The (Lucky!) Green Man Festival 2018

This was the experience of a lifetime. Genuinely! I had been very hopeful that my entry for the competition to the Green Man festival would be successful. I noticed a mistake in the crossword as I was solving it, so I was hopeful that I would be savvy enough in providing what was the correct answer and that would increase my chances.

I thought if I won, I’d be notified in July sometime. Time enough to get things organised well. As it was, I found out the day before the Maidstone Grandslam gig on August 3rd. Less than two weeks to organise getting a tent and other provisions needed.

But, wow! What a prize! Two adult weekend camping tickets worth £180 each. It would have been crazy to look such a gifthorse in the mouth. BUT…my partner HATES driving, with an absolute f***ing passion (hence I was back at the driving lessons earlier in the summer – subsequently put on hold again due to…well…just a million different bloody things). I almost didn’t want to tell her I’d won because just the mere idea of telling her she’d be driving to Wales in a couple of weeks filled me with dread.

But…rather amazingly, she seemed up for it (until after Maidstone….one of the reasons I didn’t want to go to the Maidstone gig…having to rely on her to drive me there and back. Yikes!) and so we grabbed a tent with camping mats and sleeping bags from eBay…packed a few clothes and other bits and bobs…a load of cheap junk food and we hit the road at 7am on Thursday morning.

We got to Abergavenny around 11.30am but needed to find the exact locale of the festival car park. About another 45 minutes of driving and we found a spot to park.

The campsite was MILES from the car. We must have pitched up about 2 miles from the car. And we did three trips there and back. By about 3pm we were fully pitched up with all our provisions with us.

We went for a wander to get the lay of the land. We had pitched very handy to portaloos and showers and not far beyond that was the main Mountain stage of the festival. There was plenty of food and drink stalls all over the site. Pretty much anything you fancied was catered for.

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Near to where we pitched up was a stall called Strumpets with Crumpets. We had not a SINGLE crumpet from them. Lol. But they did the best tea and coffee! Builder’s tea for her, latte for me. The BEST latte I have ever had ANYWHERE…EVER! We frequented the Strumpets quite a bit over the days. Lol

We didn’t take much in music wise on day one. We were just so drained from getting there and pitching up…the walks to and back from the car, etc. There weren’t many acts on the Mountain stage on day one anyways.

We just looked around the place and took things easy.

Night one was FREEZING! The temperature really dropped away. We had clear skies on night one and we only had one sleeping bag each (we had decided to leave the other two in the car in case it rained overnight. It would at least mean we’d have dry ones for the next night) and they weren’t thick sleeping bags. We had air beds too…but both deflated through the night. We were frozen to the bone by the early hours. I probably had about 2 hours sleep and I doubt the OH had any more.

I went and showered…that was an experience! The showers themselves were great…but the cubicles were TINY and, well…you couldn’t afford to be too modest or self-conscious, so I tried my best to dress myself outside of the cubicle without giving all the other ladies an eyeful of my appalling bod. Lol. This is the points in life when I get severe male envy! Blokes dunno how fucking easy they have it, I swear. I mean, seriously…wash ya todger, ya sack, ya crack, ya pits and ya good to go. I love men. BUT I HATE MEN! FUCK YOU, DUDES!

We had another meander around. Checked out some other areas that we hadn’t explored and then went back to “base camp” and had a couple of hours rest.

Then, we hit Strumpets with Crumpets again and checked out the Mountain stage. When we were at Strumpets getting our bevvies, I could hear music from the stage that was piquing my interest. We went to check them out. They sounded great. Really quite retro. Sort of American 70s rock. Really liked the sound of them. Soon learned it was The Lemon Twigs and I have to say that, as a performer, Michael D’Addario is mesmerisingly hilarious! His moves, mannerisms and facial expressions are something to behold! I couldn’t take my eyes off him! (You’ll see from the footage I shared) Younger brother Brian is a little more laid back and a tad more eloquent. They have amazing harmonies and great voices. Their sound is such a meld of several other musical influences. They were the genuine “find” of the festival. I loved them!

