Archive: July 2006

July 14, 2006

10 and 12 July 2006.Billy Joel live at Wembley Arena,London.I ended up going to both shows. I had never seen Billy Joel in concert probably because hes a bit naff to be honest but as this was his first UK tour for 12 years and the fact he has sold over 100 million albums i thought i would check him out. In April he played 12 sell out shows at Madison Square Garden and he has brought that massive cicular production with him but for some reason he has no video screens behind him.Most of the 2 hours 15 mins set was based on all those big hits from the 70s and 80s.Surprisingly the crowd on the floor stood up all the way through songs like "My Life" ,"The Entertainer" ,"Just The Way You Are" ,"Moving Out" and the superb "An Innocent Man" and "Uptown Girl".After an hour the crowd rushed the stage for "River Of Dreams" and a surprise cover of AC/DC "Highway To Hell" where his guitar roadie sung the vocals. The second half of the show had all the big hits. Billy has been in out out of rehab and other personal stuff over the last decade but had no bother in making fun out of it. Also good were "We Didnt Start The Fire" and "Its Still Rock And Roll To Me" .Last encore was the stunning "Piano Man" with the crowd singing along.Billy Joel was a lot better than expected. The second show 2 days later was pretty much the same except they left out the AC/DC cover .The first show had a slighty better atmosphere but i had better seats the second show only 10 rows from the stage ........ Saturday was a hectic day where i went to 2 gigs, one in North London and one in South London..... 08 July 2006.8pm.Lost Prophets + Men,Women And Children live at Brixton Academy, London. The support tonight are hotly tipped New Yorkers with the crap band name.They seem to enjoy having fun on stage but their songs could be better.The kids front of stage loved it. During the interval i look at how young the crowd is and how many teenage girls there are here for a rock band. Lost Prophets 3rd album "Liberation Transmission" has gone straight in at Number 1 this week and both band and crowd are up for it tonight.80 mins set was full of those crunching rockers from the two earlier albums and a few from the new one. They still remind me of a UK version of Linkin Park .The new album is produced by Bob Rock so stateside success really seems possible.It looks like Lost Prophets will playing arenas soon. A very good show .. 08 July 2006.2pm to 7pm.Buzzcocks + Graham Coxon + Common + Duke Spirit live at RISE - London United Festival at Finsbury Park , London. Massive free festival with some 50,000 people here at its peak Great mix of music styles over many stages.First band i saw was Duke Spirit who have gone a bit quiet lately.They had some sound problems at the start but they did ok.....Next was some hip hop from Common .The b girls down front loved it and when he jumped into the photo pit they all went wild.....Major Ken Livingstone is out the back throwing frisbees with his kids in hospitality only a few mins before he gives a pretty impressive speech.........Graham Coxon does a very good 45 mins of his indie guitar pop with great tunes like "You And I" ,"Spectacular" and "Freakin Out" ....next its The Buzzcocks who do a superb 30 mins set of 10 songs.They start with three from the new album then its classic stuff a go go like "I Dont Mind" ,"Harmony In My Head" ,"Autonomy" ,"What Do I Get" ,"Love You More" "Orgasm Addict" and "Ever Fallen In Love". Their set goes past far too quickly . So all in all a good day out ... 06 July 2006.The Damned + TV Smith + Sex Pistols Experience live at The 100 Club , London. This was a special one off show to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Damneds superb debut album "Damned Damned Damned" with two Damned members Rat Scabies and Brian James joined by Casey Chaos(Amen) and Mani(Stone Roses and Primal Scream).A great sold out atmosphere in this perfect venue made sure their set of tracks from that debut album went down a treat .Punk rock classics like "New Rose" ,"Fan Club" ,"Born To Kill" ,"Stab Your Back" ,"Neat Neat Neat" and "I Feel Alright" etc.Its hard to think of the Damned without Dave Vanium on vocals but singer Casey Chaos is a real punk rocker at heart and he spends half of each song writhing on the floor while singing as the bodies fall over the front of the stage .Rat Scabies has kept his glasses on while playing the drums and its pretty chaotic and then after some 42 mins it was all over. Great fun it was .The two support bands also went down a treat The Sex Pistols Experience are tighter than ever and their 45 mins set of Pistols anthems like "Pretty Vacant","God Save The Queen" and "Bodies" was a perfect start to the evening. Loads of great one liners and they even manage to slag Rat Scabies off for having a drum kit that took up so much stage space.Close your eyes and its the real thing as the vocals and guitar are spot on. Next up was TV Smith who has a lot of bottle to do an acoustic set in front of this crowd but he pulls it off easily with a great set inc his "Punk Rock Poem" and "No Time To Be 21" and "Gary Gilmores Eyes" . Another great punk rock evening.................. 03 July 2006. Launch party for Pink Floyds DVD "Pulse" at Vue ,Leicester Square,London.Invite only screening for 250 media related folks. 6.30pm drinks reception for an hour for guests who included Phil Manzernera and The Zutons. 