Thursday, November 23, 2006


Status Quo, Fairfield Hall, Croydon 21.11.06

Quo doing a gig at a venue I perofrmed at when i was 11. Always good to visit a local venue and the Quo have been doing Croydon for the last five years or so on their traditional end of year tours. This was probably the best I have seen them for a couple of years. Previous shows I felt they were just going through the motions, however here it seemed the band were enjoying it, highlighted by the fact Rossi went into 'Shake Baby Shake' in the ender 'Bye Bye Johnny'. Some changes to their set from last year (not enough in my opinion). A medley starting with 'What Your Proposing' was put in the middle of the set which includeed 'Red Sky' which sounds really good. 'In The Army Now' was used to start the encore and played live and a surprise return to 'Bellavista Man' which showed that Rick Parfitt has or is making a good recovery from his throat scare. One slightly disappointing thing was that it was an early start (8.30) unknown to us meaning we missed the first three songs having got there at 8.45!!! Still made it fresher as the first three are the three they've been opening with for many years.
Obviously did a couple of pubs before hand, Beer Circus is a bar which specilises in foreign beer. A few pints of Verhagen were sunk here although the bar area is very light and Ikea-esque, and the first half of Celtic - United was seen in the Crown & Pepper an okish place, although the Carlsberg had to be returned as it was off! Fortuanately replaced with a good pint without question.


Thunder, New Theatre Oxford 18.11.06

Last weekend saw me visit Oxford to see classic rock band Thunder. We went up on a bargain £4 train journey early afternoon with the intention of doing a few pubs. At Oxford station we went round the corner to the Kite Inn. A smoky locals pub, quite small but busy as the England rugby game was on. Pleasant enough. We then went onto a small island nearby where we did the Watermans Arms and the Hollybush. The former saw myself win anexcellentt game of bar billiards. I was trailing by over a thousand points when my opponent knocked over the black mushroom with mere seconds to go before the bolt came down! Did lose the pool though. The Hollybush was only memorable due to the fact the TV had teletext on over the BBC coverage of the Welsh rugby game.
We then searched for Jeff Stelling and found him on in the Goose. I danced round like a loon seeing Skacel had scored a second for the saints, and was even happier when Rasiak won it making it 3-0. Rasiak is currently outscoring the entire Spurs team this season!
The turf was done next. A nice historic pub but becoming a bit touristy and full of upper class types. After a few more pubs, we tried to get to the Wharf House (an infamous real ale spit & sawdust pub) but were horrified to see it boarded up. A disgrace. We found the Royal Blenheimm which had canal Plus showing the French rugby with commentary in the european language too! It was getting near showtime so a final beer was had in the Gloucester Arms, Oxfords own rock pub. Not as good as the Intrepid but every town needs a place like this.
Onto the show and as always Thunder were excellent. A lot of sings from their new album (7 in total) but we did get the classic 'Backstreet Symphony' & 'Love Walked In'. A surprise was the return of 'Gimme Some Lovin'' in the set and 'A Better Man' in the encore. The traditional end came with 'Dirty Love' and after the nananananas had finished we got on the Oxford tube to get home at a reasonable time in the early hours.

Friday, November 17, 2006


One Year Old

So a year has passed since I started this blog. Anyone in the world can see what gigs I've been to or performed at, together with, when I feel like it, my views on certain things that take my fancy (or not as the case normally is).
Am off to Oxford tomorrow to see Thunder (& as she sang out that melody.....) Will be an all afternoon crawl and looking forward to some of the pubs Oxford has to offer. Just get a bit hacked off with all the bicycles all over the place. Next week I'm off to Croydon to see Quo and a friend from Cardiff is visiting next weekend so no doubt a few beers will be had next friday night.
Normally I try not to name my friends on this (in case I publicly upset them) but congratulations to Mark & Vicki on the birth of their first child, Ella Rose. She looks a lovely baby in the photo Mark sent me. Perhaps Mark shoud start an Ella blog. Would have things like 'Woke Dad up at 4am this morning, he was well pleased as he had to go to work at 7!'.
Finally the Ashes start on Thursday. Not that confident for England but if the games are as exciting as they were over here last summer then we are in for a treat. And of course the King Of Spain is back!