Off for a bite to eat, checking out other parts of the site. Other stages, etc. Tried out another band and they weren’t much to our liking. We then hit the cinemadrome big top to watch This Is Spinal Tap.

I wanted to wait around for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They were on late and started their set as the film was finishing up. They were much to my liking, really, so we went back to base camp and settled down for the night.

Skies were overcast on Friday night and there was a bit of drizzle in the air. We had decided to retrieve the other two sleeping bags from the car earlier in the day to make sure we warm enough on the second night. We had also made the decision that, after seeing John Grant’s set the next night, we’d just leave and head home and not worry about staying the remaining two nights.

We both slept well on Friday night. Both sleeping bags made things much warmer and we were layered up with clothes too. But also, the temp didn’t fall away so much on Friday night. We both slept solidly for several hours.

Back to Strumpets for “breakfast” and then back to base camp to dismantle the tent, pack everything up and take it to the car, ready to just go back to it and set off for home once John Grant’s set was over.

The day was John Grant filled. Once we had the stuff all packed in the car, we went to find the Babbling Tongues tent. Mojo magazine (the same magazine I won the tickets with) were conducting an interview with John. We made it there in the nick of time. The audio of it is available on Mixcloud. Mojo were filming it and said it would be available to view the next day, but I can’t work out where. It certainly isn’t on their website.

CLICK HERE to hear the Mixcloud audio of the interview.

Shortly after the interview was over, he was going to appear at a Rough Trade stall set up just down the way a bit from the Babbling Tongues tent. He hightailed it down there and there was already a 40 deep queue. I checked whether as a condition of being in the queue whether you needed to buy anything from the stall. The man at the counter I asked said it was preferable, but not necessary. Well…I didn’t really have anything of worth to sign anyway, so I decided to grab one of his CDs that I didn’t have a copy of and get that signed.

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The OH filmed the meeting…as brief as it was. Oh, he is just so, so lovely! I’m not sure if it is too audible but I said to him “I first saw you last year at Union Chapel, and it was beautiful, just beautiful!” He asked me my name, and bless him he tried to spell it, but I spelled it for him. As he was signing the CD I said, “I’ll be seeing you in Bath on my birthday.” “Oh, fantastic,” he replied “I’ll try to remember to say something. Your name may stick.” He then wished me all the best as I moved on and then said “and early happy birthday.”

I was just so, so happy I got to meet him, albeit for barely one minute. But it was time enough to tell him after over a year (and wanting to so much on the night) how stunning that Union Chapel gig was, and to have him sign something. And…to just shake his hand. If I’d had time, I would have told him about Jim and my sleepless night in Adelaide listening to Queen of Denmark for the first and how bowled over by it I was. I do think he spied my Walk Between Worlds shirt. During the Mojo interview, he talked about the music that made an impact on him. His love of 80s music, and ABBA, and that his favourite album of all is a Nina Hagen record. And WOW…how crazy that was for me hearing him say that because one of my enduring musical memories of my childhood is sneaking into my brother’s bedroom when he was out and listening to his records on his uber Technics system. And one of the records that always sticks in the memory of me listening to it and it being SSSOOOO OUT THERE was African Reggae.

Perhaps if there is a chance post-gig at Brighton or Bath, I may ask him what he thinks of Simple Minds. It would be so lovely if John loves them just as much as I do! It would just be all kinds of wow.

After those wonderful things we went back to the family area and the food stalls and actually had quite slap up meals compared to what we’d had the previous two days. Then we made our way back to the Mountain stage to see the evening’s entertainment.

First on was Baxter Dury. He’s a quite a chip off the old block really. Music quite reminiscent of his dad…just not as many horns and more synth and piano. Quite naive lyrics. But good tunes. He seemed quite on edge and nervous but he was enjoyable. I liked his set.

