Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Get Loaded In The Park, Clapham Common 27.8.06

Thankfully the weather stayed pleasant for this outdoor show with the early curfew of 9pm. I suppose that meant Pete Doherty headlining with his Babyshambles band could get back to rehab!
We got there early afternoon and saw our first artist Lily Allen. After justifying that her dad single-handily ruined football by inventing the premiership (actually all he did was appear on the New Order 1990 World Cup record) we get a good view down the front on the left. Besides the famous parent I didn't know too much about her besides that she was number one a few weeks ago. I was fairly impressed, the music is much UB40, but she had carefully thought out lyrics about being a modern girl with big earrings sung or rapped with the South London Brixtonesque twing!
Off to the tent after for the Pipettes. A well received poppy set, very similar to when I saw them before although it appeared (as Gwen, above, introduced a wrong song)that they had to cut a few songs for timing purposes.
Back to the main stage for press darlings the Young Knives. I really didn't see what the fuss is. You know you're on dodgy ground when the singer is in a tweed suit. Musically not that great, close to We Are Scientists but we're getting dangerously close into late 80s guitar tuneless terrioty. After getting something to eat and generally looking around we see Buzzcocks for 'Ever Fallen In Love' before heading back to the tent for British Sea Power. (Bloke in red above). Good guitar melodies, trying to be a bit too epic in places but still good. Highlight for me was standing next to Rose from the Pipettes who had changed into an all black outfit. No chance to do my celebrity chat up, generally composed of prodding their arm with my finger shouting their name, as she was chain smoking, drinking and generally looking very stroppy with her male gang of friends, although the only one she really talked too could well have been her brother as they looked pretty similar. Alas her on fun stage persona isn't permanent! Still would though!
Back to the music and we enter the final band, the much hyped Babyshambles. Pete Doherty looked very coherent and was wearing a QPR polo shirt. Musically I think they are a bit hit & miss although he did do two Libertine songs, the superb 'Time For Heroes' and the music hall number 'What Katy Did'. The rest was generally good and at 8.50 exactly forty minutes after coming on he ends with 'F--- Forever' which is probably the best song.
All in all a good day. Managed to get fairly good views of the bands we wanted to see and the whole show was under £30.00 whereas he's playing Brixton in a couple of months for £20.00 meaning that the day was very good value.


Royal Oak Pub, Southampton 26.8.06

Went to this boozer before the home game against Preston. Pub is straight out of the seventies, the only thing worth mentioning was that I got served by a barmaid who was wearing not much at all. Tight denim shorts and a white vest that only came halfway down her chest and that was about it. Fine effort.
As for the football, Kelvin Davies the saints goalie did an absolute howler, as we gave up a lead and headed for another draw. Still at least Spurs lost at home with a Davenport own goal as well!

Friday, August 25, 2006


GMT, Michael Grade & C. Ronaldo

Wednesday 23rd saw me go to Charlton, rather randomly, making use of my brothers ticket for the Charlton Man Utd which he couldn't go to. Making use of the opportunity to explore pubs in a different area I look at the map of the vicinity of the Valley and decide to get off the train at Maze Hill. Arriving at six o'clock this gives me plenty of time ot have a few halves and make my way towards the ground which appears to be a half hour walk or a quick bus journey. My first stop was the Plume Of Feathers just north of Greenwich park. This was a great pub. Very small and cosy, with a horse shoe shaped bar reminisicent of the Little Windsor in Sutton. Bravely there was a Crystal Palce pendant behind the bar and perhaps reassuringly one or two punters with Charlton shirts on. Fairly attractive barmaid too in a tight light green topsho sounded eastern european. After a pleasant half I move on to a place called the Star & Garter. Look ok from the outside. Inside it was a shabby old man locals with the horse racing channel on the 1970s telly propped up on a bookcase. Very smoky and the 70 year old barmaid with bleached hair was very scary, and was taking the mick out of one of the regulars who fell over being so drunk the previous night!
After a very swift half I move on. I was going to try Hardy's but was scared off as I could not see inside. Safter terriotary would be the Cutty Sark tavern about a five minute stroll away. As I started i felt a few raindrops. By the time I got there it was a tropical storm and I was soaked. As there was no sign of a let up I decided to have a pint of Coors. The last time I made ths pub my port of call was about eight years ago and it hadn't changed at all. Still historic looking with a good view of the dome. It got to about seven & I decided to head towards the ground. Fortuanately the rain had eased off slightly. Getting to Woolwich Road and passing three or four half decent pubs I hop on a bus and get off just past the train station. Heading away from the ground towards the river I find the Anchor & Hope. Bearing in mind its only five minutes from the ground it isn't overly busy and I was surprised to see Toby on tap. I have time for a pint at £2.60 which is expensive bearing in mind Toby is normally bargain bin rubbish. A nice view of the Thames but decided to remain inside as the rain had restarted.
I get to the ground about ten minutes before kick off and decline to buy the £5 programme. Outrageous if you ask me! I find my seat and I'm in front of the executive area. Behind I see Sir Michael Grade (ex head of BBC) chatting to someone. Steve Ryder then turns up a couple of rows in front of him and shakes his hand. Finally I see Sir Bobby Charlton who hasn't touted his ticket!
Onto the game and it's all United. Ronaldo gets loads of abuse, all compeletely warrented, and the only surprise is that it takes a howling error early in the second half for United to take the lead. Giggs looked a class apart and United certainly deserved to win 3-0. Making a quick dash from the ground I get a train back to Waterloo for a final beer in the Hole In The Wall who were showing Football First and Chelseas surprise defeat. All in all a good evening made better by the news of Saints 5-2 win home to Yeovil in the Carling Cup which I decided to miss in preference to this!

