Friday, October 31, 2008


The Courteeners Shepherds Bush 24.10.08.

I've seen Liam Fray, the lead singer/songwriter of this band a couple of years back as a solo acoustic support. Don't remember much about him cept being slightly northern. I only realised that this was his band when I bought their 'St Jude' album a couple of days earlier. The gig itself was similar in that it wasn't really that memorable, except for the fact a bloke was knocked out in a ruck near the front and had to be carried out by St Johns Ambulance on a stretcher with the culprit quite rightly being detained outside by the steward who seemed to catch it.
There were a couple of tunes that were good, No You Didn't which was performed acoustically and their latest single 'That Kiss'. Their best song from the album 'What took you so long' was played last and we were titilated by the first lines of the James classic 'Tommorow' though they did not burst into the chorus instead stopping abruptly. A couple of beers were had in the Vesbar after followed by the late sequence of buses home.

Monday, October 27, 2008


The Scorpions 18th October Hammersmith

If you want a definition of how to look like a rock star look no further than Rudolf Schenker. At 59 he looks fantastic and displayed the energy of a teenager bounding across the stage. The Scorpions are a proper rock band and being german, they play a fluid and methodical style that delivers empathically. They did not do Wind Of Change, their biggest hit over here, but pleased the crowd with other anthems such as Big City Nights and Rock You Like A Hurricane. Michael Schenker (Rudi’s brother) joined in on four or five songs mid set looking much more withit than last time, when frankly he was off his head! The only down side was a pointless drum solo, though this tends to be a staple of any classic rock act and this was about as classic as rock could get.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Oasis 16.10.08 Wembley

Wasn’t too sure initially about Oasis at Wembley Arena, mainly because of venue and price (approaching £50). However, they did do one of my top five shows at Hammersmith a couple of years ago, and have not let me down outdoors before. In fact the only shoddy show was at the Albert Hall many moons ago, so in the end decided to go along, managing to get tickets through ticketmaster long after they supposedly sold out. Assume someone’s credit card failed!
Anyway, we got to the venue just after eight faced with a largish but not excessive queue that went from the entrance in the corner of the arena to halfway back looping round in a horse shoe fashion. And we waited, and waited, and waited. About half eight the queue had gone about twenty yards so we were about a third of the way there. Looking behind us, many many more had joined the queue making it twice as long as when we joined!. Another 10 yards made in a quarter of an hour and we were about another twenty from the entrance, when suddenly through the walls of the arena you could hear a thump thump to the beat of ‘RocknRoll Star’. Yikes they’re on! It took a further eight or nine minutes to get to the doors where obviously tempers are flaring. ‘Just do your f***ing job’ another punter was heard yelling at a steward. A quick look behind us saw people still joining the very long queue. Eventually we got in and in a half full standing area oasis were halfway through their new single ‘Shock Of Lightning’. This did enable us to get a semi decent view. However the mood was exacerbated when during a new song I decided to quickly go to the gents, leaving the arena bit the way we came in. Many a punter still filtering through crying ‘What a S***hole!’, i was greeted at the top of the stairs by a steward saying this was an entrance only and I would have to return down the stairs to find a proper exit! After a few choice words expressing my opinion of the organisation he decided to let me through. Returning with a couple of beers in hand, the rest of the show was excellent, with Noel singing ‘The Masterplan’ definitely a highlight. Surprisingly there was no Live Forever, though Definitely Maybe was represented by Slide Away, Cigarettes & Alcohol and a superb Supersonic bringing back memories of first hearing it in DeHems many years ago. The encore provided Champagne Supernova and I Am The Walrus, which made our mood happier. As it was over by half ten we made our way to the reception desk to register a formal complaint, followed by many more demanding appropriate recompense. To fair Wembley did reply quickly and have offered to make up for it, though not by way of tickets for the stadium show next year as bizarrely the stadium and the arena are owned by different companies! At least MTV showed the show on delay, meaning at least the songs I missed could be heard later!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The Subways - Brixton 15.10.08

Upon checking the Brixton Academy website I was relieved to see that the Subways were not on stage until 9.45pm, allowing me to be able to watch all of the England game. The first half was spent in Clapham North and a pub of the same name. To win money on England these days you may as well do a half time full time bet starting with a draw and then an England this was no exception. Having walked towards Brixton at half time I found a back street boozer called the Duke Of Edinburgh. Nice enough too though there was a bit of a queue at the bar with only two bar staff on.
Onto The Subways then. A three-piece from Welwyn Garden City, with a male guitarist and vocalist who remained topless throughout the show and a lovely female on bass who kept her kit on! The set was as you would expect from a band with only two albums, though surprisingly ‘Oh Yeah’ as used in the football advert for the sun newspaper, was played early. Their latest album is excellent and Shake Shake followed by I Wont Let You Down were both highlights. The show predictably ended with RocknRoll Queen (as used in Rocknroller movie) and all in all this was a good rock show.