Next on was Cate Le Bon – I swear for ALL THE WORLD when she spoke between songs she sounded French…but she’s bloody Welsh! Lol. I did enjoy her set as well. And there was a surprise duet! She invited John Grant onto the stage with her to duet on a song…so there was even MORE John than I had bargained for!

Then, finally, there was John. He started with You Don’t Have To and I was just carried away instantly. I loved every song in the set. Marz, GMF, a CRACKING version of Pale Green Ghosts, new single Love Is Magic, Grey Tickles-Black Pressure, Glacier – and then to end the night, and have me in floods of tears, Caramel and TC & Honeybear.

I was REALLY hoping for Where Dreams Go To Die or Vietnam, but he played neither of them. But he did perform Vietnam on subsequent nights at gigs in Bangor and Edinburgh. Damn, damn and double damn!

Still…how could I complain having experienced such a thing as a FREE music festival?

Despite getting quite cold in the tent on the first night…and the hours of travel in the car…the Green Man site itself…nestled right in those beautiful hilly tops of the Brecon Beacons…just WOW! What a location! And there was not a bit of trouble I saw. All the campers were great. Plenty of families there with kids. All well laid out. So much to see and do.

There was almost TOO MUCH to do/see. There was a comedy tent on site…we didn’t even find it! We managed to check out a few of the other stages, but none of the acts held our attention for long. But we were more than happy to experience what we experienced and actually had a very good time. The Lemon Twigs and John Grant being the absolute highlights for me.

It took us HOURS to get home, driving through the night to get back. We took wrong turns and went back on ourselves a few times and probably added 50 miles onto our journey home…but we made it, eventually.

Would we do it again? If it was free…if I was lucky enough to win something like that again? HELL YES! But we would be MUCH better prepared next time. It had been a VERY long since either of us had been camping…well over 30 years for either of us. But we survived! And actually did enjoy ourselves for the most part.

The next gig is now Sunday – my final Grandslam gig, and quite possibly final Simple Minds gig of 2018. It SHOULD have been Monday, and Enfield – but for “transport and security reasons” (yeah, Jim found out I was on the meet and greet list! Lol “security reasons”…indeed! Lol), Enfield was cancelled. ON THURSDAY! WHEN I WAS IN WALES WITH DODGY INTERNET CONNECTIVITY AND ME FREAKING MY SHIT ABOUT EVERYTHING!

I have since switched to Colchester – BUT, because I was in such a panic about getting the replacement gig sorted, I fucked up! Enfield ticket holders were offered a 2 for 1 on a replacement gig…and I thought “why not, the OH can come along at least, be my hired videographer/photographer for the day…SHE can get into trouble from Chrissie, not me! Lol” But….in my panic I missed a step in the ordering process and paid for TWO FULL PRICE gold tickets…yay!
I REALLY cannot afford that, somI’m gonna have to sort it out somehow. I’ve contacted the relevant avenues but have had no response as yet…and I am panicking more and more…

To be continued…

NB: I’ll add a few more vids seperately as I haven’t had the chance to upload them on YouTube as yet.

Review: Grandslam – Simple Minds + KT Tunstall – Millennium Square, Leeds – 11/08/2018

A great location for an outdoor venue…right in the heart of the city centre. It was one of the main reasons I chose to go to Leeds when tossing up which of these Grandslam gigs to go to back in the early spring. Leeds would be fairly cheap and hassle free for me to get to, no matter what mode of public transport I decided on and with the venue being right in the heart of the city, there was little chance of me getting lost or facing worry when leaving the venue post-gig. And…to be honest…at the time of booking the gigs, I didn’t have much interest in seeing Pretenders…so I saw them being off the bill at Leeds as a bonus (silly me!).

