Like handing a monkey a sledgehammer and letting it loose in a bomb factory

Archive for the category “Gigs”

Fish, Cambridge Corn Exchange

About 18 months ago, I went to see Fish (the ex-lead-singer of Marillion) at a gig in Aylesbury, including performing the whole of Marillion‘s “Misplaced Childhood” album for its 30th anniversary.

This year, it was announced he’d be touring again, and this time performing both stuff from the new album, and the whole of the “Clutching At Straws” album – again, for its 30th anniversary.

As with “Childhood”, “Straws” isn’t among my all-time favourite albums, but they both got played a lot as I grew up, so it was still of interest to go and see it performed live.  And I’m glad I did.

The gig started with some old favourites, but nothing new. And there was a reason for that – he hasn’t actually written the new album yet, let alone released it.  When they advertised the gigs and organised the tour, they expected it to be done, but life got in the way. So… some classics instead of new stuff. Fine with me, and apparently fine with most of the audience too.

As for the performance of “Straws” itself, that was excellent, and brought back a bundle of memories of listening to the album, as well as re-realising just how bleak it is in places. There were also parts of it that they’d never performed live before this tour, including one track that was ad-libbed at the time, so Fish had to listen to the album in order to write down the lyrics to learn them for performance. Which is, when you think about it, pretty messed up.

Anyway, the gig was one I really enjoyed – in spite of the audience.  As always, I really don’t understand the mindset of people who go to a concert, and then spend the entire gig going to and from the bar, and the toilet.  The three people in front of me (it was a seated gig) were barely ever in their seats, and kept walking off. That’s not just a waste of their time and money, it’s also insanely annoying for the people around them, getting constantly disturbed and having to move.

But, audience aside, it was a good gig. It might be the last time he tours, it might not. It’s likely the last chance to see “Straws” performed like that, so it was definitely worth going.


This evening, I’m off to London to see a comedian called Gabriel Iglesias (AKA “Fluffy”) at Hammersmith Apollo.

It’ll be the second time I’ve seen him, and I’m looking forward to it. When the tickets were announced, I got them straight away – at the same time griping about it being a Friday night gig, wishing it could be a Saturday, but there we go, it was the one that was announced.

The Friday sold out pretty quickly, so there’s now a Saturday night gig too – which is kind-of annoying, but still, I’m happy to be going for the original date, the one that should have sold to the people who really wanted to see it, rather than the also-ran “yeah, kinda interested”s, who’ll end up at in the Saturday one.

It makes for a long old day, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Sisters of Mercy, Camden Roundhouse

Over the weekend, I went to see the Sisters of Mercy play one of their only two headline gigs in the UK this year, at Camden Roundhouse.

I did have reservations about it, as they’ve not recorded any new stuff in decades. I’d been fairly disappointed by the last time I saw them (a long, long time ago – although I did think I’d seen them in between times somewhere) so it was a bit of a crapshoot.

Anyway, I still went, but with the aim of expecting very little from the concert – and as it happens, I’m really glad I went.

The gig itself was brilliant – and others thought so too – with all the old favourites played, as well as some lesser-known stuff. The set-list was in a different order to that in the linked review, but that’s just semantics.

Regardless, it was a great gig, and I’m really glad I went. Long may they continue – and maybe there’ll be a new album sometime soon. We can but hope.

No Time To Cry

This weekend, along with everything else, I’m seeing the Sisters of Mercy play at Camden Roundhouse.

I knew it was a while since I’d seen them – but I hadn’t actually realised how long ago until I looked back on D4D™, and discovered it was actually in April 2003. How the fuck has it been that long? (And how the hell long have I been writing D4D™?!?)

In a lot of ways, I’m trying to not get too excited about the gig – I’m not expecting greatness, as they’re all a lot older, and a very different lineup now to how they used to be. But still, it’s the Sisters of Mercy, and I’ve been a fan for a long time.

I’ll write about it after the weekend either way, I’m sure.

[No, the title doesn’t mean I’m sad/unhappy – it’s a Sisters of Mercy lyric]

New Boots

As I’ve mentioned before, at the end of September I’ll be doing the Shine Nightwalk marathon in London. I’m mainly looking forward to it, although I can’t deny that there’s a dose of trepidation to balance things out a bit.

Anyway, following a particularly ill-fated walk last week, I discovered that my boots – the ones I was planning to do the marathon in – are pretty much destroyed inside, to the extent that they’d caused me some really unpleasant blisters during that walk.

So of course that’s meant I’ve had to buy new boots for walking, and now have to break them in over the next couple of weeks in order to be ready for the end of the month. Thankfully, the ones I prefer are more like trainers inside, rather than being hard-core ‘proper’ walking boots, so the process shouldn’t be too complex/painful. (Crossing my fingers like no-one’s business there)

In fairness, it’s not the first time this has happened when I’m doing one of my bigger walks – I should know better by now.  Indeed, the first 10km walk I did, the boots I was planning to use fell apart on the morning of the walk, so I ended up doing it in my normal everyday Cat boots instead, and came to no harm.  But still, a marathon is four-and-a-half times that distance, so I’m trying to be a bit more prepared. (Not massively so, but enough that I don’t make a complete twadge of it all)

Anyway, the new boots arrived yesterday – fairly impressed, ordered them on Saturday through Cotswold – they were even on a better online price than expected – for supply to the local Cotswold store, and they arrived as expected, even over a Bank Holiday weekend. And the wearing-in process starts today.

