Archive: March 2005

March 08, 2005

07 March 2005 .Kaiser Chiefs , HMV In Store , London. Another one of these wristband only gigs after the shop has closed. Even when i saw Kaiser Chiefs at last years Reading Festival in a tiny tent playing to 100 people i knew they would be massive . Anyway here we are on the day their album "Employment " has come out to great reviews everywhere. They play a stunning 6 song 25 mins set which includes "Oh My God " and "I Predict A Riot" .Even though its only an in store the sound is fantastic indie pop rock. Over the next 12 months i can see this album selling a million copies and the band collecting BRIT and NME Awards in Feb 2006 for sure .... 05 March 2005 . Erasure + Client , Hammersmith Apollo , London. Client did 30 mins of 80s electro pop boredom. Erasure have been pretty quiet recently after dodgy reviews of their last couple of albums but tonight it is sold out . Erasure were massive in the early 90s and on their UK tour of 1992 they played 15 nights yes 15 shows at this venue. Singer Andy Bell last year admitted he had AIDS . Their loyal gay following seems to be 50% of the crowd here tonight. Andy of course is OTT when it comes to his 4 or 5 stage outfits which started with white angel wings with white lurex trousers to the smallest pair of sparkly hotpants that were straight out of a sketch from Little Britains : Only Gay In The Village. From start to finish it was camp disco pop . Some good tunes like " Ship Of Fools " , "Oh L'amour", "Blue Savannah " , "We'll Be Together Again " and great versions of "A Little Respect " and encore "Sometimes" A good show that the crowd loved but i just felt there was too many pretty average songs as well ...... This Rod " will he turn up or not " Stewart at The Ronnie Wood event has taken another twist as a good pal of mine has been speaking to keyboard player Ian McLagan who has said Rod is NOT doing anything for the show . Although he has not been confirmed as yet it seems certain to me that Rod Stewart will be turning up for a long overdue Faces reunion on Mar 13 at The Drury Lane Theatre . Rod is currently in London and he has no live shows booked until the week after The Ronnie Wood And Friends gig...... Looks like the smaller shows at Hyde Park will be coming back again this summer after a year away as Queen and Keane are soon to announce shows there........ Lenny Kravitz will be playing Hammersmith Apollo on 21 July .......Towers Of London great debut single " On A Noose" finally comes out on Monday 7 March ..... Dressed To Kill the Number One KISS Tribute Band play Walthamstow Standard on Friday 11 March ...... Megadeth have been added to the Download Festival for June 10 . They have confirmed this will be their last ever UK show as they will be splitting up after their USA summer tour..... 28 Feb 2005 .The Bravery , HMV In Store Show , Oxford Street ,London. This was a free show for a few hundred fans to promote their second (and soon to be hit) single "An Honest Mistake ". This New York band were one of my hot tips for 2005 and everything is looking great for them with the album sure to do well when it comes out soon. They open with brilliant first single "Unconditional" and of course play the new single in the short but sweet 6 song 25 mins set. The band all got into it by jumping into the front rows of fans .With tunes based on catchy bass and synth riffs they will be massive..... 26 Feb 2005 . Crosby And Nash , Royal Festival Hall, London.The last time they played this venue was 32 years ago they said on stage. For once most of the crowd are older than me . They were on stage for nearly 3 hours spread over 2 sets . David Crosby back in the day was a bit of a crazed hippy and tonight there were loads of on stage banter regards his blurred past of girls , drugs ,booze and guns.The set was a bit too laid back at times but the great vocal harmonies are all still intact.Golden oldies " Marrakesh Express " and " Guinnevere " go down a treat . They slip in a few tracks from their new album out on Sanctuary Records . For the first of three encores they play a superb old fave " Our House " as the crowd run down the front and they finish in style . Both band and crowd are delighted how the show went .... 