Friday, April 27, 2007


James at Brixton Academy 26/4/07

Saw James on Thursday night. I have to say they were disappointing. When I saw them several years ago they did most of their (to be released) ‘Pleased To Meet You’ album and despite not knowing much of the set they were awesome. I then saw them on their farewell tour seven years ago where they did a hits set and were again pretty good. However, the show at Brixton despite starting well with a rousing ‘Come Home’ the middle section with two new songs and a couple of obscure tracks lost me. When they did get back to the hits they were played with little passion and they murdered ‘tomorrow’ starting it twice and seemingly out of time. ‘Sit Down’ was played a little slower than the record and again sounded a poor cover version. At least the encore, they came back with a great version of ‘Laid’ but alas it was too late and in my opinion they had already been beaten. Interestingly, Tim Booth, now looks like Ned Flanders version of the devil with his tache and pointy goatee!
The support came from The Twang. Having heard good things from them I entered the Academy very early and it was deserted. Managed to get the equivalent of second row for them and I was impressed. A funny line up, they had two singers, one more of a rapper, the other a singer who chain smokes as much as Paul Heaton. The sound was reminiscent of The Happy Mondays or a guitary version of The Streets. Speaking in a scouse accent the rapper-singer commented on how big the venue was and swore a lot. I will be looking for their album once its out.

Setlist : Come Home, Waltzing Along, Ring The Bells, Hymn From A Village, Who Are You?, Chameleon, Play Dead, Chain Mail, Out To Get You, Five-O, Upside / Downside, Getting Away With It (All Messed Up), Say Something, Johnny Yen, Tomorrow, Sit Down //// Gold Mother, Laid, Sometimes //// She's A Star

Friday, April 20, 2007


What Do You Do When The Music Stops?

The Pipettes At Shepherds Bush Empire 18.4.07.

Saw the Pipettes for a fourth time on Wednesday, at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Very good too. They played a few new songs intermingled with near the whole of their album, We Are The Pipettes. Typically polka dresses were worn with each ‘pipette’ having a necklace bearing their name. Rosay was looking particularly fine, whereas a friend pointed out that Gwenno looks a little like Myra Hindley. All good indie pop and very danceable especially the songs Judy, Pull Shapes and ABC. (He don’t know about XTC!)

Set – Don’t Forget Me / Because It’s Not Love / Why Did You Stay? / Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me / Your Love For Me / It Hurts To See You Dance So Well / Tell Me What You Want / Baby Don’t Leave Me / Diuretics / Can He Really Be That Bad? / True Love / I Love You / Guess Who / By My Side / Judy / One Night Stand / Dirty Mind / Pull Shapes //////// ABC / We Are The Pipettes

