THE B52s, Trapdoor Social, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 2-7-19

I remember when I was a kid, when I saw the B52s on TV, I thought “They’re quite unique”. So wentΒ  & bought a couple of picture discs by them. I got “Rock Lobster” & “Planet Claire”. My age would be around 13. Being so young, the chances of me seeing them live were pretty slim πŸ˜‰ Move forward to 2019 & I got the chance to see them. I just HAD TO DO THE M&G experience. It was the best Β£250 I’ve spent on a ticket ever. Took a train from Boston to Nottingham, booked a hotel near the RCH & was all set to go. Must admit, as I’d not seen them before, I was wondering how good they’d be πŸ˜‰ As instructed, I went to the box office (or a people say in the states “Will call”) to collect my VIP Laminate pass. I then went back to my hotel to relax for a while. When I went back to RCH, they’d just opened the doors. Went straight in, got my seat, looked around at the almost empty hall, thought to myself ” I think this is going to be an interesting night” πŸ™‚

The support band, “Trapdoor Social”, to start off, I just didn’t get them. But when they were joined by people who played Trumpets, Trombones etc, they seemed to go to another level. (Apparently those guys were from Leeds). As they worked through their set, I liked them more & more. I must confess, sometimes I don’t listen to support bands, but, tonight I thought “Trapdoor Social” sounded great !

So onto what we’re all come for; The B52s ! They played what I expected they would play. The people in the stalls mostly stood up & had a good dance around. The atmosphere in there was one of absolute FUN. I took a few photos & attempted to film a couple of songs, but couldn’t help getting into the groove. Here’s a few of the photos & video clips I took on the night :

Before “Funlpex” Fred told someΒ  ” Could you put your cell phone down please”. I thought that was quite a strange thing as there were a lot of people who were using there mobile phones. (Hell, on the row in front of me, a couple were taking selfies, with the band in the background ! ) But so be it….

As I previously said, I didn’t take many photos or video clips, as I was living in the moment . Towards the end of the show they played a couple of the old classics, namely “Love Shack”

And on the encore, the 1st song they played was “Planet Claire” , followed byΒ ” 6060-842″ . Of course, they had to finish with “Rock Lobster”

They said their thanks to the crowd

then walked off the stage to massive applause What a great night this was ! But it’s not over yet for some of us πŸ˜‰ Those doing the M&G had been told to wait at the merchandise stand & “Hope” would take us all backstage for the M&G. I mean, as if this night couldn’t get better : I’m going to meet the band ! ( To think threeΒ  years ago I was diagnosed with brain tumors & given two years to live & I’m still here is amazing.) During the M&G, we all stood in line to meet & briefly chat with the band members. Hope would take photos of everyone. When it was my turn, I told them that many years ago I bought the picture discs, & I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to see them. When I said that, Fred gave me his drum stick which he had been hitting the cowbell with. Great stuff. Β  As we all leave, we get a “tote bag” full of goodies. I’ve had a few of the “tote bags”, but, nothing can compare to this one : There’s a signed photograf , some pins (as they say in USA). Badges to you & me ;-), a key ring which could be used as a bottle opener. But the main thing, in my opinion, is the red squishy (rock) lobster πŸ™‚ This was a fantastic experience. Absolutely loved it all. Had a quick walk to my hotel & when there, I think I fell asleep very quickly (Even though I was still buzzing after the whole experience.

P.S. My friend Nigel M. was in the balcony & he got a shot which included me ( In the middle, two rows back, grey hoodie, camera in hand )

Blondie, mustang, royal concert hall, Nottingham 7-11-17

I got home quite late after my trip to Amsterdam. The next day,as usual, i went round my mums for lunch. Come 2.50pm i was on the train to Nottingham. It was delayed slightly due to COWS getting on the line! Checked into Roomzzz & chilled a while. As this is a seated venue tonight, i decided to wait a good while before going to the RCH. Btw, i was very lucky to get a seat on the front row ! However, i was very surprised to seen the stage had vari lights (or something similar to them) all along the front of the stage. The size/height of them obscured my view when sitting down (In fact, it wasn’t much better when stood up lol. For sure i’d be standing up for this show πŸ˜‰ )
The opening band, ” Mustang ” were from France. They started with a nice instrumental number. After which, the lead singer told us they are French & sing in French !
Oh deary me ! πŸ™ Whilst i didn’t understand much, they had an “upbeat” sort of sound & it wasn’t as bad as what i was expecting. I did think they were a strange act to have as openers. Whatever, i was there for Blondie πŸ™‚

The lights went down & the screens showed images of a swarm of bees, complete with appropriate sound. I briefly thought of when i recently saw the reunion show of “Voice Of The Beehive” & the connection between the two bands (Blondies latest album is called “Polinator” ;-)) The band ambled onto the stage….the way the bassist was walking reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne, as he seemed a bit jittery !Β  They start the show with one of their early classics “One Way Or Another”. Just about all the audience were up on their feet dancing & singing along. It was nice to see security didn’t try to stop this πŸ™‚ (A memory came back to me of seeing Siouxie & The Banshees in this same venue back in 1985, where the security were being dickheads by not letting the audience stand up & dance. Siouxie was not happy seeing this & it ended up with the bassist throwing his bass down & jumping into the crowd to stop security! Siouxie followed this with the words “Bring me the head of a bouncer man”. Sorry, i digress..) Next up we get another old hit ” Hangin On The Telephone”. This stuff takes me back to my teens. Love it !

We then get a few songs from “Pollinator”, firstly ” My Monster” (I must confess that i don’t have that album. Debbie asks us all if we’re having a fun night. Cue the next song “Fun” πŸ™‚ The big hit song “Call Me” is next. Another newbie, “Gravity”, is followed by “Rapture”. Back when i was a kid, i hated this song ! It was nothing like the old school punk/pop stuff they started their career with. However, over the years, i’ve become to appreciate it. I guess at the time, i didn’t understand the whole thing of bands moving forward & trying different things. I just wanted the old Blondie back ! This song & “The Tide Is High”, pretty much stopped me from following the band. Nowadays, id say they were ahead of their time πŸ˜‰ A couple more new songs (Well, new to me lol) & then we get the come back hit of “Maria”. then its back in time, for one of my favourites “Picture This”. A nice amount of crowd partcipation is with this old classic.

“Atomic” is sheer class. They finish the set with “Heart Of Glass”, another of my all time favourite pop songs. The encore is “Union City Blue”. Once again, i’m transported back to my youth.

Tonights show finishes with “Dreaming”. Man the countless hours i used to play “Eat To The Beat” album. Overall, it was a great night out. I still love Blondie πŸ™‚ P.S. “The Tide Is High” was on the set list, but they skipped it. Tonights entertainment finished around 10.30pm. Had a brief walk to my hotel & once my head hit the pillows, i was out like a light πŸ™‚ I’ve wrote this in my hotel room,which i’ve not done before (Maybe i should consider doing it again so i don’t end up with backlogs of gigs to write up?) Soon be taking my train back to Bostonia. Tomorrow i’m back down London for the rescheduled Marmozets gig. No rest for the wicked…

Imelda May, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham 7-12-14

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Managed to get a great seat for this show, near the front. This was a totally new gig to me as had never seen Imelda before. I loved it. By coincidence, my old mate Daz Rivett + his missus Nancy were in the row in front of me ! (Actually, i think maybe Daz gave me a link for tickets ?) It was nice to see him again. I really enjoyed the show πŸ™‚

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