The Wharf, Tavistock, Devon.
You may be asking, and rightly so, what the hell is a boogie merchant such as Farting Weasel doing at a prog gig? Yep, Ive been asking myself the same thing.
However, I have a soft spot for Mostly Autumn. I do enjoy a spot of prog. It makes a refreshing change from the relentless charge of full on twelve bar. I like their Storms Over Still Water album, which I found to be a breath of fresh air amidst the heavy-weather brow-furrowing stuff thats being chucked about at the moment. So, it was with eager anticipation did I descend upon Tavistock to get my head filled with clouds.
Mostly Autumn are a seven-piece outfit, with three of their number being very attractive young women. Despite the ladies obvious instrumental talents, Im sure their marketing value has not been ignored. All the band are excellent at what they do, the lead singer and the main keyboard player being multi instrumentalists.
Mostly Autumn are about as close you can get to a tribute band without actually being one. Apparently, however, they did used to be a Pink Floyd tribute act in their early days. And it shows. Although everything they played tonight was their own stuff, their sound is top heavy with Floyd influences. But there are others too. There is more than a mere nod at the likes of Magnum, Renaissance and Clannad. Their quaint Englishness is reminiscent of Songs From The Wood era Tull. Theres a subtle Celtic otherworldliness that borders on wide-eyed nostalgic innocence. A yearning for an England of stout yeomen, buxom wenches and good ale.
Thankfully the night saw no hey nonny nonny bollocks.
This gig was split into two halves. I hate it when bands do that. Tribute and covers bands do it all the time, and I can live with that. I know whats coming.
But not original bands. The ten-minute break mid set interrupts the flow and destroys any kind of rapport built up with the crowd. Tension is lost and so the finale of the show is always a disappointment. And so it was here.
The first half started gently enough with the band sauntering on stage, plugging in and playing. That I do like. The sound was very muddy to start with and barely improved all night. Apparently, the soundman had been called in at an hours notice. Such are the vagaries of first nights. There were no stage props as such and no effects other than a few lights. That was good too. It shows a band with bollocks as such stripped down stage shows offer nowhere for the band to hide. The first half lasted about an hour.
After a ten-minute break, the band reappeared as before and so started the best twenty or so minutes of live music Ive been privileged to witness in a long long time. With three of the band exiting stage left, those who remained went into a set of jigs and reels that were almost Lizzesque. Pipes and flutes duelling with, and then playing in harmony with the guitar were nothing short of jaw dropping. The only thing lacking was a flame haired dervish dancing to it. Truly magnificent. Unfortunately, it was over all too quickly and with the rest of the band returning to the stage back we went into the neoFloyd stuff.
As Ive mentioned before, this was the first night of a month long tour and there were times when the drummer and the keyboard player were relied upon to hold it together, but on the whole, things seemingly went ok. I would like to give special mention to their lead singer (piper and guitarist too), Heather. She has an excellent voice and shes not afraid to use it. Unfortunately, she seemed determined to try to outdo the original Great Gig In The Sky vocal at every opportunity. Of course, she failed. Her voice isnt that good yet.
I left the show a little disappointed. It all seemed a bit naïve really. However, the rest of the audience loved them. A lot of people had come from Yorkshire to see the gig. What I found most sad, however, was that The Wharf was maybe two thirds full. Yet the place has been packed out when the tribute bands come. Its a sad reflection on the local gig going audiences when cover bands get more attention than an original band. Terrible.
Try to catch Mostly Autumn on their way around the country. If you like the prog and pomp rock of the seventies and early eighties youll love em. However, I wasnt totally convinced. There is more than enough room to find a more original sound for themselves. However, theyve not long been independent with their own label etc so with time I think theyll mature.
Yeah, go on. Recommended.
And yes. This review is in the wrong place. Well? What?
Smash Hits Tour 2001 - Manchester M.E.N - 1.12.01 Each year it rolls into town...bigger and better than the previous year. Its the Pop Fest known as the Smash Hits Tour were talking about of course and for the kids its an institution. Some may come and some may go but Smash Hits is still there as strong as ever knocking its second rate imitators out of the way. Kicking off things is that strange woman otherwise known as Geri Halliwell. As Nicki Chapman might comment on Pop Idols "I liked that performance" and that's where Geri's forte is on the stage. She's never been known for her vocal ability and there's always that element of waiting for her to fall but you can guarantee Geri will never be playing the likes of Brannigans after her blinding performance of "Its Raining Men". Which is what you could easily see the likes of Ms Bunton doing after the TV presenters jobs have dried up. Smash Hits has always brought us the freshest new acts and tonight isn't any different. The ultimate highlight is the simply poptastic Kaci. With Britney on the slide its only natural that someone has to take her place but don't you ever call Kaci another pop puppet. Apart from the new single "I Think I Love You", which is performed with such youthful abandon you can't help but be taken in by her charms, she writes all of her own material. Better looking than Britney, Better Songs than Britney - what more can you say!!! Also worth a mention is ex-Popstars contestant Warren Stacey. He's come from what simply amounted to a glorified talent show to get signed to one of the most credible record label Def Jam. He's already looking to be one of the serious contenders for the MOBO's next year so if you get the chance check him out on the support slots with O-Town The Best New Tour Act award is a bit of a farce. On one hand you've got a bunch of pseudo religious maniacs called Blessed