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The Nell Gwynne

Went out for a beers & Curry evening on Friday although the curry didn’t happen, so it was just beer! We stayed in (actually outside in the alleyway of) the Nell Gwynne, a small pub just off the Strand. It is actually threatened with closure and being turned into offices, although I don’t really see how many offices they can put in there. This is a travesty really as there has been a pub here since the 15th century. Historic pubs don’t seemed to be considered in the way other historic buildings seem to be and the breweries / publicans who own them should hang their heads in shame for making ££££ out of selling them. Why don’t the local councils do something? The reason I rant is that it is not just this pub but other gems like Soho’s Intrepid Fox, Covent Garden’s The Globe, and more locally the Angel in Sutton and even the Queen Victoria at North Cheam.
Anyway back to the Nell Gwynne. The toilets like many old London pubs were in the basement, where you have to go down a very steep set of stairs. You manage to mind your head on the low bar across the ceiling on the way down but inevitably bump it on the way up! The male toilets were tiny with one urinal and a cubicle. Certainly unique.
The (irish?) barmaid was relatively fit, wearing a skimpy top that she just wasn’t curvy enough to pull off. However, I was reliably informed she is courting a bloke who’s making it big on the Jongleurs circuit. Hence the reason at the end of the evening I asked her ‘are you going out with a comedian?’. A very stern ‘yes’ came the reply, making me think it was time to leave.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Well Easter has been and gone. Enjoyed some of it. Some of it was rubbish.
Friday did a bit of a crawl of Clapham Junction. Both the Falcon and Windsor Castle were cheap rounds so either place wouldn’t be a bad place to meet, bearing in mind most south London trains go through this place. We ended up is self proclaimed indie place Project Orange. Surprisingly quiet, although being Good Friday may explain it, this was a giid palce tp spend an evening. Good music being played and a youngish clientele about to chat without too much shouting.
Saturday I went to Luton for Southamptons second away win on the trot. Luton has a mix of crap pubs but managed to find two pretty good ones. The Castle just off the high street is a rock type place with a decent jukebox and quiz machine. A bit more obscurely placed was the Black Horse, a real ale place with a pool table and nice outdoor rear. The game was memorable only for Sagnowskis fantastic volley for Saints second. In the evening made it back to Kensington where Rhino, the bassist from Status Quo was doing a solo show. Just prior to this in the pub next door I ‘treated’ people to a karoke version of Slade’s Mama Weer All Crazee Now. The middle bit was ok but next time I do karoke some more thought may need going into the choice of song rather than picking the first good one you see.
Rhino was pretty good. We met him on the door which was good of him! He joked that it would be worse than last time. The set was mainly his own stuff, but he did an instrumental of Quo’s Paper Plane allowing an audience sing along.

Didn’t do much Sunday. Saw bits of the cricket and the finale of the golf. I do actually like watching the US masters final day. Alas, Britains Justin Rose choked at the 17th hole meaning a relatively unknown Zac Johnson won form the USA.
Monday, after some shopping (everywhere was closed on the Sunday) I decided against five hours on a train as Basingstoke station was closed and I watched Saints defeat to Sunderland in the Butterchurn. We were a bit unlucky to lose and the play-offs are going to be difficult to get to. A quiet evening was had like most of this week actually. Chance to do a bit of overtime at work, boring I know.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


They Call Me The Seeker

Saw The Who at the Albert Hall on Saturday to complete my trio of gigs I attended in aid of the teenage cancer trust. They were good, but not as awesome as they could have been. The show was the same as their US arena tours with pictures choreographed to the music behind the stage. This lead to a rather controlled gig rather than the room for improvisation that Townshend and Daltrey seem to thrive in. The set also only consisted of 15 songs whereby in previous years it would regularly extend to over twenty. The sort of show that would get rave reviews in America but I felt something was slightly missing here. Townshend did say that they had just flown in and were rather jetlagged so this may explain matters. Celeb spotting though was to be had, and Ken Russell was one of the faces in the boxes enjoying himself. After we went to the Prince of Wales pub in Kensington where a lovely model-esque barmaid served us, presumably called Simona as there is a rave review of her looks on the beer in the evening website. Alas not photo to add here though!

Who set – Cant Explain / The Seeker / Who Are You / Behind Blue Eyes / Baba O’Reilly / Eminence Front / Man In A Purple Dress / Black Widows Eyes / You Better You Bet / My Generation / Won’t Get Fooled Again ////// Pinball Wizard / Amazing Journey / Sparks / See Me Feel Me – Listening To You / Tea And Theatre

Other stuff I’ve been up to? Went to Berties Wine Bar in Wimbledon for the first time in years on Friday. Last time I was there it was distinctly posh and a wine bar, here it was transformed into a pub with a good selection of draught beer & even one ale! I was quite impressed. Saints fortunes change radically with a six nil thrashing at Woverhampton. Still all to play for to get a play-off spot but actually gives us some hope for the remaining games. Sunday I went to Bar Room Bar in Sutton, where not only was it happy hour (£2 a Carlsberg between 5 & 7) I saw the 2nd half of the inept Spurs Reading game, some of the Cricket, was served by a very attractive barmaid who was in there with a group of equally attractive friends and also heard a lot of mid 90s indie including Cast, The Bluetones and Blur. A top place for an unlikely time of week.

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