Archive: August 2006

August 11, 2006

Up and coming band The Motorettes release their debut album this month on Kitchenware Records. It features 12 cracking indie pop tunes......... 09 August 2006. Whitesnake + The Answer live at National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. Support band do a really good blues rock set and they are a perfect support for Whitesnake.The Answer go on a huge UK tour in a couple of months.This was Whitesnakes last show on their European tour and like the Hammersmith Apollo show David Coverdale looks and sounds brilliant.Plenty of great songs like "Fool For Your Loving" ,"Here I Go Again" , "Is This Lonve?" and many others. A great old fashioned classic rock show lasting 1 hour 50 mins ...... 03 August 2006.Launch Party for Meat Loafs "Bat Out Of Hell 111 - The Monster Is Loose" album at Staple Inn Hall, Holborn, London WC1 6.30pm to 9.30pm.Lovely old building that dates back to 1753 and has been decorated with skulls ,harley davidsons and old furniture .The booze is given out in goblets and the food is flowing too.The event is being hosted by Radio 2s Paul Gambachini who gives the info on Meat Loafs career (he has sold over 30 million albums) and then we get a 30 mins film of some of the tracks and interviews with Desmond Child and Nikki Sixx who helped on the album.The songs are still in the big drums and big guitars and big everything mode.After this Meaf Loaf comes out for 10 mins and says a few words. The album comes out in October and there will be a special live show at The Royal Albert Hall on October 16.On the way out we are all given a 6 track promo copy of the album signed by Meat Loaf so a very good bash......... 01 August 2006.Madonna live at Wembley Arena, London.Well the Queen Of Pop played her first of 8 shows here at this venue.The atmosphere is pretty electric.The stage production is massive with a walkway up the middle of the arena and a shorter one at each side and half a dozen massive screens.There are loads of gay male and female couples here.The face value of tickets in the front half of the arena are a mental 160 each or as someone else put it 7.14 a song. A stunning entrance as Madonna is lowered into the middle of the arena inside a giant disco glitterball.According to her PR the ball has 2 million dollars worth of Swarovski Crystals covering it. She looks fantastic for her age of nearly 48. Energy and dance routines non stop for 2 hours. There are over a dozen dancers being used. The setlist is a bit heavy related to the "Confessions" album so we get a very disco nightclub theme.I would have preferred a few more of the older hits.I have a great view 20 rows from stage centre next to the walkway. It is very hot and humid in the venue tonight as even with the recent refurbishment Wembley Arena has not put some air con in the place.Doh. Best songs "Like A Virgin" astride a bucking bronco horse."Live To Tell" ,"Jump","I Love New York". The crowd really went crazy for "Ray Of Light".The last two songs were "Lucky Star" and "Hung Up "with gold Madonna Confessions balloons dropped either side of walkway so i got one. A visually amazing show but deep down i would have liked a few more of the older hits but thats not really Madonnas style is it? Is she still the Queen Of Pop?? of couse she is, none of the rest even come close.............. 30 July 2006.Guns And Roses live at Wembley Arena,London.This was the last night of their 2 month european tour.This was the 5th time i had seen them in the last 6 days .Londons current version of G n R are The Towers Of London and its good to see them here sitting a few seats from us.The band come on stage at 10.25pm tonight. Everything looks fine and the rock n roll circus that is G n R kicks off as usual in great style. So many great songs as i have listed in earlier reviews. After about 90 mins something strange took place. Halfway through "Night Train" Axl handed the vocals to Sebastian Bach who finished that then he also sung "Paradise City" with all the fireworks and confetti which is normally the last song.They were joined by half a dozen dwarfs dancing along and waving mini UK flags. So tonight we got a 1 hour 45 mins set instead of the usual 2 hours 15 mins set. Houselights went up and G n R manager came on to say Axl has been feeling ill all day with low blood pressure and thats the end of the show. So not the ideal way to finish the gig but i mentioned in my first review they should cut the set by 30 mins and drop some of the guitar solos and weaker songs and thats what we got. So in a roundabout way it was still a great show. This week G n R brought a bit of rock n roll glamour to the UK and i will miss them.Even without Slash and co they were still superb..... ................. 