who could be offensive if they weren't so damn laughable. On the other hand you've got three good looking guys called 3SL who also happen to be related to Lisa from Steps. I'll leave it up to you to guess which one won but I will say that Reel won it last year so it doesn't stand for much. After a short interval its time for my personal highlight and one of the most under-rated pop bands out there right now, A1!!!! Sadly this roadshow format only allows the guys to sing to DAT tapes but even tonight they can't fail. With a new look and new direction with "Caught In The Middle" the guys are proving that anything Noel Gallagher says can generally be taken with a pinch of salt. Of course we still have to listen to the Travesty that is the cover of "Take On Me" but lets face it the kids love it and hopefully they'll hear the original one day and realize their mistake. Tonight its hard to believe that its been less than a year since Blue first hit the scene. Local lad Simon works the crowd and in terms of pure hysteria these guys really blew the roof off. "All Rise", "If You Come Back" and "Too Close" seem like old friends and the stadium tour looks set to be one of the highlights of 2002. Samantha Mumba misses the point when she fails to perform the new single "Lately" which isn't really made up for with the limp "Baby, Come On Over". Personally I'd rather not have had Westlife closing the show but that's probably down to the fact that they seem to play Manchester every other week of late. It was nice, it didn't move me and to honest the guys were probably more interested in Brian's wedding than actually performing. Rumours are flying round that the guys are to split after the forthcoming tour and maybe its a good thing...musically they never really reached the potential of those classic early singles. So that's its. Anoth
er year. Another line up. We'll be there down the front next year...see you there!!! Alex McCann
A couple of months ago, my dad offered me a ticket to go and see Dr John live at Warwick Arts Centre. Not knowing much about Dr John, but always willing to accept a free concert ticket, I said yes! About a week before the concert, I asked my Dad if he had any music I could borrow so I could get to know a bit about this Dr John before I went to see him. My dad said that he had done so much that he wouldn't know where to start listening. In the end, I went to the concert not knowing anything about the kind of music Dr John would play. Anyway, on the night I wasn't too excited, considering I didn't know anything about this man, I just thought it was going to be a nice evening out with some good live music. On the evening we rushed in at eight 'o' clock having had a quick drink and took our seats. The tickets didn't say that there was a support act but there was. I'm still not sure who it was actually as she didn't introduce herself properly. Anyway it was a girl with a really good voice being accompanied by a bloke on a guitar. It was enjoyable to listen to, very good for a support act. She had half an hour and then there was another half an hour before Dr John so we went for another drink. We sat back down at nine 'o' clock. Five minutes later, the band came out. There was a bass guitarist, a guitarist and a drummer. They introduced themselves as "9-11" and began to play. The drummer was a real character, he was telling us all we were "gonna have a real good time t'night and Dr John would be on-stage real soon". There was a minute or so of drumming and guitar music which got everybody tapping their feet and then we were told to "give it up for Dr John!" and we all did. Dr John came walking slowly on the stage with a bounce in his step. He was dressed in a suit with a hat and had a walking stick (more of an accessory than an essential). He sat down at the decorated gran
d piano and began to play. From then on the show just took off. Dr John and 9-11 played jazz and blues all night. It was absolutely fantastic. I couldn't tell you any of the songs they played, as I didn't know any, but this was one of the few concerts where you can really enjoy yourself without knowing any of the music beforehand. There was a lot of audience participation and they made us feel really involved, especially the drummer, Herman. He told us to get up and dance- "c'mon y'all, we can dance all night, get up c'mon, check it out!". As you can probably tell, they were American, from New Orleans, they were like Americans on the telly - they spoke in a low drawl and used all the "y'all" and "check it out" lingo! They were absolutely brilliant. It didn't feel like Dr John took all the credit either, each band member had at least one solo. It was just amazing and really enjoyable to listen to and watch. As I have said as well, you didn't have to know what you were listening to to enjoy it, it could get your toes tapping and your head nodding so easily! In total they were on for an hour and a half, as they went off they shook hands with all the people who had been dancing in front of the stage. I was completely blown away, I can safely say that it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I really wanted to try and meet them so my Dad and I rushed outside, wondering if they would have walked straight out of the building and jumped straight into a silver Mercedes like other acts I have been to see but when we asked if one of the coaches was for the band, we were told yes. I couldn't believe how excited I was at the prospect of meeting a band and artist that I had known nothing about two hours before-hand, but I was. After about fifteen minutes the bass guitarist came out and went over to the supermarket before coming and signing our tickets for the eight of us who
had gathered there. He said that Dr John would be out soon. We waited for another fifteen or twenty minutes before the drummer came out. He was just as loud and friendly in real life as he was on stage. He greeted us with "yo, have y'all bin waiting out here for all this time? C'mon" and he took us backstage! He stuck his head in the dressing room and said "hey you lot, these guys have been freezin' their asses off outside for the past half hour, you gonna come out?" and out came Dr John and the guitarist. We got all their autographs and they seemed genuinely pleased to meet us. They were really down-to-earth. It was brilliant. So, as well as playing an excellent set, getting the audience involved and being really good entertainment, Dr John and his band are really nice, genuine people. They don't just sign an autograph and disappear, they have a conversation with you and seem really appreciative of your efforts and praise. They are still touring the UK so if they are playing at a venue near you, go and see them, you will have a brilliant night out.
