Archive: December 2004

December 02, 2004

02 December 2004 .Casbah Club ,Mean Fiddler LA2 ,London. This band featues Bruce Watson from Big Country on guitar , Bruce Foxton from The Jam on bass and the singer from 1980s Scottish rockers The Silencers .Shame then that The Silencers have not got any well known songs . Thankfully they play some great Jam tunes like "Town Called Malice " "Down At The Tube Station" a stunning "Butterfly Collector " and " Going UNderground " .There were a few good Big Country songs like : In A Big Country " and "Chance" etc . Great encore of " Thats Entertainment " . A decent show then with a mix of some good tunes and a few average ones but the evening felt like a second rate Dead Men Walking gig. 30 November 2004 . Beta Band , Shepherds Bush Empire , London. I have always admired the way The Beta Band have just ticked along nicely doing their own thing so i was very surprised that this was to be a farewell tour because they are a massive million pounds in debt to their record company and the only way to get out of it is to split up for good. The band and crowd are pretty subdued for the first half of the show considering tonight is their last ever London gig. A couple of songs near the end were very good but most of their brand of psychedelia was just not that exciting. 29 November 2004 . Will Young , Wembley Arena , London. While his Pop Idol rival Gareth Gates resides in the where are they now? file Will Young goes from strength to strength . With a sold out arena tour including 3 nights at Wembley and his album "Fridays Child " the second best selling album of the year in the UK after Dido its not surprising he is in a confident mood. A massive production with multi video screens , a staircase and 21 people on stage including the 8 dancers so there is plenty to look at. Sadly a lot of the material is pretty average but " Evergreen " and "Stronger " are the highlights of the ballads section in the middle. For some reason he wears trilby hats for the entire show . A couple of covers like "Love The One Your With " and "Light My Fire " were nice enough . His fans clearly love him but not much here tonight for me. 28 November 2004 .KD Lang ,Hammersmith Apollo ,London. Her first London for a few years so not surprising well sold out . With her is the 30 piece Philharmonic Orchestra . KD arrives on stage barefoot and gives a dazzling vocal display of covers and original material . She was in a very playful mood as she danced across the stage and made some amusing remarks.Highlights inc " Crying" " Constant Craving " and the encore of "3 Cigarettes" .The set was a bit short at only 80 mins in length but it was total quality. 27 November 2004 .Motorhead + Sepultura , Hammersmith Apollo ,London .Fantastic sold out rock n roll evening. Brazilians Sepultura rock hard but their singer has that nasty grunting vocal style that i hate. Motorhead are on fire tonight. 90 mins set from the band that forever (like i do) call this venue The Hammersmith Odeon.Loads of great rockers like "Metropolis" "No Class" "RAMONES" and a stunning " Killed By Death" . Great encore of "Ace Of Spades " and :Overkill " with ex guitarist Wurzel joining them on stage . Excellent stuff. 25 November 2004 .Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel , Bloomsbury Theatre , London. Here is another 1970s legend still playing regular UK tours . There are 8 on stage inc Steve and they play a long 2 hours 30 mins over 2 sets full of old and new songs with a few great Steve Harley stories as well. The older stuff of course goes down the best " Judy Teen" "Here Comes The Sun" "Best Years Of Our Lives " "Mr Soft" "Sebastian" and brilliant encore of " Come Up And See Me " (Steve introduced it as his pension song) .Enjoyalble show. 23 November 2004 .The Darkness , Brixton Academy , London. Things just seem to get better and better for The Darkness .A couple of days ago they were featured on a ITV Southbank TV Special with Melvyn Bragg and here they are at Brixton treating it as a "warm up" show