Forward Russia ULU 16.11.06

The only thing I knew about this band before the gig was that their song titles are numbers. Very pretencious I thought. The band then come on stage in matching white T-shirts with their own band logo on and I was starting to dread this. However, after a couple of songs my fears were put back and I found the whole gig entertaining. The singer was very manic, pogoing across the stage with the mic lead wrapped round his neck. However, the guitarist looked like he should be at a beer festival! They also had a female drummer who kept time well. The music sounded very much like The Cure and Spear Of Destiny in places, yet surprisingly there wasn't one goth in the very young audience. Be interesting to see how this band progress.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Doro Camden Underworld 10.11.06.

So a Friday night in Camden to see the first women who played a heavy metal festival in Britain which occurred in the late eighties. Doro Pesch brightened up many an issue of Kerrang, which normally consisted of several very hairy men. Unfortunately I could not find my copy of a Warlock album I borrowed from Cheam library as a teenager to play before this gig so I went in fairly unprepared. Doro (the singer of the aforementioned Warlock) is still only 42 and looks pretty good. I admit that my previous ‘gig preview’ post was only an excuse to get a photo of her on here as I thought that I couldn’t get one of this gig(wrongly as it turns out). I have to say that musically this was brilliant. Reminiscent of seeing the Scorpians for the first time. Lots of heavy riffs and vocal melodies and shouts of ‘hey hey’ & ‘yea yea’ in each song. ‘Burning The Witches’ was an early highlight with the only time I was threatened that I’d lose interest was during the obligatory rock drum solo. There was a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’ before a great song called ‘Fight’ and an audience sing-along to ‘All We Are’. Doro did sound a bit like Helga from ‘Allo Allo’ at times between songs but really worked the audience which was much more packed than expected. This is how a rock show should be, nearly two hours of classic metal. Not ‘arf!

Monday, November 13, 2006


The Paddingtons ULU 9.11.06.

Indie punk group the Paddingtons were seen last Thursday. Very good they were too, opening with 'Some Old Girl' and closing with 'Loser' they played the majority of their debut album as well as a few new songs. The venue was fairly full and mostly young twenties. We managed to have a few beers in the area with the King & Queen pub and THe MArlborough being done. Both old fashioned london boozers and both very busy. I return to the venue next Thursday for iForward Russia.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Gig previews

Tonight I'm off to ULU to see The Paddingtons. Been playing their debut album (released last year) all week and am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow it's classic rock and 'elo vlondon' with Doro (pictured) the 'first lady of metal' hopefully doing some Warlock stuff and next week it's the touted iForward Russia. Reviews to appear here as and when!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Jackie Lynton - Camphill Club - 4.11.06

Weekend only consisted of Saturday for me. Started with my flu jab at the GP centre and then a wlak back to Cheam station to get train to Southampton. Have to say there is a stunning girl working in the pattiserie next to the Star in Cheam as I walked passed. Shame I couldn't think of anything to buy! I got to Southampton and had a pint in Bar Ice served by a lovely blonde barmaid and then the Cork & Bottle before seeing a dreadful game of football. Southampton should really beat rubbish sides like Hull, but despite having loads of play and shots, I cant recall their keeper making a save.
Anyway, I decide to go home via Byfleet, where Jackie Lynton is playing the Camphill club. Did a couple of pubs before, the Kings Head which had Diamonds Are Forever on the big screen complete with sound, and the Sidewalk by West Byfleet station which served only Amstel and reminded me slighly of Clarets. Any onto Mr Lynton is a musician who has been going for ages and never really got anywhere. He did cowrite a couple of Status Quo songs in the seventies but no sings blues in various Surrey pubs and clubs. The Camphill Club is the sports pavillion ay Woking Rugby club and had around forty people in. I had to pay a £3-50 non member fee to get in.
The set was very bluesy and contained several medleys. Mainly covers he did a couple of originals with the penultimate number, Women & Men, sounding completely out of place in a heavy metal mould. Jackie also told a couple of jokes as he normally does and the entertaining evening ended with the slowy 'Help Me Make It Through The Night' with several couples dancing.