Kalifornia / Young For Eternity / Oh Yeah / All Or Nothing / Alright / Mary / Always Tomorrow / Shake Shake / I Won't Let You Down / I Wanna Hear / Turnaround / With You / This The Club ///////// Strawberry Blonde / Girls & Boys / Rock And Roll Queen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Queen & Paul Rodgers 02 13.10.08

After a nice journey aboard the Thames Clipper and a couple of pints served by a lovely barmaid in the Pilot Inn, we enter the 02 for Paul Rodgers, Brian May, Roger Taylor and a couple of others for an evening of Queen music, with a couple of Free / Bad Company songs thrown in. The start wasn;t too good in my opinion with a short version of Hammer To Fall that really didn't suit Rodgers voice. However things picked up quickly with Tie Your Mother Down and Another One Bites The Dust going down well, though with the latter being a John Deacon song you question why they are doing it! After a rocky start there was a short acoustic interlude with Rodgers singing Seagull on his own, followed by May with Love Of My Life and 39. Here the dreaded drum solo was to be heard closely followed by a very long May solo. Fairly excruiting. However when they were playing songs it was very good. Taylor took vocals on A Kind Of Magic and I particuarly enjoyed their version of Bad Company! A few new songs from the Cosmos Rocks album were played which weren't too bad but received a lukewarm reception. It was during the title track in the encore, comedian Al Murray the Pub Landlord, guested on backing vocals with them! As always they ended with We Will Rock You and We are The Champions which had everyone singing along. All in all, an enjoyable show, allbeit a pricey one!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Rose Elinor Dougall, Old Queens Head 8.10.08

I love the Old Queens Head. So bohemian. This was the debut gig of the ex-pipette, Rosay (though she prefers her full name these days). £4 on the door, she played 35 minutes of her new songs, from an album due to be released next year. Summery pop like her old band with a slight meloncholy twist in some of them. 'Come Away With Me' was a gorgeous love song, and her forthcoming single 'Another Version Of A Pop Song' was Saint Ettienne esque. Another good night out though could have done without her hugging her boyfriend for five minutes at the end of the set. Still we put that down to being her first solo gig (her band has been together just three weeks). With some more experiance and gigging under her slender belt she could be well up in the niche twee melancholic pop market! No I don't know what I'm talking about either. She's fit too!


Status Quo, Fairfield Hall 7.10.08

October is a strange time to see the Quo but as it's a local venue thought we'd pop along (as if we weren't anyway!). Now then, it's about time Quo listened to their critics and changed the set around and this is exactly what they did. In it we heard songs not played for years such as Mean Girl, In My Chair, Is There A Better Way and Ice In The Sun, the last of which may not have been performed by them since the sixties. Obviously the old favs were there like Whatever You Want, and inexplicably still two songs from their Heavy Traffic album released over five years ago now. Down sides were a long drum solo and a shortish encore, though this did include another lost gem, Juniors Wailing. A good night and home by 11!

Friday, October 03, 2008


Jimmy Barnes @ Toast 26.9.08

Toast is a festival celebrating the southern hemisphere that took place in the huge Olympia exhibition hall. We were not expecting many other English people and we were right. However the lure of Jimmy Barnes could not be turned down and we were lucky enough to meet the legend at a pre-gig signing of his latest album ‘Out Of The Blue’. After a look round the stalls and a kick about with a beach ball during the support act it was time to check out the aussie beers. A fine selection with Carlton cold being a fine choice. The crowd were not as drunk as expected though there obviously were exceptions with a group of ladies kept pestering us to take their photos (with their camera). As to the show, it was as you would expect from Jimmy although disappointingly there were no random covers. Mica Paris and Roachford both guested on one song and the rousing Khe Sahn and Working Class Man were kept to the end. You can’t go too much wrong with Jimmy and it was great he made time for his fans before with the signing sesh!

Driving Wheels / Die To Be With You/ Rising Sun / Lover Lover / I'm Still On Your Side / Ride The Night Away / Lay Down Your Guns /When The War Is Over / Out Of The Blue / Red Light / Choir Girl / Merry Go Round / I Put A Spell On You / No Second Prize / Resurrection Shuffle / Good Times / Flame Trees / Khe Sahn /////// Working Class Man

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