for the arena tour that starts the following day . The sound is superb with Gibson Les Pauls and Marshall amps on to the max. They set lasts 85 mins by playing all of "Permission To Land" album and some new tracks .Plenty of explosions too. Great encore of " I Believe In A Thing Called Love " an extended version of " Love On The Rocks " with a front of stage walkabout with Justin on a roadies shoulders (as well as stealing bits of AC/DC sound they are also copying their stage show). They finish off with their own Christmas single from last year as the confetti comes down. Excellent show . They play Wembley Arena Dec 10,11,12. 22 November 2004 . Embrace ,Hammersmith Palais , London. Well if Morrissey gets the gold medal for 2004 comeback of the year then surely Embrace get the silver medal . Amazing what one song can do. "Gravity " has put the band back on the map along with a platinum selling number one album and sold out everywhere live dates. I must admit i am not the biggest fan of the Embrace/ Keane/Snow Patrol etc music style but Embrace have got loads of good songs and their fans love them. Opening songs "Ashes" and "All You Good Good People " were fab. "Gravity " of course was stunning. Also good were "Come Back To What You Know" and "Save Me" . Encores inc "One Big Family " and " Wonder " . The set lasted nearly 2 hours which felt a bit too long but then again they have had four albums out .Good but not great. Velvet Revolver have added a 5th London show to their UK tour at Hammersmith Apollo on Jan 10. Monday sees the long awaited release of the new U2 album with a couple of the big shops in the West End opening at midnight(Sunday) to sell it. Also out Monday is the DVD from those amazing reunion shows by The New York Dolls in June at The Royal Festival Hall. Tuesday sees one of the hottest tickets of the year by Tom Waits .His first London show for 17 years that sold out in an hour .His refusal to add extra shows has meant tickets selling for over 200 on the black market. 18 November 2004 . Sensational Alex Harvey Band , Camden Underworld , London. 19 November 2004 .Sensational Alex Harvey Band , The Green Room At The Doctors Tonic Pub, Welwyn Garden City ,Herts . Great atmosphere as it was a sell out gig and cameras are here for a live DVD recording. First London show for a few years by these legendary Scottish rockers.We all knew it would be a good show but this was just bleeding brilliant . For nearly 2 hours they played classic tunes from their 1970s heyday . On vocals playing his first gig with the band was Max Maxwell and he did a great job of recreating the style and vocal delivery of the sadly missed Alex Harvey . All four other members are originals inc the guitar legend that is Zal Cleminson. How did they open the show ? with a totally stunning version of " The Faith Healer " followed by other gems like " Next " " Framed" " Give My Compliments To The Chef" "Amos Moses " "Swampsnake " and many others. For " Gang Bang " they were joined by a lovely looking blonde girl fan who jumped on stage for some sexy dancing with the band in her bra. A fantastic encore of "Vambo " "Boston Tea Party " and "Delilah " complete with the funny dance that Chris Glen and Zal Cleminson did in the old days . Too good a show to see just the once so tonight Friday we will be at sunny Welwyn Garden City to see them again. Check out the bands website www.sahb.co.uk to see where they are playing near you. Blimey the venue in Welwyn Garden City is less than half the size of the Underworld . Cannot remember ever seeing a band in this town which is just outside the North London area. The stage is only about 6 inches raised off the floor so half the crowd can only see heads and shoulders . The same set list as last nights show. Another really great night . Speaking to guitarist Zal Cleminson after the show who said he enjoyed tonights show more than the London show because the band played tighter and there was no stoppage to change the dodgy snare drum like there was in London. Well worth the drive.

