Video Review – Blenheim Palace

Sorry it’s a video review but it was the only quick way for me to do it. Needs must and all that. Hope you enjoy my waffling and moaning. Lol

WARNING: You’ll see my hagged old face and have to endure my croaky voice and dripping nose. Sorry! To make up for it, there are some musical snippets…

To the left of the photo was our hero video screen tech guy.

Review: Crowded House – OVO Hydro, Glasgow – 10 June, 2022

I am starting to warm to the Hydro as a concert venue. The only fly in the ointment left for it is its location. It’s not in the most convenient of locales. It’s beautifully positioned as far as aesthetics go. Sharing its space near the Armadillo, Finnieston crane and with Pacific Quay and the Science Centre on the opposite side of the Clyde, and with the Squinty bridge in view – the aesthetic really does work. 

I’d like to say that it’s the public transport letting it down, but…it just isn’t that well catered for with public transport links anyway. There is a train station nearby – Exhibition station, but that’s only really serviceable from/via Central station, so us in the north of the city who have Queen Street as our train arrival point into the city can’t really make use of that. The only other option would be to take the subway and get off at either Kelvinhall or Cessnock. Of the two it’s actually easier to get out at Cessnock and cross the Clyde by the footbridge at Pacific Quay than it is to navigate your way down from Kelvinhall. 

Weather is also an issue – ALWAYS an issue in Glasgow! Lol.

The choice for us yesterday was to take a taxi there. I pre-booked one to come and collect us at 5.45pm. Doors opened to the Hydro at 6.30pm. I tried booking the taxi for 6pm but all the drivers were booked for then so tried 5.45pm instead and was able to book. I also pre-booked a taxi to come and collect us after the show at 11pm.

The south Clyde view around 6.15pm
The view an hour later from inside the OVO Hydro Level 2

We arrived in plenty of time. It had only just passed 6pm. People were already queuing to go in, which I found rather surprising as there was no general admission standing space in front of the stage as there was with the Simple Minds gig. For Crowded House it was a fully seated affair. This is only my third concert experience in the Hydro and the first I had experienced as a fully seated arena. It seemed a bit daft to me – but I guess there being seats splayed out on the floor like that meant a premium ticket price could be charged as opposed to a general admission charge. 

With sunny skies and time to kill we (we being myself and my usual gig buddy, Birdy) decided to take a stroll over the Clyde and grab a coffee at one of the coffee houses near Pacific Quay. The Costa at the building opposite BBC Scotland HQ was closed, but the Starbucks on the other side of the road was still open. Coffee, tea and various foodstuffs were devoured. Just as we were finishing up our food and drink, the skies blackened and we decided to nip back over to the Hydro before the heavens opened. We only just made it before getting a thorough soaking. Knowing that we would soon be hearing the likes of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’ seemed incredibly appropriate. Those Finn compositions were absolutely made for Glasgow. 

We milled about for a bit. Went upstairs, took in the view of the Clyde from the standing bar area (see pic) and then went and got seated. I had a seat next to a husband and wife and got chatting to them. Birdy and I had bought our tickets to the gig at separate times so we weren’t seated together but, as it turned out, the seats to my right stayed vacant so we were able to sit together anyway.

The gig had been scheduled to start at 8.30pm and was listed as ‘No support’, so it was surprising to find Liam Finn coming out to the stage just after 8pm to perform a small set. He sounds so much like his dad in singing style. A pretty good guitarist too. He only performed a quick set of around 20-25 minutes. With him finishing at around 8.25pm it seemed unlikely Crowded House would be appearing five minutes later. They arrived on the stage at 8.45pm to a very warm round of applause. They started the show with a fantastic rendition of Distant Sun. There were some newer songs in amongst the set that I am only vaguely familiar with. I’ve only played their most recent album release a couple of times but the songs are already becoming familiar to me. 

Both Neil and Nick were up for the craic and had some great patter with the crowd. Neil even started a completely off-the-cuff made on the fly composition that he called ‘Hi-Viz Jacket’ and was getting the crowd to sing along to. 

I recorded Fall At Your Feet – but I should have kept recording instead of ending it where I did as Neil got the crowd into yet another sing along and it was just beautiful. Really magical.

Along the way Neil was listening to the crowd call outs, trying to hear what people were saying and actually legitimately interested in hearing any requests that came his way. After they performed ‘Black And White Boy’ someone called out “LESTER!” Not familiar with the entire Crowded House back catalogue, they were requesting a song. Neil obliged and they performed it impromptu. At the end of the song, Neil explained that he obliged the request as it linked to the previous song – both of them being about family dogs. 

