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?

The Stranglers – O2 Academy, Bristol – 28th March, 2019

It was quite a hike from Luton to Bristol. First a trip to London, then on from there to Bristol. I arrived at 3.45pm and met up with a friend shortly after.

We had a bite to eat at the Boston Tea Party at the top of Park Street. A nice place. Looks deceptively small on the outside, but has plenty of seating upstairs. I needed to fuel up before the gig, so had a chai latte, a veggie burger and chips.

We queue outside that venue around 6pm. We were met with a few other fans after…and the queue got progressively longer. Another friend us in the queue around 6.40 and we were let in a few minutes before 7pm.

Support act was Dr Feelgood. A curious support in that there is not a single original member of the band within the group. But they were great all the same. Great musicianship. The singer was quite a showman but at least he was animated and not standing about looking like he’d prefer to be elsewhere.

The only two Dr Feelgood songs I know are Milk And Alcohol and Roxette and they performed those. The only thing I’d say as a negative was, although the overall sound level was great, the singer was lost in the mix. He was too low. Couldn’t much hear him either singing or playing the harmonica. Other than that, the set was great and I really enjoyed them.

All good. Everything going well.

Just a short break and then out come the boys. We were in a prime position, right in front of JJ. I filmed a bit here and there and have one complete song of them performing set opener Tank.

All was going good. The following day was Dave Greenfield’s 70th birthday, and my friend, Ruth, had made a special celebratory banner for him. After a few songs, Ruth produced the banner from her pocket and we held it up against the barrier. JJ noticed it and nodded approval, then he went over and got Dave’s attention and pointed it out to him. A short while later, Baz noticed it too and asked Ruth to throw it up on the stage to him. Baz then clipped it to the front of Dave’s keyboard stand and it stayed there for the rest of the gig.

About half way through the set I was starting to feel unwell. Light headed and just…not sure of myself. A little overheated, but it was so cramped in there, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get my jumper off.

I sat down and would have probably revived myself had I been allowed to stay there a few mins, but security guard came over and told Ruth I needed to stand back up, that it was too dangerous for me to sit at the barrier. I stood back up and I was not too bad initially. JJ checked with me that I was okay and I had mouthed to him I was fine and gave him a thumbs up. I was just trying to keep calm and ride the feeling out…but it didn’t work and after a few minutes I was out for the count. I shared the footage on the blog of what ensued.

I could feel myself being pulled over the barrier and feel being carted off. I was conscious again and saying “Guys! I’m okay!” Lol. Obviously NOT okay, but at least conscious again. They took me out a side exit and sat me on the ground for a few mins. They then got me a chair and I sat there for a few more mins. I was allowed to go back in but had missed a few songs. It was so crowded, I was right at the back and I wasn’t going to risk trying to get to the front and get reunited with my friends.

I didn’t stay in the venue again for too long. There was a bar out the front and some seating, so I just sat and waited until the gig was done.

The Stranglers are ALWAYS top class. They are never anything else. Set was great, I mean the actual stage set…the set list of songs were too. Some songs as a fan but not “uber” fan I was unfamiliar with. And there were a couple of new tracks played and I caught a bit of one of them.

51C79447-C2F0-4811-9D6C-B78E6D370D39

They’re a stellar act. The venue is small, intimate, and on a personal level, could do with a bit of ventilation. Great otherwise though.

I’ve seen them at least once every year now since 2016 and this year I may end up seeing them twice, all things boding well!

You’ll NEVER be disappointed at a Stranglers gig…even if you do find yourself fainting in the middle of it.

The Stranglers – SHIT HOT!

The first gig of the year absolutely DID NOT disappoint. OMG The Stranglers are frigging AWESOME!!! Just sssooo tight and so ON THE MONEY – right from the off!

I just lost myself in what was the most amazing performance of Golden Brown, EVER! No Skin Deep this time…or Duchess, but still absolutely stonking! 

I took a little bit of footage…so unlike me…but caught the bit where young fan (who I had spotted earlier in the evening, and mentioned on my Facebook timeline) Stephanie Walker gets mentioned by Baz – sharing a birthday with him, no less! Her 12th birthday – and she’s at a Stranglers gig?! WHAT A GIRL!!!

Also the general mayhem of Baz’s “fuck up” and the crowd’s (and JJ’s) birthday wishes to him. All fab stuff. 

Support act Ruts DC were also pretty fabulous. Was so glad we made it there to see them.

A fab night – I will see even more Stranglers gigs in future. Guaranteed! Might even see Stephanie there again :-)))