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I changed accommodation with less than a week to go. I had booked in to the Discovery Inn right in the centre, but my single room was costing me £65 – on the steep side for a single room…but, yes, the location was handy. I kept an eye on booking.com (booking.com is my friend! The convenience of being able to book ahead without making payment up front is…a bloody god send – SERIOUSLY!) for something cheaper and not too far out of the city centre around a week leading up to the gig. I didn’t like my chances much, but I was hopeful. Anyway, this one place appeared during the middle of last week and I thought I’d snap it up before I was billed for the Discovery Inn stay.

I basically just spent the night as a lodger in this person’s house. It was all set up really well. They use a Keysafe lock for the keys to the property. You let yourself in and use the amenities of the house (living room, kitchen, bathroom) and the bedroom you’re in is locked with its own key. It was a fab alternative, I must say! A hotel is great…but there were bonuses to this place. A little further out of the city meant it was a very quiet location…I’m not sure the Discovery Inn would have been so quiet – the heart of Leeds on a Saturday night? No!!

Money was the main factor in the change. This new place was costing me all of £25 to stay at…and although just that little further out of the city to require me getting a taxi back to it, post-gig (cab fare just under £10) – I still saved myself near enough half the cost by staying there.

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ANYWAYS! On to the gig!

A walk back down to the city centre from my overnight abode saw me arrive at the gates around 5.40pm. Google Maps gave me a bloody bum steer trying to find Millennium Square. Could I find it?! Nope! I was walking past a shopping mall, and there were like…kinda door staff out the front entrance and so I asked one of them for directions. Yes! Thank you doorman…fuck you Google Maps! Lol

Unlike Maidstone, we were right on cue for Leeds. There weren’t many people lined up at the gates, despite the time. Anyway, 6pm – bang on – the gates are open! In the short queue I got to talking to a lovely couple, Jenny and…I feel TERRIBLE but his name escapes me! (I used to be so great with names…I’m getting old!). We ended up at the front barrier together and were having a good old natter, passing the time.

I met up with another friend, Janet, briefly before KT was due on. Our catch up was all too fleeting, but we shall make amends for that in future.

KT arrived on stage bang on 7.15pm – and her first song was one I was hoping to hear at Maidstone…my favourite, It Took Me So Long To Get Here, But Here I Am. First time I heard it was in Dublin last year…and, wow. It was just…my song. Well, at least it felt it in Dublin last year. It just…had a resonance for me. I just fell in love with it. So I was over the moon she opened with that on Saturday night. The rest of her set was fairly much as it was in Maidstone, with a change of song mash up for Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – kazoo still featuring prominently though. (I love that!) We were treated to a new song as well. She has a new album coming out in several weeks – produced by Nick McCarthy…good to know he is doing stuff post-Franz. The new song was sounding great. I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. She’s always fab…always engaging, and never disappoints.

At this point, the skies are looking threatening. You could feel it in the air. A bit of drizzle…a few heavier spits of rain…but not too bad.

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Minds come on at 8.45 sharp. The usual killer rendition of The Signal And The Noise ensues…Jim strutting about, owning the stage, wielding his mic stand. A rare one in that he arrived on stage NAKED! Lol…don’t have a heart attack, ladies! I merely mean…devoid of glasses. Perhaps he was not wanting to tempt fate weather wise? It didn’t stop Gordy Goudie though. He was in his shades for most of the set! Just when you think Gordy couldn’t possibly get any cooler.

The rain was trying so very hard to oblige with Waterfront…but not enough to dampen spirits…enough to add to the atmosphere of the song though.

Great versions of Love Song and Let There Be Love.

Then Jim prepares to intro KT for Promised You A Miracle and talks of the previous weekend (I really can’t recall if this happened at Maidstone or not now…I must ask those who with me if they remember…I have a vague recollection…but I may just be dreaming it…I DIGRESS) in which he said when he watched her perform her opening set for them on the Acoustic tour last year “she blew me off” and then went on to say “and then I say ‘and she’ll blow me off again tonight’. Of course, I thought nothing of it…good Catholic boy and all that (at this point I’m thinking “yeah, sure, Jim…who are you trying to kid more? Us or yourself? Lol). We come off stage at the end of the gig and the rest of the band are like ‘what the fuck did you say that for?’” – obviously for comedic effect! The guy knows what he’s doing…honestly. Lol.

