D4D

There's something I should tell you. I'm not left-handed either.

Archive for the category “Gigs”

Peter Gabriel – Wembley SSE Arena – The Downside

While I loved the Peter Gabriel gig on Wednesday, it has to be said that the audience consisted of some of the biggest vagtrumpets known to Man.

I really don’t understand people – as has been said many times before – but I truly don’t get why on earth you would pay £50 or more per ticket and then spend the entire concert walking to and from the bar, or chatting to your friends instead of, you know, listening to the music and enjoying the concert.

It’s even worse when – as with the concert last night – it’s an all-seated gig, so these jizzmopping fuckflannels keep on disturbing the entire row in order to go and get drinks, come back with drinks, go to the bog, and whatever else they’re doing. It makes me want to punch them in the kidneys as they go past, just so they’ll stay in one place for a while.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I just can’t see the enjoyment in going to a gig and not really listening to the music at all.

(The one that really pissed me off though was the so-called fan, when they played one of the key tracks from that ‘So’ album said that he ‘had never heard that one before’, for fuck’s sake)

Peter Gabriel – Wembley SSE Arena

Last night, I went to see Peter Gabriel at the SSE Arena in Wembley – not a venue I’d been to before.

In fact, having seen the changes around Wembley, I realised that it must be a good four years (and yes, it turns out it was September 2010 to see Muse) and there’s a lot of new stuff gone up in that time. Not least a whole set of shops – sorry, a ‘retail village’ – and eating places etc., which is pretty welcome when you consider how poor the facilities of the area were for that kind of thing when I was there last.

Anyway, rather than use the godawful parking this time, I opted for parking further out (Watford, to be precise) and taking the tube in to Wembley. It actually worked out really well, despite me ending up using Watford station itself, rather than the intended Watford Junction. I blame a) stupidity and b) having one of those wavering decision processes of mine, of not being sure which station I’d use. So I ended up going to a station I hadn’t intended to use, but it working out as being for the best. Such is life sometimes.

I didn’t write beforehand about seeing this gig, because well, my attendance record with Peter Gabriel gigs isn’t really that good. I was determined to go to this one, but that doesn’t always equate with it actually happening, sad to say.

Anyway, for this one I did get there- and in tons of time, too. Watford’s a shithole for getting round (although some of that’s due to my own stupidity and crap timing, getting there just as most people were leaving) but once I got there all was easy.

And the gig itself was brilliant – thoroughly enjoyed all of it. It was billed as a gig in three sections – starting with an acoustic, going on to the electric (and super-loud) section, finished up by a complete play-through of the “So” album in it’s entirety, and in the order it was originally supposed to be. And it did all it was billed to, and more besides.

As always, the lighting and staging was innovative, in the same way that Nine Inch Nails gigs tend to be – in this case, making a lot of use of small video cameras on all the players, and five lighting rigs on counterbalanced dollies that could move around the stage, controlled by stagehands. Very very impressive – and reminiscent of the Martians in War of the Worlds (which I’m seeing at the O2 in ten days time) in how they loomed over the stage and seemed almost animated.

Getting home afterwards was pretty much a doddle too – out of the Arena, up to the nearest tube station, wait for the correct train back to Watford, and then drive home, straight up the M1. Ninety minutes door-to-door. On evidence of the last time I went to Wembley, in that time I wouldn’t have even got out of the car-park in that time, so all good.

Leisure Mileage

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve covered over a thousand miles just for social stuff.

Last weekend (the Bank Holiday) was notably mental, even by my standards. It involved :

  • Friday. Go to work, come back at lunchtime, drive down to the O2 to see Nine Inch Nails in concert, and drive home.  Home at 1am.
  • Saturday. Drive down to Tunbridge Wells for a friend’s birthday do. Enjoy that, not drink much, then think “sod it” and drive home at the end of the night rather than sleeping in a tent. Home at 1.30ish.
  • Sunday. See the parents for a fleeting visit, just so we all know that each other is alive.
  • Monday. Drive over to Brentwood to meet up with friends. Drive home.

All told, that little lot amassed some 750 miles – and meant I travelled the same section of M25 (from M1 round to Dartford Crossing, or thereabouts) no less than three times in four days..  And then a meeting on the Tuesday down in Hampshire.

This weekend is a little bit calmer, but still consists of

  • Friday. Normal work travel, cinema in the evening, then home.
  • Saturday. Into Milton Keynes, collect new glasses and do some other domestic tat. Then drive down to Somerset for a house-warming thing, stopping off at Bristol to collect a couple of train-travellers and get them there too
  • Sunday. Come back. (Unsure yet whether that’ll also be via Bristol or not)
  • Monday. New job, new office, similar commute to the last month.

And next weekend involves a trip into London to meet up with friends and visit a couple of galleries with exhibitions I want to see.

I must be bloody barmy…

Gabriel Again

Back in October, I was supposed to go and see Peter Gabriel at the O2. Tickets paid for, car-parking paid for, all prepared. And then my body rebelled, so I didn’t get to see the concert. Which was seriously bloody annoying.

Today, tickets went on sale for another concert, this time in December at Wembley Arena.

I’ve got a ticket.

I’m going to go. I am, I am.

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…

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