Ruts DC – Pelton Arms, Greenwich – June 28th, 2019

Jumped on the tickets when it was first announced. At £10 a throw, they were not to be sneezed at.

I thought Greenwich might be a bit of a pain to get to…but hey, the gig would be great so we’d cross that bridge on the day. Well, as it happened, we could get a train direct to Greenwich from Luton. I had NO IDEA this was even possible. That made logistics nice and easy.

 

We got the train to the stop after Greenwich, Maze Hill, so we could our bearings to the pub. It wasn’t far from Maze Hill station. After we cased the joint, we took a meander along the Thames and headed back towards Greenwich. There was a bit of time to kill to peruse and look about. We ended up at the Royal Observatory. ****PUN ALERT**** I had a “mean time” straddling the meridian. I was getting myself quite muddled about this the other day when I was there…being quite a thicky. Lol! I can be the biggest dumbass sometimes. I’d never been to Greenwich before and didn’t realise just quite what a viewpoint of the rest of London you have from the observatory.

Looking ahead I think this train journey will cut out a lot of faffing getting to the Alice Cooper gig at the O2 in October.

But let’s get back to the gig and Ruts DC.

While we were at the observatory having a mooch about, the boys were back at the Pelton Arms going through soundcheck. From the little clip I saw on Facebook, it was sounding fantastic. I didn’t have much doubt of it.

hdrpl

A quick pitstop back in the main bit of town for a bite to eat then back to the pub in time for the gig.

Leigh was about in the pub. I ended up seated next to him. I had taken along my copy of the South Of Babylon photobook with Virginia’s photos in. I asked Leigh if he’d sign it for me. “I’m not in it though”, he says to me. “I know, but you’re part of the band now and I’d like you to sign it.” He seemed to think the other guys would be a bit funny about it. He said “If you ask Segs and he says it’s okay, then maybe I will.”

After a short while, my ears tune in to a song playing over the sound system. I think I am hearing the opening strains to something VERY familiar…and then I hear the unmistakable drum and bass combo of McGee and Forbes and YES! Theme For Great Cities was playing in the pub. This pub was now officially the coolest pub in London!

About 10 mins before showtime, Segs and Ruffy arrive at the pub. I take my chance while Segs hasn’t been flanked on both sides by peeps. I sidle up to him, book in one hand, Sharpie in the other. “Hi Segs, could I please have you sign this for me?” “Is this the book? I haven’t seen it yet”, and he has a flick through it. “This is brilliant.” Of course he signs it but then keeps hold of it and carries it around showing peeps. He showed the guy manning their merch stall and then the promotor (I’m assuming?) of the gig. He then goes over to Leigh and shows him. “Hey, have a look at this. Isn’t it fab?” It’s my cue to say “I asked Leigh if he’d sign it earlier on but he said I to ask your permission first. So, will you give him permission to sign it?” “Leigh! You can sign it. I’ll get Dave to sign it for you and all.” Ruffy had gone to a back room to get into his gig clothes. So when he comes out, Segs is on the case. He’s still carrying the book around. He’s got it open on a page of close up portraits of the guys so he can show Ruffy his portrait. “Look at this – it’s that book”, he says to him, putting the book on the table. “Will you sign this for this lady?” With the book all signed, I left them to get themselves ready for the stage.

0300422E-CE76-4685-8FF0-CBEE073E91C3

The stage was right in the corner of the pub. Acoustic levels were great. Clear views were awkward, esp. if you’re on the shorter side of height, obv. Not much space for dancing…but the couple of ladies in front of us were determined. From my place in the crowd, I could see Leigh but not much of Ruffy and Segs only from time to time.

The crowd kept jostling and moving about. People continuously moving, making their way back to the bar and the back again to try and get back to their spot. About halfway through the set, things were getting a bit steamy. I was getting ready to alert the OH about maybe getting out of the crowd and sitting back down when she says to me “I need to get out of here and sit down. I don’t feel so good.” We’re as bad as each other. Lol. She has Meniere’s so standing venues are not great for her anyway.