December 22, 2004

www.o-donnells.com has now gone live so we have a great selection of cds ,dvds and books in our 4 for 20 section. www.o-donnells.com get those credit cards out for the Christmas period....... Well thats more or less it for 2004 so all of you out there have a great Christmas and Rocktastic New Year..... 20 December 2004 . Wet Wet Wet ,Wembley Arena , London. First of all thanks to our chums at Clear Channel for giving us 50 free tickets to give to customers and friends of our website www.o-donnells.com for this show. .Cheers. Safe to say i would not be here unless i had a free ticket . Wet Wet Wet are a nice bunch of lads but hardly exciting rock n roll if you know what i mean .This was their first tour for 7 years which includes an impressive 15 UK arena shows . A few years ago i was well surprised when singer Marti Pellow came out with his "my drink and drugs hell ". Nice to hear "Sweet Little Mystery " and "Angel Eyes " but they are so MOR they make Will Young sound like Iggy Pop in places . The mainly women crowd still adore Marti Pellow for sure .The last song was their mega hit "Love Is All Around " with Marti in a skirt. There were no video screens of the band and they played as if in a theatre as opposed to this big venue which was crap if you were not in the first half of the venue.On stage for 2 hours . Also it was one of those gigs where you buy a live cd of the show straight after for 15 and quite a few were sold...... 18 December 2004 . Morrissey , Earls Court Arena , London. Comeback of the year easily goes to Mozzer what his album "You Are The Quarry " selling over 500,000 in the UK and now his biggest ever London show which is sold out with around 18,000 punters inside on a very rainy Saturday evening. It starts great as he opens with The Smiths classic " How Soon Is Now " and as early as the second tune he plays ' First Of The Gang To Die " . He has his priest dog collar on like on the pic cover of his current single .The band sound great in front of the huge MORRISSEY logo." There Is A Light That Never Goes Out " and "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" were both excellent. A mega" Irish Blood English Heart " got the crowd really moving. Very good show but with only a one song encore and only 80 mins onstage it did not feel quite as special as those RFH shows in June earlier this year......... 17 December 2004 . Elton John And His Band ,Hammersmith Apollo ,London. Third of four shows at this venue . Despite more wealth and fame than most can dream of Elton John continues to be one of our hardest working musicians. Back at Hammersmith to the scene of so many amazing shows i watched him play in the 1970s.The first 6 or 7 songs were all from the new album " Peachtree Road " and a couple had a lovely country bluegrass feel to them. Then it was hit after hit in a fantastic set lasting 2 hours 15 mins ." Daniel " was great but an extended version of " Rocket Man " was superb. "Tiny Dancer " "Are You Ready For Love " then "Philadelphia Freedom " got the crowd up dancing along with " Im Still Standing " ." Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me " was brill. "Bitch Is Back " had Elton dancing on his piano. Stunning encore of " Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting " then he spent 5 mins signing stuff for all those down the front then a magical " Your Song " .Fantastic as always........... 16 December 2004 .1980s Show ,Wembley Arena ,London. Midge Ure + Kim Wilde + Belinda Carlisle + Nik Kershaw + Bucks Fizz + Living In A Box + Limahl These shows are a great idea . Get half a dozen acts and each play a 20 mins of greatest hits .Problem is Midge Ure or KIm Wilde are not real headline acts so the venue is only half full. Everyone is in good spirits for Christmas and Limahl is pretty good to be honest with " Too Shy " and " Neverending Story " getting a decent reception .Next up Living In A Box are faceless useless rubbish . Bucks Fizz have all four original members and are great fun but mainly for their dodgy dance routines. Shelley Preston still looks stunning .Their set inc " My Camera Never Lies " and of course " Making Your Mind Up" complete with the pulling off the skirts routine. Poor old Nik Kershaw is so tiny you can just see his head above the stage monitors .He plays " I Wont Let The Sun Go Down On Me" and "Wouldnt It Be Good " . Next up Belinda Carlisle plays a few inc " Circle In THe Sand " "Leave A Light On For Me " and "Heaven Is A Place On Earth " and is pleasant enough . Kim Wilde has changed from her gardening gear into a 2 piece leather suit and looks like she is really enjoying herself. Nice set inc " You Keep Me Hanging On " and " Kids In America ". Last up was Midge Ure who had a slightly longer set than the others . He played Visage " Fade To Grey "as he wrote it. Also "If I Was " " No Regrets " "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" and of course " Vienna " pretty good . Highlight of the evening was the mega encore where all the acts came back together to sing Band Aid " Do They Know Its Christmas " with other 1980s stars Paul Young and members Of Heaven 17 and Spandau Mallet joining in .A good night but they need a couple of bigger headline acts next time ...... 