Sunday, December 19, 2010


Cast, Shepherds Bush Empire 3.12.10

This is what a band should do when they haven't played for nealry ten years. No new material, concentrate on their classics (espeically as its 15 years since their killer debut All Change) and throw in a Who cover in the encore. A great trip down memory lane and though I tend to remember them as a good festival band this showed they can still hold their own as a headline act. John Power still has the hair and scouse accent and the tunes such as Sandstorm, Walkaway, Fine Time and Flying remain timeless.


D-Ream, Islington Academy 1.12.10

There's rioting over percieved unfair taxes (students) and a tory in power. TGhis can only mean D-Ream must come back and they have! One of two artists I have seen when they were top of the charts (with Things Can Only Get Better the first time), here they premiered their new material in shedloads. This led to disappointment for those who wanted to hear tracks from their two albums released in the 90s. What was more bewildering was that their new material was much more guitar based and when they did play Ur The Best Thing, a dance classic, it sounded a completely different band was playing. A shame really as for a reunion show you would hope they would revel in nostalgia. I think only five old songs were played in a 15+ set. This obviously included a rousing Things Can Only Get Better, which in the case of the band is true too.


Apart From Rod & Jackie Lynton 26 27 November 2010

A weekend of pub type gigs started with Apart From Rod at Sutton Uniteds Boom Boom club. Rod Stewart guitarists Gary Grainger and Jim Cregan have decided to form their own band which included Harry James from Thunder and Robert Hart who replaced Paul Rodgers in Bad Company. Though with two original Rod members, this did have the feel of a tribute act (despite the promotors assurances it wasn't) especially when half of the songs, Cregan or Grainger didn't actually play on. Having said that, they were however very good. Gary Grainger wsa unable to make it so was replaced by Robin LeMesuirer who was also in Rods band. A couple of good stories were told by Jim Cregan and You're in My Heart was introduced as a song he wrote. (its credited to Stewart only on the record despite Crgean have co-writing credits on others from that album). The downside was a drum solo but as it was from Harry it can just about be excused. The show ended with a rousing Stay With Me where Val from Bad Influence got up and duetted with Robert Hart.
The Saturday saw Jackie Lynton play outside of Surrey in a Fulham pub called the Wheatsheaf. After an expensive pub crawl where pints cost between £4.30 and £5.20!!! we made it to the Wheatsheaf where the band played three short sets of rocknroll covers and originl blues songs. The third set included Rocking All Over The World going into Again & Again where Jackie goes I wrote this one, (he did!). Managed to have a quick word with Mr Lynton between acts too where he confirmed that he is unlikely to sing the hedgehog song ever again!


Eliza Newman - Bull & Gate 24.11.10

Eliza was the lead singer of mid to late nineties band Bellatrix who I used to go and see. After a decade I have rediscovered she has a solo career and this was the first opportunity I had to go and see her. She did a six song set of around forty minutes and showed she has not lost her Icelandic quirkiness. She started with the catchy 'Ukulele Song' played on the Ukulele of course. She then told a story about hopw Al-Jazera called her up when the Iceland volcano caused all of the travel problems as to how to pronounce Eyjafjallajokull so she wrote a song that people like and she now has to play! Very twee it was two. The last three songs were rokier and back to the sound of her Bellatrix days. She continued her Star Wars obssession (like Bellatrixs Jedi Wannabe) by ending with Maybe We'll Meet In A Star Wars Bar with a catchy chorus at the end. The only downisde to this was the low turnout of around fifteen people when clearly she deserves a bigger audience.

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