Set (1) My Baby Left Me - That's All Right / Matchbox - Blue Suede Shoes / Unchain My Heart / My Babe - Big Boss Man / Rock n Roll Whiskey Blues / All My Life / Sweet Little Sixteen - Little Queenie / Hi Heel Sneakers - Unchain My Heart
Set (2) I Hear You Knocking - Lets Work Together / Matchbox - Blue Suede Shoes / The Real Thing / I Wanna Love You / Mustang Sally / Women And Man / Help Me Make It Through The Night

Friday, November 03, 2006


The Glitterati, Camden Underworld 30.10.06

A Monday night is probably the worst day of the week for a gig, yet here I am trundling up to London for the second Monday running. This time it is to see The Glitterati whose debut album was released last year. Very good it was too, and at a bargain £7.00 thought it would be worth seeing them live. The gig was at the Camden Underworld. After a quick pint in the ex-Hogshead, The Earl Of Camden I head in to see two of the three supports. The first is an all girl quartet called The Love Bites. They were pretty good, with the lead singer (called Aimee) showing a lot of confidence and stage presence. Fairly grungy in places they have potential to be a rock band in the mould of The Donnas or L7. A shame that at this stage there were only about twenty or thirty people in the venue.
My 21 Grams were next. A fairly heavy thrashy band. Not really my cup of tea and after three similar sounding songs I head to the bar. Here I make a feeble effort to chat up members of the Love Bites although it later looked like all of them bar the singer were with their boyfriends. (by feeble I mean smiling inanely rather than actually using words!)
After a couple of pints I head back and claim a good position for the main band. The venue had now filled up a bit and I’d guess there were about a hundred in the venue. (Still only half full though). The PA play a mixture of classic rock/glam climaxing with Gary Glitter’s RocknRoll which the band walk on stage to. They put on a good show. Nothing original about the Glitterati but a few stand out songs such as ‘Back In Power’ and ‘Heartbreaker’ as well as a share of new stuff which sound a bit like Guns&Roses and The Sweet (if you can imagine such a combination). You’d certainly compare these to a band like the Paddingtons (who I am seeing next week) as not out to change the music world but to clearly have a good time playing the sort of music they enjoy listening to.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


The Who At The Roundhouse 29.10.06

The Who returned to the legendary Roundhouse venue in Chalk Farm to close the BBCs Electric Proms. The Roundhouse is a new venue for me, having not hosted gigs for over twenty years. Smaller than you would have thought it holds about 1500 people and has a small low down stage. Circular as you’d expect the stage turns the audience into a semi circle around it.
The Who were supposed to be playing their mini opera ‘Wire & Glass’ but in the end kept to a similar set that they have been playing in the U.S. with only the extract released as a single a month or so ago being played as the opera. As always they were good, but alas we had no encore and hence no ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ or ‘Wont Get Fooled Again’. Several new songs though, ‘The Man In The Purple Dress’ standing out as did the set ender ‘Tea & Theatre’ performed just by Daltrey & Townshend.
They are supposed to return to the UK next year, hopefully doing more shows than the rumoured Glastonbury festival closer.
Almost forgot, but the support were The Fratellis who I enjoyed, especially their cover of Goldfrapps ‘Ooh La La’. A three piece, they reminded me a little of Cast with a punchy guitar pop sound. May well get their album at some stage.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?