Sat back down, we were both okay. Obviously couldn’t see a thing but could still hear things great. Couldn’t fault them for sound levels. They were spot on.

It was a fairly short set. They played for just over an hour. Babylon’s Burning being the close of the set, with a single song encore. Others in the set included Music Must Destroy, In A Rut, Staring At The Rude Boys, Love In Vain, West One, Kill The Pain and Psychic Attack.

Enjoyed the set. Crowd was good. Nothing kicked off. Everyone pretty respectful and stuff. Pub was great. Acoustics inside were great. I do actually prefer acoustic sets. As much as I love the full rock experience, you tend to get a better clarity at the acoustic gigs. There’s no distortion of sound. You can actually HEAR things, you know? The venue location was good too. Easy to get to. All good.

7D4A8252-8DF5-4D56-B683-C9BE4BD339A4

I went and thanked Segs for a fab set, asked for a snap together and we were off back home.

Not sure when my next opportunity to see them will be. I would LOOOOVE it to be Hamburg in December (where they are supporting The Stranglers)…but things are a bit too up-in-the-air for that to be a definite at the moment. Only time will tell.

Drum Practice – June 23rd, 2019

Woke up mega tired. Didn’t sleep that well. Had silly trivial things (in the context of things) on my mind. Set out early today and got to Mill Hill in plenty o’ time.

I walk past the entrance to a park on my way to the rehearsal rooms each week. So with a bit of time to spare this week, I thought I’d take a quick detour. It’s an ordinary looking park. A decent size for play, etc. A few dog walkers were about. A lady passed me with her cute little Pomeranian in tow. I sat on a park bench for a few mins, setting the world to rights. Lol

I try and hit the studio each week without any overriding feelings of anything. Nothing too positive or negative. Just trying to stay balanced. It obviously doesn’t always work!

I’m getting used to the little routine I have when I enter the room to set up. Get the little recording device out and get that going. Grab the iPod Touch, over-ear headphones and ear protectors, to alternate between them as and when. Adjust the kit. It still drives me nuts (adjusting the kit), but it just has to be done. The day I have my own kit, and it is just ready for me every day….I’ll be kissing my drum kit with a greeting! Lol

I had two goes with my mix of songs. I tentatively tried to play along with fills and things. Really not as easy as it seems it will be doing the stick practice at home.

I also tried playing the backbeats to Glittering Prize. OMG! If Mel Gaynor was no longer with us, he’d have been rolling in his grave today! Lol. If he ever hears my attempt, he WILL die! Lol. 😂😂😂😂

But instead of just getting frustrated and angry, or despondent and disillusioned…I just tried to make it fun today. Just resign myself to it – in a positive way. Just accept there’s a way to go…but just relax. Just try to enjoy the time more. It’ll make the learning easier in the end. I spoke over the top of what I was “playing” and just took the piss out of myself.

One drumming session at a time. Tiny smatterings of progress MAY just happen that I don’t detect. I dunno. I’ve just got to get into the habit of embracing the frustrations and accepting them happening and see them as fun too. What I am doing is fun! I get to make a racket and hit and bash things for two hours.

This week I just tried to play along as confidently as my lack of actual musicality and expertise will allow. Just to loosen up and just have fun. I’ll even share a bit of my stuff on here, just because I think they’ll be funny. Just me waffling and playing and giving “critiques” to myself on the fly.

Next week, I am very, VERY excited about. AT LAST! I get tuition again! Not with Cherisse, as she is still on the road with Kelly Jones at the mo…and I think will have a few other things after the tour ends. So next week, Gareth will be my tutor. I really am overdue some tuition time. There is stuff I want to get moving onto and implementing. I need some routine with this. If I am serious.

I just feel like…I started the commitment, so I need to give it a good old stab for a while, you know?

Anyway. Appalling but funny snippets to come…and YAY to next week!

Drum Practice – June 16th, 2019

Back to a full two hour session this week.

