Tuesday, November 29, 2005


The Bravery & The Padingtons Brixton Academy 28.11.05

So as part of Matt's plan to continually introduce me to new music I head to Brixton on a Monday night. We enter into the Academy just before the Paddingtons take the stage. Matt is looking forward to this as he tells me their album is really rocky and heavy. As it turns out they are more punky pop. I was impressed as they are a proper Rockn'roll band. Just five blokes who look like normal geezers just popped in off the street. They are happy to wear their influences on their sleeves as the guitarest is obviously trying to be Joe Strummer with the lead vocalist looking like a Johnny Rotton. Nothing original or scary like the original punk movement but entertaining stuff none the less.
The Bravery on the other hand have no image and are not trying to imitate others. Was a bit disturbed to see a laptop on stage before they came on but at least they didn't rely on it too much. Very melodic rock stuff they played and the band seemed to be having fun, something I feel is lacking among some modern bands. Honest Mistake was played half way through to an electrifying rapture and they ended with a cover of Inxs's Don't Change, which for me was a personal highlight as the last time I had heard that song live was at the same venue with an out of it Hutchence leading his band shortly before he self destructed. Another noteworthy matter was the two roadies were in fancy dress, one as a US cheerleader despite being a hairy six foot male and another dressed as a chicken and looking quite funny when tuning up a guitar. Always nice to enjoy a gig when you don't really know what to expect which is what happened here. Also to end, I would add a few nice looking females in the audience despite some being about 16!
7/10 Paddingtons 7.5/10 Bravery.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


New Opening Hours

Today is the day that some pubs no longer have to shut at eleven pm. Obviously a good thing as there's now no need to actually sprint to a pub in order to get there before eleven and then to bolt it in twenty minutes. I think between eleven and twelve most people will also decide that there's no point in continuing a crawl and stay in the same pub until they feel like it. The question is will it make any difference? Looking at the pubs in Cheam, not much. The Railway will stay open until 11 so no change for them. Clarets have gone for midnight midweek, and an extra half hour at weekends. This is the same for the Harrow. The Prince, the Bell and Red Lion are staying at eleven Sunday to Wednesday and up till midnight Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays. Now this seems all sensible to me. It is unlikely many people will actually stay in these pubs till midnight Sunday to Thursdays as people have jobs to do, but it is likely that you may have one around 11 and have no pressure to neck the drink in twenty minutes. As for Friday and Saturdays, will people who are in the Prince or Red Lion just after midnight be legging it down to the Harrow or Clarets to sink a final one just before they close? Me thinks not.
Most town centre pubs in Sutton have gone for a 1am or 2am closing at weekends. This again will not make any difference. People who want to drink at this time previously still did, although they had to in pubs playing loud music like Cafe Mango or Bar Room Bar. Now they have a more civilised option of a quieter pub such as the old Hogshead. This may have an effect on the 'disco' pubs becoming less busy and even maybe nightclubs reducing their admission / drink prices and that can only be positive.

I just cannot see how the change in the laws encourages the so called binge drinker. These people will drink anyway. I feel the new laws, gives people who fancy a later drink a wider choice of their venue and that can only be a good thing.

Interestingly, the latest license locally that isn't a town centre pub is the Old Drill who have gone for a 1.30am closing at weekends, so feel free to mock this article at me as I leg it from Clarets to North Cheam at quarter to one on a Satrday morning!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Natalie Imbruglia Shepherds Bush Empire 21.11.05

When this went on sale in September there was a bit of umming and rrring about this. Bit pricey at £25 but I was a bit gutted that I missed her seven years ago when her Alanis-esque album Left Of The Middle came out. An e-mail to a couple of friends met with a similar reaction but we agreed to take a risk. Very glad I did. Forget the easy listening of the albums this was a proper rock show. Loud angsty and energetic. Missing the support Natalie and her band came on dead on nine and played a twenty song set for an hour and a half. People enjoyed the big hits such as Shiver and Torn, but the other more obscure tracks like Sanctury and Starting Today were not downers at all. Natalie looked fantastic in her motorbike tee shirt and combat trousers and really worked her way round the stage and up to the balconies using her huge brown eyes to the best effect. Despite being sold out the venue seemed far from full and we were lucky enough to get the normal position just in front of the left hand bar. From here we couldn't quite see the keyboard guy but we did have a great view and a fantastic sound quality. The only disappointment here was when Natalie introduced a song written by her husband with the downning factor being she has a husband. A two song encore was got and she ended with Big Mistake. From our view we could see she had left through the stage door before the last guitar chord had been struck. A fantastic gig and we ended the night in the Richmond having time for a couple of pints.

