Archive: December 2005

December 09, 2005

08 December 2005. Mercury Rev live at Shepherds Bush Empire , London. One off UK show for MR at the end of their European Tour to support latest album" The Secret Migration" . From the start its all very art rock with floaty images on the big screen behind them. The singer looks like he has taken a bunch of happy pills as he smiles lots. Grand arm gestures also feature to every song. Starts off great with " Secret For A Song" and the songs still have the feel of a grand movie soundtrack. Stunning encores of " Little Rhymes" and the perfect " The Dark Is Rising" .Good show ............ 06 December 2005. Slaughter And The Dogs live at The Camden Underworld ,London.Mancunian punk rock legends back for a long overdue London club show. I first saw them nearly 30 years ago when punk rock first kicked off .They still have two original members (Wayne Barrett on vocals and Mick Rossi on guitar) .Great tunes like " Who Are The Mystery Girls" ,"You're A Bore" , "Hell In New York" ,"Boston Babies","I'm Mad" and the mega "Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone" .Stunning encore of " Cranked Up Really High" . Onstage for only 52 minutes but it was pure quality. Glen Matlock(Sex Pistols),Tony James (Gen X ),and Tony Barber(Buzzcocks) all attended this show.... 05 December 2005. Paul Weller live at Alexandra Palace, London. Some 30 years in and still going strong. In Feb 2006 Paul Weller will get the "Outstanding Contribution" award at this years BRIT awards .Tonight was a long set lasting some 2 hours 15 mins which was a bit too long really. The best songs were " From The Floorboards Up" , " Wild Wood" ," You Do Something To Me " and a stunning " Thats Enterainment" ." Broken Stones" and " Changingman" were also really good. For the encore Tim Burgess stumbled on and sang with PW on piano but the tune was just plain boring . " Shout To The Top" and " Town Called Malice " were great but the show was not as good as his Hammersmith Apollo shows earlier in the year.... 04 December 2005. Robert Plant And The Strange Sensation live at Hammersmith Palais, London. After shows at Royal Albert Hall , V Festval and Scala this was the fourth time this year i have seen this Led Zep legend play during his world tour to support the " Mighty Rearranger " album. All the shows had a few Led Zep classics mixed in with the new album which grows on you after a few plays. Led Zeps " Black Dog" and " Going To California " were superb. A very trippy cover of " Hey Joe " was cool. Stunning encore of " Whole Lotta Love " finished the 95 mins set. Robert still has that great voice and he continues to do his own thing with his own band rather than take the Led Zep reunion path so respect is due................. 03 December 2005 .Sensational Alex Harvey Band live at The Mean Fiddler, London. Massive in the 1970s SAHB still going strong with four original members although sadly the singer died some 20 years ago. All those great songs are still here "Faithealer " ,"Next " , " Framed" ,"Give My Compliments To The Chef" ," Gang Bang" and mega encores of "Boston Tea Party" ,"Delilah " and " Vambo" . Really good show even though the singer rambled on at times and it lacked the raw sweatiness of last years Underworld show. See aftershow page for this show........ 02 December 2005. Stranglers live at Shepherds Bush Empire , London. This gig was a must for Stranglers fans as it featured a unique acoustic set then a Stranglers film , an electic set and it would all be recorded for a future DVD release as well. Venue is sold out.The 30 mins acoustic set was decent enough then a 20 mins film called "Norfolk Coast " starring JJ Burnel was a bit weird.Stranglers did a good 80 mins elecric set but there were a few too many plodding tunes . Best were "Peaches" ,"Always The Sun" ,"Walk On By" a fantastic " Duchess " and last song " No More Heroes " was mega. It seemed a fairly average show or what is the fact the night before i witnessed that amazing Prodigy show that could make any band look average................ 01 December 2005. Prodigy + DJs live at The Brixton Academy, London.Its been a few years since i saw Prodigy indoors as they seem to be playing festivals every summer these days. This was the first of 5 sell out shows at Brixton as part of the UK tour to support "Their Law - The Singles 1990-2005" album. The djs do a great job of winding the crowd up with some spot on tunes. For 90 mins its pure mayhem as Prodigy deliver a stunning 90 mins set to a totally up for it crowd.From the start Keith and Maxim are at the front of the stage and in the front rows.The assault of the bass and drums when they kick in just totally rocks harder than most metal bands. "Firestarter" and " Wake The Fuck Up" knock you for six as did " Voodoo People" .The encore featured a mad " Smack My Bitch Up " with massive multi colour lights a blazing. Superb show. See aftershow page for this show.......... 30 November 2005 .Franz Ferdinand + Editors live at Alexandra Palce , London. This was the first of an impressive four nights by FF at this 7,000 punters a night venue . Up first The Editors do a good set and go down well with the crowd. FF are promoting their second album" You Could Have Had It All So Much Better". The band look sharp and play super tight as they have been playing arenas all over Europe the last month. From the start its really good "This Boy" , "Come On Home" and " Do You Want To " are all great punchy pop tunes. The three giant video screens are used to great effect as they project a mix of black and white gig footage with band videos. " Matinee " and " Take Me Out" were both mega. New single " Walk Away " is excellent. " Michael" " Jacqueline" and last song " This Fire " rocked. 