Quite possibly. This year at Slane Castle, they put on a concert. Oh yes, they put on a concert. This opinion is about U2 so I'm just going to put a short note on each of the support acts. Relish kicked off the day with a lively and bouncy set, including 3 over-sized Relish beachballs, which were always going to go down well. They played the highlights of their excellent debut album Wildflowers, such as You I'm Thinking Of, She Knows and the made to be played to a stadium closing track Rainbow Zephyr. Excellent live, and really lifted the crowd. The album and their live act is really worth a look. JJ72 popped their heads in, and came dressed all in ... black. Again. Getting a bit predictable, but when you hear their music I suppose it's fitting. This takes nothing away from the set, which started with October Swimmer and ended with Mark smashing a guitar... again. How Mark manages to maintain that amount of shouting for that long amazes me, though he did and it was just another sign of how good the Irish rock scene is becoming that we can produce two bands of the calibre of JJ72 and Relish to suport U2. Hooray for Ireland. Well received by the 16-25 age group especially but visitors from abroad seemed not too keen. May I also mention how stunning Hilary Woods was looking, good show indeed. Kelis was not good. Well, actually let me re-phrase that: she was not to the liking of the 80,000 people crammed into Slane Castle. Maybe another line-up, another day she would have been well-received but in a line-up of rock bands she was horribly out of place. Most people treated her set as a lunch break, and if people in the heart didn't want to keep their places, I think the entire pit would have emptied. It was hard not to feel a pang of sympathy as her entourage pleaded with the crowd to "Make some noise y'all, for Kelis y'all". Eventually, they did make some noise, but only when she announced this would be her
last track. It was Caught Out There, with the incredibly annoying chorus of "I hate you so much right now", and you felt the crowd reaching for their "Ditto" signs. Coldplay saved the day with a blend of songs from their album Parachutes and a large dose of new songs from their eagerly awaited album which I must say sounds very, very good. The crowd really joined in for these, with huge sing-alongs for Yellow, Everything's Not Lost and Trouble. They burst onto the stage with Shiver and Chris Martin joined most of the crowd in laughter as we heard fully grown men sing the high parts in it. Coldplay said how honoured they were to be here supporting U2 before they scuttled off. A surprisingly short set, but a damned good one. Now we come to the real atmosphere builders, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. With an hour and a half set, they managed to cram in all the favourites such as I Could Have Lied, Under The Bridge, All Around The World and Californication. During some songs, I was afraid for some of the younger people in the audience as the moshing went a bit extreme at times but the whole event went off without a hitch. We were all urged to take off our shirts and wave them around our heads. Slightly childish for middle-aged men but looking back on the crowd it was quite a sight. Then it was over and the time had come... The first chords of Elevation blasted out of the speaker system, everybody took a deep breath and out walked four of Ireland's heroes, the smallest of them all joining the crowd in a chorus of "Woo-hoo... Woo-hoo-hoo". I don't think I've ever jumped so much or so high as I did during that song. With Bono's amazing vocals added to the chanting of the crowd, it really was a moment I'll never forget. Every time I hear the opening notes of the song now, I remember how good I felt that night. When everyone had calmed down we took a good look at the four men who chan
ged the history of Irish rock n' roll forever. Bono, with the microphone looking as excited as the crowd. The Edge on lead guitar, sweating after Elevation but still grinning. Larry Mullen Jr. on drums with a broad smile. Adam Clayton on bass as calm and collected as ever. On to the music with Beautiful Day. I had never before seen this song as a jumping song, but this night proved me wrong as the chorus lifted the crowd high. The first single from the new album All That You Can't Leave Behind, and the one that proved U2 could re-invent themselves one more time. At the start of Until the End of the World, Bono and Edge both made their way to the front of the heart, a walkway built to bring Bono that bit closer to the audience. Here they started a duel between guitar and microphone. Show-offs, that's what I reckon! This track from Achtung Baby went down really well, yet if they'd played S Club 7 at this stage it would have went down well. The atmosphere was electric. Edge's guitar mingled exceptionally well with Bono's voice on this track. Then it was time for Edge to return to the main stage and his keyboards, for the stuuning song from War, New Years Day. The opening notes were greeted with a huge cheer from the crowd and the chant of "I will be with you again" was heard from Slane to Japan. The four screens above the stage, one focusing on each member of the band were ignored as people had their eyes glued on the antics of Bono. Then came a solemn moment in proceedings. As a lot of you know Bono's father died recently and it was time for the first tribute from U2, although Relish and Red Hot Chilli Peppers had already played tributes. For Kite, Bono said " I thought I wrote this for my kids, but it turns out my father wrote it for me". His voice choked with emotion, he performed one of the most moving songs I've ever heard. The crowd were completly in awe of him and it r
