ROYAL REPUBLIC, Rock City, Nottingham , 19-10-19

As I was already in Nottingham I went to check the route to “Rough Trade” (Probably the last independent record shop in Nottingham) Reason for that is I’m coming back later in the year & will be seeing The Virginmarys there. The gig room is upstairs, so I go check it out. They’re having some kind of mini market up there, so carry on through it to the gig room. It’s quite small. No raised areas (even though there’s a small block on right hand side in my photo)

After doing that I went to check in at Premier Inn. Had a relax there, then left it to 15mins or so before doors would open. Nice n easy getting in. Was doing the M&G so got in earlier. Whilst chatting with the various of the band I said to Per that I’d got all the CDs & EPs but I was missing the CD of The Nosebreakers. Think it was only available on import. Yes, I can listen on Spotify, but I prefer the hard product, which I thought might be released in the UK at a later date. But that didn’t happen πŸ™ So Per says to me “I think we could help you out with that. Give me your mailing address & we’ll see what we can do” Amazing ! They’re all so down to earth guys ! When the M&G had finished, we didn’t have to go back outside. I grabbed a chair , took it to my usual position, then a few minutes later the crowd was rushing in. I’d given my original ticket to a friend. As usual, he was late arriving ! Don’t think he saw much of the opening act (didn’t miss anything special haha) but saw him as he entered the main room. He came over & stayed near me. I’m not gonna do a long review about the gig. But here’s a few photos Β  Instead, I’ll let the music do the talking πŸ˜‰

 

After the gig, Mac went to his car to drive back to Bostonia. Whilst I went back to my Hotel. (My god, I was SO fucking tired !!)

GARY NUMAN, Rock City, Nottingham, 18-10-19

Tonight I stayed at “Crown Plaza” hotel. Why ? Because I’d got a voucher to get it much cheaper. I met Neil at train station, then we took a tram to TRC stop. As Neil hadn’t checked into his hotel, he dropped of his bag in my room. We then went to get food. Wethers as always πŸ˜‰ Neil didn’t have his credit card with him, so I paid for the meal. I think after finishing we went back to my hotel. Neil then took his bag so could check in at his hotel. I stayed in my hotel, just to get a bit of rest. Later, we met up & made our way to Rock City. Tonight Neil was my “helper”, that we he’d get a complimentary ticket. Managed to get in early, so went to my usual position. (Neil joined me there). Something I didn’t realise at the time, another friend was up in the balcony !

The support act didn’t impress me one iota ! Wasn’t much crowd when they played, but it did gradually fill up. When it was time for Gary Numan to take the stage, the place was rammed. I didn’t take many photos tonight as was really getting into the show. The setlist was : My Name Is Ruin , M.E. ,That’s Too Bad, Stories, Metal , Absolution, Dead Sun Rising (Remix) , Down in the Park ,
The Promise ,Cars , Here in the Black , Halo , Me! I Disconnect From You
A Prayer for the Unborn , Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
Encore: Replicas , My Shadow in Vain ,Intruder , Jo the Waiter

Was a really sound gig tonight. Most of the hits & Mr Numan seemed to be enjoying himself (Bonus). After the gig, myself & Neil said our goodbyes & arranged to meet up for breakfast the next day. Oh, forgot to say, when I originally checked-in, one lift wasn’t working. Guess what ? When walking back to the hotel, saw a fire engine out side. Reason why it was there ? The other lift wasn’t working ! Not only that, but a couple had been stuck in it for about an hour !! Eventually I had to go up in the service lift. Next morning there was a letter which had been posted under my room door

No kind of compensation was given ! Next morning met up with Neil & we had breakfast together. All in all, a great day away. Also, I’m staying in Nottingham for tonight to see “Royal Republic”. Staying at a Premier Inn this time !