For me this is when the show really started to go up a gear. They performed ‘Something So Strong’ and then the song I was really hoping they’d play and performed ‘When You Come’, which was just gorgeous!

Then a big block of hits… ‘Four Seasons In One Day, ‘Weather With You’, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and ‘It’s Only Natural’ all followed in quick succession. They hadn’t taken a break all night until this point for a brief break before a wonderful encore which included another fabulous sing along on ‘World Where You Live’ and the surprise of the night, an awesome rendition of ‘I Got You’. Finally, the show ended with the appropriate and sublime ‘Better Be Home Soon’.



What a gig! They were utterly fantastic. The vocal harmonies between Neil and Liam are splendid. And their guitar playing is wonderfully complementary to one another. Elroy, Neil’s other son, is great on drums. Nick Seymour is a stalwart as Crowded House’s bassman. Mitchell Froom is fabulous on keys. And they have a great guy on percussion as well. 

I don’t know if when we went through the pandemic and the Hydro was being used as the NHS Louisa Jordan Covid-19 vaccine centre that allowed them to sort out the acoustics of the place when it went back to being a concert venue or what – but these two most recent gigs I’ve experienced there, Simple Minds and now Crowded House – the acoustics were great both times. Flawless for Simple Minds. And the only minor cripe I had about last night was initially I felt Neil’s voice was a little hard to pick up at times but it eventually got sorted. To be honest, it only really seemed to be an issue with songs I wasn’t so familiar with and I was trying to listen to the lyrics.


I haven’t been to a lot of gigs this year so far. The vast majority of them being Simple Minds – quelle surprise – but I have to say that Crowded House last night are really in pole position with the Minds for gig of the year for 2022! Two Hydro gigs going neck and neck for the title! Who’d have thunk it?!

Crowded House are still touring the UK right now. They’re in Scarborough tonight and have gigs in Cardiff, Birmingham, Hampton Court Palace in London, and Manchester still to come. I’d recommend you catch them if you can. 

End note – the taxi ride home was timed to perfection. I started to worry I had booked the taxi too early but I needn’t have worried. The band wrapped up the gig around 10.45pm which gave us enough time to scoot across the road to the Campanile Hotel and be collected from the car park. We were back in the door home around 11.15pm. It was a great night.

Waiting for the taxi at the end of the night.

Touching Base With The Anchoress


Yay! It’s Friday – I’m In Love …. is the new Bandcamp Friday offering from The Anchoress. Officially released on Tuesday (don’t ask me, I think it was Bandcamp’s decision as an end-of-the-month special or something?), it’s the latest regular release that The Anchoress has made.

Catherine is currently working on a covers album – covers? “Re-imagines”? Musical homages? It seems the term ‘cover’ has some disdain or condescending tones attached to it (not for me, I’d like to point out!) – until such time as there is deemed a more apt description, it is what I’ll go with.

I digress.

Catherine has been recording tracks like these during the pandemic and making them available at regular intervals.

This time it has been the turn of The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love. It’s a gorgeous thing. All of Catherine’s covers have been wonderful. Keep an eye on her Bandcamp site for more releases at: https://iamtheanchoress.bandcamp.com/

As a personal side note – I am off to Edinburgh tonight to see Jimmy Webb. I’m both looking forward to it but a little apprehensive at the same time. Not about the gig itself just more that – it’s a bank holiday, it’s Edinburgh, and I’m travelling alone and won’t be getting back to Glasgow until well after midnight! Wish me luck!

Minds Music Monday – Vitriolic Jim in Vrendenburg, 1982

As I said yesterday in my Sunday Waffle Vlog post, I went looking through the Art & Talk YouTube channel for something else to listen to, having been enjoying his more recent offerings.

I gazed upon the one below and thought “well, it’s only a few weeks prior to one of my most favoured gigs – one that helped to cement my uber SM fandom – Rockpalast in Cologne” so to me it had the strong potential of being a goodun’.

I was NOT disappointed! Right from the get go! Changeling – Jim just spits venom and vitriol. God I bloody LOVE IT when he performs like this. I find it absolutely as sexy as fuck! It’s just so…visceral and guttural and just….I just want to lick him from head to toe!

Then Thirty Frames and the switching of the lines – Jack comes back earlier than normal. Lol. But then, almost in a way angry at himself mabbies for fluffing up and putting the lines in the wrong place, he follows it with a “fuck you, Jack!” Lol

Premonition next and a fab version. Sweat In Bullet also. Then early outings for Promised You A Miracle – already been out as a single and FINALLY, Simple Minds score strong chart positions with a single. King Is White And In The Crowd follows, and Jim continues to spit venom with the “Wire them up! Fire them up!” lines.

