D4D

Hasta La Muerte

Archive for the category “Gigs”

Londinium

Friday turned out to be a really good evening – despite the trials and tribulations of driving in London.

I knew the drive was going to be a pig – after all, 6.30-7.30pm on a Friday night is always going to be a pig. I’m not the greatest fan of London driving at the best of times, but this one certainly wasn’t the best of times.

Apple MartiniStill, I got the job done, and only wished death and fiery rain on about fifty drivers – mainly those ‘in control’ of buses and taxis. The parking I’d found turned out to be perfectly located (in Chinatown) for where I wanted to be (Leicester Square), despite the number of suicidal orientals assuming that they had priority over big lumps of steel indicating that they were turning into the same street.

I’d picked a place called QPark - not the cheapest (although there’s no such thing as cheap parking in London, it appears) but cheaper than most of the other ones in the area that looked far dodgier. I do have to say thought that bloody hell, the parking spaces are tight – particularly when driving a sodding great boat like my Saab. Not too much of a problem going in, but reliant on others not parking like cunts when it comes to making one’s escape.

Garden PearAfter that, meeting up with friends at Scoff and Banter in Leicester Square was easy – and that Apple Martini was a worthy reward. (I’d got four hours minimum before driving, so a drink wasn’t going to cause any issues)

Having put the world to alcoholic rights, and grabbed some food as well – which was also excellent – it was on to the Leicester Square Theatre to see Mr Bill Bailey.

I’ve seen Bill Bailey before – as it turns out, ten years ago – although this show was much smaller. I believe this one was a testing run for his new ‘Qualm Peddler’ tour – and if that’s the case, go and see it if you get a chance. Some of the stuff was just surreal (and usually caused by some very strange members of the audience) and he seemed close to corpsing with laughter himself at some points. It was that sort of gig, really.

Food!Highlights included the reggae version of Downton Abbey, and Zombie Country and Western, but the entire 90 minutes was excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it all, and would love to have seen more.

After that, it was just the drive home – with London still solid traffic, even at 11pm – and then a clean run up the M1.

Oh yeah – and with those timescales, why did I drive?  Mainly because a) I don’t mind driving, and it’s always good to be able to say “Yep, done that, it holds no real fears” and b) because I’d thought it was going to start far later, and end after trains had finished.  Not that I mind at all – it was a good evening, and the driving was just one part of it.

But I couldn’t drive in London on a daily basis – there’d be far too much temptation to kill people…

 

 

Pre-booked

Next year is already starting to look busy for me, which is quite fun (and somewhat back to ‘normal’ after a couple of much quieter years)

Right now I’m already booked in for :

  • At least one meeting in Jan (as well as probably getting a new contract)
  • Setting up new company / business
  • Attending an exhibition/conference in Feb
  • A wedding in Derbyshire in March (not mine, of course!)
  • One concert in April in London
  • Two concerts in May – one in London, one in Manchester
  • A food festival in Manchester in June
  • Another conference in November (although that’s not yet 100% confirmed)

Of course, that’s not including the usual sociable stuff which’ll definitely involve trips to Manchester, Bristol, Somerset, Kent and others. Plus the other business stuff, work, writing, and a bundle of other bits.

So 2014 is looking nice and quiet…

Nailed It

Regular readers will know that I’ve been a fan of Nine Inch Nails for a very long time now – indeed, since way before D4D came into existence.

However, I’ve had a pretty checkered history when it comes to seeing them live. The history goes…

I’ve seen them twice prior to that though (although pre-D4D, so no record/links to when)

So this week, knowing that the ticket sales were coming up, I was determined to get to see the new tour.

When the pre-sales ones came out, I couldn’t get ones for the gig at the O2 on the Friday, so got one for Manchester on the Sunday instead – I’ll worry about travel closer to the time.

And then when the normal sales came out yesterday, I got them for the O2 on the Friday as well.

Of course, I still need to make sure I actually go to the gigs, but at least I’m prepared and ready this time…

Wavering – Updated

Following on from yesterday’s post about my – well, my subconscious’s – wavering about going to the Peter Gabriel gig at the O2.

I didn’t go.  I wanted to, I intended to.

I got home, had some lunch, had tons of time, felt like crap and had a quick nap. Not common, but not unusual.

I woke up five hours later, just as the concert was due to start. I’m about 75-90 minutes drive from the O2.

Piss.

Wavering

This afternoon/evening, I’m supposed to be going to see Peter Gabriel at the O2. I’ve booked the afternoon off work, I’ve paid for the parking at the O2. As an aside, I always feel that parking cost is an iniquitous extra, but such is life – while it might be feasible for me to get there by public transport, it’s completely unfeasible for the return journey.

I will go

But right now, my brain’s wavering and havering, thinking “Yeah, but…” on a number of reasons, a range of logical excuses to not go. Tired, distance, time, return time, work – it’s all in there, all making me doubt.

I will go. I want to go.

I just wish my brain would be more certain, and shut up a bit.

Midweek

This week and next, I’m out at fairly large events held mid-week. In London.  I must be mad.

This week was, of course, the Neil Gaiman event at CHW in London, which resulted in me getting home at about half-midnight(ish) having opted for getting the train back to Milton Keynes and then driving the final bit, rather than driving and parking in Central London.

Next week will be seeing Peter Gabriel at the O2, which I’m really looking forward to. I suspect I’ll be getting home at about the same time, although this time I’ll be driving it instead of relying on public transport.

On the downside, I find that nights like that take it out of me now for the following night as well. I’m not sure if it’s a sign of getting older, or just that I’m out of practice – either way, my sleep/insomnia on the Wednesday night after the Gaiman event was even worse than usual, despite being more knackered.

Although with this kind of thing, it’s also making me even more pleased that I’m not doing that commute into Cambridge any more!

Neil Gaiman, “Fortunately, The Milk”

Cover for Fortunately, The MilkLast night I was in London to see Neil Gaiman‘s one-off reading of his new children’s book, “Fortunately, The Milk” at the Methodist Central Hall in London, (also known as Central Hall Westminster) which was also fortuitously a friend‘s birthday (I won’t say which one)  As it turned out, we also bumped into Clair

It was excellent. I’d been lucky enough to get tickets when they went on sale, but I know it sold out pretty quickly. The tickets also included a special signed copy of the book as well, so definitely value for money.

It’d been billed as “with special guests”, but with no real clues as to who might turn up – and it turned out that (among others) Neil’s wife, Amanda Palmer came along as a surprise – even to Neil -  and Lenny Henry was also there, along with Mitch Benn, and live drawings from the book by Chris Riddell. (who is just ridiculously talented) There were several others who I didn’t immediately recognise, although some research has helped on that score.

The book itself is brilliant – if you’ve got spawn, add it to the Christmas list – and the performance of it was great, with lots of humour, and a brilliant atmosphere all the way through.

As for the venue, well, I want to visit that again and look at it properly – it’s quite amazing in and of itself, and even more so when you look at the history of the place. It’s spectacular inside, and totally not what I’d have expected from the name. It’s about as restrained and subtle as Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

A brilliant evening, even with a jam-packed train ride home. (Apparently there was some sporting event on at Wembley as well, which meant lots of happy football fans)

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