15 December 2004 .Buzzcocks + Neville Staple , Kentish Town Forum ,London . The support act used to be in the Specials and for some reason he changed his surname from Staples to Staple . His voice is not very convincing on the new material but he does get the crowd going by throwing in some gems from his Specials days like " A Message To You Rudy " "Monkey Man" and brilliant versions of "Gangsters " and "Ghostown" in his 40 mins set. The Buzzcocks are one of those original punk bands that are always great live .The older tunes like " I Dont Mind" and " Harmony In My Head" are great even though a few of the songs in the middle are a bit patchy . Guitarist Steve Diggle is in great form and even when he gets showered in beer it cannot wipe the smile off his face. The second half of the show was perfect punk poptastiic with tunes like " Breakdown " and " Ever Fallen In Love " followed by mega encores of "Fast Cars " "What Do I Get " "Boredom " " Orgasm Addict " . Great gig and good aftershow party too. 12 December 2004 . Punk Festival at The Astoria featuring The Damned , Sham 69 , Hazel OConnor + Avengers + TV Smith + Ten Pole Tudor + UK Subs+ 999 + Chelsea. Excellent line up of punk and new wave bands who were all around in the late 1970s .First up Chelsea were pretty average as usual but finished off with good versions of "Urban Kids" "I Fought The Law " and "Right To Work " . Tony Barber from The Buzzcocks was playing with them and he had to race to Wolverhampton that same night to play with his own band . 999 were brilliant with great tunes like "Emergency " "Nasty Nasty " and "Homicide". UK Subs pulled the biggest crowd of the day apart from the 2 headliners starting with " CID " and finishing with a rampant version of "Warhead " that had the floor shaking . Ten Pole Tudor did "Swords Of A Thousand Men " and a couple of crap ones. TV Smith was good as always with " Gary Gilmores Eyes " and "One Chord Wonders " . Avengers are best known for being the support band for The Sex Pistols at their famous last show in SF Winterland in 1978 . They play loud and rocky tunes inc a version of The Professionals "1,2,3 " but her vocals are not very good. Hazel O Connor is pleasant enough but it is the wrong event for her and a lot of people stay in the bar to avoid her . Next up and the highlight of the day for me a rare live show by Sham 69 . It is 45 mins of mayhem as they launch into "Angels With Dirty Faces " "Borstal Breakout " " If The Kids Are United " " Hersham Boys " and "Hurry Up Harry " .etc Jimmy Pursey is on fine form and the crowd love them . The Damned play for 90 mins but it feels like 3 hours . Perhaps they should have trimmed it to a neat 60 mins. They have got some great tunes but there are plenty of boring bits like Captain Sensible guitar solos and on stage antics that lose the moment. However "Love Song " " New Rose " " Neat Neat Neat are all brilliant as is the encore of " Jet Boy " and "Smash It Up " .I was at this event for 8 hours and it was long day but well worth it ......... 10 and 11 December 2004 . Darkness + Ash , Wembley Arena , London . Ash did a good warm up set with great tunes like "Kung Fu ""Girl From Mars " "Shining Light " and a rockin version of Thin Lizzys "The Boys Are Back In Town " . I first saw The Darkness nearly 2 years ago supporting Def Leppard then seeing headline shows at The Astoria and Hammersmith Apollo as well as their dodgy Reading Festival show in the summer . So here they are now with 3 shows at Wembley as part of their UK arena tour. They stil only have the one album and a few new songs but its a superb show. A big entertaining classic rock show all night long. There is enough fireworks ,explosions and flames to grace any Guy Fawkes party . Lots of great tunes like "Growing On Me " "Black Shuck " "Friday Night " " I Believe In A Thing Called Love " .There are a couple of annoying time wasting bits as Justin somehow drags the set out to 1 hour 40 mins . For the encore Justin flies over the crowd astride a huge fluffy white tiger then the Christmas trees are brought out for full versions of The Band Aid single " Do They Know Its Chritmas " and their own Christmas dittie from last year " Dont Let The Bells End" . Only difference in the 2 shows i saw was that on Friday Justin mentioned that a burglar had been caught at his home just as the band were due on stage ........ 