The wonderful pairing (still being paired together to this day) of I Travel and Celebrate. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a crap version of Celebrate. JIM – I WANT TO BE YOUR RAG DOLL!!! Jesus fucking christ this man is so fucking sexy! Ermaaaaageeeerd! Had I actually been around for these gigs in 1982 – I think I’d have melted in a puddle most nights.

Then what is always my favourite at gigs – The American. Then finally, a fabulous version of Room – a shame it fades out towards the end….but we probably got 80-85% of the song.

Let’s move away from me concentrating on Jim’s performance and my…stirrings and talk about the quality of the recording and the rest of the band performance. The band – all tight AF. A really good turn from Mike O on the drums. The more I get exposed to Mike’s performances, the more I am coming round to appreciate him. Derek and Charlie both solid as ever. Mick was probably great too – but some of the keyboards got lost in the mix. Other than that, the sound quality is pretty ace. I mean, I proper recording as I guess it was recorded for a radio station as this version of the gig was recorded off Dutch radio by a fan. Jim sounds very strong and clear – hence all the visceral sounding stuff coming to the fore soundwise.

I really loved this gig. I found adrenaline pumping – if for no other reason than Jim’s vocal performance and his absolute SEX GOD appeal! Be still my beating ovaries! GODDAMN!!

Enjoy! Happy MMM…

Simple Minds – A Gift From Heaven – Record Mirror 1982 (May/June?)

Not exactly sure of the date. It just came to me as a clipping. I got it because of that Shelia Rock photo of Jim. God, that is such a wonderful photoshoot. There are some beautiful images of Jim in that white outfit – the jaiket and the “jodpurs” as he called them once. I think he was having a shot at my obvious penchant for him in that suit with those boots, with his dyed black hair and all that guyliner and make up. I guess I am pretty overt with that love of the 1982 Kerr aesthetic.

I’ll find the reply I got asking him about him namechecking Philip K Dick when posting about Theme For Great Cities a few years back.

Oh, but just look at him! A THOUSAND TIMES – YES! I love that jaiket. Without the jaiket though?! ERRRRRRRMAGEEEEERRRRRRD!!!! You are sex on legs, Kerr!

I’ve spent sssooo much time delaying this post trying to find that reply from Jim about sci-fi, Philip K Dick and his 1982 aesthetic that I will add it WHEN I find it!

UPDATE: The little FB tete-a-tete in question…

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Curious About Kenny

I have just been perusing the latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine and was taking a cursory glance through the reviews section. King Creosote has a new release out called KY-10 (I’m going to assume it has something to do with his postcode and not anything to do with lubricant – as I think he is a Michelle – aka a Fifer…see what I did there?).

The review given has me rather intrigued. I think I may have to give King Kenny’s latest a listen this evening…

Jim’s June Playlist – The Reaction

The response to June’s “Discs and Doughnuts” follows.

I suppose Computer Love is more “accessible” than earlier Kraftwerk. More lyrics, more harmonies. I guess “warmer”. It’s more dancey too, I suppose. It has a rhythm though…that kind of minimalist repetitive cycle which gets quite hypnotic…not as, I dunno “colourful” as it was on Autobahn. I do like it though. Hard not to like anything by Kraftwerk. Masters of the game.

Never heard Rubberband Man before ever in my life before. Detroit Spinners I am guessing (without looking into it – doing in totally blind) are Motown – it’s Detroit, right? That funk centric thing cannot help but be fab and uplifting. It’s the BVs that make it for me.

I love Jim – Iggy, I mean. I admit to not exploring The Stooges so much. I’ve gone to in the past. Obviously being led to Iggy via Bowie and learning Raw Power was produced by David so it was a natural progression of discovery to look into Iggy and Lou Reed, etc. I guess The Stooges didn’t pull me in as strongly as Iggy did as a solo artist.

I gotta say the Sparks track is catchy. Lol. It has great harmonies. Fun for the novelty value. On this first listen I can’t see it being something I will be playing in years to come thinking “wow, what a classic!” Lol. I mean, it isn’t exactly The Number One Song In Heaven, is it?

How do you like people who think you suck arse, Jim? Lol. All I remember is Mac going on about, well, maybe not so much you, I dunno…but he was always dissing Bono and back as a lovelorn teen it would fucking piss me off. Lol. I prefer other Bunnymen songs, I think. (Lips Like Sugar – wonder why that would be? Lol. The Cutter.)

4th And Vine. Bhangra beat! It’s almost like (apart from the actual marriage aspect of the song) the “lockdown let out ladies let’s get dolled up release”. Lol. Put the bins out – bin isolating dress up excuse. Lol. It’s got all that getting married/love stuff in it. Meh. Lol. (I’m just envious, is all.)