Monday, August 21, 2006



My first away trip of the season isn't the most glamerous. Still got a cheap train ticket to Doncaster and made my way from there via Meadowhall. Doncaster is quite a nice place. You have to walk through a shopping centre from the station to get into town which is slightly odd. After perusing the market which included a stand where you could get five magazines like 'Razzle' and other dodgy top shelf material for a quid (I declined) I found myself taking the safe option and going to the Hog's Head. What I do notice about a lot of Northern Places is that the female contingent aren't that attractive but don't wear a great deal which was the case for the large young barmaid who served me in here. Having won £1.00 on the Bullseye game I make my way back to the station stoppping in the TutnShive. A sawdust dingy place, I make another £1.00 on Bullseye in here. A modern train takes me to Meadowhall, where I change onto a train that probably hasn't been cleaned since the sixties to get into Barnsley. I have a look round the centre and it's slightly depressing. Most buildings are falling down and the first pub I go in, The Corner Pin, is a smoky old mans place. A tatooed man serves me my half and although a TV was advertised outside, it is switched off. It did have a pool table though where two middleaged men are playing with cigarettes firmly attached to their mouths. I decline to go in the adjacent pub which advertised Tetleys at 79p a pint and have better luck was in a place called Macey's. Here the Sheffield United game was on and the pub which was fairly busy was at least clean. With time moving on, I walk to the ground and stop at the Metrodome, who's bar is recommended as one of two in the away fans guide. Basically a bar in a leisure centre there's a strong smell of chlorine. Still few Saints fans dotted about, football showing on the telly and another itbox where I clean up a £3.50 profit on Bullseye!
Onto the game and the first dodgy refereeing performance this season. Mike Dean from the Premiership had not got a clue. Two iffy penalties and several strange decisions. Still an entertaining game and one we really should have one. Still a point better than nought. Oakwell is quite an Old Fashioned ground at the bottom of a hill. Unresereved seating and the away fans are tucked behind a goal with very good view of the pitch. With the corners open the atmosphere is a bot lost and I'd imagine it could get a bit nippy in the winter.
After the game I manage to get on the 17.01 back to Meadowhall. Having twenty minutes to change I try to chek out the pub in Meadowhall's shopping centre only to find it's closed. Back to Doncaster then and I watch the Bolton Spurs game in Yates and The Walkabout. Both cheap and fairly pleasant there's a stag do that follow me between pubs with the centre of attention dressed in a leopardskin dress! After the game I have time for a quick one in the nearby Wetherspoons where my winning Bullseye run comes to an abrupt end with a £2.00 loss. Still a good day out and managed to get home form Match Of The Day where another referee gives a shocking penalty in the Everton Watford game.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Jimmy Barnes Tues 8th August Carling Academy Islington

So Jimmy Barnes' night two. I get to the venue just as he was finishing the first song which was a little disappointing as he decided tonight to open with three acoustic numbers, 'Stone Cold', 'Catch Your Shadow' and 'Still Got A Long Way To Go'. The venue was just as crammed as last night but not as drunk. I managed to get to a similar position on the right hand side by the bar as before and again was throroughly entertained. A keyboard player has suddenly materialised and we have a long solo during 'Sweet Little Rocknroller'. Roachford again guested but no Mica, However later on in the set Liam Finn of Bethcaduper and son of one of Crowded House appears for a great rendition of the Beatles 'Helter Skelter'. Jimmy also does the Johnny Cash song 'Big River' as also done by Cold Chisel many years ago. 'Khe Sahn' sounds better with the keys and 'Working Class Man' was another huge singalong. The encore was the same as the night before. However, very noticeable was Jimmy's daughter Elle-May's dress. She was doing backing vocals and her outfit was very low cut and more revealing than the previous night!
I regret the decision not to purchase the official bootleg of the night before (which was actually on sale 20 minutes after the gig had finished) but still was a great gig. Hopefully Jimmy won't wait another five years before coming over again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Jimmy Barnes Monday 7th August Carling Academy Islington