09 December 2004 .Manic Street Preachers + Razorlight , Wembley Arena , London. Support Razorlight are flying at present with the album " Up All Night " loved by the critics and the punters . Some great songs like " Golden Touch " " Rip It Up " and "Vice" . No doubt that 2005 will be even better for them. The Manics have always been a great live rock band with or without Richey Edwards so here they are out on the road again having to prove themselves after mixed reviews of their " Lifeblood " album which does include decent songs like " 1985 " and " Richard Nixon" .A great light show and superb use of video screens bring the songs to life . Plenty of mega oldies like "If You Tolerate This " " You Love Us " "Australia" "You Stole The Sun " " Tsunami" and the last 2 songs were stunning versions of " Motorcycle Emptiness " and "A Design For Life " .A long set with no need for a fake encore . The Manics still rock ......... 08 December 2004 .Concert For Darfur Refugees With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ,Royal Albert Hall , London. About a dozen guests from the world of pop,rock , opera , tv and film sing a couple of songs each for this very good cause .Most songs were covers of Cole Porter . Best were Mick Hucknall , Chrissie Hynde ,Alison Moyet and a rare performance by Cat Stevens ( now Yusef ???? ). Other acts inc Jocelyn Brown ,Ruthie Henshall , Antony Costa from Blue singing Van Morrisons " Raindance" . Neat finale of everyone on stage for versions of " Imagine " and "With A Little Help From My Friends " .Pleasant enough ....... 06 December 2004 . The Tubes Wild West Show , Shepherds Bush Empire ,London. All the band arrive on stage in cowboy outfits and play a couple of western theme tunes . Singer Fee Waybill comes on in his first of 8 or 9 costume changes that make this 2 hour show visually fantastic. Great oldies like "Dont Touch Me There" and "What Do You Want From Life " were superb and for their disco cover of "Do The Hussle " they changed lyric to " Do The Russle" which was just one of many fun elements to this show. The ballad " Dont Wanna Wait Anymore " was a corker. Fee Waybill stuck his head in a television set for " TV Is King" and a big highlight was the 7 foot tall Quay Lude rock star character in tottering stack heels for stunning versions of " Stand Up And Shout " and their anthem that is " White Punks On Dope " Encore of " Mondo Bongage " had Fee in full leather garb with 2 leather glad women getting stuck in so to speak (the blonde one was punk singer Beki Bondage of Vice Squad ) . "Talk To You Later " was the finish to an very entertaining show and the DVD of it will be out next year .Great night ....... 05 December 2004 . Blink 182 ,Wembley Arena ,London. Tonight there are so many teenagers here i really do feel a bit old .Blink from California are now an arena band in the Green Day ,Sum 41 school of pop punk. While they have a couple of decent songs like "Feeling This " and " I Miss You" and a neat drum solo on a podium in the middle of the venue i left the gig feeling pretty empty . What the hell am i doing here? Not my cup of tea at all. After the show hordes of mums and dads in cars waiting for their kids .Call this punk rock? ........ 04 December 2004 . Status Quo + The Alarm ,Wembley Arena ,London. At last a great support act . The Alarm did a superb 40 mins of top tunes like " Where Were You Hiding " " Absolute Reality " " 68 Guns " and their hit single from earlier in the year " 45 RPM " . The Quo are now more of a rock band for all the family than the out and out rock band they were in the 1970s but their 2 hour set was really all about enjoying yourself and having fun. Plenty of jumping on the spot and heads down boogie . Incredibly this was their 39th show at Wembley Arena . Every winter they now go on a huge 6 week UK tour . They have had over 50 Top 40 hit singles like " Rain" "Roll Over Lay Down" " Caroline " "Down Down" "Whatever You Want " and " Rockin All Over The World " which were all played tonight .More jumping around for encores of " Paperplane " and " Bye Bye Johnny B Goode" .The band were enjoying it as much as the crowd......... Altogether 2 great live bands and very enjoyable. A great classic rock double bill are doing a 2005 UK tour. Judas Priest and The Scorpions play Hammersmith Apollo on March 16 and 17 . They will be mega shows. Also despite trying to play down the rumours i can tell than you Motley Crue will reform and play a short UK tour inc a London date at Wembley Arena on 19 June after they have completed their American tour. Special guests on the UK tour will be Killing Joke.