to buy some tickets for Rock City gigs. Since the closing of the box office at Rock City (a very poor idea as it now costs so much more ordering through the post) they’ve started stocking a few tix here. Again, seems pretty stupid that RC /Alt-tickets don’t really advertise they do this… I managed to get in the arena only a few minutes after doors (no real queuing) &started off about 6 or 7 rows from the front in the centre. Then, bizarrely, i got a phone call from my doctors! Eventually i put it to the back of my mind & was set for the first act of the night, “Highly Suspect”. Whilst they went down reasonably with the crowd, myself, i just couldn’t get into them. It was just a bit “meh..” lol Next it’s the band i bought todays ticket for ; Halestorm.


Interesting they opened with “Sick Individual”. I’d never have expected that.

They’ve all got new hair cuts since the last time i saw them (well, except Josh i think 😉 ) & everyone still has that fire on stage. I cannot really say much about tonight except they were great as ever & of course i wanted them to play longer 🙂

Shinedown is a band i love. They have some fantastic songs. But nowadays i always have a problem with Bretts “preaching”. It’s obviously all very genuine, but, i just wish he wouldn’t go on yapping so much. Also, the last few shows i’ve seen, he does the same lines about saying hello to you neighbour next to you. Time to change that i think.


I’m still unsure how much of the show is live & how much is off tapes, but it’s quality. Don’t get me wrong, i LOVED their set.

Black Stone Cherry told the story of how they started in “The Basement” at Rock City & then they moved upstairs to the main room. Now, they’re in the arena. No mean feet. They’re such a quality act that their rise is totally understandable.


Lzzy joined them for “Peace Is Free “. Apparently, tonight there were also a couple of live debuts of songs. It was very nice to see at the end of their show, they jammed “Ace Of Spades “. So much love for Lemmy. They were a great way to finish a fantastic night out. Wish it could be like this always.


P.S. The only downside was afterwards it was pissing it down for the majority of my journey home…but it kept me awake 😉

Halestorm, @ koko, London 18-8-15


A Wild Evening With Halestorm

First a little rant : It was inevitable that Halestorm would get bigger/more popular. With each tour ive noticed it.
The problem now is that if you want to get on that front row,you’ve pretty much got to pay the extra & do the VIP Meet & Greet. Compared to other bands, their VIP ticket pricing is very good,but, it’s still expensive. After the previous Glasgow gig, i doubted i’d do VIP again. Then they announced the special “An Evening With Halestorm” shows 😉 Yup, this is special, i’ve got to get either front row or front row of balcony. This will be the last time….famous last words 😛
When we first arrived at Koko, there were about 10 people there. So beer & food time it was! When we got back, the numbers had swelled slightly & pretty much all were familiar faces.During soundcheck, we heard them play “(I Cant Get No) Satisfaction”. So lets hope they add it into the set..(Yesterday in Liverpool they covered the Beatles “Hard Days Night”, so the Stones in London would have been apt). The M& G went well, the band told me the cakes i gave them in Glasgow had lasted seconds. There were a few in the venue before us & we had to decide either front row at the side (poor angle, in front of pa) or balcony. We went for the later. Security was surprised we went up there, but, he agreed, where we were *originally* stood (left side), it’s one of the best vantage points in the venue.As things got busier, it turned out they needed more room for disabled spaces…so they moved us to the other side! (& in turn, even that position was made smaller). But as Arejay said, as the band walked by returning to backstage, “You’ve got the best seats in the house there!” He was pretty much correct. If you get that front row, you have to do everything in your power to save it for yourself/friends ;-0 DSC04668DSC04670


Eventually the main punters were let in & we soon had Jim & Diana behind us, shortly followed by Rob & Kristina. With no support act, it seemed to take forever for Halestorm to take to the stage.
The first 5 songs were acoustic. First up was ” Mz. Hyde”. I loved the totally different vibe how it realy had a “swing” to it. Kristina was quick to say that tonight was already way better than Liverpool, due to the great crowd (& company 😉 ) Was really strange to be hearing “Heres To Us” so early in the show.Damn the crowd was really loud .

A short break & they were back to play all of “Into The Wildlife” album. The crowd was pretty quick picking up the scream parts of..erm “Scream” 😉

I was quite amazed how damn heavy “Sick Individual” sounded compared to the album,especially the starting jam part. In our prime position, the sound was just full on in your face & great 🙂 3 more hard rockers then the tempo is brought down with “Dear Daughter”, which was just beautiful. I’m still unsure about “New Modern Love”, especially in the live setting, but praise be we had “Mayhem” to turn things back up to 10 🙂 Everything seemed to flow on stage, but, i felt the audience got quieter as the show went along. It was certainly nothing like at the start…
The UK has been very lucky with the amount of live debuts we’ve had on each tour they do here. Tonight was no exception as they debuted “Jump the Gun”. It was quite hilarious when Joe had the line “Babe I think I love you”, especially when we got the explaination of how many takes it took in the studio . Obviously, Arejay & his big sticks made an appearance, shortly followed by the old classics “Love Bites” & “It’s Not You”. This was the only time tonight i missed being downstairs on the front row as you just gotta jump around to those & it just felt a little strange on the balcony.I missed the old dynamic (in more ways than one). I loved “Unapologetic”, there was a great vibe to that.

Finally another couple of classics “Freak like Me ” & “I Miss The Misery”. Damnit Freak is another you just have to jump too!  After those, Joe & Lzzy seemed to have a bit of a conversation, then everyone bowed & off they went. I was rather disapointed we didn’t get no Satisfaction (pun also intended) but overall it was a great night out. I’d hoped to see my mate Kevin who had last minute come over from the States.(He didn’t have a ticket as the show sold out in 8 hours. Luckily, the Freaks network is pretty good..i asked Lucy if she could find a ticket & sure enough she came up trumps).Well i didn’t see him in the gig, but, managed to find him outside afterwards. Had a little chat before we set off on our journey back to Boston. Oh yes, ya cannot beat those 2am Maccy Ds stops…



Halestorm, Nothing More, Wilson @ Barrowlands, Glasgow, Scotland 6-3-15

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Myself & Cat flew up for this one. We met Kristina in Glasgow & went for drinks etc 🙂 Wasn’t a very nice day (was pissing it down afterwards). At the M&G i gave the band a box of cakes which had various Halestorm related photos on them. They seemed to like them. Detroit was quick to make sure she got the one with her on it 🙂 Once inside, we managed to get Kristina down the front with us. Another great gig. I’ve finally been to Barrowlands after all these years ! Afterwards we ended up at the Cathouse & who should also turn up but Halestorm & the guys from Wilson. So we were drinking with them. Overall a great day/night…just a shame about the end of night stuff between the girls 🙁