Jimmy Barnes is fantastic. He is huge in Australia yet few Brits know him. Yet his song 'Working Class Man' is up there with 'Born To Run' and 'Livinig On A Prayer' for the denim clad manuel worker bloke song. We get to the venue, and it is absolutely crammed. Seems every barman and barmaid in Earls Court is here! Also everyone is very very drunk. Some very stereotypical Aussie blokes with the odd attractive female aussie unfortuantely attched to their bloke heavy gang! Jimmy comes on and does a fantastic modern rocknroll show. Opening with 'Love & Hate' he does a best of set with a few Cold Chiesel numbers and covers of Yardbirds 'Shape Of Things' and Chuck Berrys 'Sweet Little Rocknroller' During a spot where he drags up Special Guests Roachford & Mica Paris (all do a good cover of I Put A Spell On You) there's a ruck in the crowd. The bouncer who is massive jumps in and drags the aggessor out! This doesn't dampen the atmosphere and by the time 'Khe Sahn' and 'Working Class Man' come along the crowd are singing along very loudly. In the encore there is another alcohol fuelled fight in the crowd which the bouncer again intervenes. Still the rock music carried on and as Jimmy sang 'Gonna have a good time tonight'. We certainly did, best gig of the year so far and I make a decision to go the next night on the way home.

Set - Love & Hate, Rather Be Blind, Shape Of Things, Still On Your Side, Rising Sun, Lay Down Your Guns, Love Is Enough, Sweet Little Rocknroller, Attention (with Roachford), I Put A Spell On You (with Roachford and Mica Paris), Die To Be With You, Resurrection Shuffle, Merry Go Round, No Second Prize, Flame Trees, Khe Sahn, Working Class Man ///// When The War Is Over, Good Times, Goodbye

Monday, August 14, 2006


The Wedding 5.8.06

It was an honour to play in the church for my good friend Matt's wedding on the Saturday. A nice day and everyone looking lovely, I sang an acoustic version of 'Share This World' whilst the happy couple signed the register. It was a confident and good version which was bootlegged by a few people!! Dylan esque is what someone said to me. (Never sure if that's a complement or an insult) The rest of the wedding went well too although i probably had too much alcohol and felt very rough the next day.
Sunday wasn't helped by Derby playing Saints on Sky. The only pub I could find that had it on was The Old Bank in Sutton. Even then there was no commentary. Gareth Bale took a fantastic free kick to equalise and although Bradley Wright-Phillips put us ahead we could not hang on and ended up drawing 2-2. Still the season looks promising!


Beer Festival 4.8.06

This year at Earls Court. We went on the Friday and it seemed more hectic and disorganised than the previous years at Olympia. Many beers had sold out and it was taking 10 minutes to get served each time. Now I know it has been moved to Earls Court to accomodate more people, yet as this was the case then the more people should be accomodated with more beer? The New Ale stand was down to just two ales when we got there from over 30 when the festival started on the Wednesday. Many of the bottled lagers / beers on the continental stand had sold out as did the special Festival pint glasses. Still an enjoyable time was had with an Abba tribute providing the music. Hopefully next year they will bring in a suitable queuing system rather than having the carnage at the bar of each stall we had this year.


Epsom Racing - Texas 3.8.06.

Three winners assured me of a small profit (including drinks and admission I was still ahead) before Texas provided the main entertainment. I hadn't seen Texas for a few years and I still prefer them as they were sixteen years ago as the bluesy-rock band rather than the slushy radio friendly pop band they are now. Opening with 'I Don't Want A Lover' (the only pre 96 song in the set) I was optomistic. However, something wasn't quite right and Sharleen (the singer) seemed a bit over the place. At the end of the song she slurred a few things and rambled on a bit. I know it doesn't help when you have a strong Scottish accent but it appeared to me that she may have over indulged backstage pre gig! Perhaps she had a few winners too! Still we got the modern day hits like 'Once In A Lifetime' and 'Put Your Arms Around Me' as well as a cover of Bowies 'Heroes' so fun was had. However, it seemed as though they approached the gig like they were a second attraction rather than a headline event! Hopefully they'll be more on the rails next time I see them.

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