MACHINE HEAD Rock city, Nottingham, 21-5-18

I was soooo looking forward to this show ! I took a later train than i originally planned to (gave me more time to relax). Once i got to Nottingham, i headed straight to my hotel, “Roomzzz”. Upon checking in, the manageress asked me “How are you? Which gig are you seeing tonight?”
(As i stay there so often, she always asks me those questions). I reply “I’m ok, but have a slight problem with a future booking”. I explain that i wont be able to come in June to see Stone Sour as i’ll be having more chemotherapy & ask if i could get a refund for the room i’d pre-booked. She said “Normally it would be non refundable, but, as it’s exceptional circumstances, I’ll phone through to central reservations, to see if we can get a refund for you”. Went to my room & 5 mins later she phoned me to confirm i CAN get a refund ! Phew ! That’s over Β£100 coming back to me πŸ™‚ I then start thinking about if i can sell on the ticket for Stone Sour. I’d heard of “Twickets”, so thought I’d try it on there if none of my friends don’t want it. (I’d payed extra for the M&G so total cost was Β£146 !)
Didn’t bother going to my usual(s) for food, as I’d took some with me πŸ˜‰ Phoned Rock City to confirm time for doors as on tickets it said 7pm ,yet on their website it said 6.30pm ! Doors were confirmed for 7pm. So stayed in the hotel for rest of the day.
Went to RC about 15mins before doors. Bumped into a lad i often see at gigs (Hi Tonito πŸ˜‰ ) & asked him if he’d be interested in Stone Sour ticket. He’s already going somewhere else on the same date πŸ™ After a while, they let us disabled people in. Again i got the best seat…one of the security said “Go to Bar 2 & ask for a seat”. Me “Which bar is that then?” He then said “Ah you can have this one i’m sat on!” Then told another security chap to take it through to the gig room. Very kind of him. Wish it could work this way always πŸ˜‰ There were probably about 30+ people in there already as there had been a M&G earlier. Still managed to get my fave spot though. Whilst waiting, i see a mate Gary come in & he went up in the balcony. We then txt each each other about what was in store for tonight πŸ˜‰
Rock City was absolutely RAMMED tonight. Totally sold out. There was no support act, just Machine Head playing a super long set, which was getting towards 3 hours long. A bit later i saw Richard M. & his Mrs making their way through the crowd to get near the front.
Tonight’s gig was just fuckin amazing, full on metal ! I ended up filming quite a few songs, but this is the only clip I’ve uploaded so far.

Afterwards, tried to meet up with Garry, but we didn’t manage it (I waited across the road for 5-10mins & thought he’d nipped of sharpish. Following day, he told me he was in the queue for car park as i was going into my hotel ! Oh well c’est La Vie ! Hope to meet up later in the year). I had a great time tonight. It’ll be one of the two gigs that i can do before i restart the chemotherapy on 30th May.

3-6-18 Slight edit, now a 2-cam mix of “The Blood the Sweat The Tears ” (thanks mate)Β  πŸ˜‰

THE STRANGLERS ,+ Therapy?, Rock city, Nottingham, 12-3-18

After Alice had left, i had a look in FOPP, then checked out where Brewdog was (was thinking of going there later). Almost went to see a film, but the price put me off πŸ˜‰ So i spent most of the time in my hotel. Decided i needed some grub to see me through the night,so once again, i visited The Gooseberry Bush. Had a lovely Grilled Chicken Tennessee burger, washed down with Devils Backbone (I’m a creature of habit).By the time i finished that, the rain had just about stopped.Think i had about 40mins in hotel before i needed to go to Rock City. Once there, the queue had grown. As i went to the doors, some one else who had disabilities was just being let in. I told the security chap i needed a seat etc & he kind of questioned me. I saw Kev was there,so asked if i could have the same seat as last night πŸ™‚ His reply was “If i can find it,it’s yours.They keep moving it around the place!”. Couple of minutes later, the seat was brought up to the balcony for me. Must have been in a good 10mins+ before main doors opened.
It’s always interesting seeing people coming into the venue. Some head for the front row on the barrier & others head straight to the bar !
Whilst waiting for Therapy? to take to the stage, a chap to the right of me said ” Well done on getting the seat! Think i could also do with one!” (or words to that effect). When i told him that i NEED to have the seat & briefly told him why, he was initially dumbfounded. We carried on chatting, talking about the gigs we’d been to etc. It was surprising that we’d both sometimes been at the same gig (but obviously then we didn’t know each other) not only that, he doesn’t live too far away from Bostonia! (I think it was Heckington?). I told him about my blog which listed every gig I’ve seen since 1980 & he seemed quite impressed with what i’d done; “That’s amazing!”. Later he said something like ” You’re an inspiration how you cope with things & are still getting to the gigs”.I also said to him something like “It’s not until you see the situation from the other side, that you can really understand how it totally affects your life. Having a sense of positivity really helps”.Then he really shocked me ; ” I’ve been thinking….(He’s a headmaster at a school) Would you come to the school & give a talk about how your life has changed & how you cope with these health issues ?….I’m not putting you on the spot.”
Whilst i can see where he’s coming from, I’ve never been the sort of person that would, or rather COULD, do that type of thing. I said i’d think about it πŸ˜‰ Enough of that, lets get to the reason why we’re all here tonight : A great line up including Therapy? & The Stranglers πŸ™‚