Weather wise, it was pissing it down when I left the house this morning. Then it stopped for a bit. Pissed down again. Then eventually stopped for good. Mercifully didn’t get too wet. Who’d believe it’s the middle of June, eh? Blow me!

Another small mercy. No train complications or anything. My 11.21 train was running and on time.

This week I took my over-ear cheap pair of Sennheisers with me. YES! Cheaper Sennheiser headphones do exist and they work just as well as the ones you’d pay hundreds for – I would think – I’ve never DARED invest more than £50 on a pair of ‘phones. I didn’t pay this much for these Sennheisers. Only about £20 and I’ve had them several years.

So, took the over-ear cans so I didn’t have to use the amp to play my mix of tracks that I practice playing along to at home. I had been missing the opportunity to play with them on the actual kit. Just hadn’t been very successful with setting up the play along at the rehearsal room right. ANYWAY, this week – fab! I needed the over-ears to get the ratio of hearing the tracks playing but also hearing myself playing in time (or at least TRYING to play in time) right. Got the sound levels right right off the bat and started playing along once I had the kit set as near as possible to my liking without wasting too much time on that. Must have been a kid in before me, as the snare was nearly on the bloody floor it was down so low. Lol. Snare was waaaay down, but the hi hat was higher than normal. Go figure *shrugs*

I just…got on with things this week. Just got on with business, like. When I am playing along to songs, I don’t do fills or crashes, because usually the fills and crushes and things are on the backbeat or on a separate time signature to the rest of the song. That I am now finding a bit frustrating. I want to start getting coaching on how I start to do that. I feel I really, REALLY need a lesson right now. Now, I THINK the Kelly Jones tour takes a small break for about 10 days or so after tonight’s London gig and Cherisse said to me she might be able to squeeze a lesson in…but it might not happen. So…I may be another month off having another lesson, which will just…kill me. Lol.

I think if she doesn’t do any tutoring until mid July, I might have to book a 90 intensive session just to feel like I am getting back on track properly.

In the mean time, next week is booked and ready to go, but looking ahead…July could be a bit iffy for practice. My Race For Life 10km event is on July 7th. I’ll be far too knackered after that to think about a practice session. I may think about altering it to the Saturday that week and maybe shortening it to just an hour. We’ll see. The other weekend in July that will affect things is the weekend of the Trevor Horn gig. I’ll be leaving for Glasgow at about 5am on the Saturday (July 27th) morning and won’t be back in London until 6.30am on Monday – so that knocks out any chance of anything for that weekend. UNLESS! I find a place in Glasgow I can practice in! Oooh…there’s a thought! We shall think on with that one!

I’m halfway through playing back practice. It doesn’t sound too bad. But I am just craving for some incremental advancements in tuition right now. But I felt fairly good this week. That’s the crux of it.

P.S. I meant to say. I walked 11km today. I was absolutely KNACKERED when I got home. When I was listening to my recording of my practice…I fell asleep! Lol. Maybe I am getting some musicality to my playing? Lol. I wish!

Here’s my drum practice mix I play to…

Promised You A Sweat In Bullet Miracle

You know what? Well, I was worried about why I had been blocked from the Decade 77-87 Facebook page. And I was genuinely scratching my head wondering why the hell it would be that I was. Then this evening, with a new share of a Simple Minds video compilation they had put together, I realised what potentially may have caused it.

Last year they shared a clip of Factory from Folllies – the Belgian music show. When they shared the clip, they made the claim it was exclusive to them. But it wasn’t. It appeared just a day or two before on YouTube, and they clearly had just copied it off from there. And I said as much. So…if that is their gripe and why I was blocked from their page? Meh! I just told the truth.

Subsequently, that clip WAS taken down from YT and only their clip of Factory remains. (As a superior colour clip. There still is the inferior black and white clip on YT) One could argue they had the last laugh.

So…tonight, this new clip from them shows up! One of SM on Get Set For Summer in 1982. Jim looking UBER lush and beautiful (no apologies for my ovary exploding fangirling tonight). There are two parts to the clip. Them doing Promised You A Miracle – which I had NEVER seen before, and a snippet of them doing Sweat In Bullet – which I had seen before, in appalling quality, on Daily Motion (Daily Motion really is NOT the place for clips these days!).