The proper test will be on the weekend, when I’ll be using them to walk from Euston Station to Tobacco Dock (four miles, give or take, depending on which route I aim for) for Meatopia, then five-ish back to Camden for a concert – and then a similar Euston -> Tobacco Dock and back on Sunday for the same thing.  If they’re not broken in by then, I’m going to have problems.

There are a couple of other walks between now and the end of the month (I changed some plans around to give me time to do so) and all should be fine by then.  But we’ll know more when it happens…

“Quiet” August

When this month started, I said it was going to be a quiet one, before the storm that is my September.  And of course, me being me, it hasn’t really worked out that way at all.

Instead there’s been several visits to the cinema, a bundle of social evenings with food and the like, catching up with people, three or four London days, and all of that jazz. In some ways I’ve been busier in August that I am in usual months – the difference has been that I’ve been based from home, rather than weekends away.

Looking back, it seems like this is actually pretty much standard – last year was the same, and so was 2015. (although there’s no ‘busy’ post as such, I was still doing a lot of stuff)  So that idea of a ‘quiet’ month is… pretty much bollocks, really.

And then yesterday was a late afternoon / early evening visit to the National Burger Day event down in London (which will be a post all of its own, I’m sure). Still to come this month I’ve got another big walk over the weekend, a cinema visit, and a social thingy, and then the idiocy of September, which currently includes (but is not limited to)…

  • Meatopia on the Saturday and Sunday  (although the Sunday is somewhat based on what’s going to be on, but I haven’t bailed on one yet)
  • as well as seeing the Sisters of Mercy on the same Saturday evening. (Yes, I’m a lunatic)
  • possibly a pub-crawl of sorts
  • Seeing Coriolanus in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Walking a full marathon overnight in London at the end of the month
  • Two other concerts as well as the Sisters of Mercy.

So yeah, daftness abounds. As ever.

PIDU : Missing the Main Attraction

[PIDU = People I Don’t Understand]

There are many, many types of people I don’t understand – or at least whose thought processes are beyond me. That’s the theme of the PIDU posts (as mentioned here, although I’ll probably repeat this a few times) and may also become a bit of a throwback to the rants of yore. It may also just fade out. We’ll see.

Anyway, one of the many things that are beyond me are the people who turn up for a concert – indeed, a performance of any kind, really – or a film, and then keep on going out, or chatting, or really doing anything that doesn’t involve focusing on that main act.

In the cinema, it boggles my mind. People will rock up late, when the film’s already started. They’ll sit for a bit, eat their sodding popcorn, slurp their bastard drinks, and before you know it, they’ve got to go to the toilet. (I assume.  They never come back having purchased more food or drink, anyway)  Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people, that they can’t manage to control their bladders for a couple of hours so they can sit and watch a film they’ve paid good money to see?   Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever had to walk out of a film in order to have a slash. Even in the five-ish hour Alien/Prometheus double-bill the other week.

I get it, some people have bladder issues, or continence issues, and there are other complaints along the way.  But I haven’t been to a film in years where no-one walks out at some point in the showing, and then comes back.  Yes, those issues exist, but a) so do preventive measures and things to cater for those issues, and b) I truly don’t believe that the issues are so prevalent that it affects that many people in Milton Keynes.

And then, of course, we get to the fuckknuckles who go to concerts and performances, and chat to their mates all the way through – a lot of the time barely even looking at the stage.  If they are looking, these self-absorbed vacuous twatwoggles are filming the performance/act on their bastard phones and tables, and screwing things up for everyone behind them.

What’s the point? Why would you pay £20-50 per head to go to a concert and then not bother watching/listening?  If all you want to do is drink beer and talk bollocks, you might as well save the ticket money, and fuck off to the pub. Let more people in that want to see the actual gig, rather than making them listen to your braying laugh and piss-awful “banter”. (speaking of which, anyone who uses the word “banter” or “bantz/bants” to describe their interactions with friends is a fuckwitted jizzwizard by definition)  Just cock off and spend your money on lukewarm piss at a Wetherspoons round the corner.

At some point, it’s all going to annoy me enough that I walk up to one of these spaffbuckles and just ask what went through their minds, why they decided to go to a gig and then ignore it all, and just chat.  It’s happened before, and all I got in return was a look of blank incomprehension (I’m pretty sure it was their default expression, in fairness) but it fascinates me, I want to know why they’ve decided that those actions are a good plan.

Maybe one day I’ll find out. But I can’t see it being any time soon, because those doing it don’t have the introspection or self-awareness to be able to explain those processes.

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