I’ve seen Therapy? a few times over the years. We even saw them in Amsterdam back in 2006 ! (Bet you remember that one Chris H? Something to do with beers πŸ˜‰ ). The thing with Therapy? is you’re always sure that it will be a great gig. When i saw they were opening for the Strangers, i just had to go.
Tonight they kick off with “Die Laughing”. Andy dedicates it to Ken Dodd who recently passed away πŸ™‚ Next, from the album “Infernal Love”, they play “Stories”. A couple of songs in & there’s already a small group in the crowd bopping away.(Actually, i was surprised that more of the crowd didn’t get into Therapy? tonight) I’ve always loved their version of “Isolation”. I really think they made it there own. “Turn” is as great as always. Really wish i’d filmed a couple more songs tonight, but i was enjoying it too much to do that.
They play most of the “hits” from yesteryear; “Turn” , “Teethgrinder” , “Nowhere” , “Knives” all sound as fresh as the day they were released on albums. They finish their set with “Screamager” & “Potato Junkie”. Btw,Just who was “James Joyce” ? πŸ™‚

This Stranglers tour is being called “The Definitive Tour”. After having a quick gander online to see what they’ve been playing, that title pretty much sums it up! I just know it’s gonna be a great night.
Tonight’s show starts with an intro which goes into “Curfew”. What a great way to kick things off.(Pretty sure i can hear the chap next to me singing along πŸ˜‰ )

Next up it’s another classic Stranglers song “(Get a) Grip (On Yourself)”. That’s followed by “15 Steps” & “Bear Cage”. If my memory serves me correctly, the track “Bear Cage” wasn’t on any album & was just a single release. However, it was included on the reissue of “The Raven” CD. Talking of “The Raven”, I remember buying that on vinyl way back in 1979 (?) & it had a special cover. There was a seemingly 3D image of The Raven on the front. Pretty sure I’ve still got that LP somewhere. Hmm, i wonder how limited that release was? Might be worth a bit nowadays πŸ˜‰
Next, from the same album, it’s “Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)”. Some great shouts/interaction from the crowd. Bloody fantastic !

When they play “Peaches” it takes me back to when i was a prepubescent kid. What a great music scene it was back in those days. Growing up with bands like The Stranglers, Sex Pistols, Siouxie & The Banshees, Blondie, Buzzcocks, B52s, The Jam, The Members, etc etc.
One of the most unexpected songs to hear tonight was “Don’t Bring Harry”. Again, i remember when i got “The Raven” album, i really didn’t like that song !
Maybe it was because,at the time, i didn’t know what it was about ? (Heroin). Either way, i just didn’t get it.Β 
They then play 3 of my fave songs, namely “Golden Brown”(Their biggest hit single i think), “Always the Sun” & “Walk On By” (OK, it is a cover of a Dionne Warwick song, but i think they made it their own πŸ˜‰ )
I love the angst(lyrics) & power(music) of “Something Better Change”. Again, it’s right up there with the Stranglers classic songs. After S.B.C. they played “Duchess”

Tonights show comprised of around 22 songs & lasted just shy of 2 hours in length. Talk about value for money πŸ™‚
They finished with “No More Heroes”