7.30pm We get an edited 90 mins of that amazing Pink Floyd series of gigs at Earls Court in 1994. Seeing it on the big screen with perfect sound felt like you were actually there(see the site for the review of the gig i went to in 1994). After the screening Pink Floyd members Dave Gilmour,Nick Mason and Richard Wright take a Q and A session for 20 mins which was good fun. They really enjoyed watching it on the big screen and after they all signed stuff for five mins for those that had brought items along.Good one. The DVD is in the shops from 10 July 2006 and has over 4 hours of material on it so its a real must buy item ...... 02 July 2006.The Who + Razorlight live at Hyde Park, London. Razorlight did a good set .They started with their great new single "In The Morning" and some oldies like "Golden Touch" and "Stumble And Fall" . This was the Whos biggest London show for a few years and they were superb as usual .They may be getting on a bit but the tunes are stunning. "I Cant Explain", "Who Are You " and also mega versions of "Baba OReilly" ,"My Generation" and "Wont Get Fooled Again" . Pete and Roger are both on fine form. Great use of the video screen behind them. The set lasted 1 hour 45 mins and the encores went down a treat "Substitute" ,"Pinball Wizard" and "I Can See For Miles".A great show and much better than Roger Waters last night............. I must say thanks to sponsors Hard Rock Cafe who are celebrating their 35th anniversary for their full monty hospitality on both days which came in very handy i must admit........... ...... 01 July 2006.Roger Waters live at Hyde Park, London.The massive Live 8 show a year ago has really kicked off the interest in Pink Floyd and The Who who both went down so well .Roger Waters plays 2 sets of 90 mins and 60 mins. The overall sound was fantastic but the much hyped light show was nothing that special. I am not the biggest Floyd fan and apart from "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Wish You Were Here" the first set was pretty average and his solo album tracks were dire.Anyway the second set was much better as Nick Mason took over the drums to go through "Dark Side Of The Moon" with all the gems like "Time" ,"Money" and "Us And Them" etc all really great. Superb encores of "Another Brick In The Wall" and "Comfortably Numb".A good show anyway .. 30 June 2006.Foreigner + Deborah Bonham live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London. Led Zep legend John Bonham had his sister fronting the support band and his son Jason now plays with Foreigner. Deborah Bonham has been playing odd gigs for years but has never really taken off .Shes a good blues rock vocalist like Maggie Bell with some decent tunes like "Black Coffee" and "No Angel" but best was last song "The Old Hyde" which was about the house she grew up in.Foreigner only have guitarist Mick Jones as an original member but they have so many catchy rock pop tunes and a new singer who does a great job of sounding like Lou Gramm that the evening really does rock. Great tunes like " Double Vision" ,"Cold As Ice" ,"Waiting For A Girl Like You" and a superb "Feels Like The First Time" .Also excellent are "Urgent" and " Juke Box Hero" .The latter also has a few bars of "Whole Lotta Love " thrown in. Great encores of " I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Hot Blooded" where they were joined by Rick Wills on bass who played on 1981s "Foreigner 4" amongst others. Very good 1 hour 50 mins show. .. 29 June 2006.John Fogerty live at Hammersmith Apollo , London.A rare one off UK show for this singer who was in Creedance Clearwater Revival who were massive in the years 1968 to 1972 . Judging by the accents in the bar foyer fans have come from all over the UK for this sell out show. He may be aged 61 now but he has plenty of energy as we get a great evening of uptempo american rock and roll to promote his recent album " The Long Road Home - Ultimate Collection" .Superb rockers like "Travellin Band" ,"Born On The Bayou",a wild cover of " I Heard It Through The Grapevine" all went down well and the crowd stood up and rushed the stage for "Down On The Corner" .Other gems were "Up Around The Bend" , "Bad Moon Rising" and "Who'll Stop The Rain" . Mega encores of "Rockin All Over The World " and "Proud Mary" finished off a really good 1 hour 50 mins set ................ 25 June 2006.Depeche Mode + Goldfrapp live at Wireless Festival ,Hyde Park, London. This was the last day of the 5 day Wireless Festival and really it was a case of saving the best for last. Goldfrapp are another band not really suited to outdoor crowds but they have lots of great songs and they thankfully have brought the dancing girls in funny costumes with them.Alison looks cool and fab on vocals as she sings "Train" ,"Ride A White Horse" ,"Ohh La La" and "Strict Machine" but sadly there is no time tonight to play "Black Cherry" but still a good set.Depeche Mode are the only band of the 5 days that bring their owm full production with them.Still one of the biggest live attractions on the planet this was show number 110 of a year long world tour of arenas and stadiums.Their fans loved every song tonight and Dave Gahan again proved what a great front man he is. "Walking In My Shoes","Behind The Wheel" , "Precious" ,"I Feel You" were all good."Personal Jesus " was totally mega as Dave stripped to the waist took on his