Archive: January 2006

January 03, 2006

Well here it is my top 20 shows in 2005 out of the 200 events i attended in another great year which takes my gig total to 4479 since 1973...... 1.Live 8 Concert At Hyde Park on July 02 with Paul McCartney ,Pink Floyd,Who,Robbie etc ....... 2.Live 8 Rehearsals at Hyde Park on July 01 with Pink Floyd ,Madonna , Sting ,Paul McCartney ..... 3.U2 At Croke Park ,Dublin on June 27 .This was the final show of three massive hometown shows... 4.Black Sabbath At Aylesbury Civic Hall on June 6 Download Festival warm up show for only 800.... 5.Iron Maiden live at Hammersmith Apollo on Sept 2 . Back in the venue they loved in the 1980s.... 6.Foo Fighters at Earls Court Arena on Dec 17.... 7.Prodigy at Brixton Academy on Dec 01........... 8.Billy Idol at Brixton Academy on Nov 11........ 9.Rammstein at Brixton Academy on Feb 03......... 10.Iggy Pop And The Stooges at Ham Apollo Aug 30. 11.Kylie Minogue at Earls Court Arena May 4...... 12.Franz Ferdinand + Kaiser Chiefs RAH Apr 4..... 13.Judas Priest + Scorpions ,Birmingham NEC Mar19 ....14.REM at Hammersmith Apollo on Feb 19..... 15.Cream at Royal Albert Hall on May 03.......... 16.Duran Duran at Hammersmith Palais Jan 13...... 17.Motley Crue + Killing Joke at Manchester MEN Arena on June 15........ 18.Paul McCartney Solo at Abbey Road July 29.... 19.Deep Purple at Hard Rock Cafe on Oct 10...... 20.Brian Wilson live at Hampton Court Palace on june 22.......... I was at most of the UK music awards (BRITS ,NME, MOJO, Ivor Norvello ,Classic Rock , Kerrang, Q , Metal Hammer ,UK Hall Of Fame ) and some of the best festivals like V Fest and Reading.......... Some of the best bands i saw 2 or 3 times U2 at Dublin , Manchester and Twickenham ....Oasis (3) ....Cream (all 4 RAH shows) ....Foo Fighters (3) ....Green Day (2 Ham Apollo) ....New Order (3)... Judas Priest /Scorpions (4 London ,Birmingham, Manchester)....Queen with Paul Rodgers (3).... Kaiser Chiefs(3)....Manic Street Preachers (2)... Stranglers(3)....Glen Matlock And The Philistines (3)....Bruce Springsteen Solo(Both RAH shows).... Billy Idol(2) ....Prodigy (2)....Iron Maiden(2).. Black Sabbath (2) ....Paul Weller(3) ....Coldplay (2)....Rod Stewart (3) ....Robert Plant And The Strange Sensation (4) RAH, Scala ,V Festival and Hammersmith Palais...... 22 December 2005. Duran Duran live at Earls Court Arena , London. Back again to see DD. About 4000 empty seats out of 16000 tonight but DD still perform another great show.The crowd is not as wild as last night but Simon Le Bon is on top form .Yesterday my review stated that their version of John Lennons " Instant Karma" was terrible and guess what?? they did not play it tonight.I have met keyboard player Nick Rhodes at stuff a couple of times and told him about the site so perhaps he saw the review on raysgigs.com and told the boys .I doubt it but you never know. Loads of great pop rock songs we all love. Duran were really good again tonight....... 21 December 2005. Duran Duran + Orson live at Earls Court Arena ,London. It amazes me how an unknown band can get a big support gig like this. Their manager must know the right people. Shame then that support Orson are pretty much crap. Duran Duran back again with all five original members. Starts off great with " Friends Of Mine " , " Planet Earth" , "The Union Of The Snake" and " The Reflex" . The band all look great but there are 3 or 4 rubbish tunes like " Point Of No Return " and a dreadful cover of John Lennons " Instant Karma" . Simon Le Bon is having trouble reaching some of the high notes and he forgets the lyrics a couple of times. For some reason another band playing this huge venue but there are no giant screens to show the band only film images."Ordinary World " , " Skin Trade" ,"Notorious" , " Save A Prayer" ,and " Sunrise " were all good but real highlights were " Girls On Film " and " Rio" . Encores of " View To A Kill " and " Wild Boys " complete with fire cannons were an excellent finish to a set that lasted just over 2 hours. Very good but not as good as those mega Wembley Arena shows 18 months ago............... 20 December 2005. Rod Stewart live at Earls Court Arena ,London.This was Rods 4th show here at this venue and the 3rd time i had seen it.As it was the extra show there were 2000 unsold seats out of the 16,000 available.Rod came on a bit earlier but it was pretty