eceived what was possibly the biggest cheer of the night. Bono then pointed at the castle next and said "We wrote this one up here" He was of course talking about A Sort Of Homecoming, from the 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire. Not many people knew this track, but those that did realized what a stunning rendetion it really was. Amazing. Time for another crowd favourite, I Will Follow. Huge guitar and a sing-along chorus of "If you walk away, walk away, I'll walk away, walk away, I will follow" made for a huge crowd pleaser. It had become recognized as one of U2's greatest live tracks and I'm sure the people at Slane would have no argument with that. As if that wasn't enough to please the crowd they went on to what many consider as U2's greatest song, Sunday Bloody Sunday. What can I say except ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! The sheer power of the song, mixed with one of Bono's speeches meant the crowd didn't want this one to end and continued to sing after the song was over, and U2 obligingly started it up again for another minute. Incredible. A surprise track next, from their (in my opinion) extremely under-rated 1997 album Pop. The crowd seemed surprised as U2 played Wake Up Dead Man, as most expected them just to play Discotheque from Pop. Yet they soon joined in to the chorus with loud voices. Their last track from All That You Can't Leave Behind was 5 songs ago, so, as if to prove this was no greatest hits tour, they broke into a wonderous rendetion of Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, a song written for the late Michael Hutchence by Bono. Another sing-along song which was one of the highlights of the latest album. The next song they played was an instant classic with fans. In A Little While is a real stadium song, with what are possibly Bono's best vocals over a light guitar. The crowd were ecstatic as they just kept pulling outstanding song
s out of their hats. Next, Bono talked about how they had played Slane 20 years ago, and how they were, frankly rubbish. They were supporting Thin Lizzy at the gig, and Bono explained how Thin Lizzy had paved the way for them and other Irish rock bands. He said a statue of Phil Lynnott in Dublin was the least this country could do for him. After introducing the band one by one ( Wearing the number 7 shirt tonight, The Edge; The poshest member of the band, on bass Adam Clayton; he started the band and every day he comes close to finishing it, on drums Larry Mullen Jr.) they played a short Thin Lizzy song in a close-knit group at the front of the heart. Dancing In The Moonlight got a huge cheer and those old enough to remember it sang along. Yet, everbody at Slane was there for the band playing now, and as a reminder of that U2 flung Desire at us and before we knew it we were singing our hearts out to the chorus of " Desi-ii-ii--re" or something like that! With acoustic guitars and a strong drum-line it was always a U2 classic. Once more we were suprised with a song from Pop. Staring at the Sun, another song with acoustic guitars and a huge sing-along chorus was greeted with a huge cheer, although there were a few murmurs about the absence of Discotheque. Yet it was all forgotten as we were swept away in the song. If I was asked to say what I thought what track improved the most live I think it would have to be Bad. With a casual guitar riff, and Bono's sometimes hoarse vocals this just took the crowd that little bit higher. From the opening riff of Where The Streets Have No Name the crowd were on there feet and jumping higher than ever before. We all screamed the first two lines at the top of our voices, "I wanna run, I want to hide, I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside". Beautiful melody that really raised the crowd once more. The second last song from Achtung Baby was
up next. The funky guitar on Mysterious Ways piped up and the crowd went wild. Bono doing one of his dances and then suddenly taking a pink-haired (yes, I said pink-haired) girl from the audience to dance with. Damn you Bono, why didn't you pick me! Next time, I'm dying my hair pink. She seemed over-awed and she was soon returned to the crowd. Then they said it was time for the last song. "This song goes out in the name of love" and so started Pride (In The Name Of Love). Written for Martin Luther-King this song from The Unforgettable Fire is one of U2's best loved songs and the audience responded admirably. As U2 left the stage, the crowd pleaded for more. But U2 being U2 of course they dragged it out for all it was worth. Eventually they returned. Out they walked, with footage of Charlton Heiston's remarkably stupid speech on guns. Yes, you guessed it. Bullet the Blue Sky was the song and my God, was it a long song. With Bono's shouts of "One hundred, twooo hundred" and another huge speech all topped off with Edge's magnificent guitar playing. Tremendous. With or Without You was the second encore and by now people were overcome with the quality of the concert. "See the stone set in your eyes, see the thorn twist in your side" warbles Bono along with the chant of the crowd. It just doesn't get much better. Time for the last tribute to Bono's father Bob Hewson. Images of him appeared on the screens above and Bon started One, my favourite U2 song, and indeed my favourite song of all time. I don't think I've ever heard anything so moving in my entire life. The crowd knew this was something special and looking around I knew people would savour this moment for the rest of their lives. And then it was time for the last live song of the night. Walk On from All That You Can't Leave Behind was chosen as the closer, and a more suitable song couldn'
t have been chosen. Sung with Bono's usual effort it was the pinacle of the entire concert. 80,000 people came together in Slane through their love of music. As they left the stage the cheers never stopped. The Unforgettable Fire was played as a magnificent fireworks display finished the day. I could barely stand up I was so exhausted, yet I've never been as happy. Have you ever seen on of Irelands heroes perform an emotionally charged rendetion of One as a tribute to his father? Have you ever seen 80,000 jump in unison to Where the Streets have No Name? I have, and it was the greatest day of my life.