So, seeing as it had appeared on the Decade FB page, I thought “Oh, there must be an original source on YouTube. Let’s have a look.” Lo and behold, there it was! It had been up there for seven months already. Damn!

Anyway, here’s the original, full YouTube clip. Promised You A Miracle starts at around the 11 minute mark. I skipped through the rest of the clip, wondering if the bit of footage I saw of them being interviewed was in it too – the one where Jim pretends to whack Peter Powell on the head with the microphone (should have done it for real, Sir!). No such luck. Not that I saw anyway.

There’s a curious thing around the 25 minute mark. They are interviewing some head huncho at the Grandstand studio about some sporting event being broadcast and I SWEAR for all the world it’s Steve Coogan – more fittingly – Alan Partridge. Except Coogan is only 16 at the time of the airing of this show, so it CANNOT be him. But, the voice and mannerisms are unreal!

Just watch it! Shortly after it is the Sweat In Bullet snippet.

Enjoy!

Drum Practice – June 2nd

Hadn’t been feeling the best the past few days and suffered a mild vasovagal syncope near miss in London on Thursday in the queue to get into Broadcasting House for a recording of The News Quiz. Sadly, Miles Jupp’s last one. Didn’t know that when I got the tickets.

I could feel the wave. Sat down on the pavement. Controlled my breathing. After several moments, it passed.

I also had…let’s say “an unexpected visitor” on Wednesday…so, yeah. Hadn’t been feeling great. Ended up flaming knackered from London on Thursday. Always do the walk from St Pancras to Broadcasting House and back via Euston and Great Portland Road which is the same distance I have doing my walking for the drum practice – 10km.

So, I’ve walked a half marathon within the space of three days…no wonder I’m knackered!

ANYWAY. Despite feeling very not in the mood for going, I dragged my sorry arse out today. I had already booked my 2 hour session and already paid for my train ticket. So, I know that isn’t a lot of money for most people, but under my current circumstance – £16 is a lot of money for me to squander. I wasn’t having it!

And, you know…certain other factors help keep me driven. A little nagging voice that says “no one likes a quitter!” was nattering away. Even though I was backchatting to it, saying, “I don’t care what you fucking think. Sometimes…there are just…circumstances. Shut the fuck up! And anyway….just for YOU, I ain’t quitting! Not this week. So, button it. Arsehole!” Lol. Yes…I have those kind of ridiculous internal monologues.

Ultimately I just thought, “What is there to lose?” I’d booked my time and my train. I had lots of walking to do, yes. That was the thing that I was least in the mood for, to be honest. But…I did it.

Electrical failures meant trains were delayed and cancelled. Mercifully not MY train. It was delayed by several minutes, but not cancelled. I arrived 10 minutes late and I needed to leave 10 mins early to make a train home that would allow me to get a bus back nearer to home…just for this week, so I had a break from all the walking.

The session went good. There were some things hindering me, as usual. Adjustments to the kit that I successfully made. So that was good. I couldn’t get sound from my iPod out of the amp/monitor thingy. It seemed wired up right…but I just couldn’t hear anything. So I just practiced beats. And I worked on integrating some hi hat pedal play. I felt it was time I needed to work on that, so I gave it a go.

So, yep…the session felt pretty good. Here are a couple of audio snippets of what I was working on…

Lol. That end bit is my “Fuck this – I’m shit!” wail of exasperation.

I’m very, VERY tired. The trains coming back were delayed and cancelled still. So my 2.10pm train to get me back in time for the bus to get me closer to home was delayed and meant I’d miss the bus. So…I did all the walking I’d usually do and I was KNACKERED. AM knackered. But feel kinda good. Feel good in that the session felt like it went well.

Listening back to some of what I recorded today, I sound…okay. Never gonna set the world on fire at this point…but at least I sounded kind of adept today.

Baby steps.