After the show finished, i hung around on the balcony & noticed that Michael McKeegan (Therapy? Bassist) was looking down at the crowd leaving. I just felt i needed to go have a brief chat with him. Basically, i just said that i’d seen Therapy? quite a few times over the years & ive not seen a bad show by them. Also mentioned how he always seems to have a smile on his face when he’s playing, so to me, he must be enjoying playing. After that quick chat, i said goodbye to the couple of lads i’d met earlier, then headed back to my hotel.
Damn, this has been such a great couple of days/gigs in Nottingham ! Feeling thoroughly contented with everything πŸ™‚

 

TONIGHT ALIVE, Rock city, Nottingham , 11-3-18

Β 

It’s quite funny how this one happened. I booked a ticket for the gig & when i saw on Pledge there was a M&G package, as it didn’t cost much extra, thought i’d do that as well. I knew Alice (My niece) liked T.A. so asked her if she was going to the gig. Not only was she going, but had also paid the extra for the M&G. Asked her if she was driving there or staying over. I’d already booked my hotel (Roomzz for 2 nights,as next night was seeing The Stranglers) & suggested to her if she decides to stay over in Nottingham, Premier Inn had an offer on where a room only cost around Β£30. So she booked that quickly πŸ™‚
We took quite a later train than usual. The earlier one would have had a 2 hour change over in Grantham ! When we got to Nottingham, we had around 30mins to walk to our hotels, get checked in , then go to rock city for 5pm (M&G time). There were quite a few in the M&G queue….some people who weren’t doing the M&G also joined the queue, but were soon set straight πŸ˜‰ When the guy came out checking names, Alice had still not got to the venue, so i told him she’ll be here soon. As i was waiting, a bizarre coincidence happened ; someone behind me asked “Were you at the Marmozets show in Cambridge?”. I turned around & recognised the 2 girls i’d met in Cambridge ! We had a quick chat about the Marmozets gig & of course i moaned about the rubbish “seats” they had for disabled people πŸ˜‰ Then Alice arrived…just as the dude was handing out the posters & beanie hats πŸ™‚ Once inside the venue, we were took through a side door into the room that used to be called “The Rig”. I think they only use that room for the disco stuff nowadays. That’s a good thing as when it was a gig room, it was absolutely rubbish ! (The one & only gig i went to there was back in ’98. The band ” A ” were opening for “Symposium”. As i couldn’t SEE the band, i sat on the bar! Of course, security rightly told me i couldn’t do that πŸ˜‰ So i said to them “show me a place where i can actually see the band, or i want my money back”! Ended up getting my money back & driving home ! Doubt that would happen nowadays lol)
So, back to the M&G….we all queued up then one by one we met the band, had a photo took, then hung around waiting for the M&G to finish. The band then went on the improvised stage & there was a short Q&A session followed by them playing an acoustic version of “Temple”.Β Β Β We then made our way to the main room. Along the way, i saw “Kev” (security) & reminded him he was gonna sort out a seat for me. We went to the balcony, only to be told it wasn’t open tonight. Ok, plan B it is then : Under the stairs ! Couldn’t believe it when Kev brought me one of the old high back seats! He was wise enough to save one πŸ˜‰ Thanks Kev !
Alice seemed unsure if she wanted to stay in that position or to go down on main floor (I knew already what she’d do πŸ˜‰ ) We watched the support acts from there. The first was called “The Gospel Youth”. Didn’t do a thing for me. Next it was “Roam”. I quite liked their set. Kinda wished i’d filmed a song.
Shortly before Tonight Alive were about to take the stage, Alice decided to go on the main floor to have a bop around. Wise choice πŸ™‚ I woulda if i coulda…After a short intro,the guys walk on stage to huge cheers & when Jenna appears, the crowd get louder. They start the show with ” Book Of Love “. After that it’s ” Lonely Girl ” from the album “The Other Side”. This is a very upbeat sounding song, even if they lyrics don’t really relate to being “up”,so to speak. Next, another one from “The Other Side”. It’s great seeing everyone having a great time during “The Ocean”.Β “Crack In My Heart” sounded great.

During “World Away ” there was a great sing a long from the crowd. I managed to capture the tail end of the song & then the acoustic version of “Say Please”

During the course of the evening, they played around 16 songs.There was always a positive vibe in the room πŸ™‚Β Β 

The show finishes with the song that they earlier played acoustically at the M&G, namely “Temple”. A nice one to finish the night off.

