Thursday, May 31, 2007


Magnum, Mean Fiddler, May 26.

Saturday, after seeing Sidebottom destroy a poor West Indies side’s first innings in the Railway Tavern in Carshalton (I think it’s the first time I’ve been in there sober as normally we do the ten pub loop of the area before ending here) it was time to head up to town and see Magnum. Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin have been in this band since the seventies, and their latest album, Princess Alice is one of their best to date. With keyboardist Mark Stanway and Thunder’s Harry James in on drums this is probably one of my most collective of favourite musos. Upon getting into the venue about fifteen minutes before they were due on it was absolutely rammed. We were unable to get closer than level with the mixing desk with it even being crowded behind it and to the bar. Even upstairs you could see people peering round each other to get a view! As for the show, they did five from their current album, unfortunately not You’ll Never Sleep, which was played over the PA at the end of the show. The rest of it was much as I’ve seen before, except maybe You All Run from their album before, Breath Of Life. The set alternated between new and old songs, before the collection of classics at the end, including a welcome return in the set to The Spirit, where during the acoustic intro, ‘Arry lit us a fag and drink through a Red Stripe. Bob also came out for the encore holding up a can of Red Stripe saying Cheers to everyone. The show ended with a 10 minute version of Sacred Hour culminating an hour and three quarters of fantastic rock.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Rick Witter And The Dukes

So a busy bank holiday starting off with Rick Witter at the Islington Academy.
After a couple of pubs, one of which a random bloke shook my hand after I put AC/DCs Back In Black on the jukebox, we enter the venue. Not overly packed by anymeans, Rick (ex Shed Seven singer) belted his way through his new album, The Year Of The Rat. Disappointingly he did no Shed Seven songs, unlike the last time I saw him, yet he was still good! He also wore a shirt that was yellow and red stripes a la York City FC.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Roll Away The Play-Off

So Southampton fail to make the Wembley play-offs losing in a cruel penalty shoot out against Derby. Went down to St Marys for the first leg and was appalled at the long ball and kick anyone opponent tactics by Derby County. They must be one of the worse team to watch in the Championship. Despite hitting the bar twice and having long periods of play where we were the better side, Saints lost 2-1.
As it was a midday kick off I went back to the Royal Oak for a beer afterwards where I sat at the same table as a previous soccerette from Sky’s Soccer Am. She was wearing the sky soccerette T-shirt which was the big clue!
Bit of a mix up for the 2nd leg on Tuesday. After deciding it would be too much hassle to get to Derby, (last train at 9.30 so miss half the game) or a late coach getting to Victoria at 4.30 in the morning I had arranged to watch the match with a few mates in the local pub. However, Monday I get a text asking me whether I had the tickets for tomorrow. A quick phone call later I find out that I am supposed to be seeing Ian Hunter at the Pigalle Club. After a long walk round Picadilly and Shaftsbury Avenue on Tuesday we find a place called Soccerio which used to be Burlington Berties. I decide to watch the 90 minutes which was due to finish at 9.30pm before going to the gig. The match was hugely entertaining with Rasiak getting a late winner in the ninety minutes forcing it into extra time. Now dilemma, watch the extra 30 minutes and miss most (if not all) of the gig, or rely upon phone technology for updates. I decide on the latter and was surprised when getting inside the Pigalle that Ian Hunter had only just come on and was halfway through his first song, the classic ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’. The venue itself was appalling. About thirty diners would have had a good view of the stage with the others at the bar at the back peering round pillars and waiters who were serving food throughout the show. ‘Twisted Steel’ was the second number but besides that and a dodgy version of ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ I didn’t recognise too much in the first half hour. Regularly checking the phone I find our Saints were about to embark on a penalty shoot out. Here, we manage to get a ‘pass out’ from the gig and run to the Sports Café. Avoiding the queue and payment to get in, the penalties were watched through the window. Saints lost with the young Leon Best missing the first penalty (why he took the first one, considering he had scored an own goal, confidence was down and he’s inexperienced and shattered I don’t know) & Idiakez blasting over the bar. Disappointed we head back inside the venue. Again nothing is recognised by me until the encore of Roll Away The Stone and All The Young Dudes. We’re due to see him again in September so hopefully some more ‘Mott The Hoople’ classics will be back in the set.
All in all, a slightly disappointing evening. Wembley will have to wait and hopefully when I see Mr Hunter again it will be in a better venue, hopefully with a better set, & I won’t have other distractions on my mind.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Bryan Adams Friday 11th May 2007

So Bryan Adams 26th gig at Wembley Arena. Reckon I’ve been to about half of them, including the first two in 1987. Much of the set he plays now was also played back then (ie much of the Reckless album). Thankfully he kept the new songs to a minimum, one brand new song and ‘Open Road’ from his last album was about it. However, the set was a bit too ballad-y with the dirge of ‘Have You Ever Loved A Women’ next to the equally dirgey ‘Everything I Do’. ‘Summer Of 69’ is wasted in the middle of the set and is played the same as the 4 minute record, unlike the superb mid nineties version which elongated it fantastically. Bry still calls up a girl to share vocals on ‘When You’re Gone’. Here we had Karen from Basildon, a stereotypical peroxide Essex girl with a large bottom! To be fair she did a good job, ie wasn’t too out of tune. The main highlight for me though was when I was ordering myself a beer, one of the girls not serving commented on how much she like my hair. Flummoxed all I could say was ‘ermm thanks, yours is not bad too’.