Warm Digits + support, Newcastle – Part Two Of “The End Of The Week Whirlwind”.

After a day in Edinburgh at the Rip It Up exhibition and Bruce Findlay/Ian Rankin talk, the original plan was to take a coach over to Glasgow, mooch around for the day, maybe catch up wth one or two friends and take the train back to London late in the afternoon.

That all changed a couple of weeks back when I realised that Warm Digits were playing in Newcastle the day after my Edinburgh visit. “Would it be possible?” I wondered? “Newcastle can’t be too much of a journey from Edinburgh. Well, not compared to Luton!” But I initially dissuaded myself, thinking it all too much to organise, and considering the outlay, no matter how cheaply I could do it.

It played on my mind for a day or two. Finally it was the “carpe diem” of it all. My life has been so full of “what ifs” and “shouldas” that I shuddered at the thought of this being another.

It meant catching a train at Edinburgh Waverley station at 9.08am. I didn’t want to miss it, so got there in plenty of time. There was a Costa very nearby the station and I had time to spare, so downed a latte and a banana.

I hit Newcastle around 10.30am. I immediately went looking for the quayside area of the city to check out the Tyne and the bridges. It was such a glorious warm, sunny day, the first sights of the old Tyne “coathanger” bridge – the sister bridge to Sydney’s Harbour Bridge – really could have had me convinced I had somehow teleported to Australia.

C24FE233-50B1-47EB-A4C6-774FD30B937A

I took a walk along the Tyne, crossed the Millennium bridge and took a seat and just enjoyed the view in the shade for a bit. I didn’t bank on seeing it AT ALL but while I was there I heard a klaxon go off a couple of times and I was thinking “ooh, is that a warning to exit the bridge as it’s about to tilt?” To let taller ships through, the bridge gets lifted up on a tilt. In the meantime, I’m checking my FB. Five minutes passed and when I look up again, the bridge had already tilted into place and was letting a small but tall mast boat through. I decided to catch it moving back into position by recording a Facebook Live update.

It really was quite warm and so I decided to move on, get my bearings, try and find the venue and see where I was at. Maybe see if I could find a park nearby, take a rest. I had very little sleep the night before. The hostel was fab. My room was great…but there was a party going on nearby with very loud music playing. It was too warm to shut the window to drown out the sound. I put my iPod on and tried to drown out the other music and chatter with my own music. The party was still going on at 3.30am. I had a fitful night, with only about 3 hours of quality sleep at best.

Once I had found The Cluny, I was reluctant to leave. It was a quiet, airy pub with a nice atmosphere. I could plug my phone into a socket and charge it and just chill and relax.

I wiled away a couple of hours Facebooking, people watching, chilling. After a couple of hours I ordered a late lunch. I had cheese on toast. I know! It doesn’t sound much, but it was delicious! Three slices of toasted baguette, with three different types of cheese on the slices, with a side serving of caramelised onion chutney and a side salad. It really was lovely! Absolutely had hit the spot!

4A49D4E8-7576-41F2-BF78-D9FA97C745F0.jpeg

Soon after, Steve arrived. I think he was a little surprised to see me there so early, but I was comfy. We had a quick chat before Steve got on with the job of unloading his equipment. Andy arrived shortly after. While chatting to Andy I had flippantly said “as such an ardent fan, I should be privy to a soundcheck”…really just joking and being cheeky. To my wonderment he said “yeah, why not! Of course you can. Come in. You can come and watch Steve stress out.” Lol. And so there I was, watching Warm Digits set up their kit and soundcheck. It was great.

022F3AB8-68B3-4D54-8769-F3730C6A228D

A selfie with Andy taken after soundcheck

A bit more time just chilling. Hearing Eat Lights, Become Lights and The Noise & The Naive soundcheck and really liking what I was hearing! Some ice cream and a pack of Maltesers to keep me going for the rest of the evening. A little break outside and it was doors open and me going in to take my place in readiness and anticipation.