When we leave the venue it’s raining a bit. Alice wanted to try meet the band again, so we hung around for a while. She managed to meet a couple of the guys & have a brief chat.Β Β Obviously, it was Jenna that she really wanted to meet again, so we waited a bit longer. In the end, as it was raining & cold, we thought Jenna might not come out. So kinda gave up. I walked Alice to her hotel & said to her ” You know, it would be just your luck that Jenna might come out after we’ve left!”. When i left her at her hotel, i said i’d text her if Jenna was around. When i got back, you guessed it, Jenna was there! There were only about 3 people there with her. So sent a text to Alice telling her. Literally seconds after i’d sent the txt, Jenna walked back to the venue/bus. So i told Alice to not bother coming back πŸ˜‰
The following day, Alice was going back home. We arranged to meet & have some breakfast in Wethers. Wasn’t as busy as i expected it would be. After that, we walked back to our hotels & i said i’d meet her at the junction near the royal concert hall, so could walk her most of the way to the station. I was waiting a while so txt her as it wasn’t long till her train was due to leave. She’d walked further down, near to Subway (there’s no crossroads there πŸ˜‰ ) So i told her “i’m on the way” haha. Said goodbye at Broadmarsh as i wanted a quick look in FOPP. I then headed back into the city & decided to have a look where Brewdog was. Typical, that they didn’t open till 12.00 & i was there about 11.30 ! As it was pissing it down i thought i’d see what films were on (As would kill a bit of time & i’d be out of the rain). When i saw the prices, i decided against that ! Spent most of the day in my hotel!

 

PAUL DRAPER, Rescue rooms, Nottingham, 5-3-18

I was really looking forward to seeing this gig from Paul Draper, as he’d be playing the whole of Mansuns “Attack of the Grey Lantern”. For me, this was their best album they released. ( “Six” is still good, but for me, nothing will top the debut AOTGL).
When i set off, i was expecting the fields to have a lot of snow, but there wasn’t hardly any (In a few dykes, where sun hadn’t hit it, there was just a small amount of snow). Actually, thinking about it, i was very lucky to be able to get the train to Nottingham, as only a couple of days earlier, there were no services between Skeggy & Nottingham ! Train arrived on time & went straight to the Premier Inn to check in. After hanging there for a short while, i decided to go to The Gooseberry Bush for some grub. Went back to hotel, relaxed for a bit, then walked to Rescue Rooms. Explained to security i need a stool for the gig & he went to find one straight away. He then took me up to the balcony. He started carrying the stool towards the end of the balcony & i said “No. I much prefer being in the centre, straight on to the stage”. Think i got in about 10mins early.
It seemed to take a while before the room got busy (I wonder if some peeps didn’t know the doors time had changed?). Whilst waiting for the opening act, i got chatting with a guy next to me. Later his missus turned up & we were introduced. Thinking about it, this was probably the only good thing that happened tonight ; i made 2 new friends πŸ™‚
The fist act was a lone geezer playing a guitar. Didn’t really do anything for me tbh.
When the Paul Draper band got onto the stage, i’d say it was the beginning of the end ! Once PD was onstage, i could just sense that he wasn’t into it tonight ! They played a short set of songs from PDs release “Spooky Action”. I didn’t know any of the songs, as don’t have the album. But lets be honest here; everyone was really there to see them play all of “Attack of the Grey Lantern” πŸ˜‰ During the first part, there was no interaction between PD & the audience. When they came back to play AOTGL, things got worse! PD was mumbling & forgot some lyrics. It so obvious he wasn’t having a good time up there.

He seemed more interested in getting his glass of wine topped up than playing for the crowd. At one moment he held his guitar up & said something like ” I love this guitar….should i break it ?”. He even had a go at the audience when they played “Wide Open Space”. Later on, he just sat down on the drum riser & didn’t finish the song. I think it was after “Naked Twister” that PD just walked of the stage. No explanations as for why that happened. A lot of people “booed” when he walked off.
I can safely say, after seeing over 1000 gigs in my lifetime, this was the worse one I’ve ever seen!
The only good thing about this gig was how well his band coped under the situation they were in. They’re all exellent musicians & i have massive respect for them for not only coping, but also playing great.
I said my goodbyes to Steve (His missus had gone somewhere, so couldn’t say goodbye to her) & went back to my hotel. I laid on my bed thinking ” Did that really just happen ??” Of course , at that time, no one knew what the problem was with PD. So there were loads of people posting on FB with their thoughts about it. I did notice that PD did post something about “Drowned In Sound” & he called them Nazis…& it was quickly took down πŸ˜‰
Whatever the reasons, i hope that PD seeks medical treatment (if needed), as this show really shouldn’t have happened.

