Wednesday, July 30, 2008



Bit of a gig lull recently so I have been finding other activities to fill my life void. Went to three of the Surrey 20-20 games. Unfortunately Surrey have been dire. Although it gets the crowds in, if a local side is as bad as this when 20-20 saturates cricket in a couple of years then inevitably crowds will fall. 20-20 has the appeal as sides go for big shots and the games tend to be close. Not in Surreys case though. Still had my first experience of Lords. A bit underwhelming for the home of cricket. Also caught the sun in Hove, a good ground and ended up in the pub with boules after the match at the Oval.
On 28th June we had our annual pub crawl event, this year being Borough High Street. This was successful as we had the best turn out in a long while (10 people) and enjoyed an eclectic collection of 22 pubs. Personal favourites were The Ship near Elephant & Castle with it’s nice garden, The Gladstone for it’s bohemian vibe, The Wheatsheaf for its Pimms, and The Horniman for its name not being funny even after 12 pints.
Managed to be invited to the Royal Open Golf a week or so ago. Barring terrible weather conditions had a good time. Got out to view the course and live play for a couple of hours in the afternoon, was brave enough with the weather in the morning. Nice to see they had beer stalls on the course for the fans you don’t see on TV. The trip gave me an opportunity to explore some scouseland pubs. I was impressed by the Baltic Fleet, which brews its own beer, the summer ale was very drinkable. The Fly In The Loaf had a good array of german lagers on tap, including DAB though the £3.80 price was a downer. Strangely the Tuborg in O’Neills was only £2.60! Finally The Swan had an impressive rock jukebox, with AC/DC. Mott The Hoople and The Murderdolls all played.
Forgot to mention my trip to Bristol on this blog.

Very good too. Thea Gilmore at the Fleece was similar to the London one a week earlier with Icarus Wind being replaced by a Leonard Cohen cover which caused a slight downer on the proceedings. Still a good show, though we had to miss the encore to ensure that the last train was caught.
CD wise the new album by The Subways is excellent. The Dirty Pretty Things new one is disappointing to say the least.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Def Leppard & Whitesnake Wembley 26.6.08

An arena sized venue for two bands whose last tours saw them play the half sized capacity Hammersmith Odeon. It makes sense for them to co-headline, and surprisingly the cost was not much more than it was to see either band on their own on the last tours.
Whitesnake were first up and mixed their set with some classics, Is This Love, Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City and Here I Go Again, with some new songs from their album Good To Be Bad. The new stuff did not sound out of place. However, David Coverdale’s voice was not as melodic as it could have been resorting to shouting the high notes rather than stretching up as he used to. His on stage banter was with many a effing curse word and for a man who is nearly 60 he should not be making out with his mike stand like he did. Ending with a long version of Still Of The Night, this was still an entertaining rock performance though.
Def Leppard though were superb. Their music is probably built for arenas and although I was a fair way back, I found this show more enjoyable than when I was near the front at Hammersmith a couple of years ago. They kept their new stuff to the minimum, though Nine Lives and Bad Actress did sound pretty decent, and concentrated with a greatest hits set, together with a cover of David Essex’s Rock On. Animal was surprisingly thrown in third song and there was an acoustic break of Two Steps Behind and Bringing On The Heartbreak which had an electric finale to it. The final song of Let’s Get Rocked had me leaving the venue on a high, not remembering when I last enjoyed a show at an Arena that much.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Journey & John Parr, Hammersmith 17/6/08

Hammersmith Odeon is legendary. Unfortunately it has been called the Apollo for some years now and although the house beers are Tuborg and Red Stripe, they are a hideously expensive £3.85 a pint and having started the evening in there at the early time of seven thirty it meant an expensive night. The reason we were here so early was of course for a gig. Journey are a rock band I had heard of but not known much about besides a virtuoso Neil Schon is their guitarist. However, as the show was seated and the opportunity was there to buy front row seats we felt we’d give them a go. A listen of the greatest hits CD justified the decision and I was looking forward to it. However, better was to come as on the day we found out that John Parr of St Elmos Fire fame was to support. I only really know that song (albeit one of the all time classics), or so I thought. One of the early songs was ‘Naughty Naughty’ which was the unsuccessful follow up. At this stage things could have gone horribly wring with John Parr moaning that the house music had been left on and screaming at the mixing desk to turn it off. Things didn’t get better when the roadie had plugged his guitar into the wrong lead and did not remove a stool at an appropriate juncture. How things got better with the song ‘Under A Raging Moon’ written for Roger Daltrey and being a big Daltrey fan I knew every word. However, even more recognisable was ‘You’re The Best A Man Can Get’ a song including the jingle from the Gillette adverts. After a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’ including a snippet of ‘Walk This Way’ he ended with the Man In Motion song itself which is brilliant. All in all a great unexpected half hour.
Journey, have recently changed lead singer who is Malaysian. Given the counterparts in the audience you could be sceptical as to the reason he was chosen was the same reason Park plays for United. However, he actually was very good, with a vocal range that was impressive and there was no doubting his enthusiasm as he bounced his way from side to side of the stage, even shaking my hand during ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ which is an American karoke classic, which I know from its use in Family Guy. They ended with ‘Anyway You Want It’ a song I first heard in The Simpsons (Mr Burns son episode for like minded geeks). All in all a good evening out for a band I knew little about when we booked up.
Finally we ended the evening in Hammersmiths ‘Distillers’ pub, which despite being a Tuesday was open till midnight with no rush to herd people out, a rarity these days midweek for pubs.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The Paddingtons, Camden Underworld 14.6.08

This was short notice. Seen the previous Wednesday at Gavin Rossdale. Apparently they needed a warm-up for forthcoming festivals and decided to play a charity gig here. Support coming from 'The Chap' who made lots of noise there were only about fifty people who eventually made it for the main act, The Paddingtons from Hull. Their punk rock set, halfway betwen the Pistols and Oasis, you could say was mainly new material with just three songs from their only released album so far. Still it was pretty good and some had good guitar soloing on from their bloke modelling himself on Serge from Kasabian. Only forty five minutes, but for a Saturday which I had nothing planned I couldn't complain. I even got a hand written set list from the bass player after!

Set - Punk RIP / First Comes First / Stand Down / No Mundane / So To A & E / Woo Woo / Sticky Fingers / Hey You / Panic Attack

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