rock god persona with glee. "Enjoy The Silence" was very good.Superb encores of early single "Photographic " from 1981 and "Never Let Me Down Again" .Excellent 1 hour 35 mins show............ 23 June 2006.Massive Attack + Flaming Lips live at Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, London. The Flaming Lips are an amazing live visual treat. From the start there are over 20 people on stage in costumes inc all your fave superheros, robots, aliens and even a bunch of father christmasses. There is confetti everywhere and guns firing streamers into the crowd and balloons galore. For the first song the singer gets inside a giant plastic balloon and bounces over the top of the audience.Thankfully they have lots of great songs as well like "Free Radicals" ,"Do You Realize?" ,"Yeah Yeah Yeah Song " and a wacky cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" .All of their hour on stage was so entertaining and real fun. I was looking forward to Massive Attack a lot but even though there were some good songs played from their heyday it all was a bit too chill out for me and hardly grabbed your attention. They were joined by jazz legend Terry Callier for the encore but tonight i reckon Flaming Lips stole the show . 22 June 2006.David Gray + Fun Loving Criminals + Missy Higgins live at Wireless Festival ,Hyde Park, London.Day 2 of this festival and there are a lot less people here tonight than The Strokes yesterday both in the main area and the media and vip areas.First we see aussie star Missy Higgins who is pretty good. She plays some great tracks from her album "The Sound Of White" like "Scar" and "The Special Two".She will be massive in the UK very soon i reckon.Then we go over to the second stage indoor tent where Fun Loving Criminals brought some NYC cool to the party. I forgot what a great guitarist Huey is .Lots of great tracks like "Love Unlimited" ,"King Of New York" and the place erupted for mega versions of "Scooby Snacks " and " The Fun Loving Criminal". A very good set. David Gray headlining tonight was not a very exciting prospect and it was a totally boring,boring set .Good versions of " Sail Away" and " Babylon" were not enough to save what i thought was the worst headline show at an outdoor festival i have seen for years and he murdered Soft Cells "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" for the encore .......... 21 June 2006.The Strokes + Raconteurs + Dirty Pretty Things live at Wireless Fesival,Hyde Park, London.First day of this 5 day festival in this great location.Festivals are great for seeing a few bands all on the same day but ideally all the bands i saw tonight should be seen indoors at smaller venues rather than this setting. Dirty Pretty Things are a great little rock n roll band. Lots of good uptempo tunes like "Deadwood" and "Bang Bang Youre Dead" .Next up are The Raconteurs who kind of got lost in the size of it all and did not really impress me. The Strokes are as cool as ever and draw a huge crowd .Some good tunes like "Hard To Explain" ,"Last Nite" and "NYC Cops " went down well even though the singers voice was a bit boring. Encore of Lou Reeds "Walk On The Wild Side" and their own "Take It Or Leave It " sealed the 75 mins set. A good night overall but nothing that special really ..... 18 June 2006.Def Leppard + Cheap Trick + The Sensational Alex Harvey Band live at Hammersmith Apollo, London.Respect to DL for getting two of their fave 70s bands to support them. Up first are SAHB who only have 30 mins on stage but "Faithealer" and " Vambo" are great as usual. Cheap Trick next are always good fun. They play for a full hour .Lots of funny shaped guitars and throwing out of plectrums .Some good tunes like "Dream Police" ,"I Want You To Want Me " , "California Man" and " Surrender" . Def Leppard have brought a giant video screen with them which works well in the 90 mins set.They are promoting new album of cover versions called " Yeah" which has got some pretty bad reviews in the press. From it they play " Hellraiser" ,"20th Century Boy" ,"Hanging On The Telephone" and "Rock On" . They also play loads of their own catchy rockers like " Lets Get Rocked" ,"Make Love Like A Man" , "Rocket " ,"Photograph" ,a stunning "Animal" and "Rock Of Ages" .Encores of " When Love And Hate Collide" and a mega " Pour Some Sugar On Me" . All in all a great night with 3 quality bands. Check aftershow page for this gig.............. 17 June 2006.The Eagles live at Twickenham Stadium .Very impressive that this band can still play huge shows like this for 50,000 fans. Their album "Greatest Hits 1971 -1975 " has sold over 30 million copies. This was mainly a show for the older folks as expected.The show was two sets with band on stage for 2 hours 30 mins. The first set was a bit sleepy but "Take It Easy","One Of These Nights" and " Lying Eyes " were all good . The band did not move much on stage but the harmonies were still fantastic. Second set had more good songs like " The Boys Of Summer" ,"Tequila Sunrise" and " Take It To The Limit" .A nice bit of stage trickery as Joe Walsh put on a builders hat with a headcam in it which was the cue for all of us to run down the front and now we had a proper rock show crowd at last. "Lifes Been Good" ,"Heartache Tonight" and " Life In The Fast Lane" were all very good .Stunning encores of " Hotel California" ,"Rocky Mountain Way" and "Desperado " finished a great show.