SKUNK ANANSIE, Rock City, Nottingham, 3-9-19

I consider that Rock City is my “local” venue. Either going by train or car, it’s now my favourite venue. This one my mate Andy drove us there. Parked up at multi-storey, next to train station (But I’d forgot to take Blue Badge-Doh! ) . We caught a tram to the RCH stop. Went to rock city. Once in, saw skunks manager & he gave Andy a pass. Then went to The Gooseberry bush but it was closed. We met Jim there, but as it was closed, Jim walked to the Roebuck whilst me & Andy took a tram there. Pretty much arrived about same time. (Nomis & his wife were staying at the Premier Inn. Think I might have forgot to tell him the Gooseberry Bush was closed. Eventually, they also came to the Roebuk). After food, we went back to Rock City & got in via the back doors. Bumped into Cass & I said “I’ve been to this venue a lot of times, but never been backstage”. Cass then took us back stage. I was really surprised about how SMALL it was ! We passed catering (damn it smelt good!) then round a corner, ended up side stage. (Jim didn’t see that as was gassing with Erika πŸ˜‰ ). We ended up staying in the venue as it was getting closer for doors to open. I got a seat. Went to my usual position πŸ™‚Β  Again, the support act didn’t do much that I licked, but they appreciated being invited to support the mighty Skunk Anansie. It’s soon time for what we all came for : SKUNK ANANSIE, once again, headlining Rock City ! I wont write much about the show, but I’d say it’s right up there with the other best gigs that Skunk Anansie. There’s just something about when they play there, it seems a notch above other gigs.

Here are some video clips I recorded at Rock City :

After the gig finished, there was an after show. It was in the room that used to called “The Rig”. I’ve got a story about going to the Rig….& getting my money back ! A few of us went in what’s now called “The Black Cherry Lounge” (Or whatever the shitty place is called now) Most of the band turned up, photos were took, drinks were drunk.

Then we all said our goodbyes. Myself & Andy went back to the train station, where his car was parked. Then a nice drive home πŸ™‚

P.S. During the tour I was enjoying it so much (& feeling well) I decided to add Newcastle at last minute πŸ˜‰

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BUCKCHERRY , Hoobastank , Adelitas Way, Rock City, Nottingham, 15-2-19

This time I took a later train from Boston to Nottingham. Arrived Notts about half 3pm. Walked to “Roomzzz” & stayed there till about 15mins before doors opened at Rock City. Tonight was an early start, or rather, it should have been : Doors 5.30 ! They do this when there’s a club night after the gig & there’s usually a curfew of 10pm for the gig. So as usual, I went to venue 15mins before doors. Then had to wait till gone 6pm before was let in. During that wait, I saw members of Buckcherry were doing a Meet & Greet in the foyer. I didn’t even know that was happening. Unsure how many did the M&G but pretty sure there weren’t many. I Spoke to a couple of security guys about getting a seat, the second one dealt with that. Got my fave position in the venue & I sat there thinking “I wonder how busy it will be tonight ? ” (Earlier I’d seen they were doing “2 tickets for the price of for 1” at the London venue).
I hadn’t heard of the opening act “Alitas Way”. Can’t really say that i loved them, but they were entertaining. The singer said something like “…We’re Alitas Way from the USA. We’re pleased to be on this tour. Once we’ve finished it, we’re coming back for Download, then doing our own headline shows in venues similar to the size of here…”. Sorry, but I think you could only play “The Rig” headlining, seeing as tonight’s 3 band bill isn’t close to selling out. But credit due to them, by the end of their set, I’m sure they’d won over a few of the crowd. Something I’ve just remembered was that no one seemed to want to come in the area under the stairs. I wonder if it was because I was wearing my Rock City hoody ? (It’s been a while since anyone thought I was security πŸ˜‰

Next up it’s Hoobastank. I last saw them in this venue back in 2015. A lot has changed for me since then. I think i was on the front row with a local friend & now I’m having to sit watching the show. I’ve got to say,Β  I wasn’t very impressed with their latest album.
Though they’re cover of “Tears For Fears ” song “Head Over Heals” is certainly different πŸ˜‰ It’ll be interesting to see what the setlist is tonight.Β 
They have a short intro, ( I know this music, but can’t place it! Any ideas?) then just amble onto the stage & Doug says ” Hello Nottingham. What the fuck is up? We’re Hoobastank from Los Angeles California & we’re hear to make some noise !” They kick off with a song from their debut album, “Hoobastank”. “Pieces” is a great one to start with.