39B72C71-4960-4619-988D-A97BFCE74D8C

The Noise & The Naive:

Wow! They were great! Tons of energy. Fast. Fab beats. Great drummer. The band comprise of Anne Langourieux on drums and vocals and Pauline Jacquey on guitar and BVs. They performed a short and tight set. The crowd loved them. I loved them! Possibly the best support act I have seen this year, if not ever. I know I said that of C.A.R and she really is great too, but these ladies were just on another level again for me. Warm Digits are really getting themselves some amazing support acts. I loved these ladies so much, I got a copy of their EP and a badge. Had I not had to watch the pennies so much, I’d have bought a shirt as well. I hope I can catch them somewhere again very soon.

57AA9BF8-E9AF-42D4-B10B-5FF5E507E35E

You can check them out on bandcamp – just click on the LINK HERE to do so.

Eat Lights Become Lights:

After the fast punk thrash of The Noise & The Naive, we went a little more chill and atmospheric with Eat Lights Become Lights. A great style of “mood electronica”…a music to lose yourself in. I really enjoyed them too. Really wonderfully atmospheric. Tracks that build in pace and magnitude. I’d recommend checking them out too.

Eat Lights Become Lights – Bandcamp link

B5A97C3A-4D04-4AE0-884A-68F602EC2C8D

Warm Digits:

Finally, onto the main affair. I had waited all day for this! The boys started a bit late…and I was clock watching. I had booked a taxi to come get me and take me to my coach stop (yes…to keep costs down I was not staying overnight, but taking a red eye coach back to London overnight) at 11.15pm. By the time the boys started it was nearing 10.15.

They were giving it some on Friday night! Quite possibly the best I’ve seen them perform…even with Peter Brewis and Sarah Cracknell performing with them the night I saw them at The Lexington. They just sounded so great and, just wow! Killer versions of the tracks with vocals, and the sound levels were spot on. Fracking Blackpool rocked like fuck and the end Wireless World medley was bliss. By the time that was done, it was 11.10pm. I had to go! I couldn’t stay for encore. I was GUTTED!

But it was all worth it. The guys were thoroughly worth the detour and sleepless journey home. I would happily do it again. It was the reason I made the desicion to do it. I don’t know when I will get to see them again now, but I know I saw one of the best gigs ever on Friday night. All three acts were OUT OF THIS WORLD!

C651E065-D9BB-4A8F-B3C6-50237E4BA275

Got to be about the best gig promo poster they’ve had too. I love it!

To Steve and Andy, thank you. Thank you for just being so great to me and making such fabulous music. You never make me feel unwelcome or bothersome. And Andy, I am really sorry if what I said to you earlier in the day made you change your shirt. I felt so guilty about that! 😦

To all three acts. Thanks for making this just about the best gig of the year. And to The Cluny for being such a great venue with such a relaxing, fab atmosphere.

I hope Steve and Andy that I get to see you guys again in the not-too-distant future. Keep warm guys, xx.

The Anchoress & Manic Street Preachers – Meltdown Festival – Royal Festival Hall, June 19th, 2018

Well, no gig would be complete without some kind of travel drama. Yesterday it was the APPALLING service given by Thameslink due to their absolute shambolic implementation of their new timetable. We waited an hour for a train to London! We arrived at Luton station at around 2.41pm. The next train due was at 3.28pm. Some 20 minutes into the wait, there’s an announcement of a bus replacement service to St Albans…but the way it was worded sounded as if we needed to get on the bus to St Albans to continue the journey to London. Not so…but it took some faffing about…leaving the station for said bus, only to find no bus outside, etc, for this to become clear. So, we go back in the station. Wait on the platform for the train, only to hear (AS THE TRAIN ARRIVES ON THE PLATFORM) that the train is leaving from a different platform. No chance of us legging it over to the other platform on time, so we wait yet another 20 mins for the next train.