From this point on I AM NOT SAYING A WORD…I’ll leave it all to your VERY capable imaginations…I don’t think it would take much for anyone to work out where my mind wandered off to…albeit just for a few seconds. Lol

All that filth was quickly forgotten a few songs later when….the opening chords to Hunter And The Hunted started. I can’t even tell you articulately what it meant to be there for that…
Like Maidstone with Someone Somewhere In Summertime – although that was just the first time performance of the original arrangement of the song – this time for HATH it was truly a first! My first time hearing it live at a gig I was in attendance for.

And, it was beautiful. It was raining…I didn’t give a shit. It was just…wow. All the extra meaning this song has for me due to the past few years and the art and everything. I was actually too overcome to cry (what happened at Maidstone too)…but I loved it totally.

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As usual, the band were tight and cohesive…and having LOADS of fun! In spite of the weather, they were all having a ball. Ged, esp. I don’t think I’d ever witnessed him having such a great time – overtly evidently so. It was great to see. Gordy as well. Charlie singing along to ever song. Sarah beaming her beautiful smile. Cherisse in full “Animal” mode. Jim, like in days of old, just moving about EVERYWHERE…lots of mic stand tossing about (I’m not going to say he was ‘tossing off’! Lol…though…I just did! Oh, bollocks. Lol).

Again, just a phenomenal gig. And it is why I go and see them again and again…because they deliver again and again. They fill my world with joy and light and hope and fun and give me such happy times and great memories.

On Saturday night the added bonus of catching one of Cherisse’s drum sticks happened, AT LAST! I was filming via Facebook Live. I had just stopped filming Sanctify Yourself when I realised I should start filming again, in case Jim did a little bit of dad dancing during the final goodbye from the stage. As he’s having his little dance, Cherisse comes down from her kit with her sticks in hand. She holds her hands out in a gesture of “who wants a stick?” I am throwing my right hand up in the air and shouting “Oh, Cherisse…PLEASE!!!!” Flailing my right arm about madly. She sees me and gestures for me to get ready as she throws the stick towards me…I AM WILLING IT TO MAKE IT TO ME! And, FUCK ME! It just lands PERFECTLY in my hand! I grab onto it for dear life. FUCKING, YES! ONE HANDED – I BLOODY CAUGHT IT! You can hear me squealing with delight on the footage. I was still filming away as I caught it…squeal of delight evident for all and sundry. Lol. And I just kept hold of it like my life depended on it until I got back to my lodgings.

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Thank you again guys for the most amazing gig. Absolute highlights were Hunter And The Hunted and Someone Somewhere In Summertime…”burning slow, with me in the rain” – the atmosphere for that was just perfect!

Love you guys so so much! See you at Enfield (unless I have some fortune come my way in the mean time)!

That’s the next SM gig on the agenda…but in the meantime, the next actual musical event for me is THE GREEN MAN FESTIVAL IN THE BRECON BEACONS! Geez! What a lucky cow I am to have won those weekend camping tickets?! It’s going to be AMAZING! And, hopefully the weather will be on our side too.

Review: Thumpasaurus – The Social, London – August 8th, 2018

I went to this gig with very little knowledge of the band. I had heard Mental Karate several weeks back on Billy Sloan’s show on BBC Radio Scotland and loved what I’d heard. He then played it again a few Saturday’s back and it had been stuck in my head as a constant earworm since.

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I had been seeing one Mr Ronnie Gurr mentioning them on his social media profiles. One mention was of them playing London on Wednesday night, and if available to go, one could get themselves on the guest list.

