Thursday, February 23, 2006
Last two weeks
Not done that much hence lack of posting. On the sulphur front have a couple of new songs to try out next time we get the band together. One is a good riff but lyrically a bit overweight but certainly has potential, the other I need to rewrite the chorus to make it a bit more melodic.
Am stuck on 81 pubs so far for the year (this time last year I was on 114!) and no really strange places to report. However my final newsletter for Dr Lovegroves site is about to be published which includes my 2005 awards!
Also am moving this weekend further away from Cheam, although this name of this blog will not change as I imagine my Cheam drinking frequency won't decline immensely!
Have got a gig to go to next week, which no doubt there'll be a write up of and also have tentatively announced this years annual crawl which will be taking place along Upper Street from Angel Islington to Highbury.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Thunder / Toby Jepson Hammersmith 4.2.06
So fourth gig in four days! After an aborted meet in OSP (closed for private party) we meet slightly up the road in Distillers. A nice enough pub. Because of seeing him just last week we decide to avoid the £3-50 pint price in the Odeon and go in half way through his set. We get the inspired 'All Roads Lead To You, Young Gods, Radical Your Lover and Too Much Too Young'. After getting a bargain pint in we get a really good view down the front. Now I'm not sure what the 'magic' is but despite the same set at Brighton yet half way through this seems so much better. Only difference this time around at the encore Toby and a bloke from Roadster return for a great Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting. Ending as always with Dirty Love we return next door to the Duke Of Cornwall for a few drunken games of pool. No gigs for a few weeks now, what am I going to do!!!!!!
The Strokes Brighton Centre 3.2.06
So another gig. This time Brighton on a Friday. Without the luxury of a half day we set off from Sutton getting the half five train arriving in Brighton at about seven. We have time for three pubs, the fabulous Prince of Wales (with Hurlimann on tap), the Regency (with Ashahi) and not that we're that way inclined, the Queensbury a small pub near the venue.
The Strokes came on at 9.15 and did exactly what it says on the tin! Or what you'd expect from their albums. A driving New York club sound reminiscent of the Stooges. Not the sound that fills out stadiums or necessary arenas. I'd imagine I'd have been bored rigid if I was in the balcony. Instead managed to get in the normal down from on the left place with a decent mosh to Last Nite (by far their best tune!). Just after half ten it was all over allowing us plenty of time to get to the station for the ridiculously early last train at 11.02pm. Enjoyable but wouldn't say they were an essential band to see and not worth the £100.00 I could have got on e-bay a few weeks earlier.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Katie Melua, Hammersmith 2.2.06
Katie at the Carling Apollo (Hammersmith Odeon to the older readers) doesn't necessarily sound the most rocking of Thursday evenings. Her easy listening Jazz Blues saw the seats put back in the Odeon rather than the now normal standing. However, I kind of like her two albums with some meloncholic tones and the odd blues number. Opening up with Shyboy from her latest album I thought this would be a nice mellow gig and that's what we got on the whole. However the surprises being were that her set was laden with covers. Besides the expected Cure's Just Like Heaven and Canned Heat's On The Road Again which appear on her album Piece By Piece we got a Billie Gentry song, Beatles Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and a fantastic version of the Stones 19th Nervous Breakdown. However the bizarrest choice was a song that she introduced as being number one ten years ago that day and her favourite from the 90s. After half recognising the verse it was only at the chorus I realised it was Babylon's Zoo Spaceman played in a slow Jazz manner. It worked surprisingly well. You can see that Katie, who resides in Redhill, is certainly getting bigger with each song having their own scenaric video played behind her and two big screens either side showing the show! (bit excessive for Hammersmith where you tend to get a great view wherever). Out of her own stuff the obvious Closest Thing To Crazy and Mockingbird (heard either side of the encore) were highlights. The audience were fairly reserved during the participation of the latter though given the average age was understandable. Katie certainly has the voice to do a really good blues set as shown on her version of Blues In The Night but no doubt that would lose some of her audience. Ending with a slow acoustic song about Eva Cassidy you could see this girl who went to Nonsuch has come along way.
A disappointment was that Mike Batt no longer plays in her band meaning no possibility of the Wombles theme tune. Finally her merchandise incuded three different plectrums advertised at £1. Catch being £1 each. needless to say no purchase was made!!!!!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Be Your Own PET, Bush Hall 1/2/06
Went along to Bush Hall last night as the first of my four concerts in four days spree. After watching Arsenal lose to West Ham in two nearby pubs (One for each half) we entered the venue to see this young Nashville band Be Your Own PET. Fronted by the lovely Jemina (pronounced Geee-mean-na) they played forty minutes or so of thrahy pop punk. Nearly all songs were played at 100 mph and were very short. However their attitude and musician-ship did show through for a great time. Many a crowd surfer we got a good place as usual down the front on the left. Towards the end of the set you could see that the bouncer was having a torrid time in keeping people from the stage and clearly panicked when the singer surfed the crowd too! To describe their sound would be a twisted mix of Blondie, The Strokes and Elastica with a Plasmatics style punch. If given time to progress then Jemina could become a modern day icon. A shame the bass player looked a little like Alan Sunderland when he scored the 79 cup final winner. Looking forward to the BYOP album which is released in March which promises to be a corker. A top notch evening though was somewhat let down when the penultimate 164 bus at Wimbledon failed to materialise leaving a somewhat cold wait! Still good fun!
Set List --- Wildcat! / Bicycle Bicycle You Are My Bicycle / Fuuuun / We Will Vacation You Can Be My Parasol / Girls On Tv / Damn Damn Leash / Hillmont Ave / Lets Get Sandy / Fire Department / Adventure / Bog / Fill My Pill ////encore//// Bunk Trunk Skunk
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Saturday I enjoyed George Burley's first away win as Saints manager at Leicester. Now a few years ago when people asked me about Leicester I would have pulled a groaning face as I had not had that good experiances there. Being pelted with coins at Filbert Street on my first visit and a few bearable chain pubs on my next. However a year or so ago saw me discover the Swan & Rushes pub which at the time had Gambrinus and Bitburger on tap with many a weird ale and earlier this season went to the Rutland & Derby Arms which had over 20 different things on draught. For this visit I did more research and found some cracking pubs. You could do a fantastic crawl and have lager you've never seen before or ale if you're a beardy-weirdy in each pub. To start I'd recommend the ale house which is more of a real ale place than lager, followed by the above mentioned Rutland & Derby Arms which had at least 18 lagers. I dabbled in the Italian Messini beer, turning down Cruzcampo, Bitburger, Cobra, and a weird looking greek thing (probably Mythos but writing was a bit illegible). Just down the road you would then go to the Criterion which is a sister pub to the Swan & Rushes. However before going to the latter you'd have to stop off at the Out Of The Vaults pub which had the dutch Lindeboom lager on tap. Finally if you're off to the Walkers Stadium or the Rugby, then the Gateway had another fantastic selection of both ale and lager where I indulged in Veltins, a German Pilsner. All of them under £3.00 a pint too which is rare for such scarcely found beers. Because of this I hope Leicester stay up so we play them next season otherwise may have to join one of my rugby Wasps followers for when they play there!