My Favourite Live Album – Bring On The Night – Sting

I love The Police. Stewart Copeland is my absolute number one drumming hero. To be blessed with even a snippet of this deftness and finesse at the skins is the stuff of my dreams.

The Police were well and truly disbanded by the time I was really getting into them. But I continued to love Sting’s solo work and bought the Dream Of The Blue Turtles as soon as it was released.

I have no recollection of what brought me to the decision to buy Bring On The Night. I may have heard a track aired on radio. Or perhaps it was on special offer at the time. Or perhaps the local library had a copy and I borrowed it and fell in love? My mind is sketchy as to the circumstances now.

But I remember playing it often on breezy balmy nights.

A favourite track from it? It’s hard to pick just one.

At the time “I Burn For You” was. I found it just…emotionally beautiful. Full of yearning and longing. I may have been a tender 15 soon to be 16 when it was released…but as a teenage girl, I already felt I had those yearnings and longings. The song would bring me to tears.

We Work The Black Seam…it had such atmosphere to it compared to the studio version (which I love too).

Down So Long – it’s just so much fun. And I actually used to sing along even to the band namechecks. And I took particular notice of “on the drums Omar Hakim!” In the days before the Internet, I wanted to know more about him. What other bands had he played for? Was he a session drummer? Or was he with a band? How long had he been playing? Etc, etc. Sting has worked with the best drummers in the world. Honestly. He knows how to pick them. Then again, a bass player is always going to want to have the best drummers to play with.

But the favourite now (as it was also then)? Tea In The Sahara – I loved this version so much more than what was on Synchronicity. It was always so beautifully melancholic and so full of emotion.

So, there we are. Probably as about as obscure as you can go for a live album favourite.

By and large, live albums have never done much for me other than to turn me off the idea of going to gigs. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING beats being there. And few live albums ever gave me the sense of wanting to go to a gig from listening to it. In actual fact most manage to put me off the idea of live music and the gig experience.

This album is one that actually made me want to go to a gig.

 

As for an overall favourite live track? My favourite live track of all is this…”Angel or devil, I don’t care, for in front of that door there is….. ‘ME! ME! ME! ME!'”

She Makes War – The Anchoress Support

Supporting The Anchoress for her London and Cardiff gigs is She Makes War. I really like the sound of what I hear and I’m looking forward to seeing her in a few weeks time.

The Anchoress’s London date has sold out, but there are still tickets available for her Cardiff show on September 21st. You can purchase tickets HERE

New Date For The Anchoress – Still Can’t Go!

UPDATE: I’ve pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the past 24 hours. Booked a ticket for the gig. Cancelled the Manchester accommodation the night before the Drum Show and booked the train to take me to Manchester on Saturday morning…and staying the night in a hostel near Euston station instead.

So, The Anchoress in London IS ON!!

The Anchoress has added a new date to her album launch shows.

London on September 20th has been added. The day before her Cardiff date.

I can’t go to Cardiff because it’s the day of the Drum Show in Manchester. And because it starts early, I decided it would be best to travel to Manchester the day before.

So now…that rules out London as well! Yay ☹️☹️☹️
It would have been so bloody handy to get to as well. Fuck it!

Well…I can only hope for other dates. Never mind. It is what it is, eh…

You can get tickets for the show HERE

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Anchoress – First Tour Date Announced!

The follow up to groundbreaking debut, Confessions Of A Romance Novelist, is due out soon and with that comes tour dates. First cab of the rank is this! Click the image below to be taken to the Woodfired Summit website for tickets (or click HERE).

Sadly I am at the drum show in Manchester that day, but hopefully there are more dates to come, and hopefully closer to London too. I’ll add news as and when! Keep your eyes peeled, peeps!

What’s To Come – The Gig For The Second Half Of The Year

Things have been pretty quiet gigwise since The Stranglers and Stewart Copeland gigs at the end of March.

I had wanted to see Michael Rother in London, but it was too soon after the previous two gigs mentioned for me to go. Too skint too. Had to knock trying to get to Mott The Hoople on the head. I tried selling my Barras ticket on to get to Shepherds Bush Empire, but it didn’t happen and gave the Barras ticket away.

Could have gone to a free gig last week at The Lexington but again was just too skint to afford to fare into London.

But tomorrow night, I’m in Greenwich to see Ruts DC again. This time they are doing one of their little acoustic affairs, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Babylon’s Burning. Should be a goodun.

After that will be the next BIGGY! Up to Glasgow to see Trevor Horn (and GUESTS – she dreams!) on July 27th.

August will be pretty quiet. No big old music festival in the Brecon Beacons to go to this year.

September is my first ever drum show in Manchester. Cherisse is taking part, so I thought I might as well pop along and see what’s what. That’s on September 21st. Before that is a bit of a special homegrown treat. You Am I are coming over for a short tour of Europe and hit London on September 12th. Last time I saw them was when they were over here in 2016, so I am looking forward to that.

The next one after that will be another BIGGY. Alice Cooper at the O2 in London on October 10th. NEVER seen him before. Not been to the O2, either. Obviously should have gone to see Simple Minds there in November, 2015, but ended up out in Oz instead. And well…who is on the guest bill for Alice? The band I SHOULD have been seeing at the Simple Minds gig. The same band I didn’t see much of back at the end of March. The Stranglers.

I then get to see the band recommended to me by Olivier Gerard when they return to London. Whispering Sons are heading back across the pond and play The Moth Club in Hackney on October 25th. A slightly early birthday present. The ticket was £11! I mean, can’t argue with that, can I?! I couldn’t see them when they were here last, their gig was on the same night as the Stewart Copeland gig. Nothing clashing this time (as far as I know at this point), so I grabbed a ticket this evening.

Finally…I am MEANT to be going to Hamburg in early December to see The Stranglers yet again. But with things as they currently stand…I really don’t see much of a chance of it happening right now. I can’t see myself having the funds to renew my passport until, well…until such time as it is either essential that I travel and I borrow funds or…the miracle occurs.

In the meantime, there’s a bit of live music there to keep me occupied. Not exactly as it was last year…but the way things is going…thank FUCK Simple Minds are having touring down time this year. I would be frigging crying my eyes out if they were touring and I couldn’t go to gigs. It was how 2014 and 2015 were. When I first became uber fan, I didn’t see them. I couldn’t afford a gig. My first gig was Cambridge in April, 2015. I wanted to go to more. I eyed off De Montfort Hall in Leicester, The Hexagon in Reading, whatever the venue was in Oxford (can’t remember it off hand) and whatever London was? But I couldn’t stretch to any of them. Boomerang at Hickstead was the only other thing I could book…and I didn’t book it until after Cambridge because I just wanted to see them again so, SSSOOOO much!

I have been very, VERY lucky to have gone to as many SM gigs as I have since then…and to some of the places I’ve been too…travelling to Dublin, Paris and Aix-Les-Bains – and being at the absolute holy of holies and being at Barrowland. So, yep…I am very thankful this downtime is happening while I am skint to absolute buggery.

But there’s the odd gig to enjoy in the interim. Keeps the juices flowing, eh?