Last night me and my mates went to see 3 bands at the Highbury Garage in London. I'd never been there before and was suprised at how small it was. Well actually it looked pretty big at the start considering there wasn't many people there. It's a pretty good venue though because the bands mingle with the crowd. I bumped into one of the lead singers coming out of the toilet and my mate chatted to one of the bass players. It reminds me of the Wedgewood rooms in Portsmouth which is also a great venue for getting up-close to bands. There are benches around to stand on so you can get a good view if your're a short-arse like me! There's also a seating area with tables next to the bar which is on a raised platform so you get a good view from there too. Like most places in London drinks are pretty pricey, about £5.30 for a pint of strongbow and an Archers and Lemonade. We wished we'd stayed in the pub (Baileys down the road - nice comfy sofas) a bit longer cos prices were a bit cheaper there. The first support act was called Lamina although I quickly forgot that name and had to look it up so I could write this review. Lamina were nothing new and nothing special since they were so evidently influenced by Nirvana/Silverchair. They sounded quite tight as a band so if they were just a bit more original they'd be fine. 2/5 Next up were Angelica, a four-piece all girl band from Lancaster. My mates love this band and I could see why. They play riot-grrl music in the same vein as Hole, Jack Off Jill and L7, but they're agressive with that touch of sweetness. They've been playing together since they're teens and it shows in their live act. The canon-like choruses are cleverly put together and executed by Holly (vocals/guitar) and Brigit (vocals/bass). The bands second album was produced by Kat Bjelland (lead singer of the headline act Katastrophy Wife) so it seems these young whippersnappers are going places. As Wayn
e and Garth would say "Man, they really wail" and I would go see them again. 4/5 Which is more than I can say for the headline act. Kat Bjelland is formerly of Babes in Toyland. I'd never heard of Katastrophy Wife but I'd heard of Babes in Toyland and knew what to expect because Miss Bjelland is no shrinking violet. However, I'd read that Kat had mellowed out since giving birth and was into writing lullabies for her son. This was not the case with the set they played last night. Her screaming, I mean singing, reminded me of the shower scene from Pyscho. I feel really old saying this, but what they played was not music but noise. They somehow managed to turn the volume up by about a million decibels which just made it really unpleasant - they were NOT good vibrations. One or two of the songs were really good and got the crowd going full pelt, but too often they would lose the plot and allow the feedback to take over the song. They really could learn alot from Angelica who have tunes and melody. If Katastrophy Wife played at a larger venue the volume would be better appreciated, but I think even then I'd give them a miss. 1/5 Overall it was a good night out :)
Moments after entering the venue i was handed a green lolly pop with WEEZER printed across the candy. Now that is one way to encourage me to have a good time- sweeties!! Support acts were watered-down-Weezers, to generalise. Geek Rock By Numbers, and in all honesty everyone was waiting for Weezer. They unveiled a backdrop of the Weezer 'W' -complete with flashing lights- before taking to the stage. Weezer played a set of songs mainly drawn from the latest album, such as MTV censored Hash Pipe and the soon to be released Island in the Sun. The previous two albums were ignored in comparison, with just a few Weezer classics cropping up throughout the set. An encore of Say It Aint So and Surf Wax America was an end to a near idylic set. A few more older songs and maybe a few more sweeties are all i would suggest...
It's been three years since Supergrass last played in Norwich and now as part of a few warm-up gigs they rolled into Norwich once more. They've had one new album since their last visit so fans were hoping to here some of the tracks off it-they weren't disappointed. The support band's name was something I didn't catch through the bass heavy muffle of the microphone. Although their name did end in orchestra. But it didn't really matter, they were a very average three piece band who seems to play songs that all sounded the same. I honestly could have came to and from their set and still thought they were playing the same song. The singer had a decent voice though. Well after a lengthy wait at the bar I arrived back in time to see Supergrass take the stage. It's been over a year since the release of the mast single 'Mary' off the last self titled album so I was wondering if they would have anything new to play. The set list was as follows with no particular order. I'D LIKE TO KNOW CAUGHT BY THE FUZZ LENNY RICHARD III SUN HITS THE SKY GOING OUT SICK A NEW SONG-UNTITLED MOVING BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE MARY PUMPING ON YOUR STEREO TIME FARAWAY The above are all the tracks I can recall and I don't believe I missed any out but mistakes can happen. The crowd was a sell-out and it was very hot. Countless times the frontstage security had to spray water over the crowd as well as pull the crowd surfers out (despite the countless signs telling people not to do it). The bands set was quite blistering if a little rough around the edges. However Gaz said this was only the second time they had played in ages so it was expected. Apart from a few missed beats we got some great extended guitar, Gaz's brother was on keyboards and everything that was expected was delivered. They didn't even feel the need to play 'Alright' whi
ch I think they've progressed from anyway. I was bit disappointed nothing was said about when to expect a new album and that only one new song was played. However it sounded pretty good although it was obviously still not completely finished. If this is a sign of things to come then we can expect a mix of the last two albums with a lot of Rolling stones esque grooves thrown in. Either way it sounds good. So for my £14 I wasn't left wanting. This couldn't live up to their previous visit because then they shew those classic 'charlie say's safety adverts before they came on, that's enough to win any crowd over! The only dampener on the night was waiting at the bar for a good 40 minutes trying to get a mere two bottles of water. This would have been fine if it weren't for the people with no manners who obviously couldn't wait their turn and instead pushed through shouting 'excuse me' and then placing a large order while their loudish friend repeated their order countless times much to my annoyment. Still mustn't grumble.
