SHINEDOWN , STARSET, O2 Academy , Birmingham , 5-11-18


Got there early. Jim got there before me. Went to have grub, checked into hotel. Then the fun n games started 😉 Was told to go to box office to collect our passes, but the box office wasn’t being used as Shinedown were doing a M&G. The security were really helpful…NOT ! I even asked a guy with a Shinedown laminate where we should go “try round the back”. Did that & still no progress. As we’d been there a while, i realised time was moving on & i hadn’t took my camera with me. So whilst i waited, Jim went back to the hotel to collect it & the spare battery ( Jim put a smile on my face when he came back 😉 ) Eventually we got in after a right old game. Of course, many people got in before us, so most of the prime seats were already taken. I spotted a couple on opposite side of balcony & we made our way there. Not perfect, but still good. Starset put on a typically classy show. The addition of the violins/cello was cool. (Before the gig, Adam had told me they were toying with the idea of playing an acoustic set. Personally, i didn’t think that would work as when your up against Shinedown playing full on loud rock show, i don’t think the crowd would appreciate it. Thankfully, they chose to do their usual show with additions of Violin/cello. It worked well)

Shinedown have some bloody great songs, but the thing that annoys me is that Brett has a tendency to talk a lot. Not only that, when you know the “….look to you left, look to you right” speech starts i often think how they could get another 2 or 3 songs in if that didn’t happen 😉 But saying that, they’re a well oiled machine & still put on a great show 🙂


After everything had finished we went to the back of the venue to meet Adam (Plays drums in Starset). Didn’t take long for him to appear. He invited us to go in their tour bus. Had a good, no GREAT long chat. He’s a good un is Adam. This is a photo took on my camera :      And this is Adams selfie :Eventually it was time for us to leave & by sheer fluke/luck we walked round corner & Brett from Shinedown was still there. So the photo opportunity was took 😉 

Iron Maiden, Shinedown, Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, 4-5-17

I’d been really looking forward to this one as after the fiasco of Download to see them indoors once again should be great. Not only that, it was also a special one for me as it’s the 50th time i’ve seen Maiden live 🙂 Andy drove us to Nottingham. We parked up at the park n ride. Got a special “event” tram ticket (only £2 return) & went into the city. Had a wander around & visited a couple of pubs. The Pit & Pendulum was pretty busy & full of metal heads 🙂 Did the usual of having grub in The Roebuck & then walked to the arena. Despite all the advance warnings, such as no large bags would be allowed in & there would be searches, they DIDN’T search ! Though they DID make sure tickets matched the name who ordered them & checked id. We had seats on Row A. They were a bit lower than i expected ( Row B would have probably been perfect ). But still got a decent view even if had to stand up a bit.
Shinedown have some quality songs & they sound great in the live environment (assuming everything IS live 😉 ) I’ve seen them a few times before but i now find their achilles heel is when Brent comes out with the same lines about greeting the person to you left or right… Thankfully they did that early in the set & as they were a support act tonight, there wasn’t as much talking as usual & they delivered a fine 9 song set.


I’d seen a few clips from the German shows so knew Nottingham was gonna be a good one as they’d be properly warmed up. The setlist hasn’t really changed much from last years. They replaced 2 songs. Still looks a nice long set. We had seats on the side on the front row, so got a decent view…
As ever, they play “Doctor Doctor” over the PA, so you know it’s not long till the mighty Maiden hit the stage. Once that’s finished, there’s an animated film shown on the video screens,. Maiden have uploaded the intro film, so here it is for all to see :

Bruce appears behind a smouldering cauldron & it’s straight into “If Eternity Should Fail” 
They don’t hang about & carry on with “Speed Of Light “. Already they have the audience in the palm of their hands….

Next it’s real old school classic “Wrathchild”. It’s a nice addition to the set; that song is just timeless to me. Bruce then greets the crowd & says how he’s going to speak ” The Queens fucking English ” haha . He also comments how people have got it wrong about where he originally comes from. He is in fact from Worksop, which of course is in Nottinghamshire. The audience lap it up & cheer like crazy 🙂 He then introduces the next song, another super classic “Children Of The Damned”.

After that we get “Climb Like A Monkey” aka “Death Or Glory” 🙂  Then it’s another “new” song , the epic “Red & The Black”. Next it’s two songs from the real glory years ; “The Trooper” & “Powerslave”. During “The Trooper” Bruce wears the old regalia & jokes around with Janick by covering him with his flag.  For “Powerslave” Bruce appears wearing what i call a “Gimp Mask”. Must confess, i prefered the 1984 mask with the feathers….but i guess the gimp mask is easier to look after & the feather mask has died many years ago haha.

Next we get the other change to the set list ; “The Great Unknown”. Afterwards, Bruce has a bit of a rant about the fact there’s “Butt Wiper” beer on sale here. I was expecting him to push the Trooper beer,but he didn’t need too considering the cheers he got when he dissed the American Butt Wiper beer…”…it’s fizzy fucking pop with a little bit of alcohol in it !…” He also explains that after the US tour, where they hope to educate them about real beer, they’ll be packing away this production & will have a think about the future. Of course, the next song is very long “The Book Of Souls “. During this one, the “Mayan Eddie” makes an appearance on stage & Janick jokes around running between his legs. Eventually Bruce rips out Eddies heart & throws it to the audience.
After that, it’s the classic sing along song “Fear Of The Dark ” closely followed by the standard “Iron Maiden”. It’s already been a great show, but of course there’s gonna be the inevitable encores 🙂 The first one starts with the familia intro over the PA ” “Woe to you, oh Earth and sea, for the Devil sends the Beast with wrath.Because he knows the time is short. Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the Beast ,For it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty six”. There’s loads of fire up on stage…and it’s not just from the actual flames ! Fantastic stuff all round. 
Before “Blood Brothers” Bruce explains how the Maiden audience is one of the most sociable around . He picks out the various countries flags in the crowd. Mentions he hopes everyone goes away happy , despite the fact that most of their songs are about mass murder etc, the irony of which is not lost on him. 🙂
The show finishes with “Wasted years”. Again as is customary nowadays, Bruce jokes around with Adrian moving his microphone around during his vocal parts. It’s all done in jest & you can see they’re having fun up there.
That’s it ! Last song of the night & what a bloody fantastic night it was. I’ll always remember my 50th Maiden show as being one of the best,no matter how long i live. They’ve always been great & will continue to be in my world ! 

P.S.  As a special bonus, here’s a 2 camera clip of Powerslave. Many thanks to “Painkiller” 🙂

P.P.S. Blabbermouth website picked up on my clips

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

11428725_10206652699213969_6456665946933925898_n Scans0592

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 😉

Download festival , @ Donington Park, Terrorvision,Little Angels, Opeth, Nightwish,Slash, Halestorm, Ginger Wildheart,Turbonegro,Red White & Blues, Steel Panther,The Mission, Metallica, We are the Ocean, Reckless Love, Edguy, Firewind, Ghost,Sebastian Bach, Ugly kid Joe, Shinedown, Black Sabbath 8/11-6-12


Truly fucking AWFUL weather in general. Even going INTO the festival on first day, the “roads” were a bloody mess. They should have had tracking down in a bunch of places, but they didn’t. The arena was late opening due to it being partly flooded. The little amount of straw they laid down was virtually pointless. Download took the piss. With all the money they must be making, why not invest in certain things to make the experience better when it’s these conditions?? I was & still am, disgusted with the whole experience (I’ve not been since). Even despite there being some great bands over the weekend, this one just left a nasty taste in the mouth.