Next up it’s the classic “Out Of Control”. The audience lap this up. It seems to me that the set is going in the right direction i.e. not many of the new songs will be played tonight (That’s fine by me πŸ˜‰ ) We then get “Remember Me” from their debut album. The audience is looking good bopping around πŸ™‚ I quite enjoy hearing the funky “Inside of You” (From the album “Every Man For Himself”). Next it’s back up to full throttle with “Same Direction”. I’ve always preferred their first couple of albums, “Hoobastank” & “The Reason”, tbh I thought they went a bit down hill after those.

“Running Away” is typical Hoobastank. It’ a good one to wave your arms to πŸ™‚ Tonight’s set is pretty damn good actually.
Doug puts a smile on faces when he’s talking about probably their biggest “hit”. He said something like ” If you know the song, you could help us out… if you don’t know it…fuck you ! “(he’s joking) . Just the intro chords of the song is enough for a cheer from the crowd. Again, it’s great to hear everyone totally getting into “The Reason ”

After that one, Doug says thank you to everyone, introduces the band members & they finish with “Crawling In The Dark” :

Considering time constraints, I think we got a pretty good show.

So to the headliners of tonight BUCKCHERRY. A lot has changed since I last saw them. They have new band members & Josh Todd is now the only original member of the band ! Really don’t know how this will affect things.
I did look at the online setlists before going & was pretty shocked to see they open with a cover song. Mind you, it’s a great song so I’m interested to see what they do with it…Β 

Well I suppose that is a sign that you should NOT try to change a song that was already unique for the right reasons ! After HLAH they play one of their own tunes; “It’s a Party”. That’s more like it πŸ˜‰Β Β Next they play a song of the 2014 EP “Fuck”; namely “Somebody Fucked With Me”. It’s kinda funny they had an EP where the song titles always included the word “Fuck” πŸ˜‰ We then get a song from the “Black Butterfly” album (I’m sure I’ve got the Japanese version hidden somewhere), namely, “Don’t Go Away”. Tbh, I wasn’t over impressed with that album. But this song is cool. It’s one of those where it’s only natural to sway your arms…or have a slow waltz haha. No, joking aside, it’s a nice song !
From the “ying to the yang”, it’s an old classic “Lit Up”. Josh lets us know that the first time he took cocaine was off a Ouija board. Scared ? Nah..

They then go back to the “Fuck EP”. It’s kinda hard to believe that Josh loved “Icona Pop”, but by changing a few lyrics of the original, it became a nasty pop/rock song. To think at the time, the song ” I Love It ” (also featuring “Charli XCX” on vocals) was a disco smash hit & just by changing a few lyrics, it’s totally different. Oh yeah, anyone notice the AC/DC riff in there ? (I’m still unsure if it was a piss take or not!). All i can say is it’s a fun song (wish I’d filmed it, but was getting into the show)
They then play a song that’s off the forthcoming new album “Warpaint”. Warpaint, the song, is typical Buckcherry sound. I Wonder what the rest of the album will be like ? (Due to be released in March)
Next up is “Too Drunk…” Anyone remember the “Dead Kennedys”? The last few songs of the night were “Sorry”, “Bent” (Off the soon to be released “Warpaint” album), “Gluttony” & as ever, “Crazy Bitch” ;

Β 

Unfortunately there was a curfew tonight, so the sets seemed rather short….bloody club nights ! As always, didn’t have far to go to my hotel as it’s virtually next to Rock City. I’ll always recommend “Roomzzz” πŸ™‚
Overall, I’d say my first gig of 2019 was OK. I’m sure the next one will beat it by a mile πŸ˜‰