Life Jim, but not as we know it.

Archive for the category “Gigs”

Final High-Mileage Weekend

As per previous posts, January has been a busy month, with a fair amount of travelling every weekend. That’s not a complaint – hell, I kind of planned it that way (well, events combined to make it all into busy weekends, but I allowed it to happen, so yeah, that qualifies as planned) but it’s definitely been busy.

This weekend was the last weekend of high mileage for a couple of weeks. (The week itself is another matter, but we’ll gloss over that for now)

Yesterday, I took my dad in to London to see Billy Connolly at the Hammersmith Apollo – and it was a really good day. We got in to Hammersmith really easily (despite a large number of tosspot drivers etc.) and parked, had food, and enjoyed the show. (I’ll write more about the show itself later in the week) Once that was done, got dad back home, and drove home myself. As usual, getting back around 2am. (I don’t know how that’s been so consistent over the month, but it really has)

Today was a far dafter plan, involving a blast up to the outskirts of Manchester and back.  Basically, I’m up there on Thursday for a concert that I’m going to with two friends, and it’s been spiking my brain that the tickets are with me, and I don’t want them to miss out on the concert if there’s problems on the M1 for me on Thursday.

So I took the opportunity today to blast up there, drop their tickets off, and come back. It means that whatever happens, everyone’s happy – I’ve got my ticket, they’ve got theirs, and we don’t have to go through hordes of organisational stuff for meeting up, getting everything sorted, and that if anyone’s transport screws up, it doesn’t fuck things up for everyone.

All told, it’s been the best part of 600 miles this weekend.

I must be a complete barmpot…

Barbican, Rollins and Mileage

Yesterday was another Rollins gig, this time at the Barbican in London.

It was a bit more complicated than last week’s gig in Bristol, as it involved collecting another friend of mine from over by Oxford, then getting a train to London, across to Barbican, getting food, going to the gig, and then a similar journey for the return.

All told though, it went really smoothly.  I’d booked pretty much everything in advance, including the train tickets and reserving a table at the restaurant of choice, so it was as organised as humanly possible.

The restaurant in particular was a real success – the Jugged Hare, just round the corner from the Barbican itself. I’d seen it before, but never eaten there, so went for it when the chance came up, and booked for their pre-theatre menu. I am truly glad I did.  They specialise in game of all sorts – it’s definitely not a great place for vegetarians! – but there’s enough variety in the menu, if game isn’t your thing.

To be fair, there is a vegetarian option on the menu – well, it says “Vegetarian – £14”, so it could be a fillet of vegetarian, for all I know.

The three-course meal was great – particularly the venison haunch, and their sticky toffee pudding was amazing. (as was the accompanying mince-pie ice cream, which has to be tasted to be believed)  Knowing how easy it is for me to drive to Barbican in general, I will be returning. Several times.

The gig itself was great – Rollins spoke for three full hours, with no breaks. The show was about 50% the same as the one I saw last week in Bath, but I can live with that – it’s better than being entirely the same!

The journey home was OK – getting the trains back went smoothly, and then a drive through snow to drop off friend, and then another hour and a bit on motorways in heavy snow (though thankfully not settling) to get home, which happened just after 2am.

So a long day, but an entirely worthwhile one…

Mad Month

January is… turning out to be pretty busy

This weekend I’m off to Bristol, seeing Henry Rollins do one of his spoken-word gigs.

Next weekend I’m off to London, seeing Henry Rollins do one of his spoken-word gigs. (Yep, seeing him twice in a week – albeit with different friends for each gig)

Then I’ve got Billy Connolly at the Hammersmith Apollo the weekend after.

And then mid-week I’ve got Massive Attack in Manchester (on a Thursday, for fuck’s sake – who does gigs on Thursdays?!?) and then in London the Wednesday after that.

I must be bloody barmy…

Busy January

Having bought the tickets for Massive Attack yesterday, it’s looking like January 2016 is going to be a busy one…

Alongside normal life, I now have tickets for

  • Henry Rollins in Bristol
  • Henry Rollins in London
  • Massive Attack in Manchester
  • Massive Attack in London
  • Billy Connolly in London

So yeah, that’s going to be pretty eventful…

Massive Attack

As regular readers will recall, I’m a bit of a fan of Massive Attack, and have been for a long, long time. I’ve seen them live a good few times, and really love a lot of their stuff.

So I was thoroughly happy to see the news that they’re releasing new music this year, and doing a tour in Jan/Feb 2016.

Pre-sale tickets became available for the tour this morning, and I’m now seeing them twice – once in Manchester, once in London.

Needless to say, I’m already looking forward to it!

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.

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