4AD8BA45-F4D6-4A9F-8FA0-9C5FCEC495DD.jpeg

As we’re waiting for the next train to arrive, a member of staff walks past us and he says “are you ladies watching the trains?” SERIOUSLY?! I could have kicked his arse! “No, but it feels like we are!” was me reply to him. But internally my dialogue continued “Yep, we’re a right pair of trainspotters, us! A regular Renton and Spud.” Lol. Fuck me! The cheek! Anyway, finally by 3.49pm we were on a train to Blackfriars. Phew!

FA6B4E3D-C739-41F5-971A-316DF8C588D4

Catherine arrived on stage promptly at 7.30pm and launched straight into a fabulous rendition of Long Year.

“No latecomers!” was the wording on the Festival Hall information regarding “doors open” and set times. I was sat right by the stairway leading down to the lower stall seats on the right side of the auditorium. Thought I had the best seat in the house, until Catherine’s set began, and stream upon stream of latecomers were indeed being allowed in! For the first few minutes I could understand that…but it just kept happening right through her set. So, thank you usher staff at the Festival Hall for ruining an otherwise amazing performance!

From Long Year onto One For Sorrow, a rocking version at that! Wow, loved it. Only the second time I’ve got to experience hearing One For Sorrow live and it didn’t disappoint.

What Goes Around, and again, rocking…full of energy, passion…vitriol, as a song like that should be!

Some video of new song Show Your Face, as well as some of You And Only You. Both cracking! (You’ll see from the footage just what a bugbear that seat right by the stairway became.)

Catherine’s set finished with Confessions Of A Romance Novelist. And as promptly as she arrived, she said goodnight. It was a very short set. She was gone too soon! I wanted more! And I missed her performing Bury Me. But I could see from the rest of the set list and how the performance went that maybe she felt that Bury Me wouldn’t be in keeping with how she wanted the set to be. The set was tight, blended well…Show Your Face slotted in really nicely…cannot wait to hear the new album! It’s gonna be just as fab as “Confessions” if the new song is anything to go by.

Really hoping it isn’t too long before we see more Anchoress gigs. But she’s a busy lady for pretty much the rest of the year with her work with Simple Minds, so we shall see!

As we waited for the Manics set to begin, there was music being played over the sound system…I hear the opening chords to Two To Four Degrees by Warm Digits and I am in raptures! The boys getting a nod! I hope everyone had their phones out Shazamming WTF was being played when they heard it. Love my boys! 🙂

Oh, what can I say about the Manics? I mean, geez, they just nail the whole live thing. Born to do it! Nicky was back on the stage, having very recently lost his mother. It was wonderful to see him back.

The set started with International Blue from new album Resistance Is Futile – I’m starting to believe that to be a quite aptly named album!

They just rocked the place, really. Next up was Motorcycle Emptiness and…the crowd erupts. The inevitable sing-a-long ensues and for one who is not a hard and fast fan (but by no means a person who doesn’t like the band! I have delved into the Manics on and off over the years), you just get swept up in the passion and love of it all. The band love the fans, and the fans certainly love the band! “You Love Us” is not a song of bravado, but pure fact!

At this point I’ve got to mention the mix of the sound. The vocals for both The Anchoress set and for the Manics were not mixed well. It’s why I missed what the new song Catherine performed was called, and I was missing most of the lyrics too. JDB was just as lost in the mix most of the night as well. The mix was actually quite distorted for both sets…but it detracts none from either of their respective performances.

Highlights of the Manics set for me? You Stole The Sun From My Heart (it has long been a fave track of theirs), their cracking cover of The Cure’s In Between Days, Catherine’s appearance for Little Baby Nothing and Dylan And Caitlyn, If You Tolerate This, Faster, Hold Me Like A Heaven, Tsunami, People Give In and ending with arguably the BEST crowd sing-along anthem that exists, Design For Life. Wow! What a set!

Trust me, people…resistance really IS futile!

Next up on the Prip world tour is a trip to Edinburgh and Newcastle for the Rip It Up exhibition, a talk from Bruce Findlay and Ian Rankin, followed by ANOTHER gig with those Warm Digits boys again…this time on home turf! (Well, for one half of them anyways…Mr Steve Jefferis.)