It had been billed as "one wild night" and it sure was. Bon Jovi was all set to rock the bowl. This was my third visit to see Bon Jovi at the bowl and I for one could not wait. The only dampener was on the weather! It was overcast all-day, then the heavens opened at teatime, but the trust the bin liner safe today. Upon entering the bowl it was a pleasant surprise to check out the reasonable priced T-shirts. £25 for a long sleeved Jovi it is a not bad. Well the food stalls were a very eclectic mix, from curry to fish and chips and good old bangers and mash, again the prices weren't true of ridiculous. Sadly the beer tent prices lets me down. For two pounds 75 for a small bottle of beer was stupid but expected. That security staff were quite cool allowing the food and drink in a certain container. Any way to the music! The first band up were an English outfit called delirious!, sadly the only time i was delirious was when they said good night! The main support band were a bunch of old guys who have been around for years called matchbox 20, there a hard band to pigeon-hole but sang some really catchy tunes, a highlight being "Push" they seemed to receive a fairly good reception too. Then the hour of e eight o'clock came and Bon Jovi took the stage to a full house of 60’000people. The backdrop was of a New York city skyline complete with empire state building. They opened proceedings with a rocking version of “One Wild Night” which set the stall for the rest of the evening. The crowd soon forgot about the weather and started to dance staright away. They followed the opener with “Raise your hands” and old fave of the Slippery album which you don’t hear very often. Jon in cowboy hat and shades and Richie Sambora in a Union jack t-shirt certainly looked like they came to party. This gig was basically a Greatest hits show and what a catalogue to choose from. All the o
ld faves were there, Livin on a prayer, You give love a bad name, Keep the faith, I’ll be there for you, Its my life, In these arms and they finished off the second encore the outstanding version of Wanted dead or alive! A Fantastic fireworks display rounded the night of. I was cold,wet and had just seen the best gig in my life. Thanks to Jon and the boys, come back soon
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June. What a cracking couple of days!! My Sister and I are mad Bon Jovi fans, and decided that following the Crush tour last year, we would go again, this time to the "One wild night tour". (not that it took much persuasion!) We were up at 4.30am to drive from Bristol to Milton Keynes and arrived there at 8.00am. We had a long wait (approx 10 hours) before the first support act "Delerious" came on. This band are excellent, and are bound to make the big time sooner or later. The second band "Matchbox 20" came on about 45 mins later, they are also very good, and very big in America, where they originate from. The atmosphere was unbelieveable. When the stage started to be prepared for Bon Jovi, the crowd went wild! There was a huge video screen, which the band appeared on before they came on stage. They appeared to be in a lift, and the doors opened on stage. It was amazing when they stepped through the doorway. Gobsmacking in fact! Jon was wearing a really awful pair of sunglasses, which he admitted he wore because he knew the crowd wouldn't like them!! (so he threw them into the mass of 85000 people!) He had on a pair of combat trousers, a leather jacket and a cowboy hat. (girls, it was soooo worth the hassle getting there, just to see that bum in those trousers!!!) Later on he changed into and "Oxford University" t-shirt, which was very chuffing! They played for approx 2 3/4 hours, banging out their classic tracks, such a "Living on a prayer", "One Wild Night", "Bed of Roses","Always", "Bad Medicine", "You give love a bad name" etc. Jon's voice is wonderful live, and he does a bit of showing off too! (hmmmmm)!!! Richie's guitar playing is also excellent live, as are David Bryan on Keyboards and Tico Torres on Drums. Jon was extremely
witty, (but then i'm biased!) and the whole band seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Fireworks went off on key lyrics, which looked fantastic. Milton Keynes is a bit of a rubbish venue though, no seats, no loo's (Except the portible variety, which are disgusting, with no toilet paper!) You get soaking wet if it rains and if you are stuck down by the stage, you can't get out. (My sister and I had to wait 15 hours before we could go to the loo!) When the concert finished, it was a half an hour walk back to the car park, and just our luck, an accident had occoured, which meant we couldn't get out for 2 hours. The traffic situation is terrible, and we didn't get home till 5.00am the following morning!! And Guess what? We had to be up at 10.00am to drive to Cardiff Millenium stadium to do it all again the following day!!! Having seen two concerts in a row, we expecting them to be the same, however different songs and gags were performed. You think we're mad? obsessed? well, this Friday, we're off to the Bristol Fleece and Firkin to see "By Jovi" the tribute band!!! (also highly recommended.) If you haven't been to a concert before, it's a great experience. If you do happen to see Bon Jovi, you'll find that their fans are a really good crowd. No trouble is caused and no crowd surfing. Concert tip: if it's an outdoor event, take toilet roll, munchies, magazines and waterproofs, maybe even something to sit on. There's a lot of hanging around. Oh, and don't forget your camera!!
Sona Fariq have just completed their UK tour - supported by Tung (a kind of nu-metal band who recently won a 'shed seven cover' competition - strange, huh?). I was fortunate to see them at the Sheffield Casbah, where they put on an excellent yet fairly short performance. With a lot of new songs and older songs such as 'Drop the Bomb', they managed to entertain the small and intimate venue well. They are one of the most difficult bands to describe - a mixture of asian, rock, punk and funk music, they are extremely individual and totally unlike all over bands around at the moment. I was very impressed. Not only did they 'do' the songs well, but they had excellent stage presence - crawling through people's legs just one of the singer's mad actions. Overall they were amazing - highly recommended. They are planning to release a new album in the near future, but in the mean time their self-titled debut album is available in most record shops on vinyl (Ltd. edition), cassette and CD format. They will probably not tour for a while, but if you do have the chance to see them, do not let it pass - they are one of the few bands around at the moment that have the ability to woo a crowd without following in the footsteps of Limp Bizkit. For those of you who don't know anything about Sona Fariq, (and to be honest, I don't really know that much) here's a few interesting facts: Michael Frankel - singer Abrar Hafiz - bass Dom Bouffard - guitar and vocals Wasif Hussain - drummer They have had excellent support slots in the last few years with: *One Minute Silence *Pitchshifter And have had a couple of their own headlining tours - Sunna and Fifth Amendment as support on one and Head Up and Tung at the other - this being the one that I went to. In the past they have claimed to be a 'signpost in British guitar music' - this they would be if they were g
iven the right opportunities - the ones that they deserve! NEWS: unfortunately Sona Fariq have been drpped by their record label and are probably unlikely to release anything in the near future. One member of the band claims that they will be back and are currently writing some of the sickest songs ever. Nice to know that they will be back. Their excellent performance has persuaded me that no-one can have a better time anywhere than at a gig from this superb band (or any of my other faves). ANOTHER UPDATE: Unfortunately it doesn't look as though Sona Fariq are going to make it through their bad patch. One of the members left, and although they are now a full band again, it doesn't seem like they will pull through. Thanks for the good times though guys - I only wish the dream had come true for you!!!