Life In A Northern Town: It’s a magic mix of melancholy and joy. It has that softness in between those drums. For Aussies like me, it kind of reinforced that feeling of like “geez, England looks sssoooo oppressive!” Oh, as that line comes in “as the train pulls out of sight…byyyyye byyyye” – the protracted delivery of the “bye bye” – that used to induce tears I’m not ashamed to say. As oppressive as England looked, it always drew me in though. The music made me the most extreme Anglophile. Because the music ALWAYS transcended how life looked. And the same went for Scotland too. When I moved here – first to England, then to Scotland – both felt like “coming home”. As much as I loved growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney – there was always something that never felt quite like I belonged. I dreamed of getting out.

I love musicals. I’ve seen a few. And this is where I let my guard down and admit that my favourite musical is the Disney version of Beauty And the Beast. Lol. I’ve seen it about seven times on the stage in Sydney, London, Bristol (during the early stages of whooping cough in 2002 – surprised they didn’t chuck me out of the Hippodrome – I couldn’t shut up!) and Milton Keynes. Own copies of the animated film and the original cast recording of the Australian production (Hugh Jackman as Gaston, thank you very much – sadly I didn’t get to see him on the stage, he was only in the Melbourne production and didn’t come up to Sydney, DANG!). Went and saw the live action remake a few years back. Yep!

Anyway…moving on! Tom Waits…well…yeah, he’s kind of an acquired taste. Lol. I could take him in small doses. Not sure I could deal with that voice for a whole album or concert. It is a lovely languid version and not dripping with pretension – which is always good. And it’s musically pretty lush.

Well…no need for me to do a playlist in response just yet, eh, Jim? (As if he’s looking or gives a flying fuck. Lol. Asked the fans what their choices would be in the post today – no interaction! Oh, Mr Kerr, you are a master at dangling a carrot on a stick, you really are).

I keep telling myself I will try and walk away. Save myself. But I always come back for more!

Speaking of Motown…

Of course you can hear Sir’s playlist HERE

Jim’s June Playlist

Do I go through the pretence of responding? Lol. Dream of the old “discs and doughnuts” idea? Well, the doughnuts are back on, that’s for sure. Oh, to sit and listen to these with him and then discuss them over a pistachio and hibiscus signature…

Let’s give a thought-out response in due course. And I PROMISE I’ll write it out to spare you all looking at my hideous face.

Minds Music Monday – Utrecht, 1982

Another gig shared by Art & Talk on YouTube.

I started listening to it last night but started to drift off to sleep. But I came around again long enough to hear Jim’s deliver of the second verse in Celebrate “she rag doll / she she she keeps him so warm”. OMG – that line will NEVER stop being as sexy as fuck!

Anyway, I’ll give it a proper listen later, while I am fully awake. Lol

From the bits I was conscious of, Jim seemed a little…not quite with us/under the weather…? I dunno. I mean, it isn’t a sleight on his performance. He’s always frigging stellar. Even when physically ill, he very rarely gives a bum performance. It just seemed from what I heard last night that he may have been a tad…maybe had too many “helping hands”, if you get my drift?

He was fine and on amazing form in Cologne three weeks later, so who knows? I’ll give a more comprehensive assessment later. For now…enjoy!

UPDATE: WRITTEN LAST NIGHT (May 12th)
 

Always a def. difference between Kenny and Mike as drummers.

Jim does a lot of screaming and shouting in this version of Changeling – I like it!

He doesn’t finish introing 30 Frames. It’s quite manic and he mixes up parts of the verses. Quite a bit of screaming again. Swearing too! “He said ‘fuck you, Jack’!” Naughty Jim! Sexy Jim!

Premonition – Worried Jim wasn’t feeling himself with this performance. Dunno why. Derek initially intros the song, but then Jim adds a bit of commentary “sometimes people have no choice”. Hard to get a definite feel without seeing visuals. Can only go by audio. Jim alters between sounding super emotive and ….lethargic and not right. Maybe he was just tripping or had too much to drink to try and settle the nerves? Dunno.

Sweat In Bullet – Does he say “kinda like now”? Maybe he was just bloody hot. Lol. Hot and frigging sexy! OMG! It really doesn’t help that I’ve been looking at photos of him today – trying to make decisions on photos from Virginia. Photos of him with tambourines and boots and sunglasses and just being goddamn sexy.

Celebrate – that “she rag doll” line…I’m not saying any more!

Room – is kind of chaotically sexy. And he turns it into Rock n Roll – but I was only thinking listening to it tonight that, really, it’s the Simple Minds version of Sister Midnight.