PARADISE LOST, Outshine, King Goat, Rescue rooms, Nottingham, 18-2-18

Β For this one, i took a much later train to Nottingham. This way i could take my mum out for lunch before going ;-)(Ok, technically, she took me out as i cant’t drive now, but i did pay for lunch πŸ˜‰ )
My train left Bostonia at 14.45 & was due to arrive Nottingham at 16.17. Train journey went well, with no hold ups. First thing i did once i arrived was to visit WH Smiths ! Why ? Because i couldn’t get the issue of Classic Rock Magazine “She Rocks”, locally, which has skin (Skunk Anansie) on the cover . Was pretty sure they’d have it in Nottingham. Managed to get it in the nick of time as store was closing at 16.30.Β 

Job done, carry on walking to my hotel. Once again i’m staying at Premier Inn as i booked a few stays there cos the price was so cheap. Once checked in, i just hung around at my hotel to relax. Doors tonight had been put forward by 30mins, so that worked for me. I’d tried phoning Rescue Rooms with regard to having a stool, but it always ended up going to the answerphone & the mailbox was full, so I couldn’t leave a msg.
Once i got to Rescue Rooms i had a chat with the lass on the doors & said that i can never get through on the phone etc. She then told me the reason for this, which i wasn’t expecting….it seems that both Rescue Rooms & Rock City have had a change of staff/security. Apparently, the ones that left Rescue Rooms didn’t tell the other people what the passwords were for the answerphone mailbox etc !! If that is true, then i’m sure the people were not very happy bunnies & did it deliberately πŸ˜‰ So the next time i go RR i wont bother phoning…The lass asked one of the security to find me a stool & when he came back, he walked me up to the balcony. Got the prime position again πŸ™‚
I wasn’t aware that there were two opening acts before earlier today. Both of them i’d never heard of. So i was already thinking “…hope they finish quickly as i’m only here for Paradise Lost!”.
The first band “King Goat” were pretty dire. The singer wore a huge coat/cloak & couldn’t even see his face it was that black. The band didn’t play anything that i liked.
Next it was “Outshine”. Now i actually quite liked them. Their from Sweden & i liked what they played. It was really a good show. So much so, i’ll probably buy the new CD.
I was really looking forward to seeing Paradise Lost again as i hadn’t seen them since around 2009 (At Columbiaclub, Berlin). From memory, Nick Holmes could be a bit of a grumpy old bloke & had a very dry wit about him, so i was wondering how he’d be tonight πŸ˜‰
They kicked off with ” From The Gallows ” which is from the yet to be released album “Medusa”. It’s a typical dark sounding Paradise Lost song. Next we get “Tragic Idol” which dates back to around 2012. I really nice chunky guitar sound on this one. Then 3 songs in, they play some thing i really know “One Second”. This to me, is classic Paradise Lost. Unfortunately though, there were sound problems during this one. It sounded like there was some kind of a loose connection somewhere as there were “crackles” happening a few times.

“Gods Of Ancient” is another one off “Medusa”. Heavy as fuck & what i can only describe as “growling” vocals.
They seem to play a lot of new songs tonight & older stuff that i don’t really know tbh !Β 
If i’m honest, as the night went along, i kinda got a bit bored with it all. I dunno, maybe as the last shows i’d seen were all high enery stuff (Marmozets) Paradise Lost probably wasn’t a very good choice to see after those Marmozets gigs !
When it came to the encore time, there was one song i was really hoping to hear, namely “Just Say Words”. But they didn’t play it πŸ™
After looking online to see the setlists at other venues, it seemed they generally finished with “No Hope In Sight”, “The Longest Winter”, then “Just Say Words”. I’m left wondering why they didn’t play it on this night as it’s a great song.