The Virginmarys, Water Rats, London

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Just Jim and I for this one, we met in the main bar at Water Rats which soon started to get busy, so we made our way into the back room while the sound checks were going on. Some guy, possibly The Virginmarys manager told us we can’t be in here yet as it’s the soundcheck, I didn’t like his attitude so we ignored him and took our places at the bar to watch the soundcheck anyway. Twenty or so minutes later Jim needs a pee so leaves me there, while he is peeing a doorman arrives. Jim now can’t get back in, so instead of saying “My pint is on the bar” he says, “my mate is in there” I then get turfed out, for 2 minutes because apparently I can’t see their equipment before its ready and they need to check my ticket, the later I agree with but I’ve been in here for nearly 30 minutes watching the support band sound check, I’ve seen all their equipment and more already. Not only that but I am told to join the queue at a door with a window in it, I can still see their equipment…

Support came from Valeras tonight, they were OK to be fair to them, by far the best support act I’ve seen this week thats for sure.

I know Water Rats isn’t the largest. but the crowd for The Virginmarys was the biggest I’ve seen for one of their shows which is good. They also played the longest set I’ve seen them do as well. We watched from the bar which was a new experience considering I’ve only ever been down the front for them in the past, it was also strange not seeing as many of the regular Virginmary fans at the show, there was only a couple I knew, whereas normally I recognise at least 10 of them.

Royal Blood, Alexandra Palace, London

Monday, November 20, 2017

Firstly I really don’t like gigs at the Alexandra Palace. I know the location doesn’t really help but putting that aside I think it is a really poor music venue, a facility which holds 10,000 yet it doesn’t even have a good number of toilets plumbed into the main water supply. This might be perfectly acceptable for 6,000 drunk darts fans, most of whom piss through the fence outside, but it’s not really acceptable for day to day gig goers. This place could be so much better if some thought went into the set up and some money spent on it. The food stand area is OK, but there just isn’t enough seating.

The second thing to note is that I wasn’t really in much of a mood for a gig, travelling there after work I felt like I was going to puke and I was also pretty tired, therefore my judgement could have been a little blurred for that reason.

Black Honey opened the night, from the evidence I saw there was nothing to write home about here. I’m sure the label is backing them financially to get airplay and onto tours so they might break through for a bit.

At The Drive In were up next, I know a couple of their songs like One Armed Scissor and Incurably Innocent for example, on record they sound quite rocky. Live however they are far more heavy than on record, and to be honest it sounded like a load of shit to me. Too much shouty singing and not enough clear vocals. Shouting doesn’t make you a great live act, you’d have thought that a band who have been around a few years would have learnt this by now.

Finally Royal Blood show up, they play a solid set from start to finish, making the evening more enjoyable than the start of it. They also seem to have a couple of backing singers in their ranks these days, not sure if they are really required to be honest. They also had a really cool lighting/laser rig suspended above them with a massive screen within it.

Alice Cooper, Wembley Arena, London

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It’s a pretty quick trip up to Wembley as I’m currently working near Euston Square which is good news as the next few weeks I’ll be heading there a lot.

The Tubes (the band, not my mode of transport) were odd, the oldies seemed to like them a lot. As for The Mission, more of the same which I witnessed a few months back in Shepard’s Bush.

Alice Cooper was OK, but not as spectacular as I’d have hoped, I thought Airbourne the night before was the better show.

Airbourne, The Roundhouse, London

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Wild! opened the night, first time I’d seen or heard of them, they are from Canada and reminded me of a really good pub rock band who could easily step up, and hopefully they do. I thought their set was really solid from start to finish and would happily go see them again. There’s a lot of support bands out there that simply aren’t good enough. The Wild! are. My one gripe with them was the choreographed moves they have onstage, sing a bit, 3 steps back, 3 steps forward sing a bit. It’s looks a bit wank if you ask me, although others worked like the guitar shot guns.

Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons aren’t really my thing, certainly nothing offensive here I just couldn’t get into them. They did a good cover of Ace of Spades mind you.

I thought Airbourne were fantastic to be honest. Great interaction with the crowd throughout their entire set including pints of JD, topped up with a dash of coke passed around. Joel O’Keeffe has defiantly mastered the art of being able to throw a pint and not spilling it all.

Marmozets, The Garage, London

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The show was rearranged due to lead singer Becca falling ill.

Their statement in full read:

“Evening everyone. It’s with such a genuinely heavy heart we have to postpone our upcoming UK shows including tomorrow night in London.
Becca has developed bronchitis and a respiratory infection and while firstly that means you wouldn’t be getting the show you want, and we want, it also wouldn’t be right for her to perform and risk her voice longterm.
We’re so bummed about this, and we hope that you understand we didn’t make the decision lightly. It’s just come in as doctor’s orders and we wanted to tell you as soon as we possibly could… with the replacement dates to be announced tomorrow if we can. So don’t worry, we’ll be back to do these shows soon!
From all of us. Love. Marmozets.”

Guano Apes, Melkweg, Amsterdam, Holland

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Eluveitie, Effenaar, Eindhoven, Holland

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Eluveitie, Islington Assembly Hall, London

Friday, November 3, 2017

Metallica, O2 Arena, London

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The sound during the opening act Kvelertak I thought was terrible, particularly at the start, if did improve but I wasn’t really into them at all. No idea why the singer was rocking an owl head at the start.

This was my first time seeing Metallica outside of a festival settings. I thought the old stuff was great, the new stuff not so great. The show production itself was very good indeed. The additions of the drones during Moth into Flame looked great, even if one did fly off into the crowd. The video cubes were also another great addition.

Came away from the show wonder just how many guitar pics they use on a tour. I’ve never seen a band throw as many into a crowd, they must have thrown a thousand or more into the crowd at the end.

A few odd things happened at this show.

  • Every beer I ordered the barrel needed to be changed, we were the first into the venue…
  • The card readers at the bar then refused every card as they hadn’t been set up, again I was the first to use them…
  • The food I ordered I was told would take 15 minutes to make, so we waited, 20 minutes pass, then 25 still no food. 35 minutes after I ordered I’m told they don’t have what I ordered!
  • While having a piss I heard someone saying sorry for pissing on the guy next to him!
  • Dude behind me was off his face and was constantly spilling his pint down my back, eventually the whole thing ended up over myself and the guy next to me.
  • The bloke behind Kristina didn’t like the fact we were standing at a rock concert and asked us to sit. Having explained that she can’t see anything because people in front of her are standing, he then proclaimed that I was clearly a “fucking bell-end”, I thanked him and continued to stand, because that’s what bell-ends do at rock concerts.
  • A good job I did, because pissed bloke falls on top of me, had I been sat he’d have gone 3 or 4 rows forward…
  • Pissed bloke and I are getting on quite well, almost on first name terms. Wait he has no beer, has he just puked on me?…
  • The tube ride home is also interesting. There’s another pissed dude who sits over from us, he randomly starts pissing himself laughing and decided that I’m a fucking legend…

It’s time for bed I think.

Bruce Dickinson, What Does This Button Do?, Troxy, London

Tuesday, October 17, 2017