I know I'm going to sound like a moaning old man when/if people read this, but what the hell. I went to the Deconstruction 2001 gig @ the London Arena, Mon 28th. I'm was dissapointed to leave so early (6pm). The bands that I saw were great, even though I didn't stay to see Pennywise, the only band I wanted to see on the bill. But I just couldn't stand the kids that were at this gig. Casting my mind back to 1986, when I first started going to gigs, the way I saw it was that I had shelled out a load of money for a ticket to see my favorite bands, so I was determined to enjoy the gig, see the band & hopefuly years ahead I can think back on what great bands I saw. The kids at this show, well, I just don't get it. I got to the Arena @ 2pm & I was amazed at the amount of kids that were completely trashed on alcohol. 2PM!! They were slumped against wall, throwing up, when they did open the doors to let people in, it was no real surprise that they were not allowed in. Obviously this was possibly the first time they had been allowed to go to a gig without Mum & Dad waiting to pick them up at the end. What is the point of shelling out £15 for a ticket plus however much your travel would be, just to get off your face & run the risk of being refused entry or passing out & missing the gig completely? Shouldn't there be an age limit for gigs like this? Send these people to the Ozzfest, where the more teenie bands play, they don't belong at this sort of gig. Secondly, I really got tired of seeing so many faux teenage punks in those ridiculous baggy flared jeans & chains coming out of the pockets. I was glad when the old school punks turned up, at least you know they are there for the music, not just for a fashion statement. Saying all that, it does seem to be a trend in this country that before any occasion be it music, sport etc, you have to get off your face before it starts. I know, old
A few months ago I found myself at a secondary school talent contest (as a spectator, not a contestant you understand). It was really sweet. Most of the acts involved singing, and a few consisted of putative boy or girl bands dancing along to hits by the Spice Girls and Boyzone. They all put heart and soul into their performances and although there were more than a few slip ups and choreography errors the audience had a whale of a time and the kids all enjoyed their moment in the spotlight. I’d completely forgotten this evening of fun until I joined the crowd at Wembley Arena last weekend. For reasons that are way too complex to explain here I was there to watch Ronan Keating strut his funky stuff. He was great by the way, although he drew a crowd that would be more comfortable with Daniel O’Donnell than WestLife, but he isn’t the subject of this opinion or the reason for the trip down memory lane. The flashback moment occurred when the support act, Fixate hit the stage. I checked, and DooYoo do not yet have a listing for this soon to be pop sensation, do DooYoo know something that these boys don’t? God love them they tried, they really did, but here is a band whose best chance is to be discovered on radio, AM radio. It’s not that they don’t have the faces for stardom, they’re all very cute in a boyish way, and I can imagine that their faces would make a cute and harmless display on a pre pubescent girls’ bedroom walls. What these boys can’t do is perform in public. They took to the blacked out stage and carefully stood by the positions that had been marked out with masking tape for them. The lead singer yelped something about Wembley putting it’s arms in the air and off they went, singing their little hearts out fairly tunelessly and strutting about the stage in ill though out dance moves. During the more complex maneuvers I’m sure I saw some of the guys
lips move as they counted out their steps. Somewhere along the line they’ve received advice and one part that stuck in these boys’ minds was ‘gotta get a gimmick’. One lad carries a guitar, and we should be convinced that he can play it because he switched from electric to acoustic to match the mood of each ‘tune’, and danced around merrily at the same time. Another appeared to have multiple piercings and tattoos, probably not good for the pre teen audiences. The most bizarre was the chap who seemed to lead the group. He carried with him a gold tipped cane, which he waved in the air and used to point at people. Rather more worryingly, in the background, on the big screens, a slide show progressed. This really was sweet and earned them extra credit. Clearly one of them has a geeky little brother who is a whiz with PowerPoint as the show included garish graphics, naff little video clips of the boys looking butch, publicity stills and rather oddly karoke style lyrics to a slow song to get us all singing along. What really freaked me out was the way our hero was shown fiddling with the end of his cane on the big screen. As he passed his fingers carefully over the head and pressed the tip of the cane to his cheek I wondered if the target audience was girls after all. The singing and dancing continued with the boys getting a little confused and jostling for stage position. They assured us that they’d written all their songs themselves, which if I’m honest didn’t surprise me at all. The main man really will have to focus on working a crowd. When the dancing and lights had got him too hot and sweaty for his leather trenchcoat, he carefully removed it and folded it neatly before placing it on the floor at the rear of the stage out of harms way. I’m sure his Mum was very proud. Fixate are not the worst band I’ve seen, and I may have been a little harsh, after all
they kept me laughing for a full forty minutes. What they need is an adult to stand out in the auditorium and watch them perform. With a little discipline, and a lot of choreography I’m sure they could do well, just so long as they lose the cane! The first single 24/7 is released on July 2, 2001, and you can listen to samples, see the boys and even enjoy a two minute clip of them live on stage at: http://www.thefixatewebsite.com
Nice weather, food, drink, and free music. What more do you want on a Bank Holiday weekend? The first of the Radio One Free roadshows took place yeaterday in Morfa fields in Swansea. There was a good line up of acts there including Wheatus, "It wasn't me" Shaggy, S CLub7, Hearsay, Architects, Spooks, and JJ72 and it was all introduced by Mr Moyles(my favourite dj)and Jamie Theakston. By the time I arrived there the majority of car spaces has been taken. It was a long way out of the city and so only fields and large store carparks were left, meaning that I had to pay £5 for parking about 3 miles away from the actual location. People getting there early however parked out quite near the main city for a much smaller charge and had a free bus as close to the venue as possible(nice for some!!!!) However, it was definately worth it. It was broadcast live on Radio One from 2pm to 4pm and band after band came on along with lots of singing and dancing. Hearsay had avery warm response with special attention being paid to Noel with his Welsh flag, and when S Club7 started singing Reach there was not one person left not singinh anfd dancing (ok, slight exagerration, some miserable people) 70,000 turned up for the event and i'm sure not one of them was disapointed!Radio One hasn't been hear for some time but now I hope the response they had yesterday will convince them otherwise. It was pure fun for all the family!