I was worried I had seen Ronnie’s post far too late. I had been at the Grandslam gig in Maidstone and didn’t see it until the following day.

It wasn’t too late and on the guest list I was put. Ronnie said to me “make sure you bring your dancing shoes!” And, wow! He was not kidding!

Thumpasaurus describe themselves, rather accurately I must say, as “funk-punk”. They are just that! But also bucketloads of fun too!

The gig almost didn’t happen. The clutch seized up on the tour van as the guys were making their way down overnight from Edinburgh (where they are currently doing a run of shows as part of the Fringe). Some panic to get them on their way again meant the boys made it down in the early hours of Wednesday morning meaning the show was on! London certainly would have missed a treat had they not made it and the gig had been cancelled.

Most songs from The Book of Thump were performed. Highlights were definitely Mental Karate and the equally infectious Space Barn – a hands down winner in the “sing-a-long” stakes. (See footage below)

I went into the gig with no expectations other than the feeling I was about to have myself a ball. And…it was all that! The guys are fabulous! Great musicians, all of them.

If you need a night of escapism…a place to go to take yourself away from your troubles, I can’t think of many places better than to find yourself at a Thumpasaurus gig. If you love funk and groove and love dancing…catchy tunes…and just love live music and having a dance and sing…GO SEE THUMPASAURUS! There is no excuse! Esp. if you live in Edinburgh, or Scotland. Go check them out at the Fringe. They are fabulous!

Thanks for the great night, guys. And thank you, Ronnie for the invite. Much appreciated. And good luck with the rest of the tour. Reel them crowds in, boys!

Green Man Festival – Brecon Beacons – Weekend Camping Winner!

In other news – YES! I won a pair of weekend camping tickets to the Green Man Festival in the Brecon Beacons on Aug 16th-19th. I entered the comp because John Grant is on the bill and I am desperate to see him again. I didn’t know at the time I entered that he would announce a tour and I’d be getting to see him for my birthday.

This festival is absolutely FILLED to bursting with amazing music acts all weekend! And there is comedy and film and all sorts. Below is just a small taste of the music line up. The weekend camping tickets are worth £180 EACH!

WHAT A PRIZE! I am OVER THE MOON with this! I really did think I had done my festival going (apart from the Grandslam gigs…if you can classify them as festivals…) for this year.

Wow!

The Grandslam – Just Shoot Me Now!

Might as well get it over with. It really *is* “rob a bank” time. Or…time to sit some gigs out 😟😟😪😪

Not sure my heart will be able to take it either way…

Swindon – close to a friend.

Taunton – also possible…near-ish same said friend.

Leeds, twice! Close to a friend – and what are those asterisks for the Leeds gigs about? Ah…I see them now. Pretenders do the first date, SM do the second (that’ll be the one for me, then!)

Salford – I’m sure there’d be a few that would look after me.

Enfield – close (ish) to home.

Coventry – doable

Ardingly – a train journey down on the Brighton line. Though…Ardingly might be out as I see it sits bang in between the Swindon and Taunton gigs….which is weird and a bit crappily thought out (IMHO).

Anyways, tickets are on sale Wednesday at 9am – for those of you who ain’t skint to bloody buggery already, having pre-ordered every feasible format of Walk Between Worlds and have not already secured seeing them in February, and haven’t already bought tickets to other festivals and outdoor gigs (ie: me).

See simpleminds.com for full details.

Gig Review – Warm Digits + Comfort – The Lexington, Islington, August 25th, 2017

As usual, no matter how late I leave it to go to a gig, I always go far too early. Lol. I didn’t have TOO much time to kill last night, and the pub area of The Lexington is quite nice (complete with chandelier! A pub with a chandelier? That’s a bit posh!), so no real complaints. Just the one G&T for me. I am really not one for getting “tanked up” at gigs (esp. when travelling alone) – more on that later!