Set - Wishing I Was There / That Day / Sunlight / Satisfied / Wrong Impression / Counting Down The Days / One More Addiction / Smoke / Sanctuary / Come On Home / Starting Today / Left Of The Middle / Pineapple Head / Shiver / I've Been Watching / Beauty On The Fire / Torn / Impressed ///encore/// Don't You Think / Big Mistake

Monday, November 21, 2005


Southampton - Leeds (and Bar Ice) 19.11.05

Not going to give my views on this 4-3 defeat as plenty of Southampton fansites have done so already. Just would add I went to Bar Ice before the game. My plan was to have a half and move on to another pub not done this year. However, I ended up staying for two pints for three reasons. One) they were showing the second half of Wigan Arsenal and two & three) They had two absolutely cracking barmaids. One was about six foot, light blond hair and a large tatoo on her back, the other being smaller and a nine out of ten for scouser Jennifer Ellison. Top notch both of them. Just wonder though that as this place is next to For Your Eyes Only whether that this is a coincidence...... Was infinitely more enjoyable having a pint here than watching the last twenty minutes of the match!


Quo At Oxford 18.11.05

Saw the mighty Quo at Oxford on Friday. Seemed a little lethargic compared to previous times I've seen them. Still a good show though with classics such as Whatever you Want, Don't Waste My Time and a shortened Forty Five Hundred Times.
My brotehr and I decided to make a day of it and got up to Oxford about half one via the Oxford Tube. First stop was a Youngs pub called the Angel & Greyhound. A walk down the Cowley road enabled us to browse in a couple of record shops. After buying a sandwich, a dodgy bloke asked where the station was. We assumed this was a slang term as he obviously didn't want the station (and also we were miles away from it!). The fairly awful Hobgoblin pub was visited to next, only frequented as other places were shut. Walking back into town, passing three sex shops in the process, we went into the Mitre. This was a bar/restaurent type place. After passing the Turl bar we then went to check out where the venue was and it's proximity to the bus station. Another record shop was found and I managed to purchase a rare Dada album I hadn't seen before. The Old School was next where I won a rather poor standerd pool game 2-1. After a forgettable pub called the Grapes, we went to the White Hart. Many years ago this small pub used to serve Tuborg on tap, alas we had to settle for Carlsberg. The Turf was our next port of call, a historic pub set in acourtyard or stable. Had quite an atractive girl polishing the tables here and was the second pub running that had a low ceiling. Historic pubs continued the theme with a visit to the Bear with the mammoth tie collection in the smoky back bar! As we were due to meet Dan about sixish we headed north to the Morse favourite, the Eagle & Child. Sitting in the conservatory bit we also read that Tolkien used to be here every Sunday in the first half of last century. Contact was finally made with Dr Lovegrove and we met him in the Lamb & Flag. The busiest pub so far. After a walk through the hospital we headed to Jericho and into Jude The Obscure. Some nice barmaids I seem to recall in a well lit friendly pub. Bidding farewell to Dan, we headed back to town turning down a few bottle only places. Metal pub the Gloucester Arms was next and AC/DC promptly put on the jukebox by myself. We then headed to Far From The Madding Crowd, a well lit Allbarone type place, where I also bought crisps as we forgot to have a mian meal. Heading across to the venue we saw that the support was still on, so we decided to have a quick half in O'Neills which was the same as all the others in this chain. We then managed to get back to the venue just as the lights went down, I can't actually recallour tickets being checked which was odd! The show finished about twenty to eleven allowing us time for a final drink in the Goose before getting the coach back to Notting Hill which allowed us a quick dash to get the final tube to Wimbledon. A long but ultimately enjoyable day!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Dot Allison At The Vibe Bar 16.11.05

Saw Dot Allison last night do a free acoustic show at the Vibe Bar. A fairly dodgy support act called Shooshoobaby opened with what can only be described as camp cabaret. Their big finale was Sinatra's New York New York sung in french! Odd.
Unlike last times I've seen Dot live, she concentrated solely on singing leaving the instruments (acoustic guitar, violin and even a banjo!) to three blokes. She did just under an hour of mainly new stuff but we did get a good version of Strung Out second song in and a great White Love (the One Dove song). It was one of thoe times though I wished I brought a CD cover to sign as she was happy mingling with the audience after and also did brush past me before she came on to get to the toilet!
It's hard to describe Dot to those unaware of her music. Her first solo album had light breathy vocals to sultry ballads where her second album was more techno based with big beats. The new stuff is more melodic and going back to what her first album is. Will be definately worth a purchase on this performance.

Set - Paper Rose / Strung Out / Quicksand / In Deep Water / Embers To Flames / You Dropped Your Soul / White Love / Portrait Of The Sun

Tuesday, November 15, 2005



mmm the latest fad or the best way to air views and allow friends and strangers news on your life? This has been set up so I won't have to do a Face Of Cheam newsletter every few months on doctor.lovegrove.com and that I can add to this daily. We'll see how it goes.........

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