Set –There Will Never Be Another Tonight / Can't Stop This Thing We Started / Please Forgive Me / The Best Of Me / Somebody /Kids Wanna Rock / Let's Make A Night To Remember / This Time / Open Road / 18 Til I Die / Back To You / I Think About You / Summer Of '69 / Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? / Everything I Do / Cuts Like A Knife / When You're Gone / It's Only Love / Heaven / The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You / Cloud #9 / Run To You ///////// There's Gonna Be Some Rockin' / Seven Nights To Rock / She's Only Happy When She's Dancin' ////// Straight From The Heart / All For Love

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Stephen Fretwell @ St James

Last Thursday I saw Stephen Fretwell again at St James Church in Piccadilly. Got a good view in the upper tier level with the stage. As you would imagine in a church, the sound was excellent. Noticeably, the front row pews were at least 8 yards from the stage so in effect my positioning (due to my late arrival) was closer than they were. He had a few other musicians with him this time (see my entry earlier this year re his acoustic Slaughtered Lamb performance) and was just as good. Being in a church he did say that he’s have to edit his final song ‘New York’ which contains many a profanity but I assume half way through, he forgot where he was.
Earlier in the evening, I had my first visit to the Sports Café on Haymarket. A procey £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, although the waitresses were wearing shot skirts with crop tops. All the bar staff though were blokes.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Spider-Man 3

So, Spiderman 3. Saw it Tuesday. As you would expect, with a huge budget, the special effects are very good. Especially of the main villain the Sandman. However, the length of the film, and the introduction of the black costume as a third villain (the first being the Green Goblin 2, Harry Osborn carrying on from the end of the second film) leads to a bit of a muddle story-wise. The change of story with the Sandman being involved in Uncle Bens death is unnecessary and merely complexes matters and the middle bit with Peter Parker becoming an arrogant self obsessive just didn’t work for me. It appears that the director needs to have an arc (motivation, forgiveness and redemption) for each character and when you have five main characters, (spidey, MJ and the three villains) it becomes a drawn out process. Also, I know it’s a comic book but the finale seems a bit too predictable. Oh look Mary Jane needs saving from a great height, Oh Spiderman is being pummelled and needs a miracle to survive. Not to say its unentertaining though. J Jonah Jameson, the editor of the bugle is fantastic again, as he was in the first two movies, his secretary Betty watching his stress levels and flirting with Parker, the introduction of Gwen Stacy & her police captain father and Stan Lee’s cameo ‘nuff said’ are all great. We also have the comedy French restauranter in an otherwise heart breaking scene. However, this doesn’t make it as good as the first two. A fourth movie is planned, with or without Toby MaGuire who in my opinion has played Peter Parker really well, but to make it interesting they need to split up him and MJ naturally (not in the dark way this movie has) so Peter can start dating properly. (More Gwen Stacy please!) Interestingly Dr Connors is given more screen time, so The Lizard as a villain for Spider-man 4?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Closer to retirement than birth!

At last I get the chance to add a new post. Lots of things have occurred since I saw James (the last post below).
Did a quiz in Godalming the next day where our team far exceeded our expectations and finished third. The next day I saw Saints win at Norwich. Norwich is a fine city and I always enjoy going there and will miss it next year if we do go up. Lots of random hugging in the Saints end and belief from the fans we will make the play-offs.
Last week (at the beginning of it) was fairly quiet. However, on Thursday I turned 33. To celebrate a ‘birthday crawl’ of London was had on the Friday before seeing the band The Ataris. I was disappointed with them when I saw them last year in Kilburn, however this time they were much better ending their set with the title track from their excellent ‘So Long Astoria’ album. The gig was a little strange as there was no front lighting so very dark. With our crawl, this was actually the middle of three bands we saw in that day as one of the bars visited was ‘Aint Nothing But A Blues Bar’ where the duo they had on did a good version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’. After the Ataris we went down to Earlsfield where a covers band was ending their set in the Puzzle pub.
Saturday another more local crawl was done as the ‘official birthday bash’. Starting off in the Red Lion in Cheam we took advantage of the outdoor area enjoying the sunshine. We then headed into Sutton via the Harrow, a great pub where money was won on the quiz machine. Sutton had its moments with The Old Bank, Smollenskys and All Bar One being visited before ending up in O’Neills where I chatted to a nice girl 13 years younger than myself. Scary. O’Neills had a lively band on playing the Artic Monkeys Dancefloor song, although my recollection is exceptionally hazy at this point.
Sunday, the celebrations continued as Saints confirmed their play-off position with a storming victory against Southend. If you’re all going to Wembley…….
Needless to say that Monday was a bit of a comedown, feeling exceptionally crappy. Did stay up to watch the snooker which finished at 1am this morning.
Have a fairly social week this week aswell starting off with a trip to the cinema for Spider-Man 3. Just hope I can stay awake.

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