80 mins of quality material ............. 29 November 2005. "Hard Rock Treasures" DVD Launch at The Hard Rock Cafe, London. Invite only bash for 100 people to promote this great just released DVD which features lots of classic rock clips and footage of the stars in their homes. Lots of big names here like Bruce Dickenson , Adrian Smith and Janick Gers all from Iron Maiden , Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, Ian Paice from Deep Purple ,Huey from Fun Loving Criminals and members of The Quireboys. Lots of free booze and food for a couple of hours. A massive cheque was presented to former Maiden drummer Clive Burr who accepted in his wheelchair. An impressive collection of rockers just for a DVD release. Bruce Dickenson as always was keen to talk about being a pilot. He now flies 757s when not working with Maiden and his company have new routes to South Africa and that is where he is flying to at the weekend.Amazing how he can be a rocker and a fully qualified commercial pilot..... Of the 200 live music events i was at in 2004 the return of Canadian rockers Rush to play their first shows in the UK for over 10 years was easily one of the highlights. 28 Nov 2005 sees the 2 DVD release of RUSH - R30 which celebrates their 30th anniversary world tour . Disc 1 has the Frankfurt show from Sept 2004 .Over 2 hours of Rush in full flight and Disc 2 is full of rarities including 1970s footage and interviews. A must buy for any rock fan.......... 28 November 2005. 51st Evening Standard Theatre Awards , Savoy Hotel ,The Strand, London. This is more like it . Five star plushness . Just 300 people here on 30 tables of 10. Noon to 5pm. Respected annual awards from this London newspaper . Champagne reception then a superb 3 course meal with drinks .Ten awards are given out with the highlight being Elton John and cast are here to pick up Best Musical for Billy Elliot. Hosted by Ned Sherrin others here inc Alan Rickman,Felicity Kendal, Joseph Fiennes, Sinead Cussack, Alison Steadman, Gillian Anderson, Damian Lewis ,Stephen Daldrey and David Furnish .More champagne after. Quality event in this fantastic venue........... 26 November 2005. Damned + Wreckless Eric live at The Kentish Town Forum, London. Great to see original Stiff recording artist Wreckless Eric on stage again but his material is less than average and the crowd soon gets bored with him. His last song " Whole Wide World " was fab with Captain Sensible joining him on the drums. The Damned did a real return to form 85 mins set. Original members Dave and Captain are still here and the crowd are jumping around front of stage "Noise,Noise,Noise" ,"Neat Neat Neat " ,"Eloise", "Smash It Up" ," Love Song" were all superb and the newer material was good as well. For the encore Captain was dressed in a two piece tutu as he sneaked in " Happy Talk" and the band finished with a wild " New Rose" .Great stuff........ 23 November 2005. Blondie live at The Royal Albert Hall ,London. Another month long UK tour by Blondie who are flogging yet another best of "Sight And Sound" and celebrating 30 years as a band .They still include four original members. Deborah Harry stills looks great for her age and is wearing a short skirt. Her age is now 60. "Dreaming " and "Hanging On The Telephone " are both superb and Clem Burkes drumming is stunning. They play a few newer songs which are good but its clear this crowd want the hits." Maria" and the gentle reggae of "The Tide Is High" are very good. The tempo is upped for the second half of the show with " Picture This" ,"Call Me" and the disco rap of"Rapture"and a rocktastic " One Way Or Another" .Superb encores of "Atomic" and "Heart Of Glass " . A really good show but i think they are better suited to smaller venues like Shepherds Bush Empire. See aftershow page for this gig...... 21 November 2005. Status Quo live at Fairfield Hall , Croydon. When Quo play the giant tent that is Wembley Arena Pavillion on 17 Dec i will be at The Foo Fighters at Earls Court so it seemed much better to venture into outer South London to see them in a much smaller venue like The Fairfield Hall. All are up from the start and we end up with an amazing view a couple of rows from the stage. Quo are in the middle of their annual six week UK winter tour .A lot of the crowd seem to be of senior persons bus pass age but Quo appeal to all generations as a great good time party band . The band are having a laugh and that reaches the crowd. Loads of classics like " Caroline" , "Rain" then a few from their last two albums " Heavy Traffic" and "The Party Aint Over" . More hits like "Roll Over Lay Down", "Whatever You Want" and of course " Rocking All Over The World" .Encore of a couple of rock n roll covers .1 hour 40 mins of enjoyable good time entertainment ............ 20 November 2005 .Antony And The Johnsons live at St Lukes Church ,Old Street,London EC1. This was an invite only show for 400 comp winners and BBC guests to be shown on BBC TV in a couple of weeks. What a beautiful building this is . It is a church on the outside but its been gutted inside and fully modernised into a venue that the BBC use for classical concerts by LSO so there are tables and chairs everywhere and a dozen mirror balls hanging from the ceiling. Antony of course is hot property after winning the Mercury Prize album award a couple of months ago . The 80 mins set was based on his album and a couple of covers by Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed. His voice of course is remarkable and unique and he also plays a mean piano.Great to see Marc Almond back on stage to sing "River Of Sorrow" which will appear on Marcs new album. Another great event put on by auntie beeb . Antonys UK tour includes 2 sell out shows at The Shepherds Bush Empire in December............