Archive: August 2004

August 01, 2004

31 July 2004 Glen Matlock ,The Plough Inn ,Wood Street ,Walthamstow ,London E17.Sex Pistol legend did a really good solo acoustic show in this packed East London pub.Fantastic mix of Sex Pistols ,Rich Kids ,some covers and solo material in the 65 mins set .His new solo album comes out on EMI on 4th Oct called " On Something" and he played a few great tunes from it. Mega versions of " God Save The Queen " and "Pretty Vacant" .The crowd sung along to most tracks esp encores of " All Or Nothing " and "Steppin Stone " .Excellent evening. 30 July 2004 Brian Wilson ,Royal Festival Hall , London.Back yet again to see this great legend . Brian Wilson has played 18 shows at The Royal Festival Hall since his amazing comeback gigs in Jan 2002 and have been to 13 (yes 13) of them. 28 July 2004 Brian Wilson ,Royal Festival Hall , London.Back again to see this show for a second time in this 6 night stint .The Beach Boys are touring later in the year but that is like going to see the current Thin Lizzy live without Phil Lynott .Its nowhere as good. Everyone should see Brian Wilson at least once. 27 July 2004 Brian Wilson ,Royal Festival Hall , London.Brian Wilson and band back again for their 4th set of shows at this vennue in the last 3 years .He was here only 6 months ago but now has a new album " Gettin In Over My Head " to promote which has had some mixed reviews. Brian looks more frail than last time and his voice is not 100% but his amazing band just make every song sound fantastic .Two sets of 70 mins each. First set was 20 mins acoustic then a couple of pretty good new album tracks and then some hits like "California Girls " "God Only Knows " "Sloop John B" etc .Second set was all of the lost album " Smile " followed by hits galore like "Good Vibrations" "Help Me Rhonda " "Fun Fun Fun" "Barbara Ann " " Surfin Usa "etc and a superb finale of the ballad " Love And Mercy ". A stunning show just like all the other BW gigs. 21 July 2004 Cheap Trick ,Shepherds Bush Empire , London.Last date in a 5 month world tour for this band who were massive in USA and Japan in late 70s/early 80s. Like last years Royal Albert Hall show lots of balcony seats remained unsold . The first half of the set was pretty average then it upped a gear with oldies like " I Want You To Want Me "and "California Man" .Rick Neilson got his famous 5 necked guitar out for a superb " Surrender " and showered the crowd with dozens of guitar picks .Great encore of "Dream Police " ,a good show but nothing special. 19 July 2004 Alarm ,Camden Underworld ,London. Deemed so uncool by the music industry The Alarm released a single "45rpm" under a different name and a younger image a few months ago and it made the Top 40 chart.This was a superb 90 mins set in a hot n sweaty little club venue . Lashings of Les Paul guitar by James Stevenson and truly amazing vocal passion by Mike Peters to songs hes sung so many times. Loads of catchy rockers like " Where Were You Hiding " "68 Guns " "Rain in The Summertime " etc uncool they may be but a great live rock band is a great live rock band and thats what The Alarm are. 18 July 2004 8pm The Stray Cats ,Shepherds Bush Empire ,London.Great to these cats reformed again for their first UK dates in 12 years . All 3 original members all looking super cool in 1950s rock n roll gear and a lot of the crowd are dressed up as well .Slim Jim plays his drum kit standing up which looks great fun and Lee Rocker plays a mean stand up double bass .Loads of great tunes like " Rumble In Brighton " "Stray Cat Strut " "Runaway Boys " " Rock This Town " and some encores of rock n roll classics like "Thats Alright Mama " and " Oh Boy " .Great stuff.Also see the aftershow page . 