I went up to the venue upstairs early as the pub was filling up and well, I like to get familiar with my surroundings. Wow! What a tiny little venue! As soon as I saw the size of the place, I thought “Wow! This is going to be intimate!” Conservatively, I think the place could hold maybe 250 people. It’s really small. From the back wall you’re maybe only 5 or 6 metres from the stage. I mean…just…yeah.

The support act were a Glaswegian group called Comfort. I had spied the singer when I first arrived upstairs…not knowing they were the singer at the time…but they just…stood out when I saw them. There was a “star” vibe given off. My eyes kept being drawn to them before they were even on stage performing. And…they were GOOD. They kind of reminded me of Sleaford Mods, musically…but…harder. It’s a real wall of sound that hits you…just from two people. The singer, Natalie…was, incredible! So softly spoken between songs, but what an emotive voice! Wow! They really make you sit up and take notice! I really enjoyed them. You can check them out via Bandcamp.


On to the main act with Warm Digits…and WOW!!! From the get go they were awesome. Started off with the opening track from their new Wireless World album, Two To Four Degrees – and just from that alone I knew this gig was going to be amazing. As they continued on, it almost became a religious experience. I was in absolute raptures. I love this “Krautrock/Motorik” beat and drive they have so much. But it’s on another level with them. They make it their own. And their own…something extra to it! And I knew that if they could replicate the sound they make in the studio, live, they would be UTTERLY AMAZING! And they were!


With them were special guest vocalists, Peter Brewis from Field Music performing End Times, and Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell performing Growth Of Raindrops. I was hoping my other favourite track on the album would get an airing, and I wasn’t disappointed, as Better Friction (though, sadly, vocalist Mia la Metta was not in attendance) was performed.

(I’m not one for having my phone out and filming gigs, but I just had to get a little short snippet of them as they were so bloody awesome! The audio on my phone doesn’t do them ANY justice.)

As the set continued, I was getting more and more absorbed in it. I found myself losing myself in it…absorbing it all…closing my eyes, being taken away to a different place…and then…

Joe turned up! Lol. God bless him, he was having just as much of the religious experience as I was feeling…but…he was JUST A LITTLE worse for wear. Which was fine…I don’t begrudge him he’s enjoyment…but it was getting a little worrying after a while. He invaded the stage…he got VERY close to drummer, Andy. He nearly fell onto his kit several times…and indeed actually ended up doing so. He stood behind Andy…took his sticks from him…started banging away on the drums. Andy picked up spare sticks… How Andy continued to keep drumming through it all, I will never know! Joe was eventually escorted off…but not before FULLY making his presence known. It really did turn it into a night NEVER to forget!

Afterwards, both Andy and Steve were manning their own merch stall. They are just the loveliest guys! So humble and so willing to talk. It was really lovely. I have NNOOO money to spare right now…but I had to buy something and have it signed by them. I asked Andy how long they’d be sticking round, so I could get out and get a bit of cash to come back and buy something.


Having done that, as I made my way back upstairs to the stall, the guy at the venue door was coming down. He had a poster in his hand, “would you like this poster?” he says to me. “Yes please!!!”, I say and so I had myself a gig poster. Steve and Andy signed it as well as the copy of their first album which I bought then…and they were kind enough to throw in a copy of their vinyl recording of their Late Junction session with Field Music for the BBC back in 2012.



I did at one point “talk shop” a little bit with Steve. Told him I’m a massive Simple Minds fan. He said to me, “Yeah, we’re getting into their early stuff…we listened to that album, the one ‘I Travel’ is on”. I went all uber fangirl and said “Empires And Dance”. “You must also listen to Sons And Fascination/ Sister Feelings Call…oh and Real To Real Cacophony. They had that Kraurock influence in the early days.” I’m SUCH a fangirl! Lol.

It was just…the most amazing night. Thank you Steve and Andy for being such a powerhouse! And such wonderful guys. I will DEFINITELY be seeing you guys again when you come back to London in November.

You guys are THE BOMB!