25 Feb 2005 . MC5-DKT + Sun Ra Arkestra , Royal Festival Hall , London. One of Sun Ras albums was recently voted the second " maddest " of all time by MOJO mag. Sun Ra are a Funkadelic type dozen black fellas in shiny capes and headwear who play an hour of cosmic jazz with just six tunes lasting ten mins each . Pretty mad it was too. Gilby Clarke from Guns And Roses is on stage the whole time for the MC5 set. MC5 have lost their lead singer Rob Tyner(dead) so now they get a few guest vocalists each time they tour .First up is Handsome Dick from The Dictators (another similar band from the 1970s ) who sings the vocals for the first 45 mins inc " Sister Anne " and " Kick Out The Jams" .Then the next 30 mins its the female singer from Bassment Jaxx who lends her big voice to this Detriot garage rock . For the finale they are joined by David Thomas (Pere Ubu) and Sun Ra for a mad ten minutes where there are 20 people on stage .A good gig . After, all MC5 and guests sign autographs in the foyer bar which was a nice touch ..... 24 Feb 2005 . Killing Joke , Shepherds Bush Empire , London . Pretty amazing this lot are still going . I saw them playing with Joy Division around 25 years ago . Singer Jaz Coleman still looks as crazy as ever as he walks on stage in devil red face paint carrying a giant cross .Their sound is still heavy and intense but a bit thrashy for me . Some great tunes like " War Dance" , " The Pandys Are Coming" "Empire Song " and "Asteriod " that all feat lots of wild hard drumming . A good show but not one that really excited me to be honest. 23 Feb 2005 .U-Turn Launch Party , Shoreditch Town Hall , London. A charity event for homeless and prostitutes in the East End .The acts who did 3 or 4 songs each inc Martha Wainwright ,Black Madonnas, Ed Harcourt , Black Rider and Sarah Jane Morris but they all were all just background music as most here were more interested in knocking back the free booze and food and chatting to bother with what was going down on the stage .Will Young was here and our chums from BBC TV comedy The Mighty Booosh Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett are here.A good bash though but not really if you were an act ..... 22 Feb 2005 .Comic Aid ,Hammersmith Apollo , London. A massive event feat over 20 of the top comedy acts in the country all doing 7 or 8 mins each .Shown on BBC TV on Sat 26 Feb .Some top acts like Eddie Izzard , Jack Dee , Julian Clary, Dawn French ,Derren Brown , Alistair MaGowan , Jo Brand , Lily Savage etc but the night belonged to Johnny Vegas and his pissed up aggressive comedy act and Lee Evans who came to the venue straight from his hit show The Producers..... 21 Feb 2005 .Wild ,Cirque-Hippodrome ,London. Wild are a new act in the classical pop area . This was their first ever show for the public. Five lovely looking girls from London and Belgrade in short skirts so think Girls Aloud with violins and pianos . They have a band with them to give it a nice dance feel . A decent 70 mins set but not my cup of tea really but all our mainland Euro friends love this stuff . Mel Bush is promoting them and he has done ok with Bond and Vanessa Mae so you will hear more about them in a couple of months when their debut album comes out . We are upstairs in a big press area for 200 where they were dishing out the free booze and food all night ..... 19 Feb 2005 .REM ,Hammersmith Apollo ,London. REM are on a huge year long world tour and this was a small London show to help publicise the open air UK summer shows which include a massive London show at Hyde Park on July 9. The first 30 mins of the two hour show was lesser known material then it was a mainly greatest hits set inc " Everybody Hurts ", "Orange Crush ", " The One I Love " , " Whats The Frequency Kenneth " and a superb " Man On The Moon " .Micheal Stipe is always a great front man and Peter Bucks guitar always rocks ...... 18 Feb 2005 .Nazareth , Ashcroft Theatre , Croydon. A crap Friday afternoon drive through South London but these 1970s Scottish rock legends are worth it . The venue is half empty but Dan still has that great voice and play old classics like " My White Bicycle " , "This Flight Tonight " ," Hair Of The Dog " , "Love Hurts " and " Broken Down Angel " .Great stuff..... 17 Feb 2005 . NME Awards , Hammersmith Palais , London. After the mainstream BRIT Awards last week its the turn of NME Awards which always has the best of all the new bands . There are 50 tables of 10 here with 100 more standing . Food and drink for all as well . All of the cool new bands are here like Bravery , Kaiser Cheifs , Bloc Party , Ordinary Boys and many more along with some older acts like Oasis and New Order and even Paul McCartney is here . New Order win Godlike Genuis Award and play four songs at the end inc " Love Will Tear Us Apart " and " Blue Monday " .An excellent event as usual .....