18 July 2004 1pm to 6pm Midge Ure + Space Ritual+ Eddie And The Hot Rods ,Guildford Festival . Barry Masters looks little rough these days but i always like seeing EATHR .A good little set inc "Quit This Town " " Life On The Line " and a spine tingling " Do Anything You Wanna Do " . Space Ritual feature Nik Turner Hawkwind and are surprisinging entertaining with their jamming mix of cosmic rock and pair of wild semi naked dancers.Midge Ure spends most of his set tuning up or talking about losing his hair but does a decent set of acoustic songs ,mainly solo material but he plays " Vienna " " Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" from Ultravox days .I left before headliners UB40 and Ocean Colour Scene came on so i could get back for The Stray Cats big gig at The Shepherds Bush Empire . 17 July 2004 Simple Minds + Katie Melua + Tim Booth + Rolf Harris + The Alarm + Mohair , Guildford Festival.Odd line up for sure today. Openers Mohair look the part and mix a bit of The Darkness and The Faces.The Alarm did an excellent set of their rousing anthems and a couple of new tracks .The legend that is Rolf Harris is very entertaining and goes down a storm thanks to his on stage banter and novelty tunes. Tim Booth plays a set of mainly solo material along with a couple of James hits.Its good stuff but its hard to follow Rolf Harris for any band. Katie Melua is another youngster with a fantastic voice but it does not do anything for me .Mike Batt who is in charge of her career is on keys and plays a few bars of " Wombles Of Wimbledon". Simple Minds big songs are perfect as headline act and we get a great bouncy 80 mins of it . Superb encore of " Waterfront " "Alive And Kicking " and " Sanctify Yourself" . 16 July 2004 Blondie + Stranglers + Damned , Guildford Festival .The Damned are a letdown as they do not play the right material for a festival but its great to hear "New Rose " and " Neat Neat Neat" .Stranglers have loads of fans here and go down well with tracks like "Peaches" "Golden Brown " "Duchess" "Grip " and "No More Heroes" .Blondie do a really good greatest hits set that everyone can sing along to. Not often you see these 3 bands on the same bill ,if ever. Guildford Festival is a cosy smallish festival that caters for mainly "older types and families" and is sponsored by Radio 2 .General rule of thumb is anything "Whispering " Bob Harris one of the djs here tells you about a must see act or highlight of the day i avoid them at all cost.

August 21, 2004

20 August 2004 Athlete ,Shepherds Bush Empire , London.Warm up show for V Festival .Athlete get the crowd singing to all the songs on their neat debut album and the hit singles go down a storm in the 70 mins set. A few new ones from next album out early 2005 are given an airing . Nice radio friendly tunes but hardly rock n roll. 19 August 2004 Madonna ,Earls Court Arena , London.Back again to see Madonna here.Thankfully i have another good view near the front .There are lots of couples here from Madonnas large and loyal gay following .Another really good show . Madoona in a kilt at the end dancing with a bagpiper is great fun. 18 August 2004 Madonna ,Earls Court Arena,London. First of 6 sell out London shows at Earls Court/ Wembley Arena for Madoona .Ticket prices are not aimed at those that shop at Lidl as its 150 for front block seats and 25 for a programme .Kylie Minogue and Geri Halliwell are in the guest area and as Madonna is late on stage Kylie is spotted and is mobbed by fans. Earls Court is a terrible venue but tonight i have a fantastic view 4 rows from the stage .Madonna looks fit and great for her 46 years and does lots of energetic moves to compete with her dozen dancers . The poor backing band play second fiddle to all the giant video screens here ."Vogue"was stunning and you could not keep your eyes off Madonna as the show was lively and colourful. I was not keen on the war images on "American Life" or the cover of "Imagine". A couple of songs inc "Die Another Day " looked like she was miming them. Thankfully there a lot more hits tonight than on the previous tour and she finished the show with her hit from 1984 "Holiday "with confetti cannons covering the front rows .So yes 3 or 4 dodgy songs but overall a huge enjoyable event. 