Yesterday was the start of Radio ones ‘Big Day Out ‘ concerts starting off with a day at Morfa Stadium in Swansea, South Wales. The kids had been pestering me to take them, as basically it was a kids line up. We started off by driving to the outskirts of Swansea and being directed to the park and ride sites situated close to the M4. The cost of parking and a buss direct to the site of the concert £2. We arrived at about 12:45 and it was very busy already with families booking their space as close to the stage as possible. It was nothing to enter and the sun was shinning therefore it was guaranteed to be a success. We hung around until 1:30pm and then the warm up of the crowd started with Wheatus doing a sound check and trying to get the crowd interested although I think that the majority of the people that were there wanted to see S Club 7 and Hear Say. At 2pm it all went live on the Radio and we saw the introduction of Chris Moyles and Jamie Theakston who both had a very warm welcome. We were then introduced to the only group that I wanted to see i.e. JJ72 who did a couple of hits that although warmly received the majority of the crowd again were not interested. Then on came Hear Say with there hit single ‘Pure and Simple’ and the screaming kids got what they wanted. The sound had been a problem all the way through and the boys in the group could not be heard but that was not a problem to the fans. Not long after on came S Club 7 and it was a sea of waving arms banners and kids up on daddy’s shoulders. I don’t believe they sang any of the three songs live but they really had the crowd with them. After they finished quite a few families were seen to drift away as this was all they had come to see. Wheatus then came on and whipped the crowd into frenzy with a varied version of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ it went down very well. Hear Say came back on and they had the sam
e sound problems, which was a pity as the girls came across very well live. Shaggy finished off the day and once again the sound was terrible. Shaggy did his last two singles and had the crowd singing along. It was all finished at 4pm and then was the long wait for the buses back to the car park. On the whole a reasonable day out that could have been better but for something for nothing you can’t fault it. The kids most certainly enjoyed.
Okay, I am going to write a review about Nebula live, as I managed to catch them live on Monday night, and I thought they were kick ass. I was due to go to Mudvayne a week ago to watch them, but they cancelled, so my friend and I were eager to go and watch another gig. So we were reading through the Kerrang! Gig list, and a band called orange Goblin caught our eye. Now I have checked, and there is not a section for Orange Goblin or Nebula, so I cant review either of them in the appropriate sections. Now the reason this caught my eye was I saw Nebula were supporting, now I hadn’t heard one song that they had made, but I remembered seeing that the album they have recently released was in as one of the albums you just HAD to buy, so I figured we might as well go and check them out, as just something to do. So we trooped off to Manchester, back to my favourite Hop and Grape, where gods are made, now this is where it went a bit pair shape, normally the crowd at these types of gigs are really cool, but the average age of this band must have been about 30-40, which is a bit strange with them playing at the Student Union and everything. Their was just the two bands playing, Orange Goblin and Nebula, so the crowd didn’t really get a warm up, so I will put the back round of this band, even though I know very little about them. They a three piece band, that play punk (I’m so bad at gender types) they have one drummer, who seemed to be very cool, as well as two guitarists, one of which did the main vocals, but the other two helped as well. They are very light with the vocals; most of the songs that they play are just cool guitar rifts and drum beats, but you could easily get down to them, but the crowd hardly responded, I saw about 4 people who really connected with the music, but that is hardly anything. I would have been so upset if I had been the band, and had such an unresponsive crowd to play
to, my friend and I gave them a lot of respect, as we thought they were amazing. I really do suggest you check these guys out, if you get the chance to see them soon, then you really should, I know this music doesn’t exactly appeal to everyone, but try and educate yourself, I intend to buy their album as soon as I have a bit of money, in fact I think they have done a few bands, as they have been around for a while, but I will try and collect what I can, have to save up on Doyoo J Or maybe Dooyoo will see that it is just a really good cause, and donate me the money, all people who think they should please leave a reply at the bottom of this opinion, ha ha. Thank you for spending the time to read this. Mr. T (P.S. Dooyoo, give this band their own section, they rule)