29 July 2006.Guns And Roses live at Wembley Arena, London.Well everyone was saying there is no way Wembley Arena management would allow G n R to take the stage late like all the other venues. WRONG.Guns And Roses arrive on stage at 10.40pm and finish at 1.10am .I have been to hundreds of shows here but that is easily the latest.In fact the show had a couple of extra songs with loose versions of Rod Stewarts "Sailing" and Beatles "Back In The Fucking UK".Like the other shows there was a real rock n roll buzz and as usual the first 40 mins is just stunning in so many ways. Axl even read out 25 names on stage who had won tickets to an aftershow party gig later. They did not play "Used To Love Her " tonight. Otherwise it was the same songs as other shows. "Appetite For Destruction" songs really rocked. It was an amazing 2 hours 30 mins show.Axl is really enjoying himself with his new band. It was the best of the 4 arena shows i saw. See aftershow news on this gig................. 27 July 2006.Guns And Roses + Bullet For My Valentine live at Nottingham Arena. This was my first time at this great venue.Holds around 8,500 seats and standing.Support band have a great name but their 40 mins set was a bit too thrashy for me.They played tracks from their album "The Poison" like "All The Things I Hate" and "Tears Dont Fall" but the under 25s seemed to like it.How do Guns And Roses get away with coming on so late? are they paying overtime fees or have they struck up deals with all the minicab firms in each city they play?.Like the Birmingham show there were posters up saying "tonights show may finish after midnight".These arenas all have strict 11pm curfews from my experience but tonight Guns And Roses come on at 10.10pm and dont finish until 12.30am.A few boos started about 9.30pm but this stopped once all the girls started baring their breasts for the video screens.The atmosphere really built up and when the houselights went down and they launched into "Welcome To The Jungle" the place went mental.Tonight we got an extra song added to the set which was a new one fairly early.The pyros during some of the songs like "Live And Let Die " are incredible. Like the Birmingham show lots of classic tracks played but 4 guitar solos and 2 piano solos were boring.Maybe as Axl Rose was running around a lot these were used for him to take a breather and change his shirt.Another late finish tonight but the Nottingham crowd loved it all anyway................... 25 July 2006.Guns And Roses live at NEC, Birmingham.The sold out anticipation is very high and everyone is placing bets as to what time the band will arrive on stage. They come on at 9.30pm which for Axl Rose is pretty early .The first 5 songs are stunning "Welcome To The Jungle","Its So Easy" ,"Mr Brownstone" ,"Live And Let Die" and "Sweet Child Of Mine " are played amongst a barrage of firworks ,fire and the loudest stage explosions i have ever heard. Axl has his dodgy dread hair but his distinctive voice is in good shape.Then all the tempo is lost as every 2 or 3 songs we get a rubbish guitar solo.This was a show where cut out 30 mins of crap and a good 2 hour 15 mins show would be a superb 1 hour 45 mins show."You Could Be Mine" is really good and " November Rain " is ok. Sebastian Bach helps out on " My Michelle" and Izzy Stradlin comes on for "Used To Love Her" and "Patience" and they finish with " Night Train" .Encore of "Paradise City" is mega with showers of sparks and confetti over the stalls. "Appetite For Destruction" is one of the all time great albums and thankfully Axl played most of the best tracks from it tonight even though his backing band are not a patch on Slash and co. So a show that when it was good it was great but those guitar solos are just crap............. My old Cock Sparrer mate Gary Lammin is doing a couple of gigs soon.Check him out on 04 Aug at Mau Mau Bar, Portobello Road (3 quid adm charge includes a free tequilla shot) and on 07 Aug he plays 12 Bar Club,Denmark Street (5 quid adm).... Two of the UKs top festivals happen in August so make sure you get your tickets now for V Festival on Aug 19 and 20 which featues Radiohead ,Morrissey,Razorlight, Kasabian, Paul Weller, Faithless and many more and the following weekend Reading Festival on Aug 25 + 26 + 27 will feature Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs,Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam ,Placebo and many more. Check their websites to book tickets........... Whitesnake have added UK shows on Aug 8 at Nottingham Rock City and Aug 9 at Birmingham NIA................ 22 July 2006.Roxy Music live at Excel ,Docklands, London.This was show number 4 of 8 nights of gigs after The London Motor Show in one of their car parks that has been converted into an arena of seats and standing holding some 6,500 people. Indoor venues can be very hot and humid this time of year so these outdoor shows are popular.As with all Roxy shows the first 30 mins of the 1 hour 40 mins set is a bit plodding as they play lesser known songs. Then the hits come out one after the other and its all great stuff like "Oh Yeah(On The Radio)","Both Ends Burning","In Every Dream Home A Heartache","Avalon","More Than This" and "Jealous Guy" .Roxy are getting on a bit but Ferry and co are still super cool .A big band with one of the guitarists who played great but looked only about 16.Finale was a superb "Do The Strand" and the 3 encores were all mega "Love Is The Drug" ,"Virginia Plain" and "Lets Stick Together" .Another great Roxy show......... 18 July 2006.Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Earls Court Arena, London. This was the last night of the tour so i kinda knew it would be better than the show i saw last night and it was.The first 3 songs "Cant Stop","Dani California" and "Scar Tissue " were superb and like all great bands the setlist was slightly different to last nights. Punk legend Patti Smith came on for a great "People Have The Power" but a lot of the crowd did not know who she was.They dropped in "Duke Of Earl" and "London Calling" as well. Great versions of "Californication" and "By The Way" went down really well..Encores of "Under The Bridge "and "Give It Away" were mega and it was another great show................... Monday was another hectic day with two events on the same day .... 17 July 2006.Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Earls Court Arena, London. This was their 3rd of 4 shows here in London. Incredibly there are 19,000 punters here each night.Up there with U2 and The Rolling Stones RHCP are one of the biggest live bands in the world.They are still promoting the recent album "Stadium Arcadium" .Thankfully our passes get us into the front of stage gold circle where we get a great view.The production has four giant screens and pod lighting that is massive as its been playing football stadiums on this tour.They are a super tight funky rock band and the crowd were dancing and jumping all the through the 2 hours the band are on stage. At times the whole band seemed a bit self indulgent but there were loads of great songs like "Scar Tissue" ,"Wet Sand","Californication" ,"By The Way" and "Dont Forget Me" and great encores of "Under The Bridge" and "Give It Away" and even a few bars of The Clash "London Calling" were played.Very good. See aftershow page for this gig................. 17 July 2006.3.30pm to 6.30pm Sean Paul live at Old Billingsgate, London EC3. Very impressive event for the Worldwide Premiere of the new Vauxhall Corsa car before it unveils at The Motor Show.1000 people here in total. 500 youngish comp winners get only bottled water but thankfully we are in the 500 person press area with the free booze and canopes. Just after 4pm a helicopter flies over Tower Bridge carrying the new Corsa and hovers 100 yards over our heads .Its a fantastic stunt. The cars themselves were on display and it seems are aimed at trendy youngsters.Sean Paul is keeping reggae alive with his new twist on it. A full 75 mins set that the crowd loved. Not my cup of tea really but songs like "Break It Off","Touch My Body" ,"Temperature" and "Cry Baby Cry" all went down well................... 14,15,16 July 2006 .Billy Idol,Embrace,Gary Numan,Kosheen,Sparks,Stranglers,Blue Oyster Cult, Lightning Seeds , Wonder Stuff, Hugh Cornwell live at Guilfest Weekend ,Guildford,Surrey. Back again in this lovely location for one of my fave festivals of the summer. Loads of bands over many stages and other attractions or as the singer from Embrace said "like a mini Glastonbury without the 5 hour drive" . Friday = Lightning Seeds are a perfect festival band with lots of hits that suit the sunshine like "Lucky You","Life Of Riley","Marvellous" and "Three Lions"......Wonder Stuff still retain a loyal fanbase from their 1980s heyday and tunes like "On The Ropes" ,"Caught In My Shadow" and "Size Of A Cow " all go down well.......Embrace seem a bit surprised to be headlining tonight but they have more hits than you think such as "All You Good Good People",new single "Target", "Come Back To What You Know" their footie song "World At Your Feet" ,"Gravity" ,"Save Me" ,"Ashes" and encore of "The Good Will Out". They were very good................. Saturday = Hugh Cornwell played 10 songs and 6 of them were Stranglers tunes which was a good move as that really helped his show go down well "Duchess","Peaches" ,"Hanging Around" ,"Always The Sun" ,"Walk On By" and "No More Heroes" .... next up were Kosheen who were a nice surprise. They seem to have gone off the radar of late but a very energy fuelled singer and some great dance tracks like " Catch" went down a treat .......Gary Numans fans are out in force for their hero who is really good tonight. The voice is the same even though the music now heads in a more aggressive rock sound and he plays great versions of his old hits "Cars " and "Are Friends Electric"....... Had to pass on Aha tonight to catch Blue Oyster Cult on the second stage.Loads of great rockers like "Cities Of Flame With Rock And Roll ", "Godzilla" and "Dont Fear The Reaper " but not sure why there was a drum solo and a bass solo in a short festival set of 60 mins when there were so many great tunes they could have played............... Sunday = there must be 30,000 here today as the sun is out and the crowd just seems massive. ....Ron and Russell from Sparks are always good with a mix of old hits like "Something For The Girl With Everything" ,"Number One Song In Heaven","This Town Aint Big Enough For The Both Of Us" and "Amateur Hour" and tracks like "Dick Around" from their new album "Hello Young Lovers"........Stranglers lost their singer Paul Roberts a month ago and are now doing the vocals between them but it just does not work.Plenty of old hits like "Five Minutes" ,"Peaches" , "Always The Sun" ,"Walk On By" ,"Duchess" and "No More Heroes" but its all very tame .Maybe as Stranglers and Hugh Cornwell are playing some of the same songs perhaps they should bury the hatchett and get back on stage together again.........Billy Idol really was a case of leaving the best until last with a stunning 90 mins show of hits that was the highlight of the weekend and even better than his big comeback show last year at Brixton Academy.He may still look a bit 1980s but it suits his stage persona perfectly .One after the other "Dancing With Myself","Flesh For Fantasy","White Wedding", "Scream","Eyes Without A Face" ,"Sweet Sixteen", "LA Woman",even a dodgy version of Mungo Jerrys "In The Summertime" was fun.More gems like "To Be A Lover" ,"Ready Steady Go" and great encores of an acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkleys "Crazy", "Hot In The City" and "Mony Mony" .Billy was in great form and great shape as he teased the girls by taking his top off every other song. A great set to finish a great weekend of live music. Roll on next year ...................