17 August 2004 Lou Reed,Hammersmith Apollo , London . One off UK show by Lou Reed and band. A remix of "Satelite Of Love" was just in the charts and Lou has another greatest hits cd out but tonight he opted for mainly lesser known material in the 2 hour set .Overall it was not as well balanced as last years Barbican show .The crowd got on its feet for the encores of "Satelite Of Love " "Perfect Day " and "Walk On The Wild Side" but he should have played a few more oldies . 14 August 2004 Dio ,Astoria ,London. Yet another totally sold out classic rock show at this venue. Dio do a superb 1 hour 45 mins set feat the best of his solo material mixed in with some Rainbow and Black Sabbath classics."Mob Rules " "Man On The Silver Mountain " "Long Live Rock n Roll" "Rock n Roll Children" "Holy Diver ""Last In Line" .Great encores of " Rainbow In The Dark" "We Rock " and a stunning " Neon Nights " . Ronnie James Dio is still one of rocks best vocalists i reckon. Excellent show. 12 August 2004 Trextasy ,Yacht Haven ,Cowes, Isle Of Wight .This was a great day out . During the day we watch all the sailing then it was a Red Arrows display then a massive outdoor crowd to see one of my fave tribute bands .Trextasy do an excellent mainly greatest hits 80 mins set that gets this crowd dancing .So many great Marc Bolan tunes.The singer is fantastic. 08 August 2004 Finn Brothers ,Open Air Theatre , Regents Park ,London. Wow what an amazing venue to watch a live band .In the summer it is the venue for Shakespeare but tonight this 1000 seater amphitheatre with trees and woodland around the stage and fake grass covering it makes a quite unique place for live rock n roll. A bit like a smaller version of the The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. This show was a special warm up to generate publicity for their new album and the Autumn UK tour which includes Hammersmith Apollo so there are loads of media guest list .Finn Brothers were in NZ bands Crowded House and Split Enz and played a few of their hits as well as the new album material .Plenty of on stage banter in the 1 hour 45 mins set and an enjoyable night. 04 August 2004 Chas And Dave ,Olympia Beer Festival ,London.The perfect combination really. A massive hall full of real ale beer drinkers and those cockney pub rockers Chas And Dave . They played their 3 Top 10 hit singles "Rabbit " "Snooker Loopy " and "Aint No Pleasing You " as well as others like "London Girls " "Margate" and "Gercha " .It was a good fun evening. 03 August 2004 Air ,Royal Festival Hall ,London. Sold out show from these French purveyors of dreamy ,hypnotic chill out tunes. Their last 2 albums have not done as well as their big album hit " Moon Safari" but the fans are still here. Best tunes " Cherry Blossom Girl " and Moon Safari hits " "Kelly Watch The Stars " and encore " Sexy Boy " were superb but some of the other songs were a bit too chilled .The 90 mins set was good but nothing special . 01 August 2004 Twisted Sister ,Astoria ,London. This was their first London show for 18 years (i was there at Hammersmith Odeon in 1986) .Not in their wildest dreams could they have hoped for such a great reception as they took the stage .Tonight the venue is a rammed full sold out sweaty rock n roll cesspit .The band all look very Spinal Tap as the big hair and dodgy outfits are visually all very 1980s .Dee Snider is very entertaining with his over the top vocals and corkscrew hair .A lot of the songs are pretty average rockers but they have a few catchy shouty gems like "The Kids Are Back" "We're Not Gonna Take It " and "I Am ( I'm Me) ".Tonight is being recorded for a live DVD and the band are keen to point out that the band include all 5 original members. The crowd loved it and it was great to see them back on stage in this country again.