much the same show as i reviewed last week.Rod is a bit middle of the road compared to those great shows i saw in the late 1970s at Kensington Olympia but there is still plenty of great songs " Youre In My Heart" ," Sailing " ," Maggie May" etc so a good night was had by all............ 17/18 December 2005. Foo Fighters + Supergrass live at Earls Court Arena ,London.I went to both these fantastic shows by Foo Fighters.Supergrass supported on the second night but even though they played lots of good tunes like "Moving" , "Grace" ,"Sun Hits The Sky" ,"Caught By The Fuzz"and a lively " Pumping On Your Stereo" they only get mild applause from the crowd. The Foo Fighters are one of those bands that always do great shows whatever the venue. Dave Grohl has that great stage personality that the likes of Kelly Jones would die for . The kids love him. He really does get the crowd going So many great songs in the 1 hour 40mins set like "My Hero" , "Best Of You" ," Learn To Fly" , "Times Like These" ," One By One" , "Stacked Actors" ,"Generator" and a stunning " Breakout" .As promised its a full monty stage production with lasers and big screens .The only difference between shows was Dave Grohl did a song in the middle of the arena by the mixing desk on the first night but did not do it the second night." Monkey Wrench " was mental. Encore featured Dave playing drums and a brilliant " All My Life" .Yep the Foos are one of the best live rock bands in the world right now............ 17 December 2005 . Fatboy Slim live at Brixton Academy ,London .After Foo Fighters i went over to this midnight show by this dj superstar.I did not go to Glastonbury Festival this year but i watched the BBC TV footage and of all the acts on Fatboy Slim was the one that impressed me most so i had to see him live even though he is " just a dj ".Arriving at the venue its fair to say a lot of the crowd were " off their tits" .Like the Glasto set we get one of the most dazzling light and film shows i have seen this year as Fatboy is 20 feet up in the air surrounded by this visual treat . He was up there for 2 hours 30 mins playing mashed up versions of his own stuff and others. "Rockafeller Skank" , "Billie Jean" , " Sunshine Of Your Love" , "Seven Nation Army " and " Praise You" etc . For the last 20 mins about 50 of his chums danced on the stage including his wife Zoe Ball who had come straight from the " Come Dancing " final. Very entertaining evening i must say ........... 16 December 2005. Stereophonics + Subways live at Alexandra Palace, London. It amazes me how big The Stereophonics are as a live band .A UK tour only 3 months ago included 3 sell out Ham Apollo shows and they are back again with a short tour which included 2 nights at this large venue. Up first though are young trio The Subways who play a decent short set finishing with their brilliant single " Rock And Roll Queen" .Their foxy female bass player is yummy. I never caught them at Ham Apollo as The Stereophonics are a bit samey once you have seen them a couple of times. Kelly Jones voice gets on your nerves and he looks pretty bored on stage tonight. There are some good tunes like "Mr Writer" , " Bartender And The Thief" , " Maybe Tomorrow" , "Local Boy In The Photograph" . The encores of " Just Looking " and " Dakota " were really good but the 95 mins set was pretty average really ........... 14 and 15 December 2005 .Coldplay + Richard Ashcroft live at Earls Court Arena , London. I went to the first 2 shows of Coldplays 3 sold out nights here. Coldplay are at an amazing level where their 3 albums have all sold a few million copies and all 3 have won top notch awards and only last week " X + Y " was voted best album of 2005 by Q music mag.First up though is support Richard Ashcroft who plays some good songs from his new album "Keys To The World" and some great oldies " Lucky Man" ," Sonet" , " The Drugs Dont Work" and a stunning " Bitter Sweet Symphony" . Coldplay are very good with " Yellow" (20 giant balloons dropped from the ceiling" ), "Speed Of Sound" ,"Clocks " and new single "Talk" all going down great. Encores included a superb " In My Place" with Chris Martin singing the last part of the song from the back of the venue. Final song " Fix You " was pure class. They had a screen behind them but for 75% of the show it did not show band footage so that must have been a nightmare for those at the back. The following nights show was even better as both acts played a couple of extra songs .Richard Ashcroft refused to leave the stage after going over his alloted time and performed a magical version of " Bitter Sweet Symphony" . Coldplay also did a couple of extra tracks including an acoustic version of Madonnas " Hung Up " as Madonna was in the crowd tonight. Very good pair of shows............ Sex Pistols legend John Lydon appears on The Richard And Judy Show ,Channel 4 at 5pm on Friday 16 December for a rare tv interview where he will be promoting his excellent MEGABUGS DVD ........ 13 December 2005. Girls Aloud at The Trocadero , London. Another one of these parties where most of the 500 punters have paid 200 each for a 3 course meal , unlimited free booze , raffle , dodgem cars , magicians, celebrity auction and disco until 2am and Girls Aloud. Benefit night for " Help A London Child" . The girls sing 5 songs to a backing time. They come on just before midnight and are good fun. " I'll Stand By You " and recent brill single "Biology " go down a treat. Whatever you think of those reality shows these girls really have got themselves the pop star life....... 11 December 2005. All Day Wasted Punk Festival .Rezillos + Dickies + Saints + Angelic Upstarts + UK Subs live at The Astoria , London. Sadly i missed Pork Dukes and 999 due to family stuff but i still caught 5 of the 10 bands. UK Subs always go down well as Charlie Harper is a punk rocker that the kids relate to. His age is like 60 but he is always going to see other bands playing gigs and always says hello to fans .By the time they play " Stranglehold" the place is jumpimg....Next its Angelic Upstarts .Mensi the singer is up for it as usual and they have some great songs like " Teenage Warning" , "Last Night Another Soldier" and "The Murder Of Liddle Towers " ... next its The Saints and they go down like a lead balloon. The sound is rubbish and the material is weak and even " I'm Stranded" sounds terrible. The punters are just not interested in them at all... Dickies are a bit too cartoon punk for me but they go down a storm with the crowd with their uptempo set of hits inc " Paranoid" , " Banana Splits" and " Silent Night" ... last up its The Rezillos and they are really good and much better than their Morecombe set in the summer. Fay Fife and Eugene are great fun to watch and some good songs like "Top Of The Pops" , "Flying Saucer Attack" , " Destination Venus" and "Someones Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight " rock . So punk is still alive and kicking and remember HITS is in Blackpool in August 2006. For more info and tickets check www.holidaysinthesun.net ................... 09 and 10 December 2005 .Rod Stewart live at Earls Court Arena , London.I went to the first 2 shows of Rods 4 nights at this massive venue. From the start the sound is not loud enough and you can barely hear the guitars and i am only 20 yards from the stage. Two sets lasting 2 hours 10 mins with some 30 songs performed. Rod looks great as he knocks out the hits " You Wear It Well" , " This Old Heart Of Mine" , " Young Turks" , "Some Guys Have All The Luck" , "Passion" ," Downtown Train " ,"First Cut Is The Deepest" ,"Tonights The Night" ," Hot Legs" ," Have I Told You Lately " were all in the first set with plenty of crowd singalongs. For the second set Rod is in crooner mode for " The Great American Songbook " material but thankfully he only plays 5 songs in total from them before its back to the Rod we know and love. "You're In My Heart" and" I Dont Want To Talk About It" got the crowd really singing. Near the end the balloons came down from the ceiling and Rod kicks out a dozen footballs as usual. "Rhythm Of My Heart" and superb versions of " Sailing " and " Maggie May " closed the main set and " Baby Jane " was a good lively encore. Totally excellent night out but it could have been a bit more louder and rockier for sure. For the first night i was in VIP Block 2 in the same row as Rods girlfriend Penny Lancaster who despite giving birth only 2 weeks ago looks fantastic and is doing a fair bit of dancing. In front of me was 1980s pop star Belinda Carlisle . The second night i was 4 rows from the stage in Black A . Is there anything worse than seeing a concert from the back half of Earls Court Arena ??? What a terrible venue .....