March 31, 2005

30 March 2005. Garbage , The Scala , London. Garbage return after a couple of years away to promote their fourth album " Bleed Like Me " . Considering this is only the second date on the world tour the band sound fantastic even if singer Shirley messed up the lyrics to a couple of the songs.You kinda forget they have written great tunes like " Stupid Girl " , "Only Happy When It Rains" and "When I Grow Up" which were all played tonight.New single "Why Do You Love Me " went down well as did encores "Cherry Lips " and another newie " Sex Is Not The Enemy". A really good gig and see aftershow page ..... 29 March 2005. Finn Brothers , Royal Albert Hall ,London. An impressive 3 nights at this venue for these brothers from New Zealand whose history includes being in Split Enz and Crowded House .Just a couple of days before this show the original drummer from Crowded House committed suicide so they kindly dedicated the show to him. They have lots of acoustic based songs that tick along nicely with the best in the main set being "Anything Can Happen" and " Natural " and their great between song fun banter on stage really keeps the crowd happy .The encore was the highlight where they played "Sister Madly " "Dont Dream Its Over " ,"Fall At Your Feet", Led Zeps " Whole Lotta Love " ,"Gentle Hum " and ending with their massive worldwide hit "Weather With You " .Good show...... 28 March 2005 .Queen With Paul Rodgers , Brixton Academy , London.This was a hot ticket a month ago but tonight so many people had spares you could have got a 55 ticket for only 10 outside. Queens timeless songs are as popular as ever . Their stage musical " We Will Rock You " has now gone past the 1000 shows done and bearing in mind that is at the large Dominion Theatre that is quite amazing.Queen have not played a tour together for at least 10 years . They were the first ever band that i saw in 1973 at Hammersmith Odeon when they supported Mott The Hoople so i am one of the lucky ones that saw Queen with Freddie more than a few times in their career. Of course Freddie Mercury is impossible to replace.Paul Rodgers seemed a surprise choice but his solo career has not done anything for 10 years so he has the time on his hands to do it.The set lasted two hours but Paul Rodgers was only on stage for half the time as Brian May and Roger Taylor sung a few songs and although Brian Mays guitar sound is still superb i am not sure why he included such a long guitar solo tonight when there were so many classic Queen songs left off the setlist tonight. Highlights included a brilliant " Hammer To Fall " ." Radio Ga Ga " sung by Roger was great. Paul Rodgers sang Bad Co " Cant Get Enough Of Your Love " . " Its A Kinda Magic " was great. For Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie appears on video screen to sing the first half of the song which was very moving and worked great before the band rocked out the second half of the song. Finale of " The Show Must Go On " .All the encores were fab Bad Co " Feel Like Making Love ", Free " All Right Now " and of course "We Will Rock You " and "We Are The Champions" . It was a great night but it could have been better. Overall i feel Paul Rodgers did not put enough effort into the Queen songs and he will really have to shift up a couple of gears for when they play the big summer show in Hyde Park in July or maybe they may get in a couple of extra guest vocalists in for that one...... 25 March 2005 . Stiff Little Fingers + Suffrajets, Kentish Town Forum , London. Nice to see an all girl band rocking away as the support act . SLF seem to be touring every six months these days .They did a 90 mins set full of brilliant songs .Opening with " Nobodys Heroes" and then other goodies like " Barbed Wire Love " , "Strummerville" ,"Fly The Flag" , "Wasted Life " ,"Tin Soldiers " .Great encores of " Guitar And Drum" and " Aternative Ulster " . Plenty of jumping around down front although there were a couple of twats spitting which got the security wound up as well .Good gig. See aftershow page for aftershow stuff..... Couple of big rumours about like Clear Channel Ents have put in a bid to buy The Mean Fiddler Group . Considering they are both the Coca Cola and Pepsi of the live music scene that is a good one to keep an eye on..... Looks like Bruce Springsteen will be playing a couple of solo shows at The Royal Albert Hall at the end of May.... 24 March 2005 .Tony Hadley And Martin Fry , Hexagon , Reading . A great double bill of two singers who were very popular in the 1980s . With a big band behind them they sung on their own and together for over two hours. However to pad the set out half the songs were cover songs and they left out a lot of their own hits . We had only 9 Spandau / ABC tunes in a 20 plus song setlist but there were some great tunes. "Tears Are Not Enough" , " True" , "Through The Barricades" , " Poison Arrow " .The highlight of the show were three songs on the bounce by Martin Fry "All Of My Heart " ," When Smokey Sings" , " Look Of Love " . Tony Hadley sung " Instinction" and " Gold " and all the middle aged women here swooned . A good night but they should play more original material before their extensive UK tour hits The Royal Albert Hall on 12 April..... 23 March 2005 . Dave Goodman - A Life In Music , 100 Club , London. For The Sex Pistols community this was a great loss . Dave died last month . He recorded loads of great Sex Pistols demos before the band signed to EMI and recorded with Chris Thomas. A really good turn out and a few punk band members here like Steve Diggle and Tony Barber (Buzzcocks ) , Captain Sensible (Damned) , Glen Matlock ( Sex Pistols ) , Poly Styrene (X Ray Spex ) and a few others from back in the day inc Sex Pistols roadies and Ron Watts who was 100 Club promoter in 1976 for the famous Punk Rock Festival .Dave would have loved it ... Up north for 3 days for Judas Priest /Scorpions.. 21 March 2005 . Judas Priest + Scorpions , Manchester Apollo , Manchester . Incredibly this was the first time i had been to this historic bastion of live music in Manchester . Smaller than Hammersmith Apollo but larger than Bush Empire or Astoria .Holds about 3000 .Great venue. Scorpions again go down great and tonight encore is " Still Loving You " and "Rock You Like A Hurricane" . Judas Priest set is the same every night and is very well rehearsed . Sure some of it is heavy metal panto but its still great. Their very loud wall of sound is awesome..... 19 March 2005 . Judas Priest + Scorpions , NEC Arena , Birmingham .Just like Hammersmith everyone is here early to catch all of the great Scorpions set .Encore was " Dynamite " and "Rock You Like A Hurricane" .I had to be at this homecoming show for Judas Priest . The venue is twice the size of Hammersmith Apollo and the sound is loud distorted guitar metal heaven . Tonight they use explosions , flames and video screens that are not used in smaller venues on the tour .Excellent stuff...... 16+17 March 2005 . Judas Priest + Scorpions , Hammersmith Apollo ,London. I must admit i was really looking forward to this great double bill of classic rock.German rockers Scorpions played a great 60 mins set and it was neat they changed the set by 2 or 3 songs each night .Classics like "Blackout" ,"Big City Nights " and " Rock You Like A Hurricane" were superb and on the first show we got "Bad Boys Running Wild" and "Still Loving You " which were swopped for "Wind Of Change" and " Dynamite " the following night . Judas Priest are reunited with singer for their first UK shows for over 10 years.Judas Priest played a two hour show .Singer Rob Halford is wearing a long black leather coat with chains on which is suitably Spinal Tap .The sound is very loud and Rob sometimes has to yell rather than sing . A few songs off the new album " Angel Of Retribution " were pretty good .It is 25 years since they released their classic album " British Steel" so it was great to hear "Metal Gods " and " Breaking The Law " from that album. A nice big stage production with loads of lights , backdrops and staircases.The Harley Davidson was brought out for encore " Hell Bent For Leather" .A stunning " Living After Midnight " and " You Got Another Thing Coming " .As expected a great night of three hours by two of the best classic rock bands around...... 15 March 2005 .Dizzee Rascal + Tony Allen ,Royal Festival Hall , London. Support from Nigeria was surprisingly pretty boring stuff . Seeing top UK rapper Dizzee in the all seated RFH makes for a very interesting show . Of course as soon as he comes on the crowd all stand up . Just Dizzee with a rapper chum and a DJ on the decks makes it a sparse stage visually . Dizzee did a 70 mins set taken from both his albums . His style is certainly fast but i prefer the lyrics of Roots Manuva .He was hard to follow at times so a good but not great show . Damon the singer from Blur was here but sadly did not join Dizzee for any of the show..... Just been to four good shows on the bounce ..... 13 March 2005 .Ronnie Wood And Friends , Drury Lane Theatre , London. A one off show that sold out in a day from this Rolling Stones guitarist. This lovely theatre was covered in the drawings and paintings of Ronnie Wood for all to see. His band involved a rotation of a dozen or so people on the night like old muckers Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan ,the guitarist from The Charlatans , Leah Wood , percussionist Ray Cooper and the current Rolling Stones bassist . The first few songs had shared vocals with Ronnie and Rolling Stones backing vocalist Bernard Fowler .Then the guest vocalists appeared Andrea Corr did a couple of songs then Beverly Knight did a couple but the highlight was when Mick Jagger turned up for one song as the place erupted. The encore was a great " Stay With Me " .The sound was fantastic. Some of the crowd felt a bit miffed as the set only lasted 85 mins and rumoured guests like Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck did not turn up but overall it was very enjoyable and Ronnie Wood was in great form..... 12 March 2005 . Mercury Rev + Duke Spirit , Hammersmith Apollo , London. The support band were pretty crap to be honest. A big London show for these New Yorkers to support the recent "Secret Migration " album. A fairly static band on stage it was a good idea to have a giant screen showing filmed images. Dreamy psychedelia is their chosen style but too many of the songs sounded the same . Best tunes came from their great 2001 album " All Is Dream " .Best tunes of the night were the encores of " Spiders And Flies" , " Goddess On A Hiway" and the incredible " The Dark Is Rising" . So a good show but not enough special bits..... 11 March 2005 . Paul Weller , Hammersmith Apollo, London. Another sold out UK tour for the Modfather and his last night of three shows at this venue .I have never seen so many people in the upstairs bar getting boozed up . A brilliant setlist spanning his entire career .Stunning versions of Jam classics " Thats Entertainment " and " Town Called Malice " . Style Councils "My Ever Changing Moods " and "Shout To The Top" and great PW solo stuff like "Wild Wood " (complete with disco mirror balls ), "You Do Something To Me ","The Changingman" , and encore " Broken Stones" . All in all a great show and much better than all the Royal Albert Hall shows i have seen in recent years..... 10 March 2005 .What a great evening if you are a big fan of punk legends The Buzzcocks like i am . 8pm.Steve Diggle Band , Metro Club , London. Buzzcocks guitarist plays a launch party for his new album out next week on EMI "Serious Contender" with a 45 mins set before he rushes over to Camden to play with The Buzzcocks. His own set started with " Harmony In My Head " a Buzzcocks classic which was followed by most of the tracks on the album . A dash for all down to the Electric Ballroom for the 10.30pm show for the Camden Crawl event where The Buzzcocks were special surprise guests and they did a stunning 45 mins of greatest hits Boredom, Fast Cars, I Dont Mind, Love Battery , Autonomy , Harmony In My Head and others before the superb finale of " Orgasm Addict " and " Ever Fallen In Love " . Nice to see this packed younger crowd really enjoying it as opposed to Buzzcocks normal older crowd.... Check back this week for reviews of Judas Priest with Scorpions shows at Hammersmith Apollo which will be fantastic .....