August 27, 2004

Off to The Reading Festival so check back here Monday or Tuesday for a full review . Bring proper clothing as much rain is forecast . 26 August 2004 Madonna ,Wembley Arena ,London. This was her last London show of 6 and the touts are making a fortune .For the other 5 shows you could buy tickets outside for less than face value from desperate touts trying to offload. There was a great hot and humid last UK gig atmosphere tonight .This was my 4th Madonna show on this tour and with slightly different seats you get the show from different angles ."Vogue " must go down as one of the best openings to a concert ever .Madonna gets a bit emotional during her usual speech after " Papa Dont Preach " and the tears are flowing.Another great show. 25 August 2004 Les Gray Memorial Show, Hammersmith Apollo ,London.A near sell out for the lead singer of Mud who died recently. A massive glam rock event feat 8 acts doing 3 songs each .First up were The Tremeloes and Racey who were both average then The Ruebettes came on with their white suits and berets to brighten things up with "Juke Box Jive" and "Sugar Baby Love ". Dave Dee ,Dozy ,Beaky , Mick and Tich brought out the whip for "Zanadu " and " Bend It " and were good fun. After the interval the quality level upped a gear as Slade came on with Dave Hill and Don Powell but Noddy sadly refuses to play live anymore .They play "Cum On Feel The Noize " "Coz I Luv You " and the best song of the night " Merry Xmas Everybody " (no one cared it was the middle of August). Sweet have had 2 members die in recent years so just Andy Scott on guitar is here tonight but they play great versions of "Blockbuster" "Fox On The Run " and "Ballroom Blitz " for this they joined by Shane Richie .Les and his Bay City Rollers were rubbish .Suzi Quatro looked great but her band were messy as they stumble through " Can The Can " "If You Cant Give Me Love" and "Devil Gate Drive " .Finale had the 3 remaining members of Mud with members of all the bands tonight for a fitting version of " Tiger Feet " .A nostalgic fun evening was had by all .I saw many of these bands in their 1970s heyday inc Slade at Hammersmith Odeon so all these glam rockers all mean a lot to me. 23 August 2004 Madonna ,Wembley Arena ,London. Queen Of Pop moves her mega bucks production to Wembley Arena for 4 shows after last weeks 2 shows at Earls Court Arena .This was her first ever batch of shows indoors at Wembley as she was a regular at Wembley Stadium in her heyday. Another stunning show full of great songs and visually superb that made The Strokes ,The Pixies and all the other bands at the weekends V Festival look very average indeed. 22 August 2004 V Festival ,Chelmsford feat Strokes + Pixies + Black Rebel Motorcycle Club + Starsailor + Badly Drawn Boy +Snow Patrol + Thrills + Zutons + Stands . Spent the afternoon in the Virgin Radio tent with free cocktails and BBQ and sand pit complete with deck chairs .Nice one.Saw a host of bands playing 3 of their best songs for the radio to this small invite only crowd of about 300.First it was Badly Drawn Boy The Thrills , The Zutons ,The Stands ,Snow Patrol ( They went down the best and "Run "was stunning ),Starsailor .Black Rebel Mootorcycle Club did a good rocking set on the second stage then easily the highlight of the festival the return of The Pixies whose Brixton shows were the hottest tickets so far this year.A really good 70 mins set feat "Where Is My Mind" "Here Comes Your Man ""Monkey Gone To Heaven " "Debaser" and "Gigantic" .The Strokes are not really worthy enough to headline big outdoor events like this but they did a good set of all their best stuff with a cover of The Clash "Clampdown" ,the singer still has pretty blurry vocals though. Overall a much better day than yesterday and no rain either day .Bring on Reading. 21 August 2004 V Festival ,Chelmsford feat Muse + Dido + Charlatans + Embrace . As per normal got parked up a couple of hours later than expected . Charlatans did a good hour of greatest hits but are stuck in the Ash area of always turning up at festivals halfway down the bill. Got into Virgin Radio tent for some free booze and watched Embrace do a good 3 song set .Dido is the girl next door who just happens to have sold millions of albums ."White Flag" and a couple of others were good but the rest just all sounded pretty forgettable. Muse had a proper light show for their 80 mins set and were nice and rocky but the singers